Chofesh H’Betui – The Right to Convey Free Thinking – at Stake PART II

The Word “Philanthropist” and the Services Money Can Buy –

Taking Aim at Free Speech

We have stated many times that we really do not like the word “Philanthropist.” Those self-proclaimed philanthropists, in our view, who riddle these pages have not given freely. They have not given anonymously to a beneficiary and taken no credit for the gifts, one of the highest forms of giving in the Jewish faith. Instead they have boasted philanthropy as a badge of alleged honor. Philanthropy, as such, is not a gift but a justification or a remediation of whatever sins have been committed.

And at this the holiest season on the Jewish calendar, we are taught that giving money to repent for our sins is simply not enough.

We are not philanthropists. We are supporters of a cause-accountability. We take on issues involving children, education, the treatment  of our elderly, honest business practices, human decency, mutual respect for our neighbors, integrity and most importantly, the right to free speech.

Nearly each page we have published contains the name of someone, whose ‘Wikipedia” page would call a philanthropist, as self-described. These alleged “Philanthropists” have learned to game a system, whether by greasing the palms of politicians, sending police officers to Israel, making friends with the appropriate corrupt officials in the Congo, purchasing a nursing home by manipulating zoning laws and then treating the patients reprehensibly or altering the zoning laws to suit their fancy. And, all of this under the guise of “Philanthropy.”

To our valued readers, these same self-proclaimed “Philanthropists” filed a lawsuit against a blogger, served on a Saturday which will require a response of one form or another in the middle of the holiday season. It will require funding and time. And in the greatest of ironies, the Plaintiffs refer to themselves as “Philanthropists.”

This lawsuit is an effort to silence the blogger and presumably silence this blog. The stakes are high. We have a readership of well over 1.5M views in the last few years and if we are forced to shut the doors to this site, it will send a message to each of our readers that it is too risky to speak up, something which runs counter to our very system of beliefs. A victory by these Plaintiffs would be the destruction of society’s ability to hold bad actors accountable for their actions, a horrifying result.

The law firm handling the suit is well connected in Kings County and is well known for its political connections and for its support of so many of the members of the community that grace our pages. The law firm has as great an interest in this case as its clients.

We will be asking for your support in the coming weeks. We have never asked for financial assistance to keep these pages running but a crowdfunding site is being established by friends of this page.

In the meantime, the address is up and running after some maneuvering. We are happy to answer questions and we could use any help you may have.

Finally, insofar as WordPress has a set of standards they follow, we encourage posting and participation. We remain faithful to the trust placed in us by you, our readers.

With many thanks. With kindness and immeasurable gratitude.

L’Shana Tova – LM and all of those who make this endeavor possible.



2 thoughts on “Chofesh H’Betui – The Right to Convey Free Thinking – at Stake PART II

    • Unfortunately, were sights like LM to be forced down by the billionaire contingent that files these suits (fairly regularly) they would be able to act with impunity. They would be virtually beyond all scrutiny. People would be afraid to speak out and Freedom of Speech and Press would be simply words on a page not foundational principles upon which our society is based and to which our society should adhere. What we find most unsettling is that unlike many large news sources we (like many small bloggers, opinion sources, news gathering websites etc.) have not accepted money nor are we funded by advertisements. We are not, therefore, beholden to any one group. We are bipartisan and unblemished by the inherent swaying of interests associated with accepting money. We have taken pride in remaining non-beholden. We have been asked to take things down and obliged where required. We have been requested to make corrections and we have ALWAYS obliged where necessary. Our objective has always been, and will remain, to get it right. If the storied personalities who graced our pages would start behaving in a manner consistent with a civilized and multicultural/multifaceted/multi-religious society, our site would be obsolete. That is ultimately the goal. For the family and business (and assortment of associated businesses) that has chosen to take the course of filing a lawsuit, in this time of Teshuva, we have little that we can or should say. We remain forever grateful to our readership and our contributors, those world over who want to see what we want, the right to speak out against injustices, the right to call people out for their misdeeds and the right to question something that does not seem right. For now, we can only hope that the challenges this lawsuit presents to the fundamental freedoms of press and speech don’t undermine those principles for all bloggers, web-posters, journalists, opinionated persons, critics, scrutinizers, investigators and the list goes on, particularly those who scrutinize, whatever the color, race, religion and view of the scrutinized. The little guy should simply not be afraid to speak out against the behemoth, ever.

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