Karen Lewis, Chicago Teachers Union president, you are my idol.
Here’s some of what Lewis said yesterday about Illinois governor Bruce Rauner.
“Rauner is the new ISIS recruit. Yes, I said it, and I’ll say it again. Bruce Rauner is a liar. And, you know, I’ve been reading in the news lately all about these ISIS recruits popping up all over the place – has Homeland Security checked this man out yet? Because the things he’s doing look like acts of terror on poor and working-class people.”
Poor Bruce Rauner. He thought he could stomp out unions and destroy working class people in Illinois like Scott Walker did in Wisconsin.
Bruce, you underestimated the fighting spirit of people in Illinois like Karen Lewis.
Chicago’s Art Institute is hosting a display of 36 of Van Gogh’s paintings and explanations of how the paintings reflected his life at the time they were painted. Huge crowds have descended on the Art Institute.
This is a good sign. Let’s hope the crowds weren’t made up mostly of art students who were required to attend. Could culture and the arts still be alive in Chicago? One can only hope.
Poor Van Gogh. A typically “tortured artist”. In his 37 years on earth he lived under 37 roofs across 24 cities in search of happiness and a place of belonging. No wonder so many of his paintings are out of focus. (Sorry, that’s a pathetic attempt at humor). I’ve just never been a fan of his work and or the whole school of impressionism. (I know, some scholars don’t lump him in with typical impressionism. Please don’t send me hate mail.)
While I’m not wild about Van Gogh’s works, I am wild about the fact that the arts are still alive in Chicago.
Looks like the Chicago Teachers Union is intent on striking. They have come under intense criticism from many corners for threatening to strike during such difficult financial times.
Here is my answer to those critics:
1. When is there not “difficult financial times” when it comes to education?
2. It comes down to a matter of priorities for those controlling the purse strings. There would be plenty of money available if education truly was a top priority. Make the right choices.
3. Without the threat of a strike, teachers are completely powerless in negotiations. Do you actually think school boards award nice salaries and benefits because they know how valuable good teachers and good schools are? Maybe in very wealthy districts with virtually unlimited tax revenue.
4. Every school board is answerable to the tax paying public, and those boards want to have the best schools for the LEAST amount of tax money.
5. Compare the salaries and benefits of non-unionized teachers with those belonging to unions. The gap is enormous.
6. You are incredibly naïve if you believe teachers today would have good pay and benefits without hundreds of strikes that have occurred in the past.
7. Once teachers agree to accept pay and benefit cuts like the Chicago Board is asking, there is often no going back. The downward spiral begins, and there is no stopping it.
Time to fire up the torches, grab the pitchforks and head down to Springfield again.
Illinois governor Bruce Rauner wants to stop the state payments to the Teachers Pension Fund, and also wants to end the state’s contribution to the Retired Teachers Insurance Plan.
Here we go again. The state has financial woes, let’s rob the Teachers Pension System to alleviate those woes.
Rauner had two of his legislative buddies file a bill in the House and also in the Senate to accomplish the pension raid and stop the insurance payments.
Have you had enough of this governor? What’s it going to take until you get down to Springfield and storm the Capitol stairs? Enough already! Let’s go!
Copied this from a news post.
“Corporate totalitarianism means total control by corporate interests. If they want a war, they get a war. If they want GMOs they get GMOs. If they want fracking , they get fracking. If they want big banks to control our monetary policy, big banks control our monetary policy. If they want a tax break, they get a tax break. If they want to deregulate to the point of complete irresponsibility to our children and to the earth, they deregulate as much as they care to. And if they see a way to profit from the vulnerability of the old, the disadvantaged, the poor, the young, or the sick, then they are given the right to do so.”
They also want unions crushed, wages to remain stagnant and benefits eliminated. They are close to achieving that.
When are people going to stand up and demand a change? As Frederick Douglas said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand, It never did and it never will.”
According to reports, the U.S. spent $596 BILLION dollars on defense in 2015.
I have a suggestion. Could we just take one billion out of our next defense budget and spend it on something else? Would one billion really make or break our security?
How about spending a billion dollars on job training for Chicago’s unemployed inner-city youths? How about giving $50,000 to 20,000 street gang members if they promise to quit the gangs and enter a job training program?
How about taking one billion and using it to hire 500 teacher aides and put them in our worst performing schools?
You get the idea. One billion dollars could make a huge difference in our inner cities. What if we pulled out 10 billion from defense spending? Could you imagine what an extra 10 billion could do for job training?
Come on, people. One less jet here or there. Who is going to miss it?
According to the report, the $596 billion has the U.S. spending more than any other country on earth. China is second at $215 billion.
Wait, I have an even better idea. Maybe we should stop being the world’s policeman and concentrate on problems here at home.
Okay, forget that idea, I know, I’m an unpatriotic, bleeding heart liberal.
How about this idea? Could the Teachers Retirement System at least invest some of our money in companies that manufacture armaments, especially if those arms are purchased worldwide? Now, can we all agree on that?
On second thought, forget that. Some retirees might find that morally reprehensible. That would be as bad as investing in farms that still keep chickens in cages.
I know I digress from the original intent of this post, but I have an idea for what could be done with the cages that used to hold chickens. Maybe we could build larger cages out of the smaller ones and put Bruce Rauner and his supporters in, oops, never mind, I better end now.
Illinois governor, Bruce Rauner, described the one day strike by the Chicago Teachers Union as, “the height of arrogance.”
Yes, governor Rauner, you certainly are an expert on arrogance.
You are destroying the state of Illinois because you refuse to have a budget that does not include non-budgetary items that would return many Illinois workers back to the 1890’s when it comes to salary, benefits, and the right to bargain collectively. You want to destroy workers compensation and so many of the hard earned rights of working people.
You and your self proclaimed, “pro-business, anti union” positions are what is preventing a budget deal.
You, governor are the height of arrogance. Enjoy what’s left of your one term until the voters throw you and your anti-working people agenda out of office.
Knowing Democrats have a majority in both chambers, you still insist on making them accept your ridiculous “reforms” that you know they can never agree to. That is the height of arrogance. I can’t think of any governor in the history of the United States that has been more arrogant than you. Not even Scott Walker is as arrogant as you.