American Ingenuity At Work!

The Daily Wire posted an article yesterday about a very unique church service.

The article reports:

In footage of two instances that went viral on Thursday and Friday, Christians gathered in the government-approved venues of a Pennsylvania Wal-Mart and a Las Vegas casino to engage in the worship that authorities have deemed non-essential.

In a Thursday tweet that was retweeted by Vice President Mike Pence, Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed posted footage of a worship service in a Vegas casino, writing, “Packed house at #EvangelicalsForTrump prayer & praise event in Las Vegas. NV Governor banned church services but casinos can operate at 50% capacity. So we are praying in a casino.”

…According to The Post Millennial, a similar event also took place recently in the grocery section of a Wal-Mart in North Versailles, Pennsylvania, a town near Pittsburgh. In April, Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolfe urged churchgoers to find different ways to practice their religion than gathering in churches. “Religious leaders are encouraged to find alternatives to in-person gatherings and to avoid endangering their congregants,” he advised. “Individuals should not gather in religious buildings or homes for services or celebrations until the stay-at-home order is lifted.”

Wolf took flak when he broke his own state’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions in June by marching in solidarity with hundreds of protesters in Harrisburg following the death of George Floyd. In Harrisburg’s Dauphin County, gatherings were restricted to 25 people or fewer at the time, according to Pennsylvania’s color-coded reopening plan.

The article concludes:

The coronavirus pandemic has increased the tension between civil and ecclesiastical authorities nearly to the breaking point in states such as California, where many congregations are defying Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s July 13 order that re-instated lockdowns for churches and other establishments deemed non-essential by state authorities.

This week, Ventura County sued Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks, California, for holding no-mask, no-distance indoor services. Rob McCoy, its senior pastor, said, “We would be the first to be masked and distanced, and willingly so, if this were meriting it, and it doesn’t. This isn’t a health issue, it’s an ideological issue.”

Grace Community Church, a congregation in Los Angeles pastored by prominent author and theologian John McArthur, also made headlines last month when he and the church elders penned an extensive statement explaining why they believe the secular government did not have legitimate authority to forbid in-person assembly indefinitely.

Explaining how they complied with state mandates at first, the church leaders justified their civil disobedience in part by claiming that the lockdowns done in the name of public health were causing spiritual damage to their parishioners. “Opportunities for believers to serve and minister to one another have been missed,” they wrote. “And the suffering of Christians who are troubled, fearful, distressed, infirm, or otherwise in urgent need of fellowship and encouragement has been magnified beyond anything that could reasonably be considered just or necessary.”

We need to be very careful not to give up our civil liberties in the name of preventing the spread of a virus. We know a lot more about the coronavirus now than we did at the beginning. We have developed a few successful protocols for treating the virus, and we have a fairly good idea of who is at risk from the virus. It is time to reclaim our civil liberties before we lose them for good.

The Five Questions That Will Determine The Presidential Election In November

The New York Sun posted an article yesterday by Conrad Black. The article lists the five things that will determine who wins the presidential election in November.

These are the five things listed in the article:

    • Can the President override the Democratic press’s thunderous campaign to terrorize the country over the coronavirus?

    • Can the president successfully connect Vice President Biden’s campaign to the hooligans, anti-white racists, and urban guerrillas who effectively are being encouraged by the corrupt Democratic mayors of many of the nation’s largest cities?

    • Will the economic recovery and the decline in the unemployment generated by the COVID-19 shutdown continue at its recent pace and strengthen the economy as a pro-Trump electoral argument?

    • Will the Republicans make adequately clear to the country the authoritarian and Marxist implications of the Biden-Sanders unity document?

    • Will special counsel John Durham indict senior members of the Obama Administration over their handling of the spurious allegation of collusion between Donald Trump and the Russian government in the 2016 election and Justice Department violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and how will Mr. Biden himself come through it?

The coronavirus has given us some insight into what unbridled government authority can do. Some of the regulations put in place by governors and mayors were based on common sense–things your mother told you when you were young like wash you hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don’t hang around with sick people. Other regulations were simply power grabs to prevent Americans from exercising their First Amendment rights–churches in Nevada restricted to a lower percentage of occupancy than casinos, protests to open businesses criticized and shut down while other protests (that included looting and riots) were allowed to continue. We have had a taste of out-of-control government in recent months. A vote for Joe Biden and whoever he chooses as his running mate will give us more of the same. Joe Biden has already stated that he wants to reassemble the Obama team–the group that gave us anemic economic growth, Benghazi where our ambassador was murdered followed by lying about it on television, ISIS, politicization of the Justice Department, and too many other scandals to mention.

The voters will choose. We need to pray for wisdom in voting and an honest election.

It’s Not Over Until The Fat Lady Sings

It’s not over until the fat lady sings. Well, she is about to enter the green room to warm up. Yesterday I reported on the decision of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to rule out Plainridge Racecourse as a suitable applicant for a slot machine license ( I support the slot machines for a variety of reasons and was very disheartened to read that the Gaming Commission had disqualified Plainridge. However, after reading about the reasons for the decision, I could totally understand why that decision was made.

If the decision stands, the Town of Plainville is the loser in this deal. Plainridge has operated in the town for fifteen years. Plainridge Racecourse is the only harness racing track in operation in Massachusetts. It has not made a profit during its time in Plainville, but has continually been a good neighbor to the town. It has paid taxes to the town and provided employment for a number of people in the town. There is a serious question as to whether or not Plainridge Racecourse will stay in business without the slot machine license. If Plainridge closes, is there a future for harness racing in Massachusetts? What happens to all of the beautiful horse farms in Plainville? So where are we now?

Domenic Longobardi was kind enough to give me a few minutes of his time today so I could ask him some questions about the past and future of Plainridge. He expressed disappointment that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission did not try to work with Plainridge to resolve the issue of misdeeds under previous management. He also pointed out that the people involved in those misdeeds are no longer in charge. He reminded me that from the time Plainridge was built the idea was to eventually bring in other avenues of gambling in order to keep the track afloat.

I asked Mr. Longobardi if the 9% of slot machine money that will go to support harness racing would be enough to keep Plainridge alive. He explained that the 9% of slot machine money would go to the harness racing purses–not to operating expenses at the tracks.

Mr. Longobardi mentioned the investment Plainridge has made in order to move forward with the slot machine permit. Plainridge has paid application fees to the Commonwealth of Massachuestts, paid consulting fees for the Town of Plainville, and invested money in a large parking garage to accommodate additional people visiting the facility.

Mr. Longobardi pointed out that although Ourway Realty is disqualified from obtaining the license to operate slot machines at Plainridge Racecourse, the location itself is not disqualified.

A reliable source told me this afternoon that there is another management organization planning to take over Plainridge and resubmit the application to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. That organization is experienced in the gaming industry and would actually be a better candidate to run Plainridge.

The bottom line is simple. It’s not over yet, and smart businessmen are working to find a solution that would meet the requirements of the Gaming Commission and the needs of the people of Plainville. I sincerely hope that something can be worked out.

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The Discussion Continues

Last night I attended a hearing to discuss bringing 1,250 slot machines into the racetrack at Plainridge in Plainville, Massachusetts. I am a resident of Plainville and live less than five miles from the location of the track. Although I was opposed to the idea of bringing a casino into Foxboro, I support the idea of bringing the slot machines into Plainridge. I am not a gambler, but I am enough of a realist to know that there are people around me who genuinely enjoy gambling as a form of recreation. I don’t have a problem with that, assuming that they are not ruining their finances with that activity. Those who are ruining their financial situation by gambling are going to find a way to do it whether Plainridge introduces slot machines or not. I strongly suspect we will see internet gambling legalized within the next two years, and a lot of people who are addicted to gambling will turn to that rather than leaving their homes to gamble.

Gambling is already at Plainridge–there is sulky racing and simulcast racing. The town also has Keno in some of the local restaurants and lottery tickets at the local convenience stores. It seems a little odd that with those things in place there would be opposition to the slot machines.

One objection voiced last night was the idea that putting slot machines in Plainridge would negatively impact our elementary schools. I definitely need someone to explain to me how that would work–are the first graders going to be playing the slots?

The addition of slot machines will bring people to Plainridge. However, if you look on a map, you will see that Plainridge is on the edge of town, adjacent to a major highway–I suspect that the majority of the people who will frequent Plainridge because of the slot machines will never see the town! Those people will come and lose their money (the house wins on slot machines), the profits at Plainvridge will be taxed, some part of those taxes will go to the Town of Plainville, and everyone will live happily ever after.

One of the things mentioned last night was the social problems that can be associated with gambling. Guess what–those social problems are already here–even without the slot machines.

This whole discussion reminds me a a song from the Music Man:

Trouble, oh we got trouble,
Right here in River City!
With a capital “T”
That rhymes with “P”
And that stands for Pool,
That stands for pool.
We’ve surely got trouble!
Right here in River City,
Right here!
Gotta figger out a way
To keep the young ones moral after school!
Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble…

We don’t have trouble here in Plainville–we have a business man who has been an asset to the community asking the town to help him keep his business alive. That is why I support the slot machines.

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The Voters Have Spoken–Is Anyone Listening ?

Yesterday there was an election in Foxboro, Massachusetts. If you are a football fan, you know where Foxboro is, but you may not know that the town has been involved in a heated discussion as to whether or not Steve Wynn should be allowed to build a casino near the football stadium. Regardless of your view on casinos, there are some very practical reasons local residents oppose the casino–traffic in the area where the casino would be built is already a problem during stadium events–the area is simply not equipped for the increased traffic the casino would bring. Anyway, yesterday the people of Foxboro spoke out.

Today’s Attleboro Sun Chronicle reports:

A pair of anti-casino candidates, incumbent Lorraine Brue and former state Rep. Ginny Coppola, easily won election over incumbent Larry Harrington and school committee member Martha Slattery, who both supported negotiating a deal on the casino and letting residents make the final decision in a binding referendum

Fifty-eight percent of Foxboro’s registered voters voted in the election yesterday. Last year seventeen percent voted in the town election.

The article further reports:

Under the state’s new expanded gambling law, selectmen would have to vote to enter into negotiations with Wynn for the project to move forward.

With Monday’s results, four of the five board members have come out against the project, meaning the proposal now faces tough odds.

When asked if Monday’s vote would effectively kill the project, Coppola said she hopes the developers look at the message sent by residents.

“Mr. Wynn and Mr. Kraft should look at the results of this election,” she said.

 Brue agreed.“(The voters) sent the message that they don’t want a casino,” she said.

It will be interesting to see what happens next.
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Should Foxboro Massachusetts Have A Casino ?

A website entitled posted the following:

We recently posted a report written by the Mayor of Ledyard, CT (home to Foxwoods Casino) in 2001 entitled: “Report, Fiscal Impacts of Foxwoods Casino on the Town of Ledyard, Connecticut. Mayor Wesley J. Johnson, Sr.; Town of Ledyard; December 2001.”This was written 9 years after Foxwoods opened.

We believe Foxwoods is a good case study of what happens to a small town when a casino is built. Note Ledyard’s population was 15,000, similar to 17,000 in the Town of Foxboro today.

Some Important Statistics Cited in the Report (read the full report here):

  1. The crime rate in Ledyard went up by 300%.
  2. There was a 200% increase in traffic volumes.
  3. Ledyard went to having the highest DWI / DUI rate in the state.
  4. Foxwoods averages 55,000 visitors a day (that is almost equivalent to a Patriots home game–365 days a year!)
  5. Jobs were created, but they were low paying jobs making under $25,000 per year.
  6. And the report concludes with “…. the social cost of problem gambling, inability to regulate land use and uncertainty about where and how future development will occur, will continue to effect the financial stability, rural character and quality of life in our town.”

I understand that a casino brings in revenue, but the experience of Ledyard seems to indicate that it also adversely impacts life in the town. Hopefully Foxboro residents will have access to information on both sides of the issue before they vote.

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