Monday, June 29, 2009

Gambling & The Great Depression, Then & Now

Excerpt from article, "Greater Depressions: Social and Behavioral Trends of Economic Collapse"

By Kathy McMahon, Psy. D.;

The Great Depression led to a much greater legalization of gambling. The antigambling mood changed as tremendous financial distress gripped the country, especially after the stock market crash of 1929. Legalized gambling was looked upon as a way to stimulate the economy…In 1933, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, and California legalized parimutuel betting. The California Legislature adopted a statute in 1933 referred to as the Horse Racing Act. The statutes took effect upon adoption by the voters of an amendment to the Constitution in June of 1933. During the 1930’s, 21 states brought back racetracks….Nevada legalized most forms of gambling in the State in 1931.

Lottery sales are up. Of the 42 states with lotteries, 22 set sales records last year, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. They’ll do even better in 2009. But will the gamblers?

The suicide rate among compulsive gamblers is more than 20 times higher than in the general population, according to the crisis center. As during the Great Depression, some people facing financial troubles (and State Governments as well) turn to gambling as a possible salvation. In fact, those who help with compulsive gambling problems are seeing an increase in requests for help. Calls to the 1-800 BETS OFF helpline have increased 41 percent from FY 2002 to FY 2008.

Article from "PeakOilBlues," a wonderful Psy-Fi (psychology & finance) blog where Angsty Americans go; see you there or be square!
Click on title above for full article;

Who They Are;

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Another Gimmick by the horse-racing industry to broaden their fan base, and, (wouldnt you know it) to get their gambers some tax breaks.

Click on title above to see a petition for "No Tax Breaks for Gamblers"


The mission of the Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association, Inc., (ThoroFan) is to foster the growth of the Thoroughbred racing industry by providing racing fans with an organization that will actively support their interests.


ThoroFan’s goals are to retain existing fans and develop new ones through education, membership benefits and communicating the voice of the fan to the racing industry. We aspire to enhance the enjoyment of racing, and knowledge of the sport by developing handicapping skills, providing a clearer path to ownership and reporting on a wide range of issues that are of interest to today’s fan. We leverage our efforts through cooperation with other organizations in the Thoroughbred community.


The Thoroughbred racing fan is the ultimate customer of the sport and industry. Without fan support there would be no races, racehorses, horsemen, owners, track operators or breeding farms. The fan is critical to Thoroughbred racing.

Each fan, regardless of level of participation in the sport, needs to have his or her concerns identified and supported if Thoroughbred racing is to prosper.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kentucky News: Gov gets a new blog, video gambling & more...

News briefs from around Kentucky at 4:58 a.m. EDT
Ky. governor starts blog
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — First it was Twitter, now Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is going up with a blog.

The 64-year-old Democrat launched his blog Monday. Beshear says it will help Kentuckians stay updated on what's new.

Beshear says now's the best time to start the blog because he recently called the General Assembly into a special session to begin next Monday. The governor wants lawmakers to pass legislation addressing the state's estimated $1 billion budget shortfall and to legalize slot machines at race tracks.

The governor also wants lawmakers to pass economic development tax incentives and to create an authority to oversee construction of bridges between Kentucky and Indiana.

Beshear already had a Twitter account and gives weekly addresses on YouTube.



Ky. racing commission to discuss gambling
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is scheduled to discuss a proposal to allow video gambling at tracks.

The commission's agenda says it will take up whether to support Gov. Steve Beshear's call for lawmakers to consider the proposal during a special legislative session that begins Monday.

Beshear called a special session so lawmakers could consider legislation aimed at relieving the state's estimated $1 billion shortfall in the next fiscal year. He later added the gambling proposal to the agenda.

The Democratic governor who campaigned on a promise to expand gambling says a state known for the Kentucky Derby and its majestic race horses is in danger of losing the equine industry without additional gambling revenue.


Auditors question TVA shoreline deals with wealthy

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Wealthy and influential people seeking private lakeshore access to the Tennessee Valley Authority's 11,000 miles of Tennessee River system shoreline appeared to receive preferential treatment, according to an audit released Monday.

TVA Inspector General Richard Moore's 85-page report found no evidence that rules were deliberately broken, but said TVA managed the program "selectively and arbitrarily" often to the benefit of "the wealthy, the influential, or both."

Among those receiving approval for boat docks or waterfront access was U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., who until recently served on a House subcommittee with oversight of TVA, the nation's largest public utility.

The audit, pushed by publicity over Shuler's influence on a residential lake development near Knoxville in which he is an investor, focused on TVA's "maintain and grow" program under which it grants water-access rights to one piece of land in exchange for rights on another piece of land. The goal is to produce no net loss of public shoreline.

Moore worried the program, as it was run, may undermine TVA lakeshore management reforms adopted in 2006. The reforms for the first time set residential development limits on TVA lakes and rivers, ensuring the public could use at least 68 percent of its managed shoreline.

Others who were approved for private docks or water access were former TVA Chairman Bill Sansom of Knoxville and Charles Perry, the general manager of the Paris (Ky.) Board of Public Utilities — a TVA power distributor.


Governor, leaders to discuss special session
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's House is "poised" to vote on a plan to legalize video gambling at horse racing tracks throughout the state, Speaker Greg Stumbo said Monday night, stopping short of predicting its ultimate success.

Stumbo, a Prestonsburg Democrat, agreed with Gov. Steve Beshear that lawmakers should vote this summer on whether to allow tracks to operate video gambling machines — also called slots — that could generate additional money for Kentucky's horse industry.

Still, Stumbo said the plan lacked the "full support" among leaders in the Democrat-controlled House and debate would likely drag on more than a week.

"We don't have the full support," Stumbo said during an appearance on Kentucky Educational Television's Kentucky Tonight show broadcast from Lexington, Ky. "This is one of those bills that we're just telling our members to vote what they believe their conscience is. It's too important of a decision to really twist arms or do those sorts of things."

Stumbo, Beshear, a Democrat, and Senate President David Williams, a Burkesville Republican appeared together Monday night before the General Assembly's high-stakes special session set to begin next week. Beshear has called the legislature into a special session on June 15 to deal with an estimated $1 billion budget shortfall in the coming fiscal year, and a plan to legalize video gambling terminals at Kentucky's horse racing tracks.

The governor, a Democrat, also has ordered lawmakers to consider passing legislation authorizing new economic development tax incentives, and the creation of an authority to oversee construction of major bridges between Kentucky and Indiana.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Race Never Run: The Story of Witches Trail

Cross-posting for the Cause;

This isn't a sales pitch or a marketing piece; nor will it be considered
"headline news" by a worldwide reporter; it's a real story of a real horse – in
our care and on our watch. It is the real story of a 3 year old thoroughbred
full of life, a life that he may lose and here is his story.

Witch's Trail was bred to race, but he never raced. He never made it to the
starter gate, heard the roar of the crowd or lingered in the "Winner's Circle,"
he's a thoroughbred born to race, but he was betrayed.

Pure Thoughts answered a call from a man identifying himself as the trainer for
this horse. Allegedly he didn't know what was wrong with the horse and was
unable or unwilling to spend the money to have him diagnosed but it was apparent
he would not race. The woman who was supposedly rehabbing him had lost her farm
and this man was having " a rough meet at Tampa Bay Downs" and asked if we would
take this horse. When the truck arrived, no one was there, apparently the people
had moved the week before, no one to care for him; just Witch's Trail standing
alone with no one to even bid him luck or say goodbye.

When Brad Gaver, co-founder of Pure Thoughts off loaded Witch's Trail at our
farm, there was little evidence that the horse had received any type of rehab,
the horse could barely walk up the driveway… mind you a 3 year old horse in
training to race. Physically Witch's Trail appeared to need some weight and
needed his feet done so Brad trimmed his feet, put on a set of shoes to add
support and initially Witch's Trail seemed more comfortable, but our eyes knew
there was much more medically happening to this beautiful creature.

A few days later our vet came out to the farm, and it was a horrible afternoon.
Witch's Trail was diagnosed with Wobbles/ cervical vertebra spinal cord
compressive disease. In addition, he was diagnosed with a left rear tarsal
valgus deformity with clinical bone spavin swelling. He was more than likely
born with the latter and most possibly living with wobbles for a while. The true
story of this report is the pain this horse was in – in training to race, left
in a pasture, no hoof care, lame on all four legs – but a true thoroughbred –
stoic and brave – still willing to run his heart out for the humans who betrayed

Witch's Trail very well could lose the most important race– the race for his
life. No matter what the outcome, he will be kept out of pain and treated to his
favorite foods, carrots, apples, treats, baths, grooming and have legions of
volunteers loving on him for as long as he chooses. He really needs a miracle,
and we have truly seen miracles happen here before, evidenced by the productive
lives thousands of our rescues now enjoy. He isn't ready to die – he whinnies to
the babies; he is excited to watch the horses walk by; he is curious and
affectionate; he is still full of life.

This is a plea to save the life of a horse not ready to die. We are looking to
you the compassionate veterinarians, racing industry experts, organizations and
horse lovers nationwide in the equine community to be willing to take a chance
on this boy name Witch's Trail. To read updates on this boy please visit

We pray for a miracle and hope that someone who is reading this can rally up
some possibility and suggestions for a young thoroughbred, born to race and now
deserving to live as a horse. We could not humanely euthanize him yesterday; he
is not ready to say goodbye nor are we. Can you help?

Cheryl Hanna
Jennifer Swanson
Pure Thoughts Inc.
Thoroughbred Rehabilitation and Placement
Pure Thoughts Inc.
Horse & Foal Rescue
19181 Capet Creek
Loxahatchee, FL 33470

Monday, June 1, 2009

Watching a Late Night TV Show about TB Racing

..and what I have learned tonite.

It is 12:50 a.m. EST and I am watching a show on channel 48 (C-NBC) about horse-racing. I have just learned that a horse must be 3yrs old or under to be eligible to run in the derby. They were talking about the pressure owners are under to get their young horses ready to run in time. I am wondering why do they have to be so young? I read somewhere that back in the early days of TB racing, horses were run older and the races were longer. I read that the older horses run faster than the younger ones. So why are we forcing them to race so young? Of course, that is a rethorical question because we all already know the an$wer.