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Vol. 52, No.4 July 06, 2010
NEW PSC LEGAL DEFENSE FUND ON THE WAY?
Our Dear Leader, Barbara Bowen, has long since established her willingness to spend our union dollars on . . . unusual . . . legal defense efforts. So $5000 of PSC money went for accused Marxist terrorist Lori Berenson's legal defense efforts, on grounds that Berenson's father was a PSC member. And uncounted PSC resources went to the unsuccessful litigation of a grievance and an AAUP complaint on behalf of Mohamed Yousry. The former York adjunct is currently serving 20 months in a federal prison for providing material support to terrorism.
Given these precedents, we're sure that the PSC checkbook will now be opened up on behalf of the man who calls himself “Juan Lazaro.” The man known as Lazaro, who previously taught in the Baruch political science department, was recently arrested on charges that he and his wife were actually Russian sleeper agents.
Now, spying for Russia isn't exactly the same as engaging in terrorist activities on behalf of Peruvian Marxists or anti-American Islamic radicals. So we'll concede that the case of “Professor Lazaro” won't have the ideological appeal for our Dear Leader and her New Caucus Cronies that has been seen in previous PSC legal defense funds.
But if Berenson and Yousry were worthy of a share of our PSC dues, surely “Professor Lazaro” is as well. Will the PSC Delegate Assembly convene a special summer session to pass a resolution of solidarity with “Professor Lazaro”? Perhaps our dues can finance a summer vacation to Russia by Renate Bridenthal, where the PSC's globe-trotting “foreign minister” can tour the sites and claim that she's on a “fact-finding mission.”
Either way, “Professor Lazaro” doubtless will sleep more comfortably in his jail cell knowing that Barbara Bowen and the crack PSC legal team will soon ride to his rescue.
PSC CONTINUES TO FLUNK POLITICAL SCIENCE 101
It's no secret that our union leadership struggles to understand the realities of New York politics. Rather than trying to build political alliances, and thus ensure that CUNY has the widest possible support in Albany, our Dear Leader and her chief political advisor, “Sidekick Steve” London, won't speak to Republicans. The New Caucus' quixotic anti-Israel campaign has almost seemed crafted to offend powerful Senate Democrats, such as Jeff Klein and Carl Kruger. The only political party the Dear Leader welcomes—the Working Families Party—is currently under federal investigation.
Even so, what can be said about our Dear Leader's latest “URGENT” budget e-mail? The Dear Leader apocalyptically informed us, “Governor Paterson had planned to ram through a final budget bill on Monday unless agreement had been reached on a budget.”
It's true that in certain political structures—for instance, the original Dear Leader's North Korea—the executive has the power to “ram” through pretty much anything (or anyone) he wants. But despite the dysfunctional nature of the New York budget system, the governor isn't a dictator. And it's absurd to say that a governor as weak as David Paterson could “ram” through anything. That the head of a professors' union could publicly make such a claim is embarrassing.
The Dear Leader also denounced Chancellor Goldstein for endorsing Paterson's Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act. “The Empowerment Act is not the ‘CUNY Compact,'” the Dear Leader huffed. Of course, she opposed the CUNY Compact (and the increased funds it brought for CUNY) as well.
The Dear Leader raised a procedural objection against Goldstein, suggesting that before taking a position on a CUNY-related issue, he needed to consult with her. (“But he has so far refused to change his position,” Barbara fretted.) We assume that the Dear Leader's “consultation standard” is a two-way street. As a result, surely Barbara will heretofore avoid assuming a public position on any legislative matter without first consulting with the Chancellor.
Sharad Karkhanis, Ph.D.