I have a soft spot for adjuncts, because more than a few of my friends are in the awkward position of being rich intellectually but poor financially. What does it say about our priorities when we cannot pay our higher education professionals a living wage?
Just what kind of fees are we paying in Rhode Island under the current treasurer’s “alternative” investments?
Just after the New Year, Hostess Brands, the largest producer of baked goods in the United States, filed for bankruptcy. Formerly called Interstate Bakeries Corporation, the company had previously filed for bankruptcy protection in 2004. It emerged from what became the most protracted bankruptcy process in history in 2009 and renamed itself Hostess Brands. The resolution of that previous bankruptcy filing was secured through major concessions by the company’s unionized employees in exchange for equity in the company, infusions of cash from GE Capital and three private equity companies--one of which, Ripplewood Holdings acquired a 50% share of the company--and the termination of public trading of the company’s stock.
Thank you to workers of the world.
Diane Ravitch provides the full text of Randi Weingarten’s response to “Won’t Back Down,” the hollywood film that Walden Media is releasing in September. The purpose of the movie seems to be not only to demonize teachers, but to direct everyone to vote for the parent trigger laws in November so we can hasten the privatization of public education. Randi Weingarten responds with scathing criticism of the movie on Diane Ravitch’s blog.
The silly picture is from another website I learned about through Ravitch’s blog, Last Stand for Children.
Short interview with Sen. Whitehouse in which he extolls the virtues of Netroots Nation, appreciates the value of the Occupy Movement, and talks about his efforts to keep funding for wellness and health. He also talks about his phone conversation with President Obama following the Buffet Rule vote in the Senate, and how the fight is not over to change our tax policies to support the middle class.
Is it possible that smart people might mess up their priorities? This is a reminder that a nuclear power plant will require skilled labor basically forever, or until the radioactive fuel is trucked off to a safe place– wherever that turns out to be. From The Boston Herald…
With its current operating license just weeks from expiring, officials at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth sent nearly half their employees home this morning hours after their contract expired, a move dubbed “disgraceful and disturbing” by union leadership as they weigh the plant’s latest offer.
Despite negotiating into the early morning hours, officials with the Louisiana-based Entergy Corp. — which runs the Plymouth plant — and members of Utility Workers Union of America Local 369 failed to hash out a new contract after a month of talks, both sides said today.
That prompted the plant to turn away all of its “non-essential employees” this morning, said union president Dan Hurley, who scoffed at the designation that any worker is “non-essential.”
“It’s a nuclear facility, so I’d think that everyone in there is an essential person,” said Hurley, who helps represent 380 workers at the plant. He said healthcare as well as safety and staffing issues were the major sticking points separating the two sides, and the union plans to vote on Entergy’s latest offer next week.
We can’t keep creating nuclear waste in the belief that future generations will be more rational and selfless than our own. This stuff lasts forever.
And when something goes wrong, corporations vanish and citizens are left with the burden. See Greenpeace on private profit–socialized risk.
May Day, when the weather cooperates, celebrates a time of year when the intoxicating beauty of Spring reaches even the most frozen, internet-addicted soul. Known as Beltane in the Celtic Wheel of the Year, it is a worker’s holiday in much of the world. May Day stands across the Wheel from another disreputable holiday the Celts bequeathed us–Halloween. It’s a time to test boundaries. May Day will be Occupied this year.
At this latitude, we usually don’t get into our groove during Earth Month. Most years, May is when the world blooms– this warm April being an exception. America celebrates Labor Day at the end of Summer, and the change of the seasons not at all, officially. That’s okay, nature celebrations don’t take to official sanctions.
In this week’s New York Times the Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood mentioned New England’s own Nathaniel Hawthorne as a writer worth re-visiting. I checked it out and darned if his writing isn’t subversive, Pagan and kind of gay (if a rainbow scarf counts). Here is what happens when the Puritans meet the May Pole dancers…
Here might be seen the Savage Man, well known in heraldry, hairy as a baboon, and girdled with green leaves. By his side, a noble figure, but still a counterfeit, appeared an Indian hunter, with feathery crest and wampum belt. Many of this strange company wore foolscaps, and had little bells appended to their garments, tinkling with a silvery sound, responsive to the inaudible music of their gleesome spirits. Some youths and maidens were of soberer garb, yet well maintained their places in the irregular throng by the expression of wild revelry upon their features. Such were the colonists of Merry Mount, as they stood in the broad smile of sunset round their venerated Maypole.
Had a wanderer, bewildered in the melancholy forest, heard their mirth, and stolen a half-affrighted glance, he might have fancied them the crew of Comus, some already transformed to brutes, some midway between man and beast, and the others rioting in the flow of tipsy jollity that foreran the change. But a band of Puritans, who watched the scene, invisible themselves, compared the masques to those devils and ruined souls with whom their superstition peopled the black wilderness.
Within the ring of monsters appeared the two airiest forms that had ever trodden on any more solid footing than a purple and golden cloud. One was a youth in glistening apparel, with a scarf of the rainbow pattern crosswise on his breast. His right hand held a gilded staff, the ensign of high dignity among the revelers, and his left grasped the slender fingers of a fair maiden, not less gayly decorated than himself. Bright roses glowed in contrast with the dark and glossy curls of each, and were scattered round their feet, or had sprung up spontaneously there. Behind this lightsome couple, so close to the Maypole that its boughs shaded his jovial face, stood the figure of an English priest, canonically dressed, yet decked with flowers, in heathen fashion, and wearing a chaplet of the native vine leaves. By the riot of his rolling eye, and the pagan decorations of his holy garb, he seemed the wildest monster there, and the very Comus of the crew.
“Votaries of the Maypole,” cried the flower-decked priest, “merrily, all day long, have the woods echoed to your mirth. But be this your merriest hour, my hearts! Lo, here stand the Lord and Lady of the May, whom I, a clerk of Oxford, and high priest of Merry Mount, am presently to join in holy matrimony. Up with your nimble spirits, ye morris-dancers, green men, and glee maidens, bears and wolves, and horned gentlemen! Come; a chorus now, rich with the old mirth of Merry England, and the wilder glee of this fresh forest; and then a dance, to show the youthful pair what life is made of, and how airily they should go through it! All ye that love the Maypole, lend your voices to the nuptial song of the Lord and Lady of the May!”
As history tells, the Puritans won. Still, they never quite succeed in pulling all the dandelions out of the lawn. Hawthorne has a lot to say to us today, in this short story. Read it all here,–The May Pole of Merry Mount, by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
And as history is stranger than fiction, here’s one link to that renegade ‘English priest’, Thomas Morton, founder of New Caanan. If the Puritans had followed Morton’s lead and made peace with the Native people, what new path might our country have taken?
In fact, you might be having bad times. While they’re having good times. Doing things you don’t understand.
And men have a special relationship with money that women just don’t get…
Repealing the [Wisconsin equal pay] law was a no-brainer for state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R), who led the effort because of his belief that pay discrimination is a myth driven by liberal women’s groups. Ignoring multiple studies showing that the pay gap exists, Grothman blamed females for prioritizing childrearing and homemaking instead of money, saying, “Money is more important for men,” The Daily Beast reports:
Whatever gaps exist, he insists, stem from women’s decision to prioritize childrearing over their careers.
Talk about your Bad Choices. The Senator goes on…
You could argue that money is more important for men. I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday, may be a little more money-conscious. To attribute everything to a so-called bias in the workplace is just not true.”
Nothing about these guys working harder than women, I notice.
I figured out the answer to this ‘breadwinner’ thing long ago. When I work for a discount, due to being female, I save money for my boss– who I don’t love, and lose money for my husband, who I do love. Think about it. Where is the evidence that bosses trickle money down on families after they wring every drop out of the labor market by selectively underpaying workers through ‘divide and conquer’?
Senators have careers. Most of us have jobs. The Beast says that wage inequality is worse in Wisconsin than other states. Are the women more womanly there? Is it a mystery? Not necessarily.
Today’s 21st Century social scientists can actually sort out the difference between wage loss due to taking time out for family, and wage loss due to being paid less for the same job. And we don’t have to get lost in an emotional, un-winnable argument about whether the boss is prejudice against women. It’s in the numbers. Clean, masculine numbers, even.
Republicans like to talk about an opportunity society, but when it comes to remedies for inequality they won’t stand by the worker, woman or man.
Bet that got your attention :)
That is the line that Mitt Romney is pushing,
"I keep hearing the president say he's responsible for keeping the country out of a Great Depression," Romney said in front of around 200 people at an American Legion post. "No, no, no, that was President George W. Bush and Hank Paulson."
Reeeeeally? lessee here ...