Posts Tagged ‘double standards

11
Mar
11

Government Gambling Hypocrisy

One thing that really chaps my hide is hypocrisy–especially when government officials are involved.

For instance, I caught part of a recent TV news broadcast that showed where arrests were made over “illegal” video poker machines, in the Columbia, SC area. I fail to see how video games can be involved in crime, but maybe I’m just stupid and need the we-know-how-to-run-your-life-better-than-you-do folks in the SC State Legislature to enlighten me.

When the battle lines were first drawn, opponents of video poker said such things as, “Video poker takes food out of kids mouths, because some people have gambling problems and dump most of their money into these games.” Because of these (unsubstantiated) claims, SC lawmakers outlawed video poker, several years ago. They said, “Gambling is wrong!”

But almost immediately, SC Government unveiled a plan to run a statewide lottery. They named it the “South Carolina Education Lottery,” and vowed to send tons of money raised through ticket sales to the state’s education system, so that most people who don’t really care for gambling would support it–or, at least, turn a blind eye and let it pass. “It’s for the children!” (wink, wink).

What’s the difference between buying lottery tickets and playing video poker? At least with the video game, if you’re good you can play for quite a while on just a few dollars–and, back in the good ol’ days, many people regularly won payouts, until those were made illegal, too.

With lottery tickets, you can blow your whole paycheck, in 5 easy minutes, at a convenience store checkout counter–and then take your chances with odds that show you’re many times more likely to be struck by lightning than win the lottery jackpot. Heck, the computer will even generate numbers for you, so you don’t even have to think!

Government views its statewide, State-run gambling system to be a wonderful thing, but they will restrict charity raffles and send armed officers to bust into the homes of peaceful, little old ladies playing a friendly, private game of poker with a few friends around the kitchen table–again, because “gambling is wrong!” (Yes, busting in on ‘grandma’ actually happened.)

South Carolina legislators and liberal media constantly, and unjustly, also targeted “payday lenders,” because they said people can get caught up in a “cycle of debt.” Personally, I hardly see a $45 charge for a very short-term $300 loan being cause to destroy an entire industry–and the jobs that went with it–especially when the State runs the largest gambling operation, and the banks that the State Government often partners with make millions of dollars in interest and fees. But what do I know, right?

The kicker: While government says “gambling is wrong,” the government-run South Carolina Education Lottery runs commercials advertising a gambling hotline–that’s right, a GAMBLING HOTLINE–for anyone who needs help with a gambling problem.

Am I missing something, here?

Apparently, if something is “wrong” it suddenly becomes perfectly acceptable if government can control it (regulate) and make money from it (taxes, tickets sales, etc.).

Hypocrisy, plain and simple.

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04
Aug
09

Glenn Beck Still Disappoints

A few years ago, when I was an officer in the Libertarian Party, I wrote an article about Glenn Beck’s call screener (Sarah) hanging up on me when I called his radio show to discuss his mischaracterizations of libertarians. Mr. Beck found out about my article and screamed on the air, “I want to talk to this guy!”

Hearing that, I called the show and got a very few seconds, on-air, before a top-of-the-hour break, as he attempted to make libertarians out to be heroin addicts. I remained calm and polite, so he didn’t get the satisfaction of inciting me to lose my cool and come off sounding like a crazy person.

In typical talk show host fashion, he hung up on me and threw in another mischaracterization before going to break. (Many hosts need to use the mute button or hang up on callers to win debates.)

Fast forward about four years.

Now, Mr. Beck is calling himself a libertarian. The things I warned about, on my radio show years ago, are now coming to pass and Glenn is beginning to wake up a bit and give them some coverage, but he still has a long way to go.

Today, throughout his show, he ridiculed the “birthers” (those who are still demanding to see Obama’s birth certificate) and other conspiracy theory people and suggested that they self-censor to avoid being labeled nut-jobs. He also touched on Ron Paul supporters and those who talk about “Bilderburger” meetings, making fun of them in a fake caller skit.

Marx would be proud of the character assassinations and peer pressure.

When I heard that, I immediately thought of a quote from Mark Twain:

“In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”

If you are stopped by the police at a highway checkpoint, for no reason other than you happened to be traveling down the road upon which the checkpoint was located, you are required to show proof of insurance and proof that you have jumped through all the hoops government requires in order for you to drive on the streets (driver’s license).

In order to get that license in the first place, you are required to produce your birth certificate and other forms of identification, to prove you are a citizen and who you say you are.

At border-area checkpoints, you are required to prove that you are a citizen in order to continue traveling through the area.

If having to prove we are who we common folk say we are, that we are citizens and are properly credentialed, is so very important to law enforcement and homeland security why are you a nut-job if you simply ask the President to abide by the same kind of standard?

Why hasn’t the man produced the real certificate – not the worthless “live birth” stuff – to silence critics and set the record straight? Talk about elitism – and all this coming from someone who constantly preaches equality and respect!

The President should practice what he preaches – and if it will stop him from further leading us into Communism, all the better. And Mr. Beck should get with the program.

Don’t let anyone pressure you into silencing your voices! Say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done to preserve your freedom, regardless of what Glenn Beck or anyone else has to say about it.

14
Jul
09

Adulthood and the Law

I have a serious problem with the so-called US Justice System’s handling of adults and juveniles.

According to libraryindex.com, “By the year 2000 all 50 states and the District of Columbia had one or more laws permitting the transfer of youths to criminal courts to be tried as adults. Many states have also expanded these laws in order to make it easier to prosecute juveniles as adults. For example, a 1995 Missouri law removed the minimum age limit, which had been 14, for trying children as adults in cases involving drug dealing, murder, rape, robbery, and first-degree assault. The law also permits children 12 years old to be prosecuted as adults for other crimes. A Texas law allows children as young as 10 to be sentenced to up to 40 years’ incarceration.”

A 12-year-old child can be tried as an adult, and sentenced to years of imprisonment for committing certain crimes, but NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON in the “Land of the Free” United States under 21 years of age is enough of an adult to consume an alcoholic beverage, according to government. (The age limit of 21 is the highest of any country in the world, by the way, and the US has the highest prison population of any country on earth.)

A person can join the Army, and put his life on the line in war, at 17–and operate heavy artillery, assault weapons and vehicles–but is prohibited from going into a bar and having a cold beer at the end of the day.

The double standard is completely illogical and unacceptable. It is used by prosecutors to increase their number of “successfully prosecuted cases,” so they are perceived to be “tough on crime,” and used to increase the overall power of the State.

I don’t care for alcoholic beverages, or court systems, but to make a small improvement in all of this I propose a new, logical standard for determining whether or not someone is an “adult”: If the person in question is not adult enough to enjoy a few shots from a bottle of whiskey, they cannot be tried as an adult in court.

This ridiculous court practice has got to end.