Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Cumberland Township Says NO to casinos

In an overcrowded Cumberland Township meeting room, the citizens who turned out in force to push the No Casino vote carried the day and the Supervisors voted to opt out.

Gettysburg Borough put off the vote until December last evening. It appears the citizens who came out for that meeting were also predominantly anti-casino. 

Let's hope this sets a trend throughout Adams County. 

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“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Check here for Casino vote in your Township



Cumberland Township Supervisors will hear comments on Tuesday, 11/28/17 at 7PM and possibly vote that night. Previously, the Supervisors have approved casino zoning in any mixed-use area in the Township, such as Boyd’s Bears, the former Eisenhower Hotel or any of the MX (brown) areas on this map:


12/4/17 Straban Township hearing 7PM.
12/5/17 Hamiltonban Township at 6:30PM. The early start is to allow public comment on the option.
12/7/17 at 7PM Mt. Joy and Franklin Townships
12/11/17 Gettysburg Borough Council will vote on opting out. 7PM
12/28/17 Mount Pleasant  7PM
Previously opted out: Freedom, Highland and Tyrone Townships
The resolution must be received by the Gaming Control Board by 12/31/17
A list municipalities that have opted out (a bit out of date) is at http://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/files/legislation/cat4_opt-out_county.pdf



Say "NO" to Casino! 


GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Now in our 13th year!

Copyright © 2005-2017: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Keep a Casino out of Your PA neighborhood!


State’s Casino Law tells Municipalities: Choose Now or Never

Townships, Boroughs and Cities in PA have ONLY until Dec 31, 2017 to have a CHOICE on a casino in their municipality. The law calls for 10 satellite “Category 4” casinos (750 slots and 50 table games) to be awarded to the highest bidder. The auctions are for areas that are at least 25 miles from any of the 12 existing PA licensed casinos.

The new expansion of gambling law allows municipalities to OPT OUT of having a casino in their municipality by adopting a RESOLUTION before Dec 31, 2017. Officials can say “NO” in a resolution now. If they do not, they will NOT BE ABLE TO SAY NO LATER. However, they CAN say “YES” later if they decide they do want a casino in their municipality.

As the County Commissioners Association of PA explained:
“A municipality could later rescind that prohibition by sending a separate resolution to the Gaming Control Board, but could not later choose again to prohibit mini-casinos.”
                                                                                                             
Officials can make the Resolution to the Pa. Gaming Control Board. As the PGCB describes here, http://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/?pr=736                               
“In order to facilitate this process, if a municipality desires to avail itself of the municipal option regarding Category 4 casinos, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board provides the following guidance:
First, the governing body of the municipality should officially adopt the Resolution at a public meeting consistent with the requirements of Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §701 et seq., after October 31, 2017.
Then, an official copy of the Resolution should be delivered no later than December 31, 2017 to:

Pamela Lewis, Board Secretary, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
303 Walnut Street, Commonwealth Tower, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101

The Board also recommends that each municipal governing body consult their solicitor in the development of the resolution which, at minimum, should include the following information:
Reference to the power granted under Section 1305.1 and the municipality’s decision to exercise the power to opt-out;
The date that the governing body adopted the resolution; and
The inclusion of signatures or seal necessary to establish that the resolution was officially adopted.”

If you live in Adams County, this action by your borough or township may be the ONLY remaining opportunity for leaders to prevent a Gettysburg area casino.

Wherever you live in PA, you can keep a casino out of your neighborhood by contacting your Township Supervisors, Borough or City Council Members and ask them to retain their power of choice by entering a resolution against casinos at the next public meeting. Because it is only a resolution, it can be introduced and approved in the same meeting.  

NoCasinoGettysburg



GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Now in our 13th year!

Copyright © 2005-2017: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Monuments and the Danger of Presentism


The United States has long been the shining light of the world, a place where all are welcome to come, and live, and embrace America and the United States, to contribute to its growth, and to set an example for the world to look up to, and to become Americans and proudly so. 
 
Colonial America existed as a safe haven for the people of the Reformation to come and worship as they wished, without fear of remonstrations, or even imprisonment and execution.  And it was built up by an enormous workforce composed almost entirely of African Slaves.  

Slavery had been going on in Africa since ancient times but what we call modern slavery was conducted by the Arabian Muslims who moved coast to coast through Central Africa taking slaves and marching them back to the Arab lands. This had been going on from the 8th Century. 

By the middle of the 15th Century, Prince Henry of Portugal had established a school for sea captains, training them in sailing, seamanship and navigation.  He began sending these captains in their Caravels south from southern Portugal to the west coast of Africa.  At the end of each thrust farther south along the African Coast, the captains would establish a base camp/port, where they could stockpile supplies, and conduct trade with the local natives, taking home seeds, lumber, and elephant ivory.

But then they ran into Arab Muslim slave raiding expeditions and learned what had been happening for 700 years.  The slave raiders sold them a few slaves and they were taken back to Portugal.  

Prince Henry and his brother, King Duarte [Edward], were devout Catholics, and supported the Church with riches brought back from Africa.  But when the slaves appeared in Portugal, the slave trade there was underway.  It was so lucrative that the Pope, Nicholas the V, during his 8 years as Pope, issued two relevant Papal Bulls:  the first, issued in 1452, basically said to the Captains of Prince Henry go ahead and subdue and capture any non-Christians they encountered for enslavement, and the second, issued in 1755, gave exclusive economic rights as they reached and eventually rounded the Cape of Good Hope and went on to India.  It also authorized them to buy or capture non-Christians as slaves to bring back to Portugal. 

Portugal, and its chief sea-going rivals, Spain and England, began exporting African slaves to the New World shortly after Christopher Columbus [trained by Prince Henry’s school] discovered it.  The Portuguese moved African slaves to what is now Brazil, while the Spanish moved them into Mexico, Florida, throughout the West Indies and the Caribbean, through Mexico north to California, and south through Central America and down the west coast of South America.  The English began importing slaves into Virginia in the early 17th Century though most early Black slaves were brought from the West Indies. 

The African slaves were the people who cleared the swamps along the North American coast, and cleared and built the roads, and ports, and towns.  Then they learned to pick cotton.  Their owners got very rich from cotton.  Southern culture changed, the plantation owners gained great wealth, buying more land, and more slaves, to the extent that wealth in the Colonial South was measured in how many slaves they owned.  And they determined that the slaves were “less than human,” thus justifying the institution of slavery.

And then, an ancient Greek political philosophy suddenly re-emerged in the American colonies, and a new nation was formed in the fashion of that ancient Greek philosophy: Democracy.  It came to be called “The Great Experiment”, among other expressions.  And it based its foundations on the core of the Enlightenment: the natural rights of man. 
  
By the time the Virginia philosopher, politician and revolutionary Thomas Paine wrote his treatise on “The Rights of Man”, talk had already started about slavery among the political leaders of the Colonial states.  The Northern states wanted to extinguish slavery, the South said “no.”  But the British government in England enacted some laws applying to Colonial Americans that became known as the Intolerable Acts, and independence was suddenly more important than slavery.  During the Revolutionary War, England offered freedom to any slaves that joined their army [as teamsters and servants, not as soldiers].  George Washington and Alexander Hamilton established a policy that any slave could join the Continental Army earning a rifle and his freedom. 
 
The Constitutional Convention that followed the Independence of the United States and the insufficient first attempt at government under the Articles of Confederation took nearly a year to draft, and heated arguments on the floor during its construction were daily low-lights.  One of the most important was the issue of slavery.   Deals were made between states in order to obtain concessions from the Southern slave states.   One of the more well-known concessions is located in Section 9 of Article I:
Section 9. The Migration of Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
This law ended the United States involvement in the International Slave Trade by 1808, but it spawned a new business in the South: slave breeding.  The slave markets were thus supplied past 1808.

The Constitution also contains another law that outlines slave-owners’ rights when a slave runs away.  The Runaway Slave Law is contained in Article IV, Section 2:
No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.


The U.S. Navy began patrolling the West Indies to prevent slaves being smuggled into the U.S. in 1819, and at the same time, began patrolling the eastern Atlantic along the coast of Africa to stop the slaves from being smuggled to the U.S. from Africa.  
The make-up of early Government of the United States tells a tale in its numbers.  William Lee Miller wrote in his book Arguing About Slavery [Arguing About Slavery: The Great Battle in the United States Congress. Vintage Books Division of Random House, New York, 1996. ISBN 0-679-76844-0.]

"Five of the first seven presidents were slaveholders, for thirty-two of the nation's first thirty-six years, forty of its first forty-eight, fifty of its first sixty-four, the nation's president was a slaveholder.  The powerful office of Speaker of the House was held by a slaveholder for twenty-eight of the nation's first thirty-five years.  The president pro-tem of the Senate was virtually always a slaveholder.  The majority of cabinet members and--very important--of justices of the Supreme Court were slaveholders.  The slave-holding Chief justice Roger Taney, appointed by the slave-holding president Andrew Jackson to succeed the slave-holding John Marshall, would serve all the way through the decades before the war into the years of the Civil War itself; it would be a radical change of the kind the slaveholders feared when, in 1863, President Lincoln would appoint the anti-slavery politician Salmon P. Chase of Ohio to succeed Taney.  But by then, even having a president Lincoln had been the occasion for the slaveholders to rebel, to secede, and to resort to arms. 
 "One cites these facts about the formidable presence of the slave interests--to which, of course, dozens more could be added--not as later unhistorical moralizers sometimes do, as an indictment of the nation, but for almost the opposite purpose, to dramatize the immense power of the interest that the nation would nevertheless overcome."
As one can begin to see, the fight to remove slavery from the United States was a knock-down-drag-out battle in the United States Congress, and in the newspapers throughout the nation.  Northern politicians also fought against the Slave interest in Congress by attempting to admit new states as “Free” states, allowing no slavery.  At least five generations of slave-owning Southerners were born before the Constitution was adopted.  To be sure there was indeed slavery in the North.  But by the 1840s most of those Northern States had ended slavery by outlawing it and granting freedom to the slaves.  

Regardless, the fight in Congress went on, and grew to focus on the admission of Slave and Free states to the Union as the nation grew westward.  

The Republican Party grew up in the upper Midwest in the 1850s as an anti-slavery liberal party.  It lost the 1856 election when Northern Democrat James Buchanan from Pennsylvania defeated explorer and scout from the wild western state of California, John C. Fremont.  It was a contest, but not really close.  But it was encouraging enough to the Anti-slavery states, and the Party grew.

By 1860 the US was preparing for war, particularly in the South.  Slavery had a major role in Southern Culture.  Well over a century of successful slave-owning had solidified that role as a natural part and a natural right of the slave-holding South.  Slavery was a larger part of the Southern economy than real estate.  

Along came Abraham Lincoln.  His seven fiery 1858 debates with Stephen A. Douglas during the race for the Senate seat from Illinois captured the attention of the nation.  Newspapers followed them around the state and reported in great detail what both men said.  It was Anti-Slavery Republican Lincoln vs. Slavery Defender Northern Democrat Douglas.   Douglas won the Senate seat, but it was tight.

And so it was again in 1860, when the two faced off in a fight for the White House.  Both had enhanced their reputations during the debates in Illinois, and it was clear what each man stood for.  The issue of slavery had finally come to the fore.  But the Democratic Party split along North-South lines, Southern Democrats backing John C. Breckinridge, and Northern Democrats backing Douglas, against the Republican, Abraham Lincoln.  

The split doomed the Democrats, Lincoln won in a landslide. 

The South was in shock, and immediately began serious talk of secession and Civil War.  Lincoln made it clear he would not seek to end slavery.  What he didn’t say is that he would seek to block any new states from joining as Slave States.  It wasn’t enough.  By the time Lincoln reached Washington in the Spring of 1861 to be sworn in, many of the deep Southern states had already left the Union forming the Confederate States of America.   

The rest of the South seceded.  Lincoln moved to keep Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri from leaving the Union.  

America was at war with itself. The Civil War was fought over four long years, killing approximately 620,000 men.  That is almost half the total of U.S. war dead in all wars.  

In December of 1865 the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.  It states in full:
Section 1. Neither Slavery, nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Slavery is the United States was ended.  A great moral and ethical wrong was righted, decided on the Battlefields of the Civil War.  The deaths of 620,000 men locked that down tight.  Those 620,000 men included both Union and Confederate, men from North and South.  For the most part the war was fought with honor, and with a full belief in the cause of each side.  Those beliefs were not abandoned on either side, but they accepted the outcome.  Both sides honored their returning soldiers, sailors and marines.  Both sides held reunions.  Many Veterans from both sides returned repeatedly over the rest of their lives to the fields on which they fought.  They were drawn there.  Fate drew them there as it was fate that allowed them to survive. 

At home, statues and monuments were erected honoring the leaders and heroes of both armies.  They were doing the bidding of their political leaders, and for those leaders’ political and economic reasons.  They did so with ferocity and honor – how else can you explain 620,000 dead men?  

We now have generations that have, on the surface, grown distant from that event.  They look at these events only on the surface, and through the colored glass of the present.  This is called Presentism: judging the past by modern values and mores.  It is a terrible mistake to judge someone by today’s standards that lived 155 years ago.
 
 The result of presentism is the mistake that George Santayana warned about: "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it."  

It was a different time.  The universal mores were different -- vastly different.  For example, science had not advanced to the point where there was accepted dogma on race: specifically Darwin’s “Origin of the Species” was not published until 1859, and was not readily accepted by scientists.  And Africa south of the Sahara and north of the Limpopo River had not been studied or even explored to any great degree.  Dr. David Livingston left on his expedition into Africa’s interior in 1866, and he was not found by reporter Henry Morton Stanley until 1871.  Little was really known about Black, non-Muslim Africans of Central Africa.  

That is looking at an historical era with objectivity.  Indeed, if we remove the monuments and markers from the locations where they were erected, then we risk erasing a part of history.  The next step, already underway in some schools and colleges, is to remove that unpleasant past from the history curriculum because it offends.  

If that is allowed to persist, and is not corrected, we will not only lose our history, we will lose the significance of the great events of our past.  And thus, we will lose our national identity of being not just a beacon of hope for the world, but how we became one by recognizing and righting the wrongs that we made as a people, as a nation, along the way.

Do not look at a Confederate monument and be offended.  Instead, be proud that the nation recognized the inhumanity of slavery and eradicated it, at the expense of 620,000 American lives.  We need to remember that man is not infallible: Benjamin Franklin sold slaves, George Washington owned slaves, Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, James Madison owned slaves, yet these men are honored for founding and framing our country.  It was these men and others in their conventions, who framed the nation’s charter of laws to include paths and mechanisms for change.  The larger good far outweighs their slave-owning or dealing, because of the times, not because of now.  Good people can do bad things, as well as good things, but look at their lives in the light of the mores of the times, not the mores of today.  620,000 men died, in part, so you would not judge them by today’s mores, but by the mores of their time.


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We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Now in our 13th year!

Copyright © 2005-2017: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.