Cheating seems to be in vogue this spring.
As you might have heard, in a post race drug test the winner of the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit, tested positive for 21 picograms of betamethasone and if you know what that is and why it’s illegal than you probably hang around horseracing tracks a hell of a lot more than I do. All I know about horseracing is to bet the longshots on a muddy track.
To be clear, betamethasone is basically horse Advil. It alleviates pain in joints and it’s actually legal to administer it, but it has to be out of the horse’s system within two weeks of a race. That’s a stipulation Medina Spirits’ trainer, Bob Baffert, should be familiar with since Medina Spirit is the fifth horse of his in one year to have failed a post race drug test.
“I’m not a conspiracy theorist,” Baffert said.
Which is always the precursor to any new conspiracy theory.
“I know everybody is not out to get me, but there’s definitely something wrong. Why is it happening to me? You know, there’s problems in racing, but it’s not Bob Baffert.”
Yeah Bob, but if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem. And Churchill Downs, home of the Derby, has decided Bob Baffert is part of the problem. They have suspended Baffert from the track which means the man who has trained more Kentucky Derby winners can not have a horse in any race there let alone the Derby.
What did Bob do? He went on OANN and said he was a victim of cancel culture. No you’re not Bob. You cheated, got caught, and now are being punished as you should be.
Look, cheating in sports is a time honored tradition. The line you will hear in any locker room is “if you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin'”. Mostly that’s put away when you reach the pinnacle moment of any particular sport. Most Americans can’t name their local track but they can tell you when the Kentucky Derby is run. It’s the pinnacle for horseracing. You’re not supposed to cheat. It would be like a team using an elaborate system of surveillance and signals to spy on their World Series opponents so they could relay to their batters what the next pitch was.
Meanwhile in New Hampshire a different angle on cheating is playing out. At Dartmouth’s prestigious Geisel Medical School allegations of cheating on internet based exams have thrown the campus into turmoil. It seems 38 students were supposedly caught using the campus software Canvas, which has all the course work on it, while taking tests. 21 cases were dismissed because their professor admitted he told them his was an open book test. However the other 17 students were punished anywhere from having to take the class over to being expelled from the school. In many cases students plead guilty only because they were told that to plead innocent would expose them to the most severe punishment.
Here’s where the gray area begins to emerge. It seems that the evidence of cheating was that the Canvas software pings in to the central computer whenever the software is running, leaving a record of who was active and at what time. That’s even if it’s not actually being used but rather just running in the background. Or on a second device. A second device the university demanded students have access to as a backup during the test.
Stop right there for a moment. How many programs are currently running on your phone or your tablet or any other device you might have lying around that’s not the one you’re reading this on? And how many of those programs can you name?
Now you understand the problem.
Most of these students had Canvas running on that second device because it’s ALWAYS running. In essence Canvas is a medical library available 24/7 to any student. The whole advantage of it is that it’s always there. Why turn it off, especially on a secondary device that you’re not taking the test on?
Oh and one other thing. Dartmouth failed to say to the test takers “make sure you are logged out of Canvas on all your devices before beginning the test”. As a matter of fact they never told students that Canvas had time, date, and location monitoring abilities built into it.
But in the grand tradition of Ivy League Schools Dartmouth has made a decision and the decision stands. Now who is cheating? Especially when some of the punishments were having to retake an entire year of school over again. At a cost of $70,000 for another year of school.
Which, as it always seems to, brings us to the Repugnicant party and their so called Clean Voting initiatives.
Based on zero evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election but in reality a fear of losing more elections many Repugnicant controlled state legislatures have passed draconian voting laws that restrict people’s (mostly minority people’s) ability to vote. Severe restrictions on voting hours, voting locations, mail in voting, absentee voting, and of course the now widely ridiculed no eating or drinking in the waiting line rule.
What is that if not cheating? If you can’t get people to vote for you make sure the only people who can vote are ones who will only vote for you. It’s a rigged game or as they say in horseracing a boat race (OK, I know a little more about the horse racing game than I admitted to earlier).
These Repugnicant lawmakers are like the Brahmins of Dartmouth. There was no cheating? Well that doesn’t matter we’re gonna use this as an excuse to make sure there’s no cheating in the future and if we lose an election than it can only be through the Demoncrats cheating. It’s The Big Lie written into stone.
What’s scary is how many people are willing to go along with this. There should be protests in the streets. A man is murdered by Minneapolis cops and we get three months of protests. American democracy is murdered and we get Rachel Maddow tsk-tsking and sharply worded editorials in the best of papers.
It’s not enough people. Start making noise. It doesn’t matter if you are in the bluest of blue states where voting rights are protected and enhanced. Great you stopped drinking Coke and buying from Home Depot but now what? Repugnicants have gotten hold of Georgia, Florida, Texas, et al. They’re not going to stop there. They want it all. They want a Supreme Court that says there isn’t a right to vote, just a promise that maybe you can. They will use all their cheating tricks to try and affect that.
Hey conservatives, you’re always going on about “the children”. How do you think children will react when you tell them that “cheaters never prosper” then turn around and say “but it’s okay to rig an election as long as it’s rigged for us”? For that matter, how are we calling to heal the rift in this nation between conservatives and everyone else if you keep up the cheating?
But then again you don’t want to heal the rift. You want to win at all costs so white males rule, women and minorities are put in their “proper place” and you can regain the stature you think you have lost.
That’s pretty pathetic. Just like the biggest cheater of them all:
I opted out on The Clash last week. Not this time.