Education, politics, and anything else that catches my attention.
The rhetoric's inevitably suffused with violent imagery because that's the nature of unions. It's not incidental that the violent rhetoric seems to be in service of education because the essential nature of unions doesn't bear close examination. Union supporters know that so they have a whole series of justifications and rationalizations to obscure the unpleasant.Demands for ever higher pay are always about what's fair and just and if anyone doubts it they'll beat your head in with a crowbar. Mr. Mulgrew's enraged that anyone would even think they have anywhere near as much concern for each and every one of the doe-eyed tykes as does a unionized teacher and if you do think that he'll beat your head in with a crow bar. Mr. Barr's angry that kids in California and kids in New York aren't learning the same thing at the same times and if you don't see things his way he'll beat your head in with a crow bar. Pia Payne-Shannon isn't opposed to standards but to the corporation-inspired Common Core standards and anyone who supports the corporation-inspired Common Core standards deserves to have their head beaten in with a crow bar.When you listen to enough of this stuff it starts to sound as if it's put together by one of those "jargon generator" web sits and about the only thing the speakers have to do is recite the words.
I thought you might be the first to comment on this, Allen :)And of course your observations are correct.
I did kind of take the bit in my teeth, didn't I?What's struck me about the ongoing debate about unions is that it falls in line with other contentious topics that have ruffled the waters of the republic.It's not that we can't be persuaded to give our assent to some dubious policy, we obviously can. It's that given enough time we separate the bad ideas from the good and reject the bad ideas.Sometimes that rejection can take an inordinately long time but once we do decide to reject a bad idea we don't let anything deter us.This nation was founded on a set of principles that should have made slavery illegal but those with a financial interest in slavery found themselves in a position to threaten the creation of the nation were their demands not met. They got what they wanted but that just set the stage for decades of increasingly rancorous argument that finally resulted in the Civil War. Labor unions had actually been around for quite a while before the right political environment legitimized their requirement for a monopoly on labor. It seemed, I can only surmise, like a good idea at the time.Turned out to be a lousy idea but a lousy idea the workings of the free market could absorb and digest. Individual companies and whole industries were rendered uncompetitive by unionization and disappeared. With them of course went the unions. Government unions were going to be the savior of the union movement because you don't have to worry about competition. But a couple of decades into the unionization of government workers, despite the most strenuous efforts of those politically powerful unions, the public seems more and more to have fallen out of love with unions and further come to the conclusion that we've got to do something about them. So now Michigan, home state of the UAW and the modern NEA, is a right-to-work state. I very much doubt that's the high water mark for disillusionment with unions has yet been reached.
Typical leftist union thug. Reminds me of my days as a student at Illinois State University back in the mid-1980s. One of my professors from the College of Education was the head of the campus faculty union. His class was also mandated to get certified as a teacher. One day during class, I dared to ask a question about the then-new concept of school choice and vouchers. The man's eyes widened, veins pulsed in his temples, and the tendons in his neck tightened and bulge -- and he proceeded to inform me that such things were nothing more than a right-wing plot to destroy public education and that he believed that anyone who was not opposed to those ideas was unfit to teach in a public school classroom. He further informed us that no student who expressed support for those policies would ever be allowed to pass his class, which would mean that we would either have to transfer schools or change career plans.I was safe because I had not made my mind up about school choice and vouchers at the time -- however, that experience made me an opponent of compulsory unionism and and started me look much more closely at choice and vouchers, because ideas that could produce such vehemence in their required further examination.
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