Submitted to The WAVE for September 20 publication. School Scope: NYC Students Allowed to March on Climate, UFT Issues Support By Norm Scott Last week I was wondering if masses of NYC students would join the September 20 #ClimateStrike and then last ...

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"Ed Notes Online" - 5 new articles

  1. School Scope: NYC Students Allowed to March on Climate, UFT Issues Support
  2. Chief Leader Richard Steier on DSA Labor Group "Takeover"
  3. Memo from the RTC: Hell Week - for Sept 20 WAVE
  4. Memo from the RTC: Gatsby Opens September 20 for Three Weekend Run
  5. School Scope: Will NYC Students Join Global Climate Walkout?
  6. More Recent Articles

School Scope: NYC Students Allowed to March on Climate, UFT Issues Support


Submitted to The WAVE for September 20 publication.

School Scope: NYC Students Allowed to March on Climate, UFT Issues Support
By Norm Scott

Last week I was wondering if masses of NYC students would join the September 20 #ClimateStrike and then last Friday the DOE sent out a message that high school students will be excused with a note from their parents. Younger students can only leave school with a parent.‬‬ The UFT issued support for the climate march and a call to meet at 3pm @Foley Square for a UFT contingent. This looks like an all day event, with starting time at noonish and lasting until 5 PM. So come on down!

As I write this early Tuesday morning before the march I’m guessing it will be huge. There’s something brewing in the air politically on climate and growing with every natural disaster. It’s no longer about getting water in your basement but disasters on food production and mass extinctions that have already begun. Ever think of the catastrophe we face if bees go extinct? Later tonight I’ve got a hot ticket to see left wing superstar Naomi Klein at Cooper Union in a talk about the Green New Deal. I think we will be seeing a lot more action around this issue, especially from young people who see their future going up in smoke.

Something other than climate is in the air. Last week I talked about the union movement as evidenced by the NYC Labor Day parade, even if it wasn’t on Labor Day. Did you know that Labor Day came about in September in this country because the traditional day of celebration around the world was, and still is, May Day, which was viewed as too left wing? So an alternative date after the summer was found and the message of “labor as a class” was muted. Maybe Bernie will change it back to its rightful place when he becomes president.

The major strike by the United Auto Workers against General Motors seems to be garnering some sympathy from the public. The press hasn’t savaged the workers and taken sides in favor of a corporation which was bailed out by public money and the workers themselves. Now that profits are up, it’s “screw you.”

I do find it hard to understand how a serious unionist could support Republicans who look at unions as an orthodox Jew views bacon. To Republicans unions are socialistic – which is un-American because they interfere with the ability of capitalists to maximize their profits. Let’s make America great again by going back to the good old days of the 10 hour work day and child labor.

I don’t only blame Republicans. Over the past three decades Democrats haven’t been overly friendly to unions either. Neither Carter, Clinton or Obama did much of anything to provide a bulwark to the Republican attacks. It is no accident that we have the lowest rate of unionism in the industrialized world. And for the socialists out there, don’t tell me how free labor unions are in so-called socialist countries where unions are an instrument of government. When the government owns the industries strikes are even more difficult.

In this country, unions, especially in smaller towns and cities had been bedrocks of stability and provided a reasonable middle class for people. Neo-liberal policies that allowed for manufacturing to abandon this nation and seek cheap labor in places like Mexico and China helped hollow out jobs. Elizabeth Warren pointed this out in the debates. To save money on labor, companies will move to China or Mexico or any place where labor costs are low. That was what NAFTA was about and as Ross Perot said in the 1992 presidential campaign, we heard a giant sucking sound as millions of jobs went poof. Bernie Sanders, who opposed NAFTA two decades ago when it was pushed by the Clinton administration and Republicans, appeared on the Joe Rogan (certainly not a left-winger) podcast and made a connection between the millions of jobs lost and the opioid crisis. Yes, there is a thread that connects all things politically and economically.

The Indypendent, a progressive monthly newspaper that has been around for two decades and just published its 250th edition. I’ve been leaving copies in Rockaway libraries. Or contact me, normsco@gmail.com, and I’ll hand deliver for a cookie.

Norm blogs for cookies at ednotesonline.com.

            

Chief Leader Richard Steier on DSA Labor Group "Takeover"

It’s also labor history from the Neo-Insane School of Political Thought.
Rooted as this analysis is in pie-in-the-sky perspective, it makes the assumption that bringing in more-militant leadership would bring the city to the feet of the union and increase its power, rather than leading it to be marginalized. And, as long as the DSA is playing fantasy political football, convince the great majority of UFT members who have repeatedly voted for the established leadership group by wide margins over dissident groups like the Movement of Rank and File Educators—which the memo states includes “many DSA members”—that it’s time to go way left.... Richard Steier
Steir throws shade on the AOC victory and the Caban campaign in Queens and makes some points. He mentions MORE but he doesn't touch about the reality that MORE shrank rather than grew since it's founding  - more talk about their recent election debacle in more detail. I met a woman at a DSA event whose son came to MORE through DSA and she put out the line about the red state strikes offering hope. I asked her if her son, a 3rd year teacher, has to work a second job like so many vets in red states have to. She said No. There you have it I said. There will be no similar rebellion as long as salaries are decent. And by the way, compare the lousy working conditions in NYC to the even lousier working conditions elsewhere. Now if there's a depression with massive layoffs, some things may change. But even then I don't believe MORE has the organizing chops to even make hay then.

As to the strategy from these groups, I only know what MORE does in the UFT based on their strategy. I will parse what is wrong and right in that in future posts.

Here's what I learned from socialists I've been in groups with. They are always optimistic and always live on the sunny side of the street. Every strike is a sign from heaven that the point of no return has been reached toward socialism. I believe the point of no return will be reached on climate change way before. Can socialism flourish under water?

https://thechiefleader.com/opinion/columns/razzle_dazzle/meet-the-new-left-just-as-daft-as-the-old/article_08420dd6-ca6c-11e9-bb59-03e5f7b145bd.html


Razzle Dazzle

Meet the New Left, Just As Daft as the Old Left


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henning_garrido_trump
LABOR PAINS: Former Communications Workers of America Local 1180 Vice President Bill Henning (left), said he believed a Democratic Socialists of America plan for taking over unions the group believes aren’t sufficiently militant could potentially ‘rejuvenate that fighting spirit in organized labor.’ District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido (center), in contrast, believes the proposal could ‘end up alienating and splitting a very large number of people’ at a time when unions should be focused solely on defeating President Trump next year.
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Last Monday, a friend who’s a retired union leader wrote to express concern about an Aug. 14 article in Politico New York detailing a memo the city branch of Democratic Socialists of America had disseminated discussing how to engineer a quiet takeover of a half-dozen city unions, among them District Council 37, the United Federation of Teachers and Transport Workers Union Local 100.
The rationale behind this master plan shimmies and shakes.
DC 37 is targeted both because Executive Director Henry Garrido “is more politically and organizationally ambitious” than his predecessors dating back to the 1990s and due to the “general disengagement of members & a layer of leaders and staff who appear unable or unwilling to do the organizing needed to regain our power.”
TWU Local 100 is seen as a prime target for a takeover because of its “history of militancy, internal democracy, and rank-and-file activism,” notwithstanding the fact that it represents people whose “jobs are generally well-paid with excellent benefits,” which would seemingly make members less-susceptible to radicalization, especially since the union’s 2005 strike ended badly for both its leadership and its rank and file.
UFT as Gateway to ‘Working-Class Solidarity’
The memo speaks of the “social/political leverage” of better infiltrating the UFT, stating, “With public schools located in every borough, neighborhood, and district, education workers’ social and political leverage is also potentially enormous. Teachers and other education workers see everything students and their families go through, and we can highlight issues of homelessness, economic insecurity, racism, and inadequate healthcare and educational resources. Teachers and other education workers have access to communities beyond our worksites that can build solidarity across the working class.”
On the other hand, it stated that the UFT “is tremendously influential politically, but fails to exercise the full potential of its power. Its strategy rests on electing fairly centrist/conservative Democrats and holding them to commitments on maintaining basic standards in treatment of educators.”
Rooted as this analysis is in pie-in-the-sky perspective, it makes the assumption that bringing in more-militant leadership would bring the city to the feet of the union and increase its power, rather than leading it to be marginalized. And, as long as the DSA is playing fantasy political football, convince the great majority of UFT members who have repeatedly voted for the established leadership group by wide margins over dissident groups like the Movement of Rank and File Educators—which the memo states includes “many DSA members”—that it’s time to go way left.

Mr. Garrido did not respond to a request for comment on the DSA analysis, but he questioned the memo’s thrust in an interview for the Politico piece in which he said, “The union movement, for the most part, has been one of the few that has pushed the progressive policies that the left is pushing for right now, before they became popular. It’s only going to divide a movement that seems to be really taking momentum,” citing the major increase in New York’s minimum wage and pension divestment from fossil-fuel manufacturing firms.
He then noted that DC 37 members’ political views were hardly monolithic saying, “I have people who lean left—most of them—people who lean right and people who are in the middle. If you try to push one organization in any direction, you’re going to end up alienating and splitting a very large number of people who believe in labor but may not agree with the tactics the DSA is pursuing right now.”
That was precisely the point our retired union leader friend was making in his e-mail, which described Mr. Garrido’s assessment as “dead-on accurate” and noted that DC 37 was at the more-liberal end of the labor spectrum. “Other unions,” he wrote, “have a different mix (more conservative or middle-of-the-road-leaning members), which exacerbates the problem.”
‘Not Striving for Socialism’
He continued, “The vast majority of union members pay dues to help ensure a better economic life for themselves and their families, not to strive for socialism. If this movement (Democratic Socialists of America) gains traction within the community of labor, the AFL-CIO alliance may very well shatter.”
Another retired union official, former Communications Workers of America Local 1180 Vice President Bill Henning, took a more-optimistic view while noting that DSA, “being the broad-based group it is,” started with an advantage when it came to organizing within some progressive unions.
And, he said in an Aug. 27 phone interview, “We could use a little more openness, a little more debate. It’s not like we have this enormously powerful labor movement that is in danger of being fractured. We have a crippled labor movement that is desperately in need of new blood, new ideas. I’m really more concerned with having an open exchange of ideas within the labor movement than that the exchange is going to scare people off.”
Mr. Henning continued, “Wage stagnation is a horrible problem. The idea that we can rejuvenate that fighting spirit in organized labor is not something to be feared but to be embraced.”
But Vinny Alvarez, president of the AFL-CIO New York City Central Labor Council, contended in the Politico piece that “it makes no sense that at a time when solidarity is needed to fight for real gains in economic opportunity and social justice for working families that the DSA would sow the seeds of disunity by targeting some of the most progressive unions in our city with plans for infiltration and disruption.”
An official from one of the targeted unions, speaking conditioned on anonymity, questioned whether those like Mr. Alvarez who were critiquing the thinking behind the DSA manifesto were taking it too seriously, saying, “This is an eight-month-old memo which no one’s taken ownership of.”
The memo had no names attached to it, aside from a reference at its beginning stating, “NYC-DSA Labor Branch will pick five industries to target for our rank and file work laid out at our last city convention.”
Oddly Capitalist Tools
It also repeatedly described the path to power in the unions it focused on as likely to be a lengthy battle, and in several cases dwelt on the good pay and benefits of the jobs represented by those unions, as if that would offer insurance that large numbers of volunteers could be conscripted into the infiltration plans and then stay the course. In taking such a long view, the memo was reminiscent of many of the major changes sought by Mayor de Blasio, except that he will be gone from office well before Rikers Island will supposedly close or a serious evaluation can be done of his plans to desegregate the school system, assuming he implements any of them.
One reason Politico may have taken the memo seriously is that the DSA is the group behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning upset of Congressman Joe Crowley last year and the near-upset victory of Tiffany Caban in the Queens District Attorney’s race despite her having no background as a prosecutor and policy positions that included favoring the closing of Rikers but opposing the transfer of any of its inmates to a revived Queens House of Detention.
Upon closer examination, however, neither of those contests makes a compelling case that the DSA is brimming with political masterminds.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez benefitted from being charismatic, photogenic and passionate, placing her in stark contrast with Mr. Crowley, who took the race for granted and sounded clumsy during their one televised debate when he tried to respond to her question about why, representing a district that straddled Queens and The Bronx, he and his family were living in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. to give him an easy commute to the Capitol. She also won with fewer than 17,000 votes.
Ms. Caban took advantage of the Queens Democratic Party’s choice for DA, Melinda Katz, splitting the votes of moderate and conservative residents with Gregory Lasak, a longtime prosecutor who was endorsed by most police unions.
And the DSA Labor Branch’s memo as it pertains to Local 100 suggests a name-change to Democratic Nihilists of America might be in order.
It began its analysis by stating, “Public transportation is the lifeblood of New York City, without which it cannot properly function. The 3-day 2005 transit strike, for example, is estimated to have cost the city approximately $1 billion. The 3 citywide transit strikes since private transit companies were brought under the purview of the state—1966, 1980 and 2005—all created major political crises in the city.”
A Skewed Analysis
That’s all true. It’s also labor history from the Neo-Insane School of Political Thought. While the 12-day 1966 walkout is widely considered to have been a smashing victory for Local 100, even if you deduct points for Local 100 founder and President Michael J. Quill dying shortly after helping to negotiate the settlement from an oxygen tent at Bellevue Hospital, where he had been taken after suffering a heart attack in jail. By way of comparison with the DSA memo chortling over the cost to the city of the 2005 walkout, the 1966 strike took a $1.2-billion toll, back when that was serious money.
In contrast, both the 1980 and 2005 strikes, however much some diehards claim they were union victories, were major failures if the reaction of the affected workers was any gauge.
The 1966 strike was largely responsible for the passage of the state Taylor Law, which replaced the draconian penalties of the Condon-Wadlin Act, including the firing of all participants and a three-year ban on their being rehired, with the far-more-realistic punishment (how was the city going to find and train 30,000 new transit workers on short notice?) of fines for strikers equal to two days’ pay for every day away from their jobs.
While the 1980 strike resulted in Local 100 being fined $900,000, it was actually the loss of dues-check-off rights that forced it to petition the judge who assessed that penalty for relief from potential bankruptcy by restoring the right to collect dues via payroll deduction. The loss by members’ of 22 days worth of salary for the 11-day strike gave them a ready excuse for not going into their pockets when union shop stewards resorted to the old method of collecting dues by hand.

The 2005 strike produced only a six-day fine for individual strikers, but left enough bitterness that the contract terms that ended the walkout were narrowly voted down, and roughly 25 percent of the rank and file later fell into bad standing as union members for failing to stay current on their dues payments. The union got more coal in its stocking when Mayor Michael Bloomberg convinced a Brooklyn judge to continue suspension of automatic dues-collection even after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority supported Local 100 President Roger Toussaint’s request that it be restored.
Started Toussaint’s Downfall
Mr. Toussaint, who had won his first re-election bid with 60 percent of the vote, got just 45 percent in winning a three-way race a year after the strike, and his hand-picked successor lost a bid to gain a full term three years after that.
And so anyone putting stock in the DSA’s wisdom based on its plan for seizing power in city unions might fairly be accused of a Trump-like disregard for reality. Except that the DSA, like the Justice Democrats who gave AOC her Chief of Staff until his intemperate tweets first ignited a feud with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then drew the President into the controversy with predictably sulfuric results, seems intent on providing fodder for Mr. Trump and his supporters to use against whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee for the White House next year. (Actually, the DSA analysis of unions ripe for takeover features the same kind of cluelessness that undercut the Green New Deal, with its first draft stating that a guaranteed income would be provided even to those “unwilling to work.”)
From the Trump 2020 standpoint, why pitch your campaign against a mainstream party choice to unseat the incumbent when you can get more mileage out of convincing undecided voters that there are forces behind that nominee who should repulse them even more than The Stable Genius at his most obnoxious?
That is the underlying message in Mr. Garrido’s warning against dividing “a movement that seems to be really taking momentum,” and behind Mr. Alvarez’s words about “a time when solidarity is needed to fight for real gains in economic opportunity and social justice for working families.”
No doubt Mr. Trump has seemed unhinged in recent weeks, with polls reflecting the growing national disillusionment. The real significance of a Quinnipiac University poll released Aug. 28 showing Joe Biden with a 16-point lead over the President and three other Democrats leading him by double digits was that South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg would beat Mr. Trump by nine points at a time when he was the top choice in the Democratic primary of just 5 percent of those who responded.
It’s possible the incumbent will continue to self-destruct to the point where not only will he be certain to lose but the unions can send Mitch McConnell back to his old Kentucky home, or at least get him demoted to Minority Leader as Democrats take over the Senate. But the 2016 results, and the specter of Vladimir Putin and his operatives looming over the 2020 vote, offer two large reasons why neither the party nor the unions that have growingly looked to it as their savior will take anything for granted this time.
Eye on Swing Voters
They know that a key element of Mr. Trump’s win three years ago was his support among white blue-collar voters in battleground states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio. They also know that the President’s failure to live up to promises he made to those voters, whether they involved protecting jobs in struggling industries, securing a meaningful infrastructure bill that could create tens of thousands of jobs for which they’re qualified, or looking out for their interests rather than those of the wealthy and corporations, gives them a serious chance of winning them back.
And while the Trump re-election machine will try to paint his opponent as a dangerous radical no matter who the candidate is and how mainstream his or her positions are, any signs that fringe groups on the left are shaping the party platform will be used against that Democrat, and might create enough doubt in the minds of those voters to bring them back to Mr. Trump or convince them to stay home.
Our retired union friend recently offered an anecdote about heading off a potential rebellion in his ranks early in the decade when same-sex marriage was still a hot-button issue, even in a liberal bastion like New York. When one of his members asked during a union meeting whether he believed it should be allowed, he said, his response was, “No, I don’t think it should be allowed—I think they should be forced to get married, too.”
The laughter that followed defused the issue, subtly making the point that this labor leader’s members had more-important issues that directly affected them to worry about. At a time when a half-baked proposal regarding long-range union takeovers can send a ripple through labor circles, it’s a reminder to avoid being consumed by the kind of thinking from the left that once got Richard Nixon elected over Hubert Humphrey because that was expected to trigger the revolution that would topple the power structure for good.

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Memo from the RTC: Hell Week - for Sept 20 WAVE



Memo from the RTC:  Hell Week
By Norm Scott

Monday evening, the beginning of Hell Week when a show goes full blown every evening until opening night, the most intensive and difficult time for every show where people don’t get out until 11 PM or later. After this Thursday’s dress rehearsal the actual performances are a snap, Only three days work a week instead of seven.

So I stop by The Rockaway Theatre Company to catch a bit of the rehearsal, the first I’ve been too. There are kinks to work out, especially the lighting and sound cues. This will be a looong rehearsal. From the opening seconds the atmosphere is tense. Issues of gender, race, white supremacy turn up very quickly. Did that stuff go on a century ago? I thought it was all due to facebook and twitter. Some stuff is going to happen on stage tonight that may stay with us for a while. Perfect for these times.

The stage looks gorgeous – like a giant double picture frame – no props are visible. They are stashed in various places, ready to pop up on stage, as if my magic. There are a lot of actors, some of whom I haven’t seen before at the RTC. Wait a minute – how did director Frank Caiati get Mia Farrow looking 40 years younger out to Rockaway to play Daisy? And all those other gorgeous women dressed in 1920s garb? And those handsome guys looking like they were dropped out of a time machine right onto the RTC stage? I want to take some photos but Franky won’t let me. He wants to save the delicious surprises and allow for the magic of transportation back a century for  the audiences who come out for the nine performances beginning this Friday September 20 and running for three weekends. (Tickets - https://www.rockawaytheatrecompany.org/2019)

I can’t stay long and I don’t want to miss the excitement of watching the play unfold on opening night. And I have to get home to watch the Jets get slaughtered by Cleveland and the Mets continue what may turn out to be a heroic but futile try for the playoffs. Yankees are off tonight – thank goodness or I would be going nuts. (Hint: my tablet has the Fios APP and I can watch TV and I can watch the debacle of both games.) So I leave after 10 minutes and come home to find the Jets lose their backup quarterback early on and are on third string and losing 16-3 at halftime. And Mets’ pitcher Steven Matz loses a 4-1 lead by giving up 6 runs in the 4th inning. Think I’ll find a movie – maybe one of the three versions of The Great Gatsby from 1949 or 1974 or 2013  – or maybe go searching to see if I didn’t lose my college copy of the book in the hurricane. Come to think of it, Gatsby, given the outcome, could have fit right in with the Mets or Jets, who should have signed Nick Carroway to play quarterback.

Norm posts all his RTC and School Scope articles on his blog, ednotesonline.com.

            

Memo from the RTC: Gatsby Opens September 20 for Three Weekend Run



Memo from the RTC:  Gatsby Opens September 20 for Three Weekend Run
By Norm Scott

“I didn’t even know there was a Great Gatsby play” is the usual response from people who read the book and saw the movies from 1974 and 2013. I didn’t either and after re-watching the ’74 Robert Redford/Mia Farrow version I had difficulty imagining how the elaborate houses and parties might be staged especially on such a relatively small stage we have at the Rockaway Theatre Company Fort Tilden location. But manage it they did, though I still haven’t been to a rehearsal to see what director Frank Caiati and Assistant Director John Panepinto have done with the top level cast. I hope you read the wonderful interviews The WAVE’s Fionnuala O’Leary did with both of them – John’s was in the paper last week. And look for more as she has a whole list of RTC people to interview. (And what a great job The WAVE is doing promoting the theater. Word is that they bought 50 tickets for a Newsie performance for the advertisers and staff, one of whom told me this was her first show and that she had gone in expecting a typical high school type show but got Broadway instead. She will be back frequently she said.

Last week I wrote about Franky and John’s interview with Insectavora on “The Nothing Podcast With Nobody Important.” Fireeater Insectavora, also known for her distinctive facial and body tattoos, was their most recent subject and you can hear this fabulous interview at: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-fire-eater-a-rough-thing-to-be-awful-at/id1465000037?i=1000448439115. Hers is quite the story.

RTC Master Builder Tony Homsey (wait until you see that yellow Gatsby car old sport) and I were silent witnesses to that interview held at Coney Island USA (1208 Surf Avenue - https://www.coneyisland.com/programs/coney-island-circus-sideshow) which not only hosts the Coney Island freak show but also magic shows every Sunday at noon and is also a museum of Coney Island history and lore – oh to see those Steeple Chase horses again. We went back on a Sunday a few weeks later to see the magic and the freak show as we watched a woman walking barefoot on swords and Insectavora eat fire and make a drawing using a nail she pushed all the way up her nose. The paintings were offered for sale after the show and I know of one hanging on a wall in the Rockaways but if I tell you where I’ll have to kill you.

Norm posts all his RTC and School Scope articles on his blog, ednotesonline.com.

            

School Scope: Will NYC Students Join Global Climate Walkout?

Since I wrote this on Tuesday, the DOE has announced that students will be excused to attend the rally.


School Scope

Will NYC Students Join Global Climate Walkout?




 

Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg blew into town and is making waves over the threats from climate change and leading a global strike on Friday, Sept. 20 with a rally and march starting at noon at Foley Square in lower Manhattan. If the word has caught on, we may see disruptions in schools where there are student leaders promoting a walkout. It will be interesting to see if students in Rockaway, one of the more endangered areas of the city by climate change, take part. Let me know if you hear of anything brewing.

Author Jonathan Franzen in this week’s The New Yorker says that the people fighting climate change are in essence misleading us just as much as the Republican deniers – giving us hope that we still have a chance. Greta is offering hope but he thinks we should be preparing for the consequences. He points out that “we’ve made essentially no progress toward reaching [the target of keeping below 2 degrees Centigrade]. Today, the scientific evidence verges on irrefutable. If you’re younger than sixty, you have a good chance of witnessing the radical destabilization of life on earth—massive crop failures, apocalyptic fires, imploding economies, epic flooding, hundreds of millions of refugees fleeing regions made uninhabitable by extreme heat or permanent drought. If you’re under thirty, you’re all but guaranteed to witness it.” Phew! I’m out of that zone and have no direct descendants to worry about. But if I did—- well, I do wonder about the proud Republican parents in Rockaway, one of the first places to go in what Franzen calls The Climate Apocalypse.

I wonder how one would teach children about climate change and risk scaring them to the extent we children of the 50s were frightened about the coming nuclear wars by hiding under our school desks during drills?
In the good news department, I attended the Labor Day Parade celebrating unionism on the first Saturday after Labor Day. It was thrilling to see the streets thronged with thousands of unionists proudly wearing their teeshirts. Construction workers and teachers marching together. I of course marched with the UFT contingent and didn’t get much of a chance to engage people from other unions. Given that there are about 200 thousand UFT members, 99 percent stayed home and those who showed were among the most committed. Yes, there is a gap between what I call the 1 percent committed and the rest and closing this gap should be a goal of UFT leaders, but I won’t be holding my breath.

Unionists from both sides of the political divide were marching together. Even the divide between UFT members and their bosses in the Council of Supervisor Associates (CSA) – the principals and assistant principals. Former CSA leader Ernie Logan was the Grand Marshal of a Labor Day parade? The very same people who have made so many teacher lives miserable? How we are all unionists when one is the boss is beyond me. But the UFT leaders often use “we are all unionists” as a reason not to attack mad dog principals.

Norm is a mad dog when he blogs at ednotesonline.com
            

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