|Traffic | Weather | Your account||Movies | Restaurants | Today's events|
Letters to the editor
Tightening the net
The law is hot on your cybertrail of poker mayhem
Editor, The Times:
I would like to thank the Washington state Legislature for making online gambling a felony ["Internet gambling crackdown approved," Times, News, May 26]. After all, it's one thing to allow tribes to put a large casino in a residential area just two miles from my home; I, and my children, surely have nothing to fear from that. But I must be protected from going online to gamble in the safety and privacy of my own house.
Five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for playing 25-cent hands of poker seems reasonable to me.
Of course, it's not me they are trying to protect, it's the tribal casinos.
This is one more reason — as if, after blowing a multibillion-dollar surplus so that we are already in the red for next year, we needed another — why we must break the Democratic monopoly in Olympia.
— Chris Nandor, Arlington
A bad streak
Well, we can all sleep better knowing that Gov. Christine Gregoire just signed into law Senate Bill 6613, making all online gambling in Washington state a Class C felony.
I find it ironic and downright hypocritical of our governor to be telling us on one hand to drive less, in order to save the environment and to ease traffic; yet on the other hand that we should drive many miles just to play a game of poker.
What's next? Using the same logic we should of course ban trading stocks on the Internet as well. As many of us know, this is just as much a form of gambling as playing poker. Perhaps we should only allow stock trades to occur on tribal casinos. That would enable even more money to flow into certain political coffers.
How about elections? They certainly seem like a gamble to me.
— Jonathan Granger, Sedro Woolley
I wonder if [legislators] think they can sell us anything if it is "for the children." Apparently the scourge known as online gambling had gotten so out of control that our politicians had to leap to our rescue.
Every morning, I drive to work and pass the local high school. Outside gathers a crowd of kids to have their morning cigarette before class. These are people who fit both our politicians' favorite groups to use when giving reasons why they had to take action: addicts and children.
Where is the cry to ban cigarettes? Wouldn't the best way to stop the youth smoking be to make all tobacco illegal in Washington? Why do we never hear this cry in Olympia?
Money. Taxes are made and donations flow in to keep cigarettes lining walls of convenience stores across the state. In my opinion, [the online gambling law] too is all about money. There is no easy way to tax online gambling, especially when many of the sites [originate] overseas. It would be better if our politicians would just say, "We took this act to protect the tribes!"
This is another attempt to regulate our private lives in our homes. The state motto should be "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness! (as long as we get our cut)."
— Glenn Cheever, Auburn
Consider the real sins behind the ban on online gambling. From my house, I can drive in almost any direction and pass a casino in less than five minutes. And just try to watch an hour of local television without a casino inviting you to join the fun! All of this has the full endorsement of our so-called representatives in Olympia.
If I want to play from the privacy of my own home (online), they are going to put me in jail. With a vote, they made me an unconvicted felon.
Are our most honorable representatives out to save me from myself or represent my interest?
Just how many of our representatives received donations, and/or other perks they don't like to talk about, from the state casino industry? And just how many can't stand the thought of me spending my money in the way I choose without them getting a cut?
Those who voted to put you in jail (if you don't spend your money where they can get their hands on some of it), needs a job in the private sector. Clearly, they are representing themselves ... not us.
How could this possibly be constitutional? And how do they intend to find out who is playing online poker? It's one thing for the government to keep track of the numbers you dial in the name of national security, and not many of us are comfortable with that. It's something else ... something felonious, when the government does so for the sole purpose of putting you in jail. Lest we forget.
— Thomas Gassett, Everett
The state of Washington says online gambling is a crime. And now just writing about online gambling is also a crime? ["This column may be illegal," Danny Westneat column, Local News, June 15.] So writing about crime is a crime!?!?! Hmm. Newspapers around the state could be in big trouble.
Who would have ever thought that liberal Washington would be the home of the Thought Police??
— Chuck Penk, Renton
My rare lady
Why can't a woman be more like a man?
Regarding "Powerful businesswoman takes over agricultural powerhouse" [Business & Technology, June 11]: When the story is about a woman, the comment is so familiar, you don't even notice.
Patricia Woertz is the "new chief executive of Archer Daniels Midland," a huge Midwestern corporation. So what is really important to know about her, besides her Chevron connection? She is a "53-year-old divorced mother of three adult children."
We have to ask again, patiently, when was the last time you saw a newly elevated male CEO described as a "53-year-old divorced father of three children?"
— Blaine Hammond, Seattle
The stupid vote
She just won't get it
Congratulations fellow Washington state residents. According to King County Superior Court Judge Mary E. Roberts, we are all too stupid to understand what we are voting on ["Judge overturns Eyman initiative on property tax ," Local News, June 14, and "I-747 reversal warrants Supreme Court review," editorial, June 15]. Actually, I thoroughly understood Initiative 747, which put a 1-percent cap on increases in taxes collected on existing property.
Also, according to Judge Robert's assistant, who answered my phone call to her office, both he and the judge understood the initiative, but she apparently doesn't believe that the rest of you poor ignorant slobs have the mental capacity to determine how much you should be taxed.
Thank you, Judge Roberts, for telling 58 percent of Washington voters how to think, since they obviously can't be trusted to think for themselves.
I wonder if we can trust those voters the next time Judge Roberts is up for re-election.
— Travis Chapman, Manchester
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company