Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

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    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    Vote The Bastards Out

    This is going to be a recurring theme on these pages as we approach Election Day on November 7th--Vote The Bastards Out. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is hardly the most catastrophic bill passed by Congress the past few years. Why, just yesterday President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which in some circles has been called the "Torture and Detention Bill". Because that's the power the Congress just handed to the President--the right to detain people indefinitely, without the right to a trial or to even hear the charges brought against them, simply by declaring them an "enemy combatant". And what is an enemy combatant? Anyone the President SAYS is an enemy combatant. Ever read the book Catch-22?

    One would think that the elimination of these most basic rights would raise some eyebrows, or that the conferring of dictatorial powers on the President might be of some concern. Apparently not. As Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, said:

    "People have no idea how significant this is. Really a time of shame this is for the American system. The strange thing is that we have become sort of constitutional couch potatoes. The Congress just gave the President despotic powers and you could hear the yawn across the country as people turned to Dancing With the Stars. It's otherworldly...people clearly don't realize what a fundamental change it is about who we are as a country. What happened today changed us. And I'm not too sure we're gonna change back anytime soon."

    So it isn't like the government has some specific grudge against poker players. They have a grudge against freedom, liberty, the rights of the individual, and personal responsibility. Instead of an active, vibrant democracy, they want us to cede more and more power to a tiny cabal who will take care of us, who will make all decisions for us, and who know what's good (and bad) for us far better than we know ourselves.

    There was never any real danger that a terrorist organization could defeat the United States. The attacks on 9/11 were horrific, but they never threatened to bring the country to its knees. Even a worst-case scenario (like a nuclear device going off in a major city) wouldn't destroy America. The only way America could be destroyed by terrorism is if we decide to destroy it ourselves. If we allow cowardice, laziness, and venality to triumph over the courage, ingenuity and hope that has long defined our nation, then America will cease to be. Not with a bang, as the saying goes, but with a whimper.

    The Military Commissions Act (and, to a far lesser extent, the UIGEA) show how swiftly the government is moving in this direction. The Constitution stood up to British imperialism and was strong enough to withstand Nazi fascism and Soviet communism--why does everyone think it's so feeble today? Why is it that in fighting a ruthless enemy willing to commit acts of unimaginable barbarism, our government thinks the only way to fight back sinking to their level? By abandoning the very human rights (freedom of thought, freedom of speech, the right to a fair trial) that these terrorists most despise?

    If the Congress won't stand up to the President, than we have to stand up. Vote on November 7th, and give the boot to the Republican toadies who currently hold office. Although this isn't really a Republican/Democrat or conservative/liberal issue. Our inalienable rights are being stripped away, and it's the Republicans in the House and Senate who are pitching in with both hands. We need to fire them before it's too late. If it already isn't too late.

    The cover story of Rolling Stone this month is title "The Worst Congress Ever". It should, and probably will, leave you incredibly pissed off. So pissed off you'll be in the mood to write a ranting post like this one. Not that I'm not pissed off most of the time anyway.

    I said it once, I'll say it again, and I'll keep saying it right through to November 7th. Vote the bastards out. It's your duty. Vote. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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