Friday, December 10, 2010

Thinking About the Reid Bill

The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return. – Gore Vidal

While there are quite a few opinions out there that are worth reading, the one that comes closest to my own is this one from Foucault. Most of the poker bloggers and players seem to think this is a bad bill/deal, etc. They don’t understand that we will be lucky to get any (even) half way decent bill/deal. We are only possibly going to get this one because of the confluence of several (mostly bad) things –

a) democrats losing in general and republicans taking over

b) Senator Reid surviving but owing his win to the big Nevada gambling interests

c) if not now, God only knows when

d) the government really needs the new revenue source.

Note – we, as poker players, do not even factor into the equation. Our hobby (and we as enthusiasts) is viewed akin to the alcohol industry (and consumers of alcohol). Our consumption is a given. We will consume whatever is available and we are unlikely to stop doing so. Thus, we are taken for granted and not recognized as a meaningful part of the decision making process.

Moreover, I think the current online poker situation is untenable. It would probably continue for a while but at some point in the not too distant future, the whole thing crumbles under the pressure of being unable to efficiently move the money.

Who knows what is actually going to happen, but for now, I think the long term benefits of becoming legitimate appear to outweigh the disadvantages.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Turn Out the Lights, the Party’s Over – RIP Joseph Donald “Dandy Don” Meredith

Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which before their union were not perceived to have any relation. – Mark Twain

Another NFL great has passed. Don Meredith was a former NFL All Pro quarterback and member of the famous Cowboy Ring of Honor that played in the Ice Bowl and helped create the culture of winning that still surrounds the Dallas Cowboys. Then, he did what I really remember him for. Being one of “the voices” of Monday Night Football.

Monday Night Football is now an American institution. It’s hard to imagine the NFL without it. However, that isn’t always the way it was. When the fledgling endeavor began, it was Dandy Don and Howard Cosell (imo) that really helped launch the brand and make it memorable. MNF has never since been able to achieve the level of entertainment and chemistry in the booth that they had then. Dandy Don remembered it was a game after all and the telecast should be entertaining. Boy, were they ever.

I recall a time when the camera crew caught a fan in the Astrodome “giving a single (middle) finger salute” while the Oilers were whipped by the Raiders. Dandy Don quickly quipped, “He thinks they’re number 1 in the nation”. I’ll never forget his comical renditions of the Willie Nelson song, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over” at the end of each Monday night game.

Dandy Don was a homegrown Texas product and no one could mistake him for anything else. He was down to Earth, sincere, witty, charming, and almost always funny. Watching MNF last night, I thought to myself, what a contrast Don and Howard were to today’s rather bland (except Gruden) bunch – they sure don’t make ‘em like they used to.