Poker Players Alliance; Republicans Stomp On Individual Rights

I was going to wait on this one, but Poker Bonus posted a comment and spurred me to do it now. As I hope I have made clear to everyone, I do not like my government officials ruling my life while they are under the influence of their personal religious convictions. This nonsense seems like the norm here to Texas and maybe worse that most of elsewhere.

I am a member of the Poker Players Alliance, which is the amazingly professional trade organization for supporting the right all American People have to play poker. The PPA is working to fight much of the silliness and misinformation and politics that inhibit/prevent adults from enjoying poker. Poker as either a recreation or as a career.

You will notice that I use “American People” often in this post and you will see why later.

The rights of adult American People to play poker is under attack by right-wing Christian-backed, mostly Republican, legislators at the National and State levels. Based upon their personal religious thinkings, these lawmakers are trying to force the American People to live by the supposedly-Christian standards as preached by said lawmakers.

I say “supposedly-Christian” because in a search of the Bible, you will find not a single mention of poker. I happen to think that Jesus and the band of twelve played some ancient form of poker on those lonely nights they spent on the road.

But, of course, you might say, “Wake up, Mooner, poker is gambling and the Bible prohibits gambling.”

OK. First, the Bible does not prohibit gambling- maybe it says gambling is foolish, but prohibit it absolutely not. And second- if you think poker is gambling and has its results based strictly on “Lady Luck”, let me gather a few of my professional poker player buddies out to the card room to the ranch. Bring your paycheck and let’s just see what luck has to do with it.

Last fall the PPA sponsored a letter-writing effort to demonstrate poker players support for favorable poker legislation in the US Congress. I always participate, so I sent letters to my Representative, Lamar Smith, and my two Senators, Hutchinson and Cornyn, each of whom is a Republican. My letter explained to them the good sense it makes to support the legislative actions I recommended, and likewise the silliness in not supporting a particular law Bushie Boy pushed through.

To a one, I received the same basic response containing the same infected strain of infectious, diseased logic. I will discuss said responses in context of the letter, dated September 2009, that I received from Congressman Smith. In this letter, he tells me why he supports existing legislation that was designed to prohibit Internet poker playing. And remember that this is some kind of party line concocted by the Republicans to respond to the hundreds of thousands of PPA letters.

He says that the Internet has illegal gambling operations, which I am sure is true. As a matter of fact, that is precisely why the PPA is working to get smart laws enacted to provide known, legal poker sites where the American People can play responsibly. Safe, legal sites and with taxable sales and reporting.

If you are worried that adult American People are in some kind of danger playing at unregulated poker sites, providing regulated sites only makes sense. Right?

I guess not, at least according to my federal elected officials.

Let me quote the most telling of his remarks. You know we poker players love our “tells”. When he justifies his position to attempt to prohibit poker playing, Representative Smith says:

“I supported the enactment of H.R. 4411, the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act, in 2006. It has been estimated that this law reduced the weekly use of the the Internet for gambling from 5.8 percent of college-aged youth in 2006 to 1.5 percent in 2007.”

Huh? Are you fucking kidding me?

If I understand you correctly, Sir, all the justification you need to deny adult American People their rights is to have a perceived reduction in the “youth” population? Really, are you fucking kidding me?

OK, look. Let’s forget about the fact that he doesn’t provide the source for the statistics that his silly law produced a 75% reduction. And forget about the fact that he had to find that specific narrowly-focused statistic to drive his point. Notice he didn’t quote anything about under-18 youth, or mentally-challenged adults, that kind of almost-meaningful statistic.

Let’s also forget that he is talking of a reduction in college-aged youth. Let me think that one out- college-aged is what 18-22 years of age. Or 32-years old in the case of this one nephew of P-cubed who attends Texas State down to San Marcos.

Rep Smith classifies American People who can vote, drive and serve in the military as youths, but not as young adults.

Republican asswipe.

But in the interest of fairness, let us assume that this man got it right. That when the Legislature denies adult American People the right to do something, it will cause significant (75%) drops in under-age use/consumption of same. Where I come from, 75% is significant. And let’s assume that this reduction in itself is all of the justification we need to enact stupid, rights-restricting laws.

If I follow this line of Republican thinking, we need to enact any law to prevent adults from doing things if it significantly reduces abuse by our youth.

So, since 70% of all nineteen-year-olds have reported that they have been heavy drinkers, if we prohibit and enforce adult consumption of booze, we can reduce the percentage of heavy drinking youth by 75%, or down to 17%.

Holy shit folks, let’s have us a Prohibition. What a great idea!

And let’s move on to teenage driving. Teenage drivers aged 16-19 get 52.7% of all speeding tickets and have 61 accidents per 1,000 drivers annually. So, therefore, let us ban adults from driving and and then teens will only have 13% of the speeding tickets and 15 accidents per 1,000 drivers.

Hoo-yaa! Side benefit- fewer policemen on public payrolls. Hippity-hoo-yaa!

Wait, what about smoking? An incredible 34% of all high school students (actual youth) admit that they smoked last month. Outlaw adult smoking and what do we get- an amazing reduction down to only 5.7%.

Sign me up because I already think smoking should be outlawed. Why doesn’t the Bible prohibit smoking? If God really wanted to have these boys legislate for the betterment of the American People, he’d of said, “Commandment Number 11- Thou shalt not smoke tobacco.”

OK, childhood obesity. The US CDC says that 60% of American People who are children are obese. The main reason- improper diets. I say let us outlaw adults eating fast food, pre-packaged meals, soft drinks, candy, Twinkies, and any of that stuff. That will automatically reduce the obesity rate our American People who are children down to an even, very cool 15%.

Easy prohibition to enact, easy law to enforce.

Wait. Let’s not ban Twinkies, OK?

But here is the scariest. If we follow the Republican logic to the most important Christian issue, we get ourselves quite a conundrum. Of all American People under the age of 18 years, 74% of the females and 82% of the males admit to having been had in a sexual encounter. And an amazing 33% of the females had at least one pregnancy.

Soooooooooooooooooo. If Representative Lamar Smith will please sponsor a bill to prohibit and enforce adult abstinence from sexual activities, our teenage sex participants will average not 78% but rather a paltry 18.7%. And most important- under 18 pregnancies will plunge to but 8%!

Just think guys. All we have to do is give up our right to have sex and our kids will gain huge benefits.

Oh wait- what fucking kids? I can hear Governor Rick Perry’s public interest ad now, “Save a child’s life- don’t have children.”

I just love logical thinking.

But actually I can see one real benefit from banning sex. That means we would have a 75% reduction in shithead radical Christian terrorists killing and intimidating medical professionals and others who support a woman’s right to choose.

In his October 3, 2009 News Release, quoted here as posted to the website of the Right Reverend Representative Smith of the Texas 21st District, this fine American Person says,

“The role of government should be to loosen the bonds of restrictive regulations and punishing taxes, which lead to decreased economic growth, which leads to fewer jobs, lower wages and higher consumer prices. Policies should encourage job creation in our communities, not in Washington D.C. Decisions about our own lives should be left to the American People.”

Rep. Smith goes on to say that, “The Democratic Party is built on the sand of envy and jealousy and lack of trust in the American People. Republican principles stand on the rock of freedom and opportunity with faith in the American People.”

Really? If you stand so rock solid on my rights, then show a little faith in me and stop stomping on my freedoms.

My Jesus thinks this particular Republican is an hypocritical shitball. My Jesus thinks the American People should be free from the actual perspective rather than this crazy Republican’s imaginary “rock of freedom” bullshit.

Rocks in his head are the only thing Smitty is rockin’.

I hate government intervention in any area of my life. But I know that in order to have a “civilized” society, we need laws and regulations. But our government needs to stop burying us ever deeper into religious-defined moralities.

Leave poker alone! And join the Poker Players Alliance at www.theppa.org/join as soon as you can.

And by the way. If you can find a faulty thread in my logic I would like to hear from you.

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