old buddies. There are worse things.nFriendship, after all, is a virtue. Butnfriendship alone cannot save the industrynfrom its doldrums. Only a commitmentnto excellence in art and thennormal in ethics can do that. The lastnOscar show had a message. I wonder ifnanybody was listening. (ECK)nPoliticians and gangsters may soon benas difficult to tell apart in Midwesternnstatehouses as they are in Washington.nLast January, we lamented Iowa’s decisionnto join Illinois on the dishonornroll of states sponsoring a lottery.nNow Wisconsin legislators wantntheir turn to disgrace themselves. Recently,nboth houses of the Wisconsinnlegislature took the first steps to amendnthe state Constitution, which has forn138 years banned all forms of gambling,nand open the door for both anstate lottery and for pari-mutuel horsenbetting. Frankly, we’re rather fond ofnthe old version of our northern neighbor,nwhere Holsteins and Jerseys—notnexpensive horseflesh—are the cattie ofnchoice. But a majority of Wisconsin’sncurrent legislators support the change.nMost offer no arguments for legalizedngambling except its apparent popularity.n”The people in my district havenoverwhelmingly—68 percent—endorsedna lottery,” said one state lawmaker.nVoters willing to take a chancenon a legislator whose moral principlesnride on 18 percentage points will probablynbet on anything.nWisconsin lawmakers who havenstudied the issues as well as the pollsnsee things differently. Rep. Robert Travisnrecently attacked the lottery proposalnas “probably the easiest way to taxnpoor people I have seen. … I hatenthe bill. I think it is an embarrassment.”nIn conversation with Chronicles,nTravis’ aide, Daniel Young, notednthat opponents of the measure (fromnboth parties) fear that the lottery willn”create a need for more social assistance”nand “lead to more alcoholismnand domestic abuse.” But while Rep.nTravis continues Wisconsin’s fine traditionnof Republicans who care aboutnthe poor, many Republicans are liningnup with Democrats on the gamblingninitiatives. Oddsmakers in Madisonnare giving 9 to 5 that if the constitutionalnamendment does finally pass,nthe grave of Bob LaFollette will be­ncome an epicenter.nThe good people in Wisconsinnmight take a look at the Prairie State,nwhere years of exposure to the statenlottery has apparently softened thenmorals of private schools, charitablenorganizations, and (yes) even churchesnwho are now petitioning the state legislaturento legalize “Las Vegas Nights” asnfund-raisers for their institutions.nTurning Peoria’s First Methodist intonLittie Vegas might help Illinois Governorn”Big Jim” Thompson win reelection.nA whole campaign strategy couldnbe devised around the slogan “Turnnaway from sin—come to church andnwin.”nAs an excuse for state-run gambling,nsome Wisconsin lawmakers point tonthe need for property-tax relief and fornmore money for education. Given thenstate of public schools, perhaps thenlottery is an appropriate way to raisenmoney: both propositions are now longnshots. An even more dubious rationalenfor state-run gambling was put forwardnby a lobbyist for Wisconsin’s HorsenCouncil: “[Gambling] is an industrynthat’s going to provide jobs for 4,000 orn5,000 people.” In Illinois, the gamingnbureaucracy alone has become anmajor employer: the lottery is now annindependent “cabinet-level” department.nIt’s comforting to know thatnwhen the Japanese, Koreans, and Braziliansnmake all our steel, cars, clothing,nand radios, Americans will still benable to find work running the numbersnfor state governments in the Americannheartiand.nGerman beer may become the latestncasualty of misguided internationalism.nEver since the decree of DukenWilliam IV of Bavaria (1516), therenhas been a German law on what constitutesn”real ale”: pure malt, hops,nyeast, and water. While other countriesn(including the U.S.) try to palmnoff various combinations of noxiousnchemicals as the real thing, thenGerman Federal Republic as recentiynas 1983 declared that all beer marketednin the GFR has to meet the standardsnof 1516. But the chemical beer processorsnof the European Economic Communitynhave cried foul and complainnGermany is illegally acting in restraintnof trade. First the Genocide Convention,nnow this. Someday, when we’rennnall on trial at the Hague for opposingnunrestricted immigration, we won’tneven be able to console ourselves withnan honest bottle of beer. The newneconomic order! First they poison ournminds, then they destroy our palates.nProstitution and posturing are thencurrent campus rage in the IvynLeague. A few months ago, whennundercover police investigators arrestedntwo Brown University coeds fornprostitution, campus organizers of anspecial antiapartheid fast were crestfallen:nthe sex arrests diverted medianattention away from their righteousncause. The coincidence of the twonevents was, in fact, appropriate. Moralitynon the college campus has becomenlargely a matter of public posesnand news events. The schools long agongave up their claim to act in loconparentis. In an interview with U.S.nNews & World Report, James Billingtonnremarked recently on the strangendisjunction between the highly publicnmoralism of popular campus causesnand the “complete self-indulgence onnimmediate, personal issues.” Collegenstudents prove their virtue by buildingnillegal shantytowns on campus greensnor by marching in protests againstnAmerica’s Central American policies.nWhat does it matter, when they’rensleeping around, whether it is for funnor profit?nIt would do no good to send thenlittle harlots to church. Many pastorsnin main-line churches are so busynholding press conferences and denouncingnthe Administration, theynjust don’t have time to give sermons onnthe seven deadly sins. At Christianitynand Crisis (a publication enjoyingncozy relations with the NationalnCouncil of Churches) clerical contributorsnalternate between bashing thenState Department for oppressing thenSandinistas and celebrating the moralncourage of New York prostitutes andnSan Francisco homosexuals.nThe answer to all this—teenagenpregnancy, the AIDS “epidemic,”nchild abuse, etc.—is supposed to beneducation. Not only more of it but of anmore progressive kind. But if the kidsnat Brown don’t know how to be sensitivenand caring and socially aware,nthey have a right to demand theirnmoney back.nJUNE 1986 / 7n