“netiquette” revisited


Yesterday I posted something in an online group that was never intended to be controversial or cause a hubbub, I was sharing information and personal experience. For doing that the comments I received were in two categories: very kind and polite, and mean and piling on. 

I had warned people to take it easy this year if they get the flu shot because I found it to be tougher than last year and I am home in bed sick.  The nurse in the chemo lounge where I got my shot after my oncology appointment warned me to take it easy, and I didn’t and well…here I am sitting in bed losing a day during the time deprived holiday season.

People reacted two ways: politely and often agreeing as they had similar reactions this year and the other reaction was just piling on. Saying things like they disagreed and I was “wrong”. Wrong? My experience was not something to either agree or disagree on, it happened to me, it just IS!  One person made some inane comment about how they got the flu shot and some other shot and would do it “100 times more” or something equally moronic.

All I was doing was passing along my experience and urging people if they did have to get one like I do, to take it easy on themselves. After all, I learned the hard way when I did not listen to the nurse warning me to take it easy. Trust me with a post -cancer compromised immune system, I wish I did not have to do things like get a flu shot, but I do. So I get it. But the reactions in an online community where hypothetically you are supposed to be able to share DID make me think about something overnight I feel is important: online behavior and this holiday season.

Sociologists and psychologists will tell you that the advent of online communities and social media has created behavior patterns that are very different ONline versus OFFline. In the real world face to face you might have a discussion that gets heated, but people don’t necessarily pile on in the same way they do online, which is a virtual experience.

Online in large groups, people pile on and can be very judgmental. It’s like their keyboards give them immunity from social norms and more acceptable patterns of behavior. Keyboard tigers, keyboard cowboys, keyboard killers – all the same thing and it is behavior that can be hurtful or offensive of others.

So I spend a lot of time often  just reading what people write in these groups  and NOT commenting. And what I see at times blows my mind because as human beings we can just be so darn mean to one and other.  Or they just post things that are so wholly inappropriate it confounds me.

It is the holiday season. We are not all the same, we are all individuals. Let’s try especially at this time of year to be respectful of each person’s individuality and opinion and NOT pile on.  Especially in online communities. When we pile on it is not right and is actually bullying, a behavior we teach our kids no matter what the age is wrong.

Opinions will be different from person to person and that is quite alright. If you disagree with someone’s opinion, that doesn’t make their opinion wrong, it just means yours is different.

Online communities were started in part so we could share information and be supportive of one and other; not tear each other down and be intolerant of differences.

Enjoy the magic this season has to offer to all ages. Think before you post online. Be more kind. Be the kind of adult you want your kids to be someday. If we can’t be kind and tolerant to one and other, how can we expect our kids to be that way?

Thanks

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carpe diem west vincent residents

Keep-Calm-and-Vote-Full-sizeWest Vincent residents your township is at a crucial juncture. No other way to put it.

Do I live in West Vincent? No. Would I have considered living in West Vincent ever? The answer is yes, until the failed eminent domain for private gain attempt against the horse show. West Vincent has a lot of beauty to it, but some of the residents provide a lot of ugliness which is indeed a shame.

No municipality is perfect and neither are politicians. But there is a big difference in basic human frailties, and politicians who inspire people to do harm to others. A candidate who so inspires is not whom anyone should want even for trash collector or dog catcher.

Ken Miller has had decades plural as a supervisor. Maybe when he started out he had the township best interests at heart but year after year, that path has muddied to the dead end of …..Ken Miller is for Ken Miller.

He inspires individuals to hurt others. You never hear from HIM, you only hear from THEM.   They go out on their mission and attack anyone and everyone who gets in his and their way.  I know as they have tried it with me (and still are). Unfortunately for them I see them for what they are: mean, petty, angry gossips, and somewhat silly.

Astoundingly it has been reported that a few of them apparently made a trip to the Daily Local to try to place an article about how their candidate is being maligned? Seriously? While they harass people inside West Vincent and outside of  West Vincent, vandalize private property, steal lawn signs like 12 year olds, and try to put people out of business for having the unbelievable (to them) gall of wanting better government representation?

Ken Miller’s minions have spent thousands and thousands of dollars to try to keep him in office. Who has what on whom? We may never know, but they definitely have a stake in the game, wouldn’t you say?

Like attracts like, and people who are mean as spit with slavish devotion to a local politician? Come on now, how much more obvious can you get?

Ken Miller is a great example of why there should be term limits in local government. Fresh faces and reasonable ideals are not a bad thing. West Vincent desperately needs more of that.  If he had only been in office one term, well hey, a second term is reasonable. But now it is more like Tammany Hall than a township, and that is not good.

Then there is the undisputable fact that Mr. Miller is not well, shall we say, fiscally responsible? So much about his finances are on the public record and that isn’t made up is it? And West Vincent pays his benefits, a retirement plan, and a roadmaster’s salary as well, correct?  Wouldn’t you like a supervisor who is just a supervisor and not looking to make a buck constantly off the hardworking backs of the taxpayer?

And no matter what political persuasion you are, don’t you want someone more fiscally responsible? And wouldn’t you like better roads?

Your township gets carved up by development more every year. Maybe, if developers weren’t so comfortable with a long entrenched supervisor, you might stand a chance for a little more balance?

vote

His supporters like to tell you he’s fabulous for the environment and well can it be said  that the only organic thing about him might be the manure his cows produce? They talk about the Sierra Club, but as everyone knows, the Sierra Club endorsements are not so hard to get, are they? Wink wink here’s a donation, endorse my buddy, right? Environmental  non-profits that don’t endorse are the ones who actually do great things for communities.

And that Sierra Club endorsement labels him a Republican candidate seeking re-election. He is in fact the Democratic candidate because he was written in. That was the only way he could stay on the ballot after the spring primary.

I believe in political balance, but registered Democrats in West Vincent? Hello? You aren’t going to get a real Democrat in office who shares your ideals and values if you vote for him. He hasn’t changed his political party affiliation, so basically Miller is simply practicing the politics of opportunism. That doesn’t work so well in Washington, D.C. so why would you want in locally?

vote_3On Election Day I hope all of you will vote for Mike Schneider. He will serve you well if you do.

Change is hard. I get that. And people have gotten beaten down over the years by this current regime. But look at it this way, if our forefathers could cross a great ocean to start a new country and escape political and religious tyranny, you can retire Ken Miller on Election Day.

It’s that simple.

Stop the anger. Stop the tyranny. Stop the politics of opportunism and favoritism. Stop the mean people. Retire Ken Miller.

Carpe diem and God speed.

#justvotemike

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The neat thing about having my own blog is I can have my own opinions. And I am doing something I should have done a few weeks ago: blog endorse Mike Schneider for West Vincent Supervisor.

As a general rule of thumb, this blog doesn’t endorse. But given the election shenanigans, dirty tricks, property vandalism and general mayhem of desperation in West Vincent Township Chester County, it is the right thing to do.

I have met and I have spoken with Mike Schneider on more than one occasion.  Several occasions over more than a year as a matter of fact. West Vincent, he doesn’t want to be your “road master” and have taxpayers fund his health benefits and an additional source of income off the backs of hardworking individuals. (And is it true taxpayers fund a pension plan for Ken Miller as well?) Mike Schneider just wants to represent the residents and do better for West Vincent Township.

I might not live in your township but I have been going to it since I was a teenager. You have a beautiful township that is precipitously close to being completely overdeveloped. Your roads are a disgrace. Favoritism and political cronyism rule the day, every day. And you, the residents can stop ALL of this on election day with one vote per person for Mike Schneider.

The people who love Ken Miller would have you believe he is like the second coming of Christ. He’s not. He’s just a guy who was a farmer and got into politics and now doesn’t seem to do either job particularly effectively, does he? So actually you would be doing Ken Miller a kindness he doesn’t deserve by retiring him to his farm – he really needs to concentrate on his family farm full time because eventually can we say those tractors left topsy turvy in a field all add up?

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Ken Miller got shown the door by his own political party in the spring primary. He is only on the ballot as a Democrat from write ins because he and his supporters are that desperate for him to keep his job. You see, if he loses power, so do all the mean people.

Yes, mean people.

These people do things like vandalize private property, leave nasty letters in mailboxes and slanderous broadsides on community bulletin boards. Why? Because they are scared of any truth seeking individuals like one with the Internet handle of Chickenman. It is completely maddening to them that they can’t unmask him. They like to tell you how he lies, even though he backs his writings up with public documents. Documents sourced from court records and West Vincent Township.

Recently those who practice the Religion of Miller have put their propaganda in an anti-Frank Perdue web page. They did this because well, they got outed with their cutsie-folksie-country life West Vincent Voices page basically got outed not so long ago as existing solely to prop up Ken Miller’s sagging campaign. You see, people were very upset when Dave Monteith’s property was vandalized and then people started talking about development. That was apparently too much honesty and sunshine. I am told the page was scrubbed of certain postings and residents who didn’t tow the line removed. And as they are cajoling you with syrupy sappy fakeness, they are out stealing lawn signs, aren’t they? And when residents post rewards for information on those who are stealing lawn signs, why those posts are removed, aren’t they?

Anything that challenges their desperate status quo is removed.  But hey they like making phone calls, stopping at your homes, and sending nasty e-mails, right? And well, when  all else fails you can always blame Barry DiLibero, right? Did you know when it rains or snows, it is actually Barry’s fault? Yup, just ask the Religion of Miller. Barry is a dear friend and well very talented, but he hasn’t mastered making it snow and rain…yet.

Now the tea and scones set act all nicey-nice but the truth is they do things like support cyber bullying and cyber -stalking efforts. They did that to me. They are just not nice people. They are past masters of smiling to their neighbors’ faces while they stab them in their backs. People live in fear where they pay taxes because of these people and their middle class thuggish mob mentailty behavior.   And they seem to do all the talking for Miller, don’t they?  It needs to stop, doesn’t it?

I don’t like liars and cheats and bullies. I think you all have a wonderful little township and it is time for all of it to return to the people. Show Ken Miller the door on election day and take back his keys to your township. Tammany Hall is so 19th century so take a stand and just do it. And when David Brown comes up for re-election just stop, rinse, repeat. Birds of a feather and all that.

Bring civility back to West Vincent. Bring a real sense of community that is not selective but is all- inclusive back to West Vincent.  Embrace public servants who work for all of you and not just a select population but mostly for themselves.

#JustVoteMike

Election day can be your Emancipation Day West Vincent. You just have to step away from the Miller Mob. It’s not so hard, it’s just a vote.

Please note I am NOT being compensated for my opinion. I am not a recipient of special favors. Endorsing Mike Schneider is the right thing to do and Mike Schneider is the right guy to be supervisor and if I lived in West Vincent I would be voting for him. 

At the end of the day Chester County needs more Mike Schneiders and fewer Ken Millers. And that is why I wrote this post.

www.justvotemike.com

ChickenmanOnline

StopKenMiller

Statement from Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show

Ken Miller’s Campaign Finance Reports Online

Horse Show Theft

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election season cowards in west vincent

 

Vandalism? Really?

Come on now all you fine folks of West Vincent Township Chester County, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t lather and fluff up the fighting feathers at me demanding I stop blogging about the sordid underbelly of West Vincent Township when you as adults vandalize private property and send out harassing emails from  johnsmith@yahoo.com like they can’t be traced and you can’t be found.

 

You can be found, West Vincent isn’t such a big place. What will you all do when you are unveiled? How will you explain it to the people you have been shoving phony baloney horse manure at for years?

I know the twisted psychology and reasoning and it doesn’t wash. Vandalism and harassing emails are against the law.

To the other residents of West Vincent: this is why you need to retire Supervisor Roadmaster Farmer KenOcrat Miller. Any individuals who would do THIS to keep some lower level life form of the lowest tier local yokel politician in office is yet another  valid reason why the tyranny and dictatorship need to come to an end. This isn’t medieval Europe, it is the 21st century. We live in Chester County, Pennsylvania and wow isn’t this why Quakers and others settled here in the first place? To escape mob mentality and behavior such as this?

It should not be acceptable  to anyone that your friends, fellow residents, and neighbors should  be subjected to cowardly acts of petty vandalism and other harassment.

Vote to end this behavior.

 Vote Miller OUT of office. 

Retire him, and you remove their power. It’s that simple.

You know it wouldn’t take much to visit every hardware or home improvement store in the area asking who had bought spray paint recently. Most of the stores keep track of who buys spray paint because of vandalism. 

  

the highs and lows of community involvement

butterfly

I used to be a community activist. Really. It’s not so grand sounding, I think people just get to a point in their lives when they see change needs to occur and they seem to either choose activism or politics.  While I am fascinated by politics, I would never want to be an elected official, so I chose activism.

It all started innocently enough.

Prior to 9/11 I did mostly traditional volunteer work.  But there comes a time in your life when you can’t sit at the dinner table and murmur “that’s too bad.”

I come by my love of old houses and community by way of genetics. My late father was involved in every community we lived in starting with the early days of the Society Hill section of Philadelphia.

My personal entré into all of this started with my old neighborhood when the first of many developers sought to create infill development where I then lived. This developer was renovating an old factory/warehouse building which no one objected to.  But the ingress/egress onto our street where it was literally 12 feet wide we did object to.

Then, on the heels of that at the time my alma mater The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr wanted to tear down historic Beechwood House in Bryn Mawr  for a parking lot. I became part of a group headed by a fellow alumnae named Heather Hillman which raised the funds necessary to completely restore the house and give it a practical adaptive reuse in today’s world. The 9100 square foot home was an architectural gem designed by prominent late 19th century architect Addison Hutton. We did so well, the architects even won awards on the renovation. (A synopsis of what occurred can be found here.)

Then came the fateful night when I went to my friends’ restaurant in Ardmore and found the wife in tears.  “They want to take our building” she said.

That was my introduction to eminent domain and how I came to be part of a 501(c)(4) civic action organization called the Save Ardmore Coalition. The group was comprised of many people from different walks of life as well as different political parties. We came together because we felt positive change was needed. Instead local politicians (of course) labeled us as being obstructionist.

Eminent Domain in Ardmore, Lower Merion Township was a long and horrible process.  We went to Washington DC and stood beside people from all over the country including Long Branch, NJ, Camden NJ (Cramer Hill), Philadelphia and got to know  a lady from New London CT named Susette Kelo who became the symbol of the anti-eminent domain movement all across this country. (See Kelo vs. City of New London).

In Ardmore we were lucky and we were able to defeat eminent domain for private gain and at the time unseat half of the board of commissioners in Lower Merion (there are the ridiculous number of 14) . I was part of a group of wonderful people who learned that once in a while ordinary people could be right and it was worth fighting for what you believed in.

But all of this came at a personal cost.  We were labeled and tarred and feathered by developers and politicians and their cheerleaders and even paid publicists in Lower Merion Township. I was personally  subject to craziness like a letter to the editor by two then business owners like it was all my fault and I was wrong to have an opinion.  It was a crazy and angry time which lasted years and is still in fact going on. And people were and are nasty.

And nasty for what? Caring about where we lived? It was crazy, and I watch it still happen today and still think it is crazy. As residents I still believe that we need to be a much larger part of how our local governments decide things.

Essentially, I think a lot of communities need to taken back by residents before we are over-taxed, over-governed, and developed away. We  need better historic preservation on local and state levels. It has to mean something or people won’t do it.  We need the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code updated as well.

We need many things.  But people need to be involved more where they live.  It doesn’t matter if you are the loudest voice or the most quiet voice, just be a voice.

What started me on this post today? One word: Ardmore.

Once again Ardmore is embroiled in controversy over development. Carl Dranoff’s hideous behemoth of a project to be precise. Ardmore needed a train station and what it has suffered through now for way too many years is the emperor’s new clothes of ill advised development projects and plans. And developer driven zoning overlays.  And lots and lots of question over the use of public funds. In a nutshell, Lower Merion Township continues to be a shining example of what not to do (and the need for term limits in local government.)

So the new litigation was filed after the developer settled with business owners over other issues with “One Ardmore Place”. This litigation centers around the use of state funds known as RACP funds ( Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program ).

The new litigation has been filed by the successor citizens involved with the Save Ardmore Coalition.

August 17, 2015 Civic group files suit over Ardmore redevelopment: Save Ardmore Coalition claims project is missappropriation of public funds

By Sharon Lurye
PhillyVoice Staff

A civic group has filed a lawsuit against the governor of Pennsylvania, the Montgomery County Redevelopment Authority and Lower Merion Township over a redevelopment project in Ardmore, saying that it is a “misappropriation of millions of dollars of public funds” for private use.

The Save Ardmore Coalition announced last week that it was filing suit in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. The issue at hand: $10.5 million in state grant funds set aside for One Ardmore Place, a proposed mixed-use development with apartments, retail and public parking.

Currently, the site is a parking lot. The civic group argues that the grant funds were supposed to be used for the Ardmore Train Station.

“We testified many times before the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners and we were mocked. We brought petitions signed by residents only to see them disregarded,” said SAC President Philip Browndeis

I am no longer part of Save Ardmore Coaltion or in the executive branch of the group.  I resigned in the spring of 2011 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And then when that was all over with I moved. To Chester County.

So to say I had no idea this was going to happen next is an understatement.  When this news broke my phone and email started going crazy. “Why is this happening?” “What is going on?” “Why are you doing this?”

ME????

News flash: Alice doesn’t live in Ardmore any more. There is a new crew of people with some original folks doing this.  Contact Save Ardmore Coalition President Philip Browndeis at 267.250.2121 or email him at comments@saveardmorecoalition.org if you have questions.)

Of course, human nature being what it is, within days of the litigation being filed, a few anonymous cowards also and predictably rolled up on the Main Line Media News website to  drag me into this. The paper has since removed the comments and will continue to do so because I have nothing to do with this. I am sitting on the sidelines watching like everyone else and darn grateful not to be ensnared by this nonsense as I realized it is the same old rhetoric and whatnot rearing up again.

My personal opinion is I understand why new Save Ardmore Coalition has done this, but what I don’t understand is the timing of it. Why wasn’t this done a few years ago? And of course there is the other thing: residents can do whatever they think necessary to preserve their community but will they ever truly achieve their goals if they do not change the faces of who govern them? As in when are they going to vote the bums out?

I was in Ardmore a few weeks ago for a funeral viewing. I had not been in easily over a year.  The town looks run down and shabby and the public trash cans in front of the township were overflowing with trash.  It all looked welldepressed. And that is the effect of all the grand plans of developers, politics, and local government: inertia.

one ardmore placeSomething needs to happen in Ardmore.  I still don’t think it is “One Ardmore Place” because it is way out of touch with the reality of a small main street oriented town. It lacks human scale and design and if it gets built  it’s 8 stories in small building main street downtown Ardmore will make Eastside Flats in Malvern Borough look good.

People like to say I am anti-development. I am actually anti bad plans.  And every plan no matter where it is located looks the same these days. Homogenous and out of place and scale. The plans are presented where they look like they are situated in the Elysian Fields.

What is going on in Ardmore is going on all over Pennsylvania. Who knows when the madness will stop. Which is why I would rather cook, garden, treasure hunt and photograph butterflies. But I still believe people should be more active where they live.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

is having an opinion social crucifixion?

 

“Be wary because they also say what goes around comes around.”

That is but one of the public comments my blog received yesterday. Other comments included non publicly created gems like “eventually, we’ll get you.”

Remarkably, these were comments from women. Ladies, if you will.

Why?

For having an opinion that differed from the pack and for asking questions.

Sometimes as a blogger, I feel it’s just me that this is happening to me alone and then I hear it from other people.  Just yesterday as a matter fact someone I know was a guest on a nationwide talk show  where one of the hosts remarked  to my friend off stage as they were getting ready something along the lines of some days they didn’t know what they were going to talk about because no matter what they spoke about people were always unhappy, telling them they can’t have an opinion, saying they were horrible, and even issuing threats.

As a blogger and writer, I am not particularly controversial.  As a person I am not particularly controversial or extreme. But I do have opinions that will occasionally differ from the pack and I will ask questions about things that I find curious or which concern me.

And if someone takes issue with an opinion and if I comment back often I get this : “Oh, only you’re allowed to have an opinion?”. No, that is not what I said. It is as if I am supposed to take the keyboard lashings without further comment. Well truthfully sometimes I do, because it’s not worth arguing with someone who only cares about expressing their opinion, not in discussing something where opinions are opposing.

But yesterday I actually took the time to explain my position to a  keyboard critic.  I shouldn’t have bothered. She really wasn’t interested in a reasonable conversation, she was merely a self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner. Ok fine, she expressed her opinion. I have no problem with that. But I did have a problem with her dismissiveness of my taking the time to explain something to her which seemed important to her, followed by a thinly veiled social threat. 

… I am simply stating my OPINION which apparently is reserved only for you and not others!  I absolutely don’t have time to go back and forth with this nonsense!  It seems that your OPINION is the only OPINION that counts and I most definitely don’t have the desire to go around and around with you about this any longer… it’s like they say the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results!  That My Dear is not in my wheelhouse so I’m out!  Good luck and be well, but be wary because they also say what goes around, comes around!

Ok eyes rolling? Really? This is what makes them a good person and me bad? 

Take away lesson here is supposed to be I am OK if I am a subservient bobblehead , not if I am expressing an opinion they don’t agree with? And they can talk at me, but we can’t have a conversation about it? And I’m not supposed to respond?

Sad.

I love living in Chester County, but what I’m discovering is there are people of similar vein everywhere: urban, suburban, and country. They  also come from all socioeconomic levels across the board. These are the people that are only comfortable when the opinions are uniform and almost of a single mind as if we are a bunch of Stepford wives. 

I don’t live like that. I have a brain and was raised to use it not hide it.  This nonsense is often all too reminiscent of the middle school and high school lunchroom and the antics we all remember and not always all too fondly.

A few years ago I read this great piece about blogging and having opinions:

Don’t Be Afraid To Have Opinions Or Take Sides

By Adam Singer Future Buzz

What makes blogs special to you?  To me, it is the unique viewpoints of individuals who express their thoughts uninterrupted by editors or restrictions other than the self-imposed variety.

I frequently inject opinion here and take sides.  That’s not really a secret and should be pretty clear if you’ve been reading for awhile.  I would like to think you’re here not necessarily because your agree or disagree with what I write, but that you think it is worth hearing and want to learn, interact and debate with me.

If you agree with everything all bloggers you read are saying, you’re not reading enough blogs.  I don’t think there is any blogger I read who I agree with all their thoughts.  Perhaps most interesting of all are posts I disagree with, as those are the kind that I’ll think deeper about, add my opinion on and back up why I disagree.

If you’re a blogger, don’t ever be afraid to have opinions or take sides, you’ll only succeed in getting in the way of what could potentially be great content.  Don’t second guess yourself….If we want bland content lacking heart, we’re not looking to blogs – it’s that simple.  We want to read sites that touch our emotions.  An easy way to do this is to write something you have a strong opinion on, one way or the other.  Don’t shy away from these types of posts, say what you feel and your audience will be moved.  There are too many people who wring the emotion out of their work, don’t let this happen to you. 

Many bloggers, especially those in business in technology write as if they are afraid to be wrong, and seem to think if they have one misstep they’ll be ruined.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  You might as well not even keep a blog if you’re worried about being wrong on something – we’re only human and part of that is making mistakes and being wrong.  Certainly there is no better way to learn than making mistakes, and in fact if you aren’t making any in your blogging, you haven’t been doing it long enough.  No one is gets it right all the time. 

Bloggers like traditional writers have different styles. Do I agree with every blogger I come across? No. Do some of them make me uncomfortable? At times, yes. But they are entitled to their opinions.
Sometimes I find myself  writing about gardening, other times sharing a recipe, or showing you my latest photography or vintage find, or telling you about a restaurant or a shop I stumbled across that I thought was pretty cool.

But sometimes I’m going to have purely opinion driven piece of how I feel about something or something I don’t care for or something I am  questioning. 

Sometimes I even write about politics, religion, social politics, or even parenting topics. However, the  unfortunate thing is in today’s land of political correctness, these non-Suzy homemaker and gardener posts often amount to social crucifixion. 

Sometimes I wonder if sociologically, we are regressing? Are we bringing back the Scarlet letter?  Dunking people to see if they  sink or float, thereby determining if they are a witch or not?

A lot of this phenomenon is determined by keyboard courage. A lot of people feel very free  to express themselves in certain ways that they would never do in person in. Hence the advent in our society of cyber bullying. Some just perform a “bless your heart” on you and think you don’t realize it and keep on moving.

I have friends who have online presences to compliment  their various aspects of business and even they experience these online kerfuffles. One recently described it and pretty simplistic terms. They said you can say the sky is blue, and you will get 50 comments telling you that you’re wrong that is cerulean or aqua. And they will fight you to the death online to make sure their opinion is the only one left standing. And why?  Because you said something wrong or you said something they didn’t want to hear?

George Orwell once wrote “The enemy is the gramophone mind, whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment.”  

He also said when he was releasing Animal Farm (quite controversial in it’s day)  “The chief danger to freedom of thought and speech at this moment is not the direct interference of  any official body. If publishers and editors exert themselves to keep certain topics out of print, it is not because they are frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion…..intellectual cowardice is the worst enemy a writer or journalist has to face.”

I’m not comparing myself to George Orwell, let me be clear, I just found his comments timely in a weird way. Another great writer, E.B. White also touched many times on this topic of censorship. As did Galileo when it came to the Catholic Church centuries earlier.

And again, I am not comparing myself to E.B. White or Galileo. I am doing is pointing out that for a country based on certain freedoms, we certainly can be as backwards as our ancestors some days.

Having an independent thought or an opinion shouldn’t  amount to social crucifixion, but it does. Does that make me a martyr? Certainly not. It’s just another interesting thing to observe sociologically. 

And it all amounts to the more things change, the more things stay the same. Just like it is always easier to tell someone they are crazy, or infer they are a bad person, or berate or threaten them rather than have a conversation or discussion and discover opposing points of view that differ from your own. 

People react differently to things that put them out of their comfort level. Sometimes that is a positive and sometimes not. A lot of people like to live in a predictable little box where they control the universe. And that’s also OK, their universe doesn’t have to be my universe and vice versa.

I am sure this post will spark a conversation and even chiding  directed at yours truly. That’s OK. Thank you to my critics giving me more food for thought.

Thanks for stopping by on a stormy day!

curt schilling takes on cyberbullies. good. for. him.



Good. For. Him. 

Seriously, I have quite a bit of respect for former Phillie and World Series winning former RedSox pitcher Curt Schilling.  Talk about good sportsmanship.

Why?

Because he took on cyberbullies  to defend the honor of his precious daughter. 

It started innocently enough. He sent a tweet out to congratulate his daughter on where she was going to college.



Even if he is a public figure he should be allowed to do that, right? 

Apparently not, and soon it was raining cyberbully trolls on Twitter.



There were a lot more than this and some were kids, but a lot were adults including a DJ somewhere and some part time person who worked for the NY Yankees.  So Curt took on cyberbullies and outed them to the world.

Good.For. Him.

As you all who read my blog know, I was cyberbullied over a period of months last year . I knew exactly who was doing it , and much like  Curt I kept a record of it. This was done to me via Facebook. Not many people “liked” the page and I found out after the page was removed that my friends reported the page daily to Facebook for months as being vile and cyberbullying. 

I had the main cyberbully, the author of the page, and then there was a person who shared the posts and obviously fed them information. I considered them a bully too. 

Then there was the handful of people out there who would chime in. Not one of them knew me, had ever had a conversation with me, had ever met me socially. They knew nothing about me.  They didn’t know the cyberbullies.  They didn’t like some of what I wrote and some cases, and that was the justification for their behavior.

Around 20 or 22 men and women, some who are members of the Chester County community and them participating with a cyberbullying effort is kind of astounding, yet they did it. They  just decided to pile on in that mob mentality that any kind of bullying often takes on. A few of these people even have school age children. 

And again, they didn’t know me, they have still never met me, they have never ever had a conversation with me, and they had nothing to judge me on other then they didn’t like some of the things I had written over the years. It sounds crazy and it is crazy. But it happened and it’s true.

Shortly before Christmas, the page disappeared. It was a wonderful Christmas gift and I have never publicly thank my friends (but I am now)  who worked so hard to get that page removed. You see Facebook, doesn’t take cyber bullying particularly seriously when it is happening to adults  , and I had gotten to the point where I was tuning it out but occasionally saving screenshots as evidence. (I was advised to do that by law-enforcement. )

Now I’m sure my critics are saying “I can’t believe she is making this all about her ” but I am not. I merely sharing my personal experience as it applies to what I am writing about. And unfortunately for me, I can now say I have personal life experience with cyberbullying. And similarly to what Curt Schilling writes about, it’s not too difficult to figure out who it is exactly who is bullying you. And it’s astounding that people think it’s okay that these things are done to you. Or that you won’t discover who it is exactly. What is even more astounding is contemplating how people who used to be part of your life in a loving and supportive manner actually do these things, let alone total strangers. A thin line between love and hate and all that.

As I said before, as an adult, you often have the ability to have better coping mechanisms then the kids who experience cyberbullying , but it doesn’t mean anyone should experience it. When it happens to our kids, the cyberbullying is often just part and parcel of other real-time in-your-face bullying that kids experience.

What Curt Schilling has done is huge. He used his celebrity for good here. He is to be commended. Because of him an even brighter light now shines on cyberbullying and he has given courage and fortitude to those being bullied; through his actions and his position he has shown people how wrong this is. I also applaud him for doing this as a father for his child. That is love.

Now it would be terrific  it if other celebrities and sports figures would follow suit and just spearhead a grassroots nationwide campaign to declare war on #cyberbullying. For those who are doing the bullying out there, save your retort. Opinion is one thing, cyberbullying is something else entirely.

And it doesn’t just happen to kids. It happened to adults and not much is done  to combat adult on adult cyberbullying.

Before I link up Curt Schilling’s blog post, here is some other coverage on this:

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling fires back after trolls’ violent, sexual tweets about teen daughter

 NEW YORK DAILY NEWS. Published: Monday, March 2, 2015

Christian Science Monitor: Curt Schilling defends daughter from Twitter bullies with help of followers

Former Red Sox pitching star Curt Schilling named the cyber bullies on Monday who targeted his daughter online with vulgar comments.

Washington Post Early Lead 

 March 2 at 8:31 PM  

Boston.com: Schilling Throws Perfect Game With Response to Misogynist Trolls

Here is an excerpt from Curt Schilling’s blog post:

The world we live in…Man has it changed. ADDENDUM!

MARCH 1, 2015


I thank God every day that Facebook and Twitter, instagram, vine, Youtube, all of it, did not exist when I went to High School. I can’t imagine the dumb stuff I’d have been caught saying and doing.
If you are a dad this is something you well know already, if you are a dad with a daughter this is likely to get your blood going. If you are a boy, or young man, or husband, and you haven’t experienced children yet, or haven’t had a daughter, it’s next to impossible for you to understand.
My daughter, my one and only daughter, has worked her ass off playing sports the past 9-10 years. She’s loved it, and I’ve loved being able to both watch, and coach along the way.
Last week we were told she’d been accepted to college and will begin playing softball there next year.
Clearly an incredibly proud day.
tweet 1
And of course, like any dad in the modern world I said so.
Now I’ve been using computers since 1981. I was a professional baseball player for 22 years. I played 10+ years in Philadelphia. I played 5 in Boston. I shared a locker room with well over a thousand teammates and I played and lived at school a year before doing so.
That’s all to say I am absolutely aware of social media and how it works. As someone who’s said about 2.34 billion things he shouldn’t have, I get it.
….tweets with the word rape, bloody underwear and pretty much every other vulgar and defiling word you could likely fathom began to follow.
Now let me emphasize again. I was a jock my whole life. I played sports my whole life. Baseball since I was 5 until I retired at 41. I know clubhouses. I lived in a dorm. I get it. Guys will be guys. Guys will say dumb crap, often. But I can’t ever remember, drunk, in a clubhouse, with best friends, with anyone, ever speaking like this to someone…I understand this……I have a nasty habit of talking, a lot, about anything anyone asks me and totally unconcerned about giving you my opinion. You will never question where I stand, right or wrong agree or disagree on anything….The amount of vitriol I’ve heard is not an issue. I am sure I’ll hear more.
But I have to ask, is this even remotely ok? In ANY world? At ANY time?
Worse yet? No less than 7 of the clowns who sent vile or worse tweets are athletes playing college sports.
I knew every name and school, sport and position, of every one of them in less than an hour. The ones that didn’t play sports were just as easy to locate.

I’ve kept every tweet…