Thursday, June 12, 2008

What the?

I remember watching the super bowl a few years back during half time and seeing what I thought I saw, the now "famous wardrobe malfunction".

At first I had a "what the?" moment. It took several replays for it to really sink in.

Well I had another "what the?" moment tonight. Even though I couldn't get past the hall doors of the standing room only Council meeting, I was able to hear the entire meeting.

Ok, the poll workers issue was handled and I am glad the Council passed a resolution. Now the County can take it from here.

Feit gave a great speech. Kates was all over the place with her speech, but touched on the Honis comment a little. Parker once again sat silent about Honis.

And now comes the "what the?" moment. Honis attacked the people that were offended by her comments and challenged them to help abolish the death penalty on a Federal level. I was looking around the room at her supporters as they all said "what the?".

I don't want to speak for her because she was too busy boasting about her election, but I think Toffler cringed again. Gussen jumped on her statements with I think a "what the?" and then Katz spoke and also criticized her for standing on principle and not acknowledging and apologizing for her insensitive comment.

The "truth" is, I am embarrassed to have our town represented by Ms. Honis and I think her supporters feel the same way.

So to Monica Honis, "what the?"Please resign.


Anonymous said...

I agree, but if Monica's base of support is so strong then what does it say about the mentality of a large portion of Teaneck?

Will Monica resign from council? I don't know. But many of my friends are feeling resigned about Teaneck.

Anonymous said...

Monica will never resign. She is a clueless bigot who could not care less what people think of her.

It's truly frightening that people voted for this moron only because of her color.

Dave said...

Monica will resign as soon as she takes down the eruv.
Face it, Teaneck is a town divided. The "northeasterners" hate the "West Englewooders" (euphemisms) and vice-versa. You can deny it all you want, but that's the way it is and will always be. This of course leaves out those in the middle, like our official town ethicist, who hate both sides.

Anonymous said...

*Sigh* I have given Monica chance after chance but the meeting the other night was enough. I too was in the hall and had the "what the?" or "no soap, radio" moment.

Anonymous 11:50 pm - "It's truly frightening that people voted for this moron only because of her color."

No different than people only voting for Rudolph the Rage Filled Reindeer because he is allegedly frum (observant to the non-affiliated). Mr. Chillul Hashem is anything but frum in his lower class behavior. Between Monica on one side and Rudolph on the other this town is really starting to suck. Thought I had it at Keter Torah, but when I see Rudy duchen I want to chuck the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

had rudy made an offensive racial comment, do u seriously believe that Orth Jews would have voted for him?

I don't think he would even have run, and if he had, he would have finished a distant last.

I'm not defending him, but to equate him with Honis is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Well, I do think that Orthodox Jews would vote for Rudy if he made a racist remark. I specifically don't attend CBY even for a simcha because of the racist rabbi and he has a lot of support. People are people and just because someone is Orthodox in observance (not behavior in Rudy's case) does not mean that they can't be racist.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:24 is Alan Sohn. Alan - I am sick of you calling Elnatan Rudolph a chillul HaShem. Those are incredibly harsh words and I am offended to see you throw them around. Call Rudy offensive if you want. Call him any number of things. But please stop masking your personal antipathy as a religious tirade. Rudy is a deeply committed Orthodox Jew. He is a good husband and father, a good person, a good friend, a good shul member and a good representative.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:38. I'm flattered that you think I'm Alan Sohn. He can do Hagba and Gallila at the same time he is so involved in things. You don't know me. I keep a low profile. I observe behavior of our representatives whether they are reps of a shul, school or town. Maris Eyan is a big thing and Rudolph is a complete embarrassment. He came to a Neighborhood Watch meeting in our neighborhood after there were a few robberies and spent the entire time LOUDLY on the phone while the officer was speaking. It was all personal stuff too and NOT medical or family stuff - we heard everything. He was just TRYING to look important. Very insecure. He did NOT greet any of his "new neighbors" or introduce himself. Kevie Feit was the only sincere representative there. Everyone in the room was talking about the obnoxious new neighbor. Until someone said something, many didn't even know he was Rudolph. All thought he was just a new rude neighbor. In the room there was a mixture of Beth Abraham and Keter Torah people and when they found out who he was they all decided then and there not to vote for Rudy for reelection. He was embarrassing in his behavior. I agreed. THis was a year ago.

I'm glad that he is a good friend to someone who such a big cheerleader for him. Loyalty is important. Now I am suspicious. "Show me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are".

Anonymous said...

We are not all the same person putting you down for your outrageous and ignorant attacks on Rudy. Stop kicking him.

You are the chillul hashem!!!

Anonymous said...

There was a far greater injustice than anything done to the poll worker women.

How about Paul Cunningham's disgusting disqualification of the Orthodox voters in the Democratic Committe election in Teaneck? He refused to exercise his right to accomodate Yitz Stern's request to hold the vote the Friday before the holy days of Shavuot. A rump committee voting on Shavuot (last Monday) chose Laura Zucker as successor to Cunningham (who had been defeated for re-election).

Is anybody in the Black community, let alone Monica, concerned about voting rights if non-Blacks are concerned?

Will they help sue to overturn Zucker's election in a rump election that insulted the Jewish populace of Teaneck and harms democracy?

Will that champion of justice Martin Cramer fight for the rights of Jewish Democrats in Teaneck?

Anonymous said...

Why hire Cramer when champion of free speech Dennis Oury, BCDO attorney at large and Ferriero consigliere is available, maybe even at taxpayer expense.

Anonymous said...

So you think only Joe Ferriero can be counted on by Orthodox Jewish Democrats? No point having faith in Martin Cramer, huh?

Maybe you're right.

Basta said...

The behavior of the former Democratic Committee Chairperson and its members are a disgrace to all of us. I will gladly donate to the lawsuit for overturning its bogus Tuesday election.

Jeff O said...

Before I comment further on the subject of this blog entry, allow me to keep it real with a little confession:

I was an observer at the meeting where Monica Honis made her original, now-infamous "gas chamber" remark. And I have to admit that its significance went right over my head.

Oh sure, it struck me as the rhetoric of a drama queen (or rather princess). But the first image that came to my mind was your basic San Quentin-type execution. (I am just old enough to remember the well publicized execution of Caryl Chessman, by gas chamber, when I was about 11.)

My wife Barbara, who's half Jewish, can't believe I'm so culturally blind to have missed the significance of what she said. But what can I say?

Just this: If I had said something publicly that was so culturally blind, and so stupid, and someone had clued me in to the objectionable significance of what I said, I would not have excused myself and otherwise stonewalled on regret for the distress I may have caused others.

So why has she been stonewalling? As I mentioned in an earlier thread on this blog, this is Monica Honis's defining episode. I will elaborae further in my next post.

Jeff O said...

On a previous thread, I said that Monica’s refusal to admit to any kind of error in her gas chamber remarks was a defining moment for her. I said I’d have more, and here it is:

In my opinion, Monica Honis is certainly clueless (as the second “anonymous” on this thread said), but I don't think her problem is bigotry.

Her problem is narcissism.

Until now, my favorite Monica anecdote had been a quote she gave the Record after being honored by the Urban League as Teaneck's first African American woman council member (never mind that the first African American council member had been elected 40 years earlier; that the first woman council member had been elected 36 years earlier; and that Monica was the first African American woman ever to run for council and won on her second try).

"The Urban League is a wonderful organization," she said, starting out on the right foot. And then her other foot came down. "If I'm being honored, it's because I'm doing my job as a public servant."

As anyone who has watched her over the years knows, Monica has no sense of humility. She is totally self-absorbed, and when she speaks, she often finds a way to make the subject about her.

Since everything is about her, it is quite natural that she’d be insensitive to the offense that others might have taken at her comment. And because HER self-image IS the issue in her mind, there has to have been a good reason for why she said what she said.

Obviously there was no good reason – it was just plain stupid and really nothing more. But to acknowledge a stupidity just isn’t in the make-up of this self-absorbed princess.

Hence her obviously contrived explanation -- which she now has apparently taken to a new level of preposterousness with her challenge to her critics to lobby for an end to the death penalty.

Personally, I am against capital punishment, but this is further self-misdirection by a narcissist who cannot face the facts about herself.

And this is not just my opinion, by the way: A very prominent public figure who supported her reelection recently described her (privately, of course) as a “spoiled brat.”

Swiggle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Swiggle said...


You probably hit the nail on the head.

If she were smarter, I'd say that creating a rift between the Northeast and Northwest may have been an effective way of getting people out to vote, but I wouldn't want to give her that much credit.

Unfortunately the only citizen duly represented by a nacissist is herself.

Anonymous said...

What shocks. Me is Tom Abbots "stand by your " man or woman. He has been very vocal about Rudolph and not a peep about Monica. It is a good thing his wife is not on the Board of Ed anymore. His Real Bergen "friends" would have him bloging against his wife.

Anonymous said...

This is Toffler's attemp to be Mayor. She. Stacks groups against each other and then looks like the life savor. In the last three weeks I have heard her trash talk about Katz, Kates Parker and Gussen. She is afraid of Feit after he tore her to pieced s last year.

Anonymous said...

When you are the most ethical person you know and an egotistical maniac, there is no one that is as good as she is.everyone is fair game for her to attack and manipulate.she wants Mayor or Deputy Mayor.

Anonymous said...

When you are the most ethical person you know and an egotistical maniac, there is no one that is as good as she is.everyone is fair game for her to attack and manipulate.she wants Mayor or Deputy Mayor.

Anonymous said...

The Unethical Ethicist may have pulled the votes of the town's dummies out of the air, but she ain't gonna even make dogcatcher.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she will send a push poll to all of the Councilmembers homes.

Anonymous said...

Just don't send that scary looking Powers guy!! She's always smiling daggers while he's looking daggers.

glass half full said...

I couldn't agree more with Jeff's posting about Monica being a narcissist. What was unfortunate about this election was that the campaigning and subsequent results more accurately reflected the wish to vote against someone rather than for someone, and Monica is a prime example of this. It was appalling to me to see people I have known for many years decide to vote for her just because she was lumped together with two other candidates who were supported by a group formed solely to defeat the Team Teaneck slate, and not on the basis of anything positive she has done for the community. Before she was elected, her chief claim to fame was growing up in Teaneck and Chairman of the Teaneck Democratic Club, not any service on advisory boards or volunteer work in the community. Such a shame we are stuck with her for 4 years, but she certainly has nothing to crow about.

I am fervently hoping that the other two newly-elected councilpeople will not take their arrogant cues from her, but instead examine each issue on its own merits and "play well with others", not looking to score points each meeting.

Anonymous said...

Fat chance with Toffler.

She already made it clear she can't work with others. And she thinks she is going to be mayor. Hah!

Jervis said...

Monica is the female Al Sharpton

1. She is angry
2. She has a moustache
3. She blames the Jews for all that is wrong

Anonymous said...

The real problem is the presence of Sharptonism in Teaneck at a time when we are being promised "post-racialism" in America.

Which is it to be?

Monica's supporters need to decide before the poison is too deeply injected.

Anonymous said...

Monica's supporters need to decide before the poison is too deeply injected. you mean the gas is too deeply inhaled?

Anonymous said...

From today's NY Times

June 16, 2008
Big City
A Young Man From Omaha, Who May Perfectly Represent Brooklyn
Moments before Yosef Abrahamson, 16, accepted an award for the essay he’d written in a competition sponsored by the Police Athletic League, an officer approached him to complain about his fedora. The hat, an essential wardrobe item for Hasidic men, was gaudy, the policeman told him, and what’s with all these kids today and their nose rings and their attitudes. A second police officer, overhearing the conversation, came over to steer away the first one, who reappeared a few minutes later to apologize. He’d never seen a Hasidic Jew, he told Yosef.

A policeman working in New York who’d never seen a Hasidic Jew? What he probably meant, Yosef theorized, was “that he’d never seen a Hasidic Jew of color. I think he was probably making some assumptions there.”

Thanks to his Egyptian father, who left the family when Yosef was young, and his maternal grandfather, who was of African descent by way of Panama, Yosef looks African-American (though his family prefers to describe themselves as Jews of color, believing their culture to be exclusively Jewish). Yosef moved to Crown Heights only a year ago, until then having lived in Omaha, where his mother’s maternal family, German Jewish merchants, had settled several generations earlier.

If Yosef, who attends the yeshiva Darchai Menachem in Crown Heights, ever finds himself writing a college application essay, his advisers would have a hard time choosing which of his compelling story lines would most dazzle those college admissions officers: The story of growing up in the only Hasidic family in Omaha? Or the story of being the only student of color in his yeshiva? Or maybe the story of being the only Hasidic person of color in Omaha’s competitive ice skating circuit?

Despite the friendships he made while ice skating, a hobby his mother encouraged to round him out, life in Omaha was “a bit lonely,” Yosef admitted last week while eating a Kosher hamburger on Albany Avenue with his mother and his older sister, Sarah, 22. His mother, Dinah, who joined the Chabad-Lubavitch movement after seeing videos of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson several years ago, home-schooled both of her children.

Yosef was obviously sheltered from too much scrutiny from the outside world, but the surprising combination of his race and his particular form of religious observance fazed no one in Omaha — for all the average person knew in Omaha, all Hasidic Jews were of African descent, his mother said. When friends from Nebraska first visited New York, they were fascinated to meet some white Hasids for the first time.

It was easier for Ms. Abrahamson to raise her children in Omaha than it would have been in Crown Heights, she said.

“People are laid-back in Omaha,” she said. “It’s different there.”

Omaha is not, for example, a place where race relations between Jews and blacks have exploded into days of riots, as they did in Crown Heights in 1991; nor have the police in Omaha ever deemed it necessary to set up mobile command centers to monitor simmering tensions between Jews and blacks, as the New York police did last month in the Brooklyn neighborhood in response to two unrelated physical altercations.

A young man like Yosef could easily start to feel like a powerful symbol, rather than just a kid, the human embodiment of that famously controversial Art Spiegelman New Yorker cover depicting a Hasidic man embracing an African-American woman.

But life in Crown Heights is somehow less complicated than that for Yosef, a tall, athletic young man who seems to have internalized Omaha’s easygoing ways (and its broad Midwestern accent). Beyond the misunderstanding at the awards ceremony — of which Yosef said, “It was a bit strange, but really, I understand” — he says he has felt comfortable in Crown Heights from the moment he came there to advance his education.

Through summer camps and occasional trips to New York, the Abrahamsons were already familiar to the Jewish community in Crown Heights when he arrived last fall (the community has only a handful of other black families). The response from the African-American community has been, if anything, amazement. “Now I’ve seen everything,” an African-American man said three or four times as he passed Yosef and his mother and his sister walking home from synagogue.

Some black neighbors recently asked Ms. Abrahamson questions about the meaning of some Lubavitch fliers they had received in the mail. The family sensed that the neighbors had long been harboring those questions but had felt a certain comfort level with the Abrahamsons because of their shared skin color.

If there have been resentful or disapproving responses from either side, they have apparently gone as far over Yosef’s head as the references his ice skating friends used to make to movies or television shows he’d never seen.

The ease with which both communities have received Yosef seems a little unlikely, but appropriate in the year of what some call the country’s first post-racial presidential campaign. Except that the Abrahamsons consider themselves “post-racial, for real,” said Ms. Abrahamson, a Republican delegate in Nebraska who is not a fan of Mr. Obama. To the contrary, the whole family strongly supports John McCain, and Yosef will be a page at the Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities in September.

One more item to add to that list of possible essay topics.

Anonymous said...

If that young man moved to Teaneck he would horrify Toffler AND Honus.

Anonymous said...

Ok, time to move on to another topic. I'm moving over to Teaneck Progress. More topics, less mean.

Anonymous said...

It is time for everyone who has strong feeling about the May Council elections to be more involved in the township. There are many things people can do, depending on their interests...attend council meetings, attend Board of Education meetings, join a board or participate in any of the many private and public programs around town.

Anonymous said...

And they can demand a restoration of anonymous comments on T Progress!!

It is way too hard to figure out the way it is now.

esther said...
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esther said...

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