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Published: Monday, January 20, 2014, 1:00 a.m.

Cheaters hall of fame and other societal benchmarks

Things worth considering:
Maybe what we need in professional sports is a “Performance Enhanced Hall of Fame,” Inductees would be the athletes from every professional sport — cycling, baseball, football, track, what-have you — who’d been caught using banned substances.
As an aside, one wonders what possesses these people? They’re already better than 99.9999 percent of the rest of us who can only dream of hitting 95 mph (in my case 65 mph) fastballs, knocking running backs flat, or doing the 100 meters in less than 10 seconds.
They have money, fame, glory and the admiration of those who love a particular sport. Why sully all of that by pumping some drug into your body for just that extra bit of “oomph”? Is it worth it?
Yep. A “Performance Enhanced of Fame.” Put it in North Korea and let Dennis Rodman be the tour guide. Let them think about that while sticking a needle in their butts.
Needless to say, such athletes should also be banned from any other Hall of Fame extant.
I thought we’d reached the ultimate in societal insanity with road rage.
Someone accidentally cuts another driver off. Someone is following someone else too closely. Someone is doing the speed limit while another guy flashing his lights and a middle finger wants to get to the next light five seconds faster. Who knows what’s going to cause neck-bulging rage, beatings and even killing.
If someone does goes off the deep end, however, I’ve learned that the better part of automotive valor lies in no eye contact whatsoever and pulling over to let them pass. I’ll even try humming a song to stay calm. Key of “G”.
Unfortunately, being the species that we are, we’ve now apparently been introduced to “text rage.” That’s where, if you’re in a theater, sending a text message or posting something to Facebook, you can now get yourself shot.
And, you bet I can understand a brusque look, a comment, and, perhaps, a firm request to turn the thing off. But shooting someone? Seriously? Have we, collectively, gone that many feathers short of a duck?
I think we might consider taking a deep breath and offering each other a little more space and consideration. Many of us can remember a time when doing such was a lot more common than it is now. Too, back then, it seemed as if people weren’t getting assaulted or killed while driving or, good grief, while waiting to see a movie.
Firearms will be another, ongoing, and contentious debate.
And, now, the latest political scandal. This time, it’s about a traffic snarl in New Jersey. This was, apparently, brought about by the need to teach someone a lesson for not endorsing Chris Christie during his last campaign for governor.
Gov. Christie says that it was his staff who did it and that he knew nothing (I’ve heard this somewhere before) about it. He did do a bit of “personnel” house cleaning, but it makes you wonder if any of the fools — be they elected officials or their staff members — who believe in these shenanigans understand that keeping such idiocy secret is nigh onto impossible. More so if you put those plans into an email.
As for the presence and results of this behavior — whether at the local, state, or national level — it’ll likely never stop.
Perhaps a coin should be given to every elected official and, more importantly, to their staff members. It would be imprinted with the words: “Those who don’t know (political) history are doomed to repeat it.” (See: Nixon/Enemies List.)
On a minor note, in the military, when you’re in command and one of your brighter lights does something particularly egregious, not only are you held responsible, you’re also shown the door in very short order. This might be a good rule to apply to politicians of every rank nationwide.
Ending on a brighter note, “Downton Abbey” has begun its fourth season. Let’s see. Fully fleshed out characters, believable plot lines, splendid use of the english language, nary a bit of foul language, and just plain grace throughout.
But, then again, Japanese whiskey maker, Suntory, just bought Jim Beam.
One despairs.
Larry Simoneaux lives in Edmonds. Send comments to: larrysim@comcast.net

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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

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