“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Liberterian Party looks better and better every day

I'm not a gambler so this doesn't affect me personally but any loss of personal freedoms at the hands of compromised government officials is cause for concern whether or not you are personally restricted...

US President George W. Bush this week is expected to sign a bill making it harder to place bets on the Internet, a practice which already is illegal in the United States.
Bush was expected to act quickly after Congress approved the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act making it illegal for financial institutions and credit card companies to process payments to settle Internet bets. It also created stiff penalties for online wagers.

Billions of dollars are wagered online each year and the United States is considered the biggest market.

"It is extraordinary how many American families have been touched by large losses from Internet gambling," said US Representative Jim Leach, the bill's main sponsor in the House, in a statement after its passage early Saturday.

The bill's chief Senate sponsor was conservative Republican Jon Kyl, who, like Leach, has said he believed Internet gambling was a moral threat. He has called online betting as the Internet version of crack cocaine.

Republicans tucked the measure into a bill aimed at enhancing port security, which passed early Saturday.

Here's where I have a significant departure from the current Republican Party...legislating morality. My problem is that it absolves the individual from having to exercise personal responsibility. If the measure is so strong and necessary for public protection, why "tuck" it into a sure to pass security bill? Why sneak it in under the radar on Saturday morning when nobody but a bunch of bloggers are paying attention? And, if gambling is so horrible, why is it practiced and condoned in one form or another in nearly every state in the country?

The bill's sponsors are Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) and Jim Leach (R-Iowa). A quick search of gambling in those two states reveals that Harrah's (a big casino developer) owns huge resort casinos in both states. Internet gambling is taking a lot of business away from casinos and you know Harrah's contributes big-time to PAC's of representatives in states where they want to do business, in return for legislation favorable to them. The obvious question is if gambling is so evil, why did these two guys allow casinos in their home states? Kind of hypocritical isn't it?

So it's not about morality, or addiction, or crime. It's about stroking deep-pocket constituencies. Bottom line: indebted congressmen can legislate anything their big-money contributors want under the pretense of protecting morality. And the individual voters have to live with another small loss of freedom all because some legislators have to do what their big donors demand. Sometimes I wish I was able to not care about politics, my blood pressure would certainly be lower. This kind of underhanded, freedom-robbing, tactic sickens me...expecially when it comes from my own party.


David said...

The smart thing to do for Kyl and Leach is to start their own on-line gambling site.

Ed, I think I heard it from you most recently: Big business loves big government and vice versa.

Reid said...

The problem for these gambling states is that internet gaming is acredit card industry. Plenty of gamers run up substantial debts to their credit company and then walk away. The casino busines is typically a cash business. One can't sit and get free drinks, etc without moolah. These guys are trying to eliminate competition of all types. Without competition they can start to lure patrons into their web a create a society depedent on them for relief and for entertainment all the while raping huge profits from the majority of patrons.

Look at the world series of poker. It has doubled in size each of the last 3 years. The winner made off w/ $11 milllion. Each entrant must put up $ 10 K to enter, TV coughs up a bundle to televise the event, and the casino makes as much if not more on the back room games surrounding the tourney.

Problem this has created is internet gaming interest is increasing. Pros can't beat amateurs any longer and the internet is to blame. One can log on in his home and play on the internet all nite. While it is different than sitting at a table, one can learn strategy and timing.
However, casinos don't make money if people don't show up to play. Eliminate the internet sites, and Vegas/ Atlantic City/ Biloxi/ Cedar Rapids areback in full swing.
All about money, always has been and all way will be.

Ed said...

Business controls government through lobbyists like Abramoff, who treat the legislators to all kinds of goodies and favors in return for favorable legislation. Our representation is indeed for sale and that is abhorrent to me, as it should be to all Americans.

I agree that internet gambling is a dangerous pursuit and the lure of easy money is irresistable but, the problem is when our representatives allow, no encourage, certain economic interests to buy legislative favor against other economic interests for the lone reason of eliminating competition.

I'll say it like I've said it a thousand times before, the free market is the only legitimate eliminator of competition. If morality was the issue, casinos would be outlawed as well. The fact that casinos benefit from this legislation makes transparent the purchasing of political favor...abhorrent!

D said...

Darwin at work. Although "fittest" now includes brains not just brawn.

Ed said...

Right you are. Human evolution as progressed to the point at which brains are viewed upon by women as the quintessential provider quality rather than spear-throwing ability.

If the local businesses were able to compete with their brains, they wouldn't have to have racial quotas and preferences to survive, and they could compete with everybody else.

That's not being racist. That's simply stating the fact that free and clear competition always benefits the consumer as well as providing business with income, and Nagin is circumventing that whole process. In doing so, he's reigniting the endless cycle of dependence and sub-par business performance.

It's like promoting a child to the third grade who failed the second. You might feel good about yourself but what have you really done for that kid?