Thursday, April 14, 2005

Trailer Park Ethics

The preferences of some might 'cause' others to overindulge - solution, ban it, stomp your feet, and call the police.

John Dunsworth, the actor best known for his role as the power-tripping park manager Mr. Lahey on the hit series Trailer Park Boys, has lent his face and personal battle with gambling to an on-line campaign aimed at eliminating video lottery terminals in Nova Scotia.

At an emotional press conference at the legislature yesterday, a citizens group backed by the provincial Liberals announced the launch of amid tearful stories from people whose lives have been ruined by the gambling machines.
I cannot control myself! Those cigarettes behind the counter make me want to smoke. Casinos suck me in and cause me to foolishly throw away my money. Remove it from my sight! Implement a public ban because my misdeeds morally require that it be so.
The 59-year-old actor put his first toonie into a machine in the early 1990s. Killing time on a casting call, he won $500 on his first spin and played twice more that day, winning $250 each time.

"The gambling gods looked down and hooked me," Mr. Dunsworth, who calls himself a compulsive gambler, said in an interview.

As a kid, he said, he spent his snow-shovelling money on nickel gumball games and pinball machines. As a student at Dalhousie University, he gambled away his tuition at a poker game. These days, he plays only half-penny bridge and Scrabble, but those games, he said, require skill and offer luck, something VLTS do not.

For several years, he pumped $100 a week into the machines. A self-proclaimed troglodyte, he said the fact that he doesn't carry an ATM card saved him. "I'm not doing this to get rid of the VLTs for myself. I'm hoping I can handle my addiction," Mr. Dunsworth said. "I'm here to try and stop people from being hooked in the future by getting rid of these VLTs." [. . .]

"I'd like to see the machines gone. They destroy people," Clayton Park resident Christine Shupe said. "They destroyed my marriage and self-esteem."
Um, the machines did not destroy your life. You made a conscious decision to use those machines. And I guess if you're fat, food 'caused' you to over eat? Shall we ban food to prevent obesity? Implement a law to ensure that we all get the appropriate proportions?

But alas, I am prey to the common myths. Thankfully Game over VLTS enlightens me:

Banning VLTs would lead to an underground market of "grey" machines.

Reality: If the machines are outlawed completely, with no requirement to prove a "payout" at a cash register (as in the past), law enforcement officers agree that prosecution is made much more straight-forward. Unlike illegal drugs, liquor and weapons, these machines are too big to be hidden inside cars, behind sofas or under coats. The government should make a law that bans them and show the backbone to enforce the law with stiff penalties for violations.
Cars are too big to conceal under your coat, so car theft won't happen.

Banning VLTs is like alcohol prohibition.

Reality: It is deemed appropriate to ban moonshine, while regulating most alcohol. It is deemed appropriate to ban crack cocaine, while regulating tobacco. We seek to ban VLTs, leaving other forms of gambling to be regulated.
Huh? How do the existence of VLTs differ from slot machines? Please explain the special status granted to tobacco as opposed to crack - (interesting comparison!) - and alcohol as opposed to moonshine.

VLT gambling is just another addiction that can be broken with the right effort.

Reality: Experts agree that VLTs are unlike any other form of gambling. The machines are “designed” to create addictions. They do not create addictions as a by-product of otherwise healthy activity. That is why they are considered the “crack cocaine of gambling”.

On the subject of non-volitional inanimate objects causing moral decay:
Scott Wasylyk wasn't searching for photos of nude women when he logged on to his son's private school's website. But that's what he found yesterday while looking for information about the Red River Valley Junior Academy (RRVJA) where his six-year-old boy attends.

"Why that school doesn't have a block on their website is beyond me," said an angry Wasylyk, whose son is in Grade 1 at the Christian-based RRVJA that is owned and operated by the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

"As a concerned parent, this is pretty disappointing," said Wasylyk. "I don't want my son in that school after seeing this."

From the main page of the school's website, Wasylyk clicked on to a guest book link, which led him to a page with 45 graphic pictures of naked women.
Panic ensues:
Wasylyk, who was at work when he discovered the pornography, immediately called the police and the school.

"It's not just my son that goes to that school," he said, adding he wonders how many kids have already seen the nude photos. "I notified the police to get that off there and I left a message for the principal asking for an appointment to come in and talk about this."
If you catch your kid with a porno mag, call the appropriate authorities at once!

Have no fear! Mighty mouse to the rescue:
The principal of the school was equally shocked. "This is a Christian school, and one would think that someone wouldn't do something so horrible," said Ian Mighty, principal of the Kindergarten to Grade 10 school on Grey Street.

Mighty said he learned about the pornographic link from the Winnipeg Police Service late in the afternoon.

"I rushed back to the school to fix it," said Mighty. "We try to update the site every three or four weeks. This must have been an oversight on our part."
Well, your 'oversight' is sure to cost you, as the police do not approve:
Police officials could not confirm details about the specific case last night but said distributing pornography is an offence that would be investigated.

The guest book with the link had been removed from the school's website by 8 p.m. yesterday. "We definitely won't be putting another (guest book) back on," Mighty said. "It's very unfortunate that someone has chosen to do this."

Mighty doesn't believe a student from the academy made the posting. "I have a lot of confidence in my students," he said.
Good Christians never ever think about sex.