Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fair and Balanced

BestView is pretty consistent in its opinion that liberals offer very little in the way of improving our life on earth. When something comes up which seems to make more sense than the right wing position, however, it should be mentioned. I have a brother-in-law who just retired as a Republican congressman after 20 years. Over that time, he has voted mostly as one would expect a conservative to vote. However, over that period of time, I have noticed that he has also developed a paternalistic attitude about the role of government in the affairs of citizens which he will not allow one to question. As a former academic, I enjoy debating subjects even if I am not especially well grounded in the area since I at least have a chance of learning something. This brother-in-law and many other people I have met over the years do not enjoy such give and take and I can live with that.
Recently, I asked this relative how he voted on the measure passed in September which banned the use of credit cards to pay for any form of gambling on the internet which involved a "game of chance". His reply was quite vigorous in proclaiming that he had voted for the ban because the internet is addictive and gambling is addictive and it is therefore necessary for the good politicians in Washington to watch out for us and protect us from our lesser inclinations. I knew immediately that there was no sense in taking this any further. For one thing, I am blessed with four brothers-in-law and 2 of them know less about the internet than I know about grand opera. He is one of them. I already knew that I was considerably more libertarian than he, so the subject was dropped. This attitude, by the way, is about the only thing the liberals have in the way of an argument for abortion. They feel that there is no role for the government to interfere with a woman's right to decide when and how to kill her baby. If there weren't a dead baby at the end of the process, they would have a great argument.
Back to gambling on the internet. There is a large and growing body of evidence--scientific-- that poker is not a game of chance, which is what gambling is. It is a game of skill. It should be mentioned here that the exceptions to the use of the internet in gambling are horse racing and stock trading. Poker is at least as much a game of skill as betting on horse races, but that is the kind of idiotic result you get from politicians who try to control human activities.
Barney Frank, the Chair of the House Financial Services has introduced a bill to overturn the ban on internet gambling and add controls. This could be the first thing he and I ever agreed upon. Furthermore, one of the biggest liberals in Congress (and also one of the most irritating) is Robert Wexler of Florida. He is also introducing legislation to declare poker a skill and allow it to be conducted on the internet.
When the liberals are right about something, they deserve to have it pointed out. Unfortunately, I doubt it will be a regular activity here on BestView.

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