Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

People's Food CoOp Election Results

1. June 2009 • Patti Smith
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The election results are in!
Results are as follows (top two vote-getters win seats on the Board):
Jeff McCabe 708
Rebecca Kanner 696
Chuck Loucks 101
Henry Herskovitz 60
All Bylaws passed

815 valid member votes cast

Congratulations to Jeff and Rebecca. Thank you to all who ran.

Please keep comments on topic and away from personal attacks, name calling, etc. Please? Pretty please??

  1. Thank you for the prompt posting of these results.

    Hopefully, the Board will, as Peter Schermerhorn suggested, tighten up its nominating and deadline practices to avoid the conroversy that swirled around this election.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 1 '09 - 06:49AM    #
  2. Mark,

    I would like to point out that the results will forever be tainted by the board’s unprincipled manipulation of the process. I asked specifically when all of the candidates turned in their nominating petitions at the annual meeting this afternoon and failed to receive either a direct or sincere answer to my question. The closest answer I got to a direct answer was that none of the board members were aware of when the respective candidates turned in their nominating petitions.

    I found it interesting that Rebecca Kanner was in attendance and failed to state when she turned in her nominating petition. I believe that extending the deadline beyond the original date and the board’s active recruitment of only opponents of people associated with support for the BIG campaign puts the lie to any claim that the board was neutral or fair in this process. As I have pointed out earlier, the board has a habit, as demonstrated by the last two elections, of recruiting just enough people to knock-off anyone associated with BIG.

    I would also like to point out that there are 6500 members of the co-op and it appears that around only 800 votes were tallied; clearly indicating that an active minority has determined the outcome (1 out of 8 members.) I would suggest that the board’s manipulation of the process has sent a clear message that the process is rigged and only well connected insiders need apply. I find it ironic that board members openly lamented the fact this afternoon that nobody seems to want to run for the board, I can understand why!

    I find Kanner in particular to be an unprincipled coward; especially after her silence to my question this afternoon (she never once engaged members of this discussion board.) In my mind, her silence raises the distinct possibility that she did not even make the extended deadline the board set out of apparent desperation.

    The way Kanner came to have her nomination put into play, from what I have been able to gather, illustrates exactly what is wrong with the board extending a nomination deadline. No board members this afternoon would admit to knowing who had filed by the original deadline, indeed, at least one current board member denied knowing anything about who had filed on time. So, they acknowledge that not knowing who has filed before the deadline is an important part of preserving the integrity of the election process; but then turn around and vote to extend the nomination deadline at the same time members of the board are actively recruiting people like Kanner who, apparently, was extremely reluctant to run and who just happens to be made to order in terms of her acceptability to the anti-BIG crowd. The current de-facto process allows the board to check and see who has been nominated, and if they don’t like who they see, extend the deadline so they can recruit just enough of the people they want to knock-off the people they don’t want.

    I believe this election and the previous two are hopelessly tainted by the board’s unethical handling of the election process and the results should be thrown out with new elections scheduled for the seats in question. The bylaws allow the board to set the nomination deadline but no reasonable interpretation would or should allow the board to extend the deadline once set for the reasons I have state here.

       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 1 '09 - 09:03AM    #
  3. Didn’t take long for the name-calling and personal attacks to go online along with the sore losing and yet another call for a do-over from the twice-failed candidate himself.

       —Mike    Jun. 1 '09 - 09:26AM    #

       —angry coop member    Jun. 1 '09 - 04:46PM    #
  5. Okay, let’s try this. No name calling or personal attacks, PRETTY PLEASE WITH SUGAR ON TOP. Don’t make me use my teacher voice!

    Or, we can try positive reinforcement and everyone who doesn’t resort to name calling or personal attacks gets a sticker or cookie. I have found that folks will do (almost) anything for a sticker or a cookie :) :)

    (Yeah, I know I’m making light of things…it’s Monday morning and it’s crappy outside)

       —TeacherPatti    Jun. 1 '09 - 04:48PM    #
  6. 161 votes for the two candidates who want to boycott Israel? Pretty impressive.

    Can’t believe that the anti-boycott people were whipping up all kinds of talk about Palestinians being violent, and even saying that Malcolm X was violent!

    Boycott Opponents Say ‘Fuck racist MalcolmX’

    On top of that, the Board gets to privately stuff the ballot, after a bunch of deadlines have already passed? Then the Board claims they are too confused to know if they did it or not?

    If the Co-op hates Palestinians that badly, and even hates Malcolm, too, I say let them have their racist playground to themselves. Co-ops ain’t what they used to be.

       —Nikos Kazantzakis    Jun. 1 '09 - 04:53PM    #
  7. “Vox populi, vox dei.”

       —David Cahill    Jun. 1 '09 - 05:36PM    #
  8. It is clear, from Zachary Goldsmith’s public pronouncements, on Arbor Update, what he believes about Malcolm X, and about Palestinians. Are his views generally the views of the Co-op, since they have voted his way?

    It is now clear that, if anyone runs for election to the Co-op Board, supporting boycott against Israel, that the Board will bend or break any rule in order to squeeze anti-boycott candidates onto the ballot, deadlines be damned.

    Is that how the membership wants its elections conducted?

    It is remarkable that the two candidates who refused to make any comments on this public forum, to explain any issues pertaining to the Co-op, were elected so efficiently. They said NOT ONE WORD about the boycott of Israel, or about anything else, in this forum.

    Will the Co-op Board member who recruited them, after the candidate sign-up deadline had actually passed, please step forward?

    It simply won’t do, for the Board to suddenly have amnesia about how the winners were recruited after the deadline has passed, when the co-op membership never even knew that candidate sign-ups were suddenly allowed again.

    It is also worth remarking that many, if not most, of Co-op members did not receive a single written communication from the Co-op even advising them of the candidates’ positions on any issues. The co-op newsletter, mentioning the candidates’ positions, has still not made it to many co-op members’ mailboxes, and the vote is now over.

    There appears to be an 800-member vote bank, against boycotting Israel, which receives very efficient communications about whom to vote for, independent of Co-op channels, before the general Co-op membership can even learn who is running or what they stand for.

    This is all a separate question from how transparent the vote counting was, and under what conditions the ballot boxes (and their contents) were stored.

       —The Colonel    Jun. 1 '09 - 06:40PM    #
  9. Mr. Loucks raises some valid points about the pattern of undemocratic election practices by the co-op Board. FWIW, this was true of the Board well before the Israeli boycott issue raised its worthy head. I remember one annual meeting with contested Board elections where not only was the process opaque but the Board refused to disclose the results except to say incumbent so-and-so won and outsider so-and-so lost. It was hoped that Pete Schermerhorn would help change this and I suppose getting actual tallies is an improvement but Schermerhorn and the rest of the Board now have a track record the would make any aspiring backroom election “technician” proud.

    I’m still a happy co-op member for the reasons I gave a couple of days ago because I never expected the two pro-equality, pro-human rights candidates to win. The fix was in (again) after the first time the Board extended the nominations deadline and my hopes and expectations were not dashed by the reported results. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” And, so, I am confident that one day America will do the right thing and cut the bands of violence, power, money, fear, and prejudice that link it to the racist state of Israel and this small defeat in the larger struggle will then be a source of shame and embarassment for some and a source of pride for others.

       —happy co-op member    Jun. 1 '09 - 08:37PM    #
  10. I want to thank Charles Louck and The Colonel for motivating me to get out and vote… Really, their writings were all I needed.

       —Mumbles    Jun. 1 '09 - 08:38PM    #
  11. Re Post #10. Ditto, and to celebrate I’m gonna get me some yummeh Israeli couscous and support the oppression of…. semolina wheat? Actually, what I’ll do is go to Kroger because oppression at the co-op is too expensive.

       —Thomas Cook    Jun. 1 '09 - 09:29PM    #
  12. Some simple facts:

    Fall 2007: A BIGoted referendum was put before the members of the Co-op. Result? Defeated by a margin of close to 4-1.

    Not long after, stealth candidate Charles Loucks ran for the Co-op board of directors with really only one aim in mind, i.e., resurrecting the resoundingly defeated BIGot boycott attempt. Result? Even though he tried hard to hide his true colors, the members of the Co-op did their homework and rejected him.

    Spring 2009: Like all professional BIGots, never knowing when they’re licked, much less admitting it, Henry Herskovitz (openly) and Charles Loucks (once again stealthily) decide to run for the board again trying to resuscitate a stinking cadaver known as the BIGot boycott. Guess what? The voting members of the PFC elected the two qualified candidates, Jeff McCabe and Rebecca Kanner, with nearly 90% of the votes cast per individual candidate and the BIGot candidates somehow squeezed out just a fraction of a hair over 10% combined!

    The reaction from the losers? Just what we expected. They snivel and screech that the election was “tainted” and instead of congratulating their very worthy opponents who beat them fair and square, they yell insults like “coward” at one of the victorious candidates! Then they pull at every straw to desperately concoct an excuse for their crushing defeats and continuous utter rejection not just by the PFC membership but by all decent and rational members of society.

    In fact, what was tainted were all of their campaigns. One of the BIGots’ many excuses for getting their butts kicked again and again is that only a minority of the PFC members voted. Well, this is how it works in democracy: those who take the trouble to actually vote get their ballots counted.

    Herskovitz and Loucks had just as much time—even more as asserted by their constant carping—than their victorious opponents to campaign and get their message out. Obviously, the BIGot duo was hoping to run unopposed and sleaze in that way. But a true, democratic election involves having a choice. And what choice would the Co-op had had if only two candidates for two positions were running? None, of course. And, especially since both Loucks and Herskovitz really have only one agenda item, one plan, one obsession, i.e., a program that is utterly rejected by a substantial number of the voters. What this says in no uncertain terms is that given a true choice, the voters will reject the BIGot program every time.

    If only a bit over 815 members cast valid ballots, what does it say about the rest of the members? Well, lots of things. Many have probably moved away and never withdrawn their membership. Others are probably more concerned with other matters than the Co-op election or just miss it for one reason or another. Many others are probably indifferent.

    Remember, even in major public elections, it is—for better and for worse—rarely a majority of eligible voters who bother to cast ballots. Do we do all those elections over until the defeated candidates get the results they desire?

    What matters is that those who do really care about such elections and took the time to vote and study the campaign statements and often heated rhetoric (of especially two; we all know which two) of the candidates, made an unequivocal, unambiguous, and incontrovertible decision: they voted for the two candidates who were without a shadow of any doubt the best choices to be on the board, the two positive forces who would make sure that the PFC would move forward especially during a period of economic downturn.

    At the same time, the ones who cared, and manifested this by voting, rejected the overbearing, aggressive, obsessive one-issue politics of extremism and fanaticism. These purveyors of negativism are desperate for legitimacy, but they can’t find it anywhere, so they have to scream “foul” instead of accepting defeat like mature adults. They yell and scream and stamp their feet and run out and raise their fists like little, bratty children and yell “Boycott Israel! Boycott Israel!” even though their immature cries continually fall on deaf ears.

    So, please stop your childish wailing and leave the Co-op alone. While you’re at it, take your toys (i.e. hate-laden picket signs and megaphones and Hallowe’en costumes) and go to the Middle East and see how far your campaign gets there.

    Congratulations, Jeff and Rebecca, for sticking to true, Co-op related issues and once again showing that the vast majority of the PFC membership is pretty intelligent and level-headed and want only what will help the Co-op prosper. We look forward to your joining the board and are very happy for you and proud of our Co-op.

       —Mike    Jun. 1 '09 - 11:17PM    #
  13. I suggest that the Arbor Update Powers That Be close this thread now.

       —David Cahill    Jun. 2 '09 - 12:05AM    #
  14. If this is just going to rehash the same arguments, then I’d be OK with just giving up for now.

    Anyone have anything new to say?

       —Bruce Fields    Jun. 2 '09 - 12:23AM    #
  15. In fact, I would like to rehash the same old question:

    After 2 candidates filed for the election, supporting a co-op boycott of Israel, and the filing deadline closed, which Board member quietly recruited Mrs. Kanner and Mr. McCabe to run against them?

    If this thread can be closely quickly, then perhaps the Co-op Board will never have to answer.

       —The Colonel    Jun. 2 '09 - 12:30AM    #
  16. I find these urgings to close this thread to be most curious…

    …as did I also find the abrupt closing of the other thread.

    If this comment suddenly disappears, then I will have to wonder if something bigger is at play, here. (queue ‘Twilight Zone’ music)

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 2 '09 - 01:27AM    #
  17. Re Post #15: The only Board member that has responded to my question as to whether Kanner and McCabe filed late with respect to the extended deadline was Peter Schermerhorn, who stated he did not know.

    It was Charles Loucks who initiated this controversy that he had been privately told by one or more PFC directors that those two new candidates filed late even with the extended deadline. Peter Schermerhorn responded that if this was accurate the Board would have to remedy this tardiness with another deadline extension to further accommodate Kanner and McCabe.

    I and other posters who are interested in a fair and unbised election repeatedly requested some kind of confirmation that everything was done in a fair and equitable manner since the Board should not be certifying the election results and seating Kanner and McCabe unless they were properly and legally on the ballot.

    If the directors do not wish to publically respond to these very reasonable questions then they deserve the cloud of suspicion that hangs, and has hanged, over them that neither Kanner nor McCabe did duly qualify for the ballot and the process was manipulated by the Board to ensure that Herskovitz and Loucks would be excluded form the Board of Directors.

    While I disapprove of incessant name-calling that has occurred on this(and the previous related) thread, I believe that the Board should be up front with the public and its members on these important issues.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 2 '09 - 01:59AM    #
  18. All,

    First, I think shutting down this thread would be pathetic; what are operators of ArborUpdate afraid of? This topic is generating most of the traffic today; does ArborUpdate NOT want to be relevant? Second, I find Mike’s (or Steven Pastner’s?) gloating over winning an election where more than 85% of the membership did not vote to be both amusing and pathetic. I have made the point that if the Co-op is not going to conduct fair, ethical elections, the result will be that people don’t vote as they appear to be doing. The sore losers are people who think 85% of the membership not voting is a legitimate outcome. The Co-op does not put much resources into these elections either which probably is another reason people do not participate. The Co-op is a membership owned institution and as such, an adequate amount of support for the election process should be forthcoming which is not. The whole election process is a cynical ploy designed to legitimate decisions already made for the membership behind its back. I actually applaud the 85% of the members who did not participate because the process is a sham.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 2 '09 - 02:51AM    #
  19. When anyone treats Palestinians as real human beings, worthy of a good boycott-Israel campaign, you find out something about free speech: it does not exist, when it comes to Palestine.

    You think you can just go into a group, any group, and demand boycott against Israel?

    You cannot.

    Try it in the Co-op: they will break all their own rules about elections to keep out any mention of Palestine. They are racist cut-throats when it comes to Palestine, and you have seen it.

    Try it in a public body, like City Council:

    The City Council will simply ignore their own Human Rights Commission, which demanded a cut in aid to Israel. Instead, the Council will cut the Commission’s staff, refuse to allow its chairwoman to return, and force the Commission to take back their own language against Israel: every word.

    Try it in Ann Arbor Area Committee for Peace (AAACP). After the membership overwhelmingly passed a resolution to divest from the Israeli military, the AAACP abolished elections, got rid of their own membership organization, and changed their name to PeaceWorks. When it comes to Palestine, they are racist cut-throats.

    Try it in ICPJ. After the members overwhelmingly passed another resolution, to divest from the Israeli military, the ICPJ leadership abolished the entire Middle East Task Force, and replaced it with a group that listens to scriptures, never demanding anything against Israel. When it comes to Palestine, they are racist cut-throats.

    Everyone who is anyone, in the so-called organic, peace, “Democratic” community in Ann Arbor, will cut your throat, and will destroy their own organization, so eager are they to knock out any notion of action against Israel.

    That is real racism, in real action. Watch Palestine burn as they rig election after election to shut you up.

       —The Colonel    Jun. 2 '09 - 03:13AM    #
  20. Post #20 appears to be an intentional attempt to have this thread closed.

    Mr. Goldsmith on the prior related thread expressly requested that the thread be closed.

    The preferred remedy would be to delete his, and any other poster’s, attempts to engage in name-calling in a quest to persuade the webmaster to close the thread.

    I am sure most other readers would agree.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 2 '09 - 03:46AM    #
  21. All,

    For the record, I kind of like the moniker, Mr. 1/8. Thanks Zach!
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 2 '09 - 04:07AM    #
  22. Mix, in equal proportions, one R1200RT and State Route 209 (North Carolina). Will submit my post-election statement to this list upon my return, providing the list is still active.

       —Henry Herskovitz    Jun. 2 '09 - 04:10AM    #
  23. Re: much of the above — Whew.
    What’s below is something kinda different.

    Say you want a Resolution?

    Whereas despite having supported various boycotts in times past, I do not at present have a strong inclination to favor a co-op boycott of products originating from inside pre-1967 Israeli borders; and also feel that such a boycott isn’t strategically productive at this time (although this view may quickly change if, for example, the Israeli military begins unilaterally dropping missiles on Iranian territory);

    Whereas the active voters within the co-op membership have, by a high percentage, rejected a call for such a boycott and also turned down individual candidates who openly campaigned for it (the co-op’s very poor process for handling candidate applications is a separate matter);

    And whereas on the national scene, politically-conservative groups who lobby for the interests of Israel’s current right-wing coalition government are now pushing forward Iran boycott legislation in Congress (Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2009);

    I’ll resolve to humbly suggest here, semi-facetiously but with a hint of seriousness, that the co-op locate at least one quality Iranian export item that fits its natural product guidelines; proceed to order it and advertise it to shoppers; and place the identified item on display inside the store next to the Israeli couscous. Then call it a day.

    Tolerance for all?

       —yet another aging boomer    Jun. 2 '09 - 04:20AM    #
  24. Pistachio nuts and figs are big export items from Iran.

    It may be possible these are already being carried by the PFC.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 2 '09 - 04:31AM    #
  25. All,

    So Zach and Mike (Steven Pastner?) take offense at me calling Rebecca Kanner an “unprincipled coward”? Why can’t Rebecca speak for herself in this forum and instead depends on the likes of Zach and “Mike” to speak for her? Why can’t Rebecca set the record straight on how she was recruited/pressured by members of the board to run after the initial deadline for submitting nominating petitions had passed? Her silence in the face of my direct questions yesterday was quite damning of her credibility. In most democracies, candidates don’t have to face opposition from candidates who were nominated after the official deadline, but not with the PFC. Mike states that people who don’t take the time to vote should not have their voice count; but then, does not this same logic apply to candidates who fail to register by the official deadline? I believe the reason 7/8’s of the membership does not vote is due to the perception the process is a sham. The coop could remedy this situation by putting more time, effort, money, honesty, integrity, and transparency into the voting process at the PFC but that will not happen unless people demand it.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 2 '09 - 04:41AM    #
  26. Aging Boomer is a real realist. If the reality is death raining on Gaza… he proposes the co-op do something toothless that all can agree on. What a realist.

    If Jews are massacred in Germany, would he propose the co-op buy matzoh?

    No. You demand boycott and more. And more.
    Mr. Herskovitz only asked for what anyone with a heart would ask: boyoctt Israel. Look, they just killed 1,400 Palestinians this year.

    If Palestinians are massacred in Gaza, you demand boycott anyway, and more. Unless you honestly care very little, in which case: please say so.

       —The Colonel    Jun. 2 '09 - 04:44AM    #
  27. “First, I think shutting down this thread would be pathetic; what are operators of ArborUpdate afraid of?”

    Being boring.

    I want to learn stuff from these threads. But I’m not.

    If you like the repetitive ranting, fine; get your own blog. Really, it’s easy.

    By the way, is the Israeli couscous they sell in bulk at the co-op actually from Israel? I assumed it was domestic for some reason.

       —Bruce Fields    Jun. 2 '09 - 04:52AM    #
  28. It depends on what bores you. If Palestinians bore you, never fear. Israeli is killing them pretty quickly now.

       —The Colonel    Jun. 2 '09 - 05:13AM    #
  29. Bruce,

    “Being boring” like the lack of almost any activity on this blog when the previous thread on this subject was shutdown? Your reasoning sounds like the lame excuses I got from the Coop Board yesterday on why they felt the need to manipulate the election process behind the scenes.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 2 '09 - 05:15AM    #
  30. You would think that a historic, hard-fought campaign to boycott Israel, involving almost 1,000 petitioners demanding it, would be interesting. Follow it up with some real tricky election moves by the incumbent board, knocking off pro-boycott candidates with secret additions to the ballot, after the deadline to sign up had expired, and it gets even more interesting. Add to that a sudden attack of amnesia about all of the above, by the entire Board, old and new— it gets more interesting.

    But, according to Bruce, no, it is all quite boring. Not that we mean to disrespect Bruce’s taste. One false word, and he will shut down this entire discussion thread. He has done so before.

       —The Colonel    Jun. 2 '09 - 05:33AM    #
  31. I would like to hear Board Candidate Herskovitz’s post-election statement before any thread is closed, any post-election statement from either Kanner and/or McCabe, and any statement by the Board or any of its directors as to the plausible charges leveled by Board Candidate Loucks.

    These are the true issues and questions that need to be responded to.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 2 '09 - 05:46AM    #
  32. In response to all the tedious and repetitious, self-serving remarks and volcanic chain of gratuitous and hypocritical verbal abuse from “The Colonel” and twice-defeated Charles Loucks, see my post #12 above so I don’t have to unnecessarily repeat the same truths again and again.

    If you, Mr. Loucks, want to delude yourself into thinking that the apathy from most of the PFC members is because they share your and Mr. Herskovitz’s extreme, narrow, and BIGoted viewpoint, well, enjoy your fantasy. All that count are the results. You were unequivocally defeated (in essence three times in rapid succession in less than two years).

    And, as Ms. or Mr. “The Colonel” clearly delineates for us (#19), your one-sided and ineffectual boycott wish is universally rejected and reviled by all people of good will.

    And, also your exaggerated numbers of the deaths (ignoring who was ultimately responsible for same as usual) in Gaza earlier this year do not take into account 1) that Hamas and their ilk brought the war upon their own heads by years of ceaseless rocket and missile fire directed at civilian targets in Israel after the IDF unilaterally withdrew from all of Gaza; 2) that Hamas and other terrorists you label as “victims” deliberately fire heavy arms from very thickly populated civilian areas so they themselves endanger the lives of their fellow Palestinians; and 3) Hamas adds a lot of figures to the death toll by killing their Fatah foes in the streets or when they are wounded in hospitals in the midst of what they label as a unifying war. That both Hamas (in particular) and Fatah have only chaos and destruction as their main M.O. can be seen in yet another episode of their “civil” war bloodbath within the last couple of days in Kalkilya in which they went at each other with deadly results. You hypocritically never complain about Arab and Islamic initiated violence even in its internecine format.

    You folks think that your issue is central to everything! Well, wake up and smell the mint tea, most people think you’re infantile nuts who, like little babies, yell and scream and cry hoping to garner attention and support. Well, you’re out on a very weak limb in your cause, and people in the Co-op have many more things to be concerned with than you and your fanaticism, which they overwhelmingly reject at the PFC and—as “The Colonel” in a very rare spell of revealing lucidity relates—everywhere else in town. At the same time, you keep repeating your mantras in the desperate desire to delude yourselves and others into thinking you have cornered the market on truth. Guess what, it ain’t working.

    I have more important things to attend to, so goodbye and may whatever universal consciousness that exists grant you the enlightenment to see the truths you fail to grasp.

    And, oh yes, Mr. Loucks, for the record—just as I informed your misled and misleading running mate, Mr. Herskovitz—as much as I admire the intellect and wit and depth of scholarship and intelligence of Dr. Pastner, I am not he, and he is most definitely not I. Sorry to disappoint you.

    Good night, and good luck (getting your heads screwed back on straight).

       —Mike    Jun. 2 '09 - 05:56AM    #
  33. Actually, the ICPJ member, and the PeaceWorks group (when it had a membership, and was called AAACP) both overwhelingly voted for strong divestment action against Israel.

    The leadership of both groups erased those votes from memory, and largely abolished the voting portions of their own groups.

    Likewise, the Co-op leadership is manuevering to shut down discussion of boycotting Israel on its own Board.

    Finally, they are ready to shut down Arbor Update, just to stop talk of boycotting Israel.

       —The Colonel    Jun. 2 '09 - 06:09AM    #
  34. From Gaza, Occupied Palestine
    29 May, 2009

    “Gaza today has become the test of our indispensable morality and common humanity.”

    Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) National Committee

    Many of us, at the Co-op are listening. We are not deaf to Gaza. And we ask for boycott of Israel, again and again.

    Our candidates will not be shut out forever.

       —The Colonel    Jun. 2 '09 - 06:14AM    #
  35. All,

    A special thank-you for Zach, “Mike” (the person who passes the Dr. Pastner duck test, but claims he/she’s not) and our latest addition, H I Sabah for all running interference for Rebecca Kanner, Jeff McCabe and the current PFC Board. They’ve all been spared the trouble of having to answer for themselves and it looks like the ArborUpdate folks are inclined to agree. I guess we won’t get any members of the Board explaining what they think should be done to get the vote turn-out up to something reasonable (like say 50%). Now current readers of ArborUpdate can go back to not being bored through the elimination of any significant traffic on this site.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 2 '09 - 06:34AM    #
  36. Re Post #34: The proper remedy for inappropriate posts is to delete offending posts, not to reward the poster attempting to shut down the thread.

    As long as the Board continues to remain silent in the face of Charles Loucks’ allegations, the more credence must be given to these allegations. Mr. Loucks is questioning the integrity of the Board in the administration of this election and the public interest shall not be served if this thread is closed without a response on behalf of the Board.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 2 '09 - 06:40AM    #
  37. if you all spent half the time and energy as you do complaining about the process (in which your side — gasp! — was forced to run against other candidates) on respectfully trying to convince the voters of the righteousness of your cause (respectfully meaning not calling them racists and marching around with swastikas), you might have gotten more than 60 votes

       —angry coop member    Jun. 2 '09 - 07:00AM    #
  38. Please note that it’s not likely that the board will respond here, so continual requests for same do qualify as pointless “rehash”. Anything new?

       —Matt Hampel for Arbor Update    Jun. 2 '09 - 07:05AM    #
  39. This reminds me of a Michigan State Senate election from back in the 1990s where the incumbent Democratc state senator from a district in Detroit unexpectedly died several weeks before the election. As a result a political gadfly and relative nobody named Henry Stallings, who registered against the incumbent was the only one left in the Democratic primary race.

    The Michigan Attorney General and Governor’s Office launched a legal fight to ensure Stallings would never take office. The circuit judge hearing the case ruled that Stallings did all that was required of him to be on the ballot and that it would be a violation of democratic principles not to allow him to remain the Democratic nominee for the State Senate seat.

    Henry Stallings went on to win in November and served out his term in the Michigan State Senate, despite the atttempts to exclude him from taking his Senate seat.

    Likewise, the “unpopular” Henry Herskovitz and Charles Loucks appear to possibly have had interference from the Board to allow the Board’s desired candidates on the ballot.

    There needs to be accountability and transparency in this matter. Perhaps a court test is next?

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 2 '09 - 07:13AM    #
  40. Also, in our comments policy, we ask that you choose a consistent name when posting. We have and will ban people unable to follow this.

       —Matt Hampel for Arbor Update    Jun. 2 '09 - 07:19AM    #
  41. Re: #38: “Re Post #34: The proper remedy for inappropriate posts is to delete offending posts, not to reward the poster attempting to shut down the thread.”

    Since all of the inappropriate posts are coming from your side, I must reluctantly admit that here I have to agree with you!

    Re # 41: “Likewise, the ‘unpopular’ Henry…”

    “Unpopular” is reserved for bad singers on “American Idol.” BTW, no quotation marks need apply here! Reviled, disgraced, cynical, hypocritical, obsessed, and utterly rejected by rational folks are more fitting adjectives for Mr. Herskovitz.

       —Mike    Jun. 2 '09 - 07:29AM    #
  42. Matt,

    So you have it from reliable sources inside the Coop that ‘…it’s not likely that the board will respond here, so continual requests for same do qualify as pointless “rehash”…’? Pete S. has responded in the past so I would say that does contradict what you say here. Why are you so willing to shut-down the main source of traffic on this site? There are other threads one can follow however, they don’t seem to be getting much traffic lately. I know from experience that many people will read the posts but only a few will post themselves. It’s too bad this forum can’t be used to discuss anything controversial without threats of shutting it down; why? It’s almost to the point that you know the conversation is not worth anything unless the threat of a shut-down is made.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 2 '09 - 07:30AM    #
  43. Check the “resume” link at to discover the interesting background of Zachary Goldsmith and understand why he has been heckling persons posting on this site.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 2 '09 - 07:58AM    #
  44. Re Post#40: We are still awaiting the promised post-election statement of Henry Herskovitz.

    This thread should remain open for that, at least.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 2 '09 - 08:13AM    #
  45. There’s some news on the way!

       —Matt Hampel    Jun. 3 '09 - 12:11AM    #
  46. I asked Matt to keep this thread open long enough so that I could announce a listserv for those who are interested in election reform at the co-op: It’s open to anyone (rules of behavior apply). Just throw subscribe- in front of that address above, and you’re in.

    I’ve read a lot of things here that question the integrity of the co-op, its board and board members, and this is an attempt to re-establish some credibility through an open process.

    Please keep in mind that this is not an officially-sanctioned board action, it is my effort alone – although I hope some board members will join us in the discussion. If none do, then what I glean from the discussions will be taken to the board in its deliberations.


    For what it’s worth, I’d kinda like to leave the thread open long enough for Henry to have his say – he’s away on a bike trip, due back soon.

       —Peter Schermerhorn    Jun. 3 '09 - 12:21AM    #
  47. Thanks Peter! The thread will stay open as long as it’s relevant. As Bruce said, we want to learn stuff from these threads, and that’s happening now.

       —Matt Hampel    Jun. 3 '09 - 12:29AM    #
  48. Matt, that’s really weird how you have apparently appointed yourself as gatekeeper of these Co-op election threads, and the way you closed and reopened this thread without announcing that you were doing so. Is the person who started this thread, Patti Smith, cool with this?

    As the threshold for a comment to be “acceptable” in this thread seems to now be that it must be something that both you and Bruce can learn from, it would be most helpful if you both would submit a list of the things that you already know.

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 3 '09 - 12:44AM    #
  49. Yikes! Been a while since I joined a yahoogroup… The correct format is coopelections-subscribe(at) Sorry bout that.

       —Peter Schermerhorn    Jun. 3 '09 - 01:12AM    #
  50. Michael Schils, yes, the ArborUpdate contributors are “cool with” Matt’s actions. If his “gatekeeping” bothers you, you are welcome to post on another blog.

       —Juliew    Jun. 3 '09 - 08:49AM    #
  51. To second Juliew’s affirmation, the ArborUpdate editorial collective is not only cool with Matt’s moderation, we’re all very grateful for his leadership.

    Our goal is to promote civil discussion about local issues and events. Matt and Patti asked people to play nice, but some people chose not too.

    We’re okay with controversy, were not okay with name calling, recriminations, and meanness.

    Hey, we’re just some people volunteering our time to try to make this work. If they way we run it isn’t for you, by all means start your own forum.

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Jun. 3 '09 - 05:45PM    #
  52. I don’t believe that the unannounced closing and reopening of this thread (immediately after comment #46 and before #47) was because of “name calling, recriminations, and meanness”. I believe this thread was closed for about 16 hours to silence the (still unanswered) questions that were being raised regarding the legitimacy of the Co-op election. It worked, as the questions have ceased, and the Arbor Update staff is cool with that.

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 3 '09 - 09:54PM    #
  53. I wonder if Charles would be inquiring about process if he had won. One serious possibility that a hasn’t been mentioned is that the voters considered the choices and chose to reject Charles and Henry because they disagree with their vision and instead chose to support Rebecca and Jeff for substantive, rational reasons—not because they are being manipulated by conservative, organized lobbying efforts, or because they are ignorant. Some posters may not like that, but it does seem to be one pretty viable possibility here. Plain and simple, the voters disagree with Charles’ and Henry’s platform and it’s not what the majority wants for our coop. Sorry, guys.
    Then I think we should move forward. The voters have chosen twice to pretty roundly reject boycotting Israel. Why not a more constructive, affirming approach that many could rally around? Let’s look instead to carrying more products from the West Bank and Gaza, finding ways to support the many peace-building initiatives in Israel and Palestine, encouraging green practices in the region, etc.? Our coop could do those things instead of the counterproductive histrionics that we hear on these threads.

       —Jennifer Marie    Jun. 3 '09 - 10:44PM    #
  54. Re Post #55: If a political candidate filed his nominating petitons one day late, no matter how popular he or she was, the Secretary of State would be obligated by law to reject the candidate’s petitions and refuse his or her name on the ballot. To the extent the Board may have ignored legal deadlines for political or non-political reasons, it is and should be a genuine source of concern to many members of PFC.

    I disapprove of the name-calling and recriminatons and believe that certain individuals who wanted this thread closed initited those offensive posts to close the thread and silence everyone elses legitimate viewpoints; their reprehensible conduct should not be rewarded with thread closure.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 3 '09 - 11:29PM    #
  55. Jennifer Marie,

    I am deeply troubled by the lack of transparency and the lack of participation by 7/8’s of the PFC membership in the election process. The time, effort and money the PFC puts into the board election process is not befitting of a member owned organization. There is an old saying about taking a horse to water but not being able to make the horse drink. Well, the PFC does not even take the horse (the voting membership) to water (the election process), so the horse can’t drink. The elections as currently practiced by the PFC are a sham, pure and simple. This sham perpetuates a situation where a small minority can exercise disproportionate control over the PFC. I quite frankly believe that the PFC has effectively become the private property of a few well placed individuals.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 4 '09 - 03:01AM    #
  56. Re Post #58: The same thing has been said of the U.S. Congress, so the phenomenon is nothing new, just a variation on the same theme.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 4 '09 - 03:09AM    #
  57. The previous post is an example of the “offensive posts” that are designed to cause thread closure and should be deleted by the moderator.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 4 '09 - 04:30AM    #
  58. I have to ask, why was it as natural as mother’s milk for the whole co-op to boycott grapes, to support Mexican American and Filipino farmworkers?

    Now I have to ask, why is it a cause of panic to even hear a suggestion that the co-op boycott Israel? We have a very very recent example of Guernica-style bombing against Gaza. No question that Israel did that bombing.

    Again, why are we asked, by Linda Diane and Jennifer Marie, to simply buy Palestinian olive oil and call it a day? She knows very well the moral imperative behind boycotting grapes.

    Is it not the same moral imperative to boycott Israel?

       —Nikos Kazantzakis    Jun. 4 '09 - 04:34AM    #
  59. Mark, we’ve banned that poster.

       —Matt Hampel    Jun. 4 '09 - 05:07AM    #
  60. In response to the idea that the co-op doesn’t work hard enough in its elections – the board has already owned that its portion of the process (recruiting candidates) is deeply broken and needs fixing. The store operations portion (printing ballots, posting notices, signage, pushing voting, etc.) is as it always has been. No, let me say that it is better than it ever has been, in terms of visibility. The election itself isn’t the problem, it’s the run-up to the election.

    Co-op groceries rank as the lowest profit margin retail in the country. Some years we lose money, rarely do we ‘clear’ $100K (and last year, that all went back to the membership). So putting $5K into the election seems more than reasonable, in fact may be overdoing it – after all, that’s a sizable portion of our ‘profit’, that could be refocused to other things.

    For whatever reason, PFC has had a laissez-faire membership for the last couple of decades (not so in the early years). As the membership grows the direct connection to the store suffers somewhat. Quorum is hard to achieve – and it keeps getting higher every year (as the membership grows). The last couple of votes, we’ve cleared quorum by a wide margin – thanks to controversial positions or persons being voted on. Perhaps the membership is shaking off its lethargy (some call it ‘trusting management’) and is reclaiming its activists roots. That’s something I’d like to see continue, in a cooperative vein.

       —Peter Schermerhorn    Jun. 4 '09 - 06:38AM    #
  61. “For whatever reason, PFC has had a laissez-faire membership for the last couple of decades (not so in the early years).”

    If I moved away from Ann Arbor, I’m not at all confident I’d remember to resign my co-op membership. Isn’t it likely most of the inactive members are people that have just left and forgotten the co-op? (Or do people eventually get purged from the membership lists if you notice their address isn’t good any more?)

    By the way, I saw no problems: I got my newsletter well in advance of the elections.

       —Bruce Fields    Jun. 4 '09 - 06:46AM    #
  62. Re: #59

    “Mark, we’ve banned that poster.”

    —Matt Hampel Jun. 3 ’09 – 09:07PM

    Matt, please explain. Which poster, and what did that person say that Mark Koroi (#57) found so “offensive” that you banned him or her?

    Said Mr. Koroi: “The previous post is an example of the ‘offensive posts’ that are designed to cause thread closure and should be deleted by the moderator.”

    Previous post was #56 from the same Mark Koroi. #55 was from his ally, Charles Loucks. #54 from M. Koroi again. And nothing offensive in #53 from Jennifer Marie. #52 (as was #48) was from Michael Schils, a supporter, like M. Koroi, the complainant, of Herskovitz and Loucks, so I’m sure Mr. Koroi wasn’t objecting to those posts. #49-51 from Peter Schermerhorn, Juliew, and Chuck Warpehoski were innocuous enough.

    I realize that there are time lags from when someone posts something until the time that it appears online and that other commentary may have been added in the interval between them, but fully ten messages appeared before M. Koroi’s complaint—a very long time for so ubiquitous a contributor to this blog as Mark Koroi—that appears to have led to someone’s banning from the site or at least this thread.

    I assume then that you must have deleted the post that M. Koroi found objectionable…? I would hope that your decision was not based on his opinion as some of his allies have employed very offensive language and personal attacks. Some examples:

    #2 from twice-defeated candidate Charles Loucks:

    “I find Kanner in particular to be an unprincipled coward…”

    #6: from “Nikos Kazantzakis” who quotes a remark that never appeared—to the best of my knowledge—in this thread or the pre-election one except as brought up by “The Colonel,” if I remember correctly, in language suspiciously similar to this “Nikos Kazantzakis” (sounds like inconsistent use of a screen alias, a violation of your rules) with a link to another site and absolutely unrelated to the topics here.

    This consistent evasion of the real subject at hand by attempting to lead readers astray is a tactic “The Colonel” (and now “Nikos Kazantzakis”) along with Herskovitz, among others from the BIGot camp, use again and again, but just as the PFC electorate always does, the readers of AU see right through this feeble attempt at mind manipulation.

    In #19, “The Colonel,” again with flimsy arguments totally irrelevant to the topic—which is supposed to be the Co-op election and not the forever failing BIGot boycott—hurls abhorrent invective in all directions, to wit:

    “the Co-op: They are racist cut-throats”

    As a member of the Co-op, and therefore, also in a sense therefore the Co-op itself as stated in this attack, I find this language odious as I’m sure do my fellow PFC members as well.

    And this: “…the ICPJ leadership…are racist cut-throats.”

    Also: “Everyone who is anyone, in the so-called organic, peace, ‘Democratic’ community in Ann Arbor, will cut your throat.”

    Why is “the Colonel and his/her noxious tirades not banned? Why the application of a double standard?

    #9: “happy co-op member” claims what is to people who support Israel and there are a large number of us—many Co-op members it seems—and those who have Israeli relatives, extremely offensive and absolutely unproven opinion when s/he calls Israel a “racist state.”

    While it may be fair game for C. Loucks and M. Koroi to bring up (albeit ad nauseum) their distaste for the results of the election and the process—much as I and the Co-op they malign disagree with them and rightfully see their wailing as crybaby sore losing—why is it that the only real focus for Herskovitz, Loucks, “The Colonel,” “Nikos Kazantzakis,” and a few others, i.e., their BIGoted boycott, still being discussed to death? Especially when the voting members of the PFC—as well as a substantial majority of Ann Arbor, something even “The Colonel” admits—reject them and their monomania over and over again?

    As Bruce Fields says in posts #14 and #27, your arguments are tedious, repetitive, and boring and—I must add—have been utterly rejected by most of us. I think he pretty much said it all:

    “If you like the repetitive ranting, fine; get your own blog. Really, it’s easy.”

    A sign of maturity is knowing when you’re licked, admitting defeat, and congratulating those who trounced you fair and square. Then you can either join the rest of us in helping advance the goals and objectives and vision of the People’s Food Co-op or go somewhere else. And, your childish tantrums don’t help your discredited cause one iota.

    By the way, I really enjoyed the delectable couscous and feta cheese that I just bought from the Co-op and which I had for dinner last night. Good night and pleasant dreams.

       —Mike    Jun. 4 '09 - 09:04AM    #
  63. Jeepers, Wally, why don’t people just vote with their sawbucks? Be a label flipper and if you don’t like the country of origin, be it state-run terrorists or the murderers of 6/4, then don’t buy their product. Seems a simple enough solution, eh?

       —robert s.    Jun. 4 '09 - 05:36PM    #
  64. The idea is to make a public statement, that can be heard.

       —The Colonel    Jun. 4 '09 - 06:16PM    #
  65. Re # 63: Makes good sense, probably the best reason that the show-boaters won’t listen to it.

    Re #64: Your “public statement” has been made and heard really loudly so often that it is even more ignored than ever before, kind of like no-seeum bugs, a nuisance to be sure, but of very little importance in the grand scheme of things. You’ve had your say so frequently and in enough public places. No one’s listening. No one’s interested. The Co-op has some actual important practical business to attend to if we want it to survive in difficult economic times.

    If you were really interested in the Co-op and not trying to destroy it, you would pitch in and help with that. Obviously, distractions and negative energy is all you’re about, none of which the members of the PFC want or need. Your message does nothing to help and is both a counterproductive distraction on a grand scale to what the PFC needs to do to keep functioning with some success and even detrimental to your own obsession. Your desperately desired boycott’s not going to happen except perhaps on an individual basis as Robert S. and some other thoughtful people have stated.

    Since it’s only your minuscule group that wants this one-sided embargo, it seems to be as successful as it’s going to get as you folks are certainly not buying these fine products. Take your “victory” then and hold on to it for dear life because that’s all you’re going to get.

    As is often heard, nothing to see here: keep moving.

       —Mike    Jun. 4 '09 - 06:56PM    #
  66. Re: #36, Mark, the PFC is a membership organization, so the “public interest” is not relevant.

    In #62 Mike paints Henry with his broad guilt-by-association brush, which I’ve seen a number of times in the past from others—both here on AU and elsewhere—who object to Henry’s activities. My observation is that such characterizations and claims consistently lack substantiation, as this one did.

    I’m a long-time PFC member (20+ years), and I encourage the board (and will do so more directly) to stop succumbing to fear, which appears to have been a factor in their actions. (This is assessment is primarily in response to articles in the most recent newsletter, and only tangentially related to comments here.)

    I also encourage BIG members to decide what meaningful and effective action you want to take and do so. You’re wasting your time here. You get an A for holding a mirror up to the co-op board regarding its election practices. You get an F for making no progress toward achieving your objectives with regard to Israel and Palestine. Best wishes in that effort.

    As a starting point I’ll suggest that you focus on simple, factual reporting (that we otherwise wouldn’t hear of) of what Israel is doing and the cumulative effects on the Palestinian population. At its best your collective rhetoric has been sometimes clever and sometimes honest (not necessarily dishonest otherwise, just something other than honest.) Overall it’s been a mess of reactive, disorganized, accusatory animosity.

    I encourage you to find a way to act out of love. Success couldn’t possibly escape you. The challenge is to believe that you’re capable of it. Are you?

       —Steve Bean    Jun. 4 '09 - 06:59PM    #
  67. Re #66: An “A for effort?” If being loud, obnoxious, unwanted pains-in-the butt or mosquitoes without a bite is somehow a worthy effort, I guess one can say the BIGots do a marvelous job. But the Co-op members—not the board per se—as even Steve Bean admits has shut the door in their face. If there’s any fear in the board’s actions, it’s in treating the BIGots far too politely. Even you rightly state that there’s nothing more for them to do vis-a-vis the Co-op, but they just can’t take a hint.

    Love? Sad to say, I don’t think any of the BIGots who are fueled by hatred and bile, know its meaning. Nice try, Steve, but no organic cigar.

       —Mike    Jun. 4 '09 - 07:26PM    #
  68. I can’t sit here refreshing the screen 24/7. Please have some respect for our time spent volunteering on this site and keep the thread on-topic.

       —Matt Hampel    Jun. 4 '09 - 08:56PM    #
  69. Steve, I agree with Mike (this once) that you tried admirably, but I think you still haven’t got it right.

    There are FOUR elements in the efforts at Boycotts, Sanctions and Divesture (BDS) in Ann Arbor that I’ve seen so far, sometimes with overlapping members:

    - Boycott Israel Group (BIG), made up mostly of Quakers, since the boycott effort at the co-op not really active

    - Blaine and his wife, who were invited OUT of BIG and Henry’s vigil group

    - Henry Herskovitz, vigil director outside Beth Israel every Saturday for 4+ years, who was not originally involved with BIG, and made his candidacy about BDS, similar to the BIG campaign (perhaps its successor)

    - Local Greens, many of whom disagreed with BIG’s tactics, who are strongly pro-Palestinian and probably have a greater campaign in mind than just winning seats to the co-op board

    It’s confusing, when there are members who cross over from group to group. Painting them all with the same brush is counterproductive and banal – while they all seem to want BDS, they are not all pulling together. Only one element (Blaine and company) have openly offensive and counterproductive tactics (the F*** Israel and swastika imagery), and have no real winning strategy. I find that Herskovitz’s efforts do have a winning strategy in mind – the conversion of Beth Israel congregants to a different set of actions that blind support of Israel. After 4+ years, though, I don’t see much progress (although I view only from afar, so I just don’t know). BIG had a couple of hectorers, but never anything threatening – again, these are peacemongers, on the whole. The Greens – well, I’ve been too close and now too far from that group to have any clear sense of their direction any longer.

    I have no doubt that the BDS movement is going to continue, and that the co-op will be pressured still to join.

    There are far more productive ways than joining the board of the co-op (which doesn’t control product selection directly) or picketing the store to make your point, but they’re hard – participating cooperatively over time, talking to individual members, offering informational talks, etc.

    As with any effort that has controversy, it is hard not to attract zealots who sabotage your cause.

    Boycotts often hurt their intended target as much as you’d like to help them. But, if the co-op starts down the boycott road again (grapes and tuna in the past is all so far), then there are many products that are ripe for questioning – potentially leaving the store with little to sell that the membership and public will wish to buy. We probably can’t be as purist as we want (hey, I’d prefer not to sell meat products, but that’s just me), but we can still strive to live up to our values.

       —Peter Schermerhorn    Jun. 4 '09 - 09:05PM    #
  70. Well after the beast of censorship is unleashed, then everyone wants to request its service. That bit at the end of the same comment about enjoying a product that is targeted for boycott could be considered to be unnecessary taunting with an intention to provoke, couldn’t it? Is that “civil”?And the rest of Mike’s comments are starting to repeat a bit , aren’t they? Apparently Matt doesn’t find them nearly as objectionable as the pro-boycott comments he keeps deleting. But how are they different? Well that’s according to which side of the issue you’re on.

    Yesterday afternoon, I made a reference to comments #46 and #47, which I see are now comments #44 and #45. Going back through the thread, I see that three days ago, comment #41 made a reference to comment #41, which is actually now comment #39. So apparently, at some time after I posted yesterday, the invisible hand of moderation here at Arbor Update went back and deleted two comments that were from at least two days prior. Who knows which comments and what the reason was for these deletions, after so much time had passed.

    This bit of delayed and stealth moderation is sure to raise suspicions, especially considering that two members of Arbor Update’s staff have already indicated on which side of the boycott issue they stand. ( example: Bruce Fields expressed his view that the boycott was “stupid”, which Matt Hampel echoed when he asked one of the candidates if when elected, he intended to do anything but “just push one social movement”.)

    Two other members of the staff here have voiced their support for Matt’s “gatekeeping” of these co-op election threads, as I referred to it earlier. Both Julie Weatherbee and Chuck Warpehoski were quick to remind me that if I didn’t like it, I could go elsewhere. I suspect that what both Julie and Chuck meant was that they were “cool with” the politics of Matt, so they trusted him to go behind the scenes and delete comments and close and reopen threads as he sees fit.

    It’s interesting that Matt has declined to speak for himself regarding why he closed this thread for about 16 hours, when the comments critical of the co-op election process were most intense. Also puzzling, is the way Matt closed the other co-op election thread. After giving a warning that the thread would be closed if the personal attacks continued, the attacks stopped. But Matt closed the thread anyway, which seemed to suit one of the anti-boycott participants just fine. But at least Matt provided a comment, saying he was closing the thread, which was more transparent than when this thread was closed for the greater part of a day, with no announcement, whatsoever.

    I suggest that Arbor Update should just cut this charade that they can provide a neutral forum for any subject having anything to do with Israel. This thread was only 13 comments long and Bruce Fields already wanted it closed. Only a few comments later, he charachterized the (still unanswered) questions regarding the election as “boring” while Matt Hampel called them “pointless rehash” and added that “it’s not likely that the board will respond here.” Matt apparently knew this because he had been in communication with Peter Schermerhorn, who he then reopened the thread for so Peter could announce what in his words was an “attempt to re-establish some credibility”. But instead of answering any of the questions regarding the election, Peter merely announced the availability of a listserv, where everyone could go out of public view to voice their objections.

    Arbor Update contributor Patti Smith started both co-op election threads. It’s kind of pointless for someone to start a thread about something they want to see talked about, only to have others take control and dominate and sometimes, terminate the discussion. It is important to note that even though we’ve had several AU staff express their support for Matt’s aggressive (and sometimes stealth) moderation of these co-op election threads, we haven’t heard if he has the approval of the person who started them. I doubt that she would be cool with his manipulations of the discussions she started.

    In closing, I should say that I agree with what some have pointed out – that those who run Arbor Update have the right to be as biased as they want in the way they edit and censor their blog. Comments may mysteriously disappear, and threads may close and reopen with no announcement or reason given – all under the guise of “keeping things civil and relevant”. But a consequence may be that when people see this, they will go elsewhere, and Arbor Update will be less relevant.

    (You better not delete this comment, Matt, after I put so much time and thought into it.)

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 4 '09 - 09:48PM    #
  71. Thanks for laying all that out, Pete. My comments dealt with comments about Henry and BIG’s efforts. Maybe I’m still conflating groups. Oh well.

    Mike, I didn’t give them an A for effort. The outcome didn’t quite match their intentions. I gave an A for the outcome, looking at it from the outside. In other words, it’s a very good thing for the board to do some self reflection.

       —Steve Bean    Jun. 4 '09 - 09:48PM    #
  72. Matt,

    It’s interesting that Michael Schills can threaten you—and so far, with effect—by saying this:

    “(You better not delete this comment, Matt, after I put so much time and thought into it.)”

    I put just as much—probably more—thought and time into my posts, and it looks like some of them have now disappeared, too. What gives here? If you want to start selectively censoring items because they’re “off-topic,” you should pull virtually everything off of this thread because 98% of it relates to one issue—the failed boycott—and almost nothing has to do with the results of the election.

    If I’m being “repetitive” and “off-topic,” how much more so for the BIGots! At least I actually do deal with real Co-op topics and issues. I am not the one who keeps belaboring the point about a dead non- issue. Please either restore my deleted posts or delete all the posts that are on the BIGot boycott. Even better, since this is the same stuff over and over again and again just as in all the threads where the BIGots jump in and do their level best to hijack the conversation, it really would be best to close the thread once and for all.

    It seems like what’s going on is actually pissing off the supporters of both sets of candidates now!

       —Mike    Jun. 4 '09 - 11:57PM    #
  73. mike makes good points re more than a tad of inconsistency re. deletions, and responsiveness of the site moderators to bullying by the roundly defeated side.. this also seems to be the case in an earlier post urging the thread to remain open for a final word by henry herskovitz,( presumably in his own sweet time when he gets back from some trip or other). why all the deference to someone who garnered only 60 out of more than 800 votes and has had his views aired ad nauseam?…

       —theo    Jun. 5 '09 - 12:10AM    #
  74. “it looks like some of them have now disappeared, too.”

    I took a look at the backend database and can’t see any posts made as “Mike” that are not visible. (With one exception, which looks like it probably resulted from a problem with the capcha.)

    Anyone: if your posts disappear without your understanding why, or if you have some other technical problem, please email arborupdate at with the details, and we’ll look into it.

    (And I realize that capcha can be hard to read sometimes, apologies: I’ve tried to adjust it as best I can, but don’t want to eliminate it completely as we were having a huge spam problem before we turned it on….)

       —Bruce Fields    Jun. 5 '09 - 12:12AM    #
  75. Thank you, Peter for a good dichotomy of the boycott movement.

    Twenty years ago, I was part of the organized protest of the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award dinner in which Congressman Carl Pursell was being honored locally. Over 150 protestors and counter-protestors showed up and we obtained coverage in the Detroit Free Press and Jerusalem Post. Most of the pro-Palestine demonstrators were Palestinian-Americans and left-leaning U.S. citizens

    Peter’s post underscores that a growing segment of the pro-Palestine activists are members of the Jewish community who are opposed to,and embarrassed by, the assault on the human rights against the Palestinian people as well as ordinary religious Americans, such as Anne Remley’s movement. This is an important milestone for the movement as a more diverse cross-section of American society is recognizing the human rights abuses in Israel.

    I believe that the tremendous interest in the latest PFC election has put both the PFC board of directors under scrutiny and shined a floodlight on the Palestinian cause. I salute Henry and Chuck for their selfless efforts and the interest they have generated in the election process and the need for reform as well as the Palestinian cause in general. They are just two cogs in the vast worldwide community that is placing pressure on the Israeli government to end its oppression of the Palestinian people just as the seeds of dissent thirty years ago at Hampshire College laid the groundwork for the eventual dismantling of South African apartheid.

    I wish to take this opportunity to thank Henry, Blaine, Chuck, Aimee, and Anne Remley and everyone else for their efforts with respect to the PFC the last two years.

    I salute you all. Cheers!

       —Kerry D.    Jun. 5 '09 - 06:02AM    #
  76. Pete,

    First of all, the notion that people who move away should not have their vote count is problematic since, 1) there are no boundaries for the PFC, anywhere on the planet does not disqualify you, 2) people pay a $60.00 deposit that they get back if they revoke their membership, some people leaving town might chose to donate it, but one would expect many would not. I therefor expect that there should be a reasonable chance that almost all of the PFC’s 6500 members should be available to participate in a PFC election.

    1/8’s participation is not reasonable! Call me Mr. 1/8 if you like since to me this represents the main problem the board should be focusing on: only 1/8th of the membership votes. I think on-line voting would go a long way to upping the vote totals. I also think that opportunities for membership to ask questions of and interact with board candidates prior to the ending of voting are essential. I also think that mailing addresses and emails should be made available to candidates. Non of these mechanisms exist today. The disrespect shown candidates was evident when at the last board meeting last Sunday, no time was made available to the candidates to address the group. I had to wait for the open question period to voice my concerns about the election process and at one point was told that I was taking up too much time and I should let someone else speak (they did not like my questions and were trying to duck accountability.)

    The PFC board should set a goal for voter turn-out of a least 40% and should make more resources available over time until that goal is met. Anyone with any practical experience with organizations (most of us) knows that there are numerous mechanisms that are at work to undermine robust participation by members in a board election. For example, the people already running the show really don’t want new people to rain on their parade; why should they see to it that a high percentage of the membership votes? It’s harder for insiders to remain insiders when there is a robust, active democracy calling the shots.

    The current process is designed to make a show of holding elections so no charges of malfeasance would stick, but not really change anything. Last year, I was the only candidate to file on time for two slots on the board. The board responded by extending the deadline (with no public announcement of any extension) filling one slot with a store employee. This employee better vote right if he wants to keep his job! It also sets in motion an interesting dynamic, the employee on the board grades the General Manager (GM) who in turn grades the employee on the board (how do you think that one plays out?)

    The democratic process at the PFC is sick and will remain sick unless there is a demand, backed up by some real muscle to force change. People are calling me a sore loser and whiner, well look at the people making these accusations, they seem to be pretty good at it themselves. I would surmise they are so because it gets results; so I am taking a queue from them. On this point we agree!

       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 5 '09 - 06:05AM    #
  77. Peter Schermerhorn says:

    “I find that Herskovitz’s efforts do have a winning strategy in mind – the conversion of Beth Israel congregants to a different set of actions that blind support of Israel.”

    Peter, I regard you at a few levels above all the other BIGot supporters (“BDS,” call it what you want, but it’s still a plot that singles out Israel above all other nations when its human rights record, despite being far from perfect, is exemplary, especially when compared to many other nations and political entities, most especially Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, but also Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, China, Burma, Sudan, etc). My respect is based on this: you, at least, seem to actually have the Co-op’s interests in mind for the most part and look as if you bend over backwards to be fair in the PFC election process.

    That said, I respectfully but strongly take exception with the notion that anything that Henry Herskovitz undertakes resembles in the faintest way something positive or “winning.” Trying to force his narrow-minded stance on a whole congregation—whose members have a variety of positions on Israel, but that is not the point—especially by parading in front of their house of worship with inflammatory signs calling those inside all kinds of horrible things every Sabbath and on other important Jewish holidays is vulgar in the extreme. In addition, it is the pinnacle of conceited, pompous, and arrogant conduct to deign to preach to an entire congregation in this manner.

    As this is a synagogue, the people inside are being targeted because they are Jews and—all arguments to the contrary—this so-called “vigil” is a bigoted and antisemitic act. It is glaringly reminiscent of the last era in which people with hate-riddled signs stood in front of Jewish establishments and demanded boycotts of Jewish businesses and institutions. Say what you like, picketing a synagogue is a deeply offensive and inexcusable activity that is taken right out of the playbook of the Nazis in the 1930s.

    In addition, this has not only garnered Mr. Herskovitz and his latter day brownshirts nothing but ill-will and utter disdain throughout the entire community from progressives to moderates to conservatives, and including some people that even support his cause—dubious as that may be to begin with—but has not advanced that cause one bit. In fact, any objective observer would tell you that it has set it back light years. Besides infuriating the congregation and a large percentage of our city’s residents and others who are conscious of this shameful activity, each week that they continue their detestable picketing, more and more money is raised for Israel.

    No matter how you slice it, a house of worship on the Sabbath is not a place for political protests. There is nothing that you or Herskovitz or other supporters of such a malevolent action can say or do that can justify this kind of egomaniacal posturing. How is what Herskovitz’s synagogue stalkers do any more justifiable than Fred Phelps’s hateful signs and picketing of funerals and churches or what the Nazis did when they stood with such signs in front of Jewish-owned businesses in the 1930s?

    You lose most of the good will you’ve earned in your Co-op activities when you justify Herskovitz’s inexcusable synagogue harassment. This is very far off from what true seekers of peace would undertake. If you are in fact as thoughtful and reasonable as you appear to be, Peter, I urge you to—at the very least—re-think your position on the synagogue picketing activity and try to put yourself in the shoes of the people inside that house of worship. If you belonged to a religious congregation—maybe you do, maybe you don’t—how would you feel if you were singled out for your sect/ethnicity on your holiest day—a day of prayer and introspection, a day of rest—by a band of sign toters accusing you of murder and other crimes and of supporting such every week for years as you entered your house of worship? And don’t tell me—in all honesty—you would like that or feel there was anything that warranted it?

    Kerry D: “I salute Henry and Chuck for their selfless efforts.” Please! Certainly in Herskovitz’s case—all I know about Loucks is he also had only one issue when running for the board, which makes his agenda very shallow indeed, and that he stamped his feet like a baby having a tantrum when it didn’t look like things were gong to go his way again, not exactly the qualities one looks for in a leader—it’s pure self-aggrandizement that motivates him. He is so eager for attention that he struts from synagogue (see above) to Kerrytown to the Federal Building to City Council meetings to cultural events and back all in the tireless search for the constant attention he so desperately craves. “Selfless” my eye! Two years of failed efforts in which their vote totals drop precipitously for a cause that doesn’t take off anywhere in Ann Arbor and is constantly rebuffed is hardly cause for “cheers.”

    Twice-Defeated Board Candidate Charles Loucks claims that the winners and their supporters are “whiners.” Sorry, but when you win, there’s nothing to whine about. This candidate’s—and his cohorts—utter unwillingness to concede defeat and having even the slightest bit of grace to congratulate the winners who defeated him and his running mate in what was a democratic election by resorting to every excuse he can muster is absolutely a prima facie model of sore losing. As Angry Co-op Member put it so succinctly, SCOREBOARD!

    Michael Schils says: “Arbor Update contributor Patti Smith started both co-op election threads…I doubt that she would be cool with his manipulations of the discussions she started.”

    Are you her spokesman, Mr. Schils? Isn’t that presumptuous for you to try to speak for her? She’s around; she can speak for herself. The threads she started were called, “People’s Food Co-op Elections” and “People’s Food Co-op Election Results” not “Boycott, boycott, boycott!” I see nothing at all new here, much less anything relevant to the result of the elections, which was another resounding and stinging defeat for the BIGot candidates and their enthusiasts. How much more of this off-topic “argument” is there going to be before the thread, like previous ones on this insoluble issue (actually non-issue, as it almost always is straying far from the subject of the threads as delineated) gets put out of its misery?

    It’s more than about time. Except as addressed by the supporters of the two winning candidates, nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the PFC, its goals, its objectives, its mission, or its values has been on display in these cyber pages.

       —Mike    Jun. 5 '09 - 07:01AM    #
  78. I believe ‘the board’ stands accused of ducking some questions. Since I’m the only board poster here for the last some time, I’ll take a stab at them (where I can find them), as well as attempt to rebut complaints/charges:

    Chuck claims that 1/8th of the membership voting is “problematic.” I agree. But it is up from a chronic 1/10th (plus a few to beat quorum). I also agree that electronic voting would probably make the percentage go up dramatically, and plan to push the board to investigate it (anyone here have skills with such a system? – awaits!).

    Chuck wants there to be opportunities for members to ask candidates questions – specifically he mentioned a ‘Candidates Night’ style forum when he spoke at the Annual Meeting. This also seems like a good idea – for those that choose to participate. Those who choose not to participate take the chance of being pilloried, of course.

    Chuck says “addresses and emails should be made available to candidates”. That’s problematic – members have the right to privacy. Even in public office elections Qualified Voter Files provide only address, not e-mail – and this is not a public election. That one might have to go to the membership as a referendum.

    Chuck says no time was given to the candidates to speak at the Annual Meeting – that’s correct. There would be no point, as the election was over at the beginning of the meeting.

    Chuck also said “they did not like my questions and were trying to duck accountability.” Some of the board members were uncomfortable with the questions, to be sure, as they were more like accusations than questions, there was a lot of yelling (both sides), and there really wasn’t time to handle the questions in a reasonable manner. The “ducking accountability” issue appears to be (again) whether McCabe and Kanner got their declaration of candidacy forms in by the extended deadline, as well as whether and how the co-op made announcement of deadline extension(s) and candidate identities. I said before that I did not know if the new candidates made it on time, and apparently no one on the board knew for sure, either. Staff present at the AM says they did in fact make the extended deadline. The board and the staff don’t have any policy for announcing who candidates are, until the ballots are printed. That could change, if there are thoughtful ways expressed to go about it (there are logistical problems too mundane to go into here).

    Chuck says “the people already running the show really don’t want new people to rain on their parade.” Uh, nope, can’t cop to that one. Really have no idea why you’d think that. We are a cooperative – we want participation and cooperation whenever we can get it. We have a Member Linkage Committee of the board trying to think up ways to connect better to the membership!

    Chuck said “This employee better vote right if he wants to keep his job!” Um, Dan Soebbing was never pressured to “vote right” – and his vote would only be one vote, right? In fact, it is awkward but allowed for in the bylaws to have one employee on the board. Any employee on the board cannot join the GM Evaluation Committee, but has full rights as a board member to vote on the GM Evaluation when put to the full board. Previous boards have had employees, and the board often has previous employees on it (myself included).

    Mark K. said (#17) “the Board would have to remedy this tardiness with another deadline extension to further accommodate Kanner and McCabe.” No, the deadline extension would be to accommodate a fair and viable election, not particular candidates.

    Also in #17 “the Board should not be certifying the election results and seating Kanner and McCabe unless they were properly and legally on the ballot.” The election was conducted by the bylaws and policies of the co-op and the co-op board, and is legitimate. The two top vote-getters will be seated at the next board meeting. Are there specific questions you’d like answered? Some may be answered by board minutes, others you’ll have to take hearsay (i.e., my) evidence for it. Of course, the price of democracy is eternal vigilance. I for one would gladly welcome any member coming to board meetings to ‘keep us honest.’ We’d probably try to recruit them to run in the next election!

    That’s all I found in this thread as yet unanswered. If I missed something, state it again (briefly, or point to the message number) and I’ll have a stab at it.

       —Peter Schermerhorn    Jun. 5 '09 - 08:50AM    #
  79. Ah, I remember one other question – about whether and how voting rolls are purged. When mail is returned to the co-op undeliverable, that member is purged and their share forfeit. The staff conducts a ‘member audit’ on a regular basis to make sure the member rolls are as up-to-date as possible. Yes, many members have moved out of state and decided not to cash in or donate their membership – but if we have a correct address for them, then obviously they are still interested in belonging to the co-op and getting our newsletters.

       —Peter Schermerhorn    Jun. 5 '09 - 08:54AM    #
  80. a really good recruit to the “BIG chuck and hank” team would be norm coleman—the soon to be unemployed minnesota senator. He could teach ‘em a thing or two about “dragging it out”, ‘beating a dead horse”, “gilding the lily”, “carrying coals to newcastle” etc . etc…of course he lost to al franken by only a couple of hundred votes out of millions cast, as opposed to this blow out, so it’d be a tough one even for him.( also he’s an israel supporter).

       —theo    Jun. 5 '09 - 02:34PM    #
  81. I would bet that Larry Kestenbaum, County Clerk, would be helpful on the subject of electronic voting.

       —Leah Gunn    Jun. 5 '09 - 02:41PM    #
  82. “When mail is returned to the co-op undeliverable, that member is purged and their share forfeit.”

    OK, I didn’t realize that. Thanks for the answer!

       —Bruce Fields    Jun. 5 '09 - 05:23PM    #
  83. I first want to thank the moderators of this list who’ve kept it open long enough for me to return to our fair city. I don’t see The Colonel’s posts beyond #64, so I hope the list is being truly maintained as an open one. I don’t recall The Colonel posting any ad hominem remarks requiring censure; maybe he no longer posts – I don’t know.

    Regardless, I wanted to comment on my recent defeat in the election, and to put this defeat under a proper lens. I recall a best friend named Jeff who helped introduce me to the competitive game of basketball, “outdoor hoops” as it was called. Our battleground was The Cage, which was located near Hill and E. University, the current site of Wyly Hall.

    Well Jeff used to keep score of the pick-up games there, and it was truly bothersome to have him announce that we were losing 10-1, say, during the game. Baskets counted one point, and 15 won the game, providing you won by 2.

    Why was Jeff humiliating us teammates by announcing the score after each basket? What difference did it make? We were getting the stuffing knocked out of us, wasn’t that enough? Well his answer was that if our team started to click, or one of us got hot, or the other team tired, and we actually came from behind to win the game, then we would want to know that at some point we were being badly beaten, and “that we came from a 10-1 deficit”. He was staking out a little bit of history, and wanted it known.

    So I finally “got it” and I get it now. The game isn’t over ‘til the Fat Lady sings, and my shellacking in this election will most likely be merely an asterisk in history, after the Boycott of the state of Israel is completed. The Orlando Magic was routed by the Los Angeles Lakers last night by a score of 100-75, but no one should imagine that Dwight Howard and his teammates will not show up for game 2. They will not simply give up merely because they lost a game.

    And neither will I, nor the Boycott Israel movement, give up. It is a just struggle that we are in, and we welcome the battle. People around the Co-op should not anticipate seeing me with my head held low. If anything I am energized by the memory of my friend Jeff who taught me to keep score, because it will make the final victory all the more sweet.

    I won’t let the 600+ Co-op members who supported the petition calling for boycott on the ballot down. I won’t let Palestine Civil Society – those folks who requested that free people like myself use boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with their call for human rights and dignity – down. I won’t let the woman on the bus down – you know, the bus that threw the Palestinian mother off – who commanded me to “tell the Palestinians’ story back in America”. And most of all I won’t let my friend Basem Abu Rahme down; he was my friend who was gunned down by Israel on April 17th, shot in the chest by a high velocity tear-gas canister.

    To the 59 other people who supported my campaign goes my thanks and appreciation. To Zach and Mike I offer this: the only difference between me and you is that I’ve decided to unlearn all that was “taught” to me by Rabbis, relatives, and Jewish friends from infancy through adulthood, and “re-learn” by teaching myself from scratch. I’m not smarter than anyone on this list; I merely have questioned what I was indoctrinated into and have challenged the standard narrative. I would hope that Zach and Mike take the necessary step to remove the blinders set on them by others, and see things in Palestine as they truly are. There are places for both of you at the boycott table, and at our peaceful Saturday morning vigils.

    To Steve B, I assure you that after the battle has been won, there will be plenty of time and energy for the love you speak of. I’ll be ready.

    To Pete, thanks for working with me on this campaign and for recognizing the winning strategy that our vigil group has in mind. Quantifying results in the peace and justice movement is always difficult; measurement is often imperceptible. But that doesn’t mean progress – week by week, and election by election – isn’t occurring.

    To Mark and Kerry, thanks for your support on these threads.

    And to all others, I would hope that you recall it was the Co-op which made the decision to stock the shelves with Israeli goods in the first place, i.e. this issue did not originate with me. But thanks for keeping the topic alive throughout these threads, and remember to Boycott Israel!!

       —Henry Herskovitz    Jun. 5 '09 - 11:47PM    #
  84. per henry’s and mine above:…“and selling snow to eskimos”, “yadda yadda”, “spitting into the wind”,“self-serving blather”….

    but to end ( please god!!) on a constructive note:a good book for those who might otherwise spend all their time on “anti zionist” websites and wish to unlearn THEIR brainwshing, check out the old social pych classic “WHEN PROPHECY FAILS” by l.festinger and others…this study of how people react when deeply held beliefs are “mugged by reality” covers various sects and cults thru history including one from middle america not that far from here… in this case a group of “the end of the world is coming” types believed they’d be whisked from armageddon by benign space aliens.

    when the pick-up date arrived and went most members of the cult admitted they were shmucks and got on with their lives…but a hardcore continued to keep their bags packed, kept recalculating their dates ,and for all i know may still be doing so from their wheelchairs….sound familiar???

       —theo    Jun. 6 '09 - 12:03AM    #
  85. RE: #83 Henry, I will reply to your question regarding whether this is an “open” thread. These co-op election threads are being “aggressively” moderated with some comments disappearing several days after their posting. Yesterday, I commented on the clear evidence that in this thread, a couple comments were deleted at least a couple days after they were posted. Now I look at the previous co-op election thread and I see that a total of four comments were deleted, probably after it was closed. This is clearly evidenced by your comment making reference to “Dill’s questions (#189 & #196)”. These comments are now numbered #185 and #192, which shows that four comments were removed from the thread at some point after you posted your comment on “May. 29 ’09 – 08:33AM”.

    Regarding your wondering whether comments of “The Colonel” have been allowed to remain, I see that at least one of his comments were one of the four that were deleted from the closed thread. I provide a copy of it below and I have absolutely no idea why it was removed.

    It seems hard to be heard. I had thought we were discussing a Co-op campaign, in which 25% of the candidates were making a big deal about Palestinian human rights.

    Now I understand that we are not allowed to discuss Palestinian human rights, despite that. Further, if it is discussed, it is quickly drowned out with “suicide belt” hysteria, and with plain threats of violence to those who value Palestinian human life.

    This underscores the necessity of discussing Mr. Herskovitz’s election platform, and being heard in spite of the threats and in spite of character assassination from people like cashiered ex-professor Steve Pastner, who is in no position to assasinate people’s character. He apparently was compelled to quit teaching after accusations of harassment.

    Now let us hear Mr. Herskovitz’s platform, and no more accusations of anti-Semitism.

    -The Colonel May. 15 ’09 – 05:37PM #

    On my saved version of the web page as it existed on 5-27-2009, the above comment was sandwiched between another comment by “The Colonel” (which is now comment #34 ) and a comment by yourself ( which is now comment #35 )

    So the evidence shows that sometime after your comment on May 29, 2009, the above comment was deleted from the thread along with three others, which I haven’t been able to identify yet.

    I have no idea what anyone found so objectionable about this comment, especially after so much time had passed (at least two weeks) after it had been posted. I provide this info, FYI, and as a warning that discussions on Arbor Update may become misrepresented and distorted as time passes, and as unidentified moderators take their scalpels to the archives to remove whatever they find that is “inappropriate”.

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 6 '09 - 06:26AM    #
  86. Um, duh. Yes, there are one or two people who believe they should be able to write a hundred variations on the same idea, and that we should publish each of them for eternity. Please go run your own blog which humors them—if it works out, then you’ll have proved your point.

    I’m not being facetious: I really think you should. Nobody that I can see has found the magic formula for hosting productive discussions, on anonymous forums, on controversial issues, in the face of arbitrarily disruptive people, and the more different approaches we try, the better.

    (But, yes, I’d prefer not to mess up the archives by removing comments after the fact. (I’d also prefer a slashdot-style system that removes comments from the default view but still gives a way to see them if people are curious what’s going on—but that takes more work.) In any case, the one thing we’ve got absolutely no interest in is allowing anyone to spam the conversation as they wish—sorry, that’s get-your-own blog territory.)

       —Bruce Fields    Jun. 6 '09 - 07:08AM    #
  87. good comment bruce… sadly,those referred to DO have their own blogs ( hate sites actually…eg. “FUCKISRAEL”…which recently had a big pro herskovitz exhortation, as well as an encouragement to harass a local jewish event…which was duly done by “kerry D.‘s “civic leader” aimee smith and company)…“kerry d. “ in a recent post also thanked “fuckisrael” boy blaine coleman for his good work on the herskovitz loucks team…

    well, speaking just for myself ( but i suspect echoing sentiments of the vast majority of coop-ers) THANK YOU to all of the above, and mr. schils , koroi et al, for being the kind of adversaries it’s a pleasure to confront and defeat so massively and decisively.

       —theo    Jun. 6 '09 - 02:21PM    #
  88. Bruce, a little transparency would go a long way. When the moderator looked at the two week old comment and decided it just had to go, why didn’t the moderator just put a message, “This comment was removed”, in its place? It would appear that your software is capable of this, as evidenced by a disclaimer that was inserted into a comment by the moderator. For even more transparency, the removal notice could follow a format along the lines of, “This message was removed by (name of moderator) on (date, time) because (give reason)”. This wouldn’t seem to take long or much work at all, and it would put the actins taken by the moderators above reproach.

    The way the moderators here are deleting comments without even indicating they are doing so, just breeds suspicion as to what the motives are. Now I see in my comment yesterday, that my link to “one of the anti-boycott participants” is dead because apparently the comment has since been deleted. I remember the comment well, as it was just a one-liner from Zach that said, “Go ahead and close the thread, the election is tomorrow, anyway” or something very similar. I can remember this from the reply I made immediately after, where I remarked on Zach’s eagerness to close the thread. Which is exactly what Matt did exactly six minutes later. (Bruce, I’m sure you have a ‘deleted comments’ folder or list which will have Zach’s comment ( link ), which you will see is very similar to as I describe.)

    The brief comment by Zach that was deleted hardly meets the description of the “spam” you say you are targeting. Zach was merely replying to Matt’s warning to close the thread by saying that that would be fine with him. So rather than consider it spam, I suspect that after Matt closed the thread, he reflected on Zach’s comment and the appearance it created that Matt was serving the will of the anti-boycott people when he closed the thread, so he decided to remove it. I don’t like thinking that Matt deleted the comment for such a personal reason, but the lack of transparency makes me wonder.

    The sheriff’s race thread being closed with no notice also raises suspicions as to what motive was at play. A thread being closed on Arbor Update is very rare, especially one that has nothing to do with the Israel/Palestine issue. But this thread was closed when it reached barely over a hundred comments, and with no notice being given, whatsoever, as to the reason why. Did the moderator close it because almost all of the last 30+ comments were off-topic, being a discussion about the opening and closing of a different thread? But at the end, the discussion returned to the performance of the current sheriff – was this what made the moderator pull the plug? Or worse yet, was the moderator doing a favor for a friend at the sheriff’s office, who was not in favor of a public forum allowing such scrutiny of their conduct?

    The lack of transparency keeps everyone guessing as to the politics of what is going on behind the scenes. It would seem that the moderators would want to avoid such an atmosphere of suspicion by merely being up front about what they are doing. Just my two cents. You can take it as constructive criticism or you can remind me, once again, that if I don’t like the way you’re doing things, then I should start my own blog. I know that you, Julie, and Chuck feel this way, but I doubt that the other staff at Arbor Update are unanimous in their support for such inconsistent, aggressive, and stealth moderation.

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 6 '09 - 07:57PM    #
  89. re schils’latest ( and pretty much all of his teammates’ previous, particularly in the context of moderator bruce’s #86 ) : “B.I.G.” and “B.D.M”? not accurate! …“O.C.D” is far more appropriate.

       —theo    Jun. 6 '09 - 10:12PM    #
  90. Well, ok, I’m not entirely sure what that is supposed to mean. But it sounds like theo is saying that he and his (or ‘she’/‘her’) “teammates” would prefer the moderation remain exactly as it is. That does not surprise me.

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 6 '09 - 11:08PM    #
  91. michael’re kidding, right ? the 1st 2 are the bloody issues your guys( the ones you “schilled” for …sorry couldnt resist that!) ran on (i.e. Boycott Israeli Goods/ Boycott Divestment Movement)…OCD? ask a shrink (or pretty much anyone, i’d think). hint: it’s not a sign of good emotional health!

    as to the moderation issue: although im new to this thread, i did a bit of backlogging and clearly agree with the much discussed “zach” that the utility of this entire little chat enterprise ended long ago…right after the overwhelmingly lopsided vote and the recognition that the vanquished were incapable of a mature, gracious.. even minimally decent..concession.

       —theo    Jun. 7 '09 - 01:15AM    #
  92. Re Post #83: The fatal Basem Abu Rahme incident of April 17,2009, including a video taken at the scene, can be downloaded at

    As a postscript, on May 3,2009 a comprehensive directive was issued by a police legal advisor for the Judea and Samaria districts that the direct firing of tear gas canisters at civilians is forbidden, according to same B’tselem website.

    B’tselem has also requested the IDF Judge Advocate General to issue similar guidelines to military personnel.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 7 '09 - 01:35AM    #
  93. soooooo ..according to koroi esq. per the above israel IS indeed capable of addressing its own affairs/correcting problems without his or henry or chuck or michelles or blaines or aimees or kerry’s hysterical and overwrought “help” …thank you vedy much sir..

       —theo    Jun. 7 '09 - 02:22AM    #
  94. p.s my exchanges with schils and koroi…89-93—should suggest to master henry that if his bad cop “strike team” ( colonel ‘kinnucoleman’ et al )aint working too well for him, his ‘good cop” legalistic-sophistry branch isnt too sharp either…some fundamental retooling/restaffing of the cult is definitely in order…theo will now leave the building forever, as it’s become pretty tedious and not at all as stimulating/challenging/fun as id been led to believe by others who’ve been engaged here. shalom/as salaam aleikum!

       —theo    Jun. 7 '09 - 02:44AM    #
  95. Well, it does seem as if the relevance of this thread is through. No one has asked further questions after I attempted to answer charges aimed at the board. Sadly, no one has joined the coopelections yahoogroup to work on election reform at the co-op – so that means what reforms are made are going to be made by the very people some here claim to distrust, without input from the detractors (other than what passed here). If you’re OK with that, so am I.

       —Peter Schermerhorn    Jun. 9 '09 - 06:59AM    #
  96. Peter, you made a comment that co-op staff can verify that McCabe and Kanner filed timely with the extension. What proof is out there and is it conclusive?

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 9 '09 - 07:08AM    #
  97. I reiterate Mark’s question, which needs to be “re-hashed” only because it has never been answered. Peter, from you earlier comment ( #78 ),

    The “ducking accountability” issue appears to be (again) whether McCabe and Kanner got their declaration of candidacy forms in by the extended deadline, as well as whether and how the co-op made announcement of deadline extension(s) and candidate identities. I said before that I did not know if the new candidates made it on time, and apparently no one on the board knew for sure, either. Staff present at the AM says they did in fact make the extended deadline.

    Peter, now that you’ve had several days, have you looked into verifying if the candidacy forms were filed on time?

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 9 '09 - 07:36PM    #
  98. Peter,

    The original deadline was on or around Feb. 28th (if memory serves me correctly). A two week extension would be around March 15th. There is also the issue that documents could have been altered after the fact at this point and it would be hard to prove such had been done. That is why I have placed a lot of attention on the fact the board made no announcement about who had filed at the time the extension ended or after the original deadline which would have removed any suspicion had it been done. However, I continue to assert that ANY extension is not fair and questionable under the bylaws. The bylaws allow the board to set the date but say nothing about extending them once set. There is also the issue of how the board informed the membership about the extension. If it is fair to exclude the will of the 7/8’s of the membership who did not vote, it is fair to exclude the candidacies of the two people who did not file by the original date.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 10 '09 - 02:49AM    #
  99. i so wanted out of this “discussion” ( whining monologue more like! ),but the seemingly endless crybabyism of chas louckes and his team of nitpickers is beyond ignoring…he seems to assume that despite getting only 1/8 of the votes cast ( dismal, but almost 2ce as many as his running mate), he and henry would have gotten 100% of the votes not cast ( his “excluding the will of 7/8” reference) … what utter bosh and one that speaks volumes of what a lousy job he’d do as a fiscal manager… ( i wont say “give it a rest you spoiled twit!” because then i might be banned..

       —theo    Jun. 10 '09 - 05:03AM    #
  100. theo,

    Where’s Mike (the person who passes the Dr. Pastner duck test but denies that s/he is Dr. Pastner), where’s Zach (Mr. Fuck Malcolm X)? Poor theo, looks like the job of running interference for Kanner and McCabe has now passed to you; did you lose a bet? How come you want to talk about everything except the facts? How come Kanner and McCabe can’t speak for themselves? I’ve asked a simple question I can’t get a straight answer to: when did Kanner and McCabe file their nominating petitions?
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 10 '09 - 05:25AM    #
  101. But Charles, the “facts” are that the members of the PFC do not want you to represent them. This is obvious based on your dismal showing in the election and is irrespective of the percentage of coop members who voted. A low turnout is part of a democracy—you are in favor of democracy right?

    The PFC members voted for those persons they thought would best serve them. The election is over. Why still dredge is up and quibble over any and every minutia. No one likes a sore loser.

       —Gibreel Haq    Jun. 10 '09 - 07:16AM    #
  102. Whatsamtta, Mr. Loucks, can’t admit you lost fair and square? And what does your stupid “pass the duck test” nonsense even mean? Just like you can’t face up to the fact that the PFC resoundingly rejects you and Herskovitz and your BIGotry, face up to the simple fact that I’m Mike, not Steve Pastner, nor am I, nor—as far as I can tell—is anyone else running interference for anyone unless it’s “The (suddenly silent) Colonel” for you and your sorely beaten running mate. Surely the board members, including the two new victorious candidates, have more important things to do than to troll this website, which is undoubtedly only viewed by a handful of people who keep posting on every thread here all the time. I think you need to get all your ducks in order before you go trying to take over anything anymore besides your flawed thinking.

       —Mike    Jun. 10 '09 - 07:33AM    #
  103. So: new charges and old ones. I’ll try again.

    1. Kanner and McCabe don’t have to answer charges or questions, here or anywhere. The board is responsible, not them.

    2. There is no ‘proof’ per se of when anyone files – staff doesn’t let the board know automatically, which is why we didn’t know when anyone in particular filed. Staff says they made it on time, we believe them. We have no choice, nor would we want to (see final comment below).

    3. I believe the Colonel is being blocked, for any number of reasons. I’d surely like to see others blocked, for similar reasons (name-calling, off-topic, etc.). Not my call.

    4. The 7/8 that did not vote is a non-issue; those that voted did so decisively. Whether someone got a form in on time was invisible to the electorate.

    5. And this will be my final say on this matter: there was NO tampering, NO malingering, NO open prejudice by the board or staff. Why? Because it’s a bleeding CO-OP, not Congress, not City Council, not the European Parliament. There don’t NEED to be huge and cumbersome safeguards of voting and candidacy rights, because there’s NO freakin’ point – we’re a smallish co-op grocery store, OK?


       —Peter Schermerhorn    Jun. 10 '09 - 10:42AM    #
  104. Peter, you say there’s no need for cumbersome safeguards of voting and candidacy rights? You say the Colonel is being blocked and you’d like to see others blocked, too?

    Your sudden candidness, your general change in tone (“bleeding”? “freakin’”?), and the time stamped on your last comment would suggest that you might want to put one of those BAC interlock thingies on your computer interface.

    Your previous “effort” with the listserv to help “those who are interested in election reform” now looks like it was less than sincere.

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 10 '09 - 08:53PM    #
  105. Peter,

    I’m afraid I have to agree with Michael Schils. I find your statement that the 7/8’s of the PFC membership that did not vote as being a non-issue is a real problem. I contend that the reason 7/8’s don’t vote is due to the perception that the PFC really does not want members to vote since they do not put any time, money or effort into running a robust election process. Members are not afforded the opportunity to interact with the candidates so don’t feel they can make a meaningful choice. However, as people like Mike, Zach & theo should make clear, there is a reliable block of 700 PFC members who are an automatic no vote on anyone who utters any support what-so-ever for the BIG campaign. I don’t view 700 close-minded drone supporters of Israel’s policies showing up to vote as a block as any kind of mandate. In fact, I’m encouraged that out of 6500 PFC members, the knee-jerk-support-Israel-at-any-cost crowd could only muster 700 votes. It should not be a surprise that the election turned out as it did when the PFC intentionally runs sham elections. By expecting only 1/8’th of the membership voting, it makes it much more likely that a small group like the anti-BIG crowd can effectively call the shots.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 11 '09 - 03:37AM    #
  106. closed-minded drone? knee-jerk? this is the kind of name calling that makes me angry. you must be using the bizzaro-world handbook on how to win elections — step 1, alienate the people you’re trying to persuade. step 2, keep alienating them after you lose.
    using your reasoning, you got the votes of about 100 out of the 6500 coop members who are not knee-jerk closed-minded drones. that is a failure in my book.

       —angry coop member    Jun. 11 '09 - 04:00AM    #
  107. well chuck…if we anti BIGots can count on “only” 700 “reliable” votes in a freakin small grocery store election, and all you can muster is only 60-100 ,albeit from the real drones who live only for your deeply flawed cause,( which is of course precisely your problem since your people are correctly viewed as fanatic monomaniacs, something you personally confirm with every repetitive ,carping post), i guess we win hugely every time! what about that don’t you /cant you understand? (that’s a rhetorical question. no answer required or wanted….

       —theo    Jun. 11 '09 - 04:13AM    #
  108. theo, please stop with the personal insults.

       —Matt Hampel    Jun. 11 '09 - 05:33AM    #
  109. theo,

    I am sure many of the 5700 or so members of the PFC who did not participate in the recent election would not agree with some or many of my views however, I am sure they would agree that the PFC needs to do more to have robust campaigns as evidenced by much higher turn-out ratios for board elections in the future. If I can prod the PFC into committing to achieving a turn-out of 40% in the near future by committing specific resources, I will feel I have done my job and I won’t even run next year! Lost in the debate over Israel and the Boycott Israeli Goods (BIG) campaign is the fact that the PFC is running sham elections and has no intention of ever changing its ways (at least at this point.)
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 11 '09 - 06:30AM    #
  110. lemme get this straight. you want the coop to spend more money on elections so they can reach an apparently random turnout percentage so that you, a candidate who lost by a huge margin, will feel better. you clearly don’t have the best interests of the coop in mind. you may feel better thinking the elections were a sham, but it seems pretty simple to me — ballots went out to all the members accompanied by statements from the candidates, they sent in their ballots, reached the required quorum, and that’s that. i’ll bet you 10,000 pounds of israeli couscous or their cash equivalent that apathy was the cause of the low turnout, not any widespread dissatisfaction with the way the coop runs their elections.
    by the way, matt hampel, charles loucks just personally insulted 700 people, yet you warn theo. don’t make no sense….

       —angry coop member    Jun. 11 '09 - 06:49AM    #
  111. This poor turnout could be largely due to voter apathy locally.

    Look at the Ann Arbor School Board elections one month ago where only 2.6% of registered voters actually cast ballots. In the Chelsea School board election, the turnout was 22% and in Dexter the school board race resulted in 11% of regitered voters casting ballots.

    If Ann Arborites do not care to vote on the persons who direct their public school systems, how can you expect them to be concerned about who runs their health food store. The fact they got somewhere near 15% is actually quite impressive when you consider that is better than some Ann Arbor City Council election turnouts.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 11 '09 - 07:11AM    #
  112. angry coop member,

    You say ballots were mailed? There were complaints made on this list that the ballots were mailed out late. Also, apathy will be much higher when PFC members are not allowed to interact with candidates by asking questions and getting answers both before and during the voting. I don’t think candidate statements alone are sufficient to generate any excitement about a coop election. The process needs to be looked at with an eye to increasing the turn-out rate. If the board is not willing to do this, they are failing in their primary obligation to the membership. The board needs to find out why people don’t vote and address the problem, not just be content with the way things are.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 11 '09 - 07:22AM    #
  113. Mark,

    I think the school board elections got low turn out due in part to the timing of the elections and the amount of time and effort on the part of the school system spent educating voters. Another thing to consider, Ann Arbor has a transient population so the voter roles are inflated by people who have moved out of state not being taking off the voter roles. For example, the First Ward voter role file I looked at showed an 18 year old female who registered to vote in 1976 from an address that appeared to be an apartment. This woman would now be 51 years old and is probably not living at the apartment anymore. At some point, there will be more registered voters in Ann Arbor than the Census Bureau says there are people 18 or older living in Ann Arbor.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 11 '09 - 07:38AM    #
  114. You have a valid point, however the polls were open for 13 hours and many voting precincts received less than 10 voters showing up to the polls to vote, so the low percentage cannot fully be blamed on obsolete student registrations.

    I, and others, have raised this very same point and have wondered aloud why the City Clerk and County Clerk have not done more to alleviate this problem. This particular problem also impacts recall and charter amendment signature requirements. The response has been that it would be too time consuming and expensive to investigate and purge these apparently obsolete voter registrations, especially with students.

    As to the People’s Food Coop there also are many members who have moved out of state or may no longer patronize the co-op but have not cancelled their member registration and have little incentive to vote for directors or any other matter with respect to co-op affairs.

    To have as much interest and participation as occurred in this last PFC election was actually a positive thing.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 11 '09 - 08:07AM    #
  115. matt.. puhleeze, buddy!: “knee-jerk support- israel drones”: ( loucks #105); “racist cut throats” ( “the colonel”…too many to troll for); “zach” as “anti-black” ( when all the guy, who couldnt be more sympathetic to true civil rights, did was diss one particular racist)…THESE are insults and libels …and there are others too numerous to mention…my comments are mere verifiable ethnography in comparison.

    but i do appreciate your chastisement on a tactical level. no one can now accuse your site of bias ( and i too have been treated most fairly) and the resulting endless “run at the mouthism ( or keyboard)” of the vanquished simply gives more downloadable and re-useable material ( per schils’ recommendation) to us anti-BIGots ( also known as “the sane”) so that at any future such election “team chuck n’ hank’s” totals will be even smaller.

       —theo    Jun. 11 '09 - 02:41PM    #
  116. To Pete and Matt: Has The Colonel been blocked from posting to this list, and if so, could you please state and support the reasons? Again, it appears he/she has not posted since #64, and given the fact that the posts were prolific, it appears odd that they would suddenly cease. Thank you.

       —Henry Herskovitz    Jun. 11 '09 - 04:28PM    #
  117. so glad henry’s back..i neglected to add to my list of real insults posted on this site without demur from the overseers(#115) master henry’s arrogant non- concession statement ( #83)about the election, in which he ham- fistedly attempts to recruit others to his band of geriatric jihadis who’ve been insulting members of a local synagogue by their harassment of 6 years duration..

    make no mistake, arbor update, the holocaust museum shooting yesterday reinforces for many of us anti- BIGots the demonstrable overlap (notably on hate websites, such as those featuring “the colonel” that have been enumerated often above)between the BIG “so far left they’re right” types and the more straightforward hard-right neo nazis like the shooter. we dont see this minor grocery store election as an isolated phenomenon, and despite some well-deserved snark and wit at the BIGots expense, this is dead serious stuff for both sides , one of which is in the right ..and fortunately locally in the vast majority..

    i dont know if “the colonel” has been banned from the site , or maybe headed off to train on pakistan’s frontier or to join Hamas in gaza…but in either case you need offer no apologies/ explanations to henry for her/his welcome recent absence..we all got the message of that fine officer to a sick-making degree.

       —theo    Jun. 11 '09 - 05:40PM    #
  118. “There were complaints made on this list that the ballots were mailed out late”

    I’ve seen only one complaint (#8), from an anonymous user, with no supporting evidence.

    Personally, I received the newsletter with ballot and candidate statements weeks in advance.

       —Bruce Fields    Jun. 12 '09 - 12:28AM    #
  119. Theo – You and I are on the same page: both “don’t know” whether The Colonel has been banned from posting. Perhaps you think as I do, that this list, as well as the Co-op, would want democracy (everyone’s voice counts unlike in “Israel”) and transparency, in our exchanges.

    And please note: personal harassment is illegal in Michigan, as well as interfering with religious services. Our group of peaceful vigillers have been scrutinized by the Ann Arbor Police Department probably more than any other activist group. And they conclude substantially and repeatedly that we are in full compliance with the law. We do not harass anyone on Saturday mornings, nor interfere with religious services. But don’t take the AAPD’s word on this: please avail yourself this weekend and make your own determination.

    And, if Beth Israel congregants are “insulted”, it’s most likely because they don’t like the harsh mirror of reality held up to them: they are uncomfortable with the fact that motorists and pedestrians on Washtenaw recognize that their support of Apartheid “Israel” is immoral, possibly illegal, and very costly and dangerous to Americans.

    Glad you missed me :>)

       —Henry Herskovitz    Jun. 12 '09 - 01:38AM    #
  120. I have followed this thread, as well as the other, on the PFC elections without comment until now. In a number of places above there are calls for facts, here are a few.

    I am a proud and happy member of the PFC and I shop there multiple times a week. I have also been a member of a number of other co-ops (6 or 8?) for years and I have never voted in one co-op election… before this one. I have also never canceled my memberships, but I have moved, so I have no idea if my past memberships are still listed and are skewing those voter participation numbers. I voted in this election for Ms. Kanner and Mr. McCabe because I think they are interested in the co-op and its role in our community. I thought the other two candidates agendas were to use the co-op to bring about something else and it is only that agenda which is important to them; not the co-op. I did not want the co-op to have leadership with such limited interests.

       —abc    Jun. 12 '09 - 03:57PM    #
  121. RE:#119 Earlier, Peter Schermerhorn stated he believes the Colonel is being blocked, and he would probably know. The fact that the Colonel is not responding is another indication. As I pointed out earlier, one of the Colonel’s comments that was at least two weeks old, disappeared. Apparently, it was determined that the Colonel should not be allowed to “spam the conversation” and that policy was applied retroactively.

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 12 '09 - 04:53PM    #
  122. In the light of Henry Herskowitz’s inane self justification for harassing the synagogue, and his previous blather about “Jewish supremicists” it’s worth noting the source of that term. It is the title of David Duke’s book. The white supremacist coined the termed as an imagined “I-am-rubber-you-are-glue” defense of klan racism and Herskowitz seems to have devoted his retirement years to taunting bat mitvah girls with David Duke’s message.
    The co-op board has a fiduciary responsibility to protect the assets of the co-op. There can be no doubt that this would-be board member would have happily wrecked the co-op in pursuit of publicity for his very personal agenda.

       —3-times-a-day-co-oper    Jun. 12 '09 - 06:17PM    #
  123. Some random thoughts/poetry on Henry’s latest (and hopefully last) post: – Those upraised thumbs of support from passing motorists? Different upraised digit entirely!

    -You and ‘theo ‘ being on the same page? you confuse ‘theo’ with David Duke and Fred and theo are in different BOOKS!

    Two haikus on your “vigils”:

    1- Henry alone
    but for one or two
    withered “virgins of paradise”.

    2- me me me me me
    me me me me me me
    and “bull- horny” Aimee Smith.

       —Gibreel Haq    Jun. 12 '09 - 08:35PM    #
  124. “bull- horny”?

    That’s not a very nice thing to call a female, is it?

    When this thread was recently purged, what exactly redeemed comment #123 and put it in a class above the 3 comments by “pro boycott”, which were deleted?

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 12 '09 - 11:07PM    #
  125. michael…just guessing ,but i think the post was referring to aimee smiths common use of a bull-horn to disrupt jewish events.

       —theo    Jun. 12 '09 - 11:31PM    #
  126. I believe it is with reference to a bullhorn that Dr. Smith often carries at demonstrations.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 12 '09 - 11:42PM    #
  127. Linda Diane Feldt, the secretary of the PFC board of directors, has a long & detailed comment up at the Chronicle

       —Matt Hampel    Jun. 13 '09 - 01:45AM    #
  128. abc,

    You said, “I thought the other two candidates agendas were to use the co-op to bring about something else and it is only that agenda which is important to them; not the co-op.” If a place like the co-op doesn’t support human rights, it will fall prey to focusing on only the bottom line (profit/loss) and forget about serving the community in both the broader (values & principles) and narrower (service, quality) sense. My belief is that a place like a co-op has to be a force for change not just a place to buy coffee, otherwise why not go to Whole Foods? The way to compete with a place like Whole Foods is not by being a better Whole Foods but by offering something completely different.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 13 '09 - 06:11AM    #
  129. chuck..i kinda think we already know what you believe ( oy! do we!)..clearly few are buying..

       —theo    Jun. 13 '09 - 02:09PM    #
  130. “If a place like the co-op doesn’t support human rights, it will fall prey to focusing on only the bottom line”

    Obviously false, unless you think the only issue which isn’t the “bottom line” is “human rights”.

       —Bruce Fields    Jun. 13 '09 - 05:28PM    #
  131. bruce…while i appreciate your post, re the ( il)logic of loucks’, even tho you put quotation marks around “human rights” it should be made even more explicit that loucks, herskovitz et al havn’t a clue as to what true human rights are, preferring to construe “h.r” as “ israel and its supporters bad / israel’s enemies good”…end of story.

    as one of the more vocal..and yes, sometimes a bit sarcastic and “not nice”.. critics of this approach on this thread , i’d like to say that there are indeed real issues of concern and subjects for
    debate on the israel /palestine issue.. but those who have taken up the most visible cudgels for the palestinians locally have utterly disqualified themselves as serious interlocutors in such dialogue, as their pre and post election behavior , and entries on this blog site alone, demonstrate, to say nothing of their other mulifaceted tantrums around town.

    a constructive place for those with legitimate criticisms of israel to begin would be first and foremost to begin their critique with a recognition that the state of israel has a fundamental right to exist . then, as to borders, recognize the legitimate security concerns of the israelis as well as the legitimate grievances of the palestinians and the often bad behaviors on both sides.

    those who would be standard bearers for such substantive discussion ( e.g. the huron valley greens)should repudiate henry herskovitz and purge their current leadership ( the above noted “ bullhorn “ aimee smith and chas loucks for starts), and organizationally retool, perhaps re-calling older wiser heads, who’ve deserted the current strident 1-issue party, like peter schermerhorn…

    “the colonel” ,be it a he or she, should be left to dangle in her/his own hateful cyber breeze, as should blaine coleman and spouse ,assuming they are not “the colonel”)..

    only with such a regimen does the topic of boycotting become an arguably legitimate issue,although even then by no means a winning one.

       —theo    Jun. 13 '09 - 09:30PM    #
  132. Theo, it’s not Jewish events that Dr. Smith uses the bullhorn at; it’s Zionist events,and they are quite worthy of a little disruption, given the crimes of Israel that this community – The Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor – supports.

    And speaking of crimes, let’s not forget this week’s remembrance of the deliberate attack of the USS Liberty in International waters by the Israeli Air Force, and covered up since 1967. Not to mention the outright murder of American activist Rachel Corrie, and the recent attempted murder of American Tristan Anderson.

    I just finished watching the 26-minute video of the murder of my Palestinian friend Basem Abu Rahme in the small village of Bi’lin. There will be a boycott of Israeli goods at the People’s Food Co-op; it’s just a matter of time. Readers of this list can join us now, or join us later, but the world is already starting to say “No” to Israeli war crimes.

       —Henry Herskovitz    Jun. 14 '09 - 05:36AM    #
  133. very revealing post from henry:
    aside from his confirming that aimee smith, like himself , is an exhibitionistic buffoon, we learn:
    -to defame israel he must dredge up an unfortunate single event of 1/2 century ago ( the “liberty” incident)that even the aggrieved party ( the u.s.) forgave and forgot because the precipitating facts themselves are unclear.

    - he spends the shank of saturday night watching re-runs of the same video over and over, alone no doubt but perhaps for one of those referred to in ‘gibreels” excellent haikus above( #123)

    not surprising , but sad nonetheless.

       —theo    Jun. 14 '09 - 03:53PM    #
  134. Mr. Herskovitz, thank you for that update on recent world events and for reminding us of anniversaries that have nothing to do with either the PFC, or this thread (PFC election results). As I said earlier you ran on a platform with but one plank; and it was a fairly narrow board.

    “There will be a boycott of Israeli goods at the People’s Food Co-op; it’s just a matter of time.” H. Herskovitz

    I have to assume from the above (threat?) that you intend to run again for the PFC board to attempt to bring about your goal of co-opting the PFC Board and distracting that board from doing its business. I assure you that if that is the case I for one will vote again in a co-op election.

    And Mr. Loucks, while Bruce Fields is correct from a logical point of view (post #130) let us not lose sight of human rights as a concept, and not just a political slogan. I consider the PFC a very humane place. More than many places, I see a diverse array of people shopping, eating and working together at the co-op. As a matter of fact I have been in co-ops that have a ‘vegetarian arrogance’ about them such that if you are not fluent in seaweeds and arcane Indian grains then you may just be treated a little differently. The PFC is not like that, we even sell meat. Our ‘bottom line’ is fine.

       —abc    Jun. 14 '09 - 06:02PM    #
  135. abc,

    Just as boycotts of Apartheid South Africa helped end Apartheid now a generation ago (I participated in some of the events on UofM campus in the 1980’s in support of ending Apartheid); I believe that if the Co-op had adopted the BIG campaign’s approach (boycotting Israeli goods), this move would help foster a reduction in violence in the Middle East (since Israel would have to make nice with their neighbors instead of driving them out—with US support). How does that help us here? It gets the word out that the Co-op stands for principles and walks the walk; when it says something, it does it. It would also say that the Co-op is willing to take on controversial issues; and in so doing, provide much needed leadership on behalf of a good cause.

    I want to throw the question back to you, abc. How would a boycott of Israeli goods harm the Co-op? To me, it seems entirely consistent with what a place like the Co-op is trying to achieve: a better world for all. What good is it to be green in an unjust world?

       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 14 '09 - 08:08PM    #
  136. chas-the answer to the question you posed to ABC re “what harm would a boycott do”:
    the harm would be: – a precedent that would result in empty coop shelves ,including no palestinian olive oil either, (because of honor-killings, hamas on fatah violence, and a habit of suicide bombings of civilians)

    -a coop leadership that insults clear democratically elected winners ( “kanner as coward” ,per you; the overwhelming democratic majority as “knee jerk drones” again; as to henry on the board?…well he’s just so “henry’, see mine above)

    - a coop that would clearly lose the bulk of its membership since a boycott ( imposed how? an armed coup?)contravenes clear majority will.

    - even if you staged such a coup, the resulting business ( i assume renamed something like “armchair jihadists R us market”) wouldnt do too well . it’s not as mellifluous as “hillers”, “krogers” or “whole foods”..

    but my question to the site managers: why is this thread not put out of its misery?

       —theo    Jun. 14 '09 - 08:59PM    #
  137. theo,

    “but my question to the site managers: why is this thread not put out of its misery?” My answer would be that it is one of the most active threads on this message board. Maybe the managers of ArborUpdate don’t want to be relevant? Funny, when I ask a simple question like what harm would a boycott of Israeli goods do, you want to shut off the debate. As long as you can spew out insults, the debate is ok; when we start to engage in real discussion, you want to shut the thread down.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 15 '09 - 01:28AM    #
  138. chuck .. i gave you an answer. your inability to accept a lawyerly “asked and answered” conclusion to endlessly repetitive ,dumb and unnecessary questions ( YOU LOST!! HUGELY AND UNAMBIGUOUSLY!!!)is why this thread should have been shut down long ago…although personally i admit to thoroughly enjoying you and henry as “straight men”,it’s a guilty pleasure and one i’d happily forego any time the site managers want to jiggle the handle and let this running toilet stop running.

       —theo    Jun. 15 '09 - 01:48AM    #
  139. Re Post No.69: I wish to acknowledge that Peter Schermerhorn is correct in setting forth that the Boycott Israel Group(BIG) is mostly composed of Quakers and that the term BIGot is offensively unfair when describing these activists.

    The Quakers, specifically its American Friends Services Committee, and its British counterpart, were co-recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947. Their work included relief efforts targeting victims of war and Nazi persecution.

    In 1938, they were rebuffed by Germany while trying to offer aid to Jewish victims of Kristallnacht. During the Second World War the Quakers in Germany provided refuge to Jews and provided feedings to all regardless of background. They provided nourishment to many no one else cared about. Their massive relief efforts following the two world wars were credited with saving many lives. In the U.S. they were the most vocal opponents of the internment of the Japanese.

    The Quakers were in Palestine beginning in 1869, opening up a school for girls at that time in Ramallah. They opened a school in Lebanon in 1875. The Quakers have had a continuous presence in education in Ramallah for 140 years despite the presence of war and social upheavals. During the Second Intifada thaey documented the artillery shelling and helicopter gunships by the Israeli armed forces that besieged Ramallah.

    The Friends School in Ramallah is considered the most prestigious school system in the West Bank and is operated from the United States.

    The Quakers have initiated the boycott movement due to their recognition that this is the best way to bring the suffering of Palestinians to the attention of the American public. I see absolutely no link to bigotry any more than their relief efforts diected toward Jews in Nazi Germany was motivated by hatred of Germans.

    I applaud the efforts of the Boycott Israel Group movement.

       —Kerry D.    Jun. 15 '09 - 02:21AM    #
  140. Here is a link to a Quaker website delineating thir efforts and positions relative to the Palestine issue:

    Also as to Dr. Aimee Smith’s prior post regarding the change in the political winds relative to Zionism see the recent Truthout article of June 9, 2009, “AIPAC Wall Beginnning to Crack”:

    I salute the local Quakers as well as Dr. Smith, Chuck Loucks, and all the other Huron Valley Greens for their continued activism and support for peace and social justice in the Middle East.

       —Kerry D.    Jun. 15 '09 - 02:45AM    #
  141. kerry d…my daughter was well educated at a quaker school…but whatever the overall commendable history of quaker values, their local harassing presence in front of a synagogue is dispicable( and henry herskovitz himself some time ago noted in a post to his followers that the “jewish witnesses for peace” could increasingly be named “ the quaker witnesses.. “.

    you and i can both name names to attest to that, as can multiple photographs. one such BIGot/bigot was deservedly sacked from her job for such activities.

    if you’re offended by the term “BIGot”, why don’t you suggest to the offending quakers ( and maybe you’re one) that “Friends shouldn’t let Friends harass other faiths”…(oh and there are muslims/ arabs in
    BIGot/ synagogue hassling ranks too who are also worthy of offense, contempt and reproach).

       —theo    Jun. 15 '09 - 02:50AM    #
  142. Re Post No. 106: If we want to speak of dismal election results as indicators of popularity of the respective candidate’s causes let us turn to the 2008 Ann Arbor District Court judicial election.

    Joan Lowenstein is a member of Temple Beth Israel and and was an incumbent City Council member when she became the most active voice of the anti-boycott movement in 2007; she previously had been a president of the local chapter of the Jewish Federation. She stood outside the PFC and held a “Don’t Buy Their Baloney” sign, posing for photos.

    Joan Lowenstein finished in fourth place – dead last – in the August 5th primary election, receiving only barely over 1,800 votes (Dr. Aimee Smith, by comparison, received over 2,000 votes from Ann Arbor as the Green Party nominee squaring off against incumbent John Dingell). Lowenstein, by running, lost her coveted Second Ward City Council seat.

    Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Margaret Connors was another candidate for the same judicial seat. She resigned her job to campaign full-time, received more financial backing than any primary candidate, and received the support of all five circuit court judges in Washtenaw County. She also criminally prosecuted Henry Herskovitz, Dr. Catherine Wilkerson and several others who publically supported the PFC boycott, relative to the alleged disruption of the Dr.Raymond Tanter speech at the University of Michigan. The Wilkerson prosecution resulted in a highly-publicized trial that Connors lost. PFC boycott supporter Dr. Aimee Smith was a key defense witness in that criminal trial and later criticized Connors’ candidacy for the judicial seat.

    Margaret Connors lost in the August 5th primary by 600 votes to the second place finsher, Eric Gutenberg, a longtime colleague of Connors in the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office. Connors never returned to the prosecutor’s office and listed her occupation as “Retired” on subsequent campaign comitttee filings.

    Councilperson Chris Easthope went on to beat Eric Gutenberg in the general election. Despite an endorsement from incumbent Second Ward Councilperson Joan Lowenstein, Easthope lost decisively in the Second Ward – the only ward he did not win in the general election.

    Did the Lowenstein and Connors involvement against pro-boycott activists doom their respective candidacies?

       —Kerry D.    Jun. 15 '09 - 03:40AM    #
  143. kerry..the above electoral irrelevancies have nothing whatever to do with the coop vote and just reinforce everyone’s perception of the skew-y tunnel vision of your side.also it sounds like you are arguing for losers being relatively unpopular…well i agree, ESPECIALLY when the election IS centered on the BIGotry question and the results are SOOOO lopsided.

    re my post #131 therefore consider yourself added to the list of those who should be “kicked to the curb” by any serious proponants of BIGotry, should anyone want to try my suggested “new and improved version”.

    a final note re quakers, and their theology of god speaking thru the individual. perhaps my side’s posts…unquestionably far superior in all respects to those of your side ( plus my side won MASSIVELY)..attest to my/my side’s greater favor in His eyes. I don’t necessarily subscribe to this, mind you, but pose the question as something to at least ponder should you want to switch teams ( or send donations). my name after all IS ‘theo’.
    catch you tomorrow. “lonesome dove “ is on!

       —theo    Jun. 15 '09 - 04:07AM    #
  144. Re: comment #142 by Kerry D:
    “ Joan Lowenstein is a member of Temple Beth Israel”
    Why on earth is the coop concerned with Joan Lowenstein’s place of worship???! Kerry D., you are creeping me out!

       —3-times-a-day-co-oper    Jun. 15 '09 - 05:53PM    #
  145. “charles loucks board candidate”…the sign off reminds one of the apocryphal british colonials who’d all their lives append their ( non) credentials to their names, ala’ “m.a.oxon (failed)”, as if this was somehow a sign of prestige instead of a source of mockery.CHARLES..YOU LOST and are an ex-candidate, a failed candidate, a non- candidate!!..gad,what a sorry and masochistic bunch the BIGots are…

    and thank you ,“3 times a day’, for picking up on kerry d’s irrelevant and not-so- subtly antisemitic joan lowenstein/beth israel reference…i thought i’d covered kerry’s multiple absurdities, but “so much stupidity…so little time”.

       —theo    Jun. 15 '09 - 08:08PM    #
  146. 600 co-op members voted for boycott of Israel a couple of years ago.

    What does the PFC have to say about that?

    Why is the co-op not jumping to the opportunity to boycott Israel at a time when the international boycott-Israel movement is growing steadily?

    Is murder of thoudends, destruction of land and
    continued criminal acts of Israel not enough?

    What is PFC waiting for?

    Would PFC not have immediatelly boycotted if it were Syria and not Israel committing these crimes?

       —pro boycott    Jun. 15 '09 - 09:30PM    #
  147. 600 people did NOT vote for the boycott…the 600 signed a petition to put the issue on a ballot…and i was one of them because i wanted ( and worked) to see it roundly defeated and stuck in the grave where it so rightly belongs..( you and the other boycott supporters still posting here seem to be , in effect, zombies i.e.dead but not willing to accept the fact, (but at least you’re the toothless kind, as your easily rebuttable/dismissible..and often quite funny.. posts indicate.

    as to the murder of ‘thoudends’, syria ( and other arab countries) have indeed done just that ( ever hear of the hama massacre in syria?…as opposed to the “hamaS vs fatah mutual killings in palestinian areas …and then there’s a little thing called ‘darfur’. oh! and iraq); but since more time is spent by arabs on mutual bloodletting than producing coop-stockable products, i guess we’ll never know the answer to your hypothetical question.

       —theo    Jun. 15 '09 - 09:51PM    #
  148. Are you saying that Israel’s crimes are “dismissible”?

    And, in all humanity, is murdering 1400 in Gaza, and 1300 in Lebanon (only a couple of years ago),leaving god knows how many wounded, and theft of water and land, use of white phosphorous and uranium in heavily populated areas, really dismissible by the international community?

    I say that these criminal acts of Israel are to be protested and that the international community (PFC included) have a responsibility to stand with justice and humanity and isolate Israel so that it will stop such crimes int he future.

    Boycott Israel at PFC now!

       —pro boycott    Jun. 15 '09 - 10:31PM    #
  149. p.s. another kerry d gaffe both “3 times a day’ and i overlooked: in post #139_she refers ,in her conclusion ,to BIG as “boycott Israel Group” when the “g” actually stands for “goods”…when people dont even know what their own movement’s acronyms mean ( also the case with m. schils ,as i pointed out much earlier), and are otherwise factually in a deep muddle ( per the post i responded to above) it speaks poorly of their ability to persuade others to their cause…well, the results speak for themselves.if only the BIGots had ears able to hear. wax issues perhaps?

       —theo    Jun. 15 '09 - 10:42PM    #
  150. Let me see if I understand it right Theo!

    Because, according to you, boycott Israel movement people “don’t even know what their own movement’s acronyms mean” we all should forget about crimes that Israel has committed and go home?

    But, what about our responsibility to truth and justice? What about the thousands made homeless by Israeli bombs, and illegal land and home confiscations?

    What about Israel’s crimes against humanity and the environment?

    Should we just let Israel continue this way?

    In all humanity how can anyone stand by and see an engine of destruction, such as Israel, keep destroying people and the environment.

       —pro boycott    Jun. 15 '09 - 11:36PM    #
  151. 600 co-op members demanded boycott, in writing.
    They count for something.

       —600 co-op members for boycott    Jun. 16 '09 - 12:12AM    #
  152. ‘pro’ ( can i call you that despite what seems your rather amateurish approach to complex issues)? :
    there are so many reasons you should go home i cant single out just one…except “ we heard ya and ….YOU LOST!!!’

    p.s. it is near impossible not to mock you people ( which is quite different than trivializing real problems re israel /palestine). in that regard do look at my post #131 above…it’s serious and constructive, although id imagine you are one of those i refer to who must be purged/marginalized by anyone/or any group seeking a serious ,constructive engagement on such very real issues.. again…you and your ilk are part of the problem not the solution…so yes..go home.

       —theo    Jun. 16 '09 - 12:14AM    #
  153. Re Post #148: “Boycott Israel Group” is the correct designation; Peter Schermerhorn uses the same name at Post #69 and another PFC Board member Linda Diane Feldt also has publically used the same appellation to describe the predominantly Quaker organization.

    “Boycott Israeli Goods” is usually the slogan or motto of those who engage in the pro-Palestine boycott movement.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 16 '09 - 12:31AM    #
  154. Dear Theo,

    From where I stand, there are no “complex issues”.

    Israel is a colonial settler state that has been fully funded by U.S. Unimaginable amounts of money has gone from tax payers money to Israel and it has caused only death and destruction. With he help of our taxes, Israel has committed crimes of unbelievable proportions and all this must stop.

    We need the $$$$ here at home (which incidentally is where I am and I have no intention of leaving and going anywhere else).

    Many of us in Ann Arbor want our local food coop to rise to the occasion, put its money where its mouth is, and act according to its own principals of justice and humanity.

    If boycott is a good method to support farm workers (PFC has supported farm workers by boycotting grapes in the past), and if safety of dolphins is a mater of conscience that deserves boycotting dolphin unsafe tuna (which the PFC has done in the past), then why not value lives of Palestinians and Lebanese as much as dolphins and boycott Israel?

    Israel has murdered 1300 Palestinians in Gaza, and 1400 Lebanese in 2006. We still do not know how many people were injured in Gaza (2009) or Lebanon (2006). We do not know how many are still suffering from the effects of White phosphorous and uranium contamination. These are crimes of Israel that need to be immediately addressed.

       —pro boycott    Jun. 16 '09 - 12:35AM    #
  155. If the Co-op Board wants to consider human rights, let it. The deaths of so many thousands, at Israel’s hands, means one thing: boycott Israel.

    Join the 600+ co-op members who signed their names and member numbers to a petition to boycott all Israeli products.

    Although “Theo”, sounding like former Professor Pastner, is apparently claiming that those 600 signed FOR boycott because they were really against it.

    OK! Then let the Co-op Board, and former Professor Pastner, resolve to boycott Israeli products now… because they are, uh, really against it.

       —600 co-op members for boycott    Jun. 16 '09 - 12:41AM    #
  156. pro: we’re all too well aware that” where you stand there are no complex issues”.that’s precisely why you lost and will continue to .

    im done with you now, as im feeling better from the cold that kept me near my computer today, and plan to resume my “life’ ( as in “got one”, a concept you may also be unfamiliar with as too complex)

       —theo    Jun. 16 '09 - 12:49AM    #
  157. Dear Theo,

    I am glad you are feeling better.

    Please do not take these arguments personally. No one here is calling you a criminal.

    Israel is the criminal here.

    We (PFC members) want to make sure our coop walks the walk. Lives of thousands of people and destruction of the environment should not be left without appropriate humanitarian respond by PFC (which claims to be in favor of fairness in doing business and a better world for all its inhabitants).

    It is clear that years of U.S. government involvement in the region has only intensified bloodshed in Palestine.

    Things are much worst now than they were in the 80’s. More people losing their homes, more settlements being built on illegally confiscated land, more public health problems brought to Palestinians and Lebanese by Israeli bombings and destruction of water sources and food items.

    These are all serious crimes that need immediate attention of the American people, if we are to show to the rest of the world that we are not the numb potatoes they all think we are.

    Indeed we are not careless inhuman people (for the most part). We stand with justice and humanity and we demand that PFC put its money where its mouth is (stop putting its foot in its mouth) and Boycott Israel.

       —pro boycott    Jun. 16 '09 - 01:16AM    #
  158. A new video has been posted on YouTube regarding the boycott of the People’s Food Co-op.

    Has anyone seen it? Any opinions?

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 16 '09 - 01:48AM    #
  159. Why did you take out the post that gave the URL for the new video on boycott at food coop?

    It is totally unjustifiable.

    Why do you want to stop the discussion? This community wants to discuss boycott of Israel.

    Why do you keep throwing obstacles in our way? Are we not a community in favor of freedom of expression?

    Is arbor update not a democratic venue in which people this community can exercise their right to free speech? Why do you make us look so bad by taking out subjects we want to discuss.

    Put the site address for the new video on boycott at the coop back please. I want to watch it when I go home tonight (I can not do so here, where I am now).

    Boycott Israel at PFC.
       —pro boycott    Jun. 16 '09 - 02:36AM    #
  160. Here is the same Boycott-Israel-at-the-Co-op video.

    Boycott ‘Israel’ at People’s Food Co-op 2009

       —pro boycott    Jun. 16 '09 - 04:38AM    #
  161. Charles L. in comment 135 above:
    “How would a boycott of Israeli goods harm the Co-op? To me, it seems entirely consistent with what a place like the Co-op is trying to achieve: a better world for all. What good is it to be green in an unjust world?”

    In response, below are some reflections at length to try and articulate a discomfort with boycott politicking at the co-op during the last few years. After uploading this, I’ll move along to another thread and hopefully not feel any need to return here:

    For the co-op to adjust existing product policy to honor a boycott without risking a disruption among its active members, simple majority support from voters won’t be enough. Practically speaking, a boycott winning with 51% or 67% or even 75% will leave in its wake a substantial minority who may well feel angry enough to take their shopping elsewhere. This kind of scenario and its implications for financial stability, I’d suspect, lead to board/management/staff apprehension — the co-op’s “fear factor” as referenced earlier by Steve. Although the cause is good — justice and safe livelihood for Palestinians — it’s strategically problematic at the current time to use the co-op boycott process as a mechanism to promote it. (However, for some other hypothetical food boycott questions, it’s conceivable that most shoppers wouldn’t care strongly one way or the other.)

    Previously approved boycotts at the co-op, as I vaguely recall, enjoyed super-majorities, maybe greater than 90% from voting members. With that level of support, the co-op ultimately gains more through increased public goodwill than it initially loses due to a small number of disgruntled former shoppers. When the majority percentage is a lot lower, however, feelings of goodwill within the co-op give way to a sense of panic. In other parts of the world, co-ops more freely endorse political causes than here in the more conservative U.S., but I’ll bet even those organizations generally won’t take a formal political stand unless a vast majority of members already support it.

    So, I’ll conclude that in this instance boycott supporters have done things strategically backwards. A successful boycott proposal develops and passes following a long and successful public education campaign, which can take years or decades. The co-op boycott proponents on this issue moved forward well before getting most shoppers’ opinions behind them. They’ve instead attempted a boycott proposal as one of their launching points for an ongoing campaign, rather than as one of the end results from years of effective work which succeeded in shifting public viewpoint in their favor.

    Up above in one or two earlier comments, Henry certainly appears to acknowledge the long-term nature of his project. In the case of apartheid South Africa, the national boycott campaign began achieving success once the Reagan-era American populace finally stopped buying into the argument that American corporations were our primary agents of progressive change in that country — that a boycott would only encourage the apartheid regime by hindering the altruistic, heroic actions of U.S. business execs who worked there. It took a number of years of educational work by activists across the country to defeat this argument and accomplish a change in outlook, so they could begin winning approval for their boycott.

    Those who support the recent boycott efforts at the co-op will need to find more effective ways to convince people and win them over. For one thing, as should be obvious to all, the swastika substitution for “S” will need to go away (Uri Avnery sternly discusses this sort of symbolism in a recent essay). Also, honestly discuss the “gray areas” in these issues, even if your more vocal and strident opponents simply will not. Over the years I’ve talked with any number of supporters of Palestinian statehood & rights, from all different backgrounds, who have refused to see Middle East sociopolitics only in black & white terms. Emulate these people. Along the same line, whichever side of this co-op debate someone falls on, please don’t turn the real daily lives of Palestinians & Israelis into stock cartoon characters who play to a pre-determined political script.

    When it comes to difficult public behavior, Blaine gets by far the most attention in these threads, but in the larger world he’s hardly alone in his ways and represents a common archetype. Over time, I’ve come to recognize that his style of public discourse very much mimics that of fanatical, vocal pro-Israeli activists. It’s as if he’s holding a mirror up to these people, reflecting back their own strident, deeply-partisan anger & negativity. I don’t care for Blaine’s style, either, or others similar to him, but will note here that the other side has many who act much the same way, some of whom get far more press attention than he does.

    And I’d like to thank Steve (comments 66 and 71), Pete (comment 69) and Kerry (139) for bringing to me and to others some basic understanding of how the boycott campaign evolved and of the various personalities involved. They’ve provided a sense of interrelationship, as well as some conflict, between individuals and groups of different outlooks. The nuance is appreciated.

    Some boycott opponents in this discussion maintain that any focus on Israeli transgressions is unfair when so much ugliness goes on throughout the world. Yet, what happens in Israel — or in Egypt or Jordan or Columbia — does matter more than in most places outside the U.S. due to the enormous sums in foreign aid these countries receive, with Israel receiving the most. A “special focus” on the behavior of Israel’s government is entirely fair, particularly since our U.S. tax dollars underwrote the violent Gaza invasion several months ago, making it all possible. It’s as if we ourselves chose to invade Gaza, but then decided to hire a proxy army to carry out the dirty work for us. Due to the sums involved, Israel/Palestine essentially becomes a U.S. domestic policy concern.

       —yet another aging boomer    Jun. 16 '09 - 06:45AM    #
  162. There is at least one link to the video in the thread above. If you think a post has been removed, it may have been an action of our automated system, or you may be banned. Email us with specifics at for more information.

    A couple of the posts were made by a person (or people) who has repeatedly violated our site guidelines. We ask that you choose a consistent screename and email. If you put nonsense characters or some variation of stop[xyz] as your email, you may be banned. If you change your username every couple of posts, you may be banned.

       —Matt Hampel    Jun. 16 '09 - 08:14AM    #
  163. This comment from Michael Schills has been moved from the budget thread


    The moderation of the co-op election threads has been ridiculously biased. Comments as old as two weeks have disappeared with no explanation. The thread was closed for about 16 hours, with no announcement or explanation. This occurred immediately after questions started being raised regarding the election.

    On-topic comments (unlike #6 ) by the pro boycott people are summarily removed (except for today, so far) if they reveal their agenda by picking a handle like “pro boycott”, while some of the comments from the anti-boycott people include (only) personal attacks, but are allowed to stay.

    Since Arbor Update is unwilling to treat the issue fairly, then why start the threads? Why put forth such a distorted version of the discussion?

    (Yes, this comment is off-topic but it was in reply to #8 and besides, when is the moderation ever the topic of a thread?)

    —Michael Schils Jun. 15 ’09 – 11:43PM

    (Comment # 8 that Michael references is here)

       —Matt Hampel    Jun. 16 '09 - 08:28AM    #
  164. Matt, my comment belongs in the thread I put it because I was commenting to Vivienne Armentrout’s “THANKS to you guys who maintain Arbor Update”. No thanks to the biased moderation in this thread was my remark to that, and ironically, the moving of my comment to this thread did not contradict my point. OK, that was snarky. I apologize. I’m tired and I must get some sleep. Peace.

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 16 '09 - 09:01AM    #
  165. Re Post#161: I would agree that the main problem that those who are active with respect to the Israel/Palestine issue is that they frame it as black-and-white problem as opposed to varying shades of grey on each side. Likewise, there is no single and simple answer but only possible complex and changing solutions given the dynamics inherent in the geopolitics of the region.

    To compare it to the South African apartheid issue or the American Indian or African-American struggle oversimplifies the matter as the Palestinian controversy is unique in many ways and requires separate analyses at varying levels.

    The Jewish and Arab populations of Palestine lived at peace with each other for 2,000 years under varying occupying powers. Jewish immigrants began establishing their separate nationalistic identity in Palestine commencing with the kibbutz movement and this sense of Jewish nationalism accelerated with the influx of Jewish refugees from Europe during and after World War II. Author Thomas Friedman has indicated in his voluminous writings that the State of Israel could have never been created without the Eastern European refugees that eventually formed the bulk of the political and military leadership that organized the independence of the Jewish state in 1948. It was their attitudes, independence, and toughness that were the key buildng blocks into turning the Zionist dream into a reality.

    During the last sixty years there has been varying degrees of violence by both sides against the other. The respective Jewish and Arab peace movements have never achieved the political power or popularity to underwrite a comprehensive peace treaty similar to the laudable efforts of Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin in 1977 when the Camp David accords were negotiated and eventually ratified by the Israeli Knesset. The failures of the Oslo Accords and Wye Agreement are stark examples of incomplete and ineffective deal-making. The Gush Emunim settler movement and rightist parties in Israel, on one hand, and Arab extremists such as Islamic Jihad and Hamas, on the second hand, have swelled in popularity in the last 15 years; this has further complicated the peace process.

    The Palestinian people have been systematically humiliated by a system in Israel and the occupied territories that treats them as inferior and suspicious due to their ethnicity. The Israeli military and police personnel are demeaned by being ordered by their government to perform as agents of this unfair system. The Palestinians in the West Bank have been under continuous martial law for over 40 years governed by the “Civil Administration” of Israel. The U.S. government has funded this inequitable hellish system for decades. The Palestinians must be given their own territory free of Israeli military occupation, their own free market and free elections, their own armed forces, and secure borders. They are currently being asked to be the only nation on Earth with no right to possess an army. With an army for Palestine , there will be no need for suicide bombers, missile strikes on Israeli towns, or similar behavior.

    Which takes us back to boycott as an effective tool to punish Israel, which is the subject of this thread. My opinion is that the most effective force for peace is diplomatic pressure by the U.S. and European Union to negotiate and enforce a lasting diplomatic solution. The average citizen should be applying pressure to U.S. Congress and the respective political parties to consider all possible diplomatic alternatives and pursue that goal.

    While the boycott movement successfully shines a spotlight on the Palestine issue, it fails, and has failed to convince sufficient numbers of Jewish-Americans and U.S. citizens at large to create a broad-based appeal to render it an effective method of protest. There were not huge numbers of South Africans in this country in the 1970s and 80s to embrace and promote apartheid, but a great number Jewish-Americans promote Israel and will continue to promote the Israeli system no matter what. The pro-Palestine boycott movement has divided thus far rather than united U.S citizens, Jews and Arabs in this counrty. This is the fundamental difference between the grape boycotts to help the farm workers and South African products boycotts, since most Americans can agree that one side is clearly wrong and the other an unjust victim of that wrong.

    While I do respect the motivations of the BIG activists and their sincerity, I believe their energies would be better directed elsewhere. They are correct in their identification of legitimate problems and inequities perpetrated by the Israeli government that has led to the killing and maiming of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians over the last 60 years. We, however, need to see,on both sides, more constructive approaches to guide that area toward a lasting and just peace, which in my opinion can only come from Israeli, Palestinian, American and European Union diplomatic channels.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 16 '09 - 09:02AM    #
  166. i ( against by now reflexive habit)applaud mark koroi’s above, or much of it ,and also much of YAAB’s..wish such stuff came in from the more moderate BIG- ers ( note:i didnt say ‘BIG-ots” in their case!)earlier ,instead of their seeming to legalistically ( and endlessly) back-stop the most destructive/counterproductive personnel vis a vis any sensible discussion of real issues ..e.g herskovitz, loucks, smith, the kinnucoleman “colonel” and those that have been their vocal apologists ( eg kerry d and assorted others )…these folks, who have always been far more about themselves than the middle east’s real problems,all need to “get gone” from the palestine/israel discussion and mark k. seems to acknowledge that, although not naming names….anyway, always grateful for humble gifts, and better late than never.hope he now doesnt become a target of the above as a “crypto zionist facist racist cutthroat coward traitor” , as seems to be their ‘M.O.” with anyone who disagrees with them to any degree whatsoever…

       —theo    Jun. 16 '09 - 04:09PM    #
  167. Returning again to this thread for a minute, I want to say that Mark K’s comment a couple entries ago is a fine addition to what I wrote last night, and it provides some excellent complementary points.

    Also, in regard to theo’s phrase, “better late than never” in his comment right above (referring more to Mark’s comment, probably), I’ll plead guilty to not tackling some points much earlier. The excerpt from Charles’ comment which I quoted at the start, motivated the brain to focus more squarely on the recent use of the boycott process at the co-op and get more specific about why I’ve felt a general unease with its choice as a tactic in this instance.

       —yet another aging boomer    Jun. 17 '09 - 02:24AM    #
  168. nice to see yours too YAAB…fyi ,an excellent response to peter schermerhorns attempt at categorizing the BIG- ers into discrete categories is in limited, non-thread , circulation and peter himself has taken some of its points in the right spirit…essentially it suggests that in many well documented instances his “ethnography” describes “distinctions without real difference’ ( e.g quakers defending the supposedly marginal blaine coleman…per kerry d..or standing in solidarity with herskovitz as he hassles synagogue goers( which is just plain vile)..again certain key names need real unambiguous purging from any credible group seeking to redress/address middle eastern grievances…

       —theo    Jun. 17 '09 - 03:06AM    #
  169. Last night, the comment below was comment #169, before it was apparently removed.

    Post # 165 seems to have all the time in the world to wait for boycott or some other means, to may be work, or not.

    First of all, can you please tell me where these “thousands of Israelis” whom have been he killed and maimed are? Or is it just a round number you came up with for 60 years of Israeli occupation of Palestine?

    Secondly, as a person from the Middle East, mindful of U.S. and Israeli military expansion all over the Middle East, and U.S. and Israeli drone strikes killing more and more innocent people in the region, somehow I do not feel good about waiting to see things work out somehow, one way or another, may be.

    I much rather take a lesson from the Iranians who are marching for democracy and against occupation of Palestine and the whole of the Middle East as we speak.

    Can’t wait no more. Boycott Israel NOW!

    —Can’t wait no more. Jun. 16 ’09 – 07:28PM #

    I can think of no valid reason for removing this comment. It was obviously relevant, as it was responding to a previous comment’s argument against the boycott. (Mark, you can respond if you wish, as I am also curious if you have a source for the “thousands of Israelis” you mentioned.)

    This thread has been relentlessly “moderated” to exclude pro-boycott comments. This comment I’m submitting should not be removed for being “off topic” as the heavy footprint of the moderation here has made itself a topic. I’m only providing a public service by alerting everyone to the fact that those that can be generally trusted can start to behave very strangely when the subject of Israel/Palestine comes up.

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 17 '09 - 05:57PM    #
  170. Michael, that comment was removed for a confluence of reasons: its poster had used several screen names in the last couple of days, frequently submits similar comments one after another, and leaves a different gibberish email each time.

    (I’ve mentioned these reasons twice before in this thread.)

       —Matt Hampel    Jun. 17 '09 - 06:38PM    #
  171. re schils’/matt’s above, several points: ..

    -if schils is using the site cynically to repost deleted posts why is he getting away with it when AU is on to his game? – in any case, add schils to my above list of suggested “purgees” from any serious middle-east discussion.

    - re “can’t wait“s rant: s/he lost no time in trashing koroi as i knew he/she would ( im pretty sure it’s blaine coleman’s wife).

    -interesting that “cant wait” cites the current unrest in Iran as good, since it’s directed against the very regime that has supported her beloved lebanese and palestinian extremists (i.e hizbollah and hamas)….

       —theo    Jun. 17 '09 - 07:01PM    #
  172. “I’m only providing a public service by alerting everyone to the fact that those that can be generally trusted can start to behave very strangely when the subject of Israel/Palestine comes up.”

    You’re welcome to provide that public service—elsewhere. If you want to start a site that does nothing but publish everything AU doesn’t, go for it. Really, it’s easy. We’d link to it. I think it’d be hilarious.

       —Bruce Fields    Jun. 17 '09 - 08:20PM    #
  173. I’ll take you up on that, Bruce, although I’ve only been paying attention a small portion of the time, so I don’t know how many comments were quietly removed (“unpublished”?) when I wasn’t looking. Please send me a log of all the comments that have been removed so that my first post (titled, “The Comments Arbor Update Doesn’t Want You to See”) on my new blog will be complete. I doubt that everyone you work with is as proud of this arbitrary censorship as you seem to be.

    Matt, which comment was the comment you removed similar to? Another one that you deleted? It directly responded to the “activism through inaction”-argument that has only recently been raised against the boycott.

    I wonder how you would know for sure if someone has used more than one screen name. The IP address would only show that it may have come from the same computer. You allowed David Cahill and his wife’s comments, although I’m fairly certain they would have showed as coming from the same IP address.

    But what difference does it make if anonymous users don’t use consistent names? Are they not being the same anonymous person they first said they were? Seeing the way that for a while there, you summarily deleted all the comments submitted by “pro boycott” (probably solely because of the name) I wouldn’t blame the participant for choosing a different handle.

    I would think that the only reason for disallowing multiple anonymous screen names would be if some kind of deception were being attempted. Like playing both sides of an argument, for instance. I, myself, have used only my first name when I didn’t necessarily want to identify myself to some racist idiots I was having a discussion with. (They may be dumb, but they can look up names in phone books.) My multiple screen name infraction must have escaped your watchful eye. That’s interesting that you allowed the vile comments by the racists to remain because it was part of the “real” discussion, you said. But now you apparently don’t want this boycott discussion to be so “real” as to include comments in support of the boycott. A few get through (when you’re asleep?), but the disproportion in number resulting from the deletions distorts the perception of the discussion. Also, some of your deletions contained unique points that had not been raised before. (Go ahead, Bruce, ask me to prove that.)

    Your reason that a valid email must be submitted is similar. Do you need to verify the participant is the same anonymous person they say they are? Again, that doesn’t make any sense. I can understand why the requirement is used to prevent spam, but once you saw that the comment was not spam, you should have waived the valid email requirement.

    Your reasons just seem like opaque and unverifiable excuses to arbitrarily prune the discussion. If the reasons you give now were the reasons you had when you deleted the comment above, then why didn’t you leave a marker giving your reasons? (Like you did when you moved my comment from the other thread.) Again, your stealth manner raises questions regarding your objectivity.

    You haven’t responded to the questions regarding if “The Colonel” has been banned, or to my allegations that one of his comments was removed two weeks after he posted it, and that this thread was quietly closed for about 16 hours when questions regarding the election were being raised. So we can only assume that all are true and that the reasons were similarly arbitrary.

    The previous comment shows that you have at least one supporter. (S)he even encourages you to ramp up your efforts a bit and ban me, also. This coming from someone who has repeatedly encouraged the closing of this thread, but has posted more comments here than anybody, most of which after (s)he said (s)he was leaving.

    If you both don’t want our little discussion to distract from the subject of this thread, then you should start a new thread, “How do you feel about the moderation of the co-op election threads?”, and move all of our recent comments into it. But something tells me that you are both hesitant about such self-reflection. I doubt if the support for such arbitrary moderation is unanimous with all of the other AU contributors, who may not even know it is happening. But if such is shown to be the case, then I will shut up about it. (Please pardon the length of this post, but I had a lot to say.)

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 17 '09 - 09:57PM    #
  174. thanks bruce for responding mostly appropriately to mr schils in 172..its also good that your site left his crude effort up to show just how sleazy the defeated pro- boycott fantics can be…i believe, however, that these people do have alot of such sites already, but they’re not all that ‘hilarious’ unless one finds near-psychotic fanatical bigotry amusing..i’d imagine some folks at the Holocaust museum arent amused by such..

       —goilem    Jun. 17 '09 - 10:00PM    #
  175. Is anyone on this thread familiar with what Hamas proclaims its goals to be?
    To those who propose boycotts: what do you see as the role of our co-op in addressing Hamas’ violence a) towards israelis, b) towards other Palestinians? c) indoctrination of palestinian children?

       —3-times-a-day-co-oper    Jun. 17 '09 - 10:15PM    #
  176. Clarification, in my reference to the support this arbitrary moderation has from the anti-boycott-ers, by “previous comment” I was referring to Theo’s.

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 17 '09 - 10:37PM    #
  177. apropos of schils’173 on his new site ( which sound’s like it’ll join such other cyber-sweeties, produced /frequented by many of those we’ve come to know and love on this thread, such as as “fuckisrael”, ‘zionistsout”, ‘electronic jihad’):

    anyone wishing to contribute to a fund for the family of the slain guard at the Holocaust Museum (a victim of the malice spread by such as the above) can send such support to:

    american Jewish Committee
    1156 15th st NW ( suite 1201)
    wash dc 20005…attt: melanie pell

       —goilem    Jun. 18 '09 - 12:46AM    #
  178. To the managers of ArborUpdate:

    Is goilem (or the person who passes the theo duck test) going to be given any warnings or have his/her posts removed for the same reasons “Can’t wait no more” had his/her posts removed? According to

    “In Jewish folklore, a golem (גולם, sometimes, as in Yiddish, pronounced goilem) is an animate being created entirely from inanimate matter. In modern Hebrew the word golem literally means “cocoon”, but can also mean “fool”, “silly”, or even “stupid”. The name appears to derive from the word gelem (גלם), which means “raw material”.[citation needed] Alternatively some sources[which?] indicate it is a corruption of the Hebrew go′al ‘enu (גואלנו) our redeemer or our avenger, this version is supported by the 16th century Prague ghetto stories (see below).

       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    Jun. 18 '09 - 03:08AM    #
  179. chuck (non) board candidate: with your “duck tests” again…well in this case i am in fact taking some weight off of my good friend “theo” who persuaded me as to the fun to be had here, but who felt increasingly bored responding to the same tired old stuff and people ( e.g. you)..anyway good on the scholarship, if wikepedia counts as such. wish your sense of middle east and world history was as informed.. per yours i do indeed think of myself as like the golem of prague ,i.e. a sort of menschy HULK ( and not at all stupid) who combats anti semites/anti zionists/ BIGots or whatever the euphemism du jour may be…not a bad activity nowadays . better than yours certainly..

       —goilem    Jun. 18 '09 - 04:14AM    #
  180. OK, everybody, time out. This discussion thread is entitled “People’s Food Co-op Election Results” and yet it has been a good while since this election ended, May 31st to be precise, and also a while since anything resembling those results have been discussed. Certainly nothing new or relevant to that topic has shown up here for some time now.

    Hint, people: time to put it to rest. The PFC and its mission, policies, and goals are being attended to by the board and its members while painstakingly being overlooked in this thread (primarily by the BIGots) just as it was in the pre-election discussion, “People’s Food Co-op Elections.”

    Summary: Four candidates ran for the PFC board. All members presumably received their ballots in more than a timely manner as I and many others I know did. We all had a more than reasonable time to study the candidates and their issues (or in two people’s case, issue, heavy emphasis on the singular). Those members that cared enough to vote made an unambiguous, ringing decision. In their wisdom and sense for what are truly relevant Co-op issues and for who would by far best serve their interests in furthering the ends of the PFC, they overwhelmingly elected Jeff McCabe and Rebecca Kanner. At the same time, for the third time in less than two years, the PFC voting members also resoundingly dealt what should be a death blow to the BIGot agenda.

    So, I’ll say it one more time: Congratulations to Jeff and Rebecca! Since the losers will obviously never be big enough (even if they are more than BIGoted enough) to concede defeat and offer a hand of cooperation to the winning candidates to further the true goals of the Co-op, it is proof positive that they have no love of the PFC, do not have its interests at heart, and only care to keep parading their own obsessive and constantly rebuffed agenda before people who will have none of it.

    Just the fact that an EX-candidate continues to cynically and pompously refer to himself as “Charles Loucks, Board Candidate” alone demonstrates that we made the absolutely correct decision in rejecting his and Herskovitz’s politics of disdain, division, disruption, obsession, and extremism. A “leader” so insecure as to fantasize that he is somehow still in the running when he’s certainly not is a “leader” whom we can do very well without. Or, is Mr. Loucks a permanent candidate, a Harold Stassen of the PFC? Oh, wait a second. Here’s a more apposite analogy, the Lyndon Larouche of the Co-op. Or wait, is that his running mate?

    So, really, supporters of the losing candidates and said candidates themselves, go out to the Huron River or Gallup Park and—as at least one of you is a fan of a particular species of water fowl—gaze at the ducks. Maybe that will calm you down…who knows?

    As a very wise person—not a duck—said above, time to really put this thing out of its misery.

    Oh, and Goylem? Good one! We need your brain and brawn to ward off the enemies of good sense, tranquility, and balanced reasoning.

    Good night and sweet dreams.

       —Mike    Jun. 18 '09 - 05:33AM    #
  181. Theo, I’m assuming from your message (#168) which states in part “ … standing in solidarity with herskovitz as he hassles synagogue goers( which is just plain vile)…” that (a) you are unhappy with our vigils and (b) wish they would cease.

    We hold these vigils at Beth Israel in part because that institution is used as a center for nationalist support for the state of israel. The Congregation counters with their claim that the institution is a place of worship.

    If I’m right that you’d like to see the vigils cease at 2000 Washtenaw, here’s a suggestion (not a demand, merely a suggestion): Ask Rabbi Dobrusin, or the Board of Directors at Beth Israel, to prove to the Ann Arbor community that they are indeed a place of worship by removing the flag of a foreign country which currently is displayed on the bima in the sanctuary. And ask them to remove the “Prayer for the State of Israel” found on p. 149 of the Siddur Sim Shalom (1998).

    Readers should know the time-line of events, and its significance:

    1. Rabbi Dobrusin was approached with a request that our stories of our experiences in Palestine be related to congregants at a weekday evening meeting convened by him or a Board member at Beth Israel.

    2. The Board/Rabbi refused our request to address members of the Congregation.

    3. We initiated and maintained our weekly, peaceful and silent vigils.

    4. The ball is now, and has been for over five and a half years, in the Board/Rabbi’s court. We have yet to be approached with an offer on their part which would aid us in deciding to end the vigils.

    Remove the flag from the sanctuary, remove a short prayer which calls upon God to “crown their [IDF soldiers] efforts with triumph”, and the vigils at Beth Israel will cease.

    Theo, if you’re sincere that you’d like the vigils to stop, please consider and act on the above suggestion.

    We await your results.

       —Henry Herskovitz    Jun. 18 '09 - 07:01AM    #
  182. Henry, you’re not a duck, but the rear part of same. You keep retreading the same, stupid arguments to justify your vile synagogue stalking and use the euphemism “vigil” for harassment. “Silent,” huh? Your Nazi inspired signs and picketing scream pretty loudly.

    About the flag, genius, it doesn’t seem to bother you that the Episcopalian Church flies the flag of England in the front of all its churches or that Greek Orthodox churches display the flag of Greece in theirs, Ukrainian and Polish flags are proudly flown in churches with descendants of those countries, etc. BTW, Beth Israel also proudly displays an American flag in the primary position of honor, stage right, at the front of the synagogue.

    Your hatred for all things Jewish and Israeli including our flag is such a clear indicator of your self-hatred and antisemitism, it doesn’t even call for discussion, something of which you are totally incapable anyway as you have all the answers.

    How dare you presume to think you can tell a whole congregation of which you are not even a member or regular participant what they should do!? You are—as your own interlocutor from anti-Israel NIMN stated pretty emphatically on your hate-filled website—arrogant and pompous. Not to mention a one-issue fanatic and ego-inflated hypocrite. You’re also so full of yourself, so starved for attention.

    You have virtually no support for your obsession, but you just can’t take a hint, can you?

    And, as stated above, you not only have nothing to add, but you are still not on the topic of this thread and can’t own up to the fact that you and your shaky one-plank platform have been utterly defeated and have no resonance whatever in this town.

       —Mike    Jun. 18 '09 - 07:28AM    #
  183. Regarding the extremist thought that has stifled a progressive peace effort, Forward reporter Nathaniel Popper recounted an interview with a Chabad rabbi published several days ago in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on the extent of violence that Israel should use in the time of war; this interview generated a great deal of controversy. See

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 18 '09 - 10:38AM    #
  184. Sorry, that link should have been

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 18 '09 - 10:44AM    #
  185. thanks henry for yours (181) above …it makes it absolutuely clear in your own words that your mentality is identical to the “convert or die” types that you champion..and your ‘non violence ‘ is about as sincere as the guy who hires a hitman instead of having the guts to do the job himself.

    its always best to get such stuff from the “horses mouth” ( other end in this case)

       —goilem    Jun. 18 '09 - 02:11PM    #
    as i’m about to go offline for a few days i wanted to address an ongoing theme in this thread from both sides..i.e. “who’s who“among those posting?…im less concerned with the identity of ‘the colonel” or non-candidate chuck’s endless contradictory “duck tests” than an issue suggested by henry’s 181 above:

    his smarmy and arrogant justification for his synagogue harassment ( and yeah harassment it is!)
    , to be more precise than i was immediately above in my 185,is in its logic remarkably like the Al qaeda “P.r.” produced by the other rogue jewish boy Adam pearlman Gadahn ( reborn as “azzam al amriki”, and currently on the lam with osama in pakistan)…ie if the world converts to their version of islam al qaeda terrorism will cease).

    my question: henry has frequently noted that he’s been ostracized by much of his family (and good for them!), which suggests there are still a few relatives who WILL give him the time of day. is adam/azzam from that latter part of henry’s family? if so i’d love to know what’s discussed at their Purim festivities and seders.

       —theo    Jun. 18 '09 - 03:02PM    #
  187. re 186…whoops!…oh well…“tomato/tomahto”..chuck, your duck test was right ,in this case anyway…but to be fair to the site managers ( whose BIGot critics have been the ones to most often try to “spam” it with multiple identities while complaining about others doing the same) the site has a straightforward and correct policy against simultaneous multiple identities, but allow names to be changed ( to another consistent single identity ) with their prior knowledge, which was scrupulously done in this case.

    anyway if one shouldnt drink and drive, it’s not a good idea to” post before coffee” either.

    goilem ( formerly known as “theo”)

       —goilem    Jun. 18 '09 - 03:18PM    #
  188. henry do you recognize israels right to exist or do you expect the coop and synagogue to join you in calling for its destruction?

       —angry coop member    Jun. 18 '09 - 04:52PM    #
  189. “which was scrupulously done in this case.”

    No. As was explained to you when you asked, we prefer that people pick a single name and stick to it—but if you want to change, we request that you at least state that you’re doing so.

    Interpreting that as permission to change your name if you fess up later is pushing it.

       —Bruce Fields    Jun. 18 '09 - 06:47PM    #
  190. The only reason theo/goilem “fessed up” is because (s)he inadvertently used the “theo” identity at #186 . This was probably due to him/her switching back to a computer (s)he was using earlier in the thread, at #171 and before, when (s)he was posting as “theo”. This mistake was critical in exposing the dual identity deception, because in the same comment (#186), (s)he refers to “my 185” which had the “goilem” identity attached to it.

    Individuals of a limited intellect (and coffee) should never try to pull something like this off.

    Earlier in the thread, after the theo/goilem switch, Mr. Loucks noticed the similar writing style and content and refers to “goilem” as “the person who passes the theo duck test” at #178 The individual responds, posting as “goilem” at #179 and tries to preserve the dual-identity deception by saying that “theo” is a “good friend” that became bored and “persuaded” him/her (goilem) to take over.

    Due to the embarrassment of being exposed, the individual posting as theo/goilem will now discard both identities and adopt a new one, so (s)he can continue littering this thread with inane and repetitive comments, which around here aren’t considered nearly as bad as those damn pro-boycott comments.

    “Oh what a wicked web we weave…”

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 18 '09 - 07:53PM    #
  191. Actually, Mr. Schils (#190 at present), at least Theo/Goilem actually asked (or informed) the moderators that s/he was changing from Theo to Goilem as is obvious from the exchange between those screen names and Bruce Fields just above.

    And, as for name changers, the screaming headline types who support the boycott (and little else) have used so many different opinionated headlines as their screen aliases, it makes one’s head spin! And so who’s trying to fool whom?

    The boycotteers even spam onto threads on AU that have absolutely nothing to do with Israel or Palestinians by signing off a comment on trees on the thread about urban professional flight from A2 (comment #41 at present) with the screen alias of “Boycott Israel” in another weak, hardly veiled attempt at trying to push the unwanted and ever-rejected boycott agenda in a completely inappropriate place and by so doing being doubly off-topic. Now, there’s a comment and a poster that should have been banned—at least from that thread.

    And not one of the boycotteers display even a milligram of the intellectual acumen and witty genius of Theo or Goilem. His/her comments are concise, witty, sharp, and hit the mark. Even a duck can see that!

    As a few of us keep repeating—obviously no one’s listening—this thread is about the results of the Co-op board elections, which are over—you guys lost, remember?—and not about your boycott, so why don’t you just give it a rest, and try somewhere else for the same kind of utter rejection you’re sure to receive? Guess you’re completely glued to your own sticky, tangled (duck) web.

       —Mike    Jun. 18 '09 - 10:48PM    #
  192. So who on this list will suggest to Rabbi Dobrusin that he offer taking down a foreign flag from the sanctuary alter in consideration for us terminating the vigils?

    Mike, you’ve misinterpreted my “suggestion”. That’s exactly why I used the word; I’m not telling anyone – rabbi or congregation – what to do. I was responding to a concern by theo that he could do something about our silent, peaceful vigils rather than just complain about them.

    In addition to the ball being in BIC’s court, let’s understand the legitimacy of our choice of venue: we protest Israel’s atrocities in front of the “House of Israel” (Beth Israel).

    And Mike, I most definitely was a regular participant at Beth Israel. When you identify yourself, and after we get to know each other better, I’d be happy to fill you in on the details.

    Zionism is Racism. (Determined by the United Nations General Assembly 3379 (XXX) 10 November 1975 … and they never determined otherwise)

       —Henry Herskovitz    Jun. 19 '09 - 07:03AM    #
  193. Henry, you appeared in front of City Council Monday, according to the Ann Arbor Chronicle.

    Do you have any opinions on the demeanor of City Council while you addressed the Council during Public Commentary?

    We hear it has improved and members are paying attention to speakers following the recent hullabaloo over e-mails.

    Do you agree?

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 19 '09 - 07:22AM    #
  194. Mike, I was waiting to see if Bruce or somebody else was going to correct you on your misunderstanding of the theo/goilem identity switch fraud, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. So I will do it myself.

    If you read Bruce’s comment again, you’ll see that apparently the individual posting as “theo” asked the moderators if it was ok to change identities. Bruce states their reply was that they prefer there be no identity changes, but if there is a change, then the individual should at least inform everyone. (Correct me if I’m wrong here, Bruce)

    “theo” informed no one, not even the moderators, that (s)he was changing identities to “goilem”. To make matters worse, when Mr. Loucks voiced his suspicion that theo/goilem was the same individual, “goilem” responded, (#179)

    …well in this case i am in fact taking some weight off of my good friend “theo” who persuaded me as to the fun to be had here, but who felt increasingly bored responding to the same tired old stuff and people ( e.g. you) …

    So you see, not only is “goilem” denying the allegation that theo/goilem are the same individual; (s)he also invented a conversation that never occurred (”…my good friend “theo” who persuaded me…”) to service the deception that theo/goilem are two separate individuals!

    theo/goilem could have pulled off representing him/herself as two separate individuals if (s)he had not accidentally posted as “theo” at #186. (S)he immediately realized (s)he screwed up when (s)he saw the reference she made to “my 185” where (s)he had posted as “goilem”. (S)he knew she could no longer continue the charade of representing two separate individuals. So (s)he posted “whoops!…” just 16 minutes later at #187 and went into damage control mode, saying that (s)he had “scrupulously” given “prior knowledge” of the identity switch. Bruce corrected him/her by saying that giving notice of the name change after the fact was “pushing it” (#189). Bruce was extremely gracious in not mentioning theo/goilem’s intent to deceive in #179 (by misrepresenting as two separate individuals) or the fact that theo/goilem only admitted the identity switch after becoming aware that such had been exposed when (s)he accidentally posted as different individuals in #185/#186.

    I don’t know how theo/goilem’s intent to deceive by misrepresenting as two separate individuals can be any more clear, and I’m surprised nobody else has chimed in. (Maybe they’re being blocked.) But the most noticeable absence here is that we haven’t heard anything from “theo/goilem”. I would suspect that (s)he is quite embarrassed that by his/her own mistake, (s)he exposed his/her attempt to deceive. (S)he should be.

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 19 '09 - 07:32AM    #
  195. Mark, I found it very amusing to note that Councilman Greden, who almost always is pounding away at his keyboard while I speak, never touched a key during my comment time.

    Leigh, to his credit, has been forthcoming with me in our discussions. We once had coffee and he claimed authorship of the Council’s resolution “condemning” our exercise of Free Speech.

    The Mayor, Mike Anglin and Sabra Briere most often give me their attention; others to a lesser degree. All were paying more than average attention on Monday.

       —Henry Herskovitz    Jun. 19 '09 - 05:45PM    #

       —angry coop member    Jun. 19 '09 - 06:12PM    #
  197. Well that’s ridiculous that the following two comments were just removed from this thread,

    All apartheid states deserve to be abolished.

    —Beloved community Jun. 19 ’09 – 10:48AM #

    This video shows opposition to the way the Co-op election was conducted:

    Fresh demands for Boycott of Israel at People’s Food Co-op

    Board member Feldt has admitted recruiting candidates after it was clear that a boycott slate was already running. She won’t say who she recruited, or when… but you see the result.

    —Beloved community Jun. 19 ’09 – 10:56AM #


    The first was in direct response to the preceding anonymous loaded question to Mr. Herskovitz. Why was it deleted?

    The second pertains to the subject of this thread and provided a link to a video that specifically addresses how the election was conducted. There is absolutely no good reason why this comment was deleted. It was ENTIRELY on-topic, much more than “angry coop member”‘s loaded question that we’ve seen so many times before from the Support-Israel-Unconditionally crowd.

    Matt, I don’t fail to notice that this second comment you deleted was critical of Linda Diane Feldt, who you linked to earlier, for her comment defending the integrity of the election. Was this why you removed it?

    Matt (and Bruce?), as your bias has clearly manifested, you would do a service to the reputation of Arbor Update, if you would now disqualify yourself from moderation of this thread.

    Julie Weatherbee and Chuck Warpehoski, earlier in this thread you both came out in support of Matt’s moderation. But I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt on that, because you might not have been aware of just how heavy-handed and one-sided the control he has exerted over this thread has become. But now that you both have seen clear evidence of this, I’d like to receive your opinion now. At least then a segment of the participants here will know exactly where they stand with at least four of the Arbor Update contributors. (Bruce, please hold off on bringing your “you should start your own blog if you don’t like it” defense of your co-worker. He can speak for himself.)

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 19 '09 - 08:33PM    #
  198. The first post is virtually content-free, the second nothing but a repost of a link that was already posted on this thread, both appear to be from the same person who has been pulling this kind of crap under various aliases for ages. There may well be others that should be getting the same treatment, but as a basis for complaint that ranks right up there with “but officer, I wasn’t the only one speeding!”

    For the last time: you are free to track deleted posts elsewhere. Please don’t do that here.

       —Bruce Fields    Jun. 19 '09 - 09:03PM    #
  199. Well I apologize, Matt, for assuming it was you who made these deletion decisions. Now I see that it must have been Bruce because he is giving the specific reasons for why he made the deletions.

    The video was posted to YouTube exactly a week ago. I don’t see where it was posted to this thread prior to today.

    Bruce, when you say “both appear to be from the same person who has been pulling this kind of crap under various aliases for ages” I assume you are talking about Blaine. Do you mean you have information that specifically links these comments to him (like the IP address), or do you just mean that it looks like something he would post?

    Your comparison to the complaint to the officer is not accurate. The complaint would be more like, “but officer, why are you only pulling over people who have the same color skin as I?”

    And when you warn me, “For the last time”, do you mean that I am about to become “disappeared” like “The Colonel”, who was apparently banned with some of his comments deleted from the archives after making comments you may have took personal exception to? (See #15, #28 #33

       —Michael Schils    Jun. 19 '09 - 10:38PM    #
  200. “I don’t see where it was posted to this thread prior to today.”

    Look again.

    “I assume you are talking about Blaine.”


    Enough. Take this to if you’d like.

       —Bruce Fields    Jun. 19 '09 - 10:55PM    #
  201. oy vey michael. get over your persecution complex.
    how come nobody will answer my simple question — do henry and chuck, leaders of the pro-boycott movement, think israel has a right to exist? this gets to the crux of the matter, i think — if you are asking us to join a movement that calls for the destruction of israel, that’s one thing. if you are asking us to do what the coop can to promote fairness and human rights, that’s another. BIG difference.

       —angry coop member    Jun. 19 '09 - 10:56PM    #
  202. Michael, just a few quick responses to your post:

    1. Part of why I support Matt’s moderation is because he has the stomach to keep following this thread even though it has turned into a sewer of recrimination, attacks, and juvenile pettiness (and I see that on both sides). I have not patience for it.

    2. If we really wanted to censor, we never would have put this topic up.

    3. Regarding the removing of posts, part of this is a bug in how this software deals with IP banning. When we see spamming and trolling from specific IPs, sometimes we use the “ban IP” feature in the software. The problem with that is it goes back and deletes all posts from that IP. I wish it didn’t do that so we didn’t have to deal with this kind of question, but that’s how it is.

    4. Really, if you want unmoderated conversation, check out mlive or It’s mostly vitriolic ranting, and I would like AU to be better.

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Jun. 19 '09 - 11:33PM    #
  203. Please, Chuck, get your facts straight – MLive is a hive of scum and villainy .

       —Edward Vielmetti    Jun. 19 '09 - 11:45PM    #
  204. Well, before we get too far down the scum and villainy, we’re closing comments here. Matt and Bruce were the ones pushing to keep this open, but they’ve been out-voted by those of us who think this has just gotten to harsh.

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Jun. 20 '09 - 12:04AM    #