Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Brush With lameness

So I'm sitting Coney Island Hot Dogs yesterday in Worcester having lunch with a friend.

Some sort of nonsense is going on in the front of the joint and there is a smattering of applause. I look and see a few Deval Patrick signs. I figure it is Deval Patrick, but there are no black people so I assume it is Tim Murray the Lt. Gov candidate, and Mayor of Worcester.

Nope... it turns out to be Kerry Healey, the walking anti-dote for Viagra. She is the only attractive middle aged blonde chick over whom I would choose a punctured cornea than a sexual interlude. I debated whether or not to force down the last of my hot dog, unsure as to whether or not it would come back up.

So as Berlin Betty made the rounds, I filled my unwitting friend in on the wonderfully informative commercials she has run this campaign season. Patrolling the battered restaurant for lost bluebloods like a Commandant's girlfriend scanning missing Hitler Youth, she made it to my table just I wondered if the other public defender's in Deavl Patrick's district were all busy representing errant jaywalkers and litterbugs while he was busy hogging all the ever-so-fun violent crime pro bono cases... greedy bastard.

She gave her hand and my friend shook it.

I debated telling her that i would share a cell with her and Herman Goehring in hell before I would vote for her sick ass, but upon figuring out that it wouldn't be the first time she heard it, I took a pass. I briefly grabbed her hand and retruned her plastic smile with a scowl. I'm sure she hasn;t slept a wink since.

She turned on her heel and moved on to the next table.

By the way, I am sticking with my Berlin Betty reference, even though she is a rather forgettable character from Hogan's Heroes. It's too perfect to pass up. BB was the radio propagandist for the Nazis that all the GIs in Hogans outfit wanted to bang once they met her. She was intelligent, attractive, well spoken...and oh yeah... a Nazi.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I'd Never Approach You NOW

I ran into a friend of mine at a wedding this week and was subjected to yet another idiot-guy phrase that never ceases to annoy me.

My friend is someone who had spent a good chunk of her life overweight, and over the last several years has lost a lot of weight and spent an inordinate amount of time working out and getting into terrific shape.

She reflected how the idea that she would lose weight, and find the perfect guy... well, it just hasn't happened yet. She is another of the zillion attractive, has-it-together-but-is-single crowd that no one can figure out.

My friend seems happy single. I can relate. What I don't get is the following phrase that guys say to attractive women: Yeah... "I would never walk up to you on the street now."

I understand the inference is an attempt at a compliment, meaning, "Gee whiz... you are so pretty I would be intimidated!"

What the hell does this even mean?

This is perhaps the most over used and pointless of all the inane things guys say to women to avoid having to simply say they are attracted to them.

What the hell does this even mean? And is there some problem of which I am unaware where men randomly approach unattractive women in droves? I have yet to hear one woman say, "Boy, am I ever glad I lost weight, men used to just flock around me, but now that I'm hot they seem to keep their distance, which has always been my dream... isolation, that's where it's at for me.

If you think about it, it's reasonably insulting to say such a thing. This is someone you are friendly with, so at some point you DID feel comfortable approaching her for a conversation, does that mean she was unattractive because she didn't look the way she does now?

The most annoying thing to me is that this person represents one of the most amazing transformations I've seen, and it goes a lot further than dropping a few pounds and hitting the stairmaster. What's really interesting about her is her confidence and ability to accept herself and enjoy life as the result of a dramatic spiritual experience. She was so secure with herself that I was able to relax and be myself. I don't think I yield to it too often, but at gatherings with sober folks, I sometimes feel pressure to be a spiritual giant, which I am not. I was able to be honest about my spiritual condition, which is seriously in a lapse, and not feel judged, which isn't always the case.

I just hope no women come up to me a few years from now (when I am HOPEFULLY on "the beam spiritually") and say, "Wow... I would never approach you NOW, if only you were still spiritually bankrupt, I'd be so much more comfortable."

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hypocritical Frist Shanks American Poker players

In a midnight deal on the cusp of recess, Bill Frist and his sleazy brigade of back-handed dirtbags piggy-backed their anti-gaming legislation onto, of all things, a Port Security anti-terrorism bill designed to protect American harbors from a similar incident to the Dubai snafu earlier this year.

It takes a real piece of work to trivialize the importance of protecting ports from terrorism and use such an opportunity to push across one's personal agenda. This is politicizing of the worst kind, wreaking of hypocrisy and personal agenda.

Frist talks about "protecting Americans from an addictive disease", presumably he means gambling addiction. This line of thought doesn't bother me, gambling addiction IS a massive problem in America. The problem is that the biggest tax perpetrated against poor American's in our nation's history is lotteries, which (along with horse racing for some reason- a sport very big in Frist's home state of Tennessee) are untouched by the bill.

The thing that chaps me is the hypocrisy of leaving online state lotteries untouched, as well as online wagering on horse racing.

Too many Americans are running up huge credit card bills, defaulting due to gambling. This is true... but isn't it the responsibility of the credit card companies to determine who gets a credit limit and how much it is? I have always thought that no credit card should allow gaming charges, and now many of them don't. If you want to register online to play poker, you should use cash.

Our nation has millions of alcoholics... I wonder why Frist doesn't abolish whiskey? (Oh wait- they tried that didn't they... maybe it has something to do with his Tennesseean constituency). Sure- we should protect EVERYONE from alcohol, even those who use it responsibly, even those who enjoy it without ill effects.

As an alcoholic, I thank God they DON'T do this. It is my responsibility to maintain sobriety, not Bill Frist's. Why should my buddy Tom, who likes a nice hoppy ale once in a while, be denied his right to enjoy it because I can't drink the same beverage without winding up with a black eye and a pregnancy scare?

Online gaming should be regulated and taxed, not abolished. One must think the lobbyists for live casinos, racetracks and slot-machine operators must be ecstatic today. Ironically, the people Frist wants to "protect" get the most reasonable fees from- TA-DA! online casinos. You have to pay at least 4 or 5 times as much for the privilege of sitting at a table in Foxwoods casino as you pay to sit in your living room and play. Add in driving 200 miles round trip and you;d got a crappy deal... I hate Foxwoods by the way, but who exactly is this clown protecting again? Is it me, or the owners and operators of casinos, racetracks and state lotteries?

Chew on this project I did in 8th grade: State lotteries take 40%, that's FORTY PERCENT of what they collect and pocket it. This would be the equivalent of flipping a coin with someone, and when you lose, you lose a quarter, but when you win, you win fifteen cents. This is a slow drain on those addicted to playing the lottery, those "regular" players, can never, ever possibly come out anything close to even.

Worse is the mega-jackpot lotteries. These bastards don't even return the lousy sixty percent. The funds are collected and held (interest free) while the pottery is being held. Say they collect 100 million. Sixty million is the reported jackpot. But they don't distribute the 60 million. They buy an annuity, paying you slowly over twenty years. You can take the cash immediately, but it is discounted to the vaue of the annuity, not the actual jackpot. To add insult to injury, you must then pay taxes on the winnings, and for kicks, you are now in the top tax bracket.

All told, the government redistributes about FIFTEEN PERCENT of what they collect. Any bookie pulling a stunt like this would find himself floating in the bay. Yet, lotteries are kosher, lotteries are bueno. Horse racing is also on the "do not touch" list. Let me just say this, it is INFINITELY easier to fix a gorse race than a poker game online.

Even when I gambled compulsively, I refused to play lotteries. Even when I was an active degenerate gambler, I prayed for the abolition of the state lottery and an end to victimizing people that can't see how badly they are being taken advantage of.

If this assault against online gaming were anything more than an attempt to get a piece of the pie for someone, or to protect bad investments, like previously cherry casinos, I would have less to say.

The funny thing is that online poker provides a free market, something America supposedly supports. Because of the variety of sites available, it is practically impossible to give bad service or bad deals to customers, because they will just go somewhere they are treated well. Unlike the monopoly at Foxwoods, online sites have little choice but to be fair, reputable and efficient, lest they perish.

The bill was in danger of not passing, largely because it is tragically flawed in basic logic and riddled with hypocrisy and favorite-playing, so Frist and his cronies attached it to an anti-terrorism bill, which passed 409-2 in the congress and passed via voice vote in the senate. It is on President Bush's desk. These guys KNEW they didn't have the votes, so they attached it to am anti-terrorism bill (yeah, I said it again) knowing that no one politician in this day and age could afford to vote against any anti-terrorism legislation, especially on the grounds of defending gaming. Though it more a defense of personal freedom than of gaming itself.

How about taking a few pornographers abusing kids down? How about tracking American businessmen abusing children in Malaysia, the Philippines and abroad, how about working to stop the purchasing of human beings by Americans for the purposes of sexual slavery?

Surely, these self-agrandizing goons have GOT to have something better to do than protect casinos and lotteries under the guise of protecting Americans from using their freedom the way they choose.

This isn't about protecting gambling addicts, it's about making sure the addicts buy only from you. I've gotta tell you, if I can't play online poker, I am STILL not going to live rip-off casinos. I STILL will NEVER play a lottery as long as I live, and I will wait...because in this country, this kind of b.s. usually has a backlash and things tend to even out. I have faith that this is so ludicrous and uneven that it will work out.

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