Below is a slightly edited version of my guest editorial that appeared in the Elgin Daily Herald on July 4th . I thank the Herald for publishing it.
I oppose charter schools because they address the wrong problem. The real cause of academic failure is not, as charter proponents contend, bad teachers, teachers’ unions and bureaucratic school systems. The real cause is poverty. Charter schools not only do not solve poverty; they create a major distraction from that simple fact.read more
Economic inequality has been growing since 1980,and continues to grow. Inequality in wealth creates inequality in power.
“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” Warren Buffett in 2006.
What have been the power consequences of this inequality?
Question 1) Who Owns the Media?
Six massive corporations dominate the U.S. TV media landscape: Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., CBS Corporation and NBC Universal. Together, they dominate news and entertainment. Then there’s Clear Channel which now owns over 1000 radio stations across the United States. Companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft increasingly dominate the Internet. These companies have concentrated their control over what we see, hear and read. Unless we are skeptical, they shape our thinking. New dangers loom: the proposed merger of Time-Warner and Comcast, and powerful threats to Internet neutrality.
During national election campaigns, these companies can easily dismiss, laugh off, or ignore any candidate who genuinely challenges their power or the power of their advertisers. By the time you and I enter the voting booth, we are choosing between two candidates who are acceptable to the multinational corporations.read more
On June 22, we paid a visit to Bill Foster (D) while he attended a private fundraiser outside of his district. Our Purpose? To remind him that the people of America OPPOSE the TPP and to send a clear message that he should not vote for this disastrous trade policy.
The ECC Board of Trustees has dropped plan to outsource the custodians. Instead, they passed a new plan to seek an outside company which will provide SUPERVISION for the custodians. They assured the audience that they will keep the present custodians as direct employees of the college, and that the custodians will keep their present benefits. But they plan to pay for the new supervisory management contract out of savings which will come from new efficiencies.
They expected this announcement to be greeted with gratitude, and to some degree it was. But to many of us it appears that they new arrangement will mean that the custodians will have to work faster and harder and that their hours will be cut.
I will be meeting with the head of the teachers union, some staff members and students and others to discuss how we can keep on top of this situation.
Clearly the board and the president felt the heat of the anger that they had stirred up over the past several weeks, and clearly they dropped the outsourcing plan as a result of that heat.
Walk with Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice in Elgin's July 4th parade.
If you oppose any new war in Iraq,
if you are concerned about growing poverty and economic inequality,
if you mourn the erosion of rights for working people,
if you want to see stronger action to slow climate change,
if you want to get money out of our elections,
Then definitely walk with us.
This is an opportunity to share our concerns with the 10,000 or more people who watch Elgin's parade each July 4th. It's a chance to participate in a deeper, more meaningful kind of patriotism, and to forge a new declaration of independence from the plutocracy that threatens to take over our country.
That's Friday, July 4th, 2014. We line up at 8:00 AM. Our line-up spot will be assinged soon and posted here. The parade steps off at 9:00 AM, and is over around 11:00. Call 847-742-6602 to let us know you are coming or to ask questions.read more
Promoting peace, a stronger democracy, and social and economic justice through education, dialog, and action