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Representative Barney Frank Will Introduce Legislation To Overturn Three Year Old Republican Internet Gambling Ban

Representative Bary Frank(D-MA) who is the Chairman of the Financial Service Committee in the House will introduce legislation to overturn the Internet gambling ban put in place by the Bush Administration and the Republican majority in Congress at the time. Republicans who have a poor record on individual rights and civil liberties inserted language into a port security bill three years ago, making credit card transactions by consenting adults who wish to play in international gambling illegal. This led to several arrests of American executives of companies involved in Internet gambling.barneyfrank.jpg

My own personal opinion is that gambling is not really a good thing. However, in a free society, Republican legislators, often acting on behalf of religious right interests who are opposed to gambling, put such language into law as an expression of writing their own religious beliefs into law. Like many Republican oriented religious beliefs, opposing Internet gambling for all persons is a violation of the individual freedom of adults to choose how to spend their own money. even if gambling itself is not really a real positive influence. However, most adults who choose to gamble do so as only a fun outlet. Only a few persons have problems with gambling. And credit card companies put limits on the amount that one can spend.

Since this Republican legislation has been in effect, it has also greatly impacted the ability of friends of neighbors to use money transfer services to help out friends of neighbors using cash transfer services such as Moneygram or Western Union who have overreacted out of fear to this Republican trampling on individual rights.

The problem is that the Republican philosophy wants to control what Americans are allowed to do or how they can spend their money from cradle to grave. This party of big and intrusive government seems to know no bounds in controlling the personal behavior of Americans. Barney Frank is taking a big step in favor of civil liberties to attempt to roll back at least part of this big intrusion of government in the private lives of Americans by supporting this legislation, and deserves to be applauded for his actions.

One major difference between the two political parties is if Democrats would continue to take a strong stand for individual rights, while the Republicans continue to take strong stands against civil liberties. Nothing could better illustrate which is the true party of big government than this.
Internet poker games or fun games are popular throughout much of the world. However, in the U.S. a few religious right legislators have imposed their will to stop these fun games by citizens. Doesn't this party know no bounds in unreasonable meddling into private lives of the citizens?


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Comments (3)

Chad:

Paul, you've made a good point about big government here. Issues like this should be decided at the state level, not the federal level. That's what our government is supposed to be. I'm not a fan of legalized gambling, but that should be decided by the people of each state, in a public vote. Personally, I'd like to see legalized gambling done away with. My home state has some legalized gambling, and the state gov't always plays up how much money it makes for the state. But if you look at how much the state pays out for addiction counseling (just for gambling), and how much it pays out for regulation and staff to regulate it, we come out with a negative number. Then you should also figure the bankruptcies, debt incurred, and marriages gone bust because of the addiction involved, well, it's a pretty high price. I'm not saying you shouldn't be able to have a night of cards with the guys from work, or even that somebodies addiction to gambling is the responsibility of the state. I just think that legalizing it is a bad idea. I don't really think the federal government should be regulating this at all. The only reason I could see would be if they were tracking the money and catching it going to terrorism, or if the gambling sites were being preyed upon by scammers that were ripping off the credit card/bank account numbers. Then you regulate it as a fraud issue to protect your citizens. If that's not the case, you have no right to regulate it.

Paul Hooson:

Chad, no I don't agree that states should have regulatory powers over the worldwide Internet or over international banking. These worldwide entities are too powerful to be under local controls.

I'm no fan of Internet gambling myself, and have zero interest in the subject. However what concerns me are the loss of civil liberties, or an attempt by Congress to regulate the worldwide nature of the Internet or international banking to satisfy some religious objections of some to gambling.

Chad:

I'm not saying that states should or should not control the internet. I'm simply stating that any regulation of gambling should be done at the state level, versus the Federal level. Then, assuming it's legal in your state, you should be free to do so. If you are gambling in a state that has decided that it's not legal, then when you get caught, take your lumps. I guess I don't really see how the federal government should be involved in this argument at all. Just like abortion, gay marriage, and any other issue not covered by the constitution, it should be handled at the state level.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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