PJ BLOGGER

Reader says,I know nobody here reads Laurie Goodman’s blog, but…..

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2008 at 6:21 pm

http://lauriegood.blogspot.com

I know nobody here reads Laurie Goodman’s blog, but some comments she wrote in a July 27 post really show how clueless she is. Addressing NJ’s recent admission that state standards were notoriously low, Laurie had this to say –

“So…I have several thoughts about this. The first one is surprise that a score of 33% on any test could be described as “proficient” in that subject.

It’s frustrating for parents and community members (and this BOE member) to learn about the low cut-offs, and I have to say it does seem to be a good move to raise the cutoffs. Honestly, does it seem crazy to expect “proficient” to mean 50% or more? Not to me. I think it will help us have a much more realistic picture of how our students are doing, how well they are actually learning.”

She is only now learning about this?? The math moms knew this more than a year ago. Also, it looks like Laurie is on the Maskin and Lois bandwagon. In a letter to the editor in the March 7 RN, M&L wrote

“These state tests are designed for assessment of federal funding NOT as a general barometer of our district’s progress. Content measurement in these tests is based on low state standards and students are only required to answer 50% of the questions correctly to be rated as “proficient”.

It is troubling that our district so heavily relies on touting scores from state tests that aspire to the bottom. We believe that in Ridgewood we set our aims much higher than simply reaching towards proficiency on state tests.

State test scores are hardly the benchmark we should look to while measuring student performance. It is a disservice to the children and to our teachers. We must aim higher – this is Ridgewood.”

Will Laurie express this same level of frustration when, and if, she discovers that Ridgewood’s NJASK percent advanced proficient scores showed trends that were among the worst in the state?

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  1. Look, are you surprised at Laurie Goodman’s ignorance.

    BOE elections are popularity contests. Who’s in and who’s out in the social circuit.

    This year we had, for the sake of argument, two incumbents. Is it any surprise that they won given the lack of voter participation and the fact that they were candidates from the HSA.

    What is amazing, and therefore promising, is that Lois and Maskin carried Hawes and Travell.

    Funny how the districts that are considered the least affluent, payed attention to the race and voted for their children’s best interests.

    One could surmise that the 4 other, more affluent districts, are comprised of parents who care more about perception and less about reality.

  2. One could surmise that the 4 other, more affluent districts, are comprised of parents who care more about perception and less about reality.

    One you could also surmise that you’re not from 1 of those 4 districts and don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

  3. Yeah, I noticed this about Laurie. She takes a stand only after the issue is decided. She wrote of her concern with “spiraling” only after the math panel’s report said it should be avoided.

  4. Well, lets hope (and I know it is a long and outside hope) that Laurie may actually be beginning to see the light… the first step in solving a problem is admitting that there is one (something the BOE steadfastly refuses to do).

  5. “One could surmise that the 4 other, more affluent districts, are comprised of parents who care more about perception and less about reality.”

    Well, aren’t you the smarmy little analyst? It must have taken you quite a while to conjure up that rationalization. Ridgewood really needs an analyst such as you who seeks to pit district against district within the town.

    I voted for Ms. Maskin because she banged on my door and told me what she stands for. Very impressive. Hopeful. Dedicated. No other candidate did that and no other candidate got my vote.

    Here’s the thing, as long as elections in the Wood are ignored as being beneath us, we’ll get the government we deserve. We failed as a community to participate, as we do in most elections.

    And before you start patting yourself and your Hawes and Travell compatriots on their collective backs, remember that 70%of them didn’t vote either.

  6. One could surmise that the 4 other, more affluent districts, are comprised of parents who care more about perception and less about reality.

    One could also surmise that your stereotypes about westsiders is a sign that you don’t live there and don’t know what you’re talking about.

  7. PJ: Please follow common blogging practice and provide a link to Mrs. Goodman’s site or blog if you are commenting upon it.

  8. "Here's the thing, as long as elections in the Wood are ignored as being beneath us, we'll get the government we deserve. We failed as a community to participate, as we do in most elections."

    FWIW, I think it's apathy & not elitism that causes the low voter turnout.

    People don't stay home on election day because they think the election is "beneath them". They stay home because either a) they don't care about the schools, or b) they don't think their vote will make any difference in how the schools perform.

  9. 8:01 – I believe you left out the most important reason that people didn’t vote. They are trusting folks who have been lied to by the district. People want to believe that when they send their kids to school, they are getting the best possible education. So they believe everything the educrates tell them, and are inclined to maintain status quo. Now, with the panel’s report out, and NJ’s admission of notoriously low standards, it SHOULD be obvious that Maskin and Lois were the most informed and knowledgable candidates. What if parents had been told the truth? I’d like to think the result would be different.

  10. Fortunately, "most knowledgable" wasn't the criteria…I don't think the vote was (nor should have been) for the "smartest" candidates. It was for the total package, who people thought had the best interests at heart, who was most level headed and not pushing a narrow agenda, who would do a better job for 3 years on a BUNCH of issues. And in that case sorry but L & M were not the best.

  11. 8:47 AM –
    Re: ?”…who would do a better job for 3 years on a BUNCH of issues…”

    Can you be more specific?

    Can you reply in the format of:

    Specific Issue: ____________
    How Goodman and Brogan would do a better job: _________________________________

    Specific Issue: ____________
    How Goodman and Brogan would do a better job: _________________________________

    Specific Issue: ____________
    How Goodman and Brogan would do a better job: _________________________________

  12. 8:47am,

    You couldn’t be more right about the “smartest” candidate. If that were the case neither of winners would be in office.

    You amaze by your comment “pushing a narrow agenda.” That is where we differ.

    There is only one agenda; ensuring an excellent EDUCATION for our children, not a “BUNCH of issues.”

    One gathers from your comments that you believe school to be a place for many issues and agendas to be addressed.

    Others, correctly, see it as a place of learning not a vehicle for social or political engineering.

    That is why we are in the place we find ourselves now over the math issue. Proponents of constructivist education base their theory of pedagogy on the desire to create an egalitarian outcome.

    This is done by dumbing down the curriculum for all students in the attempt to produce equal results in testing.

    This of course, defies the laws of nature. You seem to confuse the idea of being created equal under the law with being equal in all else.

    I trust you will be voting for “The One” come November.

  13. Hit a nerve did I with the comment about, "the 4 other, more affluent districts."

    Why would any of you assume I live in the two districts which voted for Lois & Maskin? I call it as I see it, regardless of where I reside.

  14. 8:47 AM, as usual, your analysis leaves out a critical fact.

    The heavy emphasis on the math issue that characterized L & M's collective campaign was matched, and in my opinion, far exceeded, by the magnitude of the issue. And "the issue" was not just about a 'piddling' problem with a district taking us down the primrose path with respect to a major academic discipline, bad as that has been for our young students. Most importantly, it was about the then-sitting trustees of the BOE demonstrating a callous and persistent indifference to the patiently and respectfully-expressed concerns of the community, all the while demonstrating blatant elitism, cronyism, and partisanship. Recall that one of the BOE incumbents resigned his seat rather than seek re-election, strongly suggesting that he was loathe to be seen as defending the status quo.

    Frankly, as one of L & M's voters, I felt I couldn't sit back while you put them down. The candidates they lost to were by no means superior to them in terms of suitability as BOE trustees. Rather, and as it turned out, it was sufficient, at least for purposes of this year's election if not for future elections, that each of Ms. Brogan and Ms. Goodman held strategically close ties to this village's only true political party, the RPDP, or Ridgewood Pro-District Party.

    No amount of jawboning you use to try to reduce the reputation of Mr. Lois or Ms. Maskin will erase this fact, or excuse any inaction, negligence, or unwise actions attributable to the present trustees of the Ridgewood BOE.

  15. The math issue is not so narrow. If you recall, it had a direct impact on the superintendent search. Also, if you fix the math, the science improves – and the science here is awful. The math issue has also divided parents, teachers, and residents. It has led to serious communication problems between home and school. And finally, it has exposed the trustees ignorance.

    I don’t see how you can argue that this bunch has the best interests at heart since they let Regina stick around.

  16. Here’s a BOE member who starts a blog because she wants us to share in the process and she’s now getting “dissed” because she appears ignorant? Oops … I forgot that Ridgewood is a town of experts. I’m a Travell parent who would NOT have voted for Maskin if you paid me because other than her ‘math’ issue – she didn’t seem to bring a lot to the table. And Lois had even less — no kids in the school system .. in fact, no kids at all. Why should he have a say in my children’s education? But it’s moot, because they didn’t win the election. Laurie did. Why not give her an opportunity to learn the ropes? I’m happy that she’s willing to share information and her experiences with us. You may not like everything she has to report – but at least she’s being open about it.

  17. “Hit a nerve did I with the comment about, “the 4 other, more affluent districts.”

    Once again, the lamest blog comeback (“I must have hit a nerve with that dopey thing I said…”) is rolled about by the clueless.

    We assume you don’t live in 1 of those 4 districts because you’re two-dimensional, stereotypical view of the people who live shows that you don’t know any of them.

    If you do live in 1 of those 4 districts, then you don’t get out much and get to know your neighbors.

  18. 10:30 – what science? We actually have science? I must have missed it in my child’s 4th grade curriculum last year. I know my BR’er had it one period a day but the materials I saw coming home were, at best, less than rigorous.

  19. 11:19 – we can't have rigorous science unless we have rigorous math. we can't have rigorous math because kids aren't taught to spell "rigorous." if they can't spell "rigorous" then they probably don't know what it means. and if they don't know what rigorous means, then we will never have rigorous math. do you see how it spirals? just as spiraling should be avoided in math programs, it should be avoided in structuring curricula.

    fortunately, laurie goodman is now borrowing notes from L&M, and she is learning about the issues. maybe L or M has a bumper sticker left over for laurie?

  20. At this point, if the Ridgewood district were to suddenly become concerned with truth in advertising (not likely, I admit), it might consider appending the titles it uses to designate its major academic instructional programs with the term “-Light” or “Appreciation”. While such a change might be shocking at first, it would certainly help the taxpayers and parents of the school district get a better handle on the scope of the problem we are currently facing.

  21. As long as we are talking about Laurie Goodman’s blog, I thought you might want to know how she feels about the Ridgewood Blog (and by extension those who read and comment on it):

    Please note the first line of her blog entry (note: emphasis is mine).

    So much for representing all Ridgewood residents…


    From Laurie’s Blog:

    Posted on August 7, 2008 (Last Thursday):

    Blackboard

    I hate to even reference the Ridgewood Blog, but one interesting topic was raised over there this week: it started, I think, with someone complaining about how not enough teachers, at the middle school and high school levels, use Blackboard. Are you familiar with Blackboard? It’s a web-based service for students and teachers, primarily. The idea is that teachers can post assignments, links to research, interesting and/or helpful info, grades, study calendar, etc. Students access Blackboard and get assignments, turn-in homework, see grades, send messages to their teacher or post messages for online class discussions, etc. I think it has great potential. My daughter’s college — and many, many colleges — use it for everything from classwork, extracurricular activities, tuition payment, grades, etc. I’d like to hear what you think about Blackboard…does your child use it? Do they/you have any problems accessing Blackboard from home? Let me know.

  22. 11:01 AM, you appear to place some pride on living, not just in Ridgewood, but also in “1 of the 4 districts” other than Travell and Hawes.

    Pray tell (and please be honest): if at some point in the future you were to learn that, for whatever reason (for example, the achievement of some sort of transcendent communal understanding, a case of mass public ignorance, or some combination thereof) nobody in the world but you and your neighbors believes there to be any difference in quality as between the six K-5 schools in the Ridgewood district, would your heart sink, even just a little bit, or might we see, if watching ever so closely, a tiny tear roll down your cheek?

    If the answer to the above question is “yes”, why in the world should anyone who lives in one or the other of the Travell or Hawes school districts trust you, on the occasion of any given April BOE election, to vote in such a way as to hasten the elimination of your cherished “quality gap”?

  23. from Laurie Goodman's blog.

    "I hate to even reference the Ridgewood Blog, but one interesting topic was raised over there this week: it started, I think, with someone complaining about how not enough teachers, at the middle school and high school levels, use Blackboard."

    Gee Laurie, and why do you "hate" to reference the Ridgewood Blog?

    Is it because it allows for the unfettered exchange of information, ideas and opinions, thus removing the ability of the VC and BOE (local government) to control the public discussion?

    Maybe it's because it exposes the failings and lies of the VC & BOE and their administrators?

    Or could it be that that its readers are impatient with your pandering and sophistry.

    Perhaps it is the perception that you are an instrument of the administration and its political party, the HSA?

    Please, tell us why you "hate" the Ridgewood Blog. We are curious to know.

  24. Nobody reads Laurie's blog or the NY Times…they only read Newsmax & the Washington Times.

    Like, duh.

  25. Pray tell (and please be honest): if at some point in the future you were to learn that, for whatever reason (for example, the achievement of some sort of transcendent communal understanding, a case of mass public ignorance, or some combination thereof) nobody in the world but you and your neighbors believes there to be any difference in quality as between the six K-5 schools in the Ridgewood district, would your heart sink, even just a little bit, or might we see, if watching ever so closely, a tiny tear roll down your cheek?

    Can you restate your question in 25 words or less? These run-on sentences are difficult to parse.

    I don't live any of the 4 districts who voted for Brogan & Goodman. I mentioned those districts for one reason: 3:30's comment sounds like someone who does not know anything about the people whom he is trashing.

  26. Please, tell us why you “hate” the Ridgewood Blog. We are curious to know.

    I'm not Laurie, but I know a few associated with the BOE and Village Council. I know why they don't like this blog: it's because of ad hominem attacks and name calling that goes on around here.

    The typical thread here starts with "I don't like XYZ that the Board of Ed did", then quickly descends to "the BOE are a bunch of idiots".

    That "bunch of idiots" stuff is why BOE & Village Council people don't like this blog.

    I hope this answers your question.

  27. 8:53 AM:

    Among those you know who are associated with the BOE and Village Council, would you care to explain why we should not regard them as, well, frail individuals?

    Most people I respect that occupy positions of authority and responsibility do not wilt under an initial wave of criticism, but rather demonstrate some reasonable amount of resilience. Once they have had an opportunity to evaluate and understand the criticism, they will proceed in one of two ways: 1) persist in their opinions and positions if they truly believe them to be valid, and work on refining their explanations and/or justifications to answer the criticisms in some way, or 2) adjust their opinions positions based on fresh insights gained by listening to the viewpoints of others with the guts to challenge them.

    If an opposing viewpoint has some reasonable factual and logical foundation, these people won’t attempt to avoid considering or responding to it based on its source. Even if the source of the viewpoint is loathesome to them, they would rather squarely address the issues raised than be percieved as avoiding them out of intellectual cowardice.

    Your comments are important, and I definitely appreciate the effort you made to provide them. But I simply can’t see the value in roundly condemning a group of individuals who have gathered for the purpose of challenging the validity and logic of governmental behavior.

  28. "That 'bunch of idiots' stuff is why BOE & Village Council people don't like this blog."

    Really, could it be that people are frustrated with our local government and this is the way they vent.

    Remember your mother telling you, "sticks and stones will break my bones…"

  29. 8:53am,

    I think it may be deeper than that. I think that they are afraid of its power to convey information they would rather not have known.

    If you are an elected official, you should have a thick skin. Look at the stuff said and written about our President everyday by bloggers.

    This site is tame compared to most that deal with political issues.

    I rather think that our local politicians are not used to being criticized so openly.

    Those worth their salt do not suffer the slings and arrows of detractors.

    Stupid is as stupid does. And there is no denying that some of our local pols sometime can behave pretty stupidly.

  30. 8:53- Well said! I couldn’t agree with you more! A great topic of discussion will start and all too soon it descends into the depths of name calling and personal attacks. I should know. I am often the subject of said attacks. I think it’s a sad commentary on the “anonymous” state of affairs in the blogosphere.

  31. 8:53 AM –

    If they can’t take the slings and arrows of public service then they should get out of politics. Nobody forced them to run for the BOE.

    Or perhaps they can keep designating certain speech as “off limits”. This will encourage “proper” free speech. It seems to be all the rage in one popular presidential campaign so I guess it is a good model for the BOE to follow rather than the model of whining and complaining that they follow now whenever the kitchen gets too hot.

  32. Among those you know who are associated with the BOE and Village Council, would you care to explain why we should not regard them as, well, frail individuals?

    They’re not, well, frail.

    They just don’t like this blog.

    Public officials are allowed to not like certain media outlets.

    Cheney doesn’t like the NY Times. Hillary doesn’t like Fox. Doesn’t make either one of them frail or thin-skinned.

    Also doesn’t mean freedom of speech is in danger.

  33. 8:53

    Re: “I should know. I am often the subject of said attacks. I think it’s a sad commentary on the “anonymous” state of affairs in the blogosphere.

    If you are so concerned about the anonymous state of affairs, then why don’t you post comments using your name?

    Hypocrite?
    Coward?
    Liar?
    Spineless Politician?
    Troll?
    Other?

    Many other public and not so public figures have posted their names and have taken the accolades as well as fended off the stones, fully named in public view.

    Even the owner of this blog states his real name on the masthead which is more than I can say for that other local blog.

    Why not you?

    Just hiding behind the anonymous label criticizing others for doing the same?

    Please enlighten me.

  34. If you are so concerned about the anonymous state of affairs, then why don’t you post comments using your name?

    I'm not 1:00 (to whom you posed the question), but if I had to guess, here would be the answer:

    1:00 doesn't give his/her name because it would it would launch more name-calling & attacks on this blog.

    In fact, you offered 5 belittling labels:
    — Hypocrite
    — Coward
    — Liar
    — Spineless Politician
    — Troll

    1:00 seems like a rational person, and rational people don't like ad hominem attacks by anonymous posters.

    Hope this answers your question.

    Sincerely,
    8:53 / 10:07

  35. 7:16/8:53/10:07

    You may have noticed that Ms. Zusy, recently elected to the Village Council, has received praise (some grudging, some otherwise) on this site for her actions regarding the VC’s handling of gifts to the village.

    Should she be ashamed of this development?

  36. No.

    Praise is good.

    Snarky ad hominem attacks by anonymous posters are bad.

    Clear?

    Sincerely,
    7:49/7:16/8:53/10:07

  37. If there were not so much anger and resentment towards our politicos, fear of retaliation and blackballing then one could make the case against anonymous posters.

    However, that is not the case. In fact citizens are vilified, ridiculed, threatened and ostracized by the numerous factions in this village for “not knowing their place.”

    Is it any wonder that this blog sees the backlash in the form of posters who, at times, vent with rage.

  38. 1:00 PM said, “I am often the subject of said attacks.”

    And so too, am I. But you don’t hear me whining about it and I’m not an elected official.

    If you want to enter into the public discourse, then expect that people will call you names and say awful things about you that are not true.

  39. Sorry, 8:19 AM, not so “clear”. To boot, I’m left flat by your line of reasoning.

    You seem to be blind to the possibility that criticism, even biting, hypocrisy-exposing, cowardice-revealing, and lie-uncovering criticism, may be “good”, though it might not feel that way to the targeted public official.

    “Praise is good”? I don’t know whether this can be said without qualification, as you seem to think. (“Clear?”)

    You’ll admit, won’t you, that whether praise is “good” or not could depend on one’s frame of reference? Uncritical adulation would certainly be warmly received by elected officials in any position. My sense is that such a phenomenon is widespread in places like China, in which any and all criticisms of the government are grounds for arrest and extended detention. What better way to keep your keester out of the local jail than by dutifully offering up cheerful public utterances for the benefit of the local communist functionaries?

  40. 9:12 AM,

    You think in a realm not ventured into by most. And certainly not by 8:19am.

    Your extrapolation is far to removed from the simple everyday life most in this country/village lead. For they have never had to deal with or think about the consequences of their opinions if taken to the extreme.

    Some how they believe that it could never happen here. And that those things you speak of only happen elsewhere in the world.

    “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Barry Goldwater

  41. Barry Goldwater was dead wrong. Extremism really is a vice — even in defense of a virtue like democracy — because it can lead to evil actions. The ends do not always justify the means.

    Instead, Aristotle was right: virtue lies in moderation.

  42. “Extremism in the pursuit of moderation is annoying, regardless of what Aristotle said or didn’t say.” –9:12 AM

  43. 10:10am,

    Your play with words sounds so very clever. However, it is sophistry at best and disingenuous at worst.

    Words have meaning. Mr. Goldwater chose those words carefully. You chose to cherry pick the word “extremism” to justify your thesis.

    And you then proceed to commit the error of equating democracy with liberty.

    Goldwater was not advocating the defense of “democracy” as you blithely claim.

    “Democracy” and “liberty” are not synonymous. To not know the difference is a hindrance to one’s ability for analytical thought.

    A democracy can behave in very evil ways, as can a republic, to secure itself survival.

    However, liberty and its pursuit can never be evil by its very definition.

    Slavery was not ended in this country to preserve democracy or the republic. It was ended to secure liberty for all the citizens in the USA.

    Only a moral relativist could find the logic in your thinking.

    9:51am

  44. My bad for typing “democracy” instead of “liberty”.

    To repeat my central thesis, Goldwater was dead wrong when he said the following:

    “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

    I focused on the word "extremism" because Goldwater states the word in the first sentence, then uses it to belittle "moderation" in the second sentence.

    My position is not sophistry; instead it is rooted in western ethics that has as its pillars Greek philosophy & Christian scripture.

    Aristotle believed that to be moral, one must find a mean between two vices. He said that there was a vice of deficiency (having too little of one vice) and a vice of excess (having too much of one vice). The middle of these vices was the virtuous mean. Courage would be an example of the virtuous mean. Being a coward would fall under the vice of deficiency category while being rash would fall under the vice of excess category. Therefore, one must have moderation between the two extremes.

    "The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.” — Aristotle

    “Moderation, which consists in an indifference about little things, and in a prudent and well-proportioned zeal about things of importance, can proceed from nothing but true knowledge, which has its foundation in self-acquaintance.” — Plato

    “Throw moderation to the winds, and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains” — Democritus

    “Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.” — Cicero

    "To go beyond the bounds of moderation is to outrage humanity." — Pascal

  45. your treasured Aristotelian principles?

    Please refrain from such patronizing horse manure. This ain’t the Sean Hannity or Mark Levin show, so don’t pretend you’re the host.

    Also, try to avoid bland truisms like “words have meaning”. It weakens your argument and wastes bandwidth.

    Now, to answer your question: there is no one *purely* good or *purely* evil in this world. The last guy who was purely good came along 2,000 years ago, and He was tempted in the desert by the last guy who was purely evil.

    Knowing that none are purely good or evil — including ourselves — we must bear in mind that no one is perfect in judgment. Thus we should act with corresponding moderation towards one another. “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:2)

  46. 2:50/Ed Asner: Not that you don’t already realize this, but you are misusing scripture. Shouldn’t oughta do that….!

  47. Socrates,

    Nice try.

    Is it the author of the quote that compels you to continue this outragous defense of your comment?

    Your false analogy of its meaning is what your student, Plato, would call the work of a sophist.

    “Plato is largely responsible for the modern view of the “sophist” as a greedy instructor who uses rhetorical sleight-of-hand and ambiguities of language in order to deceive, or to support fallacious reasoning. In this view, the sophist is not concerned with truth and justice, but instead seeks power. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle all challenged the philosophical foundations of sophism.”

  48. Is it the author of the quote that compels you to continue this outragous defense of your comment?

    It is the insidious preference of extremism over moderation — this, at a time in history when we’re fighting extremists like The Taliban — that compels me to stand up for virtue in the tradition of Aristotle, Aquinas, et al.

  49. 8:19 AM –

    Re:
    No.

    Praise is good.

    Snarky ad hominem attacks by anonymous posters are bad.

    Clear?

    Sincerely,
    7:49/7:16/8:53/10:07

    Thanks for clarifying “good” and “bad” speech.

    Now I’m very clear on your fascist leanings.

    Are there any other restrictions you want to place on my free speech right?

  50. 6:33 PM-

    In your opinion, is there any grey area between extremism and moderation, or is it all black and white with you?

  51. 633 in this town anyone with a mind of there own that dosent eat the shit the BOE and VC shuvel is an extremist!

  52. 8:02 AM,

    No, they are called the lunatic fringe.

  53. In your opinion, is there any grey area between extremism and moderation, or is it all black and white with you?

    Sorry, it's your turn to start providing answers instead just posing questions.

    Why do you rationalize & support extremism?

  54. 10:01am

    "Why do you rationalize & support extremism?"

    What can one say to you. Your mind is closed. You enjoy living in your little world of silliness.

    Extremism in love of God and man, is that bad?

    To be extremely intelligent or gifted athletically, is that bad too?

    To be extremely faithful to your wife, is that bad?

  55. Not so fast, 10:01 AM.

    My personal motivation for participating in this blog is not on trial here. Rather, you’re the one painting with a broad brush.

    What kind of a dullard do you take me for, anyway? You’re the person who is constantly trying to tag anyone who disagrees with you as an extremist.

    Exactly where do you get off, thinking you can win a debate by simply applying a one-word label to someone, taking a few steps back, pointing your finger, and squawking loudly to passersby?

    You are, after all, playing in someone else’s sandbox. If you want to see how much resonance your perspective has with the public at large in Ridgewood, I challenge you to start your own blog, and see how much traffic you generate.

    In the meantime, I will have to be content with the diversity of opinions I find on this blog, which is by far the best of its kind in Ridgewood.

    Despite your feeble attempts to ward people off, “The Ridgewood Blog” is clearly popular with the locals. Not that you will ever admit this, that makes “The Ridgewood Blog” MAINSTREAM. [Cue sound bite of fingernails being dragged acrosss blackboard.]

    7:37 AM

  56. To all:

    Food for thought, offered posthumously by one who, at the time, was writing under a pseudonym (three guesses as to who this was):

    “I am well aware that it would be disingenuous to resolve indiscriminately the opposition of any set of men (merely because their situations might subject them to suspicion) into interested or ambitious views. Candor will oblige us to admit that even such men may be actuated by upright intentions; and it cannot be doubted that much of the opposition which has made its appearance, or may hereafter make its appearance, will spring from sources, blameless at least, if not respectable–the honest errors of minds led astray by preconceived jealousis and fears. So numerous indeed and so powerful are the causes which serve to give a false bias to the judgment, that we, upon many occasions, see wise and good men on the wrong as well as the right side of questions of the first magnitude to society. This circumstance, if duly attended to, would furnish a lesson of moderation to those who are ever so much persuaded of their being in the right of any controversy. And a further reason for caution, in this respect, might be drawn from the reflection that we are not always sure that those who advocate the truth are influenced by purer principles than their antagonists. Ambition, avarice, personal animosity, party opposition, and many other motives not more laudable than these, are apt to operate as well upon those who support as those who oppose the right side of a question. Were there not even these inducements to moderation, nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has, at all times, characterized political parties. For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.”

  57. 3:23 PM,

    And your point.

    Extremism is not equal to evil.

  58. Extremism in love of God and man, is that bad?

    Al Qaeda is extremist in their love of God (Allah).

    Marxists were extremist in their love for man.

    So the answer to your question is: Yes.

  59. 7:16 AM

    Re-read my comment–my point really was to contribute food for thought.

    The immediate impact and the enduring relevance of the Federalist Papers demonstrates that, when it comes to matters of first importance to the public, Americans appreciate leaders who are strong-minded, think deeply, exhibit foresight, and pay careful attention to logic in developing and advancing their arguments.

    Hamilton was, of course, correct, as well as perfectly justified, in invoking the virtue of moderation in the context of public debate.

    But isn’t it important, at least in the context of this thread, to stress the fact that, while paying appropriate homage to the virtue of moderation, Hamilton, Jay, and Madison were nevertheless, and unapologetically, employing a pen name (Publius)?

    I believe the anxiety bedeviling 7:49/7:16/8:53/10:07
    stems from the fact that he is facing a growing number of political adversaries who have rediscovered the power of anonymity. Unlike 7:49/7:16/8:53/10:07, these individuals are uninterested in the trappings of public office, and do not seek the praise or adulation of fawning sycophants. Rather, and for good or ill, they are satisfied to let the spotlight dwell on their ideas and opinions.

    IMHO, the supposed dichotemy between extremism and moderation emphasized by 7:49/7:16/8:53/10:07 is a red herring. What 7:49/7:16/8:53/10:07 really wants are names. Only when 7:49/7:16/8:53/10:07’s political adversaries have ‘outed’ themselves publicly can the unseemly process of public humiliation and ostracism begin in earnest.

    My impatience with this tactic has only grown during this Olympic season. The tactics the Chinese have resorted to to disguise the barren and brutal nature of their political culture, while ultimately unsurprising, are still shocking to me.

    Also shocking is the fact that many here in town, including a dispropotionate amount of current elected or appointed public officials, are so sanguine about the state of local politics in Ridgewood.

    For heaven’s sake, a disgraced former president of the Board of Education is continuing to conduct a personal jihad against anyone with the temerity to criticize the actions of, or unexplained instances of inaction on the part of, local governmental bodies. Dig deep, folks–can’t we muster a critical mass of local embarrasment sufficient to condemn this corrosive behavior?

  60. 7:49/7:16/8:53/10:07/9:50:

    I see that you have chosen (that is, without being asked to do so) to part with a particular morsel of personal information about yourself.

    Clearly, you believed it would benefit your argument to provide this information.

    Given the present context, however, it would have been even better if you had told us that you have never held a political office in Ridgewood. The fact that you chose not to make such a statement tells me you have held at least one political office in Ridgewood in the past.

    What do you know. All of a sudden, my presumptions are, once again, well-founded!

    (FWIW, I’m holding off on responding to your use of the terms “connection” and “vast majority”…)

    9:10 AM

  61. 9:10 —

    I should have been more specific. I do not hold, and have never held, political office in Ridgewood or any other public voting district.

    The last office for which I was vote in was student council representative. In high school.

    That was long ago (in a galaxy far, far away).

    Sincerely,
    7:49/7:16/8:53/10:07/9:10

  62. Why is it that boe hacks, when conceding that M&L were right about the math, feel it's necessary to voice their opinion that M&L are one-dimensional? They should applaud the fact that there are people in this town who fully comprehend this math debacle.

    Regina doesn't know what to do and is willing to pay $20K to have someone figure it out. School officials need to consider a partnership with M&L, and the math moms. There are several benefits to this –

    They would focus only on this one issue. So anyone who thinks they are one-dimensional will not be offended. This would free up the board to worry about other things.

    They are math literate who can assemble, and work with, the villagers with superior math intellect to chart a clear course out of this quagmire.

    They can serve as mentors to Regina. They can interpret the math panel findings and help her understand the thinking of the country's best mathematicians, educators, and cognitive psychologists.

    The mentoring process can count as professional development.

    The bond between home and school would be strengthened.

    They are local.

    They might even do it for free.

    It's win-win for everyone, isn't it?

  63. Why is it that anyone who says something positive about the BOE is a "hack", while those who resort to name-calling and personal attacks are brave intellectuals on the level of Madison, Hamilton & Jay?

  64. 3:46 PM asked:

    "Why is it that anyone who says something positive about the BOE is a "hack", while those who resort to name-calling and personal attacks are brave intellectuals on the level of Madison, Hamilton & Jay?"

    Listen, 3:46 PM, there's no need to whine about this stuff. If the shoe fits, wear it, whether you're a pro-government hack, or a juvenile potshot-taking wannabe. If you yourself are not a "hack", then by all means, show us what you've got. As was mentioned earlier in this thread, the inimitable Ms. Zusy of the Village Council has been receiving kudos for attempting to introduce some sanity and propriety in the way the Village handles gifts. Many here, including me, wouldn't necessarily have predicted that Ms. Zusy would display this sort of moral courage, but it is what it is. Sometimes people surprise you.

    The moral of this story is, do the right thing while in office, or as a former officeholder, and the good karma will come back your way, somehow, some way. Persist in doing the wrong thing, or steadfastly resist taking what is clearly the right path (or in the case of a "hack", mount a blatantly partisan defense of officeholders who do these things), and you shouldn't be surprised when negative feedback comes your way, particularly from participants in a local blog that preserves anonymity and does not necessarily tilt pro-BOE or pro-VC.

  65. If the shoe fits, wear it, whether you’re a pro-government hack, or a juvenile potshot-taking wannabe.

    More great labels from a fertile creative mind!

    It remains unanswered as to how the name-callers see themselves as brave intellectuals on the level of Madison, Hamilton & Jay. Since 8:00 was unable to provide an answer, perhaps someone else here is up to the challenge?

  66. So let me get this straignt, 10:06 AM–If one or more of us manages to prove to your satisfaction that he/she is the intellectual and rhetorical equal of Madison, Hamilton, & Jay, do you promise to pay us the proper respect, or at least get off our backs for a while?

  67. 10:36 — Yes, with one clarification: prove that someone here is the intellectual (but not necessarily rhetorical; I don't care for sophistry) equal of Madison, Hamilton, & Jay.

    If someone on this blog can do that, I will not only "get off your backs" — your term for logical follow-up questions that cuts through pseudo-intellectual smoke & mirrors — I'll even run naked through Van Neste Square at high noon.

    I look forward to the responses!

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