Thursday, April 3, 2014

Working on Your Scruples


Now there’s a word you don’t hear every day.  Morality, sure.  Conscience, yes.  Ethics, duty, principles, standards…every damn day.  But scruples?  Not often, unless it’s in the negative, as in, “He has no scruples.”  The word comes from the Latin scrupulum, a sharp stone, implying a stabbing pain on the conscience.  To “have scruples” would mean that one has a conscience and that one knows right from wrong.  But more than that, for the definition states that scruples are “An uneasy feeling arising from conscience or principle that tends to hinder action.”  And in my book, if you have scruples, you don’t just keep them in a box.  Rather than hinder action, you let loose.  It’s one thing to KNOW right from wrong, and another to actually do something about it.

This brings us to yesterday’s post.  I discussed people who paid forward in our store, and compared them to those who exhibit bad (selfish) behavior.  They had scruples in spades, and took action to help others.  I suggested we all do more of it.  And that we were actually doing it, and that this also had to do with the current battle to legalize online poker.  And I never explained that.

So now I will.  Explain.  And by explaining, I hope you’ll collect all your scruples and keep taking action.

About two months ago I first caught wind of Sheldon’s Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Online Gambling.  No stranger to the idea of gambling interests fighting other gambling interests, I found it curious that he seemed to be playing the “morality card” in that preventing online gambling (actually, stopping what was already legal in three states with more on the way) was the “moral” thing to do.  The Coalition has used the over-worn themes of underage gambling, money laundering for terrorists, and overreaching government intervention (irony, anyone?) in their quest to prove that “Internet gambling takes gambling too far…(and) crosses the line of responsible gaming.” 

Whatever the hell that means.

Since then I have written (mostly) about this campaign, and the campaign AGAINST it, in this blog.  That’s unusual.  I’m usually not a “get involved” or “political” kind of guy.  I often feel as if I am just one person and not a very powerful one at that.  I’ve gotten involved by reading (lots) of other posts from many who feel just like me.  I’ve reposted and retweeted posts condemning the latest Adelson ad or stupid statement, or better, responses from politicians and the PPA and the new Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection.  I’ve added new FB friends and Twitter followers (and followed and friended dozens more) to keep up with the latest developments.

And so have many more.  That’s cool.  People are taking:
  • a stand against a ban of online poker,
  • a stand against rich politicians buying their way into favorable legislation,
  • a stand against moneyed interests in government, and
  • a stand against government prohibition.
But what’s even better is that those who are taking these stands are coming from every spectrum of the political circle.  Left, right, and center.  Conservative and Liberal.  Those who favor strong government and those who prefer more laissez-faire oversight.  I never thought the day would come when I would agree with something John Stossel said (of course, he was arguing with Bill O’Reilly, so what chance did I have?).  And imagine me, of all (progressive) people agreeing with Tea Partiers and columnists for TownHall.  Of course, some of my favorite Liberals feel this way, too.  As do many who actually are IN the gaming industry.

So I feel exceptionally good about all of this.  Yes, we’re in a battle, but we’re fighting! We’re together!  We’re not people with various labels like Liberal or Conservative or whatever…we’re advocates for online poker and we’re mad as hell and we’re actually doing something about it.

Just one more thing to do, and as of today, I’ve done it.

I mentioned a few months ago in a post to Rich Muny of the PPA that I would sign up as soon as I got my next royalty check.  I was serious.

If you haven’t joined PPA, don’t wait.  Lotsa benefits. 

It’s the one more thing you can do.

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