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Vol. 40, No.1 July 14, 2008
DISSENSION IN THE RANKS;
Ever since 2000, when our very own Dear Leader, Barbara Bowen, seized control of the PSC, members of the Delegate Assembly have done their best imitation of North Korean "legislators". They've tripped over themselves genuflecting before the Dear Leader, paying tribute to Barbara's wit, wile, and wisdom.
There was some of that in the contract debate: one of the Dear Leader's sycophants hailed, "Congratulations Barabra [sic] and negotiating Team," citing the negotiators' hard work(!). In case we needed reminding, the contract wholly ignored the issue of faculty workload. That was no problem for the Dear Leader, since she and her advisors get full release time from teaching. "Hard work" isn't high on Barbara's list of accomplishments.
But it was striking to see so many voices of opposition coming from the Delegate Assembly. In the end, 13 members of the Delegate Assembly voted no, and seven more abstained—meaning almost 20 percent of her most committed followers defied the Dear Leader.
Could some "re-education" efforts at New Caucus Central be far behind?
THE DEAR LEADER AND V.P. CHENEY:
At first glance, the Dear Leader and Vice President Cheney would seem to be polar opposites.
Cheney is known as the most hawkish member of a hawkish administration. The Dear Leader was the only one of the AFT's 38 vice presidents to oppose a resolution backing the war in Afghanistan (not her smartest move, looking back on things).
Cheney is a prominent member of an administration considered even by its critics as a strong supporter of Israel. It seems as if the Dear Leader, on the other hand, has gone out of her way to confer PSC recognition or support on every crackpot anti-Israel activist she has encountered.
But on closer inspection, there are some similarities between the Dear Leader and Cheney.
In recent years, Cheney has discovered that it's hard for Congress to investigate him if he doesn't turn over any documents to legislators. In the D.A. ratification debate, the Dear Leader took this lesson to heart: only strong opposition from some of her usual sycophants led her to release the full contract (as opposed to merely her summary) before the vote.
On economic matters, Cheney served as chief of staff under Gerald Ford, who tried to solve the problem of inflation by urging people to wear "Whip Inflation Now" (WIN) buttons. We all know how well that worked out.
The Dear Leader seems to be as clueless about how to handle inflation as the Ford administration was in the 1970s. How else to explain her decision to negotiate two straight contracts whose annual raises didn't even keep pace with inflation—at the same time as other public-sector unions were securing raises of as much as double the PSC rate.
Maybe the Dear Leader can place a call to the Vice President's office, to see if Cheney has some left-over "Whip Inflation Now" buttons he could share. These might come in handy as part of the New Caucusians' contract ratifying effort.
The Dear Leader's constant willingness to negotiate contracts whose raises don't even keep pace with inflation shows how little she understands about Economics. But that's not Battlin' Barb's chief concern, anyway: her goal is to play the part of the ‘60s radical, storming the gates of the oppressor.
In her recent missive to CUNY faculty, the Dear Leader listed the following as a reason to ratify her "Whip Inflation Now" contract: she and her crack bargaining team experienced "success in resisting management's demands."
What were these "management demands"? The Dear Leader doesn't say. Apparently if "management" demands something, the Dear Leader feels obligated to "resist" it.
It has to be this way: everything "management" wants is bad, and everything the Dear Leader proposes is good. How else to justify such bizarre tactics as picketing in front of the Chancellor's residence?
And who exactly is "management"? Like him or hate him, the Chancellor doesn't appropriate money for CUNY. Since the Dear Leader flunked economics, we'll give her a clue: usually "management" consists of the people who control the purse strings—or in this case Governor Patterson and the Democratic-controlled state legislature.
The Dear Leader's propaganda missives constantly tell us that she's both influential and simpatico with these figures. So why, again, is she bragging about her "success in resisting 'their' demands"?
REMINDER: When Barbara's Krazy Kontrakt Krew comes to your campus don't forget to have your video and tape recorder ready!
Sharad Karkhanis, Ph.D.
As you know, Susan O'Malley has sought to silence the Patriot by bringing a lawsuit which seeks to both limit his free speech and financially bankrupt him. Interested colleagues have weighed in on