election hang-over

July 20, 2015 I said Trump as the future of American politics is terrifying. Well, here we are...

July 20, 2015 I said Trump as the future of American politics is terrifying. Well, here we are…

Yesterday, if I am honest with myself, I went to the polls not really feeling I had a candidate.  But as a woman, I thought well maybe the time for a female president had come, although I know full well the political history of Hillary Clinton.  But also as a woman with a brain, I knew in my heart of hearts Donald Trump was not my guy.

I went to the polls an Independent.  I woke up still an Independent in what feels like almost a skewed reality. Like everyone else who couldn’t stay awake last night, I woke up with the most unlikely U.S. President since well…Andrew Jackson.  No, I did not invent that comparison. Truthfully I first ready about it in The New York Times in February (February 16, 2016) when they said: 

 

….Mr. Trump’s rhetoric resonates with a particular American political tradition. Voters may not know the details of that tradition, but they feel it viscerally when a politician taps into it. Mr. Trump has done just that by emulating a classic model of American democratic leadership….

Consciously or not, Mr. Trump’s campaign echoes the style of Andrew Jackson, and the states where Mr. Trump is strongest are the ones that most consistently favored Jackson during his three runs for the White House.

What Mr. Trump borrows from Jackson is not an issue, but a way of thinking about the world. Mr. Trump promises to fix his supporters’ problems, no matter who else is hurt. He’s a wealthy celebrity always ready for a fight, a superpatriot who says he will make America great again. He vows to attack government corruption and defend the common man. All this could be said of Jackson….

Riding his fame to the White House, Jackson captured the imagination of ordinary citizens who’d never voted in such numbers before. He crushed rivals who considered him crude, barbaric and even a danger to the republic.

Jackson had a captivating style, and not just because of his wild hair. He did what he wanted, and demanded respect. In an 1806 duel, he shot and killed a man who had insulted him in a newspaper. Mr. Trump’s Twitter broadsides at his critics are gentle by comparison.

Like Mr. Trump, Jackson made his fortune in real estate….And again like Mr. Trump, a former Democrat and independent, Jackson did not worry about consistency.

Other political pundits and television talking heads prattled on about the same thing last night as the returns came in, but I first read about it in The New York Times.

Last night the results and the election were described as a “rejection election” as well. And I do not think honestly that America rejected Hillary Clinton because she was a woman.  They rejected her because she’s Hillary Clinton, with (like it or not), a literal path of bodies in her political wake.

But Donald Trump? As a friend texted this morning:

No other US Presidential candidate in memory has given offense so freely and been so battered by scandal, and lived to fight on and win.

Well…except for Andrew Jackson. Now one thing about the Andrew Jackson Presidency is during it there was a major financial crisis that according to a historian I know, historians are still trying to figure out.  Of course we can also thank President Jackson for the Indian Removal Policy. Yes, think Trail of Tears.

Back to the banking and financial crisis of Andrew Jackson’s tenure in office. Wikipedia sums it up nicely:

Removal of deposits and censure

In 1833, Jackson removed federal deposits from the bank, whose money-lending functions were taken over by the legions of local and state banks that materialized across America, thus drastically increasing credit and speculation.[106] Three years later, Jackson issued the Specie Circular, an executive order that required buyers of government lands to pay in “specie” (gold or silver coins). The result was a great demand for specie, which many banks did not have enough of to exchange for their notes, causing the Panic of 1837, which threw the national economy into a deep depression. It took years for the economy to recover from the damage, but the bulk of the damage was blamed on Martin Van Buren, who took office in 1837.[107] Whitehouse.gov notes,

Basically the trouble was the 19th-century cyclical economy of “boom and bust”, which was following its regular pattern, but Jackson’s financial measures contributed to the crash. His destruction of the Second Bank of the United States had removed restrictions upon the inflationary practices of some state banks; wild speculation in lands, based on easy bank credit, had swept the West. To end this speculation, Jackson in 1836 had issued a Specie Circular requiring that lands be purchased with hard money—gold or silver. In 1837 the panic began. Hundreds of banks and businesses failed. Thousands lost their lands. For about five years the United States was wracked by the worst depression thus far in its history.

— Whitehouse.gov official biography of Martin Van Buren[108]

The U.S. Senate censured Jackson on March 28, 1834, for his action in removing U.S. funds from the Bank of the United States.[109] The censure was a political maneuver spearheaded by Jackson-rival Senator Henry Clay, which served only to perpetuate the animosity between him and Jackson.[110] During the proceedings preceding the censure, Jackson called Clay “reckless and as full of fury as a drunken man in a brothel”, and the issue was highly divisive within the Senate; however, the censure was approved 26–20 on March 28.[110] When the Jacksonians had a majority in the Senate, the censure was expunged after years of effort by Jackson supporters, led by Thomas Hart Benton, who though he had once shot Jackson in a street fight, eventually became an ardent supporter of the president.[110][111]

 

Well, the financial markets were already reacting to the real possibility of a President-elect Trump last night when I went to sleep.  They are terrified of him.

I said to friends on Facebook before I went to sleep to never discount the power of Pennsyltucky. Hold onto your hats as financial markets react. From one extreme to the other, here we go. I kinda felt Clinton had lost when I went to bed a little after midnight. When I woke up it was confirmed.

So here we are.

I am uneasy.  I am uneasy primarily because of healthcare.  Obaamacare is seriously flawed, no doubt. But repealing it will cause millions of us to be completely and utterly screwed.  Including people like me who has always kept myself covered even if through self-pay before there was even an Obamacare.

But I am a giant pre-existing condition as a five year breast cancer survivor.  I was already screwed this year by Aetna who officially dumped all those people on the Exchange in PA, and then dumped those of us who were self-pay by removing all  of the plans that allowed us any kind of acceptable care for one low tier bullshit plan at premium prices that was once basically their lowest of the low covers nothing plans. When I contacted them they told me in spite of my desire to keep the care team which literally saved my life, as an active cancer patient still in treatment because I am on breast cancer meds for five more years, I was told I could pick new doctors.

I couldn’t. So I got forced onto the Exchange.  In Pennsylvania, so our part of the state unless you are on a larger corporate plan (and if corporate plans don’t allow for spouses or domestic partnerships you also end up on the exchange), pretty much we are all Keystone or Keystone.  So I found an Independence Blue Cross Plan I could afford for 2017, but what will happen to all of us once Trump becomes president?

So Trump is the hand political fate has dealt us.

I read an essay in The New Yorker when I woke up.  It was published at 2:40 a.m.  I think people should read it.  I am only going to excerpt a couple of brief bits:

The New Yorker NEWS DESK

AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY

 

…Trump ran his campaign sensing the feeling of dispossession and anxiety among millions of voters—white voters, in the main. And many of those voters—not all, but many—followed Trump because they saw that this slick performer, once a relative cipher when it came to politics, a marginal self-promoting buffoon in the jokescape of eighties and nineties New York, was more than willing to assume their resentments, their fury, their sense of a new world that conspired against their interests. That he was a billionaire of low repute did not dissuade them any more than pro-Brexit voters in Britain were dissuaded by the cynicism of Boris Johnson and so many others.

 

….Hillary Clinton was a flawed candidate but a resilient, intelligent, and competent leader, who never overcame her image among millions of voters as untrustworthy and entitled. Some of this was the result of her ingrown instinct for suspicion, developed over the years after one bogus “scandal” after another. And yet, somehow, no matter how long and committed her earnest public service, she was less trusted than Trump, a flim-flam man who cheated his customers, investors, and contractors; a hollow man whose countless statements and behavior reflect a human being of dismal qualities—greedy, mendacious, and bigoted. His level of egotism is rarely exhibited outside of a clinical environment.

 

So here we are. A new President-elect, but still a country divided.  American politics which I used to love is now something I find exhausting.

And I still feel left out.  Where do those of us in the middle go from here? Where is that place for those of us neither far right, nor far left?

I think I am going to try to take a page out of a friend’s book.  My friend Gwen says the following this morning:

What do we do? Take a day to cry or gloat, as the case may be. But then we have to move on. The popular vote was split–there are just as many people on both “sides.” But the secret is that the vast majority of us live in one middle ground, with the louder people on either edge purporting to speak for us.

I think the next few years are going to hold stark realization for many. Whether you’re hoping for wholesale regulation repeal and a giant wall or you think that you’re going to lose your livelihood, rights and health insurance, you’re going to be surprised at what you do and don’t get. (The exit song was “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” which I believe was prescient.) None of us really knows.

Our problems didn’t disappear overnight, and they’ll need hard work and compromise to overcome. All we can do is control what we can control and work for what we think is right. Treat people with respect. Stop reading garbage, divisive websites. Listen to the other side, learn what you don’t know, and try to find common ground. Get involved in the process. Raise your kids to be good people. But, if you really love this country, you can’t give up, live in hate, or ruminate. We’re better and stronger than that.

 

Her words are wise and measured. Change can be a tough pill to swallow.  But we are still Americans, right?  Do we really need politicians to help make America great again? Or are we already great because we are Americans?

We need to be our authentic selves.  We need to try.  We need to stop hating each other because of political perspectives.  We need to remember those who died to give us those freedoms to squabble over politics.

Today, no matter what side we are on, we are experiencing a literal political hangover. It’s a damp and rainy day and we all stayed up way too late watching the returns come in.

It’s time to take down the signs, put away the sharp and nasty words and breathe and be. Democracy spoke, and like it or not we have our new president. While he gets to celebrate victory, we still have lives to lead.

Time to get back to it.  Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green Party, Libertarian. We are all Americans. We are still free. We are still us.

That’s all I have got.  Day after, we are still us.

vote!


I voted. Who I voted for in any race is my business. But I got off my rear end and voted. I hope all of you go out and vote today.

One of the greatest rights we have as Americans, male or female, is the right to vote. It is ultimately our best way to be heard. And you don’t have to vote a straight party ticket, you can split it up any old way you want –it’s your business.

I will tell you that I also made a call to Chester County Voter Services today. And it’s not because I saw voting shenanigans. It’s because there’s a flaw in the system of getting people to the polls.

While there are many volunteers to drive the elderly and infirmed to vote, a lot of polling places in Chester County have paths that are long enough that it is hard for some of these people to get from the parking lot to the actual voting booth.

 I saw this at my own polling place today. There are plenty of handicap parking spaces, but the paths although perfectly level are long enough that I watched some elderly people struggle. 

Now you don’t want to presume, and a lot of them would rather walk on their own steam even if it takes a long time, but I think it would be helpful at some of these places if there were golf carts or portable wheelchairs if needed. It would also be helpful if there were some folding chairs at the beginning of the paths and the end of the paths in case these people want it to sit a minute before going into vote.

Anyway, it’s a beautiful day there are no excuses – GO VOTE! And if you can help someone elderly or infirmed even more the better.

Have a great day!

dear politicians: STOP CALLING

See that telephone number? 

1-888-632-6548? 

They have tried to call my home 27  yes, TWENTY – SEVEN times today alone!

And that is after that number has been blocked for a while. They call and after one ring my phone delightfully drops blocked calls….yet they keep calling and calling and calling….

As Independents we get ALL the calls from ALL of the candidates.  We get all of the emails too.

But the calls? They have reached the point of hysteria. They are endless. They start early in the morning  and go way too far into the evening.

STOP!!!!!  Cell phones, home phones, all phones.

It’s invasive, intrusive, irritating. It’s harassment.

It makes you NOT want to vote, truthfully.

When I started this post, my count was 24 times today for this one robo call. It went up by three as I was writing the post.

This election has turned this country into a seething caldron of vitriol and robo- calls. I for one hate it.

Come Election Day anyone who tries to shove anything at me will have a rude awakening. I am done. I am tired of being polite to the invasion of the political body snatchers.

library crisis brewing in malvern???

malvernlibrarypic002Library woes?

Truth or fiction?
A source told me tonight that John Nagel, East Whiteland’s Township Manager informed Christine Celona the library director at the Malvern Library that the library would no longer be receiving funding from East Whiteland? No reason was given for their decision to withdraw their support, is it because East Whiteland is in a deficit?
Supposedly this nice librarian is invited  to attend the township meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 9th at 7PM? Maybe library lovers should also attend? I am getting the message that people should.
The pie diagram and flyer of where this library gets their monies from  is circulating some Malvern area neighborhoods and East Whiteland is 19% of their annual funding which is 100,000? Other municipalities like Willistown and East Goshen also contribute, and I do not know who else municipal-wise gives what. (It’s on the pie chart ew_flier-google-docs)
I am one of those people who grew up loving libraries and books. So I really would appreciate information on this. Truth and facts appreciated.
I am in uncharted waters here.
See below and please, by all means if you know what is going on, please speak up.

Postscript: See EW agenda – MORE new development and new development brings in ratables which is $ right ? Why can’t they ask a new development seeking approval to make a generous donation to say the fire companies and library as a condition of approval?

Someone said on Malvern Community Forum that EW is cutting funding to Malvern Fire Company too?

library-1 library-2
ew-1 ew-2 ew-3

election overload


I love the one stop shopping on King Road: Test Prep, homemade political vitriol, and the campaign sign of a Democrat whose financial habits apparently rival Trump’s .

I can’t take it anymore. I don’t want to see one more sign from any candidate!

I don’t want one more Robo call!

Before I went out this morning to a doctor’s appointment there were four in a row both parties. My favorite of that bunch was the heavy breather from the National Rifle Association.  

Then when I came home after my doctor’s appointment I had missed five more Robo calls from imaginary made up numbers. One left a message wanting to speak to the man of the house that was the Republican National Committee. I’m sorry GOP but this little woman erased your message. (I figured since I wasn’t supposed to worry my pretty little head about it it was OK)

I can’t even listen to the radio because today one of Katie McGinty’s big donors must be paying for a lot of airtime. So today I get to hear how she was conceived of immaculate conception and her mother is the Virgin Mary.

 I’ll give you the Cliff Notes version of what the truth is on Katie McGinty: she’s one of Fast Eddie’s girls from way back and she’s a political opportunist. So she might’ve been raised on wholesome family values, but Saint she ain’t. Much like Josh Shapiro, she hopes to ride Hillary Clinton’s pantsuit.

Every time I turn on the TV, Donald Trump has one of his children from one of his wives making a campaign stop somewhere.  Then there was the whole visual of him in a Wawa buying tastykakes. 

Every time I turn on the TV there are any number of attack ads from any number of candidates in three states.

I open my mailbox and it’s full glossy flyers I can’t return to sender. Both parties. Every day.

I am suffering from election sensory overload

At this point for the first time in my life during a presidential election, I feel like crawling into bed and pulling the quilt over my head until election day is over.  

All the freaking money these people are spending attacking each other could be put to better use. They might actually be able to help people in need.

thoughts on the future of development and chester county

14925673_1799244463694342_3411294011736628019_n

Random thought I had today…

There are so many people upset by pending development on properties including but not limited to Earles Lake (Newtown Twp Delaware County)  Crebilly (Westtown Township, Chester County), Woodlawn (Concord Twp Delaware County), and Don Guanella (Marple Twp. Delaware County). I applaud those amazing residents fighting the good fight in their respective communities!

But ask anyone in land protection about just how hard it is to turn things around once land is under agreement of sale with a developer. There is very little the township or land trust or individuals, or groups, or anyone can do at that point.

But…. if residents could take some of that good energy and fight to protect vulnerable parcels that are NOT yet under agreement of sale, then they might just make some progress and have a chance to save community open space, arable farmland, and viewsheds.

And as you ponder, please think outside the box when investigating property that’s vulnerable.

For example I am told, and many people are shocked to learn, that places like Tyler Arboretum (650 acres) and Newlin Grist Mill are not actually completely protected land and all or pieces of those properties could be sold if their boards decided they wanted to. (Or if they were desperate for money.)

This is often the challenge for public gardens and arboreta…An example would be a conservation easement  that was put on on the Schuylkill Center a few years ago, and if memory serves it took forever to negotiate but that board was concerned with their own history of selling off chunks of the property over the years when times were lean.

What got me to thinking about this is the upcoming Crebilly Planning Commission Meeting where Toll is presenting. Westtown Township Planning Commission that has been scheduled this first  public meeting with Toll Brothers is reportedly Wednesday, November 16th at 6:30 PM and will be held at Stetson Middle School. (It is not on the Westtown website yet so I do not know if it is set in stone or not.)

I received the following from concerned Chester County resident Mindy Rhodes the following:

It is imperative that the community attend this meeting. It is imperative that you speak at this meeting. Your testimonies need to be on record. It doesn’t matter what township you are from- please show up!

In this meeting, Toll will present their plans and there will be much time for public comments. I have not seen the plans, but my understanding is this:

Toll has submitted 3 different plans:


1) Code Compliant Plan (approx. 320 units)
2) Single Waiver Plan (approx. 320 units) *Toll is requesting a waiver for the standard 60′ requirement in between buildings to 30′ instead
3) Maximum Bonus Density (approx. 400 units) *Toll will need to make their case to the Township to justify this by means of ‘improvements’


Other details:
*Development will be closer to the center of Crebilly leaving ‘open space’ around the exterior
*1 access will be on 202 south of Westminster Church
*2 access roads on West Pleasant Grove Road to align with Dunvegan and Hidden Pond Way
*1 access on 926 near Bridalwood
*No plans to access South New Street

 

This is how far we are.  And Westtown will be limited on what they can do.  Why? Because at the end of the day, municipalities are indeed limited by the Commonwealth’s bible that defines planning and zoning – The MPC or Municipalities Planning Code of Pennsylvania.

I have been saying it for years: quite simply put the MPC needs an overhaul. We need to re-define suburbs and exurbs. We need to better define and set up protections for historic preservation and land preservation, and so much more. We need to stop the death march of development across Chester County and Pennsylvania.

People have been contacting state and federally elected officials about plans like what we are about to see formerly unfold for Crebilly. Those officials like to say “we are so sorry, we can’t get involved in local issues.”

The hell they can’t.  Maybe they can’t change zoning, but they sure as hell can use their political stature to bring opposing sides to the table to perhaps explore other ideas.  That is part of why we elect them.  And when it comes to State Representatives and State Senators, if they can’t adopt our issues as theirs, time to vote for someone else AND they are the ones who can get the Municipalities Planning Code overhauled and updated…it’s in their job description!

We have a major election day coming up one week from today.  Reach out to candidates and ask them what they have done for us lately.  Like with issues over DEVELOPMENT (or pipelines through Chester County). They all can’t be about campaign donations.

We also need to get out message out CLEARLY to the Chester County Planning Commission.  To me it would also help if the person who headed it up actually LIVED in Chester County. A pro-development leader from Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County is not appropriate because HE DOESN’T LIVE HERE. Landscapes3 needs to actually reflect US not what someone else thinks is us.

Also to be considered is better knowing our history.  I learned something new about Crebilly the other day:

historical

Look, we have to do better.  We have to figure it out together. After all, Chester County deserves better.

Thanks for stopping by.

ah yes…the election

Poor squirrel is utterly worn out from the 2016 election season....

Poor squirrel is utterly worn out from the 2016 election season….

I have avoided writing about this U.S. Presidential Election.  I have mostly avoided speaking about it on my personal Facebook page except to share the Saturday Night Live debate spoofs.

Why them? Because Saturday Night Live is disturbingly spot on and it is one of the few things that makes me laugh at the hot mess this country has dissolved into.

This past May after the  primary, I did something I thought I would never do: I switched my political party affiliation to Independent. I could not take it anymore.  I was until that point a life-long Republican, even if I had split my ticket a lot of the time.

Why?

Simple.

As of this past spring, I was no longer in either major party category given the polarization of American politics and the extremes on extremes we have been seeing.

This 2016 election season is the ugliest certainly in my lifetime. People are vile and hateful. All we see are the politics of ignorance. And anger.

2016 has also been the year of ugly violent protests where people are getting hurt…and dying.

What does all the ugliness accomplish?

Let’s go local.

I am in particular really tired of Jack London bodybuilding campaign mailers. Ok so Senator Dinniman? You are or should be a better human being than that. If that is the best you’ve got to put on a double sided post card, save the postage and printing charges. They are stupid and wasteful.

And Duane Milne? Tell the truth and shame the devil? On the 8th day apparently you personally invented Chester County (and everything in it), and several election cycles later, State Representative Milne I am still trying to figure out what you do besides show up for photo ops, so maybe we all should just give the other guy a shot?

So that is it on specific mailings. I am not even going to bother to dissect the Clinton and Trump mailers because they are ALL awful.

Kudos to Congressman Ryan Costello for having the least offensive mailers of a national candidate. It makes it easy to choose you. You get it.

As a registered Independent I officially get EVERYTHING.  Every nasty piece of glossy tree killing junk mail that the United States Postal Service will not let me return to sender (I have tried). So I get to pay to recycle mail I did not ask for.

And not only am I getting my political junk mail but the political junk mail of a dead woman, the lady who used to live in our home. Apparently politicians do see dead people.

Now let’s talk about the calls.  Robo calls galore.  And not so robo calls from the terminally bored reading off scripts usually in an up-talk sing-song tone.  The live people are so much fun….tell them you are an anarchist.  Go ahead. It’s funny because every single one of them will stop dead and say “What? What’s an anarchist? This call isn’t about religion.”  (Then I hang up.)

wut

Social media.  Some people should just stay OFF of social media until after the election.

Why?

Because the proverbial villages are being overrun by rabid ridiculousness.  If half of the people even understood what the heck they were posting about it would be good.  But most do not.  And they spout and share angry vitriol from both sides that does nothing except foment hate.

And the political hypocrites. Do not even get me started on them.

I am just tired of this election season.  We are a country of Ugly Americans because of the insane polarity and divisiveness. Friends are attacking friends over political talking heads that basically at the end of the day regardless of the party do NOT give a damn about any of us.  The game is about the vote, a giant game of whomever gets all the toys wins.

After election day, will they know Jane and John and Sam and Cindy who shook the candidates’ hands at rallies?

NOPE.

This country is a hot angry mess.  The election has been whittled down to choosing the lesser of two evils and how is that even a choice? After November 9th will berating your friends and strangers over their choices have been worth it?

And the sign stealers. Grow up. You don’t have to like your neighbor’s sign, they don’t have to like yours. But at this point between the stealing and the corners everywhere that just have too many signs and the highways which will wear political signs for months after the election because no one took them down, I wish there were NO POLITICAL SIGNS. OR ADS. OR BILLBOARDS.

When it comes to politics, I know we will never all get along, but we have collectively lost the ability for civil discourse. And so have the national campaigns.

To quote the Washington Post from this July:

With about 6 in 10 Americans disliking each of them — and as many as one-quarter saying they dislike both of them — the 2016 campaign will almost undoubtedly be a race to the bottom. In such a situation, campaigns will almost always focus on making the case that their opponent is unacceptable rather than making a positive case for their candidate. And that was certainly the case in Clinton’s and Trump’s acceptance speeches.

It’s become cliche to decry each election as the most negative of our lives; the atmospherics of this race, though, are completely unique in recent American history — and uniquely conducive to negativity.

Polling shows voters indeed are already more prepared to vote against something than for something in 2016…

 

If you have a brain and aren’t afraid to use it, no matter who it is you will vote for on November 8th, you should be terrified. We are a country of haters and some days it feels like we are on the brink of yet another Civil War, and we all know how well that worked out the last time.

Please, for the love of what Americans used to be, do your part to dial back the vitriol and rhetoric. Remember the people who died to give us our freedoms, and try to respect them.  I do not think election season 2016 is what they fought and died for. I rather think they were trying to escape hateful behavior like we are seeing from coast to coast.