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Cincinnati Casino Construction Site Is Pit Of Sin—Finished Product Will Be Den Of Sin

This pit of sin is the casino under construction on the outskirts of Downtown Cincinnati. I took this picture earlier this week.

This will be the first casino in Cincinnati.

This casino is a perfect addition to Cincinnati in a time when the only growth industries in our nation appear to be copper theft and selling stolen goods on online auction sites.

I’m sorry that voters authorized this casino.  It seems to me to signify a sense of hopelessness that jobs can be no longer be created in Ohio and the nation from any worthwhile form of commerce.

Gambling preys on the poor.

Right now this is a pit of sin. After it is constructed, I will take another picture on one of my Cincinnati visits and refer to it as a den of sin.

(Photo copyright 2011 Neil Aquino.)

September 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 4 Comments

Quit While You Are Ahead

The picture you see is of River Downs racetrack in Cincinnati, Ohio.

No races are being run at River Downs today.

However, in the clubhouse you can watch and bet on races taking place at other tracks across the U.S.

I made some bets this afternoon. One bet, a boxed trifecta on a race run at Gulfstream Park in Miami, was a winner. It paid $51.

This put me $20 ahead for the afternoon. I left the track at that point becuase all cliches are correct.

The cliche I followed today says “Quit while you are ahead.”

This is what I did.

Now, I can spend that $20 on booze, chili dogs, and lottery tickets.

February 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Fetching Pin-Up Says Roll The Dice & Vote Your Hopes In Houston—Despite Locke, Green & Lovell

I promise—This is my last pre-election post about Houston City Elections.

Thank you to regular readers from outside of Houston for sticking with me as I write about his stuff.

I’ve got somewhat of a voice around here—Maybe— so I guess I should use that voice.

Runoff Election Day is Saturday, December 12.

Despite tax-dodger Green, gay-basher Locke and vindictive crud Lovell—All Democrats—We can still vote on Election Day and try to retain some hope about the future of Houston.

Without hope,what do we have?

Here are my endorsements for Election Day.

The theme of my endorsements post is gambling.

What is a bigger gamble than democracy?

December 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Are The Democrats Running In Houston City Election Runoffs?—Who Can A Liberal Support?

Who are the Democrats running in our Houston City Elections?

Runoff elections for Houston are taking place. Early voting ends on December 8 and General Election Day is December 12.

It is important to know who is running as a Democrat for our Houston city offices.

In this way, you can see who will do the least harm once elected.

This is not a hopeful view. It is not a 100% accurate view. But it is true enough.

Urban voters know they vote for Democrats time after time, and that our cities continue to decline.

While much of this has to do with factors beyond the control of city government, where is the effective advocacy and action on behalf of our cities?

Where can a liberal turn?

Where can someone who could use some help from government turn, when Democrats running for city office call themselves “fiscal conservatives” and talk about taxes as if they are the plague?

While I understand why candidates want the police endorsement, there are other things that matter in Houston as well. There is more to the public welfare than fear of crime.

Here are the Citywide races on the Houston ballot—


In our Houston Mayoral run-off, both Gene Locke and current City Controller Annise Parker are Democrats.

Mr. Locke consorts with gay-bashers and I don’t see how he can be trusted to do the right thing in any regard. Bigotry towards one is bigotry towards all.

Ms. Parker is, I think, a decent person who has run, in many regards, a shameless campaign.

You have to have a belief in the future unless you are just going to sit around and hope 2012 is for real—So Ms. Parker has my vote. She strikes me as smart and at least aware of a course of action that would benefit Houstonians of all economic classes.

I guess we’ll roll the dice and find out about Ms. Parker if she is able to win the election.

(Below–Rolling the dice in an 1840 painting called The Last Blow by Charles Robert Leslie.)

City Controller

The Democrat in this race is current City Councilmember Ronald Green. He is running against a Republican.

Mr. Green has not paid all his taxes. I’m not going to vote for a City Controller who has not paid all his taxes.

Mr. Green says is seeking to resolve the matter. I’m sure he is seeking to resolve the matter.

I wish Mr. Green had resolved the matter long before election season.

Not much is more central to how Democrats see the world than using tax dollars to enhance the public condition. I expect little-to-nothing of Republicans. I expect Democrats to pay up on taxes owed.

I won’t be voting for the Republican in this race. I’m going to leave this ballot space blank and let the chips fall where they may.

( Below–The chips are on the table. His Station And Four Aces from 1903 by Cassius Coolidge.)

Council At-Large # 1-

Real estate agent  Karen Derr is the Democrat in this race. I’ve met Ms. Derr twice and we really did not hit it off. That is my problem. No doubt I was difficult.

Ms. Derr’s web home says she is for ethics and against crime. This is good to know.

Ms. Derr  appears to be a successful hard-working woman. I’ll spin the wheel on Election Day and hope Ms. Derr has a measure of longterm vision to go along with her day-to-day qualities.

(Below–These folks are spinning the wheel in early 19th-century Europe.)

Council At -Large #2

Both incumbent Sue Lovell and challenger Andrew Burks are Democrats. Ms. Lovell has offered up four years of uninspiring service, but Mr. Burks is not really a credible alternative.  Mr. Burks runs for council every two years and this year lucked into a runoff he has little chance to win based on the first round of voting.

This will be Ms. Lovell’s last term on Council under the current term limits law. It would be great to hear a bit more from Ms. Lovell in this last term on behalf of people often left out at Houston City Hall.

(Here is some disturbing late information about Ms. Lovell. She has been helping a Republican in his effort to win against Jolanda Jones for At-Large # 5. Why must these people do this kind of stuff?)

( Below—In a two-horse race, somebody has got to win. John Herring’s Great Match (The Flying Dutchman and Voltigeur.) From the 1850’s.)

Council At-Large # 5—

Jolanda Jones is the Democratic incumbent in a tough race against a Republican.

I’m going to vote for Ms. Jones. She stresses in her campaign that she is an advocate for all people and not just the privileged.

Is she?

Who knows?

You can’t go by what they tell you— But you can’t leave the process to others when you have your own voice.

My gut feeling is that Ms. Jones cares about people and makes some effort on Council to help folks. She sure is a lot better than her challenger.

(Below–The People! The masses looking to enter Toronto’s Dufferin Racetrack in 1908.)

Houston’s municipal electorate is more affluent than the city as whole.

It is the concerns of this electorate that Houston politicians seek to address.

The fact remains, however, that many in Houston are playing for their last dollar.

These folks, as well as all people of Houston, should be on the agenda at Houston City Hall.

(Below–Gambling With Their Cotton Money. From 1939. Picture taken by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm  Security Administration.)

December 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If Legalized Gambling Will Cure Our Ills, Why Is Unemployment In Nevada 13.2%?

If legalized gambling is the cure to all our ills, why does Nevada have an unemployment rate of 13.2%?

(Above—Nevada’s Cathedral Gorge State Park.)

The national unemployment rate is 9.7%. Nevada is second in the nation in unemployment after Michigan.

There has to be some other solution as to how we will find work in the so-called new economy. We can’t just have working people losing money gambling, and casino and other gambling employees relying on the fleecing of fellow working people.

Here is information about unemployment rates around the nation from the Labor Department.

September 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 4 Comments

Ohio Putting Slots In Racetracks Is A Lousy Idea

Trying to hit the trifecta on the first race at Suffolk Downs was a mistake. I made this foolish wager watching Suffolk on simulcast from Cincinnati’s River Downs.

Gambling hardly ever works out. Despite this fact, the State of Ohio is trying to add 24 hour slot machines to Ohio racetracks. The state hopes this move will gain revenue.

More likely what will happen is that any revenues gained by slots played by poor folks will be offset, by a failure to enact progressive tax policies that would mandate the wealthy to pay a fair share.

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Casino Gambling—The Opportunistic Infection

Not surprisingly, with Galveston, Texas a long way from recovery after Hurricane Ike, casino gambling is on the table for the island.

Here is Dolph Tillotson, President and Publisher of the Galveston County Daily News, writing in favor of casino gambling. 

Many business owners in Galveston are hoping that casino gambling is part of the future.

For this gambling to be allowed in Galveston, it would have to be allowed in Texas in the first place.

Above you see staphylococcus aureus. It is the most common cause of staph infections. About 20% of people carry this bacteria. It does not kill in most cases. Though it can kill. For the most part, it causes a variety of troubles for the victim that can range anywhere on the scale from major to minor.

Staphylococcus aureus will do it’s damage when you give it a chance. It takes advantage of wounds and disease. It’s the cause of opportunistic infection.

Casino gambling is the same way. It moves in when there is no more hope of an economy producing anything of real value. Or when local  or state governments cannot or will not raise enough tax money to provide basic services. It sees its opportunities and it takes them. It is always waiting for its chance.

In the case of Galveston, casino gambling finds opportunity in the wake of a hurricane, and as the island’s largest employer, the U. of Texas Medical Branch, slashes thousands of jobs.

In honesty, because I don’t see another option, I’d favor at least considering this gambling in Galveston. I don’t have another solution to help people in Galveston find work. Nobody is going to help them. The liars who comprise the U. of Texas Board of Regents are doing everything possible to hurt the island for who knows what reason. 

I have moral objections to casino gambling—Yep! I sure did get married at a casino—and moral views have every place in politics and policy. (More public policy questions than we realize are moral questions. How much tax money we raise and how we spend that money are moral questions in many respects.)

Yet though I think casino gambling preys on those least able to afford it, and that it is a lousy way to fill the public coffers, it seems at this point the people of  Texas and Galveston should vote on the issue. Galveston will no doubt talk about regulating the casinos, but when they move in the people will lose control of their city government.  Though since this little city of 50,000 has no control over hurricanes, of course, or over UTMB,  what does it really matter?

Maybe I’m being pragmatic here. Or maybe I’m just fatigued trying to think about what will serve as a solution to help what I view as the most interesting and enjoyable place to visit in all Texas. If somebody has a better idea I’d like to hear it.

I’m certain the people of Galveston are very fatigued right now. I’m certain fatigue makes one more vulnerable to the type of opportunistic infection that casino gambling represents in any community that has run out of better and more hopeful choices.   

(Below—Galveston is vulnerable in many respects.)

January 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Global Financial Panic Be Damned—I’m Big Time

Cutting back due to the global financial panic makes you a sucker. Take it from me, a player, you can live big time all the time.

Just last night I had a $16 glass of scotch and took a $10 spin of a roulette wheel.

Here in Cincinnati, on my Thanksgiving blogging break, I was with my friend, who I’ll call “Kate” (That is her real name.), and we took a ride.

First, we went to the famous Palm Court room in the Downtown Hilton. (Photo above.)

I decided I’d like to order the second glass of scotch I’ve ever had. The waiter made a suggestion I followed ( I’m clever that way.) When we got the check, we saw I had enjoyed a $15.75 glass of scotch.  Just think how much it would have been if they had charged me for all the ice in that glass. The scotch was a 12 year old Macallans. (If that’s lousy stuff ,please don’t tell me.)

I’ve never had a $15.75 glass of anything. However, having nothing to fear but fear itself, I had this luxury last night even as the world collapses around us.

It’s all okay. My father had gave me $20 right before I went out last night. Just because you’re 41 doesn’t mean you can’t take a handout from your father. A player never passes up the big score.

Next up Kate and I got in my rented Ford Focus–I may own a Japanese car but I pledge to always rent American–and we drove on down River Road.

Harrison tomb.JPG

I had planned to take Kate to see (photo aboveWilliam Henry Harrison’s tomb. ( A player knows American history like the back of his or her hand.) But it was dark and I guess I drove past it. Before we knew it we had crossed over into Indiana. (Your best friends are the people who will follow you to even William Henry Harrison’s tomb at 10:30 PM on a 35 degree night. If you have a friend like that, be sure to treat them well.)

Lawrenceburg, Indiana (photo below) , just over the Ohio-Indiana line, has a casino. It’s on a so-called boat that goes nowhere. The boat is on the Ohio River. I thought maybe I could go to the casino and win back my dad’s $20. Having spent the money on scotch the first time, I thought I could win the cash back and possibly take up smoking with it the second time around.

Lawrenceburg from the air, looking northeast

I told Kate I wanted to go in and try the roulette wheel. We went in and saw that the wheel cost a minimum of $10 to play. (You can tell my wife I was with Kate, but please don’t tell her about the $10 roulette wheel.)

I made my $10 bet on the number 22. The number 2 was the winner. A player knows when to quit. Kate and I left.

On the way back, Kate and I talked about just how many people were at that casino at 11 PM on a Tuesday night. The casino was, as casinos can be, depressing. 

No matter. A player doesn’t let other people’s troubles get him down. I’m going to hit up dad for the $10 I lost on the roulette wheel and go buy some lottery tickets.

November 26, 2008 Posted by | Cincinnati | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photo Essay In Favor Of Voting

Hugo Chavez does it ( Regardless of if he is sincere or not)

People have been doing it for a long time–

And, yes, sometimes it is meaningless—

Yet often the right to vote has come at a high cost ( Blacks voting in New Orleans after the Civil War.)

So if you live in a primary state why not take a spin of the wheel tomorrow—

And cast a ballot.

March 3, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Elections, Politics | , , , , , | 1 Comment