A post by Steve Chapman on Reason magazine's web site begins like this:
The other day, a citizen went before a House committee and urged its members to stop their burdensome interference with her business. "At its most basic level," said Annie Duke, "the issue before this committee is personal freedom, the right of individual Americans to do what they want in the privacy of their homes without the intrusion of government."
I know what you're expecting: At that point, the politicians all had a good laugh and told her to get lost so they could get back to meddling in people's lives.
But no. Not only did they hear out the winner of the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, they did exactly what she suggested. The committee voted to lift the federal ban on Internet poker and other online gambling, while approving a measure to tax and regulate it.
It's a well-written piece, though, I think, ultimately misguided in concluding that this bill is designed to promote "more freedom and less government," as the Mr. Chapman claims, and I submitted a comment to that effect. Still worth a read, though. I especially liked this zinger:
It's easy to forget that in the old days, opponents denounced casinos for luring bettors into dimly lit bunkers where they would fall victim to card sharps, leggy waitresses, and rivers of booze. Now the same opponents suggest that Luxor Las Vegas is far safer than that den of vice you call home.