the men who served their country in my family are not “losers” or “suckers”, mr. president.

Our late father did not serve in wartime but he did honorably serve his country between Korea and Vietnam. He was an officer in the US Navy. This photo unless I am mistaken is from Okinawa which was a place he was posted. He wasn’t a “loser” or a “sucker” for doing so.

My Uncle Jack served in the US Navy during wartime in World War II. He also served his country honorably. He wasn’t a “loser” or a “sucker”.

My maternal grandfather, my Poppy, served in the US Naval Reserve in Philadelphia during World War I. He did not see active duty during wartime, but he served as his country asked. He wasn’t a “loser” or a “sucker” either. He also was registered as his country asked during World War II.

I even have seen thanks to Ancestry.com my paternal grandfather’s registration for World War II although he wasn’t called up.

My lovely father in law is a World War II veteran. He served with honor in the US Army.

I don’t have any ancestors or relatives that I am aware of who were extraordinary men except to their families who loved them. They weren’t super soldiers or anything like that but they served as they were asked. None of these men were “losers” or “suckers”.

There are many more who served in the US Military throughout time in my family. The ones I mention are just the ones who came to mind first.

So imagine how I feel about how our current United States President categorizes members of the armed forces?

See:

The Atlantic: Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’. JEFFREY GOLDBERG SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

The Guardian: US veterans and soldiers divided over Trump calling war dead ‘suckers’
Some service members expressed skepticism after bombshell report prompted an outpouring of condemnation
. By Edward Helmore. Mon 7 Sep 2020 15.38 EDT

Now Trump denies all of this (of course.)

But this horse is very much out of the barn. And it’s ugly. Especially coming from someone who never has served anyone except himself first. He umm avoided the draft a few times as a matter of fact. Four times. So he wants to describe deceased US Military as what now?

I have a dear friend who served in the United States Marine Corps fighting for his life dealing with kidney cancer. So is the President calling him names too?

Sorry not sorry this is a very big deal. Words matter. Respect for those who served matters.

rantings of a suburban housewife part 2: oh donnie boy, you sexist pig.

Ahh yes, getting political again and I don’t care. If you care, don’t read this post. Seriously. Because if you give me crap, this suburban housewife might verbally wield one of her rolling pins, while wearing an apron no less.

Recently I wrote a post about Trump’s mischaracterization of surburban and rural women. Well with apologies to Britney Spears, oops he did it again.

Well Oh Donnie Boy, the tweets, the tweets are calling. From glen to glen, and down the mountain side. The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling, It’s you, it’s you must go and I must bide.

I am back. And you Donnie Boy are indeed a national treasure. As well as being the poster child for a deranged, malignant narcissist. And yes I am saying that about a sitting U.S. President. Last time I checked they hadn’t revoked the United States Constitution. (Although I am sure someone is working on it?)

Allow me to re-introduce myself: part of who I am is indeed a suburban housewife. And I am offended that apparently we are all supposed to be pregnant barefoot in the kitchen, or at least chained to something in the kitchen. And drooling versus thinking.

If you love this President, there is no way on God’s green earth that you can talk your way around any of his tweets. They are consistently offensive to every woman everywhere.

And I say that as someone who has never exactly been a women’s libber but I’m starting to understand why you get to be that way as a woman more and more every damn day.

Gloria Steinem , I get it. Further and to the point, Susan B. Anthony doesn’t need to be pardoned by this guy and her ghost rolling over in her grave wouldn’t vote for him anyway.

So this is the guy who went from grabbing women by the pussy (not my words) to telling us suburban ladies how we are supposed to think? This is the guy putting up commercials aimed at little old ladies showing little old ladies in terror in their homes? This is also the guy saying the DNC removed “God” from the pledge of allegiance?

Umm hello? This is beyond ridiculous. This is beyond offensive. Lies and distortions and the rantings of a Twitterholic much? And people still support him. And I marvel at that.

So back to “suburban housewives”. Can we say sexist pig boys and girls? You talking about us? We are trying to do the man a favor. We are voting for Joe Biden so he has even more time to rant like a sexist pig on Twitter. (Picture me in an apron stirring a pot on the stove while saying this.)

We are all just here knitting socks, after all. My gosh, Mr. President you know we haven’t even one collective brain in our heads. I mean why we hadn’t even noticed you wanted to switch Puerto Rico for Greenland did we? Or that you are eviscerating the United States Postal Service so you can steal the election did we? Gosh honey, let us smooth our carefully coiffed hair we just sprayed with Aqua Net and give us a second to refresh our lipstick and don a fresh apron.

I’m sorry, am I being sarcastic? I am so sorry. I am after all, just a suburban housewife. I know not what I say. I do not have a brain. I am incapable of independent thoughts. I am but a mere mortal, female, and bobblehead. But before I turn Stepford, here are some runaway thoughts:

I don’t know when we moved into a dictatorship or oligarchy or something pretty damn close, but here we are people. More and more reminders every damn day of why this person doesn’t actually represent the American people.

Look Mr. President here is a housewife bobblehead!

This man doesn’t respect women or men. This man does not represent America. This man does not care about America. The only thing this man cares about is his own toxic malignant narcissistic self and what he can get out of all of us. As in how much money can he make of of us before he walks or gets shoved away?

This country is teetering on total disaster. And you can lay it at his feet. These toxic politics of running a country on Twitter has created a divisive, caustic atmosphere in which we all must try to just exist. That’s not fair to any of us, no matter what your political persuasion.

We are suffering from a global pandemic which Washington DC really still isn’t dealing with because telling the truth might interfere with someone’s re-election campaign, right? COVID-19 really isn’t real is it? It’s just something made up by politicians opposing the current administration, have I got that supposition down correctly? Essentially people are dying but as long as this guy gets re-elected that’s all that matters right?

WRONG. And I’m speaking to all the Republicans out there who secretly within the four walls of their own home know this isn’t a good person to have as a Republican president yet because they think they will turn to pillars of salt if they vote for a Democrat they will be among the Sheeple in November. 

And let’s talk about other things in this country. How about the great racial divide? What has this administration done to combat racism? NOTHING. They have made it worse. Until 2020 I didn’t think it was possible to make it worse. Yet here we are and people are dying because of that as well. 

People are rioting in the streets yet Marie Antoinette with a comb over would just let them eat cake (or more appropriately in this case, McDonald’s.) I would ask if he was a student of history but I think he was the one that mixed up World War I and World War II and the last global pandemic, correct? If this guy was a student of history he would understand how and why revolutions happen, right?

Another cute suburban housewife bobblehead!

And I’ll remind you (again) I’m not a screaming liberal. I am a suburban housewife and former life-long Republican. I am also a woman with a brain who definitely resents the crap out of men who are sexist pigs and talk down to us. Or anyone.

And as a suburban housewife, I could probably tell the President of the United States more about affordable housing than he actually knows. To make such a broad and offensively sweeping statements over and over is also at its core, utterly ridiculous. To keep repeating the insulting suburban housewife tweeting points is also just pig ignorant. It will never make the comments true to keep repeating them, just constantly reinforce why no one should vote for him.

A friend of mine reminded me we actually met Joe Biden years ago at something my father took us to. I had forgotten. But we were kids. And the thing about Joe Biden is he has never pretended to be perfect. He has in my opinion, owned his mistakes. He’s not a divider, he’s a uniter. Oh, and people like him. So I would say there is a lot of big orange jealousy going on.

The United States of America is not some giant reality show, but our great nation has been treated like one for four, long, angry years. We owe ourselves better even if for some it means going OUT of their political comfort zone. They need to realize they won’t be like Lot’s wife and be turned to a pillar of salt because I think the angels have been warning us over and over we need complete change.

I mean seriously, do you out there remember when the Republican Party were actually true Republicans? I do. It’s tragic what has happened to that party. But their tragedy is America’s disaster and none of us can afford it.

I am not a big Hillary Clinton fan. Never have been. But when she said the other night we can’t afford another shoulda, woulda, coulda election she is actually absolutely correct.

So Joe Biden, feel free to come door knocking on my front door. I would love to meet you and Kamala Harris. I do spend a lot of time in my apron in my kitchen. But hey, I am a suburban housewife. But as a woman with a brain, that’s not all I am.

God don’t like ugly, and Donnie Boy has cornered the market. He’s actually “winning” ugliness. Please for the love of all that is holy, vote-him-out in November.

Peace out.

You know us, we’re just suburban housewives, we don’t need to think….

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

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.

whose america are we living in?

When you see photos like this they just make you happy. Obviously in love, on their wedding day, their whole lives ahead of them. Until ICE (immigration) shows up like modern day Nazis at the Septa train station in Haverford and arrests the husband.

I used to live in Haverford.  I used to work near Haverford Train Station.  I grew up in Haverford.  I just can’t imagine the terror this man felt.  I learned about his plight when a friend posted on Facebook:

 

I thought this possibly couldn’t be true, then I remember conversations I have had with people even locally in Chester County about ICE going into schools, ICE raiding restaurants and other businesses country and city, ICE rounding people up off the streets and throwing them into vans, asking for papers at SEPTA stops in Philadelphia (a supposed “sanctuary city”), tales of immigrants with “go” bags packed by their front doors in case they have to run, and does this seem crazy that we are living in a country that allows this?

We are a nation formed of immigrants.  Give us your tired, your hungry, your poor.  I have friends who emigrated to this country.  I thank God that all of them are legal citizens.

Jonatan Palacios is his name.  His lovely wife Lillie Williams has a You Caring Page up. I don’t know them personally, but what is being done to them is a crazy horror show at the hands of the US Government.

I am going to let HER words tell THEIR story.  Lillie pardon me for copying and pasting your message, but your words have power:

The Story

My name is Lillie Williams and early yesterday morning, on May 11th, immigration ripped me away from my husband. 

We are working with a lawyer to get him out and get him back home to me as soon as possible, but we need help covering all of the expenses, fees, and loss of income as we work to do everything I can to get Jonatan out and back to his home and family.

Why did we get caught in this mess? Because we were going through proper legal motions. We submitted an I-130 spousal petition for him in October. We were working with the system to correct his legal status from his case when he entered as an unaccompanied minor at the age of 16. 

Jonatan is my best friend and soulmate. I appreciate any help and support that you can provide to help us through this difficult time. 

Background:

Jonatan and I had went on our first date the summer before my Junior year at Bryn Mawr College, on May 24th, 2010.

My roommate at the time had been dating Jonatan’s older brother for about a year before we started dating. Always thinking herself the matchmaker, she had made several attempts at getting Jonatan and I together before it finally happened. The final straw that brought the two of us together was a mishap one night, where my roommate had accidentally locked me out of the apartment in my pajamas when she was late to a date with Jonatan’s brother. I called my forgetful Italian friend to please turn around and let me back in, but instead she sent Jonatan to my rescue. He then had my number and asked if he could keep it.We started dating only a few months later and it was as if there was a magnetic force that brought us together. We were inseparable. Then, several hard events in my life happened which brought us even closer together. We both became each other’s home.

We were legally married at one one of our favorite restaurants in Philadelphia, Amada on October 11th, 2014 and a year later we had our religious wedding ceremony with friends and family at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens on October 15th, 2015. 

The pastor from Jonatan’s church officiated with the service in Spanish and translated into English so that everyone there would understand. It was one of the happiest evenings of our lives.

When we were getting ready to get married, I learned about Jonatan’s case. I thought that it was something that we would be able to resolve with marriage– since I am a born United States Citizen and my ancestry goes back in the United States to colonial days I thought it would be a simple case of petitioning for him once we were married. I found out after that the case was a lot more complicated than either of us had thought.

It turns out that people don’t become citizens simply through marriage to a US Citizen Spouse. It is a long and difficult process and sometimes, if you are unlucky, things can go wrong with your case. 

More About the Issue:

If you would like to know more about the overall issue, there is a whole organization of families like mine that have gone through or are going through similar issues, American Families United. You can learn more by going to http://www.americanfamiliesunited.org/.

 

This is so unreal.  Their crime was being naïve and thinking they could trust the United States of America. They filed what they thought was the correct paperwork and instead of help, he gets arrested at the Septa station in Haverford with assistance by Lower Merion Police Department.  Ok, so let’s be fair, I am guessing Lower Merion Police Department did not have much choice in the matter when the Federal Government comes calling, but can you imagine the abject terror he must have felt along with anyone else who was around there on May 11th?

Ok so those of you who are die hard conservatives are getting ready to sharpen your keyboards and read me the riot act for this post, but please.

Don’t.

Stop and think about this for a moment.  This young couple were trying to right a wrong. They were not trying to be deceitful.  Now this guy is sitting in some jail facility in York, PA and do we even know if he has been able to see his wife? Or other family?  They were not hiding and they were punished anyway.

For every one of these stories I hear, the mental image of World War II come to mind.  The stories of Holocaust survivors and immigrants of another century telling the stories of Nazis demanding papers during World War II era Europe.  Tell me, how is this different? Because it is happening under the banner of the United States of America?

What is it that is carved on Lady Liberty? What is the exact figure of immigrants who came through Ellis Island and passed the Statue of Liberty between 1820 and 1920? 34 Million? This is the poem Lady Liberty wears:

“The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.
From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“”Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!”” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

 

There is a vigil planned for Jonatan Palacios on June 8th.  There is a Facebook event set up

If you care to contribute to the young couple’s legal expenses (immigration lawyers are not cheap), please visit You Caring Help Jonatan Palacios be reunited with his wife and family!

I am the descendant of immigrants.  I am descended from three nationalities which were once discriminated against and disparaged against – Irish, German, Italian.  I grew up with many tales including “Irish need not apply” and WOP jokes and disparaging German comments . I fear for my legal US citizen friends who emigrated here because some still have the lingering traces of the countries they were born in.  What could be done to them in error because they don’t have your typical American accent?

Whether you know this couple or not, if you can peacefully or peaceably help, help.  Attend the vigil, write elected officials (including all 14 commissioners in Lower Merion Township to ask WTF??,  essentially.)

Whose America is this? Whose America are we living in?  I am not sure  and I am so sad at this latest turn of events.

wake up call time for congressman ryan costello 

I shared a link from the Daily Local about Congressman Ryan Costello and a “pop-up” town hall meeting. I said I thought Costello was a nice guy.

Basically I have taken a lot of crap for that ever since. 

Congressman Costello, I do think you are a nice guy, but these folks are right: nice isn’t going to get you re-elected next time.  We are. Or we aren’t. How it happens is up to you.

Your constituency feels abandoned by you. You can’t just dance to the tune of party bosses and donors and PACs with deep pockets. Not trying to be offensive, it’s how the game goes.  

See below, Congressman Costello. Do the right thing. And by right thing I do not mean robo-calls that lead to on the phone town hall meetings. They aren’t town hall meetings they are conference calls where you don’t have to look your constituents in the eye. 

Do the right thing.  I might think you are a nice guy, but it’s not my job to take crap because of what you aren’t doing- I sure as hell do not work for any politicians.

But I am a blogger and I do feel it is my responsibility to pass along these comments, even highlight them. 

Good hardworking Americans from coast to coast feel completely disenfranchised by the current state of affairs in Washington DC.  Truly we are terrified at what the land of the free is becoming. It’s like a cancer is spreading across this country. The only question is what will YOU do to stop it? 

Thanks










hello pravda?

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
~ Thomas Jefferson

You will note I have not said much politically as in national- elections-politically in a very long time. Except for mentioning that after the most recent US presidential primary I went from being a life long Republican to a registered Independent.

I haven’t mentioned anything because on both sides of the aisle the ranting and raving especially on social media has been upsetting.  We are officially a country of extremism politically at this point and I find that terrifying.

Our President Elect  seems incapable of getting out of his own way. He attained the highest office in the land, literally. So why is it at this point so close to the inauguration that he can’t behave in a more shall we say “Presidential” manner?

 He likes to criticize people like bloggers and the media and celebrities and basically anyone who disagrees with him in any way.   OK so it’s fine to be a cranky person who reacts to everything on Twitter, but this guy is going to be our president officially as in sworn in officially in a matter of days and the only thing he can do is attack Meryl Streep for exercising her right of free speech at the Golden Globes awards ceremony?

It’s not like it’s anything new is it? Award ceremonies are used by celebrities all the time to voice their political opinions and platforms.

  
Meryl Streep is eloquent and thoughtful. And once again our now President Elect has vilified yet another woman. Why does he have issues with women so often? 

Apparently no one else is allowed to say anything he might find upsetting, distressing, personally distasteful. But in that double standard world in which he lives, he can say whatever he wants it’s just everyone else who has to keep their mouths shut.

Newsflash Mr. President elect this isn’t Mother Russia. Pravda need not apply.  You don’t have to agree with everyone’s opinion, but our forefathers fought for our freedom’s including freedom of speech.

I actually wonder in addition to trying to completely dismantle our healthcare system if he will try to well rollback freedom of speech a couple hundred years. I am waiting for laws that will hurt bloggers and reporters and anyone at all who has an opinion that differs from the party line that the incoming administration wants out there.

Washington Post: Meryl Streep called out Donald Trump at the Golden Globes. He responded by calling her ‘over-rated

By Elahe Izadi and Amy B Wang Arts and Entertainment. January  9 at 8:32 am

Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose. Okay. Go on with that thing.

You do not have to share Meryl Streep’s politics to know she speaks the truth. And this country was founded by people who fought so we could speak our truths and not live under the thumb of tyranny. They died for this.

As Americans are we going to allow the clock to be turned back to a more oppresive form of our country? you know a country where women were barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen, and didn’t open their mouths?

I could go on but I won’t. I just felt like I had to write about this. Every day I fear more and more that the next four years will be so ugly. We should not be ruled by political extremism and reactionary politics. We should not be ruled.

the last ring home

I am constantly in awe of what some of my childhood friends have accomplished. A book arrived today, have started it and I am hooked.

It is called The Last Ring Home.

It is amazing and emotional and so darn well written.  This book, written by my friend Minter Dial is simply blowing me away.  It is a very personal greatest generation story, the story of his paternal grandfather. Bravo, Minter.

Allow me to quote from the book and documentary’s website:

The Last Ring Home is the story of Lt Minter Dial’s Annapolis Naval Academy ring, that miraculously made its way home 17 years after he was killed as a POW of the Japanese in WWII. The Last Ring Home is a tribute to Lt Dial, the producer’s grandfather, and all members of the Greatest Generation. It is also a journey of self-discovery, having an impact on the filmmaker, his wider family and many other people in its wake. This story, which took over 25 years of research, illustrates the importance of serendipity and the role of good and bad luck in piecing together a personal history of someone who died 70 years ago.The Last Ring Home is to inspire everyone to uncover their own personal history, to keep a foot in their past and the other in the future, and to be thankful for the tremendous present in which we live, thanks to the sacrifices of the those who fought in WWII.

I can’t wait to see the documentary premiere at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute in November.

14572226_1307359442610337_1560703277793001576_nNow this story was  featured in Smithsonian Magazine in 2011:

Minter’s Ring: The Story of One World War II POW

When excavators in Inchon, Korea discovered a U.S. naval officer’s ring, they had no knowledge of the pain and suffering associated with its former owner, Minter Dial

smithsonian.com
August 2, 2011

In the spring of 1962, the United States Navy was excavating a site in Inchon, Korea, when the discovery of human remains led officers to believe they had come across the site of a prisoner-of-war camp. More than a decade earlier, during the Korean War, General Douglas MacArthur commanded some 75,000 United Nations ground forces and more than 250 ships into the Battle of Inchon—a surprise assault that led, just two weeks later, to the recapture of Seoul from the North Korean People’s Army. But the 1962 Inchon excavation led to an unexpected find….the vehicle was speeding through the crowded streets of Inchon as the two men visited one pawnshop after another until they found the guilty laborer. The ring was in the process of being smelted. The admiral demanded that it be recovered. It had been partially melted down, but once it cooled and he was able to wipe away the grime, Pressey recognized that it was indeed an Annapolis class ring. Class of 1932. Pressey had been at the U.S. Naval Academy at the same time. His heart began to pound as he tilted the blue stone ring toward the light. Engraved on the inside was a name he knew: Dial.

Nathaniel Minter Dial had been one of Pressey’s best friends at Annapolis. They were teammates on the lacrosse squad, and Pressey and his wife had been members of the wedding party when Dial married his longtime sweetheart, Lisa Porter, in 1934. Pressey had just one thought—to get the ring back to Lisa.

Memories and sadness came flooding over the 51-year-old admiral. Minter Dial, the son of U.S. Senator Nathaniel B. Dial of South Carolina, was the quintessential all-American boy. He was affable, educated, terrifically athletic and married to a beautiful young woman who had given up her theatrical ambitions to start a home and raise a family. He was going places, and in the summer of 1941, he headed for the Pacific.

I have not finished the book yet.  I think I am going to need a box of tissues to get through it.

You can purchase the book on :

I purchased my copy on a pre-release via Amazon.

I have friends in Charleston, South Carolina, and I hope they see the documentary film at the upcoming  Charleston International Film Festival, November 2-6, 2016.

After that, the film is coming to the Philadelphia area, to the Bryn Mawr Film Institute for a screening in advance of it’s PBS small screen debut.

This will be an exclusive screening of the The Last Ring Home, presented by the filmmaker and author of the eponymous book. The event will consist of the screening, a talk and a Q&A, plus book signing.

Tue, November 8, 2016 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Buy your tickets on Eventbrite for $18 adults and $6 students.

This really is something quite extraordinary.

And yes, the screening is election day. So what. You will be out by nine as the returns start to come in and you will miss two hours of the ugliest campaign season in American History, for something worthwhile.  Actual American History about a member of the Greatest Generation.  A true American Hero.

Thanks.

trump as the future of american politics is terrifying

trump whitehouse

According to an ABC News Poll just released, this is the GOP ranking of candidates for president right now:

Trump 24%

Walker 13%

Bush 12%

Huckabee 8%

Rubio 7%

Now mind you this isn’t the complete slate of everybody and Joe The Plumber wishing to get the GOP nod. CLICK HERE for the PDF from The Washington Post and ABC News.

And I thought the fact Hillary Clinton was running again was scary enough. But seriously, can you imagine what Trump would do to the White House? (See photo shop above for political rebranding spoof of the White House.)

Shaking my head on this one.

Possible campaign slogans for Trump include “A Comb-Over in Every Pot” (With apologies to the Herbert Hoover slogan “A chicken in every pot”.)

Eyes rolling. America is awash in the politics of craziness.

 Washington Post: Politics Poll: Trump surges to big lead in GOP presidential race

ABC News: Donald Trump Gains Yet Shows Vulnerability in a Crowded, Contentious GOP Race (POLL) Jul 20, 2015, 5:00 PM ET By GARY LANGER

Langer Research Expanded Presidential Poll PDF

And P.S. I am also REALLY tired of fake e-mails from Jeb Bush constantly trying to link him to his father. He isn’t his father anymore than his brother was. It’s like the television soap operas Dynasty or Dallas re-made for CSPAN or something. Just makes you wonder if Bernie Sanders is the most sane of the lot of them if not the most interesting?

No, no candidate has piqued my fancy. I think it is all a crazy political rodeo at present but it might make a really funny video game….calling JibJab……

 

real housewife of new jersey meets real housewives of chester county…

So tonight I went to a book signing at Chester County Books and Records.  It was for Teresa Giudice and her Fast & Fit cookbook.  Teresa is part of the Bravo Real Housewives franchise and she is on of the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Now the last time I photographed a housewife it was Bethenny Frankel at Skirt in Bryn Mawr a couple of years ago. Bethenny was very nice and totally fun to photograph. And if you look at my photos you will see a couple of her now husband Jason – it was when they were dating, and before her RHONY spin-off.

But back to Teresa Giudice.  She was actually very sweet, and stopped mid signing to speak about a charity she is hot on, Nephcure.org.  There was a young woman there with Nephrotic Syndrome, and the whole thing was really very touching.  I believe Teresa said it was the charity she played for on Donald Trump and NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice.  Incidentally, Chester County’s own Congressman Jim Gerlach is an ambassador for Neph Cure.

I had a totally fun evening and met women from as far away as York and Lancaster, PA who made the drive to meet Teresa Giudice.   Teresa, incidentally is quite a knock out in person.  And again,  was completely pleasant and dow to earth, very different then the snippets of television persona viewers see on Bravo.  I think Bravo shoots something crazy like over 80 hours of tape to distill down to a 1 hour segment.

Some women I met are hardcore Real Housewife fans and told me about in essence a convention they went to – apparently the “wives” go on tour and these gals were showing me photos from Atlantic City.

Now let’s talk about Chester County Books and Records.  It is in the shopping center with the K-Mart and ACME.  That shopping center is the West Goshen Shopping Center on Paoli Pike. Now that shopping center has some good businesses and a wonderful ACME, too bad whomever is responsible for the property doesn’t give the exterior a facelift.

But back to Chester County Books and Music.  I love books, I love bookstores…and this is a giant independent bookstore.  I can’t wait to go back and explore!  Many thanks to Thea from the bookstore who does the events for letting me come in and take photos!  I hope to check out more book signings in the near future and just get lost in the books for a while.

If you were at this signing and want a photo, check out the set on flickr and message me via this blog or the Simple Shots Photography page on Facebook.