From PokerNewsDaily.com I learn that the terrorists hate us so much for our freedoms, they are now preventing us from using their online poker rooms.
SwitchPoker.com, a small independent online poker room, became a trailblazer this week, becoming the first internet poker room to accept Bitcoin as a valid currency for both deposits and withdrawals. Bitcoin is a unique currency, as it is purely virtual and does not require financial institutions to process transactions… It does not accept players from the United States.
What will the terrorists think of next?
The media are in a kerfuffle about a short-term egg shortage caused by Target and other supermarket chains dropping a major supplier, Sparboe Farms, following reports that workers at its production facilities abused chickens and failed to follow the company’s animal welfare policy. The revelations were punctuated by a graphic undercover video released by animal rights group Mercy for Animals, which showed workers stuffing chickens into cramped battery cages, pulling rotting carcasses out of cages, “torturing” birds by swinging them around by their legs, and so on. No matter how you feel about animal rights, it’s not pleasant to watch.
Sparboe, for its part, has shifted its damage control into overdrive, posting updates about steps it has taken to “rectify problems” and pointing out that it is the first egg supplier to receive USDA certification. Which, given these reports, provides some insight into the worth of government certifications.
I expect a government response will be forthcoming, and Sparboe may face fines and possibly a regiment of FDA inspectors swarming over its farms in the months to come. But anything the government can do in its enforcement role pales next to the punishment which can be meted out by the market. Even if millions of consumers haven’t suddenly adopted veganism in response to the video, they still have let their displeasure be known, and the result is that Sparboe has lost significant business and is now forced to reevaluate its practices in order to regain consumer trust. Which is exactly as it should be. No amount of regulatory oversight will prevent every problem in our food supply (this year has also seen the deadliest listeria outbreak, from tainted cantaloupe, since the 1920s), but with the ease with which information disseminates online, the market will help ensure such problems do not go unnoticed by consumers, who are then free to vote their conscience. If only the market was free to punish every business, no matter how large or small, for bad decisions and unethical practices.
Massachusetts fisherman Carlos Rafael pulled in what should have been a life-changing fish this week, but before he could unload it for a huge payday, his local chapter of ridiculous-rule-enforcers, A.K.A., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) enforcement division, took him down. (Whew! That was close.) You see, although Rafeal had filed all the appropriate paperwork to catch tuna, the behemoth in question was caught in his boat’s nets and not via rod and reel, as is specified, well, someplace. As a result, the authorities had no choice but to pinch the fish when Rafael’s boat returned to port. The expected $400,000 payday that could come from the sale of fish will very likely go into NOAA’s asset forfeiture fund. Nice racket. (Or, should that be, nice rod and reel?)
H/T: James Nellis
…cross-posted at LRCBlog.