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Saturday, April 07, 2007

School District 15 Tidbits

First, and most pressing, I need to inform my commenting community that Adam Feder, (Pamela Greenbaum's attorney), has identified the comments whose authors' he would like to see identified by Google. In a letter to the court, he said:
As per the stipulation So Ordered by the Hon. Marcy Friedman, please supply the ISP and IP addresses to the following posts:

a. Anonymous 7:19 PM
"Pam Greenbaum is a bigot and really should not be on the board"

b. Anonymous 10;19 PM
"Greenbaum is smarter than she seems, unfortunately there is a significant group of voters who can't get enough of her bigotry."

c. Anonymous 10:27 PM
"Greenbaum is not to be believed"

d. Anonymous 12:18 AM
"She is also ugly"

e. Anonymous 10:55 PM
"I heard that the majority of the board members support childabuse screening. Pam Greenbaum, refusing to ever agree with an Orthodox Jew, now opposes protecting children.
I've seen more maturity from kindergarten kids...what a stupid case of reverse psychology. Get a life, Pam. Even the public school parents (me) think you're pushing things too far."

f. Anonymous 10:46 PM
"I think you're reading her wrong. Pam is not only refusing to agree with an Orthodox Jew, she is also safeguarding the interests of the teacher's union"
Ok. That's all for the comments that the dynamic duo of Feder/Greenbaum have identified as defamatory. First and most important, if you are the author of any of these comments, please feel free to contact me, if you have any worries about maintaining your anonymity. And please rest assured that I and my lawyers intend to protect your right to anonymous free speech as zealously as we are trying to protect my own.

Now, for the meat. This letter Feder has sent out only shows how absurd and ridiculous this claim really is. The fact that an attorney of law can claim that any of these comments are defamatory is surprising. Even more surprising is the fact that Feder is seriously attempting to strip the anonymity of commenters who make statements such as "Greenbaum is not to be believed". Are we to take seriously the claims of a man who would like to strip someone's First Amendment right to anonymous free speech for simply stating that someone is "not to be believed", with no further qualifying comments on the statement??? Is this guy for real??? By setting the bar so low, it seems to me that Feder is going to have a heap of trouble making the case for any of the other comments he identified. Watch out world! If you say someone is "not to be believed" in an anonymous forum, you are risking getting stripped of your First Amendment rights - no matter your intention in making that statement!!

Another point: what ever happened to Greenbaum's and Feder's sworn affirmations that not only I, but my commenters, called her "anti-Semitic"? Never mind? Of course no one ever called her an anti-Semite. I've been saying all along that they clearly misrepresented that salient point in their filing. Also? They still have not shown where I make the comment against Greenbaum that they claim is defamatory. Of course, I know that the reason for that is because the supposedly defamatory comments made by me do not actually exist.

One last point: a careful reader might note that the comment calling Pamela Greenbaum "ugly" (though that happens, in any event, to not be an actionable claim - offensive as the subject may find the term) is not actually located anywhere on my blog. That is because I deleted the comment within hours of it being posted, months before this idiotic court case was initiated. My personal policy on non-substantive attacks such as those has always been to delete them, as they add zero to the discussion. So memo to Adam Feder: there always existed a somewhat simpler method of getting me to delete comments one may find offensive - certainly simpler than writing letter to judges with preposterous claims of defamation.

I will venture to say that Feder's letter shows how tenuous this case really is. What Feder and Greenbaum are asking is for a judge to rule that they are making a strong enough case for defamation that the speakers' First Amendment rights should be jettisoned. I certainly don't think they have done so.


In other news, Pamela Greenbaum seems to have flip-flopped on her decision of a few weeks ago not to run in the upcoming school board election:
The three public-school candidates are incumbent Pam Greenbaum, Andrew Levey of Atlantic Beach and Maribel Camcelliere of Lawrence.
Of course the Herald article mentions her candidacy as if she hadn't just publicly and clearly stated her decision to withdraw from the race - which is a bit odd. The article also strangely makes no mention of the lawsuit Greenbaum has filed, which I can't imagine anyone feels is irrelevant to the upcoming race. The article does bring up a lovely quote though, which it appears was made by Greenbaum in the aftermath of her win in the 2004 election:
In 2004 Greenbaum won a full-three year term on the board with a decisive victory over challenger Shlomo Huttler. "I'm in it for the long haul," she said. "I'm there fighting for your kids. We must beat them and get them off the board."
Who's "them"? Let's just say I won't spell out what I'm thinking, out of deference to Adam Feder's very loose interpretation of what constitutes defamation.

38 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

whoo hoo, just want to be the first to post. i don't have anything insightful to add, only, "greenbaum (and her lawyer) really can't be believed."

have fun tomorrow, preparing for the second days.

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this case gets stupider and stupider. Feder is not to be believed!

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You give Greenbaum and her dream team too much credit just by blogging about her "case"

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthomom, where can we view a copy of the submissions to the court of the Greenbaum/Feder team?
Curious Jew

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Orthomom, where can we view a copy of the submissions to the court of the Greenbaum/Feder team?
Curious Jew


Right here.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe this is the worst kind of yellow journalism - Greenbaum never said she would never consider running for the board - just another case of bad reporting by orthomom. Why don't you just write the truth, Greenbaum always left the door open to run again. Read the article more carefully.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we now know who you are >>>>
We will expose you

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Jesse Mistero supporting that pig Sussman?

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

Feder's name should be next to AMBULANCE CHASER & FLAMING OPPORTUNIST in Martindale Hubbell.

Doesn't he realize that this case is going to get every Judge in the district to laugh at him over their 3 o'clock martinis? Meaning that NONE of his future cases will ever be taken seriously.

Feder - your career is on the line! You are emptying Ms. Greenbaum's bank account at the same time.

All those comments are subjective and subjective comments aren't actionable. If they are then I am in the wrong country.

(((Orthomom))))

9:42 AM  
Blogger triLcat said...

Orthomom,
after reading this.. I have only three things to say to all of your readers...
1. you are not to be believed
2. you are ugly.
3. your mother dresses you funny!!!!!

now I've defamed you...

come sue...

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, now, I guess, many more people than those fortunate enough to actually know Paul Kramer know what an as*hole he is.

9:40 PM


Anonymous said...
I love it when people try to mitigate their a**holeness by simply admitting to it.

My family and another were once invited to a third friend's house for Shabbat dinner. The third friend allegedly kept a kosher home. While helping to clean up, my friend went to scrape off a plate into the garbage where a Purdue chicken wrapper laid right on top.

I also know someone whose sister snuck chometz into her home while staying there for Pesach.

11:00 PM


Anonymous said...
Oy. The thought of the people who tell me they are being careful about certain things doing what this guy did gives me a stomachache. Let's just say that I have a non orthodox brother-in-law who is an a**hole also.

11:17 PM


Anonymous said...
Sometimes when my kosher friend comes over I trick him into eating ham and cheese sandwitches. Jews don't believe in hell, right?

2:26 AM


Shmendrik said...
Atually anonymous, many do. Not for accidentally eating ham, though. Tricking people into eating ham, though...

4:04 AM

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lone Bochur said...
Two wrongs don't make a right. I would expect Orthomom, as a parent, to be familiar with this refrain.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous I know said...

Anonymous said...
I know a secret! Shhhhhh...OM is Mansdorf's wife...shhhhhhh.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous I know too said...

Orthomom is really Mrs. Sussman........SHHHH

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, I read that Blisko is going to run again as well as a man by the last name of Marcus from Woodmere.

Very interesting.

Also, the lady, Maribel lives in Inwood, not Lawrence. Her kids go to school at # 2 School. I met her when her kids were going to # 4 with mine.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yellow journalism? I read the jewish star article. Pam says clearly "as of today, I am not running". You can say that she left the door open. I say so what if she did. If she clearly said a week ago that she had dropped out of the race, then om is exactly right that the Herald article should have mentioned that. Either the herald is sloppy beyond belief, or they are the yellow journalists here.

6:50 PM  
Blogger DovBear said...

It really impresses me that you can continue to write so well when you are under so much pressure. Keep fighting the good fight, OM

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I detect a ton of worry about the lawsuit behind all of the bravado. And for good reason!

12:26 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

I draw two conclusions from the list of allegedly objectionable quotes:

(1) The lawsuit is really silly and the attorney who filed it should be embarassed. Public figures get far worse from the hands of people like Ann Coulter, who once again demonstrated inability to distinguish fact from fiction in her latest *Jewish Press* interview:

http://charliehall.blogspot.com/2007/04/ann-coulter-screws-up-again.html

(2) Nevertheless, some of the comments are not of the level that those of us who are observant Jews should demand in our discourse with each other. Anonymously labeling a public servant a bigot serves no purpose whatsoever and makes observant Jews look bad. Accusing someone of supporting child abuse is even worse. This is not good derech eretz and does not belong in a frum blog.

Note that none of the allegely objectionable comments were by the blog owner; it looks like the only thing she may have done wrong is to be too hesitant in deleting the lashon hara and motzi shem ra spoken by others. It that makes her subject to a lawsuit, we are all in trouble! Orthomom, do you have a legal defense fund yet?

12:40 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

I draw two conclusions from the list of allegedly objectionable quotes:

(1) The lawsuit is really silly and the attorney who filed it should be embarassed. Public figures get far worse from the hands of people like Ann Coulter, who once again demonstrated inability to distinguish fact from fiction in her latest *Jewish Press* interview:

http://charliehall.blogspot.com/2007/04/ann-coulter-screws-up-again.html

(2) Nevertheless, some of the comments are not of the level that those of us who are observant Jews should demand in our discourse with each other. Anonymously labeling a public servant a bigot serves no purpose whatsoever and makes observant Jews look bad. Accusing someone of supporting child abuse is even worse. This is not good derech eretz and does not belong in a frum blog.

Note that none of the allegely objectionable comments were by the blog owner; it looks like the only thing she may have done wrong is to be too hesitant in deleting the lashon hara and motzi shem ra spoken by others. It that makes her subject to a lawsuit, we are all in trouble! Orthomom, do you have a legal defense fund yet?

12:40 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

Sorry for the double posting; I accidentally double clicked. To explain my final question, I'd like to send a small contribution to your legal defense fund and promote it on my own rarely read blog if you have one.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"
(2) Nevertheless, some of the comments are not of the level that those of us who are observant Jews should demand in our discourse with each other. Anonymously labeling a public servant a bigot serves no purpose whatsoever and makes observant Jews look bad. Accusing someone of supporting child abuse is even worse. This is not good derech eretz and does not belong in a frum blog."

who says the authors were orthodox? it seems to me that it would have been a very good plan for greenbaum to plant comments herself and then file a motion to out orthomom. isn't it sad that it seems to be so easy? what's to stop any target of criticism from posting their own libelous comment and then attempting to out a critical blog host? all i can say is that if the judge on this case plays into this, i will be very disappointed and terrified in the state of our first amendment rights.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry but defamatory speech is not protected by the first amendment. and publishing, falsely, that someone is a bigot is considered actionable, defamatory speech in New York. Your First Amendment rights are intact!

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to hear someone explain how calling someone a bigot is actually defamatory. When you say its a false claim, that's a ridiculous argument. By nature, opinions can't be proven false or true. That's why pure opinion can't be defamatory. Calling someone a bigot and saying its a statement of fact is a very funny contention. One mans bigotry is another mans open mindedness. A statement of fact, however, is a far different animal. Like calling someone an adulterer or a felon. Those are facts, which are either true or untrue.

Another point you fail to aknowledge is that om's first amendment rights HAVE been infringed. She did not make the comments calling Pam a bigot. This legal action is restricitive of her free speech, any way you slice it. No one is trying to prevent Pam from using her free speech to defend herslef. Why didn't she try that? The fact that she shows herself unable to speak out in her own defense is actually what shows her to be an unfit candidate. Not that she is or is not an aleged bigot.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry but defamatory speech is not protected by the first amendment. and publishing, falsely, that someone is a bigot is considered actionable, defamatory speech in New York. Your First Amendment rights are intact!

Calling someone a bigot can be defamatory if the context makes clear that a factual claim is being made, like if I say, "Pam has a long history of bigoted statements." But here I think it is clear that the term is just being thrown around as an insult.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An insult, sort of like nappy headed ho. Horrible talk, and it should stop. Someone first has to object and suffer the slings and arrows of being called too sensitive in addition to the original insult. Go, Pam.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"
Anonymous said...

An insult, sort of like nappy headed ho. Horrible talk, and it should stop. Someone first has to object and suffer the slings and arrows of being called too sensitive in addition to the original insult. Go, Pam. "

Right. Pam should absolutely have spoken up and said that the comment was insulting. That IS her right. Suing is a whole different animal. Insults are offensive but not actionable as defamation. Imus got fired for insulting the basketball team - but that has nothing to do with this lawsuit.

The way to stop insults and rudeness was not to file this lawsuit. All Pam did was increase the rhetoric and tension and hostility in a very ill-advised lawsuit.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.savesd15.blogspot.com/

A site concerned with the children of our district, objective and understands the education laws of new york state.

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