Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Overseas Voting - For A School Board Election?

Here's something that should catch the eye of OrthoMom.

Did you know that someone (connected with the OU? aberman@ouisrael.org; and a "Lily") are trying to line up registered voters from the Five Towns area to vote in May school board elections. Wow, this seems to be shping up as a fierce contest.

Here's the ad as it appeared in Torah Tidbits:-

What would Pamela G. say to this? "Yeshivas and seminaries". Tsk, tsk.

But again, that's American democracy. As Ricard Daley Sr. was rumored (but only rumored) to have said: "vote early and vote often".


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post. Do you really think Pam Greenbaum a jewish woman would make comments about yeshiva's? I would think your teaching taught you far more than that. I find it interesting a woman who has one child at a top Ivy League school and another to follow would be bashed so much. Is it because she is a woman? Because she would rather children receive educational programs, like GATE, which the whole community is entitled to. I can see how free building usage is far more important.

Anonymous said...

You ought to be real proud of yourself, YOU MORON!

You try to stoke the flames and all you can get is one comment, which isn't even on point.

At least that's one more comment than you get for any of your other post.

Maybe you should consider a different hobby.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post. I don't think you were fanning any flames or bashing Pam Greenbaum. I think you were pointing out that the OU is apparently on board with bounty-hunting absentee ballots to maintain control of the Lawrence School Board. I am not sure what to make of it, buti ts an eye-opener, to be sure.

YMedad said...

I wonder if any academic study has be researched as to the effect of anonymity on the ability of people with intelligence to conduct dialogue. I post an interesting bit of information that has ramifications for and influence to a major issue that OM has been devoting much blog space to and getting a lot of comments and poof! I'm a moron. The poster, of course, was not him/herself stoking any flames. Oh how I miss the way the English conduct their insulting activities. Such class, such elegant literary constructions (see Honourable Insults by Greg Knight, for example) and such requisite intelligence on the part of those being insulted to comprehend exactly what's going on.

Well, all I can say is that blogging always "stokes the flames" because it is a medium intended to test principles, enlighten the ignorant and challenge conventional thinking patterns. No one at the bottom likes to be told he need move up.

I haven't the faintest idea about who, what or whatever regarding Ms. Greenbaum except what I read via OM. It is obvious from the ad that this move to garner votes among young people temporarily in Israel is a unique feature of American democracy and is over concern for all as Americans, 5 Towns' residents and Jews.

If you don't want to discuss it, fine. Would you think yourself better off not knowing about the campaign? Just don't blame the messenger.

Anonymous said...

Suggesting (on another blog) that certain candidates are "buying votes" and then begging for comments on your blog certainly doesn't make the most intelligent impression.

YMedad said...

Dear Anon 6:28: that's how one introduces subject matter for discussion. yes, I wanted to discuss it not "flame" it.

as for intelligent impressions, oh, I'll skip the opportunity you've provided for comment on that.

Anonymous said...

And look at all the debate that you've managed to get here.

At least you've broken the previous 1 comment record on your blog.

Anonymous said...

You are all missing the nuts and bolts of the ad -

Why is Rabbi Avi Berman handling this???

Big mistake on behalf of the private school community.

Anonymous said...

If they can effectively get eligible voters in Israel to participate in the election, there's no mistake at all.

It doesn't seem like the OU really has anything to do with this. It was apparently a paid ad and whoever placed the ad asked this Berman guy to forward any responses.

This sort of paid canvassing for absentee ballots is done in most US elections, and there's nothing illicit about it. It's a fact of life - people don't work for free.

YMedad said...

Anon 5:18 - do you practice at being nasty or is it your natural conditioning? Treat the issue; not the personna. Either the matter gets clarified and explained or it gets complicated. That's life. Get one.

Anonymous said...

I think that Anon 5:28's point may be coming across as a bit nasty, but he make a valid point that the interest of fostering dialogue and discussion and one's compulsion of being the one to "break a story" should be tempered by consideration for the interests of the parties at the heart of the "story".

By "breaking this story", implying that there may be illicit activity afoot, suggesting that well-respected community organization may be a party to any wrongdoing (merely because an individual who works for that organization may have offered to assist), and then presenting all of this information and these suggestions to individuals who wish only to capitalize on this information for their personal political gains and for the purpose of further misrepresenting the facts, your actions do not appear to have been very thoughtful or well-conceived.

Whether or not your critic above has composed his comments in the best possible way, I think he's making a valid point which warrants a response: At what point should the motivation for fostering discussion of circumstances like this take precedence over everything else?

Anonymous said...

If there is a legitimate explanation for this, I would love to read it. Thanks, YMe, for the post.

YMedad said...

Anon 10:33 - point taken but, nevertheless, how would you have introduced the story? Would you have ignored it if you had speid the ad? It isn't relevant? As the old remark goes, well, someone had to do it.

Anonymous said...

Considering the fact that the election is less than 3 weeks away and your "story" would clearly be exploited by one side to level baseless accusations of illegal electioneering against the other side, I would think that your better judgement should have prevailed.

YMedad said...

Anon 3:10 - it isn't a "story". It is a relevant fact to the elections. It could simply be taken as reflecting on a 'hotly contested election campaign' or on 'an intensely involved electorate that even eligible voters living abroad are being asked to vote' or 'young people who would normally ever vote are being agressively sought after' or whatever. But, no, you have to look at it from the point of view that some candidate will suffer. That says a lot about from where you are looking at it all. Which proves that the 'whole is the sum of its parts' and that if I had not introduced a part of that whole, it wouldn't be whole.

Anonymous said...

Then I suppose it's very noble of you to have "broken" the story, and sparked (unfounded) accusations and debate about a member of a well-respected jewish organization in Israel possibly helping students in Israel exercise their right to vote.

How sad that an obviously intelligent individual like yourself can so easily lose sight of the consequences of his actions merely for some cheap blog hits.

I hope you've at least learned a lesson from your mistake.

Shabbat Shalom!

YMedad said...

Dear(est) Anon 5:59 - you still don't get it, do you? I haven't sparked anything but have allowed people to react, respond, debate and inquire. Sort of like what one does over a blatt of Gemara in the Bet Midrash. It's the Jewish thing to do. The ad speaks for itself as to connections with a respected organization (and I have known Avi Berman for maybe a decade since he learned and lived at Shiloh, my home village). Hey, and don't belittle blog hits. They ain't cheap. Shabbat Shalom (or Shavua Tov).

Oh, and, if you vote, vote the right poeple for yourself.

Anonymous said...

YMEDAD: All you did was publish a FACT. Facts are what has been missing in Orthomom's blogs regarding the school board debate (well, a very poor debate at that).

I'm sure Avi Berman is a righteous individual. However, they should have put someone else's e-mail address in the ad, as it is perceived to use his name as an influence to contact him on behalf of the school board candidates that are running for election.

Frankly, I have been disappointed by the rudeness of some of the bloggers, especially those who are thought to be Observant. As a Jew myself, I thought character, honesty and morals would be enough to help dialogue a community issue. Boy, was I wrong! I see I am not dealing with MANY of those who are truthful, have morals and character. So many lies have come out, especially with the Larry Gordon story, I am really disappointed.

You posted a fact. It is here and clear for everyone to see. We can't say the same about the supposed flier that Larry Gordon saw. However, it was NOT printed by PIP Printers, they never handled the yeshiva yearbook in question in the first place, the Nassau Herald NEVER received a copy of the supposed ad to run (yes, I called the publisher himself), I finally tracked down the person who had the yearbook in their hands, and it was NEVER used or intended to be used the way it was described.

Yes, my words are just words, and I cannot show you any proof of that on this blog, but this goes to show you how dirty politics can get with the school board elections and how supposed righteous and moral people, who I feel have a higher accountability since Observant Jews outwardly bestow Jewish dress and behavior, it is so sad. They aren't any better than common criminals in my eyes, based on what is happening in the community and what is written both in Orthomom's blogs and yours. Not by you in particular, as your writings are pretty good.

I was always taught, when you speak, speak as though Hashem is present. Dress as though Hashem is present. Treat others as though Hashem is receiving such treatment.

Yet few do.

Thank you for being honest YMEDAD.

YMedad said...

Anon 2:59 - thanks for your appreciation. good luck on local politics.

orthomom said...

You know, I have to say - I'm not sure what the problem is here. As more than a few commenters have mentioned, there is nothing illegal or unethical about collecting absentee ballots from qualified voters. There is also nothing untoward about paying those who are collecting the votes.

As you say, "that's American democracy".

YMedad said...

All true. But I still find it odd that such a negligible election campaign would attract so much effort and energy and time and money unless it is extremely important (because most other American democratic elections really don't go this way). And the question, then, is why is this so important and an analysis of its importance for all involved - schools, kids, parents, neighborhoods, professional staff, officials, budget, etc.