The A2P Foodist: The Moral Crusade Against Foodies

February/March has been unofficially dubbed “Lash Out At Locavores” month at two of the most influential thinking person’s haunts. First, at Salon.com, chef Eddie Huang, owner of BaoHaus restaurant in New York City, and a blogger, had this to say about hip food trends:

You know what happens when you sell trends? You sell crap. I’ve been guilty of this myself. People wanted Cheeto fried chicken from reading my blog, a lot of people were mashing up Asian/Down-Home American, so I got caught up in a trend and introduced some crappy items at [my now-closed restaurant] Xiao Ye. I didn’t intentionally sell garbage; they were just crappy because I didn’t take the time to really understand what I was trying to do. It happens. No one’s perfect. Live and learn.

Huang’s post titled, “The utter ridiculousness of hip food trends,” is in your face about foodies who are “in the scene,” chasing the next trendy ingredient like dogs who gotten a whiff of a bitch in heat. Huang recreates a priceless account of wanna-be-chef line-cooks who are so in the scene, they’ve become characters in a trashy novel. Chef Eddie deftly fillets the scene:

On the flip side are the line cooks from two- or three-star restaurants hanging out at my shop, Baohaus, cockfighting:

“Oh, dude, pork belly is so played out!”

“Yeah, screw foie gras, Mugatu is so hot right now.”

You guys are a bunch of Zoolanders. People “in the scene” (puke) need to dig their heads out of their asses and understand that the rest of the nation still subsists primarily on ground beef and chicken breasts.

I’m not saying we should serve burgers and chicken breast, but if we look like a bunch of chickens with our heads cut off running from new ingredient to new ingredient and the public can’t follow, well, then this whole exercise is just intellectual masturbation, ’cause there is no lasting effect on national eating habits, on getting people to be open-minded about what they eat.

Huang could very well be writing about Zingerman’s. Check out this description of the Deli’s Culinary Adventure Society food club, a $600 ticket into “the scene”:

The right gift for that friend or client who thinks of themselves as the Indiana Jones of the culinary world. No rolling boulders here, but four times a year we’ll send a big box of eight to ten food surprises based on our most up to date food research and travel.

Perhaps they’ll taste an olio nuovo, a coveted bottle of great olive oil, just pressed. Maybe a cheese from one of America’s small dairies, so regional it rarely leaves its neighborhood. Maybe the latest invention from Zingerman’s Bakehouse, only available in Ann Arbor.

All foods in the Culinary Adventure Society will be exclusively selected for its members. We’ll include a collection of writing on the foods’ history and culture plus recipes for their use.

Then, over at The Atlantic, B.R. Myers “takes a bite,” out of the Foodie movement with, “The Moral Crusade Against Foodies.” If Chef Eddie Huang fillets “the scene,” B.R. Myers skins “the scene” alive. The main course of his argument is simple: “gluttony dressed up as foodism is still gluttony.” Gluttony, the last of the seven deadly sins. Any foodie worth his imported, pink, French sea salt could recognize himself in this passage:

Even if gourmets’ rejection of factory farms and fast food is largely motivated by their traditional elitism, it has left them, for the first time in the history of their community, feeling more moral, spiritual even, than the man on the street. Food writing reflects the change. Since the late 1990s, the guilty smirkiness that once marked its default style has been losing ever more ground to pomposity and sermonizing. References to cooks as “gods,” to restaurants as “temples,” to biting into “heaven,” etc., used to be meant as jokes, even if the compulsive recourse to religious language always betrayed a certain guilt about the stomach-driven life. Now the equation of eating with worship is often made with a straight face.

Breakfast at Selma, launched by local foodies, is described on the web site in almost reverential language:

Selma Cafe is: a local-foods breakfast salon, offering a gathering place for friends and community to imagine and create a new vital and sustainable regional food economy.

The suggested donation for breakfast is $10-$15 per person, and a cup of coffee will set you back $3.00. Breakfast of local food in that salon might some day create a new vital and sustainable regional food economy, but at $70+ for breakfast for four, it fits perfectly into the mold of traditional elitism that Myers argues defines local food movements and foodism. With the same sharp-eyed logic of those who condemn the green movement for its propensity to build new while chasing certifications, The Atlantic’s food writer wonders why eating animals slaughtered locally should be a basis for claiming the culinary moral high ground:

But food writing has long specialized in the barefaced inversion of common sense, common language. Restaurant reviews are notorious for touting $100 lunches as great value for money. The doublespeak now comes in more pious tones, especially when foodies feign concern for animals. Crowding around to watch the slaughter of a pig—even getting in its face just before the shot—is described by Bethany Jean Clement (in an article in Best Food Writing 2009) as “solemn” and “respectful” behavior. Pollan writes about going with a friend to watch a goat get killed. “Mike says the experience made him want to honor our goat by wasting as little of it as possible.” It’s teachable fun for the whole foodie family. The full strangeness of this culture sinks in when one reads affectionate accounts (again in Best Food Writing 2009) of children clamoring to kill their own cow—or wanting to see a pig shot, then ripped open with a chain saw: “YEEEEAAAAH!”

The point is then driven home a few paragraphs later: “Note that the foodies’ pride in eating ‘nose to tail’ is no different from factory-farm boasts of ‘using everything but the oink.’ As if such token frugality could make up for the caloric wastefulness and environmental damage that result from meat farming!”

Locally, foodies can stock up on free-range, grass fed, broiler chickens for $15 each, grass fed lamb for $4 per pound, and even buy a 200 pound, locally-raised and butchered pig for just about $750—a bit more than the price of a year in Zingerman’s Culinary Adventure Society food club.

Before foodies reading this start feeling persecuted for their religious beliefs that they’re just better than the rest of the poor slobs who don’t know they should Just Say No to Chipotle, you’ll be pleased to know that shortly after Myers’s piece came out in the March 2011 issue of The Atlantic, Salon.com’s food blogger Francis Lam posted this: “Do we need B.R. Myers’ moral crusade against foodies?” Lam writes:

Look, I hate “foodies” as much as the next guy. You know the people I’m talking about — taking pictures of every plate, crowding out conversation with their pointless listing of chef names, crowing about their collecting of fancy dinners like they were baseball cards. And yet, when B.R. Myers’ grim-faced revolution comes, as a food writer I will be lumped in with them to face the firing squad. Myers’ invective against food obsessives in the March issue of the Atlantic,”The Moral Crusade Against Foodies,” drips disgust with us….How joyless! How sad and dour he must be. I cook food because I love food. I eat food because I love food. But I write about food because I love people — I love the stories of people who cook and eat and share food, of how they come together around it, how they see the world through it, and how you can see a part of them through it. To me, these stories, these connections are full of wonder and surprise.

Lam’s piece begins as rather a back-handed refutation, but blossoms into a full-throated defense of foodies and food writing by the end. What makes both Chef Huang and B.R. Myers’s pieces more than just passing swipes is that both expose the underbelly of the foodie/locavore/sustainable agriculture/regional food shed movements: the moralistic paternalism that plagues these movements. I know owners of local CSAs who mock the over-willingness of their own members to pay through the nose for anything stamped “local.” The same mescalun salad mix sold for $12 per pound at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market is sold for considerably less at markets elsewhere. Whole Foods Market is known within the natural foods industry as the retailer for natural foods customers for whom price is not an object. Thus, a trip to the Ann Arbor Whole Foods Market, and one sees a parking lot dotted with Volvos, BMWs and even the occasional Hummer. This precious text comes from the While Foods Market web site Meat & Poultry section:

We still do meat and poultry the old-fashioned way, when people cared where their meat came from, how it was raised and how it was processed…We offer organic meats, raised humanely and processed with a measure of compassion, custom cut to your specifications when you want it.

Cue B.R. Myers rolling his eyes and Eddie Huang (puking).

Monica Eng blogs about food and wine at the Chicago Tribune, and in her post (“Are foodies morally challenged?”), a response to B.R. Myers’s essay, writes: “Foodies are an elitist, gluttonous, vocal minority who feign concern for animals while fetishizing their consumption.” She ends the piece by asking whether foodies “have gotten out of hand.” Finally, in the opinion of the writer at the popular Vegan.com, Myers’s essay gets two thumbs up. Blogger Erik Marcus writes, “A brilliant Atlantic piece calls out the bestselling foodie writers, revealing them for what they are: pretentious ethically challenged gluttons feigning a meaningful social agenda…Good, good stuff. And so cathartic.”

Make some popcorn and find a comfy chair. I have a feeling this food fight is far from over.

Short URL: http://www.a2politico.com/?p=5995

80 Comments for “The A2P Foodist: The Moral Crusade Against Foodies”

  1. “…I’m already getting more than what I need from the Olympia Co-op issue. In fact, once a new co-op boycott crops up, all I need to do is provide information about the underhanded tactics used to institute the Olympia boycott and demonstrate the division, misery and mayhem that decision has caused (and contrast that with the inclusiveness and thoughtfulness that led to boycott rejections, followed by community harmony, elsewhere) and voila: another co-op boycott attempt heads towards the drain.”


  2. No matter how you slice it, dice it, or rice it, the Olympia Food Co-op Board circumvented their own bylaws to shove this thing down the throats of their members. Only undemocratically can BDS get even the slightest toehold as wherever food co-ops hold fair elections, the Bigoted, Divisive, Singling out of the Middle East’s only viable, multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic democracy is crushed as it was here in Ann Arbor, in Brooklyn, in Boston, etc. Olympia is an abhorrent aberration that proves the rule.

    For accurate reporting on this issue, see:

    http://stopbdsparkslope.blogspot.com/2012/04/daily-show-segment.html, which exposes the fanatical inanity of the whole BDS insanity;

    http://www.divestthis.com a place where there is always good, substantive discussion and exposure of the spurious, cynical BDS campaign. And, unlike Henry Herskovitz’s toxic blogs, the moderator lets boycotteers flail away, which reveals even more clearly how utterly disingenuous are all their claims;

    http://www.hvcn.org/info/feh/ delineates brilliantly what a hate-filled, cynical campaign Henry Herskovitz leads in his immoral decade-long siege of a Jewish house of worship here in Ann Arbor and clearly demonstrates how he and his tiny cult are fueled by nothing more, nothing less than abject antisemitism. If you look at the links at this site to Henry’s own websites, you will see he is an unrepentant Judeophobe and Jew baiter who boasts of commonality with the Phelps Family, Charles Coughlin, and a host of radical Holocaust deniers and Jew haters. And, this is at root what BDS is all about.

    • @Mike:

      “…the Olympia Food Coop Board circumvented their own by-laws to shove this thing down the throats of their members.”

      Not true. In fact during the course of the shareholder lawsuit, the board had offered to revisit the issue of boycott implementation by referring the matter to a binding member referendum. This offer was recommended by Judge McPhee to the Plaintiffs who rejected it.

      Judge McPhee rejected the contention of Plaintiffs that the board did not adhere to the by-laws in its passage of the boycott. The Plaintiffs have learned a very expensive lesson.

      There is currently dicussion locally about renewing efforts to impose a boycott on Israeli goods at the People’s Food Co-op and use the strategy of the Olympia Food Coop supporters as a guide.

      I applaud the hard work of Olympia BDS advocates that has paid off as well as their attorneys who unselfishly fought one of Washington’s most prestigious corporate law firms and were victorious.

      The BDS/Israel movement arises of concern over the human rights violations against the Palestinian people.

      • You can fabricate as much as you want, but the truth is that had the Olympia Food Co-op board followed its bylaws that require a strong consensus of all staff members in support of a boycott—the staff was bitterly divided over this—the boycott would have failed there as it has virtually everywhere else. The Olympia boycott exists _only_ because of the violations.

        Wherever BDS (Bigoted Divisive Speciousness) rears its very ugly, hate-fueled head, only misery and discord are sown. Once these dark, malevolent forces with their phony “human rights” tinge are pushed back as is the case here in Ann Arbor and in Park Slope, Brooklyn, etc., peace and harmony reign once again.

        It seems that as in Olympia, the local proponents of the bigoted BDSers will do anything they can to circumvent democracy. In 2007, their resolution to clear the People’s Food Co-op of its few Israeli products was defeated overwhelmingly by a vote of 77%-23%. Shortly afterward, stealth candidate Charles Loucks tried to sneak his way onto the PFC Board to peddle his anti-Israel agenda and was easily defeated.

        In the spring of 2009, Loucks and Henry Herskovitz, leader of a cult that has besieged an Ann Arbor synagogue for nearly a decade, attempted the same takeover in a one-issue push for two PFC Board positions. Between _the two of them,_ they gleaned less than 10% of the vote. Obviously, the members of the PFC have no love for the BDS bigotry of Loucks and Herskovitz. If three crushing defeats for the bigots as well as repeated failures everywhere but Olympia, where only circumvention of democracy caused an aberrational “victory” for the malevolent forces, doesn’t tell you all need to know about how derisive, divisive, and toxic are BDS campaigns, you’ll never get the hint.

        The hatred for democratic outcomes and for democratic Israel are the reasons that BDSers want to try to emulate the deceitful, scheming methodology that is what defines the actions in Olympia as they know a free and open election like those held at the PFC in Ann Arbor will always lead to their defeat and downfall.

        “The BDS/Israel movement arises of concern over the human rights violations against the Palestinian people.”

        That’s a totally ludicrous claim. BDS arises out of nothing more, nothing less than an irrational hatred for the only Jewish state in the world for absolutely no balanced reason other than that its originators in the Middle East consist of all the forces who cannot tolerate a non-Moslem country in their midst and least of all, a Jewish one.

        BDSers are hypocrites who are not in the least bothered by the true human rights violations perpetrated not only against Palestinian Arabs by their leaders in Hamas and the Palestinian Authority but by every Arab- or Moslem-controlled territory in which they live where they have purposely been kept in squalid refugee camps for over 6o years and oppressed mightily not by Israel but their co-religionist and fellow Arabs.

        The deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians by Hamas and its cohorts with Qassam rockets are blatantly ignored or dismissed by BDSers while they always assail Israel for legitimately defending itself from such attacks. What about the constant human rights violations committed by Palestinian Arabs against Israelis? Why does that not concern you in the least? Why no distress about the thousands murdered daily in Syria? Why is it that Arabs raping, enslaving, pillaging, torturing, and mass-murdering Blacks in Darfur by the hundreds of thousands is something that BDSers are silent about? Why no outrage that the “Arab Spring” has devolved into fanatical demonstrations in Libya and Egypt and across the Moslem world where US and other embassies are attacked and American diplomats who helped overthrow dictators like Qaddafi and help the Libyans institute democracy are brutally murdered? Why are BDSers so unconcerned that Shiites and Sunnis slaughter each other left and right in Iraq; Christian churches are bombed by Moslem extremists in Nigeria; Copts are beheaded by Islamists in Egypt; Iran violently suppresses any calls for democracy in their fascist theocracy while forcing its women to cover up and calls for genocide against the Jewish state of Israel; Islamist fanatics murder infidels and other Moslems constantly in Pakistan?

        The monomaniacal, hate-fueled fixation on Israel—which for all its imperfections like other democratic states is truly a model of tolerance, openness, multiculturalism, multiethnicity, and freedom compared to _every_ other country and government in the Middle East and the Moslem world—is clearly something a lot more sinister than “concern over the human rights” of Palestinian Arabs. Singling out the world’s only Jewish state for boycotts and sanctions is not only hypocritical, it is antisemitism whether covert or overt.

  3. Josephine Devereaux

    More news has come down recently about the pro-Palestinian Olympia Food Coop boycott against Israeli products.

    The individual shareholders who filed the lawsuit to end the boycott have been ordered to pay $160,000.00 as legal damages to the sixteen defendents they named in the lawsuit. See the article dated July 12, 2012 and entitled “Olympia Co-op Members Who Sued to End Boycott Must Pay $160K” posted at http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/07/12/v-lite/2213053/5-olympia-food-co-op-members-who.htmail

    Another fine article is “Who’s Who Behind the Olympia Food Boycott Lawsuit” dated February 22, 2012 in Mondoweiss that can be downloaded at http://www.mondoweiss.net/2012/02/whos-who-behind-the-Olympia-food-co-op-lawsuit-2.htm;#strinin

    The Mondoweiss article indicates that the shareholder derivative lawsuit was covered in the Israeli press and an official in the Israeli Foreign Ministry made a public statement hinting that the court action was backed by the government of Israel. The Washington attorneys representing the shareholders both have strong ties to Israeli-linked organizations. The pro-Israel group Stand With Us has been promoting the lawsuit and met with the plaintiffs as has an Israeli Consulate official stationed in the West.

    At the last hearing in the case the judge requested the defense attorneys representing the co-op and the directors for an itemization of their costs and attorney fee claims be presented for his consideration. The attorneys have told the court that the total amount is $280,000.00; Robert Sulkin, the counsel for plaintiffs derided the amount as “outrageous”. The judge in the case has alraedy indicated he expects the plaintiffs to appeal his ruling dismissing the claims of the shareholders.

        • Thanks for the “Mondoweiss” link.

          That clearly shows that the Israeli government has been so apprehensive of the BDS movement that they have gone to great lengths to intimidate and sue the board members who tried to create the boycott against Israeli goods.

          I seriously doubt that five ordinary citizens could have hired one of the most expensive law firms in the State of Washington to litigate a political issue such as the boycott against Israeli goods that the Olympia board issued; the government of Israel likely financed the prosecution of this action by Robert Sulkin’s law firm. The $160,000 in damages and any attorney fee award will likely be picked up by the Israeli government or pro-Israel organizations in the U.S.

          The important theme is that the Olympia Food Co-op stood its ground and, absent a reversal on appeal, will have dealt an embarrasingly powerful defeat of pro-Israel forces in a court of law. The whole case backfired on the shareholder-plaintiffs.

          The other related fiasco was when Olympia’s Kitzel’s Crazy Jewish Delicatessen began supplying Israeli foods that were banned by the Olympia Food Co-op. Kitzel’s held a pro-Israel rally in conjunction with Stand With Us in which its chapter president was publically berated by the father of Rachel Corrie. Kitzel’s sales revenues plunged by 50% after this incident.

          These events in the State of Washington are a harbinger of things to come throught the U.S. very soon.

          I salute the Huron Valley Greens in their support of boycotting products imported from Israel.

          • “I seriously doubt that five ordinary citizens could have hired one of the most expensive law firms in the State of Washington to litigate a political issue such as the boycott against Israeli goods that the Olympia board…”

            Typical BDS maneuver—like all their specious claims against Israel—to make blatant accusations without presenting a shred of evidence. This is just like the whole BDS campaign: baseless, biased, bigoted, unbalanced, and spurious.

            And, it is the BDSers who never lose or fail to manufacture an opportunity to bully and try to browbeat anyone they can, like the daring owners of the deli in Olympia whom they harass. And, because Rachel Corrie’s father joins in on the intimidation doesn’t make the smear campaign against Israel any more convincing or legitimate. Because his daughter foolishly threw her life away in a hate campaign where she attempted to aid and abet terrorists re-arming themselves for more attacks against Israeli civilians doesn’t in the least excuse her actions or anyone else trying to continue or venerate her reprehensible activities. One can certainly feel empathy for the tragic loss of his young daughter without embracing his or his late daughter’s political ideology. One can feel the pain of the loss and still rightfully find the actions on her part that helped bring about her death and boycotts carried out in her name as totally abhorrent.

            “But getting back to Olympia, this is one of the few places where a mix of numbers, aggressiveness and (in Olympia’s case) the Corrie factor (in the form of a foundation named after her and run by her parents) means that you can’t walk down the street without condemnation of Israel staring you in the face (literally). Anti-Israel films and cultural events are almost weekly occurrences in the town and Evergreen College (even more than Hampshire) is a school so unwelcoming to people not willing to toe the anti-Israel line that students have actually transferred out to avoid harassment.” —Jon Haber


            Face facts: Olympia is a deviation from the norm. The true indication of BDS’s future is what happened here in Ann Arbor; in Park Slope; with the Presbyterian Church (USA) voting to not divest from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola, three companies that do much business with Israel including notably the IDF; New York City’s partnership consisting of Cornell University and The Technion of Haifa on a large-scale applied sciences campus on Roosevelt Island; the City Council of Sacramento voting unanimously a couple of weeks back to adopt Ashkelon, Israel as a sister city; Great Britain’s resolving to enthusiastically and firmly pursue “a stronger partnership between British and Israeli companies in innovation, high technology, and science;” the failed attempt to keep Israel’s national theater off the stage of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in England; the Australian government soundly rejecting calls to boycott Max Brenner, an Israeli chocolate company with this unequivocal statement by former PM and then Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, “I don’t think in 21st-century Australia there is a place for the attempted boycott of a Jewish business;” the Cour de Cassation (France’s Supreme Court) struck down any public call for boycotts against Israeli products as incitement and discrimination based on nationality, and in short nullified such calls as being against French law.

            And not only does the People’s Food Co-op in Kerrytown still carry Israeli products despite Kerry D’s, Henry Herskovitz’s, Blaine Coleman’s, and Chuck Loucks fervent desire that they do not and their futile boycott advocacy, but so does virtually every store in Ann Arbor, in Michigan, and across North America from Hiller’s to Plum Market to Kroger to Busch’s to Whole Foods to Meijer to Trader Joe’s to Costco to Arab markets such as Mediterranean Market & Bakery in Farmington Hills and Babylon Ethnic Foods in West Bloomfield. BTW, the latter two Arab merchants carry so many Israeli products, much more than what one finds even at Hiller’s. What I listed is just the tip of the iceberg and only food and personal care products. Good luck trying to boycott them all! You’ll have about as much success as you had at the PFC.

            And, Olympia is such an anomaly that the chances of it being replicated almost anywhere else, especially here in Ann Arbor are slim and none.

            The Huron Valley Greens aren’t worthy of the name “Green” as they have abandoned a once admirable campaign to clean up the environment for a single issue driven by hate and hypocrisy: the dismantling of the world’s only Jewish State, which equals genocide against more than a third of the world’s Jews. This kind of bigotry is a formula for defeat by the forces of good in this world. The many businesses, companies, food co-ops, and government agencies who boldly reject and thwart the BDS calls for embargoes against Israel are the ones truly worthy of praise.

            • @Mike:

              The Olympia Food Co-op does in fact carry an Israeli product – “Peace Oil” – olive oil bottled by Palestinians exported from Israel.

              The Stand With Us organization you like to allude to favorably was described as “thuggish” by the J-Street group, a moderate body of mainstream Jewish-Americans that I am sure you are familiar with.

              They juxtaposed a photo of Craig and Cindy Corrie with a second picture of Nazi Brownshirts on their website and you wonder why the Washington public and citizens of Olympia especially alllied to the defense of the Corries?

              You discuss the Park Slope Co-op boycott vote in Brooklyn that was defeated – but it got about 40 of the vote in a heavily Jewish area. Also remember Mayor Bloomberg publically denounced the boycott attempt as anti-business.

              As I have said, the five shareholder plaintiffs have learned an expensive lesson and we will no doubt be hearing more about that law case in the media as the judge considers the $280,000 attorney fee request submitted by the co-op and the current and former members of the board of directors. The five shareholder plaintiffs are expected to appeal the court’s ruling so the matter will continue to receive national attention.

              I want to see the people of Ann Arbor come together and place another vote for a boycott on the ballot for membership consideration.

              • Anne says: “You discuss the Park Slope Co-op boycott vote in Brooklyn that was defeated – but it got about 40[%] of the vote in a heavily Jewish area…”

                Your disingenuousness is showing: The PSFC balloting was only a vote to determine if the members wanted to even vote on it, i.e. allow the boycott resolution to even go forward , not on enacting such a boycott itself. To continue to say otherwise as the BDS bigots keep on doing is perpetuation of a lie, a transparent and repetitive BDS M.O. That 60% of the Park Slope members rejected even allowing a vote to even be taken on such a nasty resolution is the real story there. Many of those PSFC members interviewed after that vote—as here in Ann Arbor by many of those who voted to put such a resolution before the electorate of the PFC—said that they did so in order to see it go down to an even bigger defeat if the Park Slope Food Co-op members voted on it, which it would have, just as it did here in 2007.

                And, when it comes to swastikas, the BDSers deploy them all the time just as they did in front of the PFC in Kerrytown when they tried—as in most places—to spuriously claim Israel can be equated with Nazis to desperately get their odious resolution passed. Just as they do in front of a Jewish house of worship in Ann Arbor for nearly ten years now. And, I suppose that Anne thinks the decade-long harassment of worshippers at a synagogue every Saturday with hateful signs including some with swastikas similar to the picketing and boycotting of Jewish institutions and business in 1930s and 1940s Germany and other places is an acceptable, compassionate thing to do. Raising the use of this detestable symbol, which is often used on the placards of boycotters, is nothing but unadulterated hypocrisy.

                Anne wants “to see the people of Ann Arbor come together and place another vote for a boycott on the ballot for membership consideration.”

                Well, what you and a tiny band of extremists want and what will actually happen are two very different things. After the overwhelming rejection of just such a move in 2007 followed in fairly short order by increasingly humiliating defeats of PFC board candidates who had one-note platforms advocating boycotting Israeli products at the Co-op in the period right after the trouncing of the resolution, you should face this overarching truth: you will never get any closer to having your hate-fueled boycott even get put before the members of the PFC, let alone pass. And, as everywhere that such BDS propaganda is introduced, it only creates conflict, divisiveness, extreme friction, ill will, and discord.

  4. http://www.hvcn.org/info/feh/

    the above link depicts some of those who have weighed into
    a year old thread with a lame attempt at reviving a locally
    defunct issue ( the boycott of cous cous)by a defunct group
    ( the Green Party )and its monomaniac synagogue harassing ally
    herr Herkovitz who seems to pay dues to sway grocery store
    policy 3000 miles away).

  5. PS: ChuckL, they name is hypocrisy. He knows how to do nothing _else_ _but_ make ad hominem attacks like calling his victorious opponents liars and cheats and impugning the PFC Board and all the Co-op’s voting members because they had the temerity to kick him, Herskovits, and their BIGoted resolution to the curb every time it arose. If that’s not sore losing and lack of substance, I don’t know what is. He stamped his feet and stormed out when he saw the vote go against him and his running mate.

    And watch that grammar, Chuck, “…me and Henry?” Guess there is someone with an even bigger ego than Mr. Herskovitz in town. Too bad you haven’t yet made the “splash” that he has!

    • Mike,

      Your rants play like a broken record; you really are obsessed and you should be careful when advising others to “get a life.” The length of your rants and the blatant
      distortion of my positions to suit your own needs attest to the level of your obsession. Look at your arguments, “It amazes me how such monomaniacs never seem to be
      bothered by the crimes done by Israel’s neighbors” <– could have come from Israel's propaganda ministry. I would also point out that the US government is not sending large sums of tax dollars to those neighbors nor running interference in the UN on their behalf either.

      • If anyone should know about tape loops, ChuckL, it is you and your tiny cult of fanatics. You just can’t handle substantive arguments that put the lie to your bumper sticker sound bites. How can I distort a position that is already so twisted there’s no way to untangle it? Your business about “Israel’s propaganda ministry”* is straight out of the Hamas, pseudo-“Greens,” Henry Herskovitz, ISM BDS ministry of lies playbook.

        And you could “… point out that the US government is not sending large sums of tax dollars to those neighbors nor running interference in the UN on their behalf either” and other such rehashed nonsense over and over and over again as you always do, but you always ignore this: the US gives just as much money to embassy-attacking, Christian-beheading Egypt (but you never say word one about how their so-called “Arab Spring” has turned into the Arab _nightmare;_ pumps millions into the corrupt condoners of “honor” killings in Palestinian Arab controlled Gaza and the West Bank; buys enough oil from Saudi Arabia that makes what we “give” to Israel (money very well spent, by the way, for the only stable and dependable friend the US has in the Middle East) look like pocket change; obscene amounts of foreign and military that aid goes to Pakistan that fuels the duplicitous regime there that purports to help us fight terrorism while helping launch terrorist attacks against India and aids the Taliban; while we help China, one of the world’s biggest and most repressive human rights violators grow ever richer by giving them an inordinate amount of trade that again makes the pittance our government gives to Israel pale by comparison. Again, it’s so easy to rip apart your feeble arguments. I also guarantee that if the US government didn’t send a single shekel to Israel, you would still foam at the mouth about their so-called “massacres” all the same. Money is only one of your smokescreens for hating the world’s only Jewish state and wishing to see it eliminated.

        I warrant that just the way you and your ilk always ignore the real evil in the world—of which you are a part because you only can attack Israel and its defenders and no one else except of course the US because it is Israel’s staunchest friend—if all things were equal including the money you never stop raving about, and Israel was a country with any other name and an Arab-controlled Moslem, Christian, Atheist, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Chinese, Turkish, Mexican, Libyan, or anything _but_ Jewish, we’d never hear a peep from you about its “crimes.” And, of course, your conscience is never troubled by any of the truly serious atrocities committed by any of the other entities and many more delineated above, and no matter how much US funding goes to those regimes and other entities because, what do they lack? Your litmus test for singling any of them out: none of them is Jewish!

        And it is fabulous that the US sticks up for Israel in the UN. Why shouldn’t we? I don’t see your sense of outrage at Hamas’s diverting UN aid that is supposed to help the people of Gaza into their coffers just as they use their civilians as human shields.


        *Israel could actually could use a good bureau of information as the one thing that great little country is pretty bad at is getting the word out as to what a truly great place it is and how the envious, venomous, and covetous hatred of their Arab and Moslem neighbors and the hissy fits that regularly spew forth from the cheerleaders for terrorism such as you, Kerry D, Mark Koroi, and Aimee Smith, Josephine Devereaux, and Henry Herskovitz get into because your desperately desired boycott of the greatest country by far in the Middle East will never wash.


        So, what part of hypocrisy and simplistic lies that you forever spout do you still fail to grasp, Chuck? I expect, of course, that you will soon follow with another of your stuck-in-the-groove litanies of mendacity to try once again to sell your fallacious arguments that no one with any sense of fairness and clear-headedness will ever buy.

        • Mike,

          Does Egypt have nuclear weapons? My understanding is that Israel has about 200 nuclear warheads in its arsenal. It is also the case that Israel will not open up to international inspection or sign treaties agreeing not to develop nuclear weapons. So, what gives? Israel wants the US to backstop preemptive attacks (that is naked aggression) against Iran to prevent Iran from getting technology that could lead to a nuclear weapon while Israel has a massive nuclear arsenal. With friends like Israel, who needs enemies?

          Egypt was a signer of the Camp David accord which was a tremendous benefit to Israel as evidenced by the closing of the Rafa Boarder by the Mubarak government; a strong case can be made that US aid to Egypt was a major subsidy to benefit Israel.

          • ChuckL, keep bringing up your smokescreens. As Israel is the only stable and reliable democracy in the Middle East, they are the least likely country to ever use nuclear weapons. You don’t seem troubled that highly-subsidized (by US taxpayer money) highly unstable/terrorist ridden-Pakistan has nuclear weapons. Why is that?

            And now you seem bothered that there was (maybe still is?) a fragile peace between Israel and Egypt? It proves again that peace and stability are not what your and Henry’s so-called “Jewish” Witnesses for “Peace” really want. Your only heart’s desire is the destruction of the only Jewish state in the world. If that weren’t true, we’d hear you raise your still single-issue tape-loop voice about the other and really far-more troubling violations of human rights—whether subsidized by US funds or not—that occur all over the world. We’re still waiting to hear a single world of balance from you that is not focused on the only Jewish nation on the planet. I won’t hold my breath.

            • What smokescreen? You also implicitly confirm
              that Israel has nukes. Bibi N. is using the
              specter of a
              nuclear armed Iran as justification for preemptive
              war and he wants America to do the heavy lifting
              of taking on the Iranian military, what a great
              friend Bibi is to the US!

              Stable and reliable democracy = minimal use
              of nuclear weapons? <= Not! (the US is still the
              only country that has detonated nukes on people.)
              The main way nukes have been used is by nations
              with nuclear weapons making threats on non-
              nuclear nations. Pakistan needs nukes to keep
              nuclear armed India from either the use of or
              blackmail threats by nuclear weapons. India needs
              nukes to keep China from doing the same. If any
              of these nuclear powers were to use nuclear
              weapons on their most likely opponent, the result
              would more than likely result in mutual suicide. The
              reason a nuclear armed Iran is a threat to Israel
              is due to the depreciation of Israel's nuclear
              blackmail capability against Iran–which is
              not a reason for American solders and
              the public to risk war with Iran on. The mullahs
              running Iran maybe zealots but they value staying
              in power above all else–they won't risk their
              cushy positions in the name of jihad. But any of
              this is moot due to the fact that most experts
              on the matter have pointed out that there is no
              evidence Iran is even close to getting a nuclear

              • As usual, ChuckL, you have dug yourself into a hole or painted yourself into a corner you can’t escape from. You have a justification for what every other country in the world does including some pretty nasty customers like Pakistan, Iran, and China. Whether Israel does or doesn’t have nuclear weapons is now beside the point. The fact that you think it’s peachy keen for everyone else to have them while Israel perhaps being armed with nuclear weapons is something you abhor is in line with your never accepting Israel’s right to exist, let alone defend herself.

                At the same time, you actually make the case as to why Israel is so unlikely to unleash such weapons: it would be suicide because they are in very close proximity to a number of countries, quasi-governments, and terrorists who want to annihilate the Jewish State—which by every thing you say, you fervently desire, too—and their enemies are right on their borders. You also excuse Pakistan having nuclear weapons as a preventative restraint against its neighbors but again hypocritically deny Israel’s right to a deterrent.

                I wonder who your “experts” are. What you say is absolutely contrary to the IAEA. In the agency’s report less than a month ago, they affirmed that Iran has already installed 75% of the centrifuges needed to manufacture nuclear fuel and that test explosions their government has conducted are likely related to producing nuclear weapons. But I suppose you would still be OK with the repressive Islamic Republic buying more and more time so that they can have a deterrent against Israel or maybe just their Saudi and other Arabian Peninsula neighbors? It’s almost fascinating how you make excuses for virtually every government in the world, especially despotic ones to do whatever they want, no matter how reprehensible, but all you ever do is condemn only Israel or anyone who offers any support for the Jewish State. Smokescreens don’t even begin to cover it.

                • Mike, since I don’t need to apologize for not being a sycophant for the Israeli government, you can accuse me all you want of “painting myself into a corner”. You see, Mike, it’s okay to not be a citizen of Israel and it’s okay to not carry Israel’s water. What is not okay is lying to people in this country the same way the Bush Administration did in regard to the now completely discredited claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. We have been here before Mike and the snake oil Bibi is selling is the same old stuff Bush was selling in 2003. Speaking of Bibi, it’s no secret he’s buddy-buddy with Mitt the Twit; is Bibi trying to throw a US election Mitt’s way? A lot of people here would like to know.

              • ChuckL, as usual you ignore the substance of my posts as you clutter every blog you pollute with non-sequiturs. I have no love for George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, and in essence, the lies you try to peddle are more in line with the prevarications of G.W. Bush. I do not work for the Israeli government, but, the one thing I must reiterate is that your singling out Israel for your special brand of hatred while ignoring the true actual crimes and egregious human rights violations of Israel’s neighbors and a host of other countries especially Islamic and Arab ones the world over is sheer and unequivocal hypocrisy that cannot disguise what is your obvious hatred for Jews and their one and only state. But, don’t worry; Israel doesn’t need your approval to overcome the dark forces of hatred that you support.

                And, to think that Benjamin Netanyahu can have any influence over who will win the US election is absolutely ludicrous. Besides, I’ve often heard you or at least your allies such as Blaine Coleman and Henry Herskovitz rail against Obama. And, since you stand shoulder to shoulder with Herr Herskovitz, who recently ran—and predictably was easily defeated—as a Republican, you must also now share his sudden new (?) allegiance to the Republican Party and its standard bearer, Willard “Mitt” Romney. Do you really think your Green candidate has a ghost of a chance of winning the presidency?

                Everything you claim is so full of doubletalk and non-sequiturs, it’s hard not burst out laughing every time you try to compete with substantive, well-thought out arguments, which is a skill you sorely lack and will never obtain. Sorry, ChuckL, you lose yet again, just as whenever you try to run for anything.

                • Mike,

                  I’m never phased by your over-the-top
                  ad hominem attacks since the inherent pompous
                  arrogance you display is obvious.
                  Non-sequiturs? Your IMPLIED position all along
                  has been that it was okay for the Co-op Board
                  to rig the elections by not following their own
                  rules. I say IMPLIED since you have never
                  directly addressed the substance of my claims
                  and have instead chosen to wage a relentless
                  smear campaign directed against me personally
                  to deflect from the very real
                  issues of due process I raised in my two
                  campaigns. Finally, if winning means the
                  perpetuation of the existing order, then I’ll
                  choose to “lose” every time.

                • You know, ChuckL, you really should spend more time taking spelling lessons than venting your hatred at the world’s only Jewish State. “Phased?” C’mon, you can (maybe?) do better than that! Ignorance does carry over into other _phases_ of someone’s life including the way that person views global politics. _Phase_ = taking an action in stages. You must have meant faze = being muddled, agitated, bewitched, bewildered, bothered, disturbed, which you actually must be by cogent speech that puts the lie to your political theories.

                  When someone can’t deal with substantive arguments, I notice a pattern by flummoxed interlocutors to accuse those making forceful, sound debate points of making “ad hominem” attacks. In reality, the one so charged has just once again deftly debunked the accuser’s feeble arguments.

                  As for the People’s Food Co-op’s “rigging” elections, I and many others, most notably Pete Schermerhorn of the PFC Board, in great detail explaining over and over here and notably in the late _Arbor Update_—to obviously deaf ears and blind eyes—that all the PFC elections were fair, open, and aboveboard. Pete, in fact, a former member of your HV (long since derailed from admirable environmental causes to becoming Hate & Venom) Greens, actually supports a boycott of Israeli goods, so to accuse him and his fellow board members of “rigging” any elections is worse than an ad hominem attack; it borders on slander and is certainly vilification.


                  And instead of congratulating Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe, the two successful candidates for the Board who defeated you and Mr. Herskovitz, you petulantly fumed, stamped your feet, and ran out of the PFC Membership Meeting in may 2009 rather than face the glaring truth that your hate-fueled campaign against Israel was not shared by the large majority of PFC voters. In addition, you called Rebecca “an unprincipled coward.” Clearly, you are talented at projection as _you_ make the ad hominem attacks and then turn around and accuse those who disagree with your positions of doing the same when all we do is discredit _your_ histrionic, overheated rhetoric. All these years later, you are still fuming and fulminating instead of moving on. And you have the chutzpah to accuse those who always prove you wrong of “inherent pompous
                  arrogance?” Methinks thou dost ail greatly from the malady of the pot calling the kettle black.

                  It’s been nearly 3 ½ years since you and your fellow synagogue stalker and nouveau (?) Republican Henry Herskovitz were overwhelmingly defeated fairly and squarely in your bid to hijack the Co-op with your one-sided monomaniacal issue; over 4 years since your stealth candidacy for the same PFC Board was effortlessly rejected by the PFC members; and over 5 years since your unbalanced resolution to remove the few Israeli goods that the PFC carries from its shelves failed miserably. It seems you would have gotten over those crushing defeats by now, but obviously you are vying for the gold medal of the sore-loser Olympics, and that is a fact not a personal attack. When something is true, stating it is simply uttering the truth. It’s really pitiful and pathetic that one cannot face such obvious facts.

                • Mike,

                  Extending nominating deadlines is rigging an election, pure and simple. It is really
                  not hard to understand this. No election to a public office is allowed to violate
                  this basic rule. Pete’s after-the-fact justifications don’t change any of this. Pete
                  was very clear that he sees no ethical problem with changing deadlines since the board’s
                  Bylaws don’t specifically disallow it. This is really convoluted reasoning since the
                  judgement as to whether an election was fair should not rise or fall solely on what the
                  Bylaws say or don’t say. You can’t hold fair elections if some preferred people
                  are allowed to file after an announced deadline. The board showed it’s group-think
                  doubletalk by failing to run a fair election in my case and the fact a former Green chose to endorse the group-think does not change this.

                  It is interesting that Mike makes a stink of my not being gracious after the second
                  election. This was done for a very good reason, since I directly asked Rebecca Cantor
                  when she got her nomination petition turned in and she refused to answer a direct question (neither did any members of the Board answer this very direct and simple question.) Respect has to be earned Mike and failing to answer direct and simple questions is a slap in the face. Yes, I made it clear I would not extend respect to people who consistently failed to respect me.

                • ChuckL demonstrates clearly that he will grasp at every straw in his desperate efforts to justify his drubbing at the hands of the voting members of the People’s Food Co-op. He admits that the PFC Board didn’t violate any bylaws—unlike what happened in Olympia, BTW—but still insists in his tortured way of thinking that he was grievously wronged. Thanks to the wise Co-op members, the PFC continues to run smoothly; concentrates on its actual priorities; and keeps petulant, bullying, divisive monomaniacs who haven’t a clue as to what a food cooperative is about from trying to hijack and destroy a great Ann Arbor institution that has lasted over forty years and will continue to operate successfully and harmoniously and provide what its members want—not the single issue whims of some political one-note extremists—for many decades to come.

                  ChuckL, I advise you for your own emotional well-being, to get over this, but you seem to want to rail on about this for years and not accept the will of the majority. Too bad. Your loss, not ours.

                  Oh, and by the way, it’s Rebecca _Kanner,_ not Cantor. Maybe if you paid more attention to details and the way things really are and not a narrow, fringe political agenda, you could escape the narrow and toxic confines of the HVG/Herskovites. I sincerely wish you good luck with that endeavor.

                • mike demonstrates clearly that he will grasp
                  at whatever straw that will justify his extreme
                  pro-Zionist agenda even if it means destroying
                  good democratic process. mike, I have been
                  advised by an attorney that were I to have
                  brought a suit to court, it would not have been
                  trivial. The fact the co-op Bylaws did not
                  prohibit the moving of a filing deadline by
                  the board does not mean that fair or sound or
                  even legal process was followed. I maintain
                  that the elections were rigged by the Board’s
                  action and the board appears to have understood
                  this as well since neither Rebecca nor any
                  member of the Board would directly answer my
                  direct question as to when she or the other
                  candidate elected filed their nominating

                • The fact that ChuckL didn’t bring it to trial shows he had no legitimate, lawful legs to stand on just like the fanatical anti-Israel monomaniacal propaganda that forever spews forth from his befuddled mouth. And when it comes to destroying good democratic processes, no one can hold a candle to the sore loser BIGots who three, four, and five years after they were beaten fair and square still can’t accept it. There are many names for such pathologies.

                  You can maintain whatever you want, but it’ll get you no further than any of your failed resolutions and total trouncing s when you put your extremism to a vote before democratic processes that involved people such as the PFC members. And, your repetitive, ill-tempered questions were answered multiple times in great detail by the Board especially by your erstwhile ally Pete Schermerhorn. You have a problem with the PFC Board, take it up with them, otherwise, really you should quit your huffy and ceaseless sore-losing grouching. I’m no fan of Mitt Romney by any means, but at least he made a very gracious and conciliatory concession speech that seemed heartfelt despite his utter shock at his trouncing Tuesday night. That appeared to be (the beginning of) a cathartic process for him in facing up to the reality of what was a grim situation with much bigger stakes for him. That might be a good model for your own long overdue concession. Even three years late, Rebecca and Jim would probably welcome it. It would probably do you a world of good, too.

                  When someone keeps repeating the same actions that led that person nowhere and yet he/she keeps expecting a different outcome, that is truly a form of madness.

                • Major error in my previous reply post: I mean Rebecca and _Jeff._ Why it came out “Jim,” I can’t explain. My sincere apologies to Jeff McCabe!

                • Mike said, “The fact that ChuckL didn’t bring it to trial shows he had no legitimate, lawful legs to stand on just like the fanatical anti-Israel monomaniacal propaganda that forever spews forth from his befuddled mouth.
                  And when it comes to destroying good democratic processes, no one can hold a candle to the sore loser BIGots who three, four, and five years after they were beaten fair and square still can’t accept it. ” No Mike, the reason for not
                  bringing a case to trial was the lack of any meaningful remedy. The court, from my perspective and at best, would have said, “You can’t move the goal post when the ball is in the air the way you did!” And the coop board would have
                  said, “Okay, in the future we won’t do it that way again (because there are many other ways the board can run an unfair election.)” It would have been a toothless victory.

                  Sore loser BIGots? And this blatantly false and over-the-top, inflammatory language is suppose to put me in a magnanimous mood? Sorry, the sore loser label belongs to Mike who can’t admit a simple point and instead subjects
                  us all to a fusillade of specious excuses and justifications.

                • ChuckL proves unequivocally every time he comments that he is the absolute embodiment of the maxim, to keep repeating the same losing strategy over and over again and expect a different result is a form of insanity. When it comes to exaggerated rhetoric, he’s a master only outdone locally by Blaine Coleman. Just take a look at some of ChuckL’s comments at http://arborupdate.com/article/1809/peoples-food-coop-election-results to see precisely who is the purveyor of inflammatory verbiage:

                  “I would like to point out that the results [of the May 2009 Peoples Food Co-op Board election] will forever be tainted by the board’s unprincipled manipulation of the process.”

                  A strong accusation—along with all of ChuckL’s other spurious claims—that has no basis in truth and was easily refuted by Pete Schermerhorn of the PFC Board ad infinitum.

                  More examples: “…the people already running the show [Co-op Board] really don’t want new people to rain on their parade.”

                  “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.”

                  “This employee better vote right if he wants to keep his job!”

                  “I find [Rebecca] Kanner [who, along with Jeff McCabe, overwhelmingly trounced Chuck Loucks and Henry Herskovitz in the 2009 PFC Board election] in particular to be an unprincipled coward.”

                  “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.”

                  Some more histrionic accusations. Just like someone who despises democracy to always demand do-overs until he gets the results he wants even if not by democratic means.

                  I could go on and on, but if you have the patience and the sense of humor for it, go to
                  and see for yourself just who is the sore losing, over-the-top hysteric in this squabble.

                  Everybody but the sore losers like ChuckL and a truly threadbare gang of extremists knows that the PFC elections were fair and democratic and every time—three times in relatively quick succession—the anti-Israel fanatics tried to hijack the Co-ops’ agenda, they were resoundingly and democratically told that the Co-op members wanted no part of the former’s monomaniacal schemes.

                  ChuckL and Herskovitz had as much time—more even by ChuckL’s own admission—to get the word out about their campaign, and the voters wisely chose to devastatingly reject those two fanatics in favor of people with true relevant experience and devotion to the Co-op, its principles, its needs, and its ideals, not a narrow, extremist hate-driven fixated agenda that would have ripped the venerable Ann Arbor institution asunder. To paraphrase that other bastion of “democratic fairness,” George W. Bush, ChuckL is a divider, not a uniter.

                  That ChuckL just can’t accept defeat and move on really reveals a deep-seeded pathology that perhaps only a mental health professional can help him with It will be interesting to see how many more _years_ he goes on not accepting his defeat and squawking about “moral cowardice” and insist that he and his pathological ideology are not fringe, not undemocratic, and not utterly unwanted by an overwhelming preponderance of his fellow citizens.

                  I’ve run for several posts over the past few years, and I didn’t always win. I congratulated those who democratically defeated me and moved on. There, I’ve admitted that I can be a good sport. Too bad ChuckL seems too immature to ever do the same.

                  Happy New Year! Let’s hope it’s a better one than the last and that the forces of sanity, light, tolerance, and peace will reign in 2013 and beyond—for a change!
                  ost and he’s way off base and a

                • [To the two or three of us still booking in, some leftover (?) words accidentally found their way into the end of my previous post. I just wanted to conclude with only these words (so, please ignore that leftover line and accept this heartfelt wish)]:
                  Happy New Year! Let’s hope it’s a better one than the last and that the forces of sanity, light, tolerance, and peace will reign in 2013 and beyond—for a change!

                • And, ChuckL, your petulant, infantile whining is really getting tedious. _Me_ a sore loser? LMAO! I’m a very happy winner going forward with a multifaceted life, not a constantly bitching, crying, and moaning loser stuck in a one-note yawning groove. “Oh, Mommy, look at me! Look how that nasty PFC Board and those awful Co-op members who don’t know that I want to be loved for my hating won’t let me win! It’s just not fair, Mommy!” C’mon ChuckL, grow up: get a life; move on. Find some other issues to work with, maybe planting trees. You do call yourself a “Green,” don’t you? Is that what being a Huron Valley Green is all about? Propagating hatred and being a big crybaby, stamping one’s feet, and running out because one can’t face the terrible truth that he stands so far at the fringe of the forest in a shallow, rootless desert of his own making and that years after getting his rear end pummeled, he just can’t stop the bitching and moaning about how “unfairly” he was treated? Why don’t you give it a rest? Guess you never will. Well, carry on: maybe it’s good therapy.

                • Wow mike, your rants remind me of Jafar in “The
                  Return of Jafar” singing, “You’re only second
                  rate!” Here goes:”I must admit,
                  Your parlor tricks are amusing
                  I bet you’ve got a bunny
                  Under your hat!
                  Now here’s your chance
                  To get the best of me,
                  Hope your hand is hot!
                  C’mon, clown,
                  Let’s see what you’ve got!
                  You try to slam me
                  With your hardest stuff
                  But your double whammy
                  Isn’t up to snuff
                  I’ll set the record straight
                  You’re simply out of date
                  You’re only second rate!
                  You think your cat’s a meanine,
                  But your tiger’s tame
                  You’ve got a lot to learn
                  About the genie game
                  So for your information,
                  I’ll reiterate
                  You’re only second rate!
                  Men cower at the power
                  In my pinky
                  My thumb is number one
                  On every list
                  But if you’re not convinced
                  That I’m invincible,
                  Put me to the test!
                  I’d love to lay this rivalry to rest!
                  Go ahead and zap me
                  With the big surprise
                  Snap me in a trap,
                  Cut me down to size
                  I’ll make a big escape
                  It’s just a piece of cake
                  You’re only second rate!
                  You know, your hocus-pocus
                  Isn’t tough enough
                  And your mumbo-jumbo
                  Doesn’t measure up
                  Let me pontificate
                  Upon your sorry state
                  You’re only second rate!
                  Granny’s gonna grab ya!
                  And this thing’s bigger than the both of us!
                  So spare me your tremendous scare!
                  You look horrendous in your underwear!
                  And I can hardly wait
                  To discombobulate
                  I’ll send ya back and packing
                  In a shipping crate
                  You’ll make a better living
                  With a spinning plate
                  You’re only second rate!”

  6. Josephine Devereaux

    There has been a groundswell of news emanting out of the State of Washington re the Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions movement against Israel in addition to the successful OlympiaFood Coop boycott. See e.g http://www.mynorthwest.com/874/655491/Pastrami–Politics-at-Olympias-Kitzels-Delicatessen

    Several flash mobs and public demonstrations have occurred in Seattle in support of Palestinian rights. other public protests have also occurred in Tacoma and Olympia with significant counter-efforts by pro-Israel groups, including the StandWithUs organization. An Israeli delegation organized by the Israeli Consulate had several publicized meetingscancelled due to pressure from the BDS movement activists. Several local BDS activists from Ann Arbor have relocated to Washington to assist in organizing BDS protests in that state.

    In Brooklyn, New York the Park Slope Co-op recently held a member referendum to boycott Israeli gooods was rejected however it received 40% of the vote – no small accomplishment given the fact Mayor Bloomberg made a public plea for defeating that boycott referendum.

    The People’s Food Co-op locally had its 2007 BDS referendum defeated with only 23% of the member vote in favor of boycotting Israeli goods. I believe if local activists can organize a referendum drive anew there will be much more support of a boycott at the PFC. The Olympia Food Co-op boycott is a model for success.

    It took a number of years before the boycott movement against South African apartheid began taking root around 1980, but once it did it received mainstream public suppport in the U.S. and led to the downfall of apartheid.

    I call upon the Quaker groups locally who organized the Boycott Israeli Goods(BIG) movement and the Huron Valley Greens, who sought to place director candidates on the ballot for the PFC eelctions to re-organize and explore potential strategies to have a BDS boycott at the PFC locally.

    The BDS movement against Israel is one of social justice.

    • Actually I must thank Ms. Devereaux for posting that first link form mynorthwwest. com as it shows quite unmistakably how contaminated with hatred and antisemitism the anomaly of the Olympia co-op boycott and the whole BDS movement. For more about the true ugliness of the bullying tactics against Jewish business frighteningly reminiscent of 1930s and 40s Germany and not unlike Henry Herskovits’s hate-laced siege of Beth Israel Congregation:


      As for your “flash mobs” and other storms of activity, I pose the same question as I did to Kerry (just above): why all this outrage against a small, democratic, multicultural _Jewish_ state, the only true Middle East democracy and absolute silence about the real atrocities going on on a daily basis in many of the lands surrounding Israel and beyond? Is it because none of those other states and quasi-governments is Jewish? I can’t see any other basis for the irrational hatred that targets only Israel and ignores the real crimes going on elsewhere. If you look at this in purely rational light and shed your blinders, you’ll see that I’m right.

      “Several local BDS activists from Ann Arbor have relocated to Washington to assist in organizing BDS protests in that state.” Let’s hope the relocation is permanent, though I feel sorry for Washington State.

      “In Brooklyn, New York the Park Slope Co-op recently held a member referendum to boycott Israeli gooods [sic] was rejected however it received 40% of the vote…” That was only a vote to determine if the members wanted to even vote on it, not on a boycott resolution itself. To say otherwise is not to grasp the truth or try to cover it up. That 60% of the Park Slope members rejected even voting on such a nasty resolution is the real story there. Many of those interviewed after that vote—as here in Ann Arbor by many of those who voted to put such a resolution before the electorate of the PFC—said that they did so in order to see it go down to an even larger defeat if the Park Slope Food Co-op members voted on it, which it would have just as it did here in 2007.
      “The People’s Food Co-op locally had its 2007 BDS referendum defeated with only 23% of the member vote in favor of boycotting Israeli goods. I believe if local activists can organize a referendum drive anew there will be much more support of a boycott at the PFC. The Olympia Food Co-op boycott is a model for success.”

      What the above citation indicates is that yes, _perhaps,_ if the board of the PFC in Kerrytown turned to a devious method that abrogated its bylaws as the board in Olympia did, and bypassed its employees and membership, this kind of BIGoted boycott could possibly be shoved down the throats of the PFC. The moral of this story is, if you can’t win democratically, do it by cheating like they did in Olympia, the very rare exception to what happens to proposed boycotts of the world’s only Jewish state in food co-ops and other business in North America.

      And any endeavor to compare democratic, tolerant, multiracial, multiethnic, Israel with the former racist regime of South Africa is not only a case of apples and oranges, far worse, it is spurious and racist itself.

      Any attempts to revive the BIGotry that failed three times in succession at the PFC between 2007 and 2009 will again be utterly crushed. It only shows that the enemies of the world’s only (and very tiny) Jewish state are relentless in their fanatical hatred. Be assured, any further attempts to target Israel at the people’s Food Co-op will be met with just as stiff and democratic resistance as it was beginning five years ago. And, as then, you will keep losing.

      The BDS movement against Israel is one of hatred, lies, bigotry, racism, intolerance, antisemitism, and social injustice. If BDS proponents weren’t such hypocrites and antisemites (or the pawns of antisemites), they would drop this cynical targeting of Israel and rail about the real atrocities in the world, which are perpetrated in almost all the lands surrounding Israel and well beyond from the Palestinian Arab-ruled territories to Syria to Lebanon to Egypt to Sudan to Niger to Nigeria to Zimbabwe to Saudi Arabia to Iran to Pakistan to Afghanistan to Iraq to Indonesia to China and well beyond. Why the BDSers can’t get worked up about those true crimes against humanity can mean only one thing. The leaders of many of the Arab and Moslem countries (why, Assad is even blaming _Israel_ for the revolt against his murderous tyrannical regime) are delighted that people get caught up in things like BDS as it’s yet another way they can make bigots and easily-duped people divert their eyes from the slaughter and other criminality that goes on in all of their own backyards.

  7. You’re welcome, Chuck.

    I appreciate your efforts in running for the PFC board of directors to advance the cause of the BDS movement against Israel.

    It should be again be noted that Olympia,Washington is the hometown of Rachel Corrie and her parents gave vocal support to not only the PFC boycott but also the defense of the lawsuit by pro-Israel interests to stop the boycott that had been passed by the Olympia Food Co-op board. That board offered to settle that case by allowing a membership referendum to decide the issue of continuing the boycott, but the pro-Israel plaintiffs declined. After losing their case, the judge recommended that the referendum offer be accepted to avoid costly appeals but the plaintiffs have yet to agree.

    I believe that if the PFC boycott issue were again to be placed on the referendum ballot and we had someone like the Corries appear to give public support as they did in Olympia, the boycott referendum effort would do a lot better.

    I have been disappointed by the politics played by the PFC board in trying to torpedo both the PFC boycott referendum effort in 2007 as well as your attempts to get elected to the board.

    • Ah, Kerry, no surprise that you appreciate Chuck’s “efforts” (at falling on his face). As for the rest of us People’s Food Co-op members, we do not appreciate bigotry and hatred and the continued singling-out by a bunch of fanatics with only one issue in their rotting platforms of the Middle East’s only truly democratic and multicultural society and the world’s only Jewish state.

      It amazes me how such monomaniacs never seem to be bothered by the crimes done by Israel’s neighbors and many other countries around the world that on their _best_ days make Israel on its _worst_ day always come off smelling like a rose. There must be a reason that there is so much rage about Israel and dead silence from the BDSers/BIGots when it comes to the incredible genocide in Darfur; the millions who have been slaughtered in the Congo; the “honor” killings of even little girls by their own families in Palestinian-Arab controlled territories; the mass murder by Assad of his own citizens in Syria; the theocratic fascism of an ever-closer to nuclear weapons Iran along with their violent beating-down of Iranians who demand an open, democratic society (like maybe the one in Israel) as well as the subjugation of women, Jews, Baha’is, Zoroastrians, Christians, and any other non-Islamic minority and murder of homosexuals; the way women are covered up and denied many basic rights in medieval-leaning Saudi Arabia; the constant attacks against Christians and other non-Muslims by Islamic fanatics in Egypt, Nigeria, Niger, Pakistan, India, etc; not to mention that more Moslems and Arabs are maimed, raped, tortured, stoned, humiliated, dehumanized, bombed, beheaded, and otherwise brutalized by other Arabs and Moslems than by any other group.

      And, if you are all so truly concerned about the rights of Palestinian Arabs, why not a word about how Palestinians are kept in refugee camps and treated worse than dogs in virtually every Arab-controlled territory from the PA-governed areas to Lebanon to Syria to Saudi Arabia to Kuwait? There must be a reason (and not a rational, sane one) that tiny, democratic Israel is singled out above all these others who commit true human rights violations on an ongoing basis. And, I have to conclude that it is _only_ because Israeli s a _Jewish_ state If that’s not the case, prove it! The lack of even the slightest indignation about the many horrific crimes against humanity committed by a veritable host of nations and governments speaks volumes about the sinister forces behind BDS and proposed boycotts of Israel that even snares well-intentioned people.

      Kerry says: “I believe that if the PFC boycott issue were again to be placed on the referendum ballot and we had someone like the Corries appear to give public support as they did in Olympia, the boycott referendum effort would do a lot better.” Yet another sign that the BIGots will stop at nothing to try to compel an unwilling PFC to accept bigotry and hatred. If local “activists” couldn’t convince a savvy electorate that the BIGotry proposal was not what we wanted, just keep trying again and again and bring in outsiders (it is after all, a shadowy Middle East group that proposes to tell groups everywhere including here in America what they should do). _Local_ membership rejects the racism of BDS, and try as desperately as you may, Olympia is the aberration that proves the rule. Anti-Israel boycotts will not pass muster when people know the truth about them.

      Kerry again:“I have been disappointed by the politics played by the PFC board in trying to torpedo both the PFC boycott referendum effort in 2007 as well as your attempts to get elected to the board.” What you are actually disappointed in is the way democracy works. What happened in Olympia is an example of dictatorship, the only way BDS BIGotry has any chance of succeeding. What happened here in 2007-2009 at the PFC is democracy in action. Too bad you don’t like it when its results go against your BIGoted scenarios.

  8. Kerry D,

    Thanks for the good news. The Ann Arbor Co-op was pathetic in the under-handed methods it was willing to use to keep me off the board. Notice how “Mike” proves himself to be the true sore loser since his arguments rely heavily on ad hominem attack. The co-op is so pathetic the reason me and Henry ran the second time around is because we just new the board would resort to the same under-handed methods deployed against me the first time around (in round one, they put an employee on the ballot after the nomination period had passed–both times, there were just enough people nominated after the deadline by the board to knock the pro-boycott people off.) We were neither surprised nor disappointed by what happened. The lack of integrity shown by the board and the fact that the pro-Israel vote is no more than 10% of the total membership are lessons that never would have been learned without my and Henry’s run.

    • Nothing could be more underhanded than what happened in Olympia where the co-op’s own bylaws were shredded to force this bigotry down its members’ gullets. Unlike in Ann Arbor, the Olympia Co-op board hasn‘t got the guts to submit this to their members for a vote. Mad even ask them if they think it’s something that should be voted upon. In Park Slope (Brooklyn, NY), the members decisively voted down even having the BDS BIGotry placed on a ballot. Funny how the local losers just can’t ever see the handwriting on the wall. The _members_ of the People’s Food Co-op in Ann Arbor utterly reject BIGotry and did so democratically three times in succession in less than two years.

      The only thing that is pathetic about all this is the BIGot losers led by ChuckL who stamps his feet and runs out like a little baby when he was defeated (for the third time) and their utter unwillingness to face reality and continue to dwell in their nightmare dream world of racism and hatred. It doesn’t take devious methods to defeat the BIGots. What is sneaky was the stealth way ChuckL tried to hide his obvious out-of-control hatred for the Jewish state and run on his absolute ignorance of what the PFC or any food co-op stands for. ChuckL’s only food-related “platform” was to absurdly demand that the PFC lower their prices to those of mass buying corporations like Kroeger who have hundreds of locations and can afford to purchase en masse. And Henry who at least didn’t try to hide his obvious bigotry (he couldn’t if he tried) tried a desperate stab at showing he knows something about food co-ops (which he doesn’t, of course) by saying that to wean him off meat the PFC should hold vegetarian cooking classes at huge corporate Whole Foods (miles from the Co-op, BTW) and the polar opposite of a small, local food cooperative! And, these are the guys that pontificate that they stick up for the “little people!’ Hah!

      It boils down to this, Henry H, ChuckL, and BDS BIGots just can’t tolerate democracy and wouldn’t know what it is if it bit them on their tushies. That’s why they celebrate aberrations like Olympia where _their_ board snuck their anti-Israel bigotry in to their store. How? The Olympia Co-op’s bylaws indicate that its employees have to have a consensus on a controversial action such as a boycott. As the staff was utterly divided on this topic, no such action was supposed to be taken. Now. _that’s_ underhanded. Too bad ChuckL, so blinded by his monomaniacal bigotry and small-minded hatred, will never face up to the truth. But, that’s what bigots do when they can’t get their way: they pout, and shout, talk ever more loudly, try to shut off debate, and stamp their feet like immature little babies.

      And here’s the kicker from “Green” ChuckL: “The lack of integrity shown by the board and the fact that the pro-Israel vote is no more than 10% of the total membership are lessons that never would have been learned without my and Henry’s run.” That is truly hilarious! Another sign of their arrogance that these two losers think they can teach anybody anything! Chuck loses, and he acts like he was trying to do a big favor for the PFC’s members and has the gall to say he and Henry were running so they could “educate” us!

      Face this: in a democracy, it is those who take the trouble to vote whose votes count. And the BIGot resolution received exactly 2.3% of the vote of the PFC members. It is really sad that the BIGots can’t acknowledge the simple math of a 77%-23%, basically an 8-1 defeat. There’s a reason for that and it’s very simple: the members of the Ann Arbor People’s Food Co-op absolutely reject bigotry. A shame that ChuckL, five years after the first of his three successive thrashings at the polls still can’t stomach his defeat and still sulks. Mature individuals, after they lose, move on, but not professional sore losers like Chuck.

      • Erratum: In first paragraph, in third sentence, of my comments above, this should read:

        Unlike in Ann Arbor, the Olympia Co-op board hasn‘t got the guts to submit this to their members for a vote. Nor to even ask them if they think it’s something that should be voted upon.

  9. The 49-person capacity of the Olympia, Washington courtroom was filled with overflow spectators in the hallway and outside the court building when Judge Thomas McPhee recognized the Boycott Isael movement as a national phenomenon and upheld the boycott by the Olympia Food Coop. The pro-Isarel Planitiffs have potential exposure to tens of thousands in damages and attorney fees which Judge McPhee said he would consider imposing at a later date.

    Craig and Cindy Corrie, parents of Rachel Corrie, a civil rights activist killed by the IDF in Gaza, were outside the courtroom when the happy ruling came down.

    Locally, the AATA is fighting to get a federal judge to dismiss an ACLU suit brought by Blaine Colemam to put a “Boycott Israel” ad on city buses. Judge Mark Goldsmith is slated to hear the AATA motion at the United States Courthouse in Detroit on April 19, 2012. The City of Ann Arbor has already shelled out thousands of dollars in attorney fees to defend the ACLU suit.

    I would encourage all who can make it to be there at the court to show your support for the BDS movement and Mr. Coleman’s right to free speech.

    • BDS = Bigotry, Dissembling, and Spuriousness. As in a more sane (the norm) part of Washington (King County/Seattle) where a similar ad was proposed by a group of Seattle anti-Israel activists, AATA’s absolutely correct decision to keep racism, hate, and vile images off of our buses should be upheld.

  10. The Olympia Food Coop boycott against Israeli goods was indeed affirmed by the Court and awarded attoney fees to the defendants who were directors of that co-op.

    I certainly hope that we have a boycott against Israeli products at the People’s Food Coop in Ann Arbor sometime in the future. Maybe Anne Remley or someone else can revive the effort that led to the members vote in 2007.

    • Don’t hold your breath, Kerry. Ain’t gonna happen here or anywhere else sane, reasonable, tolerant (except of BIGots) . And _that’s_ a _very_ good thing.

  11. Josephine Devereaux

    For those who support the Boycott Israeli Goods (BIG) effort at the People’s Food Coop and the Huron Valley Greens boycott of Israeli-manufactured products at the PFC, there is some good news that has come out of Washington on a similar boycott effort.See http://www.jewishjournal.com/food/article/anti-boycott_lawsuit_against_food_co-op

    As had been reported in the Washinton media extensively earlier this week a judge in Washington not only enforced an Olympia Food Co-op board of directors resolution barring sale of Israeli-made products in its store as properly passed, but awarded the defendant-directors attorney fees and shall entertain a request for damages of up to $10,000 for each defendant.

    Henry Herskovitz, a candidate for the PFC board of directors and a supporter of a similar boycott effort with the PFC, is a member of the Olympia Food Co-op.

    The success of the Olympia Food Co-op in court is great news to local boycott supporters and hopefully shall re-energize efforts undertaken in 2007 to have a PFC boycott implemented against Israeli products.

    • Yes, I, too, support BIG: BUY ISRAELI GOODS! http://www.buyisraeligoods.com

      Anything else is BIGoted!

      The Olympia boycott is the very rare exception that proves that most people are sane and that virtually everywhere else that these boycott attempts rear their ugly heads, they are utterly crushed. And, let’s not forget that in Olympia, unlike everywhere else including Ann Arbor, with a fair vote of the membership, such efforts haven’t a chance. In Olympia, the board violated the Co-op’s own rules, regulations, and bylaws and shoved this extremist decision down their members’ throats. That’s nothing at all to celebrate as it was a typical BDS circumvention of democracy.

      And, how wonderful that local synagogue stalker leader and hate promulgator Henry Herskovitz is a member of the _Olympia_ food co-op. Woop-de-doo! I hope he spends all his money on making trips to Olympia once a week or more (I recommend he do so at least every Saturday and take his “neatly-lettered” hate signs with him) to buy their tainted goods. And, you want something to celebrate? How about this: he and his running mate, ChuckL aka That Chuck, got less than 10% of the vote when they tried to sneak onto the People’s Food Co-op in Kerrytown, and Herr Herskovits’s share of the votes was a hefty 1%! Now, _that’s_ good news.

      And, if the “potent” boycotteers of the Huron Valley Greens are shunning the PFC because its membership wisely voted to continue carrying Israeli products, what are they—including Henry H—doing as regular customers of Café Verde, which is, after all, part of that nasty pro-Israeli PFC? LMAO!

      Some more good reading on the hate-fueled BDS at http://www.divestthis.com/ And, if you want the lowdown on Henry and the other handful of A2 BIGots and their nine-plus year siege of a local synagogue go to http://www.hvcn.org/info/feh

  12. I was told comments have revived on this thread…and I’d like to note that both Kerry D. and Chuck l. continue to reinforce why their boycott babble has been so decisively scorned in so many places for the inane , illogical and mendacious nonsense it is.

    to wit:Kerry trumpets the ongoing Huron Valley green boycott of israeli products at the coop . Yet cafe verde remains their favorite haunt, and her brilliant tactic…deluge jeff mccabe with pro boycott e-mails while trashing cafe SELMA…says it all as to the go-nowhere tactics of this little cult.

    And as to Chuck…he continues to be the petulant sore loser he was when he was repeatedly trounced for the Coop board ( he flatters himself that he “ran for the board”…it was more a ‘lurch,stumble and fall’)

  13. Mr. ChuckL or do you prefer Mr. That? Unlike you, I have a life. You have nothing but your fanatic hatred to spew. You will NEVER get the last word even if you think you will because you’re nothing but a dissembling sore loser. Pete Schermerhorn, former HV Green and supporter of your badly bruised and abject failure of an attempt to rid the PFC shelves of the handful of wonderful Israeli products explained cogently and in great detail that NO PFC bylaws were violated when they clearly WERE in Olympia. What part of you lost don’t you understand? Three times your BIGoted attempts to hijack the Co-op failed miserably and four years after that first 77%-23% ass whupping, you still can’t face the truth, but your cat fight with the insane Blaine outside the Co-op recently is a hoot! Your own group disintegrating is a great sight! The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistake over and over again and expecting a different result. Too bad you just can’t learn that lesson. You contempt for the members of the Food Co-op and ignorance of its issues know no bounds. Most people move on after defeat and grow from it; you and your fellow BIGots just wallow in the same place time after time. The beauty of it is, the more you open your mouth, the more you damage your cause, so what the heck, keep it up!

  14. mike,

    You’re slipping! Did you think that waiting over a month to respond would leave you with the last word…NOT! It’s fun to see you prattle on about rules that the Olympia co-op either followed or didn’t follow when the PFC clearly did not follow the rules when I ran for the Board. Can’t have it both ways mike.

  15. Well, well, well, sore loser ChuckL is at it again, projecting like hell to try and justify an unjustifiable stand. He just can’t take it that his tush was kicked and overwhelmingly so three times in succession. And you can talk “bravado” all you want, Mr. ChuckL, but you are the one who is always trying desperately to frame the argument. Too bad you use rusty nails and rotting wood, so it’s always falling down.

    And, Kerry D, I wouldn’t hold my breath, if I were you: any notion that the People’s Food Co-op will ever boycott the handful of Israeli products on its shelves went up in smoke in 2007 when the resolution for the unbalanced boycott was absolutely ground to dust 77%-23% and then ChuckL’s stealth candidacy for the PFC board was similarly crushed, and finally when running mates ChuckL and synagogue stalker Henry Herskovitz received a COMBINED 9% of the vote in their failed attempt to foist their monomaniacal issue on the very unwilling members of the Co-op by again trying to get onto its board. The electorate has spoken deafeningly loudly and clearly. That’s how democracy works, and it’s a pity that ChuckL, Herskovitz, Kerry D, and the BIGoted haters of Israel just can’t accept it.

    And finally, as regards Olympia, not only was that the exception that proves the rule, i.e, the boycott “movement” is dead in the water, but even _that_ embargo only passed by dint of the presenters of the resolution violating that co-op’s own bylaws, which clearly state that all staff have to accept the boycott, or it doesn’t happen, and the staff was bitterly divided on the issue; so, this was an absolutely illegal boycott that circumvented the Olympia Co-op’s bylaws. And don’t be surprised if a newly elected board reverses that outrageous, biased one-sided embargo.

    Alas, the only thing I regret is that Kerry D and ChuckL and the other highly biased haters of the world’s only (very tiny) Jewish state won’t view these words that refute their rhetoric–but it wouldn’t matter, anyway, as they reside in an echo chamber.

  16. You can continue to support a boycott of Israeli-manufactured goods at the PFC by e-mailing directors such as Jeff McCabe to encourage their support of a boycott resolution.

    Do not forget that the Huron Valley Greens has an active boycott against the purchase of Israeli-importe goods at the PFC.

    Olympia Food Co-op proved that boycotts are possible against Israel.


  17. A2PNotes: This comment was edited. Please refer to the commenting guidelines.

    Au contraire mike, I am not the sore loser here… you are and the other losers here are the 6500 members of the People’s Food Co-op who have had their integrity compromised by the back room manipulations of the current board. It’s really simple mike, the board for two times in a row moved the goal post while the ball was in the air; you can’t preach the wonders of democracy unless you follow a fair process, which the current board has failed to do. Let’s make something clear hear, you are not going to be allowed to frame the terms of this discussion. There is a lot of bravado with no substance to your posts mike and it ain’t gonna work here!

  18. @Jane I look forward to your report on the food AND the parking.

  19. Hmmmm….all this talk is making me hungry.

    I think I am going down to the SELMA Cafe and check out their food next Friday morning.

    I’ll see if there’s any parking problems and report back to A2Politico.

  20. I wonder if Messieurs Goldsmith, Koroi, and Loucks have ever been anywhere near the site in question on a Friday morning. I have never observed even the slightest traffic or parking problems anywhere in the vicinity and have been there a number of times at all different seasons of the year. Methinks that many of those carping—except for Soule Street who apparently, judging by the screen name, does indeed reside in the area—doth protest too much. I have seen no traffic jams, no shortage of places to park, and nothing but good will, good food, and camaraderie coming from the direction of Selma Café.

  21. According to the link at Lisa Gottlieb’s name above, she discloses herself as a county social worker that has been working with the County Administration to create a nutrition plan for juvenile jail inmates. There is no description of Jeff McCabe’s employment, but it indicates that his background is in engineering and construction, so we do not know if he has a history of working in local government as his wife does. This job of Lisa’s does show a connection with the county as does her working with the County Administration.

    I was flabbergasted when I saw one of Washtenaw County’s code enforcemnt representatives make public statements expressing publically personal support for the SELMA venture when controversy arose following the apparent complaint of a neighbor. Their position is to advocate county interests, not to publically state personal feelings. The media reports that apeared did not mention the county citing SELMA for code violations, but seemed to suggest that issues raised by neighbor complaints were being “worked on”.

    Some of the information cited above indicates that Lisa Gottlieb and/or Jeff McCabe may be enjoying a cozy relationship with both the County Administration and a number of local heavy hitters in city government.

    SELMA sets a serious precedent in that any homeowner can open virtually any type of business open to the public in a residential area, say an auto mechanic garage, an ice cream parlor, a child care facility etc., link it to some type of non-profit status staffed with “volunteers” and voila! all county and local codes applicable to witnesses magically melt away.

    While I think SELMA is a unique concept that could work in the right environment, my concern is about all the neighbors that have complained about congestion and parking problems and whether county and municipal agencies have exercised due diligence in monitoring the situation.

  22. A2PNotes: This post was edited selectively because I’m playing favorites. (There, wouldn’t it be great if it were that simple?) Seriously, though, thanks for recognizing that only A2P gets to be trenchant. Everyone else is expected to follow the commenting guides.

    I’m curious at the selective moderation of my post on a blog that is noted for it’s trenchantness (not to say snark), especially since most of it was directed against a previous poster.

    Edit me as you see fit (it’s your blog), but also, to at least appear fair, edit him….or let the pita chips fall as they may.

  23. A2PNotes: This post was edited. Please refer to the comment policy (http://www.a2politico.com/?page_id=952).

    And speaking of churlish…all you SELMA bashing, “foodie” hating types…by all means enjoy your chef boy-ar-dee and spam sandwiches at home….more room at the inn (or restaurants or breakfast salons) for the rest of us who aren’t as (self) righteous.

  24. Ah, sore loser and arch anti-Zionist ChuckL proves again that he can’t stand democracy just like the jihadis he cheers on in the Middle East can’t tolerate any opposition. There was absolutely no way that the savvy voters of the PFC would _ever_ accept the hate-filled monomaniacal and unbalanced drivel that you and Henry the synagogue stalker are always trying to shove down _everyone’s_ throat; and don’t delude yourself, ChuckL, you are truly insignificant as the 9% of the vote that the Co-op members gave you AND Herr Herskovitz, the brownshirt wannabe, COMBINED proved. But, be on notice, that whherever you raise your ugly and toxic banner of unjustified hatred for the world’s one and only (and tiny) Jewish state and the Middle East’s only true open, democratic, non-racist, non-misogynist, non-homophobic country, your lying rhetoric will always be brushed aside and defeated as it has no legs to stand on.

    And nice to see that you advocate stealing the BIC tactic to stymie you and cult leader Herskovitz’s unholy synagogue picketing activity. And, Selma Cafe, like Israel, is here to stay, so eat your heart(s) out, sore loser(s).

  25. SouleStreet,

    Here is a suggestion for how to deal with inconsiderate neighbors who are operating a business in a residential neighborhood: 1) the night before the usual event, park as many vehicles as you can muster on-street in the free spots normally occupied by the invaders. 2) Better yet, throw your own party and have your guests park where the invaders park! 3) Charge the invaders $10 to park in your driveway which is now empty because your car is taking up a free spot in the street in front of the home occupied by the inconsiderate neighbors.

  26. Thanks, Mr. Koroi, your sophistry is always eagerly anticipated…And, on _any_ playing field, level or lumpy, dry or wet (and with or without your legalisms), the BIGots have repeatedly been trounced by the sensible vast majority of Co-op members…and always will be. And why so defensive about defending the monomaniacs who were so clearly unfit for “their rightful places as directors” (dictators is more like it)? You run to their support but then run away from their one and only issue when it suits you. Really, Mark, you can’t have it both ways.

    And since you bring up the ultra-rare instance of a malicious anti-Israel boycott being “successful,” it must be noted that in Olympia—utterly unlike what occurred at our own PFC—the outcome was in total contravention of that co-op’s bylaws, which clearly state that _all_ of that organization’s _employees_ must be in agreement with the boycott or else, no boycott. And since the staff was absolutely divided on that score, that should have been the end of that. But wait, Mark Koroi never likes to tell the side of any story that puts the lie to his own predilections.

    Also, Rachel Corrie a “peace activist?” Puh-lease, she was so fueled and contorted by hatred for all things Israeli and spurred on by the malevolent cynicism of terrorist cheerleading ISM and her Hamas handlers (saves them from their usual use of their own people as human shields by convincing Westerners to pinch hit) in Gaza, that she imbibed so deeply of the jihadi Kool-Aid that allowed her and other ISMers, whether consciously or unintentionally, to endeavor to abet internationally recognized terrorists in their smuggling of weapons into Gaza with the express purpose of murdering Israeli civilians in Sderot and other communities in SW Israel. And, Mark, since you allege that you like to stand on solid legal ground in your arguments, how can you make unproved claims such as Corrie being “killed by an Israeli soldier” when the jury is definitely still out on that one? These dangerous ISM meddlers have no business being in what amounts to a war zone, and if they’re there, they have to sadly accept the possible consequences. Look who’s blurring arguments now.

    And BTW, did you attend the same law school/forensic academy as Blaine Coleman, Esq., of Piston and Carpenter LLC, another convincing figure? Oh, and that lawsuit of yours? Good luck with that. Obviously more hot air with no legal basis to stand on whatever, or it would have been done already. Please accept (overwhelming) defeat graciously as Messieurs Loucks, Herskovitz, and Coleman never have been able to do, and kindly stop trying to revivify a long-deceased equine.

  27. A2P,

    Yes, it now takes the same number of signatures to run as an outside director as to run for Mayor of Ann Arbor. The endorsement of group-think as mandated policy and contempt for a transparent, democratic process was made loud and clear by the behind the scenes manipulation in not one, but two elections and the subsequent passing of bylaw changes to make legal what had previously been illegal. The Co-op Board is now a self-perpetuating entity that can effectively select who it wants to fill vacant board seats with.

    Despite the over-the-top venom from “Mike” (the rabid philistine Zionist who wants to ram down everyone’s throats a pro-Israel agenda), I’m proud to have played a role in exposing the unprincipled depths the current board is willing to stoop to in order to have its way. I’m also proud to have pissed off the likes of “Mike” and his local crew of rabid Zionist apologists for the crimes perpetrated by the State of Israel. People like “Mike” want to make it even impossible to discuss Israel’s treatment of Palestinians; an agenda that has failed miserably and will continue to fail. The Co-op Board was caught red-handed illegally gaming the election to produce a desired result; something I actually find amusing since I am sure the Co-op and Ann Arbor could have survived a term on the board by myself or Henry. The pettiness and myopic thinking of this board, to lose integrity for what? To keep one or two people off the board who supported a ballot measure that was placed on the ballot by a large block of co-op members; truly ludicrous in the end. We were that much of a threat? Thanks “Mike”, I didn’t realize I was that important! The facade Israel sits behind must be really fragile if it cannot even tolerate two people who supported a plan to remove Israeli made goods from the shelves of a co-op in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The people of Ann Arbor now have a myopic, group-think infested board running the Co-op and they can thank a bunch of paranoid rabid Zionists with what is ultimately a very narrow and self-centered agenda for it.

  28. @Mark @Mike you know this debate has been going on since the PFC election. I’ve been on the PFC Board, and a member since the early 80s. I suppose it might be nice to do a little digging and write about the last election. Then, we can have a discussion based on a relatively objective look at the bylaws, election, extension of the deadline, recruitment of other candidates, etc…PFC members just recently passed an amendment to the bylaws that don’t allow anyone to run for the Board without first being vetted. This was a result, I think, of this conflict that arose.

  29. Mike:

    You have blurred the argument from my vehement opposition to how Jeff McCabe was improperly allowed to get on the ballot after the relevant deadline expired in those board of directors elections to my purported support of the PFC boycott, which are apples and oranges.

    My argument was that McCabe (and Ms. Kanner) apparently were each recruited to keep two individuals with Green Party ties (who did everything timely and proper to getting on the board unopposed) from actually being elevated to their rightful places as member-directors. I have even previously stated that a lawsuit filed on behalf of these two gentlemen to seek their rightful places as directors would not be frivolous.

    If you had checked on the Arbor Update thread “People’s Food Coop Results 31 May 2009” by Patti Smith and reviewed entry #165 dated June 16, 2009, you would have seen that I did not express support for the PFC boycott and explained in an excerpt:

    “…..[w]hile 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 counry in
    the 1970’s and 80s to mbrace and promote apartheid, but a great number of Jewish-
    Americans promote Israel and will continue to promote Israel no matter what. The pro-
    Palestine boycott movement has divided thus far rather than united U.S. citizens, Jews
    and Arabs in this country. This is the fundamental difference between the grape
    boycotts to help the farm workers and South African product boycotts, since most
    Americans can agree that one side is clearly wrong and the other an unjust victim
    of that wrong….”

    In other words, my position is that if McCabe had filed as a timely board candidate, I would not have had any problem in seeing him as a ballot candidate and seating him if he won. Henry Herskovitz and Charles Loucks were deprived of a level playing field by certain directors who went beyond the scope of their authority granted them in the by-laws and extended an announced deadline for the sole purpose of trying to ensure that Herskovitz and Loucks woyld not be seated.

    PFC board chairperson Feldt issued an apology to Mr. Herskovitz over how the election was administered;she would have not done so if the board had compelling authority in the by-laws to put McCabe and Kanner belatedly on the ballot.

    That said, the Olympia Food Co-op in Washington voted to boycott Israeli goods last year and did remove them from their shelves with the exception of olive oil produced by Palestinians. The board vote was unanimous with one abstention from a director who indicated he personally supported the boycott. Olympia was the hometown of Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist killed by an Israeli soldier. Unlike Ann Arbor, Olympians were largely in favor of the boycott there and did receive praise from many quarters.

  30. Mark Koroi is beating a dead horse that he helped kill on the late _Arbor Update._ He’s also not telling you the whole story. The so-called “Green” candidates for the People’s Food Co-op Board of Directors are both monomaniacal extremists with no knowledge of what and how a food cooperative is and what it entails, much less how to direct it. They are merely one-issue fanatics whose only intent was to hijack the People’s Food Co-op and shove their single issue, i.e., the boycotting of the handful of Israeli goods sold at the PFC and nothing else, down the absolutely unwilling throats of the Co-op’s members.

    They both proved their absolute ignorance when pressed for a food-related issue, they desperately came up with the following: one, the ringmaster of the 7 plus year long siege of Beth Israel Congregation on the Jewish Sabbath (every Saturday) and other major Jewish holidays, said he wanted to be on the board (besides really his only obvious true goal) so the PFC could help wean him off meat (maybe that’s why he’s so aggressive and full of bile) by holding vegetarian cooking classes at—get this—Whole Foods on Eisenhower, the very antithesis of a food co-op besides being miles away from the PFC in Kerrytown! The other candidate, a twice defeated Huron Valley “Green” kvetched mightily that the prices at the PFC were too high and that, like large supermarket chains such as Kroeger, the Co-op should lower their prices drastically. This demonstrated not only his lack of awareness and understanding, but his frantic grasping for straws. Anyone with the least bit of awareness knows that huge supermarket chains buy in massive volume, so they can afford to have much lower prices. A tiny, local co-op doing its best to provide local produce cannot afford such drastic discounting.

    Even Pete Schermerhorn, himself a Green and supporter of the unbalanced boycott, many times repeated that the entire election process was aboveboard and didn’t violate a single PFC bylaw. Now, Mr. Koroi, ever the defender of the rejected boycott and its failed candidates, tries once again to resurrect this dead—and deserving to remain buried—issue.

    Jeff McCabe and Rebecca Kanner, with their years of relevant local food, environmental, agricultural, gardening, sustainability knowledge and contributions, experience and active membership were absolutely the right candidates for the Co-op board and the only qualified candidates by a long shot. Yet a tiny core of sore losers continues to complain about the results of a democratic, fair, and open election because they and their unwanted issue have been utterly defeated multiple times. _Sour grapes_ is a very apposite term to bring into play here.

  31. The SELMA blog endorsement is paragraphs and paragraphs long and details Jeff’s deep working knowledge of municipal finanace matters as well as denouncing the conduct of those City Council members involved in the E-mail controversy as well as belittling the efficacy of having Mike Anglin’s opponent, Scott Rosecrans, replace Anglin on City Council.

    I personally agree with McCabe on his endorsement of Anglin and his political philosophies as described therein, but it belies any assertion that SELMA as an organization is not involved politically in the local process. Should a claimed non-profit entity engage in such political endorsements and post those endorsements on its blog?

    My first notice of Jeff McCabe was when he suddenly popped up as a candidate for the board of directors of the People’s Food Co-op. Green Party member and PFC director Pete Schermerhorn indicated that a candidate filing deadline had passed and the only two candidates that had filed timely were two persons with ties to the Green Party. Certain directors then successfully argued over the dissent of other directors to extend the deadline so others could make it contested and certain directors began recruiting others to run against the Green Party members who had timely filed. Jeff McCabe was one of those recruited and a huge ballyhoo ensued that McCabe and a Rebecca Kanner were only recruited to keep the Green Party activists off the board. Ms. Feldt, the board chairperson, issued an apology after it was pointed out that this last minute extension, which had no foundation in the by-laws, cost the Green Party activists a spot they otherwise were entitled to on the board.

    Arbor Update chronicled McCabe’s PFC director candidacy and citizen blog posts thereon contained concerns about his operation of SELMA and whether its apparent violation of various laws warranted McCabe’s fitness for ascension to a board seat.

    There was a suggestion that McCabe and Kanner should not accept their board positions since there was no evidence they either filed on time nor was there any by-law authority to allow them to file later tahn the original deadline.

    It certainly looks that there could be construed to be political favors owed to McCabe as a result of his Anglin endorsement and recruitment as a candidate to the PFC board.

  32. @Lisa Gottlieb writes that “politically wired” doesn’t describe either her or her husband. Does she read the SELMA blog? Jeff McCabe wrote a last minute endorsement of CM Mike Anglin that, I imagine, he was sure no one would read or pay attention to ((http://www.selmaannarbor.org/elections-season-in-selma/), ).

    Then in AnnArbor.com (http://www.annarbor.com/news/state-eases-cottage-food-industry-regulations-1/) we get to see Jeff hand a loaf of “illegal” bread to Representative Pam Byrnes and Governor Grandholm at a ceremony held at Growing Hope YOUR “urban farm” in Ypsilanti.

    That’s pretty good political juice for someone who’s not politically wired at all. Have your restaurant in the neighborhood. Make parking difficult. Donate to your charities, but for heaven’s sake don’t pretend you have no political connections, or assume the people reading this are stupid or naive.

  33. @A2 Politico: “politically wired”, even in it’s broadest definition, doesn’t describe Jeff or me, and there were no “wheels to grease”. We communicated directly and openly with the city and county until we found a mutual solution that addressed the issues at hand. Your comment insinuates that Jeff and I,through our facebook friends, have influence with city and county officials to solve our problems. This is not only wrong, but insulting to both the officials with whom we worked, and to us.

  34. @Lisa thanks for the comment. I think @Selma is a cool idea, and certainly like the idea of fundraising to donate to a cause you’re behind so completely. Bona Sera comes to mind, of course, with the “underground” dinners proceeds of which get donated to charity. They move the dinners around town, of course.

    Let’s not ignore the fact that you’re both pretty politically wired, and that being wired helps grease most wheels. I’m not saying this is how you get things done, I’m just saying let’s be honest that someone without your set of Facebook friends might have a somewhat different experience interfacing with city and county officials dealing with regulations and neighbor complaints.

    Good luck fundraising.

  35. Thanks for all the interest in Selma Cafe. After reading the post and comments, it appears that there is a need for clarification about the operations of Selma Cafe.

    We operate all our fundraising activities, including our weekly breakfast, under the fundraising arm of a formal 501c3, which allows for food to be prepared and served in our home to whomever would like to come join us. We have done everything the County asked us to do in order to be in compliance with all codes and laws. We do not have any special privileges that allow us to do anything outside of the law, nor have we ever asked for special treatment. Because of our approval from the County, we can call our breakfast salon Selma Cafe without it being a problem. The items we sell as part of our fundraising activities, like T-shirts, tote bags, aprons and coffee mugs are no different than items that are sold to promote any other non-profit organization. All the funds that come in from the sale of the items goes right back into the coffers to support our work.

    In regards to parking, Soule is a street with a lot of traffic at specific times of day because of Eberwhite school. Every weekday morning and afternoon there are parents and caregivers, taxi cabs, school buses and vans from local daycare centers on our street to deliver and pick up Eberwhite students. There are regular events at Eberwhite in the evenings and weekends that increase traffic on Soule. Additionally, the Zion Lutheran Church, around the corner, has events on Sunday, and throughout the week, that increase traffic on Soule. To single out Selma Cafe as a sole reason for increased traffic on Soule on Friday mornings is faulty reasoning, especially since many of our guests and volunteers ride their bikes or walk.

    As a reminder, our organization is completely run by volunteers. Neither Jeff nor myself have been paid for anything we, or others who work with us, do to support building our local food economy, and keeping our local farms safe and sustainable for years to come.

  36. That’s been my point from day one. It’s a restaurant and if it were anyone else or not so ‘trendy’ and morally correct, it wouldn’t be happening in a neighborhood, period. It’s amusing what you can get away with if you are politically correct. I guess it’s fine until one of the volunteers has TB or someone cuts off a finger from unsafe equipment or lack of training. Nice to know you can start up anything you want next to a public school too.

  37. @Alan, I think they’re trying to raise money for a great cause. However, I agree with you that it’s kinda silly to think this isn’t a restaurant. That they’re selling swag just reinforces the point. @lighthouse we eat at Zing’s very infrequently, and it’s a price point decision, as well. Maybe it’s a curse to remember when the sandwich that now costs $12 used to cost $5. Anyway, I love the food and the service is always great, but we’ve been working on choosing where we spend money out more carefully. Zingerman’s lost out to TKWU (the kids like to eat there infinitely more).

  38. From the Selma Cafe blog site:

    “Thanks to everyone who purchased Selma Cafe swag for gifts this season. We sold out of gift bags, but I can make some more of them up if you are interested, and we still have lots of groovy mugs, t-shirts, tote bags and aprons. Let me know, and I’ll make sure to get you what you’d like.”

    Just a friendly little neighborhood gathering of ‘friends’….

  39. “To address the complaint and make clear that it wasn’t a restaurant, Gottlieb and McCabe quickly changed the name from SELMA Café to Friday Mornings @SELMA…”

    Well goodness, must have been a slip of the tongue but AnnArbor.com and the owners of this neighborhood restaurant are still calling it Selma Cafe in the cheerleading article. If that is in violation of their agreement with the County then perhaps this legal issue should be revisited. It’s a restaurant, and while the owners may have friends in high places, la la la, it’s still disrupting the neighborhood and it’s a hoot think what would have happened if anyone else other than Gottlieb and McCabe had tried to start this up in a similar neighborhood.

  40. I live near the Selma Cafe. Alan Goldsmith is absolutely right that parking is a mess on Fridays. I can appreciate what these folks want to accomplish, but running a de facto restaurant in the middle of a residential neighborhood is an inconvenience not a gift to the community. They should make it official and get a nice space downtown where they can have as many people as they like over on the up and up. To say that those who visit are friends and family and friends of friends is just an absurdity. It’s not a private party. It’s a public eatery where they charge money for the food served. They’re trying to raise money for their movement while skirting the law. It’s a well-intentioned nuisance.

  41. @Alan, thanks for posting the link. As for Selma, I think it did get busted early on because of complaints from neighbors who care more about peace and quiet than establishing a regional food shed. This is from a piece about @Selma in The AAChronicle (http://annarborchronicle.com/2009/07/29/friday-mornings-selma-finds-a-home/):

    Despite its popularity, not everyone was enamored of the venture. In April, an anonymous letter – signed from “an Eberwhite Elementary School parent” and complaining about the Friday breakfasts – was sent to the Washtenaw County Environmental Health Division, Ann Arbor clerk Jackie Beaudry, and Eberwhite Elementary principal Deb Wagner. Specifically, the letter outlined what the writer believed were various possible city and county code violations occurring at the home. The issues related to the city dealt primarily with the fact that there were live chickens on the property with no permit, as required by Ann Arbor’s chicken ordinance. (That issue has since been resolved.)

    But more critical questions – falling under the county’s jurisdiction – concerned whether or not the Friday gatherings meant that Gottlieb and McCabe were operating a restaurant in a residential area, without licensing and inspection.

    That complaint began a series of exchanges between county officials and Gottlieb and McCabe, who enlisted local attorney Kurt Berggren to help sort things out. The county contended that the couple was operating a food service establishment – if that were the case, they’d be subject to the same regulations as a restaurant.

    To address the complaint and make clear that it wasn’t a restaurant, Gottlieb and McCabe quickly changed the name from SELMA Café to Friday Mornings @SELMA, and after conversations with the county, they made several other modifications: They took down signs around their house related to the breakfasts, changed their website to indicate that the meals were private, invitation-only events, and stopped posting the hours they’d be serving food.

    But county officials were still convinced that Gottlieb and McCabe were marketing to the general public. Gottlieb addressed that issue in a letter she sent to Kristen Schweighoefer, the county’s environmental health supervisor, in mid-June:

    There is a distinct difference in definition between general public and community. The definition of community, in terms of our activities, is a group made up of our family and friends, and their family and friends, who are interested and involved in creating sustainable farming and gardening practices that support our local, healthy food economy while educating and encouraging long term positive changes to how we grow, prepare and eat food. This community comes together to work towards our mission, while sharing a meal together in the confines of a private party within our home.

    Reached by phone this week, Schweighoefer said that if the county had determined that the operation was a food service establishment, then Gottlieb and McCabe would have been required to comply with the 2005 U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s food code. Among other things, the code prohibits serving food to the public out of your home. They would have needed to move the event into a licensed facility, Schweighoefer said, or to remodel their home to separate the kitchen from their living space.

  42. I just posted a link to this on the comments section of the Selma Cafe story on annarbor.com. Any bets on how long it’ll take to be deleted? Lol.

  43. Guessing we could solve the City’s budget crisis but putting parking meters on the street outside of the Selma ‘Cafe’ since it’s a parking nightmare on Friday mornings. But I guess if you’re buddies with the powerful in this town, that isn’t an issue. Food safety laws, parking regulations, home businesses, et. al. just aren’t an issue anymore if you know people who have money for ‘local’ food.

  44. I haven’t eaten @Zingermans since the price of a sandwich topped $10. I’d like to be a foodie, but I don’t have enough spare money to be a foodie.

  45. Nice job on this piece. If there was any ‘movement’ that could use a little common sense it would be this foodie movement. I like to eat. I like to know about the food I’m eating. I shop locally when it makes economical sense. I know that last part is a sticking point for a lot of people but I just can’t justify paying so much more for something because it’s a locally grown or produced product. What happened to the idea that local meant you saved money? Imported stuff used to to be the luxury goods. Now it’s that luxury goods are what we produce to sell to the locals who don’t earn luxury incomes.

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