Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.
From Northwest Philadelphia... News, Opinions & More.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Why Net Neutrality is Important ...
We're from a large corporation and we're here to help you. We promise to protect your rights.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Now we turn to those spy cameras on the Hill. Is surveillance effective? The Surveillance Scam in the June 2007 issue of Philadelphia magazine suggests why those cameras are installed.
Homelessness & Chestnut Hill ...
Do the homeless cause jitters in Chestnut Hill? This is a heads up on a story in the Monday, August 6, Philadelphia Inquirer.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
A More Measured Response ...
Ed Feldman forwarded this comment to Chestnut Hill Notebook as his response to the CHCA board's scarlet letter, an epistle posted earlier this month. Being too long for a comment to a post, it's been moved here for easier viewing.
In response to the Executive Committee's Letter of Admonishment and attendant threat, I will not apologize, but rather correct and elaborate.
First, as to the sequence of events as described in their letter, my use of profanity did not follow their objection of my questioning of Jon Levittes, it came after their vote to refuse to know anything about the Business Association's program of surveillance cameras on the avenue. The only thing more dangerous in a democracy than ignorance is institutionalized ignorance, mutually agreed upon.
Now, to explain my use of a "shorthand" term to describe those in attendance, allow me to amplify in a way denied me at public meetings.
Jon Levittes: My first encounter with Jon was a meeting at his store, Jon Alexander Antiques. Its' purpose was an attempt to censor language I had used in my duck. This has been discussed before and will not be repeated here. My first question to Jon was, "Why do you use name 'Alexander' on your sign and not your real last name?" (which I knew to be of Jewish origin, as I am). His reply? "Well, you know Chestnut Hill." This was a most telling revelation because at once it indicated that Jon thought the community in which he chose to locate his store was anti-Semitic, that he could fool those who might hold those beliefs, that denying his heritage was proper, and that he could use this subterfuge to make money. Step back and admire the construction. A veritable Mandala of every Jewish stereotype imaginable, embodied in a single act. His actions since then have been equally despicable. He refused to tell the Board about Snowden's unpaid dues, and now he refuses to tell the community about a surveillance program. And finally, rather than confront my personal insult personally, he called the teacher instead. My mistake. An affront to one's manhood is moot when none is evident.
Dina Hitchcock: She was present during the financial mismanagement of the Dornemann Presidency and, as Secretary, "misplaced" official minutes that were her responsibility to keep. These minutes (and her personal but unspoken recollections) are evidence in the continuing investigation of, among other things, a signature by Dornemann securing a bank loan, altered documents securing government grants, and CHCA funds used to secure contracts for friends of the Dornemann regime. While Maxine has been shamed, Dina, one of her prime assistants, has now consolidated new and frightening powers under the new order, seeking to, once and for all, bury the misdeeds of her past by blocking an independent audit, recruiting new fellow travelers like Moss Disston and Tolis Vardakis who all have a suspicious and unhealthy love of secrecy and an aversion to any examination of a past that has already been exposed as ugly. Dina has, on many occasions, extolled to me personally her past as a "sixties- (or was it seventies?) activist" as if acts of decades ago can mitigate her present adherence to secrecy, authoritarian, in short, "Nixonian" rule. But God is subtle, for the disease of her soul shows clearly on her face, atrophied into a device unable to display joy, only grimness and the occasional smirk.
Lou Aiello: Of all those who have, unsuccessfully, tried to deceive me as to their motivations for Board membership, Lou fooled me longest. Now I know better. He conveys the wishes of Lord Snowden to the public without their knowledge of the origins, and has consistently used his position to advance his own well-being. He has attempted to censor this Blog, using syntax so tortured it might well have come from Abu Gharib. His reasons for being Snowden's messenger Boy are undoubtedly financial as well.
Tom Fleming: You have repeatedly joked about and ridiculed, to myself and others, in the most descriptive terms, Richard Snowden. Yet you serve him faithfully. You claim to represent an "ad hoc" committee that no longer exists but to serve him and him alone. You ran for the Board, most vociferously, on a platform of financial transparency, speaking out on, and voting in favor of, an independent audit. You, more than anyone, based your candidacy on this issue. And now you have joined those who seek to "move on," the Hill code words for denial, lest those who committed the acts be exposed and punished. Whose charm converted you? A man of your status and wealth couldn't be threatened. Or have you simply forgotten your stance of a few short months ago? You once proposed to me (and others) a by-law that would limit Board membership to those less than eighty years of age. I can think of no better evidence of its merit than your recent actions.
Jeremy Heep: In your desperate attempt to fit in with the "contemporary community standards" (to quote a Supreme Court Decision) of the Hill, you have flaunted your private life in a most public manner. Cavorting at concerts, rushing into meetings à deux, for all to see and snigger at. For all the value you place on discretion in the matters of the Board's public acts, these standard seem to vanish when it comes to your embarrassingly public "private" life. Every experienced practitioner of the art knows this simple axiom. "Don't Sh*t Where You Eat." It shames your ex and you. Your "friends" talk about it constantly in private. Am I the first one to tell you?
Jane Becker: The reason I sent my daughter to private school. A prison guard masquerading as an educator. If her actions, demeanor, and facial expressions in Board meetings in any way approximate how she conducted herself in the classroom, one can only guess at the generations of damaged, bullied, and terrified students left in her wake. And, most importantly, if a teacher's first responsibility is to help nurture an inquiring mind, her adherence to the official secrecy surrounding her actions on the board and her refusal for openness bodes ill for those charged to her care.
Ned Mitinger: Although not at the meeting, I take this opportunity to repeat what Ned said at a political meeting last year. I suggested, as a way to increase participation in the CHCA, canvassing Chestnut Hill Village, the predominately Black apartments at Mermaid Lane. Ned, seated next to me, said " Let's not rile up the natives." There was silence in the crowded room as I assimilated what had been said. I will not repeat my reply, but it was my first use of profanity in a Hill public meeting, making sure that Ned knew exactly what he could expect from me when Racism is exhibited in my presence. He has shown the same standards of character since. As a member of the Second Opinion, he has subverted each and every platform position we held, and was a colossally incompetent Treasurer.
So there you have it. No Cursing. All True. And to correct myself once more on the exact word I used at the meeting: No, I don't really believe any of you have ever had sex with your mother. But you shame her nonetheless.
Ed (Ain't I a Stinker?) Feldman
P.S. Vetted by my attorney for Libel. And anyway, I am a professional writer and you are the subjects of a book I am now shopping. It includes your shenanigans, plus Sanjiv, Maxine and Doug Doman's Magic Castle.