8824 NE Russell St.
Portland OR 97220

Black Lamb

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A losing proposition

The state is destroying families by the thousands.

February 1st, 2012

BY GREG ROBERTS

I keep glancing at my office door, wondering when the state-sponsored prostitutes will show up and start the sting. One of these girls, the under-age daughter of a recent Miss Venezuela, is sure to present a severe test of will as she flings her sequined robe into a corner and jumps into my lap. I’ll have to push her naked little ass away or be arrested by the state, then bankrupted by the courts and crooked lawyers.

So far today I’ve been lucky. The only visitors have been a UPS driver and a propane salesman. You think I’m delusional? Hell no, the state is busily engaged in destroying people every day. It’s big business. If the state’s transgressions with gambling are any indicator, it’s only a matter of months before the prostitute sting hits every household.


The state lures thousands to their doom in poker parlors and casinos. Dummies in busses and Ford Tauruses are brainwashed by lottery ads on TV, radio, and billboards, causing them to pull into crappy loncherias where they munch on mystery meat and hook up to a lotto machine that drains them of every penny.

Do I personally know people who have been ruined by the Oregon Lottery? Of course. Right now a seventy-year-old family member is on the verge of losing her beautiful home because of this state-sanctioned atrocity. She won’t live long enough to pay off her gambling debts unless a miracle body-transplant procedure is suddenly discovered that will make us all Methuselahs.

Charles Dickens would tear out his moustache contemplating the injustice of this system, in which the state uses heavy advertising to lure the rustics to their ruin in the gaming parlors, where their chances of success are worse than those of rough-skinned newts crossing a four-lane highway on a Friday night.

“Let the good times roll!” says the radio ad, hundreds of times a day, every day of the week. Advertising is geared to geezers who like Harleys, Elvis, and surf-and-turf. They roll high for the weekend, then crash like the ninety-year-old World War Two pilot driving a Buick Electra into a Seven-Eleven. Bloated, loaded, and broke, they roll home on gasoline fumes because the credit card has been sucked drier than a cockroach crushed in the construction of the Colosseum.

Can you think of a more depressing sight than an old couple drinking themselves to death in a trailer park in the freezing fog in February because the Oregon Lottery took all their money? I can’t, and I’ve seen Latin American slums where people were living in cardboard boxes and cooking cats in hubcaps. But they had no credit card debt and were smiling in the sunshine.

To be fair, I admit that some have sometimes won in this brutal enterprise. My mother-in-law won $25,000 thirty years ago. She generously handed out money to her family, and even I ran out and bought an Orvis CFO fly reel for fifty-two bucks, one that I still fish with today. I guess you could argue that the state lottery was spreading joy all over the world, because an Englishman at a metal lathe in Alnwick cranked out that reel, got paid, and maybe had a Dickens kind of goose for Christmas.

But that’s like saying Hitler was cool because of all the VW Beetles he provided. There’s that little matter of the trade-off. My mother-in-law went nutty over her big win and started playing harder than ever. I’m sure she eventually spent far more than the 25K, so in retrospect, it would have been better if she had never won at all. And yes, she did lose her house to back taxes. I couldn’t help her — I was barely able to make my own $450 mortgage payment — so the state devoured her little house like a sturgeon sucking up a salmon egg. But hey, not to worry. The Indigent Housing Authority, or whatever the hell it's called, put her on the twelfth floor of a nice Cuban-style apartment building. Nice as Cabrini Green, without the hassle of young people with switchblades.

And housekeeping chores almost disappeared because the apartment had the square footage of a Cadillac Escalade. No more gardening either, except for a couple of roses in pots on the communal terrace, a shred of a reminder to these poor kulaks that they once had land and crops.

Funny, isn’t it, that Michael Vick’s gambling lust put dogs in danger and made him the most hated man in America for a year? And yet the state-sponsored gambling racket systematically destroys human families by the thousands, and nobody says anything. We should at least have the debate. If I’m lucky enough to win the drawing for a Methuselah body, I may contribute. Look for my paper in Transactions of the Cascadia Speculation Society, Vol. LXXXVI, No. 13, Feb. 2278. •

Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Gambling Issue, Roberts | Link to this Entry

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