Thursday, April 07, 2005

I tried not to talk about the WTO decision, I promise
(states rights too, and Kurosawa!)

Alright, everybody know what day it is today? April 7th, WTO d-day. I printed out the 146 page appeal decision (here's the pdf summary too) and haven't looked at it yet (daunting!) but here are a few articles... US says they won, Antigua says they won, and everyone else in between has an opinion, too (what else does everyone *else* have like opinions?) ;)

I don't have one yet (opinion, since I was born with the other), since the regular man in my life (my mailman, natch!) brought my my daily bread: Netflix! Specifically, Kagemusha... I've never seen it before (it's only been available on vhs til recently and I haven't rented a vhs in...(??) since living in the dorms and renting vids from tower records!; they were the only ones at the time within walking distance that'd rent hentai stuff... i rented the entire robotech series from tower too, vhs.) But back to Kurosawa-- I didn't think I'd like it as much as Ran (esp since I'm such a raging shakespeare snob sometimes), but I like it more... even if you watched this with the subtitles and sound off, you 'd be engrossed by the colors, the costuming, the thought in each action able to be presented without explanation... Truly stunning. Dreams is still my favorite (I can't shake the van gogh sequence from being one of my favorite all time scenes ever, and my love for tim roth is stirred by recalling his vincent portrayal in vincent and theo... *that* crush was spurred on by stoppard's r & g are dead in high school while reading hamlet for the 1st time! they're smoldering embers I suppose, these little obsessions...)

I think I'll start putting up the latest netflix' gracing my mailslot (!!) when I post; I want to know more about what someone's watching than the obligatory 100 questions (though I enjoy them, I think it's too much to dole out at once about yourself, all those little quirky things that would arise out of normal conversations over months, years now condensed to a sidebar and an hour reading? I don't have that much to say anyway :)


Watching Kagemusha and the clan colors got me thinking though, about our solidiers... It'd be the equivalent of our armies wearing the colors of their home state as uniforms, were led by the home state leaders who were then ultimately led by a national leader... Says something about the culture of "americanism" in that we identify first with federal (I'm an American) then maybe state (from California)... I know this varies over your geographic location (never met a rabid Californian except *ator, but have met some... ardent texans!), but we generally eschew national over states' rights and identify as Americans, the conflict of the Great War...

Although it is about states that I've been thinking lately, ever since this article in the New York Times (see: bugmenot) reported that states have become so dependant upon gambling revenues that they are actively comepting against one another to keep the revenues in-state, and for good reason...
In Rhode Island, South Dakota, Louisiana, Oregon and,
most of all, Nevada, taxes from casinos, slot machines
at racetracks and lotteries make up more than 10
percent of overall revenues, according to a new
report. In Delaware, West Virginia, Indiana, Iowa and
Mississippi, gambling revenues are fast approaching 10
No matter how much the moral minority may have politicians et al by the s&c's, politicos surely can't reject a revenue stream that has allowed states to not raise the income tax for TEN YEARS (Rhode Island), or allowed politicians to reduce property taxes by TWENTY percent by simply raising the revenue from lottery sales (South Dakota).

Surely residents cannot balk either... Last week I wondered about the way North Dakota-ians :) felt about poker, online gambling-- if they would have (as voters) approved a bill or amendment which would have legalized online poker within their borders and become a steady stream of revenue, and also would have not cost them a dime to litigate as the financing for any lititgation about the legality of the bills/amendment would have been footed by gambling companies... I found this article about the spike in poker playing within NoDak, and I can't help but apply the same idea of revenue the nyt as well to still think that they would have supported it, notwithstanding the 44-3 failure of their legislature...

Not reflecting the mandate of your citizenry is a failure of office, in my opinion. California's facing terrible burdens on its educational, medical and public works fronts-- as every state is-- and to reject a source of revenue like this on a question of foot dragging, puritanical morality?

These revenue streams are leaking out of our great nation... the money is being spent as Americans are voracious gamblers, the taxes are being collected by other nations-- yet another imbalance of trade relations, these US dollars spent gambling will not make it back within our sunny shores... We scream that the WTO that we are right in maintaining that online gambling is illegal because of a) morals and b) a 40+ year old law, enacted before the internet was created, and we wonder why the dollar falls when we choose based on character assignations of morality, instead of the reality of a global economy that we are no longer king of the mountain on. I say this with a heavy heart because I *am* an American-- not a Californian first, not Japanese American first (sorry grandma), but am a proud ssn-card carrying member of a noble society...


Entrenching our !American! culture has done nothing for it but to breed stagnation and mediocrity. Squashing new technologies because they violate old stare decisis ip laws that can never keep pace with the neurons of our brightest stars, forbidding "moral" dalliances in poker because of imperfect, inapplicable laws from our previous generation's past, -- these things drive our culture-technology to a whimpering halt and have caught us slippering down that slope of status quo...

I suppose it is also the issue of hypocrisy, as well. We see the value of gambling revenues across states. We see our culture accepting of gambling (turn on the tv, I hear there's a lot of poker on lately). But our leaders do not embrace it as the UK's have (or is planning to on the fifth), but reject it on the surface to be able to claim a moral superiority over...

(whom?) and since when is morality a currency on the world market? or even at my local andronico's, for that matter?

Speaking of the UK... looks like both Labour and the Conservatives are aching to shape their regulation of online gambling and poker online, but the sticking point was the number of "super" casinos to be allowed, not online gambling... I suppose it is a no-brainer, as iGGBA says that two BILLION pounds would be lost if the parties can't come together and work it out, for online gambling's sake...

Can you imagine how many schoolbooks 3,738,510,856.04 USD would buy? (Thanks xe.) I don't recall buying anything with moral indignation lately, you?


Oh well, I'm thinking I really should go learn how to truncate my home page posts in radio-- they're way too long! (If you know how, plllllease email me & lmk, I can't figure it out, not good at radio yet.) And, have lots of new work, gearing up for the *big day* ahead (soon! can we *be* more excited?)



9:58:20 PM  
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