A large part of me died yesterday when President Bush signed into law the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and crippled a six billion dollar industry that saw a number of England-based bookmakers close their doors or sell their interests for nominal amounts.
My new least favorite person of all time, bill sponsor Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-Va, said he opposes all gambling, citing its "ill effects on society," but particularly internet gambling. Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, another bill sponsor, foresaw an utopian future when "gamblers would be able to place bets not just from home computers, but from their cell phones while they drive home from work or their Blackberries as they wait in line at the movies," and decided we needed to end that beautiful dream. Fredrick Winslow Taylor is rolling over in his perfectly designed grave, Mr. Leach.
But I digress, because my primary retort to these dickwad legislators is: "Really? No. Oh my god. No. Seriously? Aw shit. I can't fricking believe this. What the...? How am I supposed to...? Aw, man." More sophisticated critics have sugested that the new law will only serve to drive the industry underground and increase the dangers associated with sports gambling. Less sophisticated critics, such as poker pro Annie Duke, have suggested that the new law will shepard in a prohibition era culture and we'll see "people running around with tommy guns and drinking moonshine because they weren't given a safe product." I realize its it essentially the same argument, but can you believe she made reference to tommy guns?
I guess tomorrow's paper will lack injury reports and point spreads? Will I engage in worthy and self-enriching pursuits with all my newly-foisted free time? What the hell will Garwood and I talk about?
If there ever was a time for some grassroots organizing and political involvement, now is that time. This is our revolution, sports fans. This is an important violation of our inherent rights as human beings. This is our moment to stand up and demand that our interests are, oooh Jeff Suppan just hit a homerun, protected and our vices are inviolate.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is about outrage.