June 12th, 2011 at 08:53am
We’ll start this week’s Sunday Bits on a sombre note. As you probably heard yesterday, rugby league commentator Ray “Rabbits” Warren has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He will undergo surgery after he calls the upcoming State Of Origin match. Here’s hoping for a successful surgery and a swift recovery. Ray’s commentary is not my cup of tea, however there can be no denying that he is the voice of rugby league, and any time he is absent from the airwaves, the sport is poorer for it.
(As an aside, I wonder if the Bacco|007 who wrote the linked article is the Bacco007 who left a few comments on this blog a few years ago?)
In other sport related matters, sporting bodies want control over what products betting agencies can sell.
Australia’s major sporting organisations are set to crack down further on spot betting within their sports with a veto on those types of bets to be written into their agreements with sports betting agencies.
The issue of spot or micro betting has been brought to the fore by the NRL betting scandal which has seen former Bulldogs prop Ryan Tandy charged over his alleged involvement in a betting scandal surrounding the first scoring play in an NRL match between the Bulldogs and the Cowboys late last season.
The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS), chaired by Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland, has completed a working paper which will see Australia’s seven major professional sports take co-ordinated action against possible corruption.
The adoption of a ‘right of veto’ in all agreements between individual sports and betting agencies was one of three recommendations submitted to federal sports minister Senator Mark Arbib when COMPSS met with him in Melbourne on Wednesday.
“The institution of nationally-consistent criminal legislation in relation to sports-betting-related cheating will ensure that illegal betting activities are uniformly punishable nationwide, creating a strong deterrent for such actions.” [James Sutherland said]
(h/t Bren O’Brien, Sportal.com.au)
Now this is something which I wholeheartedly disagree with. This whole thing is a way for sporting bodies to wash their hands of their responsibility to control the actions of their players by heaping the responsibility on to betting agencies, therefore limiting the ability of betting agencies to run their operations as they see fit, and punishing the sport fans by reducing their ability to test their expertise of the game by having a flutter on all manner of aspects of the sports. I’d go as far as to call this anti-competitive, and I’d definitely call the Victorian legislation anti-competitive.
The Victorian legislation, as it stands, requires betting agencies to reach an agreement with a sport before they can offer gambling products based on that sport. This is nuts. The two should have nothing to do with each other. If a betting agency wanted to run a market on how many words I would write on this blog on a given day, they should be free to do it without needing my permission. Betting agencies should be free to run markets on whatever they like, with obvious caveats in their rules preventing people involved in the activity from betting on the activity.
The sporting bodies should have nothing to do with the betting agencies, and should concentrate on running their sports, and controlling the actions of the people involved in the sport. Just as the betting agencies should have rules preventing people involved in the activity from betting on the activity, the sporting bodies should have rules in place which prevent people involved in the sport from betting on the sport under penalty of severance from the sport if the rule is broken.
There is no need for anti-competitive legislation and written agreements between the sports and betting agencies in order for this to happen.
It’s obvious why the sports want this legislation though. They know that without the legislation, the betting agencies would never agree to onerous restrictions on their trade and would simply not bother signing agreements and just continue with their business…and then the sporting bodies might have to take some responsibility for their employees.
The bizarre story of the week comes to us courtesy of Casey Hendrickson who points us to an article on MSNBC’s website (I’ll make an exception to the rule and allow the MSNBC link this time) about a man who was cited for disorderly conduct because he paid a bill.
A Utah man has been cited on a charge of disorderly conduct after paying for a disputed medical bill with 2,500 pennies.
The Deseret News of Salt Lake City reports Jason West went to Basin Clinic in Vernal on May 27 prepared to dispute an outstanding $25 bill.
Assistant Vernal Police Chief Keith Campbell says that after asking staff members whether they accepted cash, West dumped 2,500 pennies on the counter and demanded that staff count them.
Campbell says the incident upset staff because pennies were strewn about the counter and floor, and West’s action served “no legitimate purpose.”
Police later issued the 38-year-old West a citation for disorderly conduct. That carries a fine of as much as $140. Or 14,000 pennies.
(h/t Associated Press via MSNBC…that’s why the MSNBC link was allowed through; they didn’t write the article)
If I was in his shoes, I’d contest the citation as it is ridiculous to be fined for paying a bill with legal tender, and just as bizarre for a few coins falling on the floor to be considered “disorderly conduct”. I wonder if the staff at the medical centre have everyone charged with disorderly conduct for dropping coins on the floor? And if they don’t want to count the coins, perhaps they should use one of those wonderful machines which counts coins for them.
Speaking of Casey Hendrickson, the word on the street is that he will return to the airwaves in the not-too-distant future. I’ll keep you posted.
Completely changing the subject, and the man who has been at the centre of Washington controversy for well over a week for sending pictures of his personal namesake to minors, Anthony Weiner, is now being asked to resign by his Democratic colleagues, which is quite a turnaround considering that up until a day or so back they didn’t seem to see any need for him to step down, which probably says a bit about their own lack of ethics. Weiner, though, isn’t resigning, he’s just taking a leave of absence.
DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in a very rare sane moment, declared that “The behavior he [Weiner] has exhibited is indefensible and Representative Weiner’s continued service in Congress is untenable”. Here’s hoping that he does resign, and somebody decent takes his place.
It was quite amusing a bit over a month ago, before Andrew Bolt‘s Sunday political television show “The Bolt Report” started airing, to see people predominantly of the left declaring that Bolt’s show was a failure, that it was doomed, and that nobody is interested in the rantings of a right-wing extremist, especially one who doesn’t believe in man-made global warming and the “need” for a carbon dioxide tax. A number of the comparisons I saw at the time were with Glenn Beck‘s show on the FOX News Channel which had coincidentally had its end announced around that time. The claims were along the lines of “see, it’s been tried, the ratings didn’t support it, nobody was interested, and Beck was fired…therefore the Bolt show is doomed”.
This, of course, flied in the face of the facts that:
1) Glenn Beck was not fired, but decided to leave FOX and take his show online, something which will undoubtedly cost him a truckload of cash in the short term, but something which he obviously thinks will make him a lot more money in the long term than he would have otherwise made at FOX. Beck has a good track record of making money out of media endeavours, so this will probably go well for him as well.
2) Beck remains a FOX News contributor and will continue to produce occasional programs for them. FOX would not be doing this if he didn’t rate.
3) Beck was outrating the rest of the cable news channels in the 5pm timeslot by a long way.
4) Despite a concerted effort by left-wing criminal front group (they are, their legal tax status prevents them from being partisan, but they are unashamedly left-wing) Media Matters For America to make advertisers boycott Glenn Beck’s show, he still managed to attract many advertisers. It was funny to see people try this tactic after the first week of Bolt’s show.
So, a month or so down the line, we should probably check how all of this has turned out. Were the cries of “Bolt’s show is doomed because nobody will want to watch it” correct? Ummm, no, in fact they couldn’t have been more wrong. The Bolt Report is outrating both of the other free-to-air Sunday political shows (Insiders and Meet The Press), coming pretty close to outrating them combined on a couple occasions.
(h/t Australian Conservative and Oztam ratings)
Congratulations Andrew. Now if only we could get Southern Cross Ten to move (or drop, I don’t really care which) their music programming out of the way for the 10am edition of your show so that I can watch it live and don’t have to tape the 4:30pm replay and watch it after the football.
Speaking of Andrew Bolt, he’ll be the keynote speaker at the Institute of Public Affairs’ Freedom of Speech in Australia event on the 20th of June in Melbourne. The evening includes a video message from the great Mark Steyn and a few other speakers.
I’m flying down to Melbourne for the event and will be coming back the next day. Registrations for the night appear to still be open if you want to book your place (they’ll all be gone soon though). If you’re going to be there, feel free to say hello.
The IPA has also announced the dates for Chezch Republic President Vaclav Klaus’ speeches. Perth on the 22nd of July, Sydney on the 25th of July, Melbourne on the 28th of July, and Brisbane on the 1st of August.
I’m hoping to get to one of these (preferably Sydney) but I can’t be sure of my availability just yet.
And finally for today, something related to both Andrew Bolt and the topic about which Mr. Klaus will be speaking, the nonsense of man-made global warming. In case you missed it the other week, Andrew’s excellent interview with Professor Bob Carter about this dangerous nonsense.
And that’s all of the bits for this Sunday. Have a great day and a wonderful Queen’s Birthday tomorrow.
Entry Filed under: The Sunday Bits