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Government morality
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Other than method, tell me the difference between these two events.

This:
In the sharpest attempt yet to curb Internet gambling by Americans, the U.S. House of Representatives voted today to ban financial payments to offshore casinos.

On a vote of 317-93, lawmakers approved legislation that would force banks and credit card companies to cut off payments to the estimated 2,300 gambling sites located outside of U.S. jurisdiction.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 H.R. 4411 also updates the 1961 Wire Act, which currently outlaws sports wagering over the telephone, to cover all forms of online gambling from sports wagering to poker sites.
And this:
Venezuela’s president has a new public enemy: beer trucks.

President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday he is fed up with seeing beer trucks sell alcohol directly on the streets of poor neighborhoods.

“It’s the degeneration of society. It’s one of the causes of public drunkenness in the slums,” he said as he declared he was putting a ban on the beer runs.

“As of today, I want the National Guard to stop the beer trucks and take them to the nearest command post. No more trucks,” he said in a televised speech.
And for "the-Democrats-are-the champions-of-civil-liberties" crowd, note the numbers in the House.

Yup, the nanny-state survives under many guises and formats, but in the end it is a bunch of people who think they have the right to dictate how you should live and what you should and shouldn't be able to do with your property. And in that regard, we're not much better than Hugo Chavez, are we?
 
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I agree especially as our government has been stealing elections longer than Chavez has....

Of course, it’s not the Nanny State McQ or the nanny State alone... I would imagine Bally’s, Harrah’s and a HOST of Indian tribes all supported this legislation and made substantial contributions to various campaigns. Internet Gambling threatens THEM, so rather than just focusing on the L/libertarian Civil Rights issue, you MIGHT also examine the straight old, down and dirty, "Follow the Money" Rent Seeking Paradigm too.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
And for "the-Democrats-are-the champions-of-civil-liberties" crowd, note the numbers in the House.
Where there is no “champion-of-civil-liberties”, one must note that if the Dem’s were in charge, this bill would probably not have passed, or even introduced.
Democrats Ayes – 115, Nays – 76
Republicans Ayes – 200, Nays – 17
Seventeen Republican “Nays”. Just pathetic.
No doubt that if the Dem’s were in charge, we would have a nanny of some other stripe.

And I’m especially pissed about this one.
I knew that the Hoakies wouldn’t cover the spread.

Also, I have a tip on this bitch in the third, down at the Gulf Greyhound Race Park. And if I wasn’t hobbled with a foot injury, I would be able to collect my winnings in person. But now, I am missing the sure thing.

Come on #7… Daddy needs a new pair of orthopedic open toed slip-ons.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
I would imagine Bally’s, Harrah’s and a HOST of Indian tribes all supported this legislation and made substantial contributions to various campaigns. Internet Gambling threatens THEM
I was under the impression that internet gambling (especially p0ker) caused an increase in the popularity of the activities and thus benefited the traditonal gambling venues.

Aside from that, I’m curious as to how the government is going to enforce this bill.
 
Written By: err
URL: http://
I believe that the bill was a sub-part of a Republican security bill, rather than a straight up and down vote. Obviously, puritanic morality has been a driving factor in both parties, coming through the fundamentalists on the rights and the women’s movement, which started in temperance on the left.

Much of this is silly though. One thing that we all know is that Blue states, which tend to be Democratic, like California and Maryland, are generally less restrictive on issues like medical marijuana, pornography, gambling and other such vices. Unlike its blue neighbor to the south, Maryland has a generally free market in sales of alcohol and even permits sales on Sunday, and has approved a medical marijuana bill.

These differences would probably be even more stark, were it not for the common practice, I believe started by the Democrats in the 1980’s, of tieing funds to specific state laws and thereby strong-arming states into polices such as raising the minimum drinking age and lowering the blood alcohol level for DWI. The GOP at one time, decried such tactics, but now employs them with gusto. Meet the new boss, worse than the old boss....
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
I was under the impression that internet gambling (especially p0ker) caused an increase in the popularity of the activities and thus benefited the traditonal gambling venues.
Much the same argument is/was made about Napster and other on-line venues for content. It remains to be proven. What CAN be shown, is that, in the short-run, they cost Caesars and the like money...I would imagine.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
But by all means, I don’t want to interrupt the angry Civil Liberties rant that is occurring here, so please Flame on about the Republican v. Democratic Nanny State.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I was under the impression that internet gambling (especially p0ker) caused an increase in the popularity of the activities and thus benefited the traditonal gambling venues.
Err, I think you are correct.

From 60 Minutes,
“I believe there’s about 12 and a half million Americans today use internet gambling in its widest form. That’s a hell of a lot of consumer power,” says Payne.

It’s so much power that America’s gaming industry, which has long opposed Internet gambling, is shifting its position.

"I think the issue is very simple: that you should license it, regulate it and tax it," says Terri Lanni, the CEO of MGM/Mirage.

He says if his company could offer Internet gambling, it could instantly double its $8 billion a year revenue. "If we could add our brand, and the credibility of the publicly-traded United States gaming company, this could be a vast business," Lanni says.

But MGM/Mirage is shut out, because the government says a law banning sports betting over the phone also bans all gambling on the Internet.

Obviously, it hasn’t stopped U.S. citizens from doing it, but it has stopped U.S. companies from offering it.
It’s the old libertarian standby,
Vice should not be prohibited, but regulated and taxed.

PogueMahone tip o’ the day,
Go for the over on Monday Night’s Cowboys v. Giants.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
"And in that regard, we’re not much better than Hugo Chavez, are we?"

I don’t like the gambling bill any more than you do, but that’s a really lame argument. One might just as well write a paragraph about Adolf Hitler and the Autobahn, followed by a post about President Eisenhower and the Interstates, and ending with "in that regard, we’re not much better than Hitler, are we?"
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
I think it is disegenuous to compare Hugo and the US. I’m sure Hugo is against murder, theft, and against a whole host of other things (as least the kind that he doesn’t authorize), just like the normal people in the US would be against.

Now if you want to make the distinction that gambling is a vice (not hurting anybody other than the gambler), make that argument. I suppose drunken husbands and fathers don’t affect their wives and children. I suppose when a person is intoxicated and cannot make rational decisions, he is still (somehow) rationally choosing to commit a crime.

I’m just babbling as you can tell.
 
Written By: Nuclear
URL: http://
Xrlq, I agree with McQ that in this regard we are no better than Chavez. In both cases the government is trying to legislate morality, having decided what is best for the citizenry. In most cases we do not compare to Hugo’s Communist government, but in this case we do, so it’s not at all a stretch by McQ.

And we can thank Bill Frist for this, as he tacked it onto a port security bill late. Thus, vote against it and you’ll be labeled weak on security. I really loathe the way our government works.
 
Written By: Joab
URL: http://joabsblog.blogspot.com
If state constitutional amendment laws have single issue requirements, then Congress should be required to pass laws with singe issues. Multiple issue bills let politicians off the hook and make it harder for the American people to determine what their legislator stands for.

McQ, can you get the ball rolling on this?
 
Written By: Nuclear
URL: http://
One might just as well write a paragraph about Adolf Hitler and the Autobahn, followed by a post about President Eisenhower and the Interstates, and ending with "in that regard, we’re not much better than Hitler, are we?"
And the autobahns and interstates are analogous to legislating morality in precisely what way again?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
This time, MCQ, you’re right on!

Morality is too nebulous to be codified.
The nation was outraged because they were exposed to the sight of a naked breast (one of Jackson girls), but tolerates blood and gore on nightly cops-and -robbers shows. I would rather have my children be threatened with a breast than a gun, any day, any time.

NUCLEAR brings up another important issue. laws are being passed without debate or voting, via add-ons and earmarks. This shadowy practice is exactly contraty to the principles of transparency and accountability.
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
One might just as well write a paragraph about Adolf Hitler and the Autobahn, followed by a post about President Eisenhower and the Interstates, and ending with "in that regard, we’re not much better than Hitler, are we?"
This sentence is void of logic.
 
Written By: Ken
URL: http://www.dailylibertarian.com
Congress, the elected representatives of the people, passed a law which will be subject to judicial review and can still be modified/repealed by this or another Congress.

Chavez issued a fiat subject to no review and no appeal.

If you can’t see the difference in that, there’s really nothing further to discuss.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
And the autobahns and interstates are analogous to legislating morality in precisely what way again?

Uh that you are making the poor argument that, WE are behaving like THEM and ergo We= Them, McQ.....
Morality is too nebulous to be codified.

D@MN there goes that whole Ten Commandments thing then...

You people make me laugh... WE LEGISLATE MORALITY ALL THE TIME. What you mean is, "I don’t agree with YOUR morality." Speed limits, SEC regulations, concepts of "Fiduciary Responsibility", "Involuntary Commitment" ALL involve ideas of morality...to an extent murder does too, We don’t allow voluntary human sacrifice, why NOT? Because it’s WRONG...

At their core MOST laws and regulations have a normative underpinning...as Hume, IIRC, said, "We can demonstrate burning babies causes them pain, we can NOT demonstrate that it is wrong." Libertarianism, in both Big "L" and Little "l" is fundamentally a moral position...

Bottom-Line: We CAN and DO legislate Morality. McQ and MK both would, they simply disagree about WHAT is moral, not that morals oughtn’t be enforced.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Bottom-Line: We CAN and DO legislate Morality.
Who said we didn’t?

The question is, should we?

And, you’ve still not answered the question in the post:
Other than method, tell me the difference between these two events.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Bottom-Line: We CAN and DO legislate Morality.
Who said we didn’t?

The question is, should we?
Uh by definition McQ, from my argument is YES, should... as we DO, to include YOU. So unless it is your contention that YOUR prescriptions for Public Policy ought not be implemented also, we are left with the blindingly obvious answer, YES...
Other than method, tell me the difference between these two events.
Again that’s the point.... your METHOD is just as goofy as that method...that’s what links them and makes one example as good as the other.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Speed limits, SEC regulations, concepts of "Fiduciary Responsibility", "Involuntary Commitment"

These do not really concern personal morality; they are issues of public safety and such things as fair trade practices. Laws also address conflicting personal liberites.
I agree that morality issues might creep in here, but to impose moral standards in private lives is not the primary focus.
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
"Government morality"

Now there’s an oxymoron.


"Venezuela’s president has a new public enemy: beer trucks"

Excellent! He won’t last long now.
 
Written By: tmactual
URL: http://
These do not really concern personal morality; they are issues of public safety and such things as fair trade practices.
Uh they are... they are a discussion of the "Good and Just" Society...i.e. Morality. What duty do I as a stock broker owe you my client, penultimately a form of "Am I my ’Brother’s Keeper?’" At what point is YOUR life not worth living as it is and may I impose a confinement on you? Or Drug legalization, bearing in mind that spouses and children have THEIR lives ruined by drug addicts, too, libertarians of many stripes say THEIR lives are less valuable than the life of the putative addict... a MORAL choice. One man’s public policy is another man’s morality. See we ALL have morality and norms at our cores, some just object to WHOSE are being enforced...

I am sympathetic to libertarian arguments, please don’t mistake me, I simply don’t see them as any different from Communist or Nazi ideas... ideas about how best to order society. At their core ANY over-arching public philosophy encapsulates morality.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"Morality is too nebulous to be codified.
D@MN there goes that whole Ten Commandments thing then..."

Yes, we even have trouble with the ten commnadments.

We have modified the ’Thou shalt not kill" part to exclude capital punishment and war.

I would say that ’lusting after you neighbor’s wife’ is pretty much NOT a punishable offense.

You see how difficult it gets?
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
We have modified the ’Thou shalt not kill" part to exclude capital punishment and war.
Technically the word is "Murder" as it obviously NEVER meant "Kill" unless you are going to argue that God gave his commandments, but then violated them in the sturggles with the Caananites.
You see how difficult it gets?
Yeah violation of Fiduciary Responsibility is extremely complex as an area of law, yet STILL we litigate it.

Difficulty is not the same as IMPOSSIBLE or OUGHT NOT BE DONE. Winning the Tour de France is difficult, yet thousands compete every year.

 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Uh by definition McQ, from my argument is YES, should... as we DO, to include YOU. So unless it is your contention that YOUR prescriptions for Public Policy ought not be implemented also, we are left with the blindingly obvious answer, YES...
Incredibly deep thinker, aren’t you Joe?

Obviously we do.

Should we?

Is that the purpose of government as you see it? Is it something in which government should engage?

If so, why?
Again that’s the point.... your METHOD is just as goofy as that method...that’s what links them and makes one example as good as the other.
As is obvious, you have no idea what my ’method’ is. It is becoming apparent you don’t understand the subject of the post either.

This is fairly simple, Joe ... should government be able to make moral decisions like that for you or not (is it government’s job)?

If so, why?

Obviously we all agree on certain moral tenants when we form our society and we codify them in law (murder, theft, fraud, force) and we ask government to be the arbiter and enforcer of those laws.

But beer? Gambling?

Where is the line they shouldn’t cross? Or in your case, do you even have a line?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Joab:
Xrlq, I agree with McQ that in this regard we are no better than Chavez.
So do I, but it’s a meaningless comparison. Unless you think our Interstate system is somehow superior to the German Autobahn, then by the same logic you’d have to admit that "in this regard" we are no better than Hitler. In fact, as one who’s driven extensively on both freeway systems, I’m tempted to say that "in this regard" we are worse than Hitler.

McQ:
And the autobahns and interstates are analogous to legislating morality in precisely what way again?
They’re analogous in that they’re equally irrelevant. Chavez’s lucha against unregulated cerveza (sold under conditions that probably wouldn’t be legal here, either) has about as much to do with his notoriety as an international thug and all-around bad guy as Hitler’s Kampf for a better Autobahn has to do with his.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
Right-wing fundamentalists always fall back on the argument that outlawing murder is an application of enforcing morality, which is a bit of a straw man. What people mean when they say that one cannot enforce morality is a shorthand way of making a distinction in law known as malum prohibido versus malum in se.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
JOE: "we ALL have morality and norms at our
cores, some just object to WHOSE are being
enforced..."

YOU’RE RIGHT!

I think most issues can be settled on a basis of the conflicting liberties of the indidiual vs. the public good. If a moral posture is the result, that’s okay by me. But there is no need to define personal morality in law.

How does a dying cancer patient using marijuana to ease pain endanger society? For that matter, why should the state tell me I can’t commit suicide, if I want to? These are personal issues, and should not involve state definitions of marality.

I will admit this much: everything is complicated.
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
They’re analogous in that they’re equally irrelevant. Chavez’s lucha against unregulated cerveza (sold under conditions that probably wouldn’t be legal here, either) has about as much to do with his notoriety as an international thug and all-around bad guy as Hitler’s Kampf for a better Autobahn has to do with his.
That’s what I thought ... they aren’t analogous.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
To each other, no. But the arguments are indeed analogous:

Hitler the bad guy : Hitler of the Autobahn :: Chavez the bad guy : Chavez the hater of unregulated beer sales.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
malum prohibido versus malum in se.

And if you can demonstrate something is malum in se I’ll give you a big treat...beyond having sex with babies and then eating them, I’m afraid everything is malum prohibido . And that’s why I argue that law IS morality and that it is a rhetorical trick to talk about the fooolishness of "legislating morality"...because almost by definiton ANY law IS legislating morality, to some extent.

And Malum in se is Catholic Natural Law and therefore a MORAL doctrine.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
To each other, no. But the arguments are indeed analogous:

Hitler the bad guy : Hitler of the Autobahn :: Chavez the bad guy : Chavez the hater of unregulated beer sales.
Legislating morality (subject of post): not legislating morality (your analogy).

Nope, still dont’ see it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
." In fact, as one who’s driven extensively on both freeway systems, I’m tempted to say that "in this regard" we are worse than Hitler."

Wow! You must be real old.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
William:
What people mean when they say that one cannot enforce morality is a shorthand way of making a distinction in law known as malum prohibido [sic] versus malum in se.
Nonsense. A few people who whine about "legislating morality" are hard core libertarians who oppose all government regulation, but most are liberals, who have no problem with speed limits, emissions controls, gun registration laws, licensing laws, taxes, business regulations, and too many other malum prohibitum laws to count. Conversely, they’re not big fans of laws against sodomy or adultery, malum in se offenses both.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
McQ:
Legislating morality (subject of post): not legislating morality (your analogy).
It’s no different than me doing a post that purports to be about freeway traffic, but then makes a huge issue of the fact that when it comes to freeways, "we’re no better than Hitler." In both cases, it involves taking advantage of an ugly figure’s general ugliness to score a cheap point on an issue unrelated to such ugliness. If you really were just making a point about "legislating morality" (whatever the hell that phrase is supposed to mean), then you could have found plenty of examples far less inflammatory than Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela - like, say, just about any other country on the friggin’ planet. Yet you chose Chavez, the mini-Hitler of the Americas. Why? Luck of the draw?
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
It’s no different than me doing a post that purports to be about freeway traffic, but then makes a huge issue of the fact that when it comes to freeways, "we’re no better than Hitler."
Please.

You can worry this bit of nonsense from every angle you wish, but it still ends up being nonsense.
Yet you chose Chavez, the mini-Hitler of the Americas.
I chose two events and asked how, on principle, they were different. You were left to draw the implication and apparently you’re uncomfortable with the results.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Nonsense indeed. I’m not at all uncomfortable with the results of your silly comparison. My objection is to the comparison itself. It sounds like you were really, really, really desperate to make the U.S. look like Hugo Chavez, so you grabbed whatever lame analogy you could find.

If your analogy did make any sense, the answer to your original question would be no, we’re worse than Hugo Chavez in that regard, as banning Internet gambling has a lot more to do with "legislating morality" than does requiring alcohol to be sold through legitimate retail outlets.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
I’m not at all uncomfortable with the results of your silly comparison. My objection is to the comparison itself. It sounds like you were really, really, really desperate to make the U.S. look like Hugo Chavez, so you grabbed whatever lame analogy you could find.
I can’t help you if you don’t understand the post.

Two events. Two different countries. Other than method, tell me the difference?

To this point, all we’ve seen from you is badly articulated attempts to change the subject and focus of the point.

It has to do with government intrusion and where the line they shouldn’t cross lays.

You apparently have more of a problem with the implication that the two events are indeed similar and might cast the US and Bush in a bad light than addressing the point.

Telling.
If your analogy did make any sense, the answer to your original question would be no, we’re worse than Hugo Chavez in that regard, as banning Internet gambling has a lot more to do with "legislating morality" than does requiring alcohol to be sold through legitimate retail outlets.
Really?

Beer:
It’s the degeneration of society. It’s one of the causes of public drunkenness in the slums,” he said as he declared he was putting a ban on the beer runs.
Gambling:
"Offshore online gambling web sites are cash cows and the greed that propels these companies leads them to solicit bettors in the U.S. despite the fact that the Department of Justice already believes this activity is illegal,"
Seem pretty much parts of the same cloth if you ask me.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Two events. Two different countries. Other than method, tell me the difference?
None, except that the Venezuelan example smacks of ordinary regulation (buy all the beer you want, but only in stores, bars, or other facilities with liquor licenses) while the American example reflects more of a prohibition mentality (ban on ALL Internet gaming, even if the activity is otherwise legal in all applicable jurisdictions). Now, perhaps you’d care to tell me why anyone should care? Anyone, that is, except for that rare bird who thinks the worst thing Hugo Chavez has ever done is to oppress illicit beer salesmen.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com
None, except that the Venezuelan example smacks of ordinary regulation (buy all the beer you want, but only in stores, bars, or other facilities with liquor licenses) while the American example reflects more of a prohibition mentality (ban on ALL Internet gaming, even if the activity is otherwise legal in all applicable jurisdictions). Now, perhaps you’d care to tell me why anyone should care?
You’re the one that keeps coming back here a trying again and again to make some point that obviously no one agrees with.

So you tell me, why does it seem you care so much?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

 
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