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Friday, October 19, 2012

Cats, lies, and slander in Bizarro Charlestown



Further deconstruction of Ruth Platner’s recent Westerly Sun op-ed


It’s safe to say that Planning Commissar Ruth Platner doesn’t like us very much here at Progressive Charlestown. Well why would she, right? No one much likes having the bubble of their own self-regard punctured. But until we read her October 11 op-ed in the Westerly Sun, we had no idea she’d been saving up a scorecard of alleged slights since Progressive Charlestown first hit the ether.

Among the high crimes and misdemeanors Platner accuses us of are some that she herself admits are “silly.” She says we’ve written of her “hatred of cats,” but she professes to love them.

Which is probably true. I mean, why would she lie about it, right?

Platner may even be a cat owner herself for all I know. Though I’m sure her cats are indoor cats and would never so much as hiss at a bird.

Doesn’t change the facts of what we’ve written. Because Platner is in fact on record as opposing affordable housing for the elderly on the grounds that the inhabitants might own cats, which according to her would massacre the local birds.

Don’t believe me? Read it for yourself in this 2009 Westerly Sun story about a member of the Affordable Housing Commission who quit, citing the way the Ruth Platner–led Planning Commission “nitpicked everything from homeowners’ cats that might eat the birds to unacceptable distance to shopping” [emphasis mine].

Sure, perhaps Platner loves cats—her own cats. Not anybody else’s cats.
The rest of Platner’s charges against us are more serious, or would be if they were true. Seems Platner is in the habit of accusing anyone who disagrees with her of “lies” and “slander.” And despite her fit of pique over us calling proponents of exclusionary zoning racists, she’s not above accusing others of “lynching” her and her husband via the Charlestown Citizens Alliance Steering Committee.

Once again, for proof the reader need look no further than the Westerly Sun archives, specifically, a story titled “Platner objects to Mageau ‘slander’.”

In it, Platner accuses the previous Town Council—every single member of which had been handpicked by the CCA, mind you—of purposely allowing former council president Jim Mageau to speak before the council as a “Person Wishing to Be Heard” knowing full well that Mageau planned to “slander” her and her husband.

Now, why would people Platner herself had gotten elected to the council turn on her in this way? The story doesn’t say, other than to quote Platner as saying “they allowed it to happen because they don't like the [planning] commission and are trying to get more of its members to resign.”

Oh the humanity! Such ingratitude! Platner goes to all the trouble of getting an entire Town Council slate elected to do her bidding—and then they don’t do it! Could this be the real reason the CCA excommunicated its entire 2008-2010 council slate?

“Mageau is a brick that other people throw.
—Ruth Platner
“Mageau is a brick that other people throw,” Platner is quoted as saying in the story. “In this case, the Town Council threw him at me.”

The story goes on to explain how after this infamous brick-throwing Town Council meeting where Mageau “slandered” Platner, the CCA sent out an anonymous[1] e-bleat saying:
“We must chastise the Town Council, who allowed another public lynching of the chairman of the Planning Commission.”
Not just “a” public lynching, another public lynching. You’d think one would be enough.

And yet Platner accuses us here at Progressive Charlestown of “monstrous behaviors” and using “force and venom.” Pot, meet Kettle. Kettle, meet Pot.

Only in Bizarro Charlestown.