less. They are also private and, in the case of the poker game,rnnot always legal. There may have been plenty of cases of goodrnfamily men who bet and lost the ranch to a crooked dealer—arnplot staple of “B” Westerns—but perhaps more typical were thernsingle men who plunged and lost and went back to work onlyrnto plunge again.rnThe gambler’s mentality was best expressed in an anecdoternthat made Canada Bill Jones one of my father’s heroes. Describedrnby his friends as a “chicken-headed” little geek with anrnidiotic expression, Canada Bill had a deft hand for fleecing thernsuckers at three card monte. Unfortunately, he was not muchrnof a hand at faro. He was losing steadily one night when arnfriend pointed out to him that the game was crooked: I know,rnreplied Bill, “but it’s the only game in town.” Nobody madernhim squander his ill-gotten gains, and no government billboardsrnencouraged people like Canada Bill to regard a letter)-‘rnticket as an investment.rnMen will always waste money on pleasures, and a sportsmanrnwho is serious about hunting or fishing may spend more moneyrnon his toys than the poor fish who buys lottery tickets. Butrnsport is something active and social; it is good for the body,rntrains the senses, and it lures the sportsman outdoors and awayrnfrom the TV. What does a lottery ticket do, except trick thernworking poor into paying a stupidity tax? Since the odds arernmuch worse than a roulette game in Vegas, no one in his rightrnmind would make a regular habit of purchasing lottery ticketsrnunless there were some hidden appeal.rnThe commercials make it clear what the message is. ThernIllinois Lottery pioneered a popular type of commercial inrnwhich a bunch of guys are sitting around talking about investments.rnWhen one of them asks if they have anything that canrnpay a million bucks, and explains that the Illinois Lottery does,rnthe advocates of CDs and mutual funds are crest-fallen. Thernmessage is clear. The lottery is a less than one-in-a millionrnchance that I can escape from the life I have made. It is arnmorally dangerous delusion, and the difference between headingrnWest and going to Vegas or playing Lotto is the differencernbetween shooting the rapids and riding a virtual-reality rollerrncoaster. The “quick pick” is a quick fix.rnEven 120 years ago, clear-sighted residents of Tombstonerncould see the end of the frontier coming. Wyatt turned awayrnfrom the professionals and made an honest woman of SadiernMarcus, John Behan’s actress girlfriend. They made a pile ofrnmoney in Gnome, Alaska, and lived comfortably. Bold menrnturned from faro games to real-estate speculation, and, afterrnconquering the continent, Americans pursued an imaginaryrnfrontier, drumming up adventures in Cuba and the Philippines,rnin two world wars, and in the global struggle against godlessrncommunism. The hard lessons of conquest we learned inrnsubduing the “First Americans” were inevitably applied to ourrncompetitors in Europe and Asia, who had to be demonized, reducedrnto subhuman status, and exterminated in almost riskfreernaerial campaigns. Somewhere along the way, we lost theirrnnerve and our himranit}’. To avenge his brother Morgan’srnmurder, Wyatt Earp killed Ike Clanton on the street and shotrnCurly Bill in the back. He did not burn down their houses orrnbomb their wives and children.rnIf Vaso Chuckovich could only have seen into the future, hernmight have gone back to the Balkans, where the people are asrntough as the Earps and as wild as Curly Bill, but do not murderrnwomen and children for humanitarian reasons. Only a reallyrncivilized people is capable of such lying and such savagery, crnDICTATIONSrn^^TT’oscrnl ^ l e arnXVAltirnName Gamesrn’osovar” became a watchword in the monthsrnleading up to the U.S. attack on Yugoslavia.rnJthough some nexwreaders continued tornspeak of the “Albanians of Kosovo,” use of the termrn”Kosovar”—adopted about two years earlier by Albanianrnnationalists—was the entry ticket to the New ..AjmericanrnOrder’s press box. Formerly, these people were called eitherrn”Arnauts” (a Turkish-derived term for “/Albanian”) orrn”Schipetars,” but in Kosovo the nationalists and terroristsrninsisted on “Albanian” as a word more familiar to Westemrnears. In coming up with “Kosovar,” however, the Albaniansrnwere making a specific and fer-reaching claim:rnthat they, the immigrant majority, defined this ancientrnland. Henceforth, the Serbs—who had lived in Kosovornsince the seventh centur’—would be regarded first as interlopersrnand then, when their police attempted to repressrnthe terrorist uprising, as invaders.rnThe Albanians probably learned their name gamernfrom the Bosnian Muslims, who did not even have thernadvantage of ethnic or linguistic distinctiveness: Theyrnwere simply the descendants of Serbs who had deniedrnChrist in order to hang on to tJieir property and privileges.rnBut once tliese Muslims started calling themselvesrn”Bosniaks,” they could dclegitimate the non-Muslim majoritj’rn(made up of Serbs and Croats) and portray themselvesrnas the authentic and aboriginal population. Thernchann worked on Secretary- of State George Schulz, whornapparentl)- believed that the Serbs were invading Bosniarnand not simply trying to exert political control over thernland they owned (,over 65 percent).rnMuslims did not invent this game. Suppose an Englishrngovernment decides to resettle Lowland Scots in thernmost troublesome part of the “other island,” and supposernthat, when the Irish finally rise up to throw off Englishrnaile, their former masters were to draw a line through therncountry and give tlie people on the Scottish side the rightrnto stay in union with Britain and continue to abuse thernCatliolics. But why suppose? This is what happened.rn’llie Irish Catholic course of action, at this point, isrnplain: define themselves as the Ulstermen, demand autonomyrnfor their sections as a stop on the route to independencernand union with Ireland, and, when the Britishrngovernment attempts to put down tlieir insurrection, theyrncan ask Bill Clinton to bomb IxJiidon. We can only hopernhe gets his accomplices, Mr. Blair and Mr. Robertson,rnl l i en he can bomb Austin for refiising to give up San Antoniornand Boston if led Kennedy refiises to restore Massachusettsrnto the descendants of Squanto.rn—Ilumpty Duniptyrn12/CHRONICLESrnrnrn