Who benefits from tax cuts?

In 1917, Thomas Adams, an advisor to the U.S. Treasury Department, said “modern taxation…is a group contest in which powerful interests vigorously endeavor to rid themselves or present or proposed tax burdens. It is…a hard game in which he who trusts wholly to economics, reason, and justice, will in the end retire beaten and disillusioned.”

It’s Time to Get Trans Athletes on the Field

As many state legislatures regress away from the meager progress made towards equal rights for LGBTQ+ individuals, repealing measures that protect the queer community and proposing more and more antagonistic policies (bans on gender-affirming care, for example), public spaces grow increasingly hostile for genderqueer and gender-nonconforming people. The illusion of safety that laws like the

Disappointed in Adams Democrats

Dear Editor, As a concerned member of the Adams County community, I feel compelled to express my disappointment with the recent performance of the Adams County Democratic Committee. This year’s presidential primary saw the lowest turnout in recent memory, indicating a significant disconnect between the committee and local Democrats. It is evident that changes are

Why Don’t Christians Care About Women’s Rights?

It seems as if Christians are singularly focused on babies more than they are of the precious women who carry and birth them.  Do Christians not care about the right of women to control their own body?  If you ever hope to have an understanding to that question, it helps to take a close look

Antisemitism is often called ‘the oldest hatred’                                 

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the 2023 Antisemitism Awareness Act. The bill states that: The definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is “a certain perception of Jews,” which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews, including rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals

Taylor Swift and the environmental impact of overconsumption

When Taylor Swift released her tenth studio album, “Midnights,” back in 2021, a total of thirty-five physical products were sold in the United States. According to Time, there were four standard versions on vinyl of the same $29.99 album, each with its own disc color and cover art, corresponding with four variant CD versions. If

Being a high schooler at GHS

Growing up, we watched movie after movie about what high school was going to be like. While some were heavily exaggerated (I’m talking about you, “High School Musical”) some were just realistic enough to seem true. Until we got here.  At Gettysburg Area High School, in the middle of a strikingly ordinary town, there are

Happy 60th birthday, IBM System/360

Sixty years ago, I was a junior at Temple University in Philadelphia. I was interested in computers, but Temple did not offer any courses in electronic data processing. In fact, in Philadelphia, only the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Engineering offered courses in computers focused primarily on the design of the computers themselves. There,

Bermudian’s book ban is a needless affront to school personnel

Bermudian Springs School District (BSSD)’s recent change to its Resource Materials policy that bans “sexual content” from reference books, instructional materials, multimedia materials, maps, library books, periodicals, and software is a spectacular failure to recognize their competent, professional staff’s ability to follow the law. Pornography, which Miriam-Webster defines as, “depiction of erotic behavior (as in

Bermudian book ban bans parental choice

The Bermudian Springs School Board continues to make complications where solutions already exist.  At their meeting in March, the school board approved a first read of a revised Policy 109 regarding resource materials. This revised policy creates something called the CIRA Committee to review any material deemed “borderline”. While the revised policy defines various forms

Age only matters if you’re a cheese

I was born in 1942; I am now 51 years old. How is that possible? If you know, please send a comment through Gettysburg Connection. Speaking of age, Republicans are trying to convince voters that Biden is not only old, he’s also actually senile. That’s why his poll numbers are low, and why he is

Opinion: Ten suggestions for helping Biden win

Elie Wiesel once wrote, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” There are various fictional stories and real-life examples of individuals who protest alone, not expecting an immediate change but perhaps making a symbolic statement or holding onto their

Opinion: Why does the Republican Party want America to lose?

I still remember in October 2009, when conservatives openly gloated about the rejection of the US bid to host the 2016 Olympic games. “”THE EGO HAS LANDED: WORLD REJECTS OBAMA” said the conservative Drudge Report website after the opportunity to host the games in Chicago lost out to Rio de Janiero. The reason seemed be,

The wit and wisdom of H.L. Mencken

I find witty quotations valuable for several reasons. They can summarize or express a thought or idea in a few well-chosen words, and their brevity makes them easy to remember. Many remain relevant across generations because they express universal truths or insights. H.L. Mencken. the cranky “Sage of Baltimore,” was a satirist and cultural critic.

What Feels Love to Me?

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” Buddha ONCE UPON A TIME there was a handsome,

Eisenhower and Oppenheimer

The recent hit movie “Oppenheimer” has many of the elements of a classic drama. It featured suspense, superlative acting, and a brilliant but conflicted hero: the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, so-called “father of the atomic bomb.” Inevitably, there is also a two-faced, scheming villain: Lewis Strauss, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. One major player

Some words that will matter in 2024

One of the quickest ways to disappear a thing—a problem or an opportunity—is to take away the words we need to describe it.  And, if you can’t just cancel it entirely, the second best way to get rid of a troublesome word is to change its meaning. Back in 1987, for example, British Prime Minister

Moral failure, strategic blunder

Israel’s war of revenge on Gaza is both a moral failure and a strategic blunder. Every war is a moral failure because of the immense suffering, destruction, and loss of life that accompanies armed conflicts. It leads to a tragic and undesirable outcome in human affairs. Article 51 of the U.N. Charter states that countries

I wonder who’s losing it now

“To lower our voices would be a simple thing. In these difficult years [the 1960s], America has suffered from a fever of words; from inflated rhetoric that promises more than it can deliver; from angry rhetoric that fans discontent into hatred; from bombastic rhetoric that postures instead of persuading. We cannot learn from one another

Why George Santos’ lies are even worse than the usual political lies – a moral philosopher explains

Michael Blake, University of Washington On Nov. 16, 2023, the bipartisan House Committee on Ethics issued a scathing report on the behavior of Rep. George Santos, finding that Santos had engaged in “knowing and willful violations of the Ethics in Government Act.” That committee’s Republican chair later introduced a motion to expel Santos from Congress.

The New Generation of Starving Artists

The Gettysburg Community Theatre (GCT) has been changing lives for nearly 15 years. As one of the premier centers for the arts in town, the theatre provides a space for actors of all ages to explore their talents and connect with peers who understand their love of performance. Chad-Alan Carr, the founding executive and artistic

Can’t happen here – or can it?

Is Trump a fascist? In his book “The Anatomy of Fascism”, Columbia University Professor Emeritus Robert Paxton defines fascism as “a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in

Send in the clowns; they’re already here

“I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition. It is a national feeling of fear and frustration that could result in national suicide and the end of everything that we Americans hold dear. It is a condition that comes from the lack of effective leadership in either the Legislative Branch

It’s our birthday – will you write us?

Gettysburg Connection is celebrating its fifth birthday this month.  Happy Birthday to us! It’s been a wild ride, and I can’t really believe we’ve made it this far.  We’re making a difference in the community and bringing people from around the county together. We report hundreds of trustworthy local news stories and build community engagement;

Steckler for UASD Board

Deb Steckler is running for Upper Adams School District School Director in November as a registered Republican, which she has been for years.  She will be listed as a Democrat on the ballot as a result of an anomaly in the Pennsylvania voting laws.  She is a long-time resident of Adams County and the Upper

Thoughts on Amber Alerts

Central Virginia, 1981, I rode shotgun-once-removed. JD sat in the front passenger seat due to his status as the driver’s roommate, I tucked in behind him for our three-hour trip. Scott drove us home for winter break. Scott, or Checks as we called him based on his propensity to bounce them, only stuck around that one year.

Insurrection, Donald Trump, and the 14th Amendment

Two distinguished constitutional scholars affiliated with the Federalist Society published an article in the New York Times accusing former President Trump of insurrection on January 6, 2021.  These scholars cited Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which bars any individual from seeking public office if they participated in an insurrection against the

Thaddeus Stevens and the Christiana Resistance 

On September 11, 1851, an organized group near the small town of Christiana, PA, successfully fended off an effort by a Maryland slave owner to capture freedom seekers, killing the slaver in the process. The event, known as the Christiana Resistance or Riot, sparked a political firestorm that drew in Thaddeus Stevens. The event had

Democrats’ worst nightmare

On July 18, 2023, a centrist group called No Labels signaled that they will present a 3rd Party presidential candidate by March, 2024 if the main party choices are Donald Trump and Joe Biden.  This announcement set off alarm bells among Democrats.  Why?  Because this new Party may pave the way for a 2nd Trump

The U.S. immigration story you may not have heard about

On May 11, Title 42, the U.S. provision restricting migrants wishing to come to the U.S. during the Covid-19 pandemic, ended  Once this provision was lifted, many thought that the U.S.-Mexico border would be inundated with tens of thousands of asylum seekers. That was not the case.  Instead, there was a drastic reduction in people

Go See “The Sound of Freedom”

“The Sound of Freedom,” now playing at Gettysburg’s R/C Gateway Theater 8,  is the story of Tim Ballard, a former government agent who embarks on a mission to rescue children from sex traffickers in Colombia. The plot centers around Ballard’s Operation Underground Railroad, though some commentators have questioned its accuracy. There are reasons people resist

Kid in a Blueberry Patch

New to this area, I am like a ‘kid in a candy store,’ discovering all the local foods, including yes, candy stores and bakeries. But as a registered dietitian, I am mindful to seek foods we should be eating generously, like fruits and vegetables. Adams and surrounding counties are very ‘fruitful’ this time of year.

The Edge of the Wood: Taking Inventory

ve learned to talk nice to our lawn mower. My spouse tells me if I am friendly to the machine, it will work better, or at least longer. It makes sense, sort of. The thing is, I’m not a lawn-mowing kind of guy. Grass has been growing and dying and growing back for a very

The Edge of the Wood: Sky sponsored by Exxon

It’s early morning in Rivendell, a smoke-cloaked fantasyland outside my back door. Hobbits and dwarfs sit with their morning coffee around kitchen tables in stone huts along pathways pressed by millions of footfalls through the forest on the far side of the glen. This close to July, the morning sun should have the air warmed

The Edge of the Wood: The first letter in STEM

The trial is over in the case of Held v. The State of Montana. The lawyers have performed their roles on the judicial stage. Now we wait, a few weeks probably, several months possibly, for the lone critic to review the material and render a ruling. The question? Is Montana, one of three states in

The financial genius of the Union cause

When the Civil War started in 1861, the United States was in horrible financial shape. The country was $100 million in debt, its main source of income — duties on imported goods — was significantly reduced with the departure of southern states, its banking system differed from state to state, and the paper currency was

The Edge of the Wood: Youth seek future in court

For the past several years, I have been among those predicting our youth would have to resolve the problems we oldsters have wrought upon our home. It turns out they’re already at it – and doing more than merely crying out, “OK, Boomer!” when they detect a problem. Monday, a group of young people—ages from

The Inevitable

The chipmunk that lived in the downspout behind my back porch died last week. Tommy murdered it. Does that sound hyperbolic?  Do cats commit murder? If he had any intention of eating it, I would say he killed it, but eating wasn’t part of the plan. He offed it for sport. He dropped it on

The Edge of the Wood: Profits over science mark SCOTUS decision

Wetlands— those swampy areas we sometimes encounter as we wander through our forests and other undeveloped acres—may seem like wasted land, but they are hard at work reducing flood risk during heavy rain events and filtering to provide safe drinking water for plants and other critters, including us humans. In a classic case of “he

The Edge of the Wood: A dark and stormy night

The day started the way a spring Dad-with-13-year-old motorcycling day should start: sunny but not too much heat. It was a post-Navy-retirement run from Norfolk, Virginia, where I had spent the previous eight years, to Maine, where I was raised. Night One was Locust Lake State Park, near Mahanoy City, PA. We filled out tummies

Stumbling blocks?

Somebody once said there is no difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones aside from the way we use them.  Life has taught me that while one can put a stumbling block in my way, I am the one who decides whether I am going to use those stones to get ahead in life.  The older

The Edge of the Wood: 540 feet

From my front yard, I watch the sun creep over the hill behind my shoulder, lighting the street in front of me, beginning from the far end and slowly illuminating the blackness before me like a Mother peeling the blanket from her child’s sleepy head. I live at approximately 540 feet above sea level. Some


It’s easy to fall into the habit of simply mouthing the words to familiar Scripture verses, slogans,  or prayers such as The Lord’s Prayer or The Serenity Prayer instead of carefully pondering the words.  When I really think about what I’m praying, I often find one special phrase jumps out, such as “accept the things

The Edge of the Wood: When the GPS isn’t helping

In an online video the other day, a fellow wanderer was making his way through an area with which I am fairly familiar. As I watched him follow his camera along the path, I noticed places I recognized, places I had, in my own wanderings, passed by. I was reminded of an experience several years

Supports Barlow for Liberty Township supervisor

Politics, the drama is draining. We weren’t getting involved. However, doing research and verifying facts, available on Liberty Township website and through Right to Know, of one candidate’s statements we found them to be misleading, some simply false. More alarming is some of his followers are taking them at face value. Many people don’t have

The Edge of the Wood: Road trip through my mind

A recent car-shopping trip with a friend got me thinking about my history with motor vehicles. My first was an English Ford convertible. It was white and cost me $75, which, even in 1967, was not bad. I don’t remember the year or model, but it was old. It had character, which meant some things

Come Dance with Me

On Saturday night I had the best time I can remember in this little town. And believe me, my memories are many and varied. Thirty-three years ago, I made Gettysburg my home. As a single mom, I brought my two children to St. James church and discovered a place they could feel safe and we

Praise and thanksgiving

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.“  (Thorton Wilder)   I gaze out the window. The sun is shining after days of pounding rain.  I am grateful for days of gloom as our Mother Earth needed a long refreshing drink.  Yet I am very

Thoughts to ponder

A number of you commented on my recent blog about detoxing our brains.   Here are some additional concepts and thoughts that may help you detox from negative self-directed messages.  They’ve certainly got me thinking about the many ways I create problems for myself. –What they say about me says a lot more about them


  “It’s not the answers you get but the questions you ask, that’s all important,” my dad used to tell me.  He was convinced that it’s in framing our questions that we begin to define the various components making up an issue or problem. I thought of Dad this morning when I read one of the

Tucker Carlson’s departure and Fox News’ expensive legal woes show the problem with faking ‘authenticity’

Jacob L. Nelson, University of Utah For decades, Fox News thrived because the people behind it understood what their audience wanted and were more than willing to deliver: television news – or what Fox called news – from a populist perspective. Fox is consistently the most-watched cable news channel, far ahead of competitors like MSNBC


As news cycle follows news cycle, I find special meaning in a line from The Little Prince.   “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret.  It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.  What is essential is invisible to the eye.“   Is that why we humans find working together so

Springtime symphony

I can hear them tuning up. So can my spouse, whose cabin fever I’ll put up against any New Englander who thinks winter has been too darn long. My best friend, bless her, has impatiently awaited the assembly of the “garden corral” in the parking lot of the nearby Wal-Mart. As the first concrete blocks

Grateful for gratitude

With Spring in the air,  it is becoming easier to focus on gratitude.  Spring in Adams County is something to behold! Gratitude, you see,  is good for my mental health.  It’s good for my shattered soul, and it’s keeping me physically healthy.  The Psalms, one of the most popular books of all time, is filled

Questions Gettysburg Borough’s decisionmaking

At its March 27, 2023 work session, after two public hearings, the Gettysburg Borough Council discussed the proposed event venue ordinance that will affect seven zoning districts, and the proposed zoning map change that pertains to Johns and Highland Avenues.  In support of the map change, Mr. Stone of Colt Park provided an eloquent statement

It lives!

An ethereal blanket of translucent maroon — the color of shrubs in transition from the blah gray of the past few months to the green cloaking that soon will block the view of even large rocks more than about 50 feet distant — seems to flow like an incoming fog across the forest floor.. The


I was reminded last week that I am a grateful creature of habit.  I  have some fairly fixed routines that help me enjoy each day.  I sleep until about 7:30 each morning, get up, have my coffee, walk with my friend, eat breakfast, blog and do what household chores there are to do.  Then and

The Edge of the Wood: Landmarks

I found myself this week looking back a few years when, well … “I used to use that as a landmark. Something’s got to go back up there,” Ariste Reno of New York, formerly of Chicago, told me when I visited the World Trade Center site on the first anniversary of its destruction. I thought

Letting go

What are we to do when we become world-weary?  Overwhelmed by bad news?  Discouraged that the bad guys just keep avoiding any serious consequences?  Feel everything is too much trouble that nothing seems to make any difference?  When such feelings take over, I am reminded of a story we Mennonites like to tell about Orrie

Third Ward Contradictions

On Monday, March 27, the Gettysburg Borough Council will hold public hearings for two proposed zoning ordinance changes that will affect two neighborhoods in the Third Ward. One is the Johns Ave/Highland Avenue area, where there are single-family homes with good-sized yards, just south of the hospital. The other is just north of the hospital,


Positive thinking goes nowhere unless it is followed by action. That’s precisely why we say the road to hell is paved by good intentions.  Meaning to do something and actually doing it are two very different things.  Most of us are procrastinators, one of those character flaws many of us humbly ask God to remove

The Edge of the Wood: The paradox

I sit looking out my upstairs window at four trees poking through mostly lawn. Last year, we planted a 4×16-foot wildflower plot on a piece of that lawn. This year the strip will be 4×100, roughly — a divider between our suburban lot and the one next to ours and, we hope, a larger magnet for butterflies.

Why shocking new data shows we can’t stop fighting hate | Wednesday Morning Coffee

by John L. Micek, Pennsylvania Capital-StarMarch 15, 2023 If you ever needed a reminder that we can’t turn a blind eye to hate, then new data from the Anti-Defamation League should more than do the trick. As the Capital-Star reported Tuesday, white supremacist propaganda hit an all-time high across the country in 2022, even as antisemitic propaganda more

A mindful month

Perhaps you’ve found yourself rushing around lately, fueled by nervous energy and coffee. You may have said to yourself, “I’ve got to slow down and take time to breathe.” Perhaps you thought about learning to meditate but immediately said to yourself, “No… that won’t work. My mind is too busy for meditation.” Becoming mindful doesn’t

Self care and self acceptance

Self-acceptance and care are much easier to talk about than to practice.  It’s so easy to push our basic physical and emotional needs to the side because most of us grew up being told it is important to put others first; that pride in self and self-confidence is somehow sinful.  Yet self-negation, self-pity and viewing

The Edge of the Wood: The trouble with green

March wind waves the blossoming red leaves of the maple, bluebirds, and cardinals clinging to the branches as they try to overpower the blossoming red leaves with their own raiment. It’s not yet Easter, but many critters are eager to show off their colors. Grabbing seeds from the grass, diminutive Dark-eyed Juncos in their white


Over the years,   I have read many definitions of codependency.  All relate in some way to discounting our own needs and feelings and looking to others to validate and make us happy.   After all, we live our lives in relationship to others, our environment, our culture, and our jobs, so why wouldn’t we

The Edge of the Wood: Half-full, but leaking badly

There is continuous discussion among us concerning whether the glass of our continued inhabitance upon this planet be half empty or half full. I choose to believe the latter, although plenty of us are hard at work draining what is left. Our forests will never look as they looked at the end of the last

Self Care

I locked myself out of my house the other day.  I wanted to give my new neighbor a key since we were going away for a week,  so I grabbed a fistful of keys,  stepped outside to make sure I had the right key, and….  You guessed it!  I locked myself out!   Fortunately, it

The Edge of the Wood: Every body gotta eat

Outside my window, birds and squirrels and a presumable variety of other critters are pairing up in my backyard — bluebirds and house sparrows have commenced their annual fight over the bluebird houses that, if history is prognosticator, will soon be home to a clutch of sparrow chicks. House Sparrows are the definition of “backyard

Donate books for Rwandan children at Cottage Creperie

To Gettysburg Area Residents, How important are books to you and your kids? Imagine a place where children come to school, and there are no books for them on the shelves. This is what confronts families daily in Rwanda, the largest country in Africa. TEACHRwanda, a nonprofit founded in 2016 by a retired teacher from

Questions book “challenges” at GASD

Editor’s note: Assistant Dean and Director of Scholarly Communications at Gettysburg College’s Musselman Library Janelle Wertzberger presented this statement to the Board of Directors regarding the Gettysburg Area School District’s proposed new policy on library materials on Tuesday evening. My name is Janelle Wertzberger. I currently have one child in the district and another is

Jimmy Carter, An Under-appreciated President

A rough consensus has emerged about Jimmy Carter’s presidency (1977-1981) and his subsequent life. Between his work on democracy and elections and his work volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, there is little doubt that he set a standard for the post-presidency not likely to be equaled. And this record has been widely acknowledged, including the

The ultimate revenge

 I’m a great one for shoveling clutter into drawers and closets,  but that just means going through every paper and envelope when I’m looking for something specific.   I didn’t find the address I’d been looking for this morning, but I did discover a scrap of paper with a scribbled quote.  “Resentment must give way

The Edge of the Wood

Cure for cabin fever Cabin Fever is that ailment that forces one, eventually, to either leave the house or kill everyone too slow to escape. I opted for the former action. “Where are you going?” She Who Must Be Loved queried. A Hairy woodpecker has made progress disassembling a decomposing Gray birch tree. (John Messeder

Gratitude…again and again

Today Is a day for gratitude.  In fact, every day is a day for gratitude.  Since now is all I’ll ever have, this moment is the only moment I have for which to be grateful.  And I am grateful. Extremely grateful.   Just having returned from sharing breakfast with a friend, I am very aware that

The Edge of the Wood

Welcome to Emanon The thing about development is it never seems to work out as well as it was planned – except for the developers. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not opposed to growth. I enjoy, for instance, trees large enough to make shade on a summer afternoon and creeks wide enough to have pools

Agreeing to disagree

 Sometimes we gut react to a situation, impulsively decide to take a risk, to speak out, take a stand.  I think of my quiet, introverted, shy husband who decided after 9/11 that declaring war on Iraq was not the appropriate way to respond to those horrendous events.   Crippled with rheumatoid arthritis, in constant pain,

Connections matter

The longer I live on this earth, the more I realize connections with others is what life is all about.  It has been a few years now of many polarizing views throughout the country and world.  We really all are more alike than different.  Whether people want to admit it or not, we all just

Preparing for rebirth

Spring is nigh upon us. At least it seems that way. The forecasted “one-to-three inches” of snow this week was gone the next day. ’Tis nearing the season for taking a youngster fishing. Some fishing is allowed now; check out the PA Fish and Boat website for specifics on which species are fishable and where

A rumination about an aging county

Way back when I was a youthful 68 years old, I was the one people told “I’d have never believed you were that old.” Now, five years later, time has caught up and I’m the one who everyone asks, “May I carry your tray, Sir?” As philosopher Ferris Bueller observed, “Life moves pretty fast. If you

Little things mean a lot

It’s one of those dark rainy winter days for which I am profoundly thankful.  With so many areas of the world suffering from drought, we here in south central Pennsylvania are much blessed.  So far, we’ve been spared many of the extremes in rainfall, temperature,  and storms that have been devastating others.  The effects of

Climate change is real

In an Op-Ed in the December 29 Gettysburg Times Bob Stilwell wrongly asserted that there is debate within the scientific community about human-caused climate change when in fact there is no such debate, and no doubts among actual climate researchers (scientists who actually publish their research findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals) that our burning of fossil fuels

Alice and Sparkle, I’m diving in head first

Are you up to speed on this controversy? “Author” Ammaar Reshi created a children’s book, and some people are angry. Reshi started playing around with the new Artificial Intelligence text generator ChatGPT. On a lark, he tasked it to write a children’s book. Happy with the results, he turned to another AI program called MidJourney