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Monthly Archive for February, 2008

PATRICK ONLINE GAMBLING BAN ILL-FATED – NESSON “outrageous and ill-informed”

By Jim O’Sullivan

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, FEB. 26, 2008…. While his casino bill’s overall prospects remain far from clear, Gov. Deval Patrick’s bid to criminalize online betting appears especially imperiled, with the administration treating that provision as incidental.

Close observers of the upcoming gambling debate say the move to outlaw Internet gambling, with prison sentences of up to two years, could be a casualty. Administration officials concede that the ban is not central to the three-casino plan, which Patrick estimates could generate up to $450 million in annual state tax revenues.

Senate President Pro Tempore Stanley Rosenberg, designated by Senate President Therese Murray as her top adviser on gambling, called the ban “very, very difficult” to enforce. …

With considerable opposition in the House from Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, the bill’s path to passage is challenging. The state Republican Party said Tuesday it had not received a response to Monday’s letter requesting the State Ethics Commission investigate DiMasi’s golfing trips with potential casino developers.

Current federal law prohibits online gambling, but targets the institutions that handle the money and not the bettors themselves. Patrick’s bill does not explicitly provide for enforcement mechanisms.

A Harvard Law School professor who studies Internet gambling said that, in talks with administration and industry officials, he’s been unable to determine how the clause found its way into the bill.

“I’ve been talking to just about everybody I can talk to, and it is really interesting to get to the bottom of how this provision actually got into the bill,” said Charles Nesson, William Weld professor of law at Harvard Law. “You start out thinking that it’s the casino interests, because they’re really the guys that wrote the bill, and then it turns out that the principal guys that were at the hearing didn’t even know it was there.”

Patrick’s press secretary, Kyle Sullivan, called Nesson’s charge that lobbyists wrote the bill “outrageous and ill-informed.”

The criminalization effort also directly contradicts US Rep. Barney Frank’s effort to sanction online gambling. Frank, a Patrick political ally, has criticized the clause.

Industry experts say the Internet ban would sweeten the market for casino operators by eliminating one of the in-state gambling options that could drain the customer base of its potential. It was unclear how the provision’s removal would affect the proposal’s capability to bring revenue to state coffers.

Patrick’s chief of staff, Doug Rubin, said, “It’s something that we thought was useful, but we’re willing to talk about all that stuff.”

The administration last week hired a New Jersey gambling industry consulting firm to inspect the bill’s estimates. The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce has a separate study due within weeks.

Patrick’s point man on gambling, assistant secretary for policy and planning, is on unpaid leave, after being arrested for sexual battery in Florida.

Patrick’s legislation, which lawmakers expect to come up before the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies next month, creates an authority to regulate the gambling industry. But the bill holds no specific language for how to enforce the online wagering ban.

Rosenberg said, “That’s a very difficult provision to implement, because how do you control Internet services that can come from anywhere in the world?” …

Legislative officials said concern over the online betting measure was premature until after the House-controlled committee began the formal deliberative process by holding a hearing. A DiMasi spokesman said Friday that the committee was working to set a date and that the speaker remained “skeptical.”

The state’s current, legalized system of gambling does not permit Internet transactions. Lottery spokesman Dan Rosenfeld said Lottery officials’ analysis found that current law would allow for online wagering if the agency could ensure that all players were in Massachusetts. The Lottery Commission has no plans to establish an Internet betting system, he said, adding, “We’re keeping our options open.”

But online poker advocates, including Nesson and the Poker Players Alliance, are actively resisting the effort to criminalize what they say is a pastime and personal freedom that should be preserved.

“Right now because nobody wants to take credit for putting it in, there doesn’t seem to be anyone who would be significantly opposed to taking it out,” said Vin Narayanan, managing editor of Casino City, the industry publication.

After talking with casino developers Sheldon Adelson and Gary Loveman, Narayanan said, he’d concluded the provision’s origin was “a mystery to everyone.”

He said, “The thing is, it’s harder to undo things than to do things. Because it’s harder to undo things, it’s a fifty-fifty proposition. If this had been pre-mark-up, and word had gotten out that it had been in the bill, it would’ve been really easy to take it out.”

— END —

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Re: Casinos and games in education

thank you pablo. i will forward you an interesting story

On Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 6:02 PM, Pablo Baques wrote:

Hello Charlie.

My name is Pablo Baqués and I shared with you lunch at Berkman today.

I am interested in the CASINO bill from several angles.

One. I live in Newport, RI, where we have a vociferous group that makes opposition to casinos about 60% of their daily activities.

Two.Like you, I see many possible favorable outcomes from the study of games. I have authored myself a program called The Necklaces (read about it here), which, although not strictly an “outcome” game does rely on imagination and creativity to “win”.

Three, I am a history buff in my scarce spare time, and this struggle in Newport falls within my interest ( I love Newport, and would like to see it turn a little more liberal and less stuffy). And yes, I also want to learn more about these “earmarks”!

If I can find it, I would like to share with you a past edition (UNavailable on line, sorry…) of our very own Newport Daily News ( relating to a town meeting where the casiNO group expressed loudly their views…

Also, I wanted to thank you for making what seemed to have turned into a blank Tuesday at Berkman one of the most interesting and lively.

take care.

Pablo Baqués
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, BOSTON
Skype name: pbaques

when appropriate (in my judgment) to an open project and not sensitive (in my judgment) in terms of privacy, i may post email to my blog. all privacy requests respected.

To: lessig, larry – Subject: still in the game

i listened yesterday and watched your concession speech. while there was much to commend it, i felt there needed to be less and more, less down, more warmth and affirmative strategy. we need to reach out to jackie speier, see her smiling face, not just a locomotive.

larry, you formulated an excellent strategy to change congressional corruption: a stunning internet-sparked win by you and ccc attracting both local and national attention, even international, would have made ccc attractive for other candidates in future races because of ccc’s demonstrated capacity to deliver votes. okay, you misjudged the challenge and have decided not to run. but your strategy works even though you are not the one who wins with it. if you throw your energy into supporting jackie speier‘s election by a turnout in your district that so far exceeds what would otherwise be expected without support of ccc, that would make evident the potential strength of ccc for other candidates. your district would make a statement, led by their new congresswoman and their leading academic, backed by ccc and the interest and support you can raise. we can focus celebrity and intelligence on the april 8 election to express our message.

you don’t need to be the candidate.

don’t be down. though you are understandably disappointed at disengagement, no need.
a movement has started and this way we get to keep you as professor.



what are your thoughts when facing an opponent.
there is no opponent.

jackie speier – take the ccc challenge


will you agree that if we turn out a vote for you 15% higher than your expectation that you will adopt the CCC pledge


To: eon – Subject: kick-ass FCC event

Forwarded conversation


From: John Palfrey
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 5:53 PM
To: Staff List , faculty , Berkman Fellows
Cc: Tim Wu

Hi all:

Today at the Berkman Center was wild, and quite wonderful. The FCC
hearing on network management practices brought an overflow crowd to
Ames Courtroom. We heard — and our own Yochai (and great friends
former-HLS-student-now-bigtime-prof.. Tim Wu and
former-HLS-student-soon-to-be-prof. Marvin Ammori) participated in —
this crucial debate as it broke in real-time. It was terrific to see it
happen here, as part of Berkman@10.

What was not so obvious was the fact that we got an email about 2 weeks
ago from the Chairman’s office asking if we could host this event. The
work of Catherine, Colin, and literally the whole crew to pull off a
300+ person event with no notice and in the midst of lots of other
madness (web site relaunch, other events, Berkman@10 planning) was
breathtaking. I realize that this cost people around here sleep and
added to gray hairs and so forth. But, wow, your work paid off today —
to have that issue, and that energy, on our watch, in our midst. Many


John Palfrey
e: jpalfrey
p: 617-384-9132

From: William Fisher
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 6:00 PM
To: John Palfrey
Cc: Staff List , faculty, Berkman Fellows, Tim Wu

I want to add my thanks to John’s. It was an extraordinary event —
probably the best governmental hearing I’ve ever attended. The
combination of excellent panels and the freewheeling questioning by
the commissioners was very informative. Thanks to all for putting it
together — so well and so fast.


From: Yochai Benkler
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 6:59 PM
To: faculty @eon
Cc: John Palfrey, Staff List, faculty, Berkman Fellows, Tim Wu

Just to add my thanks. It was extraordinary to see how seamlessley this all
went, and with what enormous turnout (including what seemed to be the Comcast Cheerleaders Brigade…) and crisp conversation.


From: John Palfrey
Date: Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 7:36 AM
To: Staff , faculty , Fellows

From our friend Tim Wu:


—–Original Message—–
From: Tim Wu

Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 18:32:39
To:John Palfrey
Cc:Staff List ,faculty ,Berkman Fellows
Subject: Re: FCC event today


I doubt I can send a message to these lists, so could you forward?

Hi everyone Berkman

This is Tim Wu, once vaguely associated with Berkman. I felt the
Berkman center really did what it was invented for today –
congratulations for hosting such a kick-ass event.

The hearing was to my ears at least, riveting, and certainly much
better than the net neutrality shouting matches that are the
Washington DC staple. Much appreciation,


Tim Wu

when appropriate (in my judgment) to an open project and not sensitive (in my judgment) in terms of privacy, i may post email to my blog. all privacy requests respected.

To: eon – Subject:Fwd: congratulations and good luck in your run for Congress

Forwarded conversation


From: Larry Tribe
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 5:59 AM
Cc: jpalfrey, Elizabeth Warren , nesson, William Fisher , zittrain

Hey, Larry — What exciting news! I very much hope it works out. I’ll do what I can to support you, including coming to (and maybe co-hosting) the March 13 breakfast event for you in Cambridge. – Larry Tribe
From: Charles Nesson
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 6:22 AM
To: Larry Tribe
Cc:, jpalfrey, Elizabeth Warren , William Fisher , zittrain

when appropriate (in my judgment) to an open project and not sensitive (in my judgment) in terms of privacy, i may post email to my blog. all privacy requests respected.

From: Larry Tribe
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 7:08 AM
To: Charles Nesson

Charlie, this email contained no message. Did you mean to send me something?

From: Charles Nesson
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 7:58 AM
To: Larry Tribe

sorry. actually, i was thinking we should issue a press release announcing your support. i was about to ask your permission to do this and hit send instead of save by mistake. i’ve been blogging about it this morning and looking for other support. thanks for yours. the Change Congress strategy larry has adopted seems both practical and effective.

nice to see you in the square. you look fit. i hope you are well, considering all.
From: Larry Tribe
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 8:13 AM
To: Charles Nesson
Cc: Kathy McGillicuddy

Sure, a press release would be fine. I’d like to see the text first, of course. Good to see you in the Square too. Yup, I’m fitter than ever, brain tumor and all. Actually, I’ve gotten into the proton radiation treatments. Once I got past the idea of having my head stuffed inside a special “immobilization” mask that covers my nose and mouth and makes it hard to breathe for 25 minutes every day, I took the opportunity to do some meditation, and now I look forward to the damn treatments! Hope you’re doing well. Take care,


From: Lawrence Lessig
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 10:10 AM
To: Charles Nesson
Cc: Larry Tribe ,, jpalfrey, Elizabeth Warren , nesson, William Fisher , zittrain

Thank you Larry and Charlie,

As I will be explaining more extensively later today, after the most careful consideration, I have decided it would harm the cause more than help for me to run. On Friday we got the results from an extensive poll conducted by one of the leading political pollsters in the nation. The race would not just not be winnable; it would not be possible to get even close. The election is just over 30 days away; the candidate I would be running against is literally the most popular politician in the region (positives above Obama and Clinton and every other politician). With $2m in hand today, or a promise from Barack Obama to be in the district next week, it might be possible. But there isn’t the predicate to move people that far that quickly. And my fear in the end was that a wipe-out defeat would send the message that the reform message has no political salience. As our pollster said, the data show it does have salience, and could well be effective, but won’t be effective in this district in 30+ days.

I’m grateful to everyone for their support. As you know, I don’t shy away from losing. But choosing to lose in a way that is certain to harm the movement is not yet a disease I have.

Stanford Law School

From: Larry Tribe
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 10:53 AM
To: Lawrence Lessig , Charles Nesson
Cc: jpalfrey, Elizabeth Warren , nesson, William Fisher , zittrain

I understand and, based on your data, certainly concur. A noble impulse, though, for which I’d commend you. — Larry

From: John Palfrey
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 11:10 AM
To: Larry Tribe , Lawrence Lessig , Charles Nesson
Cc:, Elizabeth Warren , “Charles Nesson @ Law” , “Terry Fisher @ Law” , Jonathan Zittrain



John Palfrey
e: jpalfrey
p: 617-384-9132

From: Charles Nesson
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 10:21 AM
To: Lawrence Lessig
Cc: Larry Tribe , jpalfrey, Elizabeth Warren , William Fisher , zittrain

i see your logic and respect your judgment
might you ask your would-be opponent to run on the CC Campaign


From: Lawrence Lessig
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 10:28 AM
To: Charles Nesson
Cc: Larry Tribe , Elizabeth Warren , William Fisher , zittrain

Another Member of Congress, supportive of our work, is asking that directly. It would be a logical thing for her to do, and costless, since she does not need lobbyist/PAC money to survive in the safe district in which I live.

From: Charles Nesson
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 10:25 AM
To: Jonathan Cohen

am i crazy for thinking there is a great human interest/political story in this
— lessig’s almost run for congress and formation of a Change Congress Campaign–

From: Jonathan Cohen
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 11:20 AM
To: Charles Nesson

Better story (IMO) is how Lessig’s dalliance inspired someone else, and how the open culture movement is getting behind that person or preparing to find an open seat and and a candidate elsewhere.

Jonathan R. Cohen
The Weiser Group
232 Madison Avenue
Suite 204
New York, NY 10016
Office: (646) 254-6000 ext. 12

“…there is one striking feature of Grant’s orders: no matter how hurriedly
he may write them on the field, no one ever has the slightest doubt as to
their meaning, or even has to read them over a second time to understand them.”

when appropriate (in my judgment) to an open project and not sensitive (in my judgment) in terms of privacy, i may post email to my blog. all privacy requests respected.

Berkman center for Internet & Society at Harvard supports Larry Lessig for United States Congress

wayne last night points out to me ethan’s dynomite blog Don’t Stop Believing with its story of journey and ethan’s hope seen in it that internet can bring us to a better world.

My hope for the internet is that it blurs the idea of nationality, letting people find the most talented collaborators around the world, regardless of their language, culture or national origin.

all respect to ethan zuckerman
he lives his hope in action


we need press releases of support events to impel larry lessig along his journey to the united states congress

we support his Change Congress CC campaign.

we support not just larry lessig’s election but his three-point Change Congress CC Campaign,
which means moving it onto the agenda in our own district and conceptualizing it as a national and internationally supported campaign.

Internet & Society – NEXA – STANFORD – HARVARD


Feb 18
From CyberOne Wiki

colvin is right, and brilliant, schools train the kids to beat the cops to get out of an authority structure that makes them feel bored and stupid.

i want presbelewski and colvin to be teachers in my school.

i want kids to watch the wire with me and then come back and go over and say where the mistake was made and what was the other choice.

i want to convey how much i want to teach

google hypothetical: future of university
mission of university
position of the assn of internet university service providers
bye bye to copyright on transactional base
open the university with a presidential poker game, all proceeds for running the open school

strategic thinking expressed in action
make your play according to assessment of position and strength of other players in your game

for an inmate in prison there are two laws, authority law and inmate law, authority imposed from the force outside that makes the prison, authority from the force within that rules the force of resistance. the stronger the compression the deeper the evil. how to teach and how to learn how to lighten up.

in baltimore two laws. colvin and prez offer strategy to change the valence of the game

think in media terms. hollywood, listen up. let me use your product in open education. me and prez teach math. a new kind of school. embrace parents and love their children. follow colvin down the path of enlightenment to the point of hope in kids. catch the light and keep it burning.

i want to show the wire in kingston prison, and talk about it. i want to show it in juvenile.

==feb 24==
ready for a rush
larry gives me great idea and contact with lauren
palfrey for berkman and perhaps for harvard law
juan carlos for nexa
larry and lauren for stanford

internet & society
can we have your support

first question at google gathering
identity of avatars
behind each a student expressing truth

criminalizing online poker — how crazy is that?


Crimson Poker
click here







remix poetry
= (another mix)


Chippy the Poker Chip



future of university

hear it now






slideshow of open university opening up

GPSTSBusiness – 16 Feb 2008
subject Fwd: bracken on obama on the

i want license to use the wire in my online school. is this within the realm of fair use. i want colvin and pryzbylewski in my classrooms. i want to take it with me in a box to kingston prison and run my class for real in our prison lab. omar, as obama says, is a man of character playing by his code. the lessons of the wire are profound

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: wayne marshall
Date: 2008/1/15
Subject: bracken on obama on the wire!
To: Charles Nesson