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UFT election campaigning

March 13, 2007 pm31 11:50 pm

Unnecessarily ugly, but what did you expect?

Norman, in what’s becoming a routine, got caught making scurrilous comments on my blog. What is this, the third, fourth, time? When I called him on it (this time he accused me of redbaiting), he ran away. That’s what he does. He’ll be back.

It’s late in the day to point this out, but UFT members deserve a campaign of ideas, not mud. We got creamed in the 2005 contract, and we need to prepare ourselves to take back what we lost. Slinging mud (and worse) doesn’t help.

ICE’s blog published insulting, made-up quotes, to attack their opponents. “…from a High School teacher in Brooklyn…Thanks Randi for watching my school close so we are now all ATRs with no rights to teach.” “…from a Mayor in New York City…Thanks Randi for allowing me to control the schools. I couldn’t have done it without your help!”

Unity just sent out a piece of inflammatory campaign literature. They redbaited TJC, and resorted to name calling, including making up not really amusing new initials for T.J.C. and I.C.E.

ICE’s new leaflet equates the union president with our enemies: Mayor Bloomberg and his Chancellor. They even print little pictures of all three, together, calling them “two lawyers and a billionaire.”

(More, and my linking and banning policies are below the fold —> )

Redhog, a former ICE supporter who joined Unity, is accusing ICE supporter NYC Educator of banning Redhog from his blog, and Redhog is making a stink on several other ICE blogs. I wonder what he did to get himself banned? Redhog thinks it was his sharp political commentary. NYC Educator says Redhog tried to publish his name “It’s my choice to reveal my identity or not, not yours. ” (though he seems to feel justified publishing my name over my objections). Redhog’s writing is often over the top, but I can’t see banning him when deleting one comment would do the trick. Lots of bad blood.

Linking, Dropping Links

I link sites that amuse me, and take them down when they stop doing so. I have removed links from sites that I consider hostile. Jenny D should come down. NYCEd and Norm have already been removed. Occasionally I’ll be impressed by someone’s take on one or two issues, link them, and then realize the overall tone of the blog is not something I want to be linked to. I will never link to a hate site (and still don’t understand why NYCEducator thought it was ok to link to one).

I try to keep some focus to my blog roll. I will add and prune, add and prune.


As far as banning, I’ve banned no one. Where I anticipate bad behavior, I moderate comments. But I have always released the comments to be published, without editing. I closed comments on one post once, to avoid an ugly pile on (Leo Casey made what I thought were bad comments, there was, imo, adequate response, and I closed things off).

I could see, though, banning No Sla pp z or Ken Der osa. I am more tolerant of teachers, even when they are being annoying and frustrating. And I am far more tolerant of activists, real activists, no matter which caucus, if any, the people who do the day-to-day grind that defends members rights and keeps our union, the UFT, functioning.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2007 am31 4:27 am 4:27 am

    Your name is freely available on Edwize, Jonathan. I see nothing wrong with reproducing what’s on the net, and I do so all the time. That’s where I saw it, I sent you a link to show that’s where I saw it, and if you hadn’t published it already, I’d never have printed your name. I know many bloggers, and I don’t do that.

    And, in fact, I honored your request before you sent me an email explaining what I could and could not write about, which I did not much care for. In a fit of pique, I restored the post.

    However, I have not mentioned you in any new post since then, and I don’t intend to.

    Personally, I find it discourteous that you publish our email without my permission, which I consider private communication between us. Please don’t email me if you don’t wish to keep our conversations private. You know where to find me.

    The part you left out, when you published my response to you, was the part where I asked you why it was a hate site. That’s a valid question, and you did not respond either via email or on your site.

    Looking at that site, it appeared to be a boilerplate right-wing site, which I suppose could fit the bill, but I saw no burning crosses or anything. They seemed anti-immigrant. You may know I work exclusively with ESL students, and I am nothing of the sort.

    They had printed a piece, using something I wrote, and they had determined it was an argument against teacher tenure. I strongly, passionately support teacher tenure.

    In fact, the piece you criticized did just that. And again, it’s preposterous to assert that I linked to it either because I supported its goals or because I was chasing traffic. In fact, I felt it was necessary to re-assert my position.

    I don’t much like bad teachers, actually. I don’t like working with them, and I wouldn’t want my child to study with one. But as I said, neither I nor the UFT hires them, and neither I nor the UFT grants them tenure. The UFT did not initiate all the intergalactic recruitment programs or the regular lowering of standards NYC has indulged in while trying to increase supply and artificially depress salary.

    Where I live, there are hundreds of applicants for each position. In NYC, when they find one applicant for each position, they very publicly declare an end to the teacher shortage, and the New York Times announces it as fact. I don’t see that as ideal for the 1.1 million kids who study there.

    I regret that we’ve had misunderstandings in the past, and we have had a few. I thought it was unfair of you to condemn me for a comment i didn’t even write, and didn’t remember reading. I misunderstood you maybe five times in a row on Edwize,

    As for banning, I’ve banned two posters on my blog. One for being hostile to virtually every other poster and another for outing me. I reserve that right for myself. Many, many people know who I am. There are several advantages I can think of to putting my name on the blog. But I continue to write about kids and even though I give them pseudonyms, I don’t think it’s appropriate to reveal either my name or that of my school.

  2. March 15, 2007 am31 6:20 am 6:20 am

    1. You wrote: “Personally, I find it discourteous that you publish our email without my permission, which I consider private communication between us.”

    I thought the comments I reprinted were fairly innocuous. However, I do apologize for any discourtesy, will not quote from your e-mails to me in the future, and will remove the comments that gave offense if you ask me to.

    2. You asked before, and now again “why it was a hate site.”

    Pick through the “X”s: xvxdxaxrxex.xcxoxmx is not a garden variety anti-immigrant site. I assume you read the WIkipedia article? Near the bottom is the Southern Poverty Law Center’s links for coverage (they have some sort of official ‘hate site’ designation that they apply to this site). You may also look at this SPLC article. Or, if you’ve prefer not click, the quick explanation is that this site serves as a clean looking bridge between hard core hate groups and ‘mainstream’ immigrant hating conservatives.

    3. You wrote: “I regret that we’ve had misunderstandings in the past, and we have had a few.”

    As do I. But I think many ICE supporters, including yourself, go into conversations looking for points of disagreement; it makes misunderstanding quite likely.

  3. March 15, 2007 pm31 1:56 pm 1:56 pm

    Well, I’ve now viewed the Widkipedia article, which I hadn’t seen before, and you’ve convinced me that the site is more distasteful than I’d originally thought. I still think linking to it in order to correct what it suggested about my writing was not such a bad thing to do, but on the other hand, the link didn’t actually point where I wished, and I have in fact removed that link.

    My point of view regarding our conversations, I’m afraid, is influenced not at all by ICE, and completely by our personal history. ICE did not lead me to my point of view, but my point of view (largely influenced by that 05 contract) led me to ICE.

    I take personal responsibility for my disagreeable nature. And while I won’t say there isn’t any disagreement between us, I don’t see why it needs to be personal. You need not delete the remark, but I’m pleased you offered to, and as a show of good faith I’ve now deleted the post you previously asked me to get rid of.


  1. Against redbaiting in the UFT « JD2718

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