Monday, October 16, 2006

I'll Take Liberal Bias In the Fifth To Win For Twenty

Two unrelated things this evening....

1) Look for more poker business at local casinos as nerdy Chris Moneymaker wannabes crawl out from their online poker addictions and head to Isleta/Sandia, etc. The passage/signing of "The Unlawful Internet Gambling Act" has got online players freaking out more than a river suck-out full boat to crack their nut flush. Yes, I know what that last phrase means. No, I'm not terribly proud of the fact.

Even non-players have noticed the glut of poker on TV, but that's nothing compared to the explosion in the game's popularity online. I don't have statistics because...well, because this is a blog and blogs don't worry about things like "facts", but the amount of time/money spent playing Hold 'Em online is amazing. And I don't like to throw around words like "amazing" too much.

The rules about online poker have always been hazy. Technically, the sites have been offshore or at least outside the U.S.. Many players have felt uneasy given the possibly flightiness of the firms involved (not to mention the possibility of a technological hack or coding rigging the game). The new legislation moves those concerns into hyperdrive....but at this point many an online nerd is totally hooked on playing.

What to do? Drive the "lucky seven minutes down I-25" is my guess. Casinos have already been the beneficiaries of the "poker boom", but have had to share a ton of market share with online sites. That is almost certain to change now, and change significantly.

I'm no capitalist, and wouldn't know how to "invest" in anything, much less Native American casinos, in a million years. Still, if I were a betting man (and from reading the above it must be obvious that I am not, that I have never even played poker before, and that if I had played poker I darn sure had only done it for entertainment purposes using cigarette matches as "chips")...where was I, oh yeah, if I were a betting man I'd wager that poker business at casinos is gonna jump in a big way. The sort of big way reserved for the activities of addicts and their changing drug choices. In the same way that cocaine gets less popular and addicts move to heroin, so to will online players stumble into Sandia Casino to get their fix.

2) Today's Journal was full of laughs, especially chuckles with a Lefty Lawyer bent. First there was a story about how the local chapter of the ACLU was "stifling dissent". Something about an ex-board member being locked out by the still-existing board. Good for a solid ironic guffaw or two.

Then there was the "guest column" by Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute entitled "Liberal Bias Rules UNM Law School". This one must be getting plenty of laughs because it's still ranked this evening as the #1 "most read story" at ABQJournal.com. Trying to sum up Ms. Sommers remarks is difficult because there are SO many nuggets of unintentional (I'm guessing) humor in the piece.

My strong suggestion is to just read the piece, but to crudely sum it up: Ms. Sommers was shocked that UNM Law School is so incredibly liberal. Being a good lawyer (I'm guessing), she then cites a ton of examples of how unfairly liberal the school is, and how conservatives are vilified/ostracized.

Which may be true, for all I know (which is pretty much nothing). Nevertheless, some of the supposedly damning examples she uses to "prove" the Law School's liberalosity are both funny and indicate that Ms. Sommers might politically be to the right of Pat Buchanan, somewhere nearer to Phyllis Schlafly/James Dobson territory.

For example, my favorite paragraph from the piece:

Students complain that courses lack objectivity. Here is the catalogue description for a seminar called Environmental Global Warming: "Global climate change is the major environmental threat of our era. Its effects are felt by all species, but especially on those who are poor...." Another course called Gender and the Law explores "how the Law created categories that support subordination based on gender."


The cool and funny thing is that Sommers throws this paragraph in without further comment, as if these references are proof enough of liberal bias. But exactly who doesn't think global warming isn't "the major environmental threat of our era"? Who with half a brain wouldn't agree that laws have historically supported "subordination based on gender"?

Phyllis Schlafly probably. And maybe a few libertarians who avoid modern inventions like the Internet or history books or any historical event since, say, the Constitutional Congress of 1787.

It's pretty apparent that Sommers got to 'Burque, hung out with some law school students who are "Federalist Society" members, and the students bitched and moaned about how liberal the school is. From this Sommers makes an unsubtle grammatical switch in the Journal piece which is pretty darn funny. Instead of saying "some" or "a few" students think something, she just says things like "Students complain that courses lack objectivity." This implies that all students complain or that at least most of them do.

As I said before, I know know pretty much nothing about the UNM Law School, but I'd bet (there's that gambling thing again) the number of students that complained to Sommers was less than ten. Probably more along the lines of three. And those three have the right to bitch and moan all they want. And Sommers has the right to pontificate based on that dinky sample size all she wants. Especially if it can provide laughs for me as I read Abqjournal.com on a Monday morning. Reading Sommers' piece this morning was definitely worth multiple chuckles, and it made me think out loud: "I wonder what Phyllis Schlafly is up to these days?"

For those interested in finding out more about our visitor, Ms. Sommers, here's a link from Mediatransparency.

Updated Friday, 2:32 P.M.: Now I find out I've misspelled Sommers' name for two solid days. Man, I hate when that happens....have a good weekend everybody, I'll write Sommers on a blackboard 500 times after school today.

1 comment:

tbird said...

Of course, Ms. Summers just didn't take well to seeing the word "poor" attached to global warming. Conservatives know just as well as liberals that our system of wildly disproportionate resource use
requires, for its very existence, a global underclass (though she'd really hate that term). It's a classic example of a refusal to take a shred of moral responsibility, thus the externalization of "liberal bias."
Wake me up when America gets beyond this binary liberal/conservative thing and actually starts having a real conversation.