thoughts and a message of hope…from england

I have been watching less and less of the news. It’s a repeating loop of Coronavirus on steroids. Often we are not learning anything new, it is just a constant repeating of the horror the world is going through. But I think the biggest problem I have with this whole global pandemic and how it affects us here in the U.S. is what comes out of the White House.

That man we call President is not Presidential. I was even reminded of that last night when I watched a PBS special on the Roosevelts.

A couple of weeks ago I called my mother and she shooed me off the phone almost immediately. “The President is speaking . I can’t talk now.” But honestly, what is he saying? He spent weeks not really taking this whole #COVID-19 thing seriously. Then all of a sudden he says it’s a pandemic and he thought so all along. Then he works something in about campaigns and his administration. Then everything will be open by Easter, then everyone wear masks but he won’t. Then he talks about how many people are going to die from this virus. Then he talks over the medical experts at his press conferences annoyed that people are asking the actual medical professionals questions. “Didn’t I just answer that question?” (paraphrased) he angrily shot at a reporter who had recently directed a question to Dr. Anthony Fauci at a press conference.

We need a national leader about now. Trump isn’t leading. He’s an angry man child embodiment of chronic contradictions and a stunning lack of compassion and that brings no comfort. It makes me anxious. At first I was trying to watch the news conferences from Washington to look for information and leadership in a time of crisis. Coronavirus-time IS like war-time and we need a leader who gets it, who gets us as Americans. Not a quasi-dictatorial narcissistic man child who still blows up Twitter daily with his petty bulltwaddle and spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. Dude all of your Tweeting is bad for America.

Good thing there are people in this country like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He leads, he is authentic, and he is living this right along with everyone. That is actually comforting to me because my sister and her family as well as my stepbrother live in New York City. I have to tell you closer to home, I find the Philadelphia and surrounding counties news conferences and New Jersey’s news conferences make more sense.

And then there are people with their Marie Antoinette attitudes of let them eat cake. Like the guy in North Jersey who defied stay at home and social distancing orders and threw a giant Coronavirus booze fest party. He’s apparently now being charged for doing so. Good. And don’t forget the kids in the Pittsburgh area who had to have a giant blowout and where are their parents?

It’s like all of those whom suddenly define themselves as “constitutionalists” and why is government telling us what to do? That is simple: if we would all just stay the hell home they wouldn’t be telling us what to do. It’s like those who are all up in arms because churches are closed. Large gatherings spread viruses. Hello? The actual history of the 1918 influenza pandemic as an example? God does not expect us to die for him from coronavirus. Many churches are live-streaming and isn’t God or whomever you may believe in all around us? Ok maybe a theological conversation is too much for most on a Monday so we will leave this right there.

But it is because of all of this swirling crap that I have taken to tuning out the news and staying put and working in the garden more. Whether we want to or not, the fates have decided we are slowing down. (Apparently I am not the only one gardening article about victory gardens in The Philadelphia Inquirer today.)

But there is one leader who may God bless and keep her who is truly leading. Queen Elizabeth II of England. She gave her subjects comfort and hope in a time of crisis. She also gave the rest of the world comfort and hope. No angry tweeting about fake news and newspapers that have done her wrong. Talking to the people and offering support and comfort.

BBC News: Coronavirus: The Queen’s message seen by 24 million

About 24 million TV viewers watched the Queen’s broadcast to the nation on Sunday, according to overnight figures.
In a rare speech, the monarch thanked people for following government rules to stay at home and praised those “coming together to help others”.
The message was seen by 23.97 million viewers, making it the second most-watched broadcast this year….It was only the fifth time the Queen has given such a speech in her 68-year reign.
Her most recent Christmas Day message drew a combined overnight audience of 7.85 million.
In her speech on Sunday, the Queen said the UK “will succeed” in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
She thanked people for following government rules to stay inside and paid tribute to key workers for their efforts.
Speaking from Windsor Castle, the Queen said the pandemic was a “different” challenge compared to what the nation had faced before.
The message ended with the words “we will meet again” – an apparent reference to Dame Vera Lynn’s bolstering war anthem We’ll Meet Again.
The Queen’s four other special addresses were given in 1991, 1997, 2002 and 2012.

It was truly a beautiful thing to listen to her speak in this time. Say what you want about her and sometimes people criticize Queen Elizabeth but she knows how to lead in times of crisis. And it was just so good to hear a message that was realistic yet not full of gloom and doom. It was also good to hear a message that wasn’t all about them.

We will get through this. And it will take its toll. I hope we all get through unscathed but really it’s beyond our control at this point. We can only do our part and stay home. And if you have extra supplies to donate to first responders contact your local firehouse or hospital.

This weird time is giving us time to meaningfully connect with each other if we can stop and see the good in that. I also know it’s frustrating and scary. It makes you nervous. Trust me, I have felt all of those things. Especially because of the bombardment of so much news and the contradictory behavior coming out of Washington D.C.

One day at a time I think is the only way to handle the hot mess of Coronavirus. Yes much like a 12 step program, one day at a time. I will close with a quote from Teddy Roosevelt:

Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action, and we have trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk; we must act big.

#StayHome

keeping it klassy down in d.c.

I don’t blog about national politics much. What is the point? They are going to do what they are going to do down in the political swamp. The only way we can control them as Americans is with our vote. And either people aren’t voting or the candidates suck.

Normally I do not watch or listen to most of the remarks made by this President. Today I am. Mostly out of curiosity. What I have discovered is I will go back to not watching or listening to most of the remarks.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sitting US President curse on television before. And everyone who disagrees with him is a horrible person. Or “vicious as hell”. But he’s perfect.

The song remains the same every time he opens his mouth except now he’s cursing on television. And nobody’s perfect everybody curses, but should a president really do that on television? And why wasn’t any of it bleeped out by networks? They would bleep it out if it was the Grammys or the Oscars or some thing wouldn’t they?

Let’s talk impeachment. If you’re realistic you knew it would never go anywhere, that it was political posturing. No matter what side of the aisle you sit on with this issue, that is the truth.

The votes were never there pure and simple. So I don’t know why all the excitement over an acquittal because it was never going to happen in the first place by the sheer basic basis of the number of votes for and against.

There is the whole impeachment argument of “well they had to try.” To that I say yes and no. If you know what the outcome will be, why waste time on it? And the Democrats knew how the Republicans will vote so what did all of the breast beating from BOTH sides of the aisle do for all Americans exactly? (Except for providing really funny Saturday Night Live skits, that is.

The night of the State of the Union started with the bad manners of not accepting Nancy Pelosi’s hand when offered.

The President and Pelosi don’t have to like each other but there’s decorum that is supposed to be observed and traditions respected. You know that whole term of worthy or honorable opposition?

Pelosi then compounded the issues by acting like a post- menopausal born again teenager who got dumped by her date before prom when she ripped up the speech on camera.

Apoliticism is apathy or antipathy towards all political affiliations. I now understand why people get there in their heads. I find myself headed there.

Here we have a guy I am supposed to respect and he spends more time on Twitter than I do and I am a blogger who has been on Twitter since 2008. I keep looking to see why perfectly lovely people I know think he’s so wonderful and I still can’t figure it out. Then there are all of the Republicans who think he’s not so wonderful yet they are literally mute.

Regardless of political affiliation we get the country we deserve. And this is why people should pay more attention from the most local of politics through to Washington. If you want better people in office you have to pay attention you can’t just be a sheeple.

We are a nation divided. I am not sure of the entirety of how we got here, but we need to stop it. A virtual Civil War that plays out every day in this country on social media helps no one. And it is perhaps more damaging and more lasting in negativity than the actual Civil War was in the 19th century.

Just my thoughts.

this christmas 🎄 , defend what you ❤️ love/support your neighbors 👩‍👧👨‍👧

P.k. Ditty photo

A place where the above photo was shared had a couple of people who left a “laughing” emoji where you can like this post or find it sad or find it angry. To them I say there is nothing funny about this and you don’t have to like every post anyone posts – but at least TRY to be understanding of what other folks not too far away from you are dealing with. It could be your family, your neighborhood, your house affected.

Someone else made a comment about these pipelines and rights of way. Umm land agents and threats of eminent domain for non-compliance with these corporate bullies does not equal a traditional right of way does it?

I didn’t really understand this issue until I moved into Chester County. And while I am blessed that I don’t have one of these things going THROUGH my property, if the Adelphia pipeline comes through I will be in a potential “blast zone” with one of these pipelines either 1030 feet from a corner of our property or 1060 feet. We are also on wells where I live.

I have a friend who lives up the road apiece from me into West Whiteland Township. When she and her husband bought their house no one told them about the pipeline easement on the property. As in it didn’t show up at the settlement table from either realtor. They are barely in their house a hot minute and Sunoco/Sunoco Logistics/Energy Transfer shows up. As it turned out, the people they bought the house from had sold an easement to the pipeline company maybe a year or less prior. Now she has a ticking time bomb in her front yard.

These pipelines are dangerous and they pollute our wells, they are problematic and sinkholes occur because of how they are digging (in disregard for the geological composition of the area), roads have had visible issues in spots and the “plans” for first responders won’t save anyone including them and oh how about they are drilling right next to Goshen Fire Company at Boot and Greenhill in West Chester? What happens if something happens there? Who will save the first responders?

They ARE drilling next to schools, libraries and so on. You may have even driven by a site where they are working and not realized what’s going on behind giant temporary construction walls that to us never seem temporary at this point.

If and when there is an explosion do you think the people on the road driving by are going to be any safer than the rest of us?

And then of course there is the giant fairytale that these companies like to tell everyone which is you’re getting gas, etc because of these pipelines. What is being taken from the ground here and shipped through these pipelines through residential neighborhoods is going overseas. To places like Scotland to make plastic.

And the other fable they like to tell is how this brings lots of local jobs. All you have to do is drive by a site and count the out-of-state plates. And I’m not talking New Jersey and Delaware out of state I’m talking Oklahoma,Texas and so on where the wildcatters are from.

And then there is all the stuff in the news about the constables who were working for these pipeline companies through a security company and not reporting the income or the job on their ethics form for the state. A constable is an elected official and they took an oath and the ones who did this thought it was all ok? (And the Commonwealth Constable Association can write all the letters to the editor they want it doesn’t change what happened and how wrong it was does it?)

My mother, who lives in the city, was stunned at what she saw when we were driving back from a Christmas lunch in West Chester a week ago. She couldn’t believe what she saw and compared it to the issues and conditions with coal mining companies in PA in the 19th century (the Molly Maguires era).

I think we all in this area have to become more informed on what is going on with regard to this issue even if it’s not in our backyard literally.

The above photo was originally posted by someone else with the following:

My neighborhood has been held hostage by Sunoco/Energy Transfer for over 2.5 YEARS now… with no end in sight.

This dangerous export pipeline project claimed eminent domain for overseas plastics production. It carries highly explosive and highly pressurized by-broducts of fracking.

Sunoco continues to cause sinkholes, contaminate private drinking water, drilling mud spills, etc. They are an egregious operator who’s latest illegal tactics include false reports to law enforcement authorities.

We want our backyards back. We want our safety back. We want our clean air & water back. We want our peace & quiet back.

#DefendWhatYouLove

So when this all first started, residents were told “you won’t even notice we’re here.”

Did you know on a clear and quiet day if they are working in a neighboring Township I can actually hear the rhythmic thump thump thump of whatever that machine is they use to move the pipeline along?

State Impact PA has referred to these pipelines as the “risky mystery beneath our feet”.

And then there is the recent incident I find disturbing. The pipeline workers at one Chester County site had residents and people visiting them arrested for walking on a public street in a public neighborhood? Yes you heard me, public street. Not anything but.

And as far as gas explosions go, want to SEE what a gas explosion does to a neighborhood? Check out CNN and their coverage of the deadly explosion this week as in yesterday in South Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer too.

I will also share what a lovely lady I am privileged to know named Carrie wrote the other day. These are her words and her photo:

#CleanWater is a human right.

We stand in solidarity with our friends David Warren, David Mano, Rosemary Fuller, Erica Tarr, Ralph Blume and many others across Pennsylvania who have had their private well water contaminated by the destruction of the dangerous Mariner East export pipeline project.

#AllIWantForChristmas

In 2010 the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights.* There are many families throughout the United States who are currently living without clean water. Industries, like the fossil fuel industry and other resource extraction industries, have continued unchecked to contaminate our water resources.

There are too many examples of a lack of clean water. Here in Pennsylvania, fracking and pipelines, like the Mariner East Pipeline Project have poisoned people’s aquifers and have left residents to fend for themselves. In fact, some may be drinking poisoned water and they do not know it yet. Leaving individuals and families without clean water is unacceptable. Clean water is our right and we need to hold policy makers accountable.

Two states and only a handful of municipalities have legally established their rights into local constitutions and municipal regulations. For example, in Pennsylvania’s constitution

“The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.**”

*Resolution 64/292

**Article I, section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution

Thanks for listening and thank you to our founding fathers for our First Amendment Rights.

And in closing please take a minute to read what State Senator Andy Dinniman wrote this week. It’s also on the subject of pipelines and very important and timely.

the business of thug politics

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

Ready or not, here they come.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the continued desecration of chester county

So Ship Road today. Pipeline Alley. It’s hideous and outrageous.

This pipelines aren’t benefiting us, they are benefiting people in Scotland making plastics and wherever the hell else they are shipping dangerous explosive things through pipelines. They are of course also benefiting corporate America. And I think select politicians.

Driving up Ship Road today it made me wonder if Terence Farrell has seen this? After all isn’t he the county commissioner who was overheard commenting negatively on the county litigation involving pipelines? That’s what people are saying so I have to ask does he expect us to vote for him in November ?

I haven’t asked him personally about this, but I know all these politicians read anything put out mentioning their name between now and election day so perhaps he’ll set the record straight and put out an official statement?

What is happening in Chester County and elsewhere is criminal. We live here. Where we call home is being destroyed and we are all being put at risk.

Our homes are our castles until pipeline comes through.

I don’t find that acceptable do you?

the continued desecration of chester county

So Ship Road today. Pipeline Alley. It’s hideous and outrageous.

This pipelines aren’t benefiting us, they are benefiting people in Scotland making plastics and wherever the hell else they are shipping dangerous explosive things through pipelines. They are of course also benefiting corporate America. And I think select politicians.

Driving up Ship Road today it made me wonder if Terence Farrell has seen this? After all isn’t he the county commissioner who was overheard commenting negatively on the county litigation involving pipelines? That’s what people are saying so I have to ask does he expect us to vote for him in November ?

I haven’t asked him personally about this, but I know all these politicians read anything put out mentioning their name between now and election day so perhaps he’ll set the record straight and put out an official statement?

What is happening in Chester County and elsewhere is criminal. We live here. Where we call home is being destroyed and we are all being put at risk.

Our homes are our castles until pipeline comes through.

I don’t find that acceptable do you?

oh yes, summer is ending and elections are coming…

Elections are coming up and I think I need to clarify things with campaigns. I occasionally will write about a candidate if I either know them personally or meet them organically.

Or I will write about politicians if I think they are such bad news based upon past behavior that I think people need to know so they make an informed choice. So far I have three candidates who fit into this category. Two for this coming November, 2019 and one for the spring primary of 2020.

I don’t get “set up” to meet people and then write about them if that makes any sense.

I am an independent so I am not beholden to either political party and if a particular candidate from a particular party gets a thumbs up from me it’s because I have met them organically and they struck a positive chord with me.

I wrote about a candidate over the weekend and I have already been contacted by other campaigns of all levels of office. I don’t want to be rude or unfair but this is my thought process and I do not deviate from it. I do it my way, on my terms, and if I want political matchmakers involved to make an introduction, I do the asking.

And the reason is simple: in years past I have had candidates literally sent to my door who were door knocking. I was used by those candidates for a good word. Once my good word was out there, they were done. I will not be used again. Been there, done that, got the proverbial T-shirt.

I have met and conversed with lots of interesting people over the years including one First Lady whom I still wish would run for office. I was introduced and spoke with many amazing people at the RNC 2000 which was held in Philadelphia. There I was a media relations volunteer so I had the added education of being able to interact with top national and international media. You learn from all of these people if you pay attention.

Also one reason I have been fortunate to meet all sorts of interesting political people over the years is I am open to meeting people from both political parties. I don’t think because someone is a Democrat or because someone is a Republican that they are going to be a good or bad person based on their political persuasion.

I also am of the opinion that I don’t care what level of office nationally, locally, or regionally you’re running for, you should be able to have a conversation with an ordinary person like me who doesn’t write you big lovely donation checks.

I personally look for candidates that I think can be independent of their respective political parties. Sometimes my instincts are right, other times my instincts have been wrong. I am thinking in two cases from last year I am not sure I made the right decision so I may be correcting that decision with future votes.

I am not someone who donates to political campaigns. I have never done it, and I don’t believe in it. If someone wants my vote, they can earn it the old-fashioned way and talk to me.

As Americans one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to exercise our power of the vote. And I encourage everyone no matter where they live to vote independently. I used to have a friend who would literally say to her other friends “Tell me how I should vote in this election.”

Do not count on the opinions of others.

Don’t be a sheeple.

Become informed on your own. Learn about your candidates and don’t just pull the lever because you are one party or the other.

The last days of summer are upon us and the midterm elections soon to follow. Do your own homework. Make informed decisions.

Don’t be politically Stepford.

My biggest thing with the political process in this country is we need more balance. One party over the other having supreme power is not healthy for us as Americans. We need moderation and an end to political extremism.

Happy Monday!