Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Philadelphia casinos redux

If you haven't already done so, I suggest checking out my long casino piece from months ago. [Some additional comments appended to this original post in brackets.]

While in line at the post office late last week, an apparent leader of the anti-casino "movement" was going off in a theater voice to the clerk about how the proposed former Strawbridge & Clothier site (a hulking empty building with no other tenant offers on a non-residential multi-lane street) is the latest threat to public decency

Douchebag, who was holding up the line, complained that since the new site was located at a mass transit hub this amounted to some sort of human trafficking. [Note that the Delaware Avenue site was supposedly opposed for traffic concerns. We see what a crock of crap that is not only on its own merit, but because the site is now over a mass transit hub and that's unacceptable too...]

He went on to state that the anti-casino struggle would continue as "this is a free country" and then linked the anti-casino thing in some vague way to the election of Obama, which seemed pandering to the clerk, who is black. All of this was in an Ira Glass-on-estrogen voice, more than enough to send my blood pressure to near infarction levels.

[I forgot to mention that this rocket scientist also moaned that the site would be open 24 hours, adding that he thought people should be forced to go home at 2am. So much for Dr. Freedom. This is the opinion of non-working class people who've never worked a nightshift, nor work as bar or kitchen staff. I also thought by now anyone with two neurons to rub together realized that a large hub destination open 24/7 makes its immediate area far safer than, say, an empty Market St. dead zone.]

I let the guy have it, noting that he was more a right wing jackass than a "liberal" (which is not to say that the Obama Adminstration is in any way liberal if you're sane, a topic for another time), and asking what his plan for creating thousands of jobs, raising millions for the public schools and funding our libraries and firehouses was. Of course these people have none and don't feel a responsibility to do so.

Naturally these are not liberals. The word is derived from the Latin for "free", and if there's one thing these people hate it's freedom for anyone else. Brown people should be kept out of the neighborhood, working class people shouldn't have the right to decide how to spend an entertainment dollar and someone like me has no right to post on their neighbors forum, depsite my living a stone's throw from the first Foxwoods site. You certainly have no right to a job if you work construction, janitorial/maid service, hotel management, bartending, theater crew...

No, these are not liberals. These are risk-averse fiscal conservatives trying to protect (ironically not even doing that well in all likelihood!) their personal property values and taking a moralist behavioral stance to provide cover. These are Reagan's children.

I asked how the "free country" bit applied to blocking people from making a living, and from gambling where and when the state has already said is legal. I also asked why all of my polite, non-cussin' posts on his website have always been censored/removed within a day of posting.

I asked him how blocking a business venture in which local African-Americans were majority partners and Native Americans the minority partners fit in with his Rainbow Happy Time pseudo-liberal view of the world.

He mumbled something and walked out, which is what most bullies do when smacked on the nose. These people never encounter an opposition thought in their little Borg world of upper class white Center City prim and properness, and the guy looked quite stunned that I would challenge him, like a clubbed tuna.

This came on the heels of another long anti-casino (anti-freedom, anti-job and anti-tax revenue) screed from one of the weeklies. Let's get something sparkling clear about the Philadelphia Weekly and the City Paper - if you took the hooker ads out of them the papers wouldn't be able to make payroll in a month and would disappear in two, tops. These are ads for men to have sex with imported sex slaves and people strung out on coke, dope and lord knows what. These are the same papers which bang a constant drum that slot machines - slot machines for fuck's sake - are going to cause a wave of crime, lower property values and somehow, oh the irony, spur prostitution.

If I wrote this crap for a fiction book no one would buy it as believable.

On my hierarchy of morality, directly supporting the sex slave and narcotics trade is a tad bit worse than letting grandma gamble $40 away once a week [or even win money, which happens sometimes]. I have nothing against voluntary sex trade per se (it happens to be illegal here), but make no mistake that the weeklies are printing ads for guys to pay to serially rape organized crime-imported girls and for cokeheads to trick themselves out. [In a secondary fashion, the weeklies therefore support the international drug trade. Good job, guys! Way to fight the moral fight!]

And oh the tremendous irony of people who have overextended themselves on $400,000 rowhouses with crazy variable mortgages fighting legal commerce in the city because 25 cents in a slot machine is - gasp - gambling, and gambling would ruin the economy!

Cut me a friggin' break. I honestly and truly hope that the anti-casino people come out in person to protest casino job fairs, so that Philadelphia's working class jobless might meet them up close and personal.

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