Hang In There

08 September 2006

Senator Bill Frist has made Internet gambling one of his top priorities.

"Internet gambling threatens our families by bringing addictive behavior right into our living rooms," Frist said in floor remarks.

Despite the fact that he finds Internet gambling to be such a threat to our families, he is willing to make exceptions for horse racing and state lotteries, the most common source of gambling addictions. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Act (H.R. 4411) that he wants to push through "with as little debate as possible" specifically singles these two out for special treatment for some reason.

Internal consistency aside, the bill still seems very silly. How is internet poker a threat to our families? Lots of things can be addictive, but we don't just outlaw them. Nonetheless, we've continued to arrest not just United States citizens for running online gambling sites, but also foreign citizens such as Peter Dicks and David Carruthers for doing something that is perfectly legal in their own countries. (Jacob Sullum has a very good article at Reason about the topic.)

One more Bill Frist quote:
I visited the various animal shelters in the Boston suburbs, collecting cats, taking them home, treating them as pets for a few days, then carting them off to the labs to die in the interest of science.
-Bill Frist, from his autobiography Transplant

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