Thursday, April 13, 2006

127: “…Hostility Against Every Form of Tyranny…”


In our last entry we talked about the radicals who are driving the push to unseat incumbents in state and local positions here in Pennsylvania. Let’s be clear about that word, radical. We are not talking about someone with political idealism of the far right, or far left. We are talking about people who have political idealism that great and massive positive change is urgently needed to move Pennsylvania from political laughingstock to it’s rightful place as a model of Liberty.

We also mentioned in that last entry that our two major parties have failed us, vacating your power to influence the ways that your elected representatives are chosen, and how they do their jobs after they are elected.

Viewed another way, in a Republic, which is the form of government guaranteed to you by Article IV, Section 4 of the United States Constitution, you vote for a representative in a legislature who will represent you directly in the affairs of government, and who is charged with upholding the Constitution of the United States, and on the state and local level, who is charged with upholding the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Article IV, Section 4 of the United States Constitution states:

Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

A very wise, and eloquent man involved in the cause of Liberty in America once wrote:

"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
--Thomas Jefferson

In his day, Thomas Jefferson was a radical, as were all the Founding Fathers of this great nation. It was radical because the idea of American independence and Liberty went against the grain, against custom, against the very laws made by the colonial power, Great Britain. They were political subversives, radicals, and once the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed throughout the land, they were frequently on the run. There was a price on their every head. They were radicals because they believed the ideals espoused by the great European philosophers such as John Locke, and Jean Jacques Rousseau about freedom of the individual, liberty to think and do for one's self, rather than for the state, but that such an idea was eminently workable if the state was comprised of all who thought such, and were given an equal voice.

It is why our great Democracy in America is called "a Great Experiment" -- it was the first modern Democracy.

In recent years another body of influence, has usurped your rightful position in that structure, interspersing itself between you and your elected representatives. That body of influence is “the monied interest”.

99% of you cannot afford the $100 a plate dinners that constantly appear in our newspapers who dutifully report (after the fact) that 150 people showed up to throw their political (financial) support behind a candidate. One plate of rubber chicken = $15,000 to a candidate. Sure, he welcomes your $25 check, and sends you a letter brimming with gratitude and with a palpable tinge of surprise. Your $25 dollars don’t mean anything to him. It’s the gravy for the rubber chicken. Those 150 people who ante up the cash are pressing him the whole night to support this legislation, and that legislation, usually to help some businessman get an edge. And of course, it’s good for Pennsylvania if its good for business.

You can’t compete with people like Louis DeNaples, who buys influence from both parties like he can’t make up his mind between Coke and Pepsi. Mr. DeNaples largesse has come in the form of over $1 million in reportable campaign contributions over the past two to three years. He makes them from an apparently mobile address from several locations in the northeast part of the state, and he makes them direct, or with his father, or from his real estate company. The names of the folks who are the recipients of his largesse? Rendell, Veon, Brightbill, Jubelirer, Mellow, to name a few. Goodness, don’t those names look familiar?

Do you have a problem with the term, “buying influence”? What would you call it? Spreading money around for the good of the cause? Who’s cause? Certainly not yours. In this case, Louis DeNaples wants to build a casino at the old Mount Airy Lodge in the Poconos.

Pennsylvania’s elected officials have trampled on you, on your property, and on your rights and your rights to property. They are inviolate in our Constitution, but what does that matter to a politician who ignores the Constitutions, both Federal and State, and passes bill after bill designed to redistribute wealth in the wrong direction…from your pocket to his, and to his friends, and to the good folks who contribute to his campaign at those $100 a plate dinners.

Do you think Louis DeNaples cares a fig for you? Who do you think means more to the politicians in Pennsylvania, you or Mr. DeNaples? Here is a clue to the answer: Act 71 contains a provision prohibiting anyone convicted of a felony from owning or having any interest in a casino. Louis DeNaples was convicted in Federal Court on Fraud charges. But that was in 1978, so the General Assembly, when it crafted the stealth bill we now call Act 71, that enabled gambling parlors in our Commonwealth, put an exception into the felony conviction clause. If that conviction is older than 20 years, its okay to have an interest in, or to own a casino. I call it the DeNaples Clause.

There’s your “Republican Form of Government”, all nice, neat and made legal by the same people who run the General Assembly. You can see their names a couple of paragraphs up.

Think this is an isolated incident? Think again. What do you think David LeVan does with his political donations…where do you think they go? He wants to build a casino less than half a mile from old Camp Letterman where thousands of wounded were treated after the Battle of Gettysburg. Do you see him rushing to preserve Camp Letterman? No, you see him running Battlefield Harley Davidson, a half mile from where George Armstrong Custer took on the best JEB Stuart had and licked them in a long afternoon of bloody fighting on East Cavalry Field. Is that trading on the history of the area? David LeVan's interests are David LeVan, and David LeVan.

How about Robert Monahan? Ever wonder where this gem of a citizen spends his political money? Did you know he owns the property on which the casino is proposed? Did you know he has moved his family to the Washington, D.C. area, even while maintaining a home here, in the area he loves so much? [I guess the casino here would be a bad influence on his children -- do ya think?] He got his, and he got Gettysburg back for shafting him on an earlier deal. So he has his hotel and convention center out at US 15 and US 30. He has his big movie theater that is a piece of aesthetically challenged architecture. He’ll get his three restaurants, and perhaps a couple of additional hotels to the two already up. So, he and his family are set for life. He got his project, and if the casino doesn’t go through, no big deal, he’ll sell to some other form of development. (Remember this when you are driving back from York to Gettysburg some day and you are sitting in traffic at the square in New Oxford). Bob Monahan “has left the building”, taking the predicted developer’s route out of a town that he has taken for all it’s worth, and moved to D.C. His movie, the historical drama about the Battle of Gettysburg, that he professes is so important, did not premier here in his new theater, it premiered in D. C. several days before opening his new theater here.

Where do you think his political campaign contributions go?

You can’t afford to go to a $100 a plate political campaign dinner. LeVan and Monahan can afford to go to a $10,000 a plate dinner.

Who do you think your elected official is going to listen to, you or LeVan? You or Monahan? You or Louis DeNaples.

“The way to secure liberty is to place it in the people's hands, that is, to give them the power at all times to defend it in the legislature and in the courts of justice"
--John Adams

I’m very sorry to say, Mr. President, that does not hold at present in Pennsylvania. Neither the legislature, nor the courts of this Commonwealth have any desire whatsoever to aid the people in securing their Liberty.

We will soon see if the people of Pennsylvania still have the fires of Liberty burning in them. We will see if they have what it takes to overthrow by the means legally available to them, the government of Pennsylvania. We will see if the tyranny of the two parties and the monied interests can be broken. We will soon see if the ideals of those Pennsylvania radicals named Franklin, Morris, Morton, Ross, Wilson, Smith, Taylor, Rush and Clymer still have a place in the hearts of Pennsylvanians, where Liberty was first declared in America, or will they allow everyone in America to continue laughing at them, including their own elected officials.

We will see.

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