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13.1.05

Two Unlikely Proposals

1. Steroids. I can't speak for other sports, but I think a simple rule change could solve the steroid problem in baseball. Declare that a ball hit out of the park is an out (or at least a foul ball). This would bring baseball in line with pretty much every other sport, where removing the ball from the field of play is a bad thing. Without the possibility of an out-of-the-park home run, players would be forced to develop control and finesse in their hitting, rather than focusing on raw power. So rather than needing extensive and intrusive enforcement, we could remove the incentive to take steroids. Of course, the prevalence of the home run mythos will make all real baseball fans unwilling to consider this suggestion.

2. DC Statehood. With Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, advocates of giving Washington voting representation in Congress are understandably pessimistic. After all, DC would be the bluest of the blue states. But what if we took a suggestion from the founding fathers (Republicans love the founding fathers)? In the early days of the USA, slave and free states were admitted to the union in pairs so as not to upset the balance of power. Now, conservatives often half-jokingly suggest that we should make use of the clause in the Texas constitution that allows it to be split into several states. I say we offer to approve splitting Texas in two (gerrymandered to make sure they're both solidly red -- much as I'd love to cut out Austin as a little blue Lesotho) if DC can become a state. This proposal would be more fair to the people of Texas, too, since living in a big state means they're underrepresented vis-a-vis Wyoming or Rhode Island in the Senate. Of course, Texas pride would not stand for dividing the Lone Star State into Lone Half Stars.

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