Gambling Proponents Unpack the Promises

Article excerpt

Byline: Jack Mabley

The gambling industry's bill in Springfield to expand gambling everywhere in the state has a couple of sops to appease opponents.

The first is to allocate gambling taxes to education. That's a con job going back to when bingo was legalized.

The state does give the gambling money to schools. Then they subtract that amount from the school funding from general taxes.

The other sop is a promise to spend millions to try to cure compulsive gamblers.

That takes millions? There's an effective organization called Gamblers Anonymous in which former gamblers help the addicts. It works. It doesn't cost millions.

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It is 995 or so days until the year 2000, and already promoters are hyping fireworks and parades and parties and dancing in the streets and all kinds of bunkum that will line their pockets.

The liquor industry anticipates the coming celebration as the most profitable week in its history.

Hospital emergency rooms should have a good week, too.

New York of course will claim to be the center of the world celebration. So will London, which will sneak in a few hours earlier.

In all the preliminary hype, I've seen no acknowledgment of the religious aspects of the millennium.

It marks the calendar change from B.C., Before Christ, to A.D., Anno Domini, in the year of the Lord.

So Jesus was born 2000 years before? Not likely.

In 532 A.D. a monk named Dionysius Exiguus decided Jesus was born 532 years earlier and his calendar so decreed.

Subsequent scholars decided Jesus was born in 4 A.D. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn't. And it wasn't on Dec. 25, whatever the year.

Anyway, the Christian calendar was imposed upon civilized society, although it is a minority religion. …