Anyone that knows me is well aware that I’m a poker player. I tend to be about as rabid about the game as your standard rabid football fan (to the point I’ve started a second blog just about poker at http://mariettabull.strangeland.net). Unfortunately, I live in Atlanta, which is several hours from a casino and online betting is currently illegal in the United States (or, more to the point, will fully be so by December if action isn’t taken). There are a number of members of the House of Representatives, however, that are trying to take steps to remove these blocks and put regulations in place to govern online betting.
Now, all arguments aside of whether it should or should not be regulated, I’d much rather see it legal, taxed, and regulated than I would simply prohibited. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) has a position article posted at Rollcall.com regarding this issue, pointing out some of the dangers to consumers if the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) isn’t repelled and/or corrected.
At the end of the day, the UIGEA was yet another attempt at legislating morality. This is unacceptable, just like every other case of providing for the prosecution of victimless “crimes.” One of the few things for which I will applaud Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) is his push to clear the legality of online gambling in the United States.
The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is continuing to lobby Congress on behalf of the poker industry, and I fully support them doing so. If I want to sit at home and play poker online for actual money, that’s my decision. I don’t need the Federal Government playing nanny with me and telling me what I can and can’t do online in this situation.
Obviously there are other issues out there of greater import at the moment, but I can always hope that if Congress can spend time on hearings about the BCS, they can take a day or so and correct the idiocy of the UIGEA.
This past weekend was spent moving from one house to another. Between spending the majority of the weekend nowhere near my laptop and being completely wiped when I was near one, there isn’t anything of note here.
Just for the record, this weekend reinforced that I’m not near as young as I used to be (yet again). Even with hiring movers, moving all the computer equipment, two computer desks, and cleaning out the old place wiped me out.
So expect things back to posting by the end of the week, and I’ll hopefully be back on a standard schedule by Monday with no more interruptions for a while. It’s actually somewhat of a shame that I try and be at least somewhat current with my topics. It makes it a little more difficult to build up posts and schedule them for posting.
C’est la vie. Off to do what my job is paying me to do.
In case you’re not aware, I’m a libertarian. I voted for Bob Barr for President in the last election and, as a general rule, I vote for the Libertarian candidate in an election unless there is a compelling reason not to do so. I believe the Government is far too intrusive and as long as you’re not doing anything to deprive someone of their life, liberty, or property through force or fraud, the government should butt out.
Take a look at any election coverage, however. You almost never hear anything about parties other than the Republican and Democrat parties. You might occasionally get some coverage on a “freak” angle (which is the main reason Nader got so much coverage over the years), but you rarely get the same coverage of them you get for the two primary parties.
If I were King of the World, this would change. I am firmly convinced that one of the reasons we’re stuck with this broken two party system is because the media refuses to cover anyone else. There are a number of “third” parties out there that have good ideas, but the media refuses to pay attention to them for whatever reason. I will grant you that some of them really are fringe elements or they have fringe elements with far too much of a voice (such as the Libertarian party), but the blockade by the media is one of the biggest stumbling blocks that keeps them where they are.
The continued barring of alternative party candidates from debates is something that truly needs to stop. If the networks can handle debates with more than two candidates in the primaries, there is no reason they can’t do it in the post-primary season. Many of the networks will point to the fact they have requirements regarding how much of the vote a given party receives before they can be on the debate, but if the media isn’t providing any meaningful coverage of these parties, they never reach the voters in numbers to allow them to be on the debate. Such a nice little vicious circle the media has set up, isn’t it?
I am a firm believer that the United States can only benefit from more disparate voices being involved in the political process. It’s truly a shame that the establishment (don’t I just sound like a 60’s radical now–my mom would be so proud) makes it nearly impossible for any of them to be heard.