Wednesday, November 16, 2005

robin hoods

There is the European legend named Robin Hood. Adults and children looked at him as a hero. He was good in robbing the rich in order to help the poor. He looked at the rich and powerful as greedy and cruel, the poor as oppressed and helpless.

But the truth has to be said: Robin Hood makes a good story but a poor reality. Stealing is wrong even if what is stolen benefits the needy, the sick. A morally errant means is not justified by an ethically good end. Stealing is bad whoever does it for whatever reason.

But if Robin Hood is wrong in robbing the rich to benefit the poor, there are Robin Hoods in the country who do exactly the opposite: they exploit the poor to benefit the rich and powerful. They employ the wrong means for the wrong end. This makes them Robin Hoods in the reverse.

They are known as “Gambling Lords”. They victimize the millions of poor people to favor certain personalities already wallowing in wealth and power. There lords of gambling destroy the judicial system, paralyze public authorities—and corrupt even local and national elections.

The bad news is that these notorious individuals are slowly again emerging from their hibernation. Once more they are again looting the little money of the poor and filling their own big pockets and those of their chosen beneficiaries.

The worst news is that these few infamous personalities remain unknown, untouched and unchallenged by any of the thousands of public authorities from the local, the regional up to the national levels. Why?

Either the government is afraid of them or gets favors from them. The truth appears to be both: the government fears them precisely because they are sources of huge financial favors. The moment anyone of these gambling lords feels cornered and begins to talk, many public officials fall flat on their faces.

This is why notwithstanding all its big posturing and loud pronouncements, gambling lords remain the apple of the eyes of the present government.

November 16, 2005