Thursday, June 30, 2005


by Elaine Meinel Supkis

All cultures go through gambling hysteria phases. None last more than 50 years because it destroys everything in its path while it rages. Like drug abuses or any body/environmental abuses, it can't grow forever because it is so utterly destructive, living organisms fail due to it for it is an addiction as well as a parasitical entity.

The most destructive part is how it undermines the will to work creatively and the desire to sacrifice for tomorrow.

Any observer of America today can clearly see how gambling has spread like a cancer and how it is weakening our empire and making us choose badly. In the 1950's, Las Vegas was frowned upon even as people snuck in there. All other gambling attempts were shut down by the police. Parents raised their children to fear gambling. During WWII, like in all wars, soldiers gambled informally. The connection between gambling and soldiers is very strong because of all people, they must heed or call upon Lady Luck for She rules their fates! This sense of impending doom is relieved by gambling. This is also why governments suppress gambling particularily after great conflicts.

Religions that are sensible all try to squelch gambling for the similar reasons, namely, Lady Luck is a very ancient goddess and one of the most powerful, her throne is next to Mother Nature's. Both goddesses threaten the masculine gods that dominate our pantheons this world cycle, the Piscean Age. Both goddesses, by the way, are indifferent about our worship. They operate without human input in the end. Both punish us for ignoring them, of course. Mother Nature by using her most feared tool: the changing environment kills and even eliminates life forms.

The NYT said last month they are going to appeal to "religious" people, meaning right wing Christians, and so they got to work with various articles intended to be a sop to these folk. Today's entry is from the NYT:
A Church-State Solution
Published: July 3, 2005

For roughly 1,400 years, from the time the Roman Empire became Christian to the American Revolution, the question of church and state in the West always began with a simple assumption: the official religion of the state was the religion of its ruler. Sometimes the king fought the church for control of religious institutions; other times, the church claimed power over the state by asserting religious authority over the sovereign himself. But the central idea, formally enshrined at Westphalia in 1648 by the treaty that ended the wars of religion in Europe, was that each region would have its own religion, namely that of the sovereign. The rulers, meanwhile, manipulated religion to serve their own ends. Writing just before the American Revolution, the British historian Edward Gibbon opined that the people believed, the philosophers doubted and the magistrates exploited. Gibbon's nominal subject was ancient Rome, but his readers understood that he was talking about their world too.
Wrong! My family had to leave Europe. We had to leave "Christian" places because of the witch hysteria. We are an odd clan with a rather strange reputation which was so strong that when I went to prove this to my fiancee, I picked up a random book from the 19th Century in a historic book store, looked my family's name up in the index, flipped to the story and it said, "The Steeles are a strange family. They have a reputation with thunderstorms..." We didn't settle in Boston, that is certain! We lurked on various frontiers, always moving West until hitting the Pacific Ocean. We fought in the Revolution and we fought to stop churches from ruling us. The fear of churches ran deep in the veins of the American Revolutionaries. For good reason. When the church and state are one it is terrible.
This model called for a new understanding of church and state, and the framers of the American Constitution rose to the occasion. They designed a national government that, for the first time in Western history, had no established religion at all. The Articles of Confederation, which were drawn up during the Revolutionary War, had been silent on religion -- itself something of an innovation. But the Constitution went further by prohibiting any religious test for holding office. And the first words of the First Amendment stated that ''Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'' If the people were to be sovereign, and belonged to different religions, the state religion would be no religion at all. Otherwise, the reasoning went, too many religious denominations would be in competition to make theirs the official choice, and none could prevail without coercing dissenters to support a church other than their own -- a violation of the liberty of conscience that Americans had come to believe was a God-given right. Establishment of religion at the national level was prohibited. Religious diversity had ensured it. The experiment had begun.
Ben Franklin was so worried about religions (George Washington was not a standard Christian, either, one of my ancestors belonged to his Masonic Lodge and did the surveying of Washingon, DC, incorporating the astronomical aspects of this organization within the design of DC, ie, aligning things with certain star systems!) that he insisted on the addition of admendments to the new Constitution before it was even affirmed and this is the one he fought hard to include and so it was the first and remains the most important. That and freedom of speech for the two are deeply entwined. Very deeply.

All cultures that force a mono-religion upon their people must curb free speech!
What all values evangelicals have in common is the goal of evangelizing for values: promoting a strong set of ideas about the best way to live your life and urging the government to adopt those values and encourage them wherever possible. To them, the best way to hold the United States together as a nation, not just a country, is for us to know what values we really hold and to stand up for them. As Ralph Reed recently told an audience at Harvard, ''While we are sometimes divided on issues, there remains a broad national consensus on core values and principles.''
OK. One can stop reading this boiler-plate article at this point.

Ralph Reed is a dirty gambling con man. They don't mention this so the rest of the article is, like the Republican right wing in toto, garbage. Lott is in deep trouble now. Why? Well, we have a problem in River City and it isn't just a mere pool hall, and no Music Man can fix it with 76 trombones! As Lott's gambling connections that intertwine with lobbying efforts run by a very religious Jewish man, Abramoff, old Ralphie Reed is also one of the gambling cons too. From the Rutland Herald:
Ralph Reed has said repeatedly that he had no direct knowledge of who financed his consulting work against gambling in Alabama, Texas and elsewhere, and that he would never knowingly take money from gambling interests.

But the truth is not in him.

E-mails released last week by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee make it clear that Reed knew the millions of dollars coming his way were being paid by Indian tribes who wanted to shut down potential competition to their casinos. In one series of e-mails between Reed and lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was running the operation from Washington, the men discuss how Reed will be compensated for his expenses.

The subject heading for that discussion? "Disbursement on behalf of Choctaw Indians."

If that doesn't convince you, try this: In another series of e-mails, Reed tells Abramoff he's going to need another $867,511 for TV and radio ads, phone banks and direct mailings to conservative evangelicals.

OK, Abramoff says to Reed, which nonprofit groups should we use to launder the money to you?

Reed suggests three possibilities, but over the next few days, Abramoff reports that two of the groups aren't structured to handle such transactions. Together, they settle on using Americans for Tax Reform, a group run by their good friend, Republican activist Grover Norquist.

In other words, Reed was far from a passive, unknowing recipient of Indian money. Quite to the contrary, he actively participated in designing and operating the money-laundering process.
Note how these con men use various cover organizations, the top one being churches themselves. The Catholic Church, to raise money, began to agitate for church social gambling events and bingo playing. Many other churches joined in the effort to pass laws exempting them from gambling prohibitions. I joked about this years ago, "The least you can do is erect a statue to blindfolded Lady Luck, sister of Justice."

From CNN:
Wait. This is Vegas, den of sin, where what happens here stays here, right?

Absolutely, but inside the Sunday Gospel Brunch, not too far from the clinking slot machines and ticking roulette wheel, tourists and locals are raising their hands, tapping their feet and singing about Jesus.

This may always be Sin City, but that doesn't mean tourists can't heal their soul a bit while they're here. Two Roman Catholic churches are just a step away from the Strip, and there's always a walking preacher, warning sinners to embrace their savior.
Full circle. Now the gambling dens are opening churches! Who would have thunk! This isn't because they are reforming themselves, they are merely sucking in the last remnants of the counter religions that forbade gambling.

The church goers all get excited. "Jesus will save ME! Jesus loves ME! Jesus will forgive ME!" they chant. Indeed, this forgiveness game is connected with the gambling. When the churches dragged the gambling camel's nose into our tent, they said, it was for the children, the church! It won't move in and besides, Jesus will forgive them this crime because they are only doing it to help Him! See?

So as evangelism spreads so does gambling for the two are nearly identical and joined at the hip. Both are con games that appeal to primitive emotions. From the BBC:
Partygaming, the internet poker company that floated on the London Stock Exchange this week, is believed to have a worth greater than many blue chip companies - but US law-makers are adamant that it breaks the law.

Online gambling is banned in America, so Partygaming which was set up by an American is based in Gibraltar with no assets in the US.

Its prospectus concedes: "In many countries, including the United States, the group's activities are considered to be illegal by the relevant authorities."

But, it adds the crucial clause: "Partygaming and its directors rely on the apparent unwillingness or inability of regulators generally to bring actions against businesses with no physical presence in the country concerned".
Gambling has now broken free of all moorings to funding schools, the elderly, alternative to open taxes, Indian rights, churches, it is now in full bloom by itself. Like when red algae suddenly goes out of control causing red tides and kills all the fishes, so we are now in the final stages of internationalizing and institutionalizing the worse aspects of gambling. It is now officially totally out of control and sucking down vast amounts of time and money while destroying the work ethic.
It's estimated that nine out of every 10 of its dollars last year came from the US.

At $600m those revenues are hefty and generated a profit of $350m in 2004.
Um, look who is the real winner here. The "bank" wins over half the funds spent. Sounds like the owners are not gamblers, they have a sure game going here.
Every estimate now predicts that growth will be phenomenal, perhaps from an annual billion dollars spent globally today to 10 times that amount in five years.

American poker players go online regardless of US law Much will turn on the law in its biggest market, the United States.

The Interstate Wireline Act was passed nearly 50 years ago in an effort to stop organised crime rigging gambling. Under it, "wire communication" of bets was outlawed on "sporting events or contests".
WWII ended sixty years ago and right after the Korean War, the government, as per usual, stepped in to squelch gambling. During the Vietnam war, gambling spread again but this time the government had a nifty idea, thanks to the churches: tax gambling via lotteries. At first, the lotteries were only for good things we needed. But then, they took over. Now mega lotteries run like crazy, the ads showing winners laughing and living at ease after spending a lucky dollar spread all over kingdom come. Bennett, the right wing fascist who yells about morals and hard work all the time is a rank gambling addict who lost every penny he earned on his moral bombasts gambling naked in Vegas. He then declared that gambling isn't a sin, it is a value neutral matter. Well, he should oppose it for economic reasons.

All economic bubbles ride on the gambling mania. Period. The two are intertwined. Utterly. Everyone likes to think they will be millionaires without sweat or creating capital or anything, just gamble with property or stocks or incorporated schemes or outright gambling.

Recently there have been a spate of stories of kids neglecting their college educations to play poker and some are planning to become gambler/con men because it is so lucrative.From the Princetonian, the student newspaper:
Talking about gambling with an avid Princeton player can be a confusing experience: The student's nonchalant demeanor becomes suddenly animated, with fervent enthusiasm and cryptic lingo. The complete novice, like me, is immediately lost among talk of "rockets," "bitches" and "savannahs," "limit" versus "no limit" and "hold'em." Atlantic City is, of course, "AC" and poker, as opposed to blackjack or roulette, is a skill game where the best players always win in the long run.

Gambling takes many forms on campus: Whereas only a few students bet on sports or take trips to Atlantic City regularly, online gambling is on the rise and almost every eating club and residential college has a regular poker game.
Even elite students with high intelligence want to be part of the plague of locuses. All the places that permitted gambling casinos/boats have a very high bankruptcy good times. When we hit bad times, the bankruptcy rate will cause our banking system to collapse. This is always the end result of all gambling/investment bubbles.

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