the business of thug politics

It’s October. The leaves are starting to fall from the trees, we finally had a crisply cool night, the political attack ads are starting, parties are fighting duels to the death…yes, dear readers election season has arrived in Chester County.

Ready or not, here they come.

Both parties have issues. Both parties have problem children…even as candidates. Neither party has a straight slate anywhere you can vote for, unless you choose to cast your vote with a blindfold on. Personally I find that unadvisable, but it’s the choice of the individual to be an informed voter.

On a county and local level, politics should be more about the individual and less about the Washington political machines. Washington DC isn’t just a political swamp, it’s a political cesspool, so do yourselves a favor and learn to tune out DC and look at local and state candidates as individuals.

Elections have consequences. In many municipalities in Chester County, residents are bitching about managers and solicitors and so on. Ummm HELLO? Who do you think HIRES these people? Politicians. Elected officials. And when it comes to managers especially, they also direct them on how to act on certain things and don’t kid yourselves otherwise. Solicitors march to the beat of a different drummer, like the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. That outdated tome is the work product of state elected officials isn’t it?

So what’s the point here? Elections have consequences so do your damn homework so you know whom to blame for what. Don’t just say it’s so and so’s fault. That is YOU in the voting booth casting your vote so do your homework! Learn what the candidates stand for, who they are, and to whom they are beholden. Don’t just vote a straight ticket because someone told you that is how you are supposed to vote. And don’t say that doesn’t happen because I literally heard a poll volunteer in another county long, long ago escorting an elderly person to the poll and they said “Ignore these people. You just vote the way we told you to.”

Yes seriously. And don’t act so surprised that it happened. It happens all of the time. If people volunteering for elections or who are committee people can’t be the way they should be, why listen? I have to tell you with a few notable exceptions I have liked most committee people from both parties over the years.

To vote is a privilege and a right in this country, use it wisely.

But election season also means thug politics. I was an attempted victim again yesterday. Someone just didn’t have a conversation with me, it was an attempt to bully or even worse depending upon how you interpret it. And it wasn’t the first one this season. There have been several unpleasant encounters.

If you are a blogger, thug politics is nothing new. By our very DNA most politicians and bloggers will not get along all of the time or even some of the time. It’s just the way we’re made and that’s ok. But to try to stomp all over someone’s First Amendment rights for not agreeing with you like a nodding bobble head doll? Oh come on and oh hell no.

Politicians even on a local level are public figures. Even former politicians because they used to hold office. Look at past U.S. Presidents as an example. Think of how long some of them have been out of office and still people talk about them. It’s still the nature of the beast.

Politics is an ugly business. That’s probably why I talk about it sometimes. I just don’t think it should be. Yet here we are.

Chester County needs political balance in my opinion. I don’t think that exists. And both political parties need to get their damn houses in order. When the infighting of each party becomes apparent to even the average and mostly uninterested Joe on the street, it’s a problem. And it’s not an attack the residents and bloggers and reporters kind of a problem. It’s a get your political house in order kind of problem.

Once upon a time I thought city politics was the nastiest and worst out there. I am beginning to think it’s not. We don’t live in the land of Stepford, people. We are NOT all supposed to think alike. It’s WHY this country was founded wasn’t it? For political freedom and doesn’t that include the right to be an individual and not a bobble headed Stepford dweller?

Whatever happened to the theory of the worthy opposition? Whatever happened to actual public service? Why is everything starting to seem agenda driven?

As residents of whatever political party we should want better for where we live. We should resist Washington politics taking over on a most local level. We need balance and fairness. And when politics gets nasty and thug-like we aren’t getting balance or fairness are we?

As the voting plurality, we deserve better. We deserve independent thinkers and people who epitomize public service. We deserve elected officials who answer to all of us equally, not just select factions.

I don’t have the answers and I am not telling all of you how to vote, just to use your vote wisely and do your homework.

enough

Yesterday was a day.

It started extremely happily as I was doing something I really love to do. I had a wonderful time… until sadly I didn’t.

I encountered a woman, a total stranger, who upset me enough that I just stopped what I was doing and decided to go home. That doesn’t generally happen.

On the way home I saw something that made me smile. It was something happy that reminded me of what’s important and what’s lovely about life.

It was a group of boys, obviously good buddies, all clumped together on a public street corner hanging out as boys are wont to do. Of course, they are modern boys, so they were all clumped together each one staring at their smartphones. And they were standing next to a very important historic sign marker.

It was a moment. Frozen in time. It made me smile and I took the photo.

There was no malice. I captured a moment on a public street that made me smile. And shared it.

But oh no, because of the world we allow ourselves to live in, my happy moment caught in an image where you couldn’t even see the boys’ faces, was twisted and made ugly.

All of a sudden, a man I don’t know is leaving comments that I am a “sick person” and a “pedophile”. That I was a “twisted voyeur of children” unfit to live in my own community and that (and I quote) “you get banned all around Malvern and now you leer on kids.”

I have, among other things, never been banned from anywhere.

I took the comments as what they were, threats, and sent them in native format to the police in case something happened to me.

That is not something I regularly do, but I took those comments as the threats they were intended to be. I am a woman. And when a man is that viscerally verbally abusive in comments, I am not necessarily going to just say “well that’s ok”.

As a matter of fact I am NOT going to say any of this is ok any longer.

Whenever it is something to do with me, because I am the local blogger, people all over social media, including in community groups I am not part of, pile on. Comment after comment after comment.

It’s enough to make you puke because these groups all have “statements of community” after a fashion and how they are all about love, and family, and community and neighbors…unless it’s me or anyone else who will never be a cookie cutter version of them.

Whether it’s me or anyone else who isn’t in their limited circle of life or school car rider line, it’s just fine to tear everyone apart. We don’t have feelings. We’re not like you. We don’t matter.

And you people wonder why some of your kids are called out in school for being bullies or having behavioral issues? Where do you actually think they learn the behavior?

Last night, the day thankfully changed yet again. I was with friends for a surprise party for another friend.

I belonged there. I felt loved and safe there. I was with people who actually, truly, really know me. They all reminded me again of what is important in this world. And what’s not important are the people who want to turn lovely days ugly and dirty. What’s not important are those of you (some with extraordinarily flawed and messed up lives, I might add) sitting in judgement of me or anyone else you find suspicious for not being exactly like you.

PSA: I am done with the BS. I am over being judged, maligned, defamed, harassed, harangued, bullied….yet when some want something done I am the one they seek out?

Can’t have it both ways.

I am not a bad person and I don’t have to defend my existence to any of the shlubs who wish to sit in judgement of me, my blogging, my opinions, and what I choose to photograph on public streets. Or bars and restaurants I choose to review. Or for writing about what’s important to me.

I have been threatened, harassed, you name it. And for what? Because I am not some freaking Nouveau Stepford Wife or I didn’t grow up in Malvern when dinosaurs roamed the earth?

Get over yourselves.

Those who know me, know me to be loyal to a fault. Those who cross me know I don’t suffer fools lightly.

da boyz

This isn’t a very good photo and I know it, but the subject matter just struck a chord with me and made me smile.

These boys are all obviously good buddies and that’s what made me smile — them standing there all in a gaggle (even if they all were on their phones.)

I thought it was sweet. I hope they took the time to read the Duffys Cut sign 😊

Sadly this is what I got for taking a photo I thought was so sweet passing by on a public road:

Mr. Habib there is no expectation of privacy in a public space which is what a public road is. Call the police if you feel you must, but then you are harassing me which is sadly something else entirely. How dare you make an innocent photo seem dirty.

Of course Mr. Habib seems to need to have the last word, and in the end, I may be the one who needs to call the police: