you know it is election season…when….

My favorite comment about this Golly it’s Election Season Website is as follows:

Any website that says “we’re concerned a page is anonymous” while itself being an anonymous page is a person looking in a mirror and saying “you’re out of shape”.

~ Richard E.

So this is where I start this post which is not only about a Political Action Committee targeting essentially concerned parents, especially women who live in and out of the West Chester Area School District, but another scenario in another Chester County School District.

But first the antics of a “Political Action Committee.” Begin with WHY are they targeting concerned moms and other residents?

Simple. It is because these residents from all political and other persuasions have come together because their concern is so great about the future of public education in their district. They are concerned about the Republican-endorsed, PAC-endorsed Candidates for West Chester Area School District School Board that the Chester County GOP seems to have no issue with. I have to ask why Chester County GOP has no issue with extremism is they are giving it a seal of approval ALL over the county? Ask everyday traditional Republicans privately about the county GOP and they will tell you they do not feel that the party seat in Chester County gives a crap about anything other than what they want right there in West Chester, and my oh my, they are so not the party of Lincoln anymore are they and isn’t that literally sad?

The above slide show can show you some of the individuals being targeted. Not politicians, not candidates for office, not local celebrities of some kind…everyday ordinary people (women) whose major crime apparently is caring about their communities and public school education.

So the “Revealed” website is up on Facebook and Twitter. They have two followers on Twitter, one of which seems to have the last named as #AnonymousAda the Q-Anon Candidate, Ada Nestor? And I am sure Stacey Whomsley’s paws are all over this somehow, right? She’s all sugar and spice and faux helpful mommy nice but she’s is a smooth operator behind the scenes, isn’t she?

And the Chester County GOP ? What do they have to do with this nasty ass website? What do they have to do specifically with the candidates? Are they disavowing knowledge or merely washing their collective hands of certain candidates like Pontius Pilate? Do they still have their attack rat ankle biting volunteers trying to bully and intimidate anyone who says they don’t like the WCASD Republican school board candidates?

Concerned WCASD Constituents is a threat to these people. Concerned WCASD Constituents is a threat because they are ordinary people not being funded by politicians and political donors. It doesn’t matter who they are, it’s a community group comprised of all sorts of people. Non-partisan, and their goal is better schools, better candidates. It’s not some huge conspiracy that they are a group. They can tell us who they are, they can choose not to tell us who they are. They aren’t breaking any laws.

Now here is a comment by one of the women targeted by this page, and she actually is just a supporter of Concerned WCASD Constituents page:

Good for Jennifer Fenn. I don’t know her, but I think I would liker her.

However, Keeping Kids in School takes credit for WCASD Constituents Revealed and Keeping Kids is a PAC that is registered right? Accepting donations, right? and WCASD Constituents Revealed is identified BY THEM as a “Political Organization” and as such is participating in TARGETED HARASSMENT of individuals who don’t think the school board candidates this PAC is supporting is right for their district and how is that illegal? The answer is it is NOT and neither is using a social media handle or pseudonym. But then again the “Revealed” site doesn’t specifically say who THEY are, ergo they are also anonymous after a fashion and welp…pretzel logic for the clinically insane much?

Stacey Whomsley and Ada Nestor and now Anita Edgarian are not good candidates. Anita is the woman who pitched a fit at a WCASD school board meeting and then complained to Fox News. I know many Persians and Armenians and none of them behave like she does. These candidates are extremists and distortionists at a minimum. Ada Nestor is a QAnon followers as admitted in her own social media before she became born again wannabe politicians. And they are ALL technically politicians, but they are all about their bullshit middle school mean girl tactics. And who likes the posts on the new website’s social media outlets? Looks like relatives of two of the candidates? Stacey Whomsley is the most intelligent as well as in my opinion, devious of the three. I know nothing about Anita Edgarian other than how she presents herself at public meetings acting like a screaming fishwife, then misrepresenting the facts with fake news outlets. As a matter of fact that district received so many threats that it appears the meetings went virtual in August?

Now I fully and completely expect these wingnuts to say I am behind the Concerned WCASD Constituents, and as amusing as that might be, I am not. But I do support what these people are trying to do.

Now the second thing I find squirrely in Chester County involved the Tredyffrin Republicans.

Last week someone sent me a note- NOT MY WORDS BUT SENT TO ME BY A CONCERNED RESIDENT – this is a Democrat versus Republican this is about keeping really bad people out of our area and out of our politics etc. People need to wake up!

Local Tredyffrin Easttown republicans embrace anti-Muslim QAnon conspiracy theorist Scott PreslerPresler organized multiple protests leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection. In a tweet, he called it “the largest civil rights protest in American history.”Pictured are Tredyffrin school board candidate Deanna Wang and Tredyffrin Supervisor candidate Nick Sarracino. A little about Mr. Pressler: “The operative, Virginia native Scott Presler, has a years-long history of extremist activism, including serving as a top strategist for an organization that the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center deemed the largest anti-Muslim hate group in the United States. Presler, who in 2017 stunted for disgraced Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore, also helped organize multiple “Stop the Steal” protests leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. He later attended the riot, describing it as the “largest civil rights protest in American history” in a tweet with video of the crowd.”Please pay attention to our local school board elections, what candidates are doing and with whom they are aligned, and vote in November. To read more about the connection between Presler and hate groups see: Newest House GOP Star Teams Up With Nutty MAGA Conspiracy Theorist

And this came with screen shots:

WCASD School Board QAnon Candidate #AnonymousAda is a fan –
she left a comment on the same photo on the Presler guy’s page

I just do not understand these people. I don’t understand all of the political extremism. Political extremism has pretty much ruined U.S. politics, and now it is targeting and potentially ruining public education.

We as Americans need to stop this madness. We all deserve better than this.

This is why we have to vote smart come November. These school board and off-year races have gotten filthy.

Heavy sigh.

the darkness of politics

Fear mongering and misinformation

Being a Democrat is NOT being Socialist, Marxist, or Communist. They are actually their own individual political belief systems and ideologies.

In this country, many (but not all) people characterize their political beliefs and identify with a particular political party. You know like mainly Republican or Democrat or Libertarian?

However, that being said, there is not complete overlap between political party and political ideology, they are NOT necessarily 100% the same. It tends to be as individualistic as each person doesn’t it?

People used to be able to move about freely in this world, identifying with their particular political persuasions yet remaining individualistic.

People used to be allowed to have their own political views, as well as saying they were part of a political party. Some were more conservative than others, some more liberal. Some were just Malcolm in the Middle, neither one extreme or the other.

And that was OK.

I used to be a Republican and I was in the middle. A moderate. I was for the most part socially liberal and fiscally conservative. That is also what they used to call a New England Democrat.

But then changes, and not for the better in my opinion, began to change the Republican Party. I was still the same person but the party I had considered myself part of since I was able to vote no longer really resonated with me because the rhetoric became so incredibly uncomfortable for lack of a better description.

I realized that what the Republican Party was becoming as soon as Trump became the nominee was not something I could identify with (or live with as an updated skewed ideology.) So I became an Independent. I didn’t feel that I was a true Democrat or what I thought a Democrat was.

But because I live in Pennsylvania, if I wasn’t in one main party or the other I couldn’t vote in a primary. I vote. And then I had friends running for office as Democrats, so I changed my party once again after a couple of years.

Yet still, I didn’t feel like I fit. I was still that person politically in the middle. But what I have learned is that at least the Democrats seem to be more accepting and welcoming of the fact of people are individualistic politically and don’t have to be all of the same. We don’t have to be Stepford Wives on this bus. So I’m still not super liberal, but at least I feel like it’s ok to be me.

But then we go back to the Republican Party as it exists today. This screenshot speaks volumes because this is what made me leave: if you aren’t exactly like them, you are against them. If you aren’t exactly like them you are literally bad and evil people to be destroyed. How is it Godly and Christian of them to just be so damn mean?

Truthfully it makes me sad. But it’s something more than that because it’s just so dark.

We have had enough darkness in this country.

It used to be we could be part of a political party and it didn’t become an all consuming, all identifying thing.

What happened to the theory of the worthy opponent?

I said a few years ago that the politics of extremism would ruin this country, and I believe it is. I think as Americans we have to put this bullshit aside and start to come together. Or the darkness will swallow everyone whole.

Be the peaceful change you want to see.

Just little baby steps within your own world.

Re-learn that just because somebody is a different political party they aren’t necessarily a bad person.

Re-learn being able to have actual political and social issue conversations isn’t a bad thing, it’s a conversation.

Re-learn that our history as a country isn’t all sweetness and light and if we try to change it, we are doomed to make the same awful mistakes over and over.

We all do not have to be the same. We can be different from one and other. That’s what our founding fathers fought for. And that has absolutely nothing to do with being asked to wear a mask sometimes in the short term as we try to ditch a global pandemic once and for all. A global pandemic and valid health risk concerns, including to the most vulnerable among us (kids) is not a “tyrannical government” and to restore balance we need to work together, but that is not what the current Republican playbook calls for. They want to tell us about our purported lost freedoms instead of trying for actual unity in this country, or even camaraderie between different groups (including races and religions) of people. The irony is they simply don’t *get* the damage they continue to do. And if we weren’t free, they wouldn’t be able to spew their anger and vitriol and political misinformation.

The politics of extremism and misinformation are killing all of us. Every. Damn. Day. When will enough be enough?

That’s it.

Angry rhetoric and misinformation disguised as “balance”

more from the nasty olympics of school board politics….dasd style

I often like to start posts off with a bang. So Moms for Liberty as in give you liberty or give you death? Big juicy kisses. You are the official Stepford wives of 2021. Every chapter’s Facebook page has an admin from the Mothership which seems less about freedom and more about controlling their brand of misinformation.

These “moms” are the kissing cousins of the Keeping Kids in School PAC which claims to be non-partisan except it was started by a woman who worked for State RepTodd Stephens (R- Montgomery County PA) and half of this PAC’s money as per the Inquirer came from a longtime and big Republican Donor out of Doylestown. And it’s the same PAC supporting the QAnon cutie candidate from West Chester, Ada Nestor (AKA #Anonymous Ada.)

The claws are definitely out in the DASD (Downingtown Area School District) and here are examples of the love notes I have been expecting and have been receiving based on yesterday’s post:

So I thought I would share something from Rebecca Britton about the misinformation of “Kathy”:

And people like to criticize her for being active in her community or a community activist. I applaud her commitment to community. I go to know her and some other ladies I am rather fond of because of the pipelines issue. East Goshen even commended her:

I have been called all sorts of things lately. Well, if that what makes these women commenting feel better? Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy, Botox and plastic surgery, right?

These are the women who have to be the samey same including politically. I prefer women who are free thinkers.

These women who like to tear anyone different down wouldn’t know an actual Marxist anything if it bit them on the ass. And why are we still talking about CRT? Not taught in schools. Teaching real history is teaching about all the good bad and the ugly, including these folks. They will be teaching about them all some day too, and it won’t be flattering.

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In the interim, remember law enforcement is indeed truly interested in all of this school board political activity. I will close with a meme I found today. I can’t take credit for it, but it cracked me up. I am sure I will get blamed for it, and I thank whomever created it…again so freaking funny.

bless their hearts, more nastiness

The man above wishes to be famous, so I am obliging.

I received this comment overnight to this blog. I perceive it to be threatening in nature.

One funny thing is I had to look up what NPC was (Non Player Character), and it still means nothing to me because I do not live by video game jargon.

I know people on school boards and elected officials and even reporters are no stranger to nasty comments and emails like this these days, but it seems like since 2020 and prior to that because of the election, people have no boundaries and feel behavior like this is acceptable.

It is not. I am not a public figure or elected official, I am essentially a housewife who blogs sometimes.

This person is obviously male and very angry. If by his IP address you know who he is, someone should have a chat with him. This behavior is not acceptable towards anyone.

Obviously his email is fake.

He says he lives in Willistown so his comment in situ went to the Great Valley School District superintendent and school board, Willistown and East Whiteland supervisors and police departments.

This was a comment sent in response to a post I wrote called the dysfunctional states of america.

What he said for those who will complain about having to read a screenshot is as follows:

I am a Willistown homeowner and father of current students. Several distinct but loosely related points that constitute fair warning to the renegade officials we unwisely trusted with our institutions:

* The “mask dictatorship” is reprehensible, driven by propaganda of fear and “othering” that is shockingly effective. I know this because I am a student of propaganda otherwise known as marketing.”The school board is typically dictatorial, fragile, and evidently low IQ “electing” to punt their responsibilities to some mid-level nurse in West Chester that runs the health department. Pussy is an understatement for people so frightened of the literal bogeyman as to extra-legally and casually inflict this on their neighbors.

(don’t even get me going on the Willistown sewer smash-and-grab scheme.)

* And this latter point is the most enraging: “covid” is a weaponization to deprive citizens of information from and directions to their supposedly elected representatives, notably LOCAL officials re GVSB. The GVSD is behaving like the small-minded dictators one might expect in a Latin American banana republic from the 19th C. than elected officials in the United States.

* The irresponsible government situation is intolerable. After a year of pompous official indifference to the nationwide burning, looting, mayhem and murder of BLM/Antifa, the FUD fueled “covid” sanctimony is enraging on a visceral level. When the sleepy, gentlemanly yeomen of Willistown rise in righteous anger, you should understand the boiling point has been reached.

* LEsson Learned: as a political experiment, “democracy” has proven a complete and total failure thanks to corruption and easy public manipulability if not outright idiocy. You liberal-leftist dreamers are about to see your life-long aspiration achieved but you are not going to like how it turns out with a mafia version of old school feudalism that will replace this joke of government. That is to say, the law of the jungle is kill or be killed or sometime put as Only the strong survive. A motley coalition of rabbit people stands no chance.

IDGAF if you agree with my points, if you hate them, or if they inspire you to roll your eyes while spewing some stupid canned insult so typical of NPCs.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. NO MORE.

He’s right. Enough is enough. No one should put up with this brand of verbal abuse. And it is happening everywhere.

what is a public vs. private post exactly on facebook? especially when it comes to politics?

I was waiting for one of these threatening comments on the West Chester school board candidates post. I don’t even know who this woman Suzie is. But she is referring to these PUBLIC photos that people, MANY people have taken screen shots of including the ones I have shown again below to illustrate. I did her a kindness I did not have to and have not disclosed her email address. Technically I was under no obligation to do so, as she wrote to my site.

Suzie is fussing over screenshots of PUBLIC Facebook posts. Note the little globe. And these are SCREENSHOTS to show origin of a PUBLIC post.

Please note, I did not post photos of her family, private life, or kids. I only posted PUBLICLY posted things.

PUBLIC posts are designed to be SHARED by ANYONE. PUBLIC POSTS CAN BE SEEN BY ANYONE.

Suzie, your posts that you created personally were PUBLIC posts sharing a PUBLIC post. That means they are PUBLIC. If you go to the bottom of the originating posts from the Chester County Coalition of Republican Women you can see the “shares”…It is a public post and you can see who shared it depending upon their privacy settings. YOU had your settings for these posts as PUBLIC which means ANYONE can see them. Those you have different privacy settings you can’t see and that is why there is this nifty bit of verbiage: “Some posts may not appear here because of their privacy settings.”

The other screenshot, also a PUBLIC post I guess has you in it, but again, don’t know you, so I can’t say you are in the photo for sure. Photo was posted PUBLICLY without attribution, so your issue my dear is with the person who POSTED the photo PUBLICLY and she posts pretty much everything PUBLICLY.

Oh and Suzie? I called the Republican Committee of Chester County. Spoke to someone pretty high up. They remarkably did not know who you were. We had a great conversation. I used to be a Republican, and I still have plenty of Republican friends. I owned what I had written about and why. They agreed the school board races had gotten beyond nasty. I told them that if your gals Ada Nestor and Stacey Whomsley had been part of the Purple People Eater Political Party I would still feel they were BAD candidates and the WRONG choice for school board on the West Chester Area School District. We had an awesome conversation, actually.

But Suzie? If you do not wish people to screenshot and share your posts or share posts others share publicly including photos? You need to change YOUR privacy settings which you can do from post to post to either be friends only or friends except (and exclude people). As long as that LITTLE GLOBE appears with regard to Facebook, it is a PUBLIC post. Just like if you do not make your Instagram and Twitter accounts private, everything you post is PUBLIC. The last screenshot is an example of choices for PRIVACY settings on Facebook posts. I hope this clears it up.

Cheers!

if mr. costello wants to go to washington, he needs to get out of his nappies first.


A preface: This post is a week old. WordPress has this oddity and flaw in its app of sometimes making you republish things although you already did. Such is the case here.

📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝

So former Chester County Commissioner and U.S. Congressman Ryan Costello blocked me on Twitter. I don’t really care but he behaved today in a manner so purely childish that I can’t believe he seriously wants people to take him seriously that he wants to run for Pat Toomey’s seat in the United States Senate.

I used to think he was a nice enough guy. I liked dealing with his congressional staff because he quite frankly inherited a lot of them from Jim Gerlach. I had dealt with them for years.

So today comes this Philadelphia Inquirer article on how he wants to run for U.S Senate. (And so does Lt. Gov. John Fetterman so please for the love of God, who else is running?)

Philadelphia Inquirer: Former Pennsylvania Republican congressman Ryan Costello is taking steps to run for Senate in 2022
by Jonathan Tamari and Andrew Seidman, Posted: January 8, 2021 – 4:50 PM

So that is the article if you want to read it. Anyway the PA and Chesco Twitterverse started discussing this. One because of the shall we say haphazard way he decided not to run for re-election and then bailed on the Chester County GOP. Because truthfully he did. Not that I actually blamed him back then because they were rattlesnake material circa 2016 in my humble opinion. And 2016 was a Republican epiphany back then for many of us, myself included. The day Trump became the nominee was my last day as a Republican.

My initial comment when I saw the article was ummm no, we have already been to this movie.

Then there was the commentary regarding what Costello said this week when he gave a sound byte to local media over the events in Washington:

📌Ryan Costello, a critic of President Trump who held the 6th District House seat before Houlahan, said “watching these protestors invade the Capitol reminded me of the left-wing protestors who would storm in and occupy my congressional office and harass my staff on a weekly basis. Politics has become an invitation for extremist behavior; to be rude, dangerous and disrespectful to our institutions and policy-makers.”📌

Ummm…leftist fringe? Some of these people are my friends.

I did say the following:

So Ryan Costello wants to run for US Senate? Here’s hoping he is out of his diapers before then, because this response out of him is better suited for sucking a binky and living on Parler.

Honestly, I am disappointed because I used to like him. And to color outside the lines in such a manner BEFORE he announces a legit run for office? He’s not exhibiting strength, he’s demonstrating immaturity at a minimum. There already are enough hate spewing windbags like this in Washington D.C.

They didn’t threaten anyone. They are hardworking people and he seemed to forget he worked for the people not the Chesco GOP or whatever. They did not feel they were being heard. And that is the worst feeling and one we as regular people feel all too often at the hands of our elected officials.

Not that Fetterman is a better choice for US Senate….I wouldn’t vote for him either at this point either and I have never liked Political Lurch.

Here is the letter he referred to BY LINK.

Here is the letter by text as I obtained it:

📌The Daily Local News should stop promoting former Congressman Ryan Costello’s false comparisons between our area and dangerous events on national news. The violent, seditious terrorists we witnessed at the nation’s Capitol bear absolutely no resemblance, whatsoever, to the peaceful demonstrators exercising their democratic rights outside his district offices in 2017 and 2018.

The former Representative should consult the Daily Local’s own accounts of what transpired before leveling dangerously false comparisons. Costello claims that protestors “stormed his office and harassed staff weekly,” but most of the constituent rallies took place outdoors and far away from Costello’s office and staff.

The one occasion constituents entered Costello’s district office to stage a sit-in, the Daily Local’s own account describes them as “unobtrusive” to the staffers. When asked to move to another room, they complied. They ate pizza and sang Christmas carols, then left. That was it. No guns, violence, broken windows, Confederate flags, Nazi flags, or threats of any kind.

Ultimately, Costello’s commentary once again proves himself disconnected from reality and from the community he was once elected to serve. There was nothing remotely similar between the peaceful gatherings at/near Costello’s office and the riotous mob in DC. Peaceful assembly and requesting redress are protected rights of our citizenry.

Responsible journalism would not treat Costello’s conflation of the two as fact. Clarity is critical at this moment for our body politic, and readers deserve to be informed about what relevance an opinion has to the truth. The Daily Local does a disservice to its readers by reporting such egregious claims without basis of truth.

Luke Bauerlein, Exton; Phil Dague, Downingtown; Jane Palmer, Wyomissing; Beth Sweet, West Chester and Claire Witzleben, Wayne📌

These folks have a right to be upset. I guess so does Ryan Costello that we were discussing it. And what happened next wasn’t very “senatorial.”

Ryan Costello started addressing me on Twitter. He told me I didn’t know what I was talking about and did I remember when he stuck up for me once upon a time. And I did remember that, and part of the topic was his wife had gotten upset when people startled her on their street. I believe she was a pretty young mom at this point and probably not used to the public eye. Politicians sign up for this life, and their families really have little choice in the matter. And I felt at the time and probably would still today that people could have been nicer to her and more understanding. I took a walloping on social media for my opinion, and he stood up for me and I will always appreciate that.

However, it doesn’t mean I’m not going to speak my truth about how I feel about certain things. And calling people I know some thing akin to domestic terrorists for staging a sit in with pizza it’s not some thing that sits right with me. And it is a gross miss characterization of what I believe happened.

We went back-and-forth a while and then he sent me a private message and basically said that he thought I was talking to him in good faith and then he saw the comment about calling him Baby Ryan. And then he blocked me. I guess he just wanted the last word.

He did however say in one Tweet he didn’t care if screenshots were taken and shown that he stands by what he said. So Ryan? I do think you are acting like a baby or a toddler. I was also however communicating in good faith. I wish you could see how you are hurting yourself. Pennsylvania is a much different political climate than when you pulled your exit with drama, stage right. You need to get to know people all over again and their issues then, and issues now.

Here are the screenshots. Hopefully in some semblance of order. 2021 is certainly quite the year so far:

darkness before the dawn continues? please remember it’s the christmas season.

I just read an article in New York Magazine I found very disturbing. It’s about Trump not leaving White House on January 20th, 2021. Then there are the articles about January 6th, 2021, including a fascinating history lesson via the National Constitution Center.

Electors from all 50 states just met on December 14 to place their states’ official votes. On January 6, that vote count is finalized and election results are certified in Congress. First day of the new Congress is January 3, 2021. Congress then reads the election results out loud at like 1 PM on January 6, 2021.

Then the President of the Senate, still Vice President Mike Pence, will announce the results. But what everyone is wondering at this point is will Trump-supporting Congress members try to disrupt this process one more time? Is Trump going to attempt a coup one last time as The New Yorker is pondering?

And I see people posting on places like Facebook what they think are little things no one reads about 1/6/2021 and well are they supporting anarchy, martial law, tyranny, and domestic terrorism then?

The people I see posting this are among the biggest hypocrites I have ever met. I guess it’s OK to use things like abortion as birth control as a teenager (among other things), and then become a fake born-again southerner super conservative pro-life refined lady? Bless your heart honey, I have got your number and the way your brain works now. I am saving the stamp and not sending a Christmas card. I just can’t.

I guess at the end of the day what I don’t understand is that for time immemorial in this country, one candidate has won, while another candidate has lost. And it hasn’t evolved into nonsensical conversations about certain southern states once again seceding from the union and everything else that has gone on in 2020.

I said a while back this year that it was almost like this country was on the verge of another Civil War and what is that going to gain any of us? Are people so afraid of other people that don’t look like them and act like them and vote like them that them can’t even live in the same communities with them anymore? Will Parler go from app to living zones?

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. We’ve known each other since we were young because our parents were friends. We now sit on the opposite side from each other at the political table, yet we still share so many similarities in philosophy, even politically. We had this total conversation and it wasn’t angry, it wasn’t nasty…. we talked. It was awesome. We spoke about how we were so in the middle on so many things, yet all you see in this country is extremism in politics from both sides of the aisle ruining this country.

It’s the week before Christmas. We have all had a trying year including but not limited to a global pandemic. For the love of all that is holy can you people stop pretending a crazy man who tweets from the toilet had the election stolen from him? He didn’t. And y’all won’t turn to pillars of salt with Joe Biden as President. And while we’re on this conversation can people of a similar band also stop talking about how Joe Biden is not healthy and Kamala Harris is awful?

Just stop. Give peace a chance, quite literally.

Please. There is one week before Christmas. Can we act like it’s Christmas? Do something nice in your community. Pay it forward.

Or at least just think about it. Thanks for stopping by.

thank goodness for christmas movies.

I woke up this morning and it was a dreary, foggy, dark morning. I turned on the Today Show, and they remarked that we really only have a week of political ad hell to go through. And that is almost a comforting thought, that in a little over a week this will all be over. In theory.

The reality is no matter what happens next week it will not all be over. And if we all don’t come together as communities and as a nation the anger and vitriol will linger and persist. If this trajectory continues we are a country on the brink of a modern Civil War.

Yesterday was two months until Christmas. And oh yes, I love Christmas. Thanks to COVID-19 I have absolutely no idea what our Christmas is going to look like yet, but this weekend also means the Christmas movies are out! (Cue husbands and life partners groaning everywhere.) Lifetime and Hallmark are in a stiff competition.

Yes I have watched a few Christmas movies already. Even one on Lifetime where I was shocked at the amount of bad plastic surgery Charlie’s Angel alum Cheryl Ladd has had.

Are these movies from Pulitzer Prize winning novels or will they win Emmys or Oscars? No. But what they do is give us all a mental and emotional break from politics and COVID19 in the USA.

Things are just starting to literally boggle my mind and even Saturday Night Live and the cold opens can’t alleviate the mind boggling things like someone saying to me the other day quite literally “But you don’t even look like a Democrat.

What does that even mean? What are Democrats supposed to look like? Am I supposed to have horns or something? And this is someone who might actually know who probably didn’t even realize how that sounded. They are an extraordinarily lovely person I respect. But still. Hard to fathom. Hurtful to hear.

Like everyone else, over the past couple of weeks with increasing intensity I have been inundated with Robo calls, emails, even phone calls and personal messages from people I know. All about voting Republican.

This is no longer the party of Lincoln. Or any Republican President preceding what currently occupies the White House. I don’t recognize any of it. Most don’t if they are honest.

I am still a moderate and more of a centrist. And I believe that extremism in politics on both sides of the political aisle is ruining this country. Politics is a sad and crazy business. And the anger in this country can literally take your breath away. I watch and marvel.

I don’t understand how people who are still Republicans can look at me and tell me how this end result after four years is better than we were for years prior? I don’t understand how they think COVID19 has been addressed and treated properly. I don’t understand how they just don’t see a lot of what I see. But I guess I don’t have to understand, because founding fathers of this country fought for us to all have our opinions and beliefs as individuals, correct? We aren’t and shouldn’t all be Stepford on this bus.

But what is also sad is I know I have not heard from certain friends in a long time because they know I am not voting for Trump. When did Trump become the price of friendship? I might not understand their choice but I don’t begrudge them their choice as Americans so why did they judge me my choices? Of course there’s also the little fact that if you know me you know I have never liked Donald Trump. That completely predates the current iteration of Donald Trump as a politician. I thought The Apprentice was stupid.

This weekend I realized I found all of this political crap exhausting and virtually inescapable. But then I watched the movie titled On The Basis of Sex. It’s about the early career of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I also watched the latest movie of fellow Shipley graduate Sarah Megan Thomas, A Call to Spy. This movie is about female spies who gave in many cases their lives to fight the Nazis in Europe during World War II including American Virginia Hall who most Americans do not know ever existed.

Everyone should watch both of these films. Then you really understand what fighting for your freedom and rights is all about. And then there are the Christmas movies. Even I will be sick of the Christmas movies by the time the new year rolls around, but it gives you a little glimpse into a more pleasant universe. And face it, right now we all need a little Christmas magic. Or any magic to believe in possibilities and not ugliness.

So bring on the Lifetime and Hallmark Christmas Movies! In a year utterly devoid of magic, the temporary diversions these movies provide is so welcome!

NSB. Never Stop Believing.

2020 is the year of comfort food overload and more humor and faith needed

It’s funny how cooking and gardening have helped make the crazy of 2020 fade for finite amounts of time. Maybe it is because I enjoy both.

This is not a recipe post. This is about how I feel headed into the last quarter of 2020.

I woke up this morning utterly sick of people and the way they are behaving. Between COVID-19 and the election, the constant barrage of smack talking crap is just too much some days. So this morning I started a loaf of sourdough bread and made some fresh tomato sauce with sausages so I could make a pasta sausage bake this evening.

Comfort food.

Like gardening, cooking is calming for me. It centers me. Maybe because it is such a basic purpose of life.

The whole feeding and cooking for people thing makes me think of a chef I know. I was taking photos for him once and he said to get a photo of diners breaking bread (each table had a small loaf of bread.) He remarked that people remember that simple act of breaking bread. It was a nice thing to remember this morning in the midst of crazy.

COVID-19 is still here. Infection numbers are rising because people are becoming complacent, or they are listening to #PresidentCOVID tweet his madness 24 hours a day which includes there is no problem with COVID-19 even if he did just get out of the hospital. (And when all else fails, there is the parallel universe of FOX News, even if it seems media mogul owner Rupert Murdoch is predicting #PresidentCOVID will lose.)

It seems the worse the news gets on T-rump, the more fanatical the devoted become. I think people who remember WWII era and post-WWII era dictators are probably the only ones who would have ever seen such behavior before. It’s also like a fanatical religious tent revival from the Great Depression. It’s like watching the proverbial train wreck/car wreck/plane wreck. You know you should look away, only you don’t, and then you get a headache…and the behavior is just depressing…and so sad.

Photo courtesy of Main Line Coyote on Twitter. Somewhere in Chester County.

I understand there are those out there who are solid conservatives who feel duty bound to vote the straight party ticket no matter what. Dinosaurs, some beloved to me, but dinosaurs nonetheless. I don’t begrudge them their voting choices, why do they begrudge me mine?

As Americans, we have to vote the way our own heart and own mind tell us to. Or in theory that is the way it is supposed to work, only it’s not, is it? In years past, I was equally appalled and fascinated by people outside polls in Ardmore, PA telling people to “vote the way we told you to.” And it still goes on, every election cycle. If you can even get people to the polls because a lot of people talk a good game and never actually vote, which blows my mind as I find it to be one of our greatest rights as Americans.

Somewhere else in Chester County. Thanks to Lost NYer on Twitter

I have had a long journey from Republican to Democrat with Independent in between. I still wonder if I am more of a situational Democrat, because it’s the state of this country , the various and continual mind boggling situations that brought me here. I do marvel because I was so resolute in my Republicanism, until 2016. Then it was like I lost and old friend, mourned them, and had to move on. I do not know what my political future holds and that does actually bother me but I know what calls itself the Republican party is not the Republican party I once knew, believed in, or volunteered for during the RNC 2000.

What else do I mourn? Civility in conversation even with supposed long-term friends. Especially lacking on social media. It’s all anger and vitriol, both sides of the political aisle. And when you sit still somewhat Malcolm in the Middle, it just takes your breath away. And more often than not, the worst offenders are women. Ladies we are not Stepford Wives, we all are not supposed to think, drink, chirp, and dress in unison. The behavior is so limiting…for them.

2020 has made me revisit the music of all stages of my life. Supertramp, first listened to in Strasbourg, France in the late 1970’s on a little portable record player. Take The Long Way Home. Old Fleetwood Mac. Old Genesis like Follow You Follow Me and Crosby Stills Nash and Young Our House which I remember where I was the first time I listened to it: the basement of my sorority the fall of 1981. I was homesick and used to do my homework in the downstairs of the sorority and listen to the records there.

Also revisiting Carly Simon, Rosanne Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Dire Straits, Johnny Hates Jazz, English Beat, Basia, Steely Dan, Steve Winwood, Little River Band, Joe Jackson, Alan Parsons Project. Also have been listening to more classical music (but NEVER opera!) which would make my late father happy.

Rosanne Cash actually dropped a new single today. Her take on the year (see bottom video.) Other artists I have been listening to? Taylor Swift. Yes seriously. Me. Her Folklore album was such a surprise. It’s a gem. Every song tells a story and many of them you can identify with. So many of the lyrics made me smile. I have always listened to the occasional song Taylor Swift has written. But when this album dropped on Spotify, I sat and I listened. I must play it at least once a week. It is transformative and it shows how she is maturing as an artist. It’s beautiful actually. In this crazy stressful year, this music is welcome.

Books. I am reading again. And watching lots of BritBox and ACORN streaming because their shows are just well, better. I am working on my vintage quilts which always need a patch or seven. Cooking with my late mother-in-law’s mixing bowls today. remembering my father when I plant daffodil bulbs.

Anything to escape this year where every time you turn around something bad or sad is happening. People I know are sick, friends are taking care of other sick family members. And illness is isolating enough in more normal times, but now? Now it’s just cruel.

And yes, I have had my sad moments in 2020. Who hasn’t if they are honest? Our new normal is anything but and I thought I was done with new normals when I survived breast cancer.

A friend of mine today told me to remember when people give me a hard time about how I run a community Facebook group to remember that today it helped distraught owners reunite with a wandering dog very quickly. She brought me to tears just now when she texted me that.

My friend also reminded me that human nature is backwards and more people complain than express appreciation and also reminded me that people are so unhappy because of the sheer helplessness we have felt since March. A global pandemic, a leader that doesn’t lead but rants on Twitter, confronting racism in this country, protests and rioting and looting and businesses failing…and politics. Politics that to an extent leave almost everyone behind at times. Depression and suicide rates are at all time high. People often are NOT seeking help, so they mistake pain and loneliness for anger. (These are a lot of her words paraphrased, she sums it up so beautifully.)

This is 2020. I don’t think any of us will ever forget it. But God willing and if the creek don’t rise, we will all survive. I met a Mennonite woman the other day. She was delivering something to me. She bid me good day and we talked for a while. She was probably the most Godly person I have met all year, and the simplicity of her belief and faith were inspiring. Her name was Esther and she said to me that she wondered what God was trying to teach us this year, and I replied I wondered if we could really all stop and listen to what he was wanting us to think about. I think a lot of it is taking us all back to basics and not taking life and love for granted.

And that is the thing about this crazy year: in the midst of the crazy and anger and vitriol and UNcivil discourse, there are occasional moments of joyful simplicity and beauty. Beauty in the things around us like our gardens, our friends, our neighbors, our families. If we learn nothing else in 2020, we learn not to take life for granted.

Life can be hard, but it can surprise us. We have to look for the positives in 2020 and it’s hard some days, trust me, I get it. Our next hurdles will be the holidays. How can we do big family gatherings? The short answer is if we love our families, we simply cannot. This bums me out because as much as holidays drive me crazy, I love the sounds of conversation and laughter around my table and Christmas Tree.

I am going to thank you now for meandering on this ramble with me and close with a Langston Hughes quote I have quite literally loved since the 4th or 5th grade:

Hold fast to dreams
for if dreams die
life is a broken-winged bird
that can not fly.

Hold fast to dreams
for when dreams go
life is a barren field
frozen with snow.”

Wishing you all the best in these crazy times. VOTE.

yes, america is under siege

I created this photoshop in 2015. Last night it came true.

I was talking to a friend yesterday about the RNC 2000. I was a media relations volunteer there. It still is one of the best volunteer experiences I ever had. Every room had an electric feeling. It was positive.It wasn’t a made for TV reality show in search of ratings and renewal. You know like this year’s RNC?

When I did my photoshop above in 2015, I was half kidding. It was a joke. I never thought in my wildest dreams that America would be dumb enough to elect that circus carney to the White House and he would have turned the White House into an even more circus like atmosphere than my sarcastic mind’s eye even saw in 2015.

Facebook photo of last night of the RNC.

Last night was truly disturbing. All of those people crammed in because a malignant narcissist wanted his adoring crowd. No masks, no COVID-19 precaustions. All about the selfishness of a megalomaniac.

The New York Times in one of their email newsletters this morning reported Trump as speechifying the same regurgitated bull twaddle from 4 years ago that America is under siege….yes America IS under siege…FROM HIM.

I realize my thoughts aren’t going to sit well with my many conservative friends, some whom are very close friends, but I can’t not express how I feel. And the way things are going, how long will it be that we are actually able to express how we feel?

A sitting United States President has not accepted his party’s nomination from the White House since Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940. And this current occupant of the White House is no Roosevelt, that’s for damn sure.

I have watched very little of this convention because I found it so welcome to Stepford meets a dictatorship / oligarchy. Cringe worthy and terrifying is what it was a lot of the time. Sad and upset at just how far the Republican party has fallen from grace.

I was a Republican. Most of my life. Until Trump became the nominee the first time. Then I became an Independent for the past few years. I switched to become a Democrat for this past spring’s primary to be able to vote for a dear friend. But given the shenanigans this past week concerning the Chester County Democratic Party which continues to fester, I am now asking myself if I should remain a Democrat or go back to being an Independent? You see, like many Americans, I feel at present almost like I have no voting home. I am not truly represented.

Who are we as Americans? Our core is being shaken. By the politics of extremism, racism, an unstable economy,a global pandemic like COVID-19.

The whole week at the Republican National Convention every snippet I saw seemed like a bunch of people living in an alternate reality, hell an alternate universe. Like the chick in the red dress who was screeching to an empty room. Or Melania Trump speaking from the rose garden now destroyed. It now looks like a formula garden in a chain hotel. That wasn’t their garden to destroy. They don’t own the White House, they are just tenants. That was America’s rose garden. Now? We’re not welcome there. That has nothing to do with America, it has to do with camera optics and it’s all about them.

I cry for what America has devolved to. I wonder what our founding fathers and some of those truly great American presidents we have had would say if they were alive?

At least when I listened to bits of the Democratic National Convention I felt included. I did not feel like the street urchin with the tin cup begging at the gates of the estate. When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris spoke, they spoke to all of us. They didn’t pander to the deep pockets funding them and the zealots they control like an army of Stepford Wives.

And the fact checking. This past week, and last night especially the fact checkers worked overtime because so much WAS just lies and propaganda. See New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer and Washington Post.

The RNC was just another orchestrated and calculated Trump Pageant without the bikini stroll. It was the fantasy the man behind the Wizard of Oz curtain wants us to see. It left out the nasty new robocalls to make people afraid of voting by mail. It left out the Penn professors wondering how Trump got into Penn in the first place. It left out COVID-19. It left out most of the reality we live with from day to day. It also left out the old guard Republicans and the Republicans we associate with what it used to mean to be a Republican. Haven’t you noticed? Those people are not at Trump’s side, they have quietly left the stage. Even THEY do not wish to be associated with him.

So yes, America is indeed under siege and at risk. We can’t handle four more years of this. We just can’t.

Pray for America. If we as everyday Americans don’t stand up and have our votes counted for change, four more years of the current circus will tear us even more apart. Why should we vote for Biden? Because we need to get out of extremism and back to moderation. We need to get back to the country we can be proud of, not embarrassed by. We need to have real answers about COVID-19 and we need healthcare and social security and medicare. Hell, we need the old rose garden back.

This isn’t Trump’s country, it’s ours. We need a return to democracy and true American values. But what do I know? I am just a suburban housewife, right?

America the Beautiful Stretched Canvas Wall Art | Sincerely, Sticks