the farmhouse rots?

Yesterday I wrote about the old historic farmhouse in East Whiteland on Church Road.

This morning I happened to drive by as a passenger in a car.

Simply put, how in the hell is this farmhouse being preserved exactly? Does this perhaps more closely resemble demolition by neglect versus historic preservation? The freaking place is collapsing, it’s clearly visible from the road so WTF?

Also note the “planting” photos. Cheap trees planted too closely together. Wonder if any are on the invasive species list like the developer special Bradford Pear? Whatever these trees will be mostly dead in a few years, wait and see. (sorry not sorry, my opinion as an experienced gardener. I find it ludicrous that these developers clear-cut forest and field, only to plant poorly.)

If Toll Brothers can get up the sales office for their Great Valley Crossing Development don’t they have time or shouldn’t they have time to save the historic farmhouse like people were told would happen?

from anita hill to christine blasey ford

dr ford 2

I am watching Christine Blasey Ford give her opening statement.  As women we are all wired differently, but in my humble opinion this this woman is not lying. She is telling and reliving her truth on national television. (CLICK HERE not sure if link will change.)

When as a country do we stop blaming and shaming victims of any form of assault? This woman has been the target of harassment and death threats since she came forward? She and her family have had to MOVE OUT of their home? Her email was hacked this week?

She says “my responsibility is to tell the truth.”

I have watched the emotions run across this poor woman’s face.  I will note that while not consistently a Senator Diane Feinstein fan, I thought she was magnificent this morning.

I also thought Senator Chuck Grassley was a veritable tool in his opening remarks. He has been a tool consistently throughout. Senator Patrick Leahy just made me tear up when he said to Dr. Ford “We owe you a debt of gratitude…bravery is contagious.”

I remember watching what happened to Dr. Anita Hill vividly in 1991.  She has been quoted recently as stating :

“Access to equal justice for all is what was at stake in 1991, and it’s what’s at stake now,” said Hill, now 62 and a professor at Brandeis University.

A friend of mine recently said on Facebook:

For me, the striking thing about the reports of the (alleged) actions and behavior of  Kavanaugh & peers in the 80’s is how utterly unsurprising and familiar the stories are and how much I took such behavior for granted as normal throughout my high school, college, and twenty-something years.

Philadelphia’s Main Line prep schools are not very different from those in the suburbs of DC. In the 80’s …we marinated in a pretty formidable testosterone stew, and the drunken, groping party scene among the schools was the reality I knew. For the most part I stayed out of the fray, but certainly had moments in the heart of it all – it may have been luck that I wasn’t assaulted, but I’m aware of female peers who were and who still feel the impact today, even if they never reported anything. I’m familiar with some of the men I was told were perpetrators, who now are stable, engaged, contributing citizens who may not remember or even be aware of the impact of their actions years ago.

When I arrived at my traditional, predominantly male college, the drunken, groping fraternity party scene didn’t faze me since it corresponded to the social scene I knew, and was one in which I willingly participated. As in high school I mostly avoided assaults that some other women experienced, until the one time that I, dead sober on a weekday night, bumped into a male friend who was wasted, who wasn’t convinced that I didn’t want to hook up with him, who pinned me to the ground until I managed to push him off and run away. It’s just about the most scared I’ve ever been around another person – I can imagine the feelings of fear and panic and lack of control that Christine Blasey Ford may have felt – and avoided him for the next few weeks, yet I never went to campus police and may have only told one or two people at the time. Later the guy apologized to me profusely and sincerely. I believed him that he had scared himself as much as he had scared me. We remain friends and is someone I like, admire, and appreciate to this day. Not every woman at college was so fortunate.

Pledge season involved a lot of male nudity; it wasn’t unusual each spring to find myself on the dance floor with some drunken, naked guys (who by that point may have become so numb and inured to public nudity they didn’t think twice about stripping down). I thought it was adventurous and funny; in retrospect now I can imagine how unsettling or upsetting it may have been for others at the fraternity party. From my perspective at that point, that’s just the way it was – that was normal.

Looking back at this culture through the lens of 30+ years of maturation and experience, I feel a little like the proverbial frog in boiling water – if I had been dropped in, I might have jumped right back out, but having been immersed in it as it slowly heated up, I never noticed that anything might be amiss. For whatever reasons – obliviousness, immaturity, desire for social acceptance, preponderant male power and privilege, entrenched social mores – it rarely occurred to me to question what we then accepted as the norm. Others may have been more mature or enlightened far earlier than I. It’s taken me longer to wake up and recognize it as unhealthy and harmful. Waving your penis drunkenly in someone’s face (it’s surely happened somewhere, whether officially witnessed, reported, and documented at Yale in the 1980’s or not) is not funny or acceptable. It’s boorish and threatening, and also probably really unattractive. (Sorry guys – penises are usually pretty ugly!)

So there’s no real moral to my tale, just an observational outpouring based on my experience as a white, heterosexual, overly-educated woman of privilege who has lived primarily in affluent parts of America. The issues that have been raised by Me Too, Why I Didn’t Report, Time’s Up, and ongoing stories that shed light on the pervasive nature of sexual misconduct, assault, and crimes in our culture are bigger and broader than just my tiny little slice of life.

The stories being told by the women speaking out against Brett Kavanaugh, though, speak to a specific milieu I recognize. He may well be an intelligent, accomplished professional, a man of faith, a pillar of the community, and a devoted husband and father, but he could also have been an asshole as a teenager, especially when drunk, who casually and cavalierly exercised his entitled belief that girls were prey to be conquered or trophies to be won while glorying in his alpha male dominance and sexual prowess.

I don’t know him and I don’t know if that’s the case, but, if true, the actions outlined by his accusers fit a profile that I find fully believable and very likely possible. For this and many other reasons it really chaps my hide that a bunch of desiccated, crotchety, superannuated white guys are trying to force through a vote without some semblance of sensitivity to the nuances of the situation. There is nothing easy here, and it burns me up that the response by some of those elected to lead our country is to say, essentially, “hush now – stop making a fuss over nothing and let us go ahead and do what we want.”  Wonder how a younger generation of men may ever have picked up the notion that they might be entitled to casually and cavalierly conquer, belittle, and suppress women while glorying in their alpha male dominance. It shouldn’t be normal.

I shared my friend’s post because she is right.

As I was a few years ahead of her in high school, don’t think similar thoughts haven’t crossed my mind when it comes to the conversations which persist about Supreme Court nominee Kavanugh as yet another woman comes forward. (Since I wrote this yet another woman has come forward I will note for the record.)

Thinking about all the parties from high school forward and thinking about times even as a young adult in my early 20s having to dodge this total tool who tried to trap me in someone’s parents’ bedroom coming out of the bathroom at a party I completely agree.

Being slammed up against a wall of a bedroom like that was not sexy or fun, it was terrifying.

All I remember about that were thoughts racing through my head that I had to get out of there and telling myself I couldn’t afford to panic. I was able to knee the guy in the crotch to get away. I can still see the draperies, the coverlet and canopy of this now long gone proper Main Line master bedroom. I can tell you the bathroom I used was the interior master en suite bathroom in the back of the bedroom.

Most of us have stories like this from our single days. The funny thing is I don’t actually know many women who don’t have at least one of these stories, if not more. Most of us, myself included, have multiple stories. Suffice it to say, it was an experience I had as a teenager which propelled me in my twenties to just get out of that room.

Being raised by mothers who just expected us to be good and proper girls, did not actually prepare us for the reality of it all growing up. And how many of us had mothers we felt we could truthfully discuss these issues with? I love my mother but I know I couldn’t discuss it with her. I still couldn’t.

Back then, women/girls were blamed first. It was always “what did you do?” not “Oh my God, what can we do to make this right?” Even today, the initial knee-jerk reaction is to blame the women/girls first instead of listening.

Not all of us want to talk about these incidents. Because back then if you talked about them it was also whispered that you were “fast” or “easy”. The guys in this equation were just sort of patted on the back and sent on their way. It was expected, and almost condoned behavior. Just “boys being boys” only it never felt that way if you were on the receiving end.

I also remember the stories of college girls when I was a freshman who were supposedly “trained” by fraternity brothers when I was in college. “Riding the Train” of course today would be called gang rape. Back then it meant they all lined up and took turns. They would ruin a girl’s reputation but what they in fact did was commit gang rape. These things were whispered about, not reported.  We learned whom to avoid and what parties we probably should avoid. But the “boys” persisted.

Stories range from attempted assault to rape. And then there are all the women who won’t talk about what happened to them. Ever. Or not for decades.  Some women deal with it in therapy or somehow push through it.  And there are those who never dealt with these issues and what happened to them has continued to play a part in their now adult lives. Because as a society we don’t deal with these patterns of behavior, they persist to future generations. Maybe you will disagree with me, but those are personal observations.

And I don’t think as a society we can judge people for waiting however many years before they come forward. These were traumatic events and they have triggers. People can bury these things in their subconscious for years, until there comes a point in time or something triggers a memory and they all come flooding forward. And then it’s like these women have to live it all over again because they didn’t deal with it in the first place. And a lot of the times they didn’t deal with it in the first place because as a society we’ve only just started becoming supportive. As a society, we did not used to be so supportive.

Jessica Knolls’ book Luckiest Girl Alive comes to mind. It is kind of the way it was, although factionalized. Here is a New York Times article discussing the impetus:

 Jessica Knoll Reveals the Rape Behind Her Novel, ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’  

By Alexandra Alter
March 29, 2016

….She is no longer dodging those questions. On Tuesday, Ms. Knoll published a raw and chilling essay describing how the gang rape depicted in her novel was drawn from her own experience in high school, when she was sexually assaulted by three boys at a party, and then tormented by classmates who labeled her a slut.

“I was so conditioned to not talk about it that it didn’t even occur to me to be forthcoming,” Ms. Knoll said during a recent interview at her publisher’s office in Midtown Manhattan. “I want to make people feel like they can talk about it, like they don’t have to be ashamed of it.”

Anyway, I think these women deserve to be heard. I also think they should not be judged about how long it took them to come forward.

Societally, this is something that women are NOT supposed to talk about in public.(Just Google #WhyIDidntTell And while there are a lot of people who have used the #MeToo movement for personal gain, and there are plenty of women who were not truthful and cried wolf, it has also given a lot of women a voice that is long overdue.

I will also note I have a problem with women who cry wolf. Women who fake it in this category are reprehensible. They make it more difficult for actual victims of abuse to come forward and even be heard.  Sadly, my gut reaction to this whole scenario now unfolding on a national and international stage is still that I believe these women.

If you ever experienced anything like what these women are recounting, sorry not sorry, you know. You know because you experienced what has been pshawed off for far too long in this country as if not acceptable but almost expected as a rite of passage.

Anita HillThere is a recent Huffington Post piece that I think should be checked out:

Huffington Post U.S. NEWS 09/21/2018 02:26 pm ET
Rape Survivors Share Why They Stayed Quiet In Powerful #WhyIDidntReport Tweets
President Donald Trump tried to bolster Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by challenging sexual assault survivors who didn’t immediately call the police.
headshot
By Ryan Grenoble

I also read this piece on The Cut:

THE BODY POLITIC SEPT. 24, 2018
When the Muzzle Comes Off
By Rebecca Traister

Watching these proceedings as they unfold today I am struck by the two lines of questioning: legal questioning by the legal expert Rachel Mitchell constantly interrupted by some absurd five-minute rule by I can’t desacribe as other than politics.

Dr. Ford was asked one of the things she remembers most, remembers vividly.  She responded the laughing.  Sorry, I remember being a teenage girl and right or wrong, and while boys might block it out, or compartmentailze it away, girls remember the laughter.

Being laughed at or about is something you do not really forget. You grow up, you move on (or should if you can), but you do remember. We learn from our own personal histories just like we learn from actual history. However this shakes out, we need to be different in this country.  It’s not about the political correctness police running amok, it’s a question of respect.

Whatever happens today, I hope it’s not another Anita Hill scenario.  For both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh, put the politics down and get to the truth. Waht an ugly time we live in.

prosecutor

r.i.p. john mccain

I will let John McCain’s final words be a lot of this post. He was a great American. He was an American Hero. We were lucky to have him in our corner.

We live at present with turbulence and ugliness that is NOT a hallmark of being an American and certainly resembles no Republican party I recognize and, in fact,  it’s a travesty. Maybe you don’t like my opinion, but it is what it is and I am not alone in my sentiments.  In my humble opinion, John McCain represented a good portion of  what I respected  once about  most Republicans.

Sad trivia: John McCain died 9 years to the day from when Ted Kennedy died…and McCain and Kennedy  died from the same cancer.  Sadly, I will never view Ted Kennedy with the same eyes.

Time for a brief segue… (come on now, it’s only a wee ramble…)

When I was child, Ted Kennedy was in Philadelphia.  It would have been after Chappaquiddick.  Anyway, he was making a stop at the American Catholic Historical Society at 263 S. 4th Street in Society Hill.  My family at the time lived at 271 S. 4th Street.

I was a little girl with an autograph book (remember those?) and I knew a Kennedy would be a few doors down from listening to all the grown-ups talk about it.  So I asked my parents if they could take me down for an autograph.  Kennedy got out of the car. He didn’t see me and waved his arms out I guess to wave at people or greet them or something a politician would do… and he knocked me down. Seriously and for real. He didn’t stop to see if the little girl he knocked over was o.k.  But that is why at an early age, I became an UN-fan of Senator Ted Kennedy.

Back to John McCain.  He was true to himself and to the American people. You can’t ask for more than that in a public servant/politician.

John McCain was a man whom I would have been proud as an American to have had as a President.  Sadly, they paired him up with Caribou Barbie, otherwise known as Sarah Palin.  He would have had a much better shot at becoming President I think if they had not stupidly chosen Sarah Palin. No I have nothing kind to say about Sarah Palin. I have always found her to be ridiculous. Her comments upon his death are no exception. She sounds like a bitter divorcée who lost her alimony or something.  However, since even our current President is apparently lacking in the decorum at death department, why should Scarah Palin be any different? Maybe she’ll be the next new hire on the White House edition of the Apprentice?

The New York Times has written  a beautiful obituary on John McCain . READ IT HERE.

Excerpt from New York Times Obituary:

John S. McCain, the proud naval aviator who climbed from depths of despair as a prisoner of war in Vietnam to pinnacles of power as a Republican congressman and senator from Arizona and a two-time contender for the presidency, died on Saturday at his home in Arizona. He was 81.

According to a statement from his office, Mr. McCain died at 4:28 p.m. local time. He had suffered from a malignant brain tumor, called a glioblastoma, for which he had been treated periodically with radiation and chemotherapy since its discovery in 2017.

Despite his grave condition, he soon made a dramatic appearance in the Senate to cast a thumbs-down vote against his party’s drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act….A son and grandson of four-star admirals who were his larger-than-life heroes, Mr. McCain carried his renowned name into battle and into political fights for more than a half-century. It was an odyssey driven by raw ambition, the conservative instincts of a shrewd military man, a rebelliousness evident since childhood and a temper that sometimes bordered on explosiveness.

Also read this Penn Live Editorial and here is an excerpt:

With McCain’s death, a call to serve | Editorial
Updated 3:43 PM; Posted 2:19 PM

By PennLive Editorial Board penned@pennlive.com

Fittingly for someone who always seemed larger than life, the death Saturday of U.S. Sen. John McCain at the age of 81 seemed like several events wrapped into one.

For McCain’s family, friends and colleagues – both in Washington and across the nation and world – it was a time to mourn a beloved father, spouse and colleague who battled bravely against an aggressive form of brain cancer to the very end.

For historians and political scientists, it offered the chance to observe, in real time, the passing of one era of American politics and the continued dawning of a new – and very different – one.

And for the rest of us, it was an opportunity to reflect on an extraordinary career of public service….Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, who appeared at McCain’s side throughout his 2008 White House bid, said his longtime friend “lived a life to service as few others have. And when you take a look at that lifetime of service, his was performed with unfailing integrity.”

….He taught us that we work best when we work together.

I hope you read the entire Penn Live Editorial. It is brilliant.

Finally, The Washington Post Obituary on John McCain:

John McCain, ‘maverick’ of the Senate and former POW, dies at 81

By Karen Tumulty August 25

U.S. Sen. John S. McCain, the son and grandson of four-star admirals, was bred for combat. He endured more than five years of imprisonment and torture by the North Vietnamese as a young naval officer and went on to battle foes on the left and the right in Washington, driven throughout by a code of honor that both defined and haunted him.

Sen. McCain, 81, died Aug. 25 at his ranch near Sedona, Ariz., his office announced in a statement. The senator was diagnosed last year with a brain tumor, and his family announced this week that he was discontinuing medical treatment…..A man who seemed his truest self when outraged, Sen. McCain reveled in going up against orthodoxy. The word “maverick” practically became a part of his name.

Sen. McCain regularly struck at the canons of his party. He ran against the GOP grain by advocating campaign finance reform, liberalized immigration laws and a ban on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” — widely condemned as torture — against terrorism suspects….Once Trump was in office, Sen. McCain was among his most vocal Republican critics, saying that the president had weakened the United States’ standing in the world. He also warned that the spreading investigation over Trump’s ties to Russia was “reaching the point where it’s of Watergate-size and scale.”

John McCain was indeed a maverick. And American here. An example of a dying breed of public servant.  We need more like him from both parties.  I think it’s high time to look for actual public servants, true voices of the people. Not puppets for their respective political parties, beholden to lobbyists and deal makers.

John McCain, thank you for your service. A literal lifetime of service.  You weren’t perfect, you did not pretend to be, but I think you were amazing.  May your memory be a blessing.

Image result for john mccain half mast flag

not our pipeline

Pipeline and sinkhole. Just The Fact Please photo. November, 2017

Before I moved to Chester County, I was somewhat ambivalent about Sunoco and their pipelines. Among other things, I grew up with a father who was for years, in-house PR for a then major oil company.  And part of that was during the Exxon Valdez era.  But oil companies had deep pockets and what did I know? Nothing was near where we lived and those oil company deep pockets were always giving box loads of stuff to schools, bought full page ads in school newspapers for the kids of employees, etcetera.

When you first hear about problems with pipelines, pipeline construction, or even fracking, it is like this fuzzy thing out of focus ahead of you in the haze. It can’t possibly affect you. Until it does. And in my opinion, it is.   I have friends who hail from Western Pennsylvania who literally have been warning people for years.  And they are just nastily labeled “fracktivists”. Guess that is the new label for “concerned citizen”? Because I have got to tell you, the people I knew who once lived in Western PA are…wait for it…MOMS.  You know how dangerous moms are, right?

Then it seems like in an instant but a couple miles in either direction from where you live as far as the crown flies in any direction, stuff starts to happen.

Well issues.

Sinkholes.

You feel like local municipal officials and politicians are just covering their ears saying “na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na” in order to NOT have to listen to residents.  Respected environmental activists are labeled as being alarmists.

Then all of a sudden the  PA DEP seems to wake up and temporarily halts work on Sunoco’s Mariner 2 Pipeline.  Only as per residents in some affected Chester County neighborhoods and State Impact by NPR  that might not quite be true as they report on January 9, 2018:

When Danielle Otten woke up Monday morning, she didn’t expect to see men working on the Mariner East 2 pipeline construction site that sits about 40 feet from her backyard, along Devon Drive in Uwchlan Township, Chester County.

For one thing, work in the area had stalled after drilling dried up and damaged nearby water wells this past summer. And just last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued a court order halting construction along the 350-mile long pipeline after Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners continued to violate its permits, causing damage to private water wells, streams and wetlands…..When DEP issued a stop work order to Sunoco last week, it appeared that all work would halt aside from drilling and erosion controls that had to be continued in order to prevent additional environmental damage. But a spokesman for the DEP now tells StateImpact that when it comes to anything other than earth disturbance or water crossings, the agency doesn’t have jurisdiction.

 

In Chester County, as a resident, you can’t avoid the truth of the pipelines. And the risks and dangers. So many of us are on wells. And so many with wells are already having issues. And then there are those other pesky things…you know like sinkholes and so on?

The jarring visuals you see with your own eyes like the beautiful swaths of lands torn assunder are burned into your brain.  Once you see it, you can’t un-see it and you wish you could.

Swing sets and play houses of small children sit in macabre juxtaposition to giant earth moving machines and huge pieces of pipe.

Giant walls, pipes, and earth moving machines also sit across the driveway from senior citizen apartment complexes and grocery stores.

Pipeline so close and on top of churches and schools in addition to residential neighborhoods and please, tell me, how is that safe?

Next to firehouses too? So basically, Sunoco puts those supposed to protect us at risk as well?

You have friends and former neighbors who have Sunoco gobbling up their land for the pipeline.  You count your blessing like we did that we moved long ago from certain parts of Chester County because otherwise this view could be your very own backyard:

Uwchlan Safety Coalition photo

Only you can’t help but wonder if your slice of heaven will remain unmolested by pipelines? Like Medieval Feudal Lords, you are never quite sure what they will swoop in and take, are you?

You are, as residents of Chester County and elsewhere, supposed to bend over and accept these new vistas:

My photo, taken July, 2017

When you say “no I think this is bad” there are people who will  jump all over you. “It’s perfectly safe. You don’t know what you are talking about.”

Perfectly safe? Is that why CBS This Morning ran and over FIVE minute segment on the national news this morning from coast to coast?

Sunoco is raping our land. They are depleting it, irrevocably changing it and in my opinion putting us all at risk.  It is not OUR pipeline, it is THEIR pipeline being forced upon us all and we are not benefiting from it.  This isn’t OUR infrastructure, it’s Sunoco’s infrastructure. What they take is being shipped OVERSEAS.

As another friend Ginny said to others:

Sunoco cannot replace the large, mature trees they are chopping down for this. Nor can they restore the fragile and important wetland there if they wreck it, just as they couldn’t restore the private wells that they wrecked in Marchwood this summer with this pipeline. 

Living with hazardous liquefied natural gas lines is not a part of living in suburbia. In fact it is reckless to put these lines through densely populated areas, right alongside houses, schools, apartment buildings, shopping centers, seniors homes, etc. 

And now, Sunoco also wants Chester County Library’s freaking lawn? (See Dragon Pipe Diary)

When does it stop?  When did Corporate America’s rights become more meaningful than ours in Chester and Delaware Counties and elsewhere in Pennsylvania?  Why are we as residents being forced to live with something that destroys and takes and give nothing back in return? Why don’t residents matter? Why do we spend so much time feeling like our elected officials have forsaken us on this issue?

And why is it when you mention anything about not liking or distrusting pipelines some fool will always hop up and cry foul partisan politics? I mean do they really think we are such imbeciles that an issue which is non-partisan and affects EVERYONE is an example of partisan politics?  Take off the dunce caps, because opposition to Mariner East is clearly bi-partisan.

Pipeline, East Goshen. My photo. Summer/Fall 2017

Today in addition to the CBS News report, Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety is a nonpartisan, fact-based, grassroots coalition of locally-based safety groups, made up of concerned Pennsylvanians from across our Commonwealth issued a press release:

Well guess what? I believe these folks, and this pipeline and it’s march across Chester County and elsewhere terrifies me.  These people protesting are our neighbors and friends. And there are quite the growing numbers of experts, environmentalists and others who believe these residents.

There is also a very important petition circling. It is directed at our rather elusive Governor Tom Wolf on Change.org asking him to protect our communities under the PA Health and Safety Statute.

Please sign and share this petition today.

Here are some articles:

Dragonpipe Diary: Sunoco’s destructive plans for the Chester County Library lawn

State Impact PA Despite DEP order to halt Mariner East 2 construction, some work is still allowedJANUARY 9, 2018 | 5:34 PM Susan Phillips

State Impact: Water problems persist along Mariner East pipeline route despite court interventionOCTOBER 12, 2017 | 5:03 PM BY JON HURDLE

State Impact: DEP issues violation to Sunoco for another spill of drilling fluidAUGUST 30, 2017 | 6:40 PM BY JON HURDLE

grist: BRIEFLY Stuff that matters PIPE DOWN

Daily Local: Pennsylvania DEP shuts down construction on Sunoco gas pipeline By Bill Rettew, brettew@dailylocal,com POSTED: 01/03/18, 5:25 PM EST

Daily Local: DEP accuses Sunoco of unauthorized drilling By Bill Rettew, brettew@dailylocal.com POSTED: 01/02/18, 3:49 PM EST

Daily Times, Phil Heron: Editorial: Economic benefits alone won’t resolve pipeline concerns

Look at the end of the day, did we come to Chester County for this view below? I don’t think so. We need to protect what is ours.  And what is ours, is not necessarily theirs.

#Resist

Uwchlan Safety Coalition Photo

much ado about daylin

My photo take June, 2006 in Ardmore, PA

I am going to wade into a fairly explosive political situation here.  You don’t have to agree with me, but I expect the discourse to be civil.  Yesterday on Twitter, someone was not particularly civil.  I will be coming back undoubtedly to update this post because I think this situation is going to continue to unfold.

I have known Daylin Leach a long time at this point.  Almost 20 years.  I was introduced to him as my then about to be new Pennsylvania State Representative by former (and now retired) State Senator Connie Williams, whom I had known years prior to that.

When Daylin and I first met, I wasn’t exactly user friendly to him. (When he tells the story, it’s much funnier!)  I was part of a group fighting eminent domain for private gain in Ardmore, PA and I kind of rolled up on him and was all “Hey what are YOU going to do about this?” (and was somewhat combative, truthfully, as this was very important to me that my friends not lose their small businesses and historic storefront buildings.)

As a State Representative, he was terrific and Connie Williams was a tough act to follow.  (All the years Connie was in politics, I was a Republican for Connie Williams.  I think she is awesome politically and personally.)  His office door was open to all, and he was there for you no matter what your political persuasion. (I was still a Republican at the time. I am now an Independent if it matters.)

When Connie Williams decided to retire as State Senator, Daylin decided to run for her seat.  That was a drama filled election starting with the primary races for it.  But Daylin prevailed with a wide margin against Lower Merion Commissioner Lance Rogers (whom I also know.)

I actually was invited to Daylin’s victory party.  It was held in Radnor Township at the Radnor Hotel.  So you had Delaware County Democrats and Montgomery County Democrats given how far the 17th PA Senatorial District Reaches.

When I first got there and went up to congratulate Daylin, there was then Radnor Commissioner Bill Spingler (yes, THAT Bill Spingler from the news) sucking up.  Spingler stops what he is saying, turns and stares at me as says (rather rudely) “What is SHE doing here? She’s a REPUBLICAN!”   Daylin said something funny and to the effect that he was allowed to have friends who were Republicans.  He completely relieved an unpleasant moment with humor.

Now if you know Daylin at all you know about the stand up comedian in him.  He actually used to blog a million years ago.  His opponents made a big, hairy deal out of it.  I read it and well, what am I going to say? I am a blogger.  People don’t like what I write every now and again, so not for me to judge.  But as I do recall, the Philadelphia Inquirer made much of it.  Now can that be said that was because well, Daylin Leach had been hyper-critical of the Philadelphia Inquirer? Hmmm so let’s do the math and take a trip down memory lane.

I found a website which memorialized a certain Philadelphia City Paper Article in 2005.

September 22-28, 2005

loose canon/ You Need Daylin Leach

So why is the Inquirer trying to get him thrown out of office? by Bruce Schimmel

Please note: This article is published as an archive copy from Philadelphia City Paper. My City Paper is not affiliated with Philadelphia City Paper. Philadelphia City Paper was an alternative weekly newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The last edition was published on October 8, 2015.

Why did the Inquirer‘s Harrisburg reporter, a columnist and the paper’s editorial board collectively carpet bomb Daylin Leach out of a job that you need him in?

Leach is the Democractic state representative for the Main Line and Upper Merion. A year into his second term, this young progressive has often aligned himself with Center City state Rep. Babette Josephs on issues critical to the city. This friend from suburbia is a rare blessing.

But it wasn’t his politics that triggered the Inky’s attacks. The newspaper hates the state rep because he had the audacity to diss them — several times and wickedly well — in printed op-ed pieces and in political satire on his Web site.

Like most cutting satire, Leach’s stuff is outrageous, sometimes obscene. But political satire exposes a kind of truth that traditional media often don’t get — and which is why millions now watch satirists like Al Franken, Bill Maher or Jon Stewart, instead of reading newspapers…..Leach took issue with the Inky’s Harrisburg reporting with a serious — and civil — op-ed piece published in the Inquirer.

The article goes on and you can read it in it’s entirety here: You Need Daylin Leach 2005 Philadelphia City Paper as seen in My City Paper .

I have not ever been a donor to any of Daylin’s campaigns.  As a rule of thumb, I do not contribute to any political campaigns financially.  And let me tell you another little personal Daylin story.

I wanted to meet Michelle Obama when her husband was first running for President. On March 13, 2008 I had that opportunity and did.  It was a small venue and I was one of like 50 women.  Daylin Leach gave me the ticket to the event.  He could have given it to someone who could have done something for him politically, of his own political party.  But he did not.  He gave me that ticket and it was a once in a lifetime very cool kind of thing I shall remember always. I got to meet a future First Lady.

Anyway, my point is (right or wrong), Daylin and the Inquirer have had a seriously rocky relationship. And no, not everyone likes Daylin.  He’s a politician.  And he’s a politician who walks to the beat of his own drummer.  Even his own political party isn’t necessarily enamored of him in my humble opinion.

But is Daylin Leach worthy of the ire of the #metoo movement? I don’t think so.

Yesterday I said so the Philadelphia Inquirer and political foes are trying to “Al Franken”  Daylin Leach. Where are Dan Muroff for Congress ‘s paws in all of this? There are few politicians who I would defend, but Daylin is one of them.  And seriously where are they in all of this? And might I add, Governor Tom Wolf has been lickity split quick to jump on the let’s-burn-Daylin-at-the-stake hit parade, hasn’t he?

Of course Governor Wolf is saying this….he’s up for re-election and will say anything to keep himself in the Governor’s office, right?

I have to ask about how it is Governor Wolf is saying this? Are we now all guilty until proven innocent? Himself included? Is Wolf the living embodiment of let he who is without sin cast the first stone?

I wasn’t voting for Wolf already because of the whole Sunoco Pipeline issue, so this is just yet another reason to look at other candidates, but I digress.

Oh and because I as a woman do not believe this whole thing, yes I was briefly vilified on Twitter. Isn’t it interesting that as a woman I am only apparently allowed to share the same opinion as every other woman, and not allowed to have my own individual opinion? So much for “you’ve come a long way baby”, right?

Things need to be done the right way. And to persecute people for every dumb ass off-color remark or what someone perceives to be an incorrect glance is not a way women should want to rule the world.

Where I have a problem with a lot of the stuff is it minimizes what actual victims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and domestic violence go through. It all can’t be lumped together. It can’t.

This is just more of the politics of ugliness that is running rampant across this country.

Is Daylin a perfect person? No, but are any of us? He’s a guy who overcame great odds to get where he is.  But he is also a man with a beautiful wife and children who are also being punished by this political witch hunt.  And to me, right or wrong, this is a political with hunt.  When a sitting governor up for re-election and not exactly well liked in many quarters hops on board this train SO fast, sorry doesn’t it make you a little suspicious?

Some of the comments I have seen written by women who have no dog in this race, and don’t know Daylin have said:

I’m trying to find the middle ground…where a man is just a stupid ass as opposed to a pedophile or a rapist.

And….

We are losing nuance. No one should get fired over dumbass jokes. Save the big guns for serious, intentional harassment and crimes. Goes for Franken too, imho.

There is a quote in the Inquirer article that says:

Aubrey Montgomery, a former finance director for Leach’s first campaign for Senate in 2008, said Leach has consistently supported policies that help women.

“But,” she said, “as great as his legislative record is for women globally, he can be awful to women individually.”

I have to ask is she thinks Daylin Leach is THAT awful, why is she Facebook friends with him and why does she share fond memories from her time with him? Oh wait….she is kind of part of opponent Dan Muroff’s team as per the Inquirer, right? Here is the other quote:

Montgomery said she continued to support Leach because she backed his policy positions. In recent years, however, she has done compliance work for, and donated money to, Dan Muroff, who is running against Leach in the Democratic primary for Congress.

Can’t have it both ways, my dear, or can you because it’s Pennsylvania politics after all?

And then the quotes concerning political conventions. Have you ever been to a national political convention? I have.  I volunteered at The RNC 2000.  I loved it, but suffice it to say you are all squished in everywhere like lemmings. And I saw things that would seriously raise eyebrows, not what was described in the Inquirer article.

The women who say Daylin is prone to inappropriate touching have me puzzled. Does he have political Tourette’s or something?  Seriously, I have to ask, because I have never found him to be that guy, and there are plenty of them out there. And no, I am not “victim blaming”, I am expressing how I feel as a woman about all of this.

Here are Daylin’s own words on this:

Yes, politics is a sad, ugly business.  And in this country today since the onset of the current administration in Washington, DC it has grown angrier and more divisive.

I am sorry on one hand that I know the women who believe they are victims in this particular case are going to be unhappy that I as a woman am not siding with them.  But I can’t, because sadly (right or wrong), I do not believe them.

Daylin Leach may be many things, which at times might be considered arrogant (which I have always thought was a defense mechanism from the days when he was that foster kid struggling to survive), but do I believe he is some evil dude  out to take advantage of young staffers or women in general?  Hell no.  If anything, he is one of the most consistent champions of the right that we as women should not have to work so hard to maintain.

The problem people have always had with Daylin is he has always been himself. Right or wrong, good or bad. And the other thing is if he thinks he has been wrong, he apologizes, doesn’t he?

But we as women cannot persecute every guy for every stupid dumb ass remark or perceived slight.  Maybe sometimes things are in poor taste by some perceptions and interpretations, but that doesn’t make something necessarily illegal.

And for people to lay the cesspool that is Harrisburg at the feet of one guy is among other things, ludicrousAnd that is an opinion I am entitled to.  It seems to me if they do, there are a lot more hypocrites running around in Pennsylvania’s unfortunate state capitol that I originally imagined.

My press sources say Daylin is not talking to anyone. Heck, can you blame him?  This is all happening during the holidays too, which I find additionally nasty. But, when someone is too great of a threat, politics happens, doesn’t it?

People are going to say, “Why does she care?”  She’s just some middle aged woman.  Well I wasn’t always.  And I remember dealing with what were things that were actually unpleasant and true sexual harassment and inappropriate touching and more.  This, which is being reported? Sorry, in my opinion, it doesn’t even come close.  Women can’t cry wolf here, and neither should Governor Wolf.

Here are the articles:

PennLive: Pa. lawmaker accused of inappropriate touching, sex talk: report

Updated Dec 17, 12:37 PM; Posted Dec 17, 7:57 AM

PennLive: Gov. Tom Wolf calls for resignation of Sen. Daylin Leach following allegations of inappropriate behavior

Updated Dec 17, 10:05 PM; Posted Dec 17, 4:36 PM

Philadelphia Inquirer: News — State
Ex-staffers: Sen. Daylin Leach crossed line with sex talk, inappropriate touching
Updated: DECEMBER 17, 2017 — 6:06 AM EST

by David Gambacorta & Angela Couloumbis – Staff Writers

local elections DO matter

Soon it will be election day.  It’s an off-year nationally one might think, so why bother?

Easy.  Your vote is YOUR voice in YOUR community. This year is a more local focus….supervisors, commissioners, borough council members, mayors, city councils — just depends on where you live as to what and who you are voting for.

Local candidates are now more seriously making the rounds.  They will pop up spiffed and shined to check out community events, civic associations, and so on and so forth.  Yes, be warned, literal baby-kissing may ensue.

They may even come door-knocking. Where I live (in my opinion)  they are inconsistent at best on the door-knocking, or if they do show and you do vote for them, often you do not hear from them ever again, after that.

Be informed.  And don’t just vote for someone because they may share the political party you are told you should vote for.  Why?  Because on a local level, that is NOT what matters.  What matters is who they are, and what they stand for, and if you find them passably believable.  On the local level, you should vote the PERSON, not the PARTY. Because trust me, in spite of what they say, it has been my long standing belief that on a local level, political parties will often make deals with each other, and well, how do you feel about that?

I believe in balance.  Saying that, I do not think you have balance necessarily if one group of the same people (which is NOT the same as the same party) is in control for too long.

I believe in term limits.  We need to get some of those. It’s time to curb political monopolies.

Don’t be afraid of checking out the new kids on the block, but make sure you understand what they are truly about.  Also check out WHO endorses them, WHO backs them, WHO gives them campaign donations, and WHO they hang out with politically.  The more independent, the better in my humble opinion.

And in as far as incumbents you think may have been around long enough? Simple motto: when in doubt, vote ’em out.

The sanctity of the voting booth is for you alone, so vote your heart and conscience always.

And above all else, vote.  Your individual power of the vote is a powerful voice. Be the change you seek. Take back the power in your communities. Vote.

 

harvey havoc

The #reality of #Harvey. I have a very dear friend who literally just bought herself a house outside of Houston Texas after moving there a couple of years ago.

Emphasis is on just moved in. She was evacuated last night. We had hoped because she lives in a place that’s higher than most spots that she would be OK. She reminded me yesterday via text that a lot of people forget around Houston is a lot of bayou.

Above is what appeared on her Facebook feed last night. Her name and face are blocked out to protect her privacy but I wanted people to see what this was all about – this is no joke.

She has a son who live near NASA who was evacuated yesterday, and I have two other friends in the path of the storm. I don’t know if they are still sheltering in place or have been evacuated — they are actually Chester County PA transplants.

The other two photos are from my friend in Houston who is more in the thick of it in the city.

So while our president tweets BIG words, this is where this country actually needs him to BE presidential- not just tweet as the president.

Prayers for all in the path of the storm, including first responders. If my friends in Texas send me more updates and or photos, I will post them.