Tag Archives: strike

Shame Day: The BC Government vs. BC Teachers

In full disclosure, for the last few weeks my husband John and I have been working as uncertified Teachers on Call and/or Teacher’s Aides on Call. In my couple weeks attempting to fill the shoes of regular teachers and TAs, I’ve realized that this is an incredibly difficult job. Even though I’ve really loved my experience so far, it’s hard not to notice the ways that teachers are strapped when it comes to providing a good educational experience for the kids.

It’s become particularly frustrating over the last few weeks as the BC Teacher’s Union and the Government of British Columbia have gone head-to-head in a battle over several key issues. This has resulted in strikes by the Teacher’s Union and a lock-out by the province (preventing teachers from assisting at lunch, recess, and at extra curricular activities after school). Most teachers I’ve encountered feel frustrated at having to strike, but they are even more frustrated at being locked-out from helping their students.

Locked out at lunch.

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The Cultural Revolution

Gangs of schoolchildren sporting red scarves chant slogans as they march through the streets. A shop owner tears down an old sign for containing counter-revolutionary terminology. A man is publicly shamed for wearing pants too tight for manual labor- a young woman with scissors cut from the hem to above the knee. The son of a landlord is dragged through the streets as insults are hurled at him.

These are scenes from the so-called “Cultural Revolution”. Begun by Mao and his followers in 1966, these rallies and mass actions were meant to purge China of the last vestiges of antiquated, foreign, and Capitalist thought, replacing it with a proletarian culture that would forever cement the victory of the Maoists in 1950.

The Cultural Revolution quickly degenerated into something that could only be likened to the Reign of Terror following the French Revolution, with anyone accused of counter-revolutionary sentiment facing political and physical attacks. The “revolution” became a hotbed for corruption and suppression of dissent of any kind, and one might even argue that this major attempt to push socialism upon its inhabitants is actually what eventually led to the unraveling of Chinese Communism and its replacement with the sweatshops and slave-labor we more commonly associate with that nation today.

Mao, you see, had it backwards- trying to seize power and then change the hearts and minds of the public. That’s not a revolution, comrades, that’s just a coup. Rosa Luxemburg, an early but seminal Marxist thinker, once asserted that even if each and every civil servant and elected official were to suddenly become Communists, the world would not be one iota closer to being a Socialist one. Luxemburg understood the true nature of revolution- not some bleak military conquest but a fundamental change in the thinking and values of the majority of society. My ability to make you memorize Lenin, work on communal farms, and wave red-and-black flags will not make you Communists, no matter how long you do it (and even if it did, you’d be some pretty lousy Communists at that). The entire disastrous venture of the cultural revolution may have been avoided had Mao heeded the words of American Socialist and presidential candidate Eugene Debs when he proclaimed:

In the simplest possible terms, leaders come and go, the great will of the masses does not. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. The fight to change the basic values and principals of the people must come first– but how is this done? Continue reading

Fame Day: May Day

Today’s post comes to you on what is perhaps one of my most favorite days of the year: May Day.

No, not that one-

There we go.

That’s right comrades, pinkos, and fellow travelers! Today’s post marks not only the celebration of revolution and the working class across the globe but further touches off the first annual month-of-May celebration of all things leftist! Continue reading

Shame Day: Reactions to Thatcher’s Death

I am not a fan of Margret Thatcher.

Most people aren’t.

While you do have to recognize Thatcher’s accomplishment in being Britain first female prime minister (that’s one heck of a milestone, no matter where you stand), you really can’t help but wish the first female prime minister of Britain would actually be a good leader, rather than a nationalistic psychopath.

Beating unarmed bystanders- just one of the many accomplishments of the Thatcher years…

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No War, No More

The past week has seen a dramatic increase in tension in the Korean Peninsula as hostile rhetoric continues to issue from both sides of the DMZ. In the west, reactions have been mixed, with the media alternatively portraying the situation as being on par with the Cuban Missile Crisis and simultaneously pointing out the primitiveness of North Korea’s military.

For the most part it seems the average American’s mood to all this is one of bravado. I can’t count the number of comments and pictures I’ve seen over the past few days declaring what will happen “If North Korea attacks.”

Things like this:

Titled “What I imagine America will do when North Korea sends a missile to South Korea”

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Devalue System

A week ago, Malik Richmond and Trent Mays, two high schoolers accused in a widely publicized rape case, were found guilty and sentenced…

to two years in juvenile detention.

Now there’s no rant I can write which is going to effectively communicate just how psychotic it is that Richmond and Mays received minimum sentencing, so I’m going to forgo any attempt and jump right into a list of crimes receiving harsher penalties.

Sale of Marijuana in Amounts Under 50 Kgs: 5 years.

Larceny in Excess of $3,500: Up to 10 years.

Mail Fraud: Up to 20 years.

Heck, Aaron Schwartz, an MIT student and internet activist who downloaded thousands of academic papers from JSTOR, was sentenced to 35 years in prison, in addition to a million dollar fine (Schwartz tragically killed himself in January of this year). Is what Schwatz did seventeen times more heinous than rape and dissemination of child pornography?

I don’t think so either.

And I don’t think people like Patricia Spottedcrow should be given twelve-year sentences for selling a dime bag of weed while someone who commits domestic violence may receive a maximum (in Nevada) penalty of 180 days in jail.

But I’m not hear to rail on our demented and irredeemably corrupt legal system.

I’m hear to talk about our values as a whole.

Back in 2011, during the teacher’s union strikes in Wisconsin, a complaint I heard a lot was “That teacher makes more than I do, has better benefits, and wants more money? That’s just greedy!” or “I saw that teacher driving around in a <insert fancy car here>!”

Now I honestly don’t know where these figures were pulled from; I have yet to see a wealthy teacher, let alone one who drives to and from work in a 1965 Chevy Impala, but that’s not really the point.

I do get being ticked off at people demanding more money when there aren’t enough hours in the day to spend all that they already have. Believe me, that resonates.

But if that’s the case, then where’s all the righteous indignation during the NBA lockout in 2011? No matter which way you slice it, those players were making millions, and pretty much shut down the NBA for half a year because they felt they weren’t making enough.

Now I’m not trying to pass judgment one way or the other, partly because I don’t know enough about the politics of the sport, and partly (mostly) because I think everyone involved makes and obscene amount to begin with.

So do actors, for that matter.

I frankly don’t see why actors should be paid millions to act as teachers in the ghetto while real teachers in the ghetto wouldn’t make that kind of money if they worked until their deaths. The same goes for doctors, civil rights lawyers, independent journalists, and so on. Pay an actor $5,000,000 to pretend to be a teacher, and everyone’s fine with it. Pay a real teacher $50,000 and the world is apparently coming to an end.

A professional footballer makes about $2,000,000 a year. Y’know how much a grocery store clerk makes? $28,000 (if we’re going ridiculously high). And you’d best believe my life is impacted more by any grocery clerk than anyone catching/kicking/hitting a ball for a living.

Now all this is to say we need to step back and take a hard look at our value system. What do we really consider to be a terrible crime? Is selling weed or beating your spouse senseless a more awful crime than rape? Is the work done by actors really so much more valuable than that done by teachers and nonprofit works *cough*? And even get me started on our military budget and the perks we give our politicians.

Again, I’m not here to pass judgment (not until tomorrow, anyways). I’m here to simply present the facts before you. Do you think we’ve got our priorities in order?

Shame Day: “Black History”

adfhadfgdsfaAllow me to set one thing straight before we begin.

This isn’t some “let’s not talk about black history, let’s talk about human history” spiel, similar to sentiment put forward by Morgan Freeman a while ago.


I completely disagree with Mr. Freeman, but my reasons for that can be answered better in a different post.

This is a Shame Day post directed against “black history,” or rather, the reprehensible white-washed version we, the people, are spoon fed each February.

Now you all know who this is:

And you could probably tell me who this is:

We’re getting a little more obscure, but the literary-minded among you might even recognize who this is:

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