Monday, November 19, 2007

More nonsense from PPA paid spokesperson

Look, I'm all for legalization of gambling. I'm for legalization of all kinds of stuff, gambling, drugs, prostitution, home brewing whiskey, having chickens in the yard, just all kinds of things. But when you use nonsense to argue on behalf of your favorite illegal activity then you're just spouting nonsense.

Pokerblog.com seems to think Annie Duke is making a compelling argument when he quotes her as saying
"Having the right to continue to pursue my profession, wherever I might choose to pursue it, is very important to me from both a financial standpoint but also from the broader perspective of freedom, personal responsibility and civil liberties."


Huh? That's compelling?

She choose a profession, playing poker in public raked games, that was illegal in most states when she made the choice. Now she argues that her freedom is being restricted? That's not compelling, that's nonsense. Why not chose burglary, or prostitution, or canning pickles without allowing government oversight?

I'm all for legalizing poker. But please don't give that kind of nonsense and call it logical argument.

6 Comments:

Blogger nerkul said...

Pick your weapon depending on your enemy. Politicians opposed to legal poker will necessarily be very suspect people: corrupt, stupid or self-loathing. To beat a politician you should win them over; to do that you should appeal to whatever insanity motivates them. Politics, like poker, is not rational. Both games can be beaten.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

I agree somewhat with nerkul. I think the rights-based argument for legalising poker is pretty strong in any case. Why shouldn't you have the right to piss away your $$$$ in any way you choose?

6:24 PM  
Blogger Gary Carson said...

Dr. Zen.

You shouldn't have that right for the same reason you shouldn't have the right to piss away your money on prostitutes, drugs, or bullets to shoot mockingbirds in Texas. Because some people think you shouldn't.

The really stupid argument I sometimes see poker players make is, "why aren't they out bothering real criminals like drug dealers". Duh. If it's okay to arrest drug dealers then the exact same arguements work to argue that it's okay to arrest hosts of poker games.

The rights-based argument will only work on those who already agree with you, it will not work on people who simply think it's a bad thing that you shouldn't be allowed to do.

The only rational argument that I can see about internet gambling is a 1st amendment right -- that the government should not be allowed to regulate content on the internet. Period.

But that argument won't work because some clown will think we need to make exceptions for pornography, or 17 year old girls getting hit on by adult men, or 13 year old girls with self-esteem issues who need protection from being insulted.

You're either going to have freedom or you're not. Creating a carve-out for a special case isn't freedom, it's just a government enforced monopoly for the hidden financial supporters of PPA.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

Well, point one, I don't think drugs should be illegal either.

Point two, you are simply wrong. There is a strong rights-based case. It won't work on the Fristians, who simply think gambling is wrong and who think that people shouldn't be permitted to do what is wrong, but that doesn't weaken its force as an argument. It may well sway moderates who went along with the ban because they figure that gamblers don't have much of a lobby, so fuck'em.

There's a clear distinction to be drawn between, for instance, child porno and internet poker. In the former, there is a victim. In the latter, the only victim is the fish himself. I doubt you could make the argument float in the States that people should not be responsible for their own money (although that is actually why it's banned here).

7:47 PM  
Blogger Gary Carson said...

Child porno laws in the US don't require a victim, they don't even require a child. Artistic drawings are enough. And 17 years old qualifies as a child, even if 17 is above the age of consent.

And as for having control over your own money we have usery laws in the US.

11:01 PM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

The law against artistic child porno is clearly unconstitutional, but gl fighting it.

You can't compare usury with gambling. We could bat that one about, but I'm pretty sure you don't actually think they're comparable.

9:24 PM  

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