Is Gambling the Economic Prescription We've Been Looking For?

The reigning American casino havens, Las Vegas and Atlantic City, are feeling the pinch in this frosty economic climate. So why does the rest of the normal world want to legalize gambling?

Generally, American states are allowed to set their own gambling policies and the boost to state coffers gambling provides is not lost on legislators. Delaware and Pennsylvania are waging a small war over the market for slot machines; Delaware had them first but saw their popularity wane when Pennsylvania opened parlors in 2006. Montana is one of the rare states that allows betting on sports. Oregon did as well until they ended their $25 million sports lottery program in 2007 amid threats from the NBA and NCAA.

Getting wind of the $1.1 billion Pennsylvania’s seven casinos generated between January 1 and March 15 of this year, Ohio is weighing a casino ballot proposal. But the big news is the federal lawsuit filed against the Justice Department to overturn the national ban on sports betting. Filed in Newark, the suit lists U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder among the defendants and maintains that the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is unconstitutional because it allows special privileges to the four states--Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon--that allow sports betting.

Plaintiff and New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak claims the law deprives his state of $100 million in annual tax revenue. Not surprisingly, a number of high-ranking legislators, including Governors Jon Corzine of New Jersey and Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, are exploring taxes on everything from sports betting to video poker. And regulating industries as contentious as gambling often require much more than luck.

Russia sends its first android to space

The Russian-built FEDOR was launched on a mission to help ISS astronauts.

Photos by TASS\TASS via Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • Russia launched a spacecraft carrying FEDOR, a humanoid robot.
  • Its mission is to help astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
  • Such androids can eventually help with dangerous missions likes spacewalks.
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Why Secular Humanism can do what Atheism can't.

Atheism doesn't offer much beyond non-belief, can Secular Humanism fill the gaps?

Photo by mauro mora on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Atheism is increasingly popular, but the lack of an organized community around it can be problematic.
  • The decline in social capital once offered by religion can cause severe problems.
  • Secular Humanism can offer both community and meaning, but it has also attracted controversy.
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this incredibly rich machinery – with Antonio Damasio

Picking up where we left off a year ago, a conversation about the homeostatic imperative as it plays out in everything from bacteria to pharmaceutical companies—and how the marvelous apparatus of the human mind also gets us into all kinds of trouble.

Think Again Podcasts
  • "Prior to nervous systems: no mind, no consciousness, no intention in the full sense of the term. After nervous systems, gradually we ascend to this possibility of having to this possibility of having minds, having consciousness, and having reasoning that allows us to arrive at some of these very interesting decisions."
  • "We are fragile culturally and socially…but life is fragile to begin with. All that it takes is a little bit of bad luck in the management of those supports, and you're cooked…you can actually be cooked—with global warming!"

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