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WCW wrestler found dead in Buckhead home

Father says Tatum died of apparent accidental drug overdose

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0851350/resume

chasetatum.jpg

By CHRISTIAN BOONE

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 03/24/08

Former WCW wrestler Chase Tatum was found dead late Sunday afternoon of an apparent accidental drug overdose, his father said.

Tatum, 34, was recovering from back surgery 10 days earlier to repair a degenerative disc. His father, Roy Tatum of Kennesaw, said his son had been battling a painkiller dependence for years but had made plans to enter a rehabilitation facility in Miami.

"He was in the process of getting his life back together," the elder Tatum said Monday evening. "He was confident he was going to turn things around, to live a normal life again without those painkillers."

Chase Tatum's body was discovered by a friend at his Buckhead home around 4 p.m. Sunday. He was unresponsive and could not be revived by emergency personnel. A toxicology report has been ordered by the Fulton County Medical Examiner, which will take anywhere from six to eight weeks, said Laura Salm, an investigator with the coroner's office.

"He laid down, went to sleep and woke up in heaven," his father said.

Chase Tatum was 19 years old when he won the Mr. Georgia bodybuilding competition. He was always a big kid, his father said, An online movie resume described him as 6-feet, 3-inches tall and 265 pounds.

He began a career as a personal trainer, which he continued doing until his death.

Tatum's wrestling career was unplanned and short-lived.

One of his clients was a WCW personality who encouraged him to audition. Tatum was accepted on his first try, debuting in 1999. He quickly gained notice; an online fan club dubbed him "WCW's coolest young jobber."

His dad, however, advised his son against becoming a pro wrestler.

"How long can you last in that field?" Roy Tatum said. "They go in with their eyes closed, think they'll make some quick money and then get out."

Tatum retired after about two-and-a-half years. The brief wrestling stint left him battling severe back problems but without health insurance to pay for the surgery.

The painkillers kept him going, his father said, and despite his dependence, Tatum found success as an actor. He landed a substantial role in the low-budget comedy, "Who's Your Caddy?" in 2007 alongside costar rapper Big Boi of Outkast. He also worked as a road manager and personal assistant with Outkast.

"He loved working with them," said his father, also an actor. "He got to see Paris, Germany and Japan."

He said his son had just landed a major role in a movie that was to be filmed in New York. In his spare time, Chase Tatum enjoyed spending time with his young nephew, Jake, the son of Chase's younger brother Colin.

"He was at his brother's house more than his own," Roy Tatum said.

Chase Tatum's funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at Mount Paran Church of God in Atlanta.

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This is a tragic case of drug dependency gone bad.  This happens all of the time to non-wrestlers too. 

As for wrestlers being treated like humans, well... you reap what you sew.  Wrestling appeals to the absolute lowest common denomenator.  Nothing but people yelling, fake fighting, flashes, bangs, lights, T&A, and violence.  All poorly staged for your "entertainment".  Huge waste of airtime if you ask me.  You can get all of that in football, and it's still a real "sport".  I haven't watched a moment of wrestling since I was about 10 years old.  It's really sad to me to see people over the age of 12 who follow this psuedo sport.  There was a 60 year old man at the last place I worked who used to go on and on about all of the plots and story lines and wouldn't accept that it wasn't all real.  Sad.....  If I want to listen to people yell for an hour I'll just upset my wife.

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cheaton (3/25/2008)
This is a tragic case of drug dependency gone bad.  This happens all of the time to non-wrestlers too. 

As for wrestlers being treated like humans, well... you reap what you sew.  Wrestling appeals to the absolute lowest common denomenator.  Nothing but people yelling, fake fighting, flashes, bangs, lights, T&A, and violence.  All poorly staged for your "entertainment".  Huge waste of airtime if you ask me.  You can get all of that in football, and it's still a real "sport".  I haven't watched a moment of wrestling since I was about 10 years old.  It's really sad to me to see people over the age of 12 who follow this psuedo sport.  There was a 60 year old man at the last place I worked who used to go on and on about all of the plots and story lines and wouldn't accept that it wasn't all real.  Sad.....  If I want to listen to people yell for an hour I'll just upset my wife.

 

Do you like movies?

 

Do you know they are fake?

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I have talked to a former WCW and WWE wrestler who fights in MMA now and he told some very interesting stories. Without naming names, lets just say that pro wrestling has a pervasive drug culture that goes far beyond steroids. The travel and the nightly abuse on their bodies takes a toll and many turn to painkillers and speed just to make through. That lifestyle has been more responsible for the early death of pro wrestlers than any anabolic steroid or HgH.

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gritzblitz56 (3/25/2008)
I have talked to a former WCW and WWE wrestler who fights in MMA now and he told some very interesting stories. Without naming names, lets just say that pro wrestling has a pervasive drug culture that goes far beyond steroids. The travel and the nightly abuse on their bodies takes a toll and many turn to painkillers and speed just to make through. That lifestyle has been more responsible for the early death of pro wrestlers than any anabolic steroid or HgH.

Yes and sadly its those kind of drugs that enable the wrestlers to keep up a brutal schedule year after year with no offseason. Its deplorable how horrible the industry is and that no one in America will do anything about it because "its just fake".  Those same people btw do not scream "its fake!" at movies or their television sets.

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Same Ol Falcons (3/25/2008)
cheaton (3/25/2008)
This is a tragic case of drug dependency gone bad.  This happens all of the time to non-wrestlers too. 

As for wrestlers being treated like humans, well... you reap what you sew.  Wrestling appeals to the absolute lowest common denomenator.  Nothing but people yelling, fake fighting, flashes, bangs, lights, T&A, and violence.  All poorly staged for your "entertainment".  Huge waste of airtime if you ask me.  You can get all of that in football, and it's still a real "sport".  I haven't watched a moment of wrestling since I was about 10 years old.  It's really sad to me to see people over the age of 12 who follow this psuedo sport.  There was a 60 year old man at the last place I worked who used to go on and on about all of the plots and story lines and wouldn't accept that it wasn't all real.  Sad.....  If I want to listen to people yell for an hour I'll just upset my wife.

 

Do you like movies?

 

Do you know they are fake?

 

Well ya, but the movies I watch aren't cheap stunts combined with 'roided psuedo athletes screaming 4th grade level dialogue at each other over the drone of bad music and spitting water out of their mouths into the air because they think it looks cool.  I think this is about the only thing on television that has the potential to make you dumber just by tuning in.  And again, why watch fake sports?  There's plenty of real ones......

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It is entertainment, if it was a regulated sport it would have a union, and pension plan. Watching Chyna Doll on celebrity rehab, showed me how she abused the painkillers to numb the pain. Sadly more and more people are getting exploited at the hands of the few.

gritzblitz56 (3/25/2008)
I have talked to a former WCW and WWE wrestler who fights in MMA now and he told some very interesting stories. Without naming names, lets just say that pro wrestling has a pervasive drug culture that goes far beyond steroids. The travel and the nightly abuse on their bodies takes a toll and many turn to painkillers and speed just to make through. That lifestyle has been more responsible for the early death of pro wrestlers than any anabolic steroid or HgH.
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cheaton (3/25/2008)
Same Ol Falcons (3/25/2008)
cheaton (3/25/2008)
This is a tragic case of drug dependency gone bad.  This happens all of the time to non-wrestlers too. 

As for wrestlers being treated like humans, well... you reap what you sew.  Wrestling appeals to the absolute lowest common denomenator.  Nothing but people yelling, fake fighting, flashes, bangs, lights, T&A, and violence.  All poorly staged for your "entertainment".  Huge waste of airtime if you ask me.  You can get all of that in football, and it's still a real "sport".  I haven't watched a moment of wrestling since I was about 10 years old.  It's really sad to me to see people over the age of 12 who follow this psuedo sport.  There was a 60 year old man at the last place I worked who used to go on and on about all of the plots and story lines and wouldn't accept that it wasn't all real.  Sad.....  If I want to listen to people yell for an hour I'll just upset my wife.

 

Do you like movies?

 

Do you know they are fake?

 

Well ya, but the movies I watch aren't cheap stunts combined with 'roided psuedo athletes screaming 4th grade level dialogue at each other over the drone of bad music and spitting water out of their mouths into the air because they think it looks cool.  I think this is about the only thing on television that has the potential to make you dumber just by tuning in.  And again, why watch fake sports?  There's plenty of real ones......

Forgive me for saying this but are you suggesting that because the wrestlers are in a "fake" sport it means they should have no legal protection for their industry? That so many dying or being crippled is not cause for some kind of action to bring the working standards up?

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cheaton (3/25/2008)

Well ya, but the movies I watch aren't cheap stunts combined with 'roided psuedo athletes screaming 4th grade level dialogue at each other over the drone of bad music and spitting water out of their mouths into the air because they think it looks cool.  I think this is about the only thing on television that has the potential to make you dumber just by tuning in.  And again, why watch fake sports?  There's plenty of real ones......

 

First off, if you've watched just about any action movie, than you've watched "cheap stunts combined with 'roided psuedo athletes screaming 4th grade level dialogue at each other over the drone of bad music and spitting water out of their mouths into the air because they think it looks cool." Secondly, I'm sure that the vast majority of the folks that watch wrestling know full well that it's choregraphed and staged. Still doesn't mean it's not entertaining. People watch it for the same reasons that they watch, most any other TV show...because it provides entertainment and escape. Personally, I don't know a single, solitary person who believes wrestling is real...but I know several that still watch it because it makes them laugh...;)

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They have legal protection.  It's called OSHA and probably the actors guild.  Chances are they sign away most of their rights when they take the job in the form of waivers.  Don't try and paint it like most of these guys aren't screwed up meatheads before they get into wrestling.  If you want representation, workers comp, and all of these kinds of things don't get into "pro wrestling".  You choose your path, you reap what you sew, and usually you get what you deserve.  Just because you're 6'4" and 280lbs doesn't mean you can't get a real job.  If you want a shot at the "bigtime" then you have to deal with the consequences.  You're not goign to get any sympathy from me.....

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Eddie Jewell (3/25/2008)
Cheat it might be a fake sport, but you cannot deny the athleticism it takes to pull it off. I mean how many jocks do you know can keep millions entertained by their acting and athleticism?
I'm pretty sure if you juiced me up and gave me a bottle full of lortab I could do most of that crap too. As far as their acting... I've seen better acting in porno's.
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Eddie Jewell (3/25/2008)
Cheat it might be a fake sport, but you cannot deny the athleticism it takes to pull it off. I mean how many jocks do you know can keep millions entertained by their acting and athleticism?

Eddie, true enough.  I won't take away the level of training and such that go into pulling off these things.  But really, the whole pro wrestling thing is so incredibly juvenile I can't begin to put myself into the shoes of an adult who watches this.  The ability to understand how someone can find this entertaining, funny, or anything but stupid is beyond me.  Then again, I feel the same way about people driving cars around in circles....  To each their own I guess.

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cheaton (3/25/2008)
They have legal protection. It's called OSHA and probably the actors guild. Chances are they sign away most of their rights when they take the job in the form of waivers. Don't try and paint it like most of these guys aren't screwed up meatheads before they get into wrestling. If you want representation, workers comp, and all of these kinds of things don't get into "pro wrestling". You choose your path, you reap what you sew, and usually you get what you deserve. Just because you're 6'4" and 280lbs doesn't mean you can't get a real job. If you want a shot at the "bigtime" then you have to deal with the consequences. You're not goign to get any sympathy from me.....

They do it because the money is phenomenal if you make the big-time. There have been efforts to unionize the wrestlers in the past but McMahon has crushed it. What most don't know is that its a very feudal enterprise. They have to pay for healthcare and travel out of their own pockets. So even if a mid-level guy is making $150,000, once you factor in healthcare and 300 days a year of travel expenses, it's not all that much.

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cheaton (3/25/2008)
They have legal protection.  It's called OSHA and probably the actors guild.  Chances are they sign away most of their rights when they take the job in the form of waivers.  Don't try and paint it like most of these guys aren't screwed up meatheads before they get into wrestling.  If you want representation, workers comp, and all of these kinds of things don't get into "pro wrestling".  You choose your path, you reap what you sew, and usually you get what you deserve.  Just because you're 6'4" and 280lbs doesn't mean you can't get a real job.  If you want a shot at the "bigtime" then you have to deal with the consequences.  You're not goign to get any sympathy from me.....

There is no union for wrestlers and those wrestlers that tried to form one were blackballed from the industry. OSHA has never been applied to wrestling because no one in the government will take an interest. And I must say its repugnant attitudes like yours about fellow human beings, let alone fellow Americans, that only allow it to continue.

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I was a fan, but I find Mamahon (sp) a disgusting individual. Therefore, I stopped watching years ago.

falkonX7 (3/25/2008)
Eddie Jewell (3/25/2008)
Cheat it might be a fake sport, but you cannot deny the athleticism it takes to pull it off. I mean how many jocks do you know can keep millions entertained by their acting and athleticism?
I'm pretty sure if you juiced me up and gave me a bottle full of lortab I could do most of that crap too. As far as their acting... I've seen better acting in porno's.
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keithbrooking56 (3/25/2008)
cheaton (3/25/2008)
They have legal protection.  It's called OSHA and probably the actors guild.  Chances are they sign away most of their rights when they take the job in the form of waivers.  Don't try and paint it like most of these guys aren't screwed up meatheads before they get into wrestling.  If you want representation, workers comp, and all of these kinds of things don't get into "pro wrestling".  You choose your path, you reap what you sew, and usually you get what you deserve.  Just because you're 6'4" and 280lbs doesn't mean you can't get a real job.  If you want a shot at the "bigtime" then you have to deal with the consequences.  You're not goign to get any sympathy from me.....

There is no union for wrestlers and those wrestlers that tried to form one were blackballed from the industry. OSHA has never been applied to wrestling because no one in the government will take an interest. And I must say its repugnant attitudes like yours about fellow human beings, let alone fellow Americans, that only allow it to continue.

 

Oh poor poor wrestlers.... poor poor people who sign away their rights so they can get on TV and scream at each other like idiots.  Poor poor mistreated wrestlers.  Let me see if I can find a tissue to wipe away my tears of sorrow.  Poor poor misunderstood pro wrestlers.  Boo hoo.

Noone in the government should take an interest.  The second I see the government concerned with pro wrestling is the second I move to another country.  It's bad enough we have idiotbaseball players taking up the valuable time of our congress.  All of our industry going overseas, americans losing jobs, american people being poorly educated, american people living on the street because their homes are washed away in floods or other disasters.  These are people I have sympathy for.  Not people who spend their lives beefing themselves up to perform silly stunts on TV and injure themselves in the process.  The next thing you're going to tell me is the J a c k a s s guys deserve representation and workers comp too. 

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cheaton (3/25/2008)

Oh poor poor wrestlers.... poor poor people who sign away their rights so they can get on TV and scream at each other like idiots.  Poor poor mistreated wrestlers.  Let me see if I can find a tissue to wipe away my tears of sorrow.  Poor poor misunderstood pro wrestlers.  Boo hoo.

Noone in the government should take an interest.  The second I see the government concerned with pro wrestling is the second I move to another country.  It's bad enough we have idiotbaseball players taking up the valuable time of our congress.  All of our industry going overseas, americans losing jobs, american people being poorly educated, american people living on the street because their homes are washed away in floods or other disasters.  These are people I have sympathy for.  Not people who spend their lives beefing themselves up to perform silly stunts on TV and injure themselves in the process.  The next thing you're going to tell me is the J a c k a s s guys deserve representation and workers comp too. 

 

Yep...can't argue with your sentiment. Wrestlers are like strippers and rock stars. There are no unions in those entertainment fields either, that regulate and protect those people from career pitfalls. I have about as much sympathy for a wrestler who dies of prolonged used of drugs, than I do for a stripper or rock star who does the same thing. I didn't weep when I heard about Kurt Cobain offing himself because he was too big of a ##### to kick his own heroin addiction. I'm not standing in line to go to a funeral service for a stripper that dies from a drug overdose. However, I do acknowledge that they're all people, who have familes that love them, and familes to take care of...I don't applaud their choices in life, but I can definitely understand why they would accept the risks to follow their career paths...money and becoming the center of attention drives so many of them to make those choices. The fact is, most of us have these same desires in ourselves...by luck though, we lack the physical tools and talent to even attempt to pursue a life in those career fields. Odin only knows that if I could sing, I definitely would've tried to become a rock star...;)

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cheaton (3/25/2008)
keithbrooking56 (3/25/2008)
cheaton (3/25/2008)
They have legal protection.  It's called OSHA and probably the actors guild.  Chances are they sign away most of their rights when they take the job in the form of waivers.  Don't try and paint it like most of these guys aren't screwed up meatheads before they get into wrestling.  If you want representation, workers comp, and all of these kinds of things don't get into "pro wrestling".  You choose your path, you reap what you sew, and usually you get what you deserve.  Just because you're 6'4" and 280lbs doesn't mean you can't get a real job.  If you want a shot at the "bigtime" then you have to deal with the consequences.  You're not goign to get any sympathy from me.....

There is no union for wrestlers and those wrestlers that tried to form one were blackballed from the industry. OSHA has never been applied to wrestling because no one in the government will take an interest. And I must say its repugnant attitudes like yours about fellow human beings, let alone fellow Americans, that only allow it to continue.

 

Oh poor poor wrestlers.... poor poor people who sign away their rights so they can get on TV and scream at each other like idiots.  Poor poor mistreated wrestlers.  Let me see if I can find a tissue to wipe away my tears of sorrow.  Poor poor misunderstood pro wrestlers.  Boo hoo.

Noone in the government should take an interest.  The second I see the government concerned with pro wrestling is the second I move to another country.  It's bad enough we have idiotbaseball players taking up the valuable time of our congress.  All of our industry going overseas, americans losing jobs, american people being poorly educated, american people living on the street because their homes are washed away in floods or other disasters.  These are people I have sympathy for.  Not people who spend their lives beefing themselves up to perform silly stunts on TV and injure themselves in the process.  The next thing you're going to tell me is the J a c k a s s guys deserve representation and workers comp too. 

Our government is supposed to protect its citizens. Wrestlers don't stop being citizens. Our government has a moral and legal obligation to protect them just as it protects other citizens. I know some wrestlers personally and have been a fan of it since I was a child. Almost all of the people in it are in it to entertain other people not to try and "get rich quick". These people deserve the legal protection afforded other professions.

I find it a sad commentary on America today when people like you see other human beings as something like sideshow freaks instead of human beings. Its nice to see your quality of caring is limited to how much value you place in someone's profession though.

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cheaton (3/25/2008)
keithbrooking56 (3/25/2008)
cheaton (3/25/2008)
They have legal protection.  It's called OSHA and probably the actors guild.  Chances are they sign away most of their rights when they take the job in the form of waivers.  Don't try and paint it like most of these guys aren't screwed up meatheads before they get into wrestling.  If you want representation, workers comp, and all of these kinds of things don't get into "pro wrestling".  You choose your path, you reap what you sew, and usually you get what you deserve.  Just because you're 6'4" and 280lbs doesn't mean you can't get a real job.  If you want a shot at the "bigtime" then you have to deal with the consequences.  You're not goign to get any sympathy from me.....

There is no union for wrestlers and those wrestlers that tried to form one were blackballed from the industry. OSHA has never been applied to wrestling because no one in the government will take an interest. And I must say its repugnant attitudes like yours about fellow human beings, let alone fellow Americans, that only allow it to continue.

 

Oh poor poor wrestlers.... poor poor people who sign away their rights so they can get on TV and scream at each other like idiots.  Poor poor mistreated wrestlers.  Let me see if I can find a tissue to wipe away my tears of sorrow.  Poor poor misunderstood pro wrestlers.  Boo hoo.

Noone in the government should take an interest.  The second I see the government concerned with pro wrestling is the second I move to another country.  It's bad enough we have idiotbaseball players taking up the valuable time of our congress.  All of our industry going overseas, americans losing jobs, american people being poorly educated, american people living on the street because their homes are washed away in floods or other disasters.  These are people I have sympathy for.  Not people who spend their lives beefing themselves up to perform silly stunts on TV and injure themselves in the process.  The next thing you're going to tell me is the J a c k a s s guys deserve representation and workers comp too. 

So true.  I can sing, I did try to become a rock star.  But, when I hit 25 and realized sex, drugs, and rock n' roll wasn't getting me anywhere I was smart enough to turn my life around.  I got my GED, started going to college, got married, and got a real job.  Had I continued I don't even know where I'd be right now.  Even if I was successful I wouldn't be healthy or happy.  I'm happy I made the CHOICES I made.  The one to pursue my dream, and the one to give up on it. 

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keithbrooking56 (3/25/2008)
cheaton (3/25/2008)
keithbrooking56 (3/25/2008)
cheaton (3/25/2008)
They have legal protection.  It's called OSHA and probably the actors guild.  Chances are they sign away most of their rights when they take the job in the form of waivers.  Don't try and paint it like most of these guys aren't screwed up meatheads before they get into wrestling.  If you want representation, workers comp, and all of these kinds of things don't get into "pro wrestling".  You choose your path, you reap what you sew, and usually you get what you deserve.  Just because you're 6'4" and 280lbs doesn't mean you can't get a real job.  If you want a shot at the "bigtime" then you have to deal with the consequences.  You're not goign to get any sympathy from me.....

There is no union for wrestlers and those wrestlers that tried to form one were blackballed from the industry. OSHA has never been applied to wrestling because no one in the government will take an interest. And I must say its repugnant attitudes like yours about fellow human beings, let alone fellow Americans, that only allow it to continue.

 

Oh poor poor wrestlers.... poor poor people who sign away their rights so they can get on TV and scream at each other like idiots.  Poor poor mistreated wrestlers.  Let me see if I can find a tissue to wipe away my tears of sorrow.  Poor poor misunderstood pro wrestlers.  Boo hoo.

Noone in the government should take an interest.  The second I see the government concerned with pro wrestling is the second I move to another country.  It's bad enough we have idiotbaseball players taking up the valuable time of our congress.  All of our industry going overseas, americans losing jobs, american people being poorly educated, american people living on the street because their homes are washed away in floods or other disasters.  These are people I have sympathy for.  Not people who spend their lives beefing themselves up to perform silly stunts on TV and injure themselves in the process.  The next thing you're going to tell me is the J a c k a s s guys deserve representation and workers comp too. 

Our government is supposed to protect its citizens. Wrestlers don't stop being citizens. Our government has a moral and legal obligation to protect them just as it protects other citizens. I know some wrestlers personally and have been a fan of it since I was a child. Almost all of the people in it are in it to entertain other people not to try and "get rich quick". These people deserve the legal protection afforded other professions.

I find it a sad commentary on America today when people like you see other human beings as something like sideshow freaks instead of human beings. Its nice to see your quality of caring is limited to how much value you place in someone's profession though.

 

Hey there, smart fella..... Wrestlers have the same rights under the law the rest of us do.  Unless they legally sign them away.  What's sad in America is the fact we people who think it's the governments job to protect them from their own stupid decisions.  It sounds to me like you think they deserve MORE than the rest of us do.  Where is it written that they don't have rights like you and I?  If they're signing on a dotted line and giving up their rights to sue their employer becuase of disabilities or mistreatment that's THEIR FAULT!!!!  From what are you suggesting the government should protect them from?  It's not the governments responsiblity to keep YOU from making stupid decisions!! They make the choice to get into that business, they sign the waivers and contracts, they get what they ask for.  Noone forces the pen in their hands.  Noone forces the drugs down their throats.  Noone forces them to do anything.  IF they ARE forced the ARE protected under the law.  Otherwise....well... welcome to Freedom and personal responsibility!  That's what America is about.  You want protection from yourself.... move to Canada, or France.  The only protection you're getting here is from Al Queda.

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