COLUMN: Gambling, the Constitution, Yanny, Pot and Psychopaths

Harry Caines contributes a weekly column to CacheValleyDaily.com. Harry is a resident of Logan and an alumnus of Utah State University. He can be reached via email at hacaines@gmail.com. His column is a work of opinion, and does not reflect the views of Cache Valley Daily, the Cache Valley Media Group, or its employees.

“You should never tell a psychopath they’re a psychopath. It upsets them.”

— from the television show “Killing Eve”.

So much is going on. How do I cover a ton of subjects in a single column? I just figured it out. I will compose small blurbs on a few different issues. I will refer to them as random thoughts.

Let’s get to it.

— This week, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a federal law prohibiting states from regulating gambling on sporting events. Currently, that is only legal in Nevada.

This was a just decision. Preventing the individual states from making money from a personal vice is not the federal government’s job. Yes, gambling is addictive; but so is religion. Any chance that will be outlawed?

I might dedicate an entire column to this subject in the next few weeks, so I only wish to tackle this issue on one front now.

On the day this column is to be published, I have plans to visit Idaho with a friend. After our planned hike, we might stop by the gas station that is located only a few hundred yards north of the Utah border. We will buy a good six pack of beer, or two. If the Powerball lottery rises again I may buy a ticket, or two.

I give Idaho my money because they offer me the chance to gamble as well as buying quaffable, high quality beer more readily. Utah does not.

Utah is letting revenue they can tax go elsewhere. And now that states can cloak themselves in the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution regarding sports gambling, this may allow neighboring states more chances to pull Utahns across the border for lucrative visits. And all Utah can do in response is raise taxes.

More on this soon.

— When I scribed a column a few weeks ago ripping into the Mormon Church for opposing legislation that would legalize medical cannibis in the state of Utah, I knew the story would need a follow-up.

This week, me and my son received a letter offering fake information about the evils of medical marijuana, as well as embellishments regarding purported vagaries regarding the proposal. I assume that both of us were the victims of this falsehood because we signed the petition asking for this initiative to be placed on the ballot.

Inside the envelope was a prepaid envelope addressed to the Cache County Clerk and a form for me to fill out asking me to remove my name from the petition.

Two things:

Firstly, never give me a prepaid envelope. That usually ends badly for someone. I mailed the form in with three words emblazoned in red letters that stated “MAKE WEED LEGAL”.

Secondly, the right to petition is guaranteed to every American in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. By asking me to remove my name, not only is this shady group advocating for sick people to continue suffering from ailments smoking weed could alleviate, but they also are requesting that I voluntarily forfeit my American-born rights.

Allow me to finish this section with a syllogism.

  1. Medical cannabis can be made legal with a petition.
  2. Petitioning is a right granted in the U.S Constitution.
  3. Supporting the legalization of pot is an act of American patriotism.

— Since I have already discussed the First and Tenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, I should continue the theme with a quick hot take on the Second Amendment.

The National Rifle Association named Oliver North as their new president. North was once convicted for his willing participation of selling illegal arms to Iran, which was a state sponsor of terrorism at the time. This conviction was later reversed.

Still, the NRA, in an attempt to be the voice of responsible gun ownership, has picked as their symbolic figurehead a man that admitted to giving guns to a country that wanted nothing more than to kill Jews and Americans.

My brain hurts trying to make sense of this.

— Why is this Laurel-Yanny debate a thing? The voice says “laurel.” The man who said the word stated he said “laurel.” If you listen to that recording and hear the word yanny (Yanny?), I think your hearing has diminished from continuous playback of Yanni.

Americans argue over the dumbest things.

— Was it really four years ago that HBO aired the first season of “True Detective”? I still stand in awe of the brilliance of this show, which helped propagate the relatively new television niche known as the “limited series.”

Because the greatness of this show still resonates with me, I pretty much have avoided picking up new shows since. Nothing can compare…until now.

BBC America has caught my attention with the show “Killing Eve”. The show revolves around an American intelligence agent working for the British government trying to track down a Russian assassin of dubious sanity. The two women quickly become obsessed with each other.

This show is not nearly as dour or philosophical as “True Detective”, but is still great because the wry humor and stellar acting makes every scene worth watching at least twice. Funny, intense and acted perfectly, this show is a must watch for anyone that likes spy thrillers with a macabre wit.

— And finally, allow me to segue from psychopathic female assassins on television to actual psychopaths.

An Arizona woman named Jacqueline Ades made news last week when she was arrested for stalking a man she had only went on one date with. While she followed the traditional modus operandi of stalkers by breaking into the man’s house and showing up at his work, it was the fact that she had sent this man 65,000 texts that made this a national story.

Among the texts she sent that earned her the politically incorrect moniker of “crazy chick” were ones where she said she would wear his body parts and bathe in his blood.

Meh. I’ve known worse.

And on that note, it is time for me to head up to Idaho and give them my money for things Utah denies me. I love me some Idaho!

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