Sports Book Scene July 17th 2000

Politicos Obsess in Banning Internet Gaming but Blow Chance to Wipe Out Real Threat

Without questioning the viability of democracy, it is not unreasonable to ponder the cataclysmic consequences visited on those of us who fall under the dictates of the empty-headed boobs who palm themselves off as our elected representatives.

This group of venal would-be lawmakers spends most of its waking hours as supplicants to individuals and groups, whose bags of money keep career politicians happily ensconced in the D.C. Beltway.

Currently they are hell-bent to save us from ourselves, by banning gaming on the Internet.  All the rhetoric justifying this presumptuous power play on an unsuspecting public by these cretinous mutants can be summed up in a short phrase:  paternalistic megalomania.

Wait a minute.  Perhaps we’re being too harsh on a bunch of good folk who deserve the benefit of the doubt.  These elected men and women truly care about the well being of this nation.  To suggest otherwise is blasphemy.

That last paragraph might have resonated in a time when politicians merited respect.  That was then, this is now.  The following material, we believe, reveals just how lame our congressional representatives are when it comes to taking care of business.

Perhaps distracted by its relentless quest to crush an innocuous virus like Internet gaming, that august body known as Congress has failed to take action against a much more insidious threat.  For two years running, it has declined to give the funding go-head to an organization that would provide the coup de grace in eliminating a genuine scourge of mankind, syphilis.

According to a piece in a recent issue of The New Yorker, the Centers for Disease Control has asked Congress two years in a row for funding that would enable it to wipe out syphilis in the U.S. by 2005.

The article explains that syphilis runs in cycles, and the disease has now retreated to that critical point when, like other epidemics, even the slightest push could easily tip it into oblivion.

But our penny-wise, pound-foolish Congress has denied CDC the paltry $15 million in additional funding it requested in order to deliver the K.O. to a nasty disease.

What it rejected was the “most prosaic and straightforward of public health efforts” – an aggressive regimen of free diagnosis and treatment with penicillin.

The necessity for this appropriation was all patiently explained to the boys and girls of Congress, the article states.  But after hearing the strategy, those champions of the good life (their own), turned down the CDC’s plan.

Given the opportunity to rid the world of an infectious disease, our concerned lawmakers opted to sit on their hands.  Maybe that issue didn’t afford enough photo ops, or maybe the CDC didn’t bring enough to the table for our zealous politicos, except the eradication of syphilis.

But there is no such reticence when it comes to banning Internet gaming.  Apparently, to our lawmakers, the spectre of an American betting via a computer is more chilling than the effects of syphilis – a disease that infects the internal organs, bones, the heart, and the brain and leads to more than 30,000 deaths a year in the U.S.

Is that an outrage?  Sure.  Are we shocked?  Hardly.  Every time we think politicians have reached the lowest depths imaginable, they find a way to sink even lower.

Case in point, war hero Senator John McCain, visiting Las Vegas for a little R&R.  His idea of having a good time consists of visiting the craps tables.

When questioned about the hypocrisy of what he says vs. what he does, the good senator fell back on the old double standard as a rationale.  His introduction of a bill to ban wagering on college sports and support of the Kyl Bill, proposed by his fellow prize package senator from Arizona, is just politics as usual.

McCain said craps (his gaming choice) wasn’t the same as betting on college sports (our gaming choice).  Far from being an outspoken champion for the people, McCain is nothing more than a garden-variety elitist who is convinced his morality is better than yours, and it is imperative that you be subject to his standards.

Reading his Alice in Wonderland comments conjured up an image from a movie that could be a bitter example of life imitating art.  The movie, of course, is The Manchurian Candidate, in which a war hero has been brainwashed by the Communists while a prisoner of war.

The ex-POW is a walking time bomb, as he has been programmed to plunge America into chaos by assassinating a national leader.  The plot is foiled by an army sergeant played by Frank Sinatra.

McCain is well on his way to disrupting life in Nevada with his retrograde legislation.  If some sort of psychological skullduggery were performed on the Senator while a POW in Vietnam, where is Frank Sinatra when we need him?

Fight Back!  Several Internet associations are mobilizing to fight this threat to our freedom of choice.  Last week we mentioned what the Interactive Gaming Council is doing to generate opposition to the Goodlatte Bill, which reportedly will be brought to a vote in Congress this week.

Graeme Levin of noted that the proposed legislation “will remove your freedom to choose where and how to gamble and what to do with your own money.  It will seek to impose on you the moral code of others against your will.”

You can make your voice heard by going to the following sites, he suggested, where you will be shown how to let your Congressmen know there are individuals who oppose the bill:

Grass Roots Complaints.  An email from BIGNCPA wonders how the government would enforce a ban on Internet gaming.  He suggested it would simply be “another example of Big Brother trying to micromanage citizens’ lives.

“You would think that politicians should have learned that you cannot legislate morality and personal choice,” he asserted.

Clone Feedback.  In a recent column, we ran some negative comments from Frank at Coastal Sports ( regarding clone players.  He said that bettors who complain about clone lines do not understand how lines are set.  He blamed clone players for the syndrome of similar lines at so many books.

Chiming in with support is Peter Jacoby from Grand Central Sports (  “Couldn’t agree more with Frank,” he said, noting a significant number of followers closed their accounts or stopped betting, “because the Poker Boys aren’t playing.  These followers and scalpers are the first to complain about cloned lines because they can’t find scalping opportunities.

“I wish they would gamble a little bit and stop using someone else’s plays.  The funny thing is, the Pokers are getting crushed and the followers keep on firing hoping things will turn around.”

Hey Peter, either the Pokers are playing or they’re not.  What’s the story? | July 17th, 2000

– – – – – – – – – – – –About the writer
A long time sports betting columnist, Buzz Daly

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