Monday, November 24, 2014

NYSUT Leadership Takes a Page from Cuomo's Art of War

Never one to take responsibility for a misstep, Sheriff Andy Cuomo spent part of the weekend castigating the National Weather Service for essentially lying and misleading the public about the depth, breadth, intensity and gravity of the storm going into the books as "Snowvember." I listened to his press conference in slightly stunned amazement on my garage radio Saturday while cutting breadbox sized blocks of compressed snow with an inch of ice at the bottom in my driveway as a gentle rain fell. The rain and the waist deep snow were surreal to be sure but  nothing compared to the accompanying audio of Cuomo blaming the NWS the way a drunk damns the bartender or a toddler blames the crack in the sidewalk. We were warned. We scoffed as we usually do. I made my usual wisecracks about fighting soccer moms over a gallon of 1% and a dozen eggs at Wegman's. Then I quietly scarfed up about 5 gallons just in case... The predictions were dire. Not inches but feet. And after we got the feet they predicted they said hang on folks,  it's not over yet, there's more coming Thursday night and it won't be inches then either, it will be one to two more feet on top of what you already have. By then most of us had converted and smartasses like your humble narrator were past wisecracks and wondering if Dollar General had any milk. Local weather guru and actually college educated in meteorology tv weatherman Don Paul offered this on his FB page:

Governor Cuomo's attempt to scapegoat the National Weather Service for an inaccurate forecast in advance is not only completely in error—the NWS did an outstanding job—but is a disservice to the public and to the hard-working staff of this federal agency. No forecast of such an historical disaster is going to be absolutely perfect, but no one who lives here can say this event was not well forecast in advance, or that the warning headlines of its impact to come were not well explained in advance...his statement is disinformation, purposeful or ill-informed. Twitter offers this for further proof that Gubner Andy is spinning his wheels in the snow: 

Good thing Cuomo isn't being evaluated on his ability to comprehend the text. Maybe a few close readings might further his grasp of what did and didn't happen around here. I find the college sophomore yellow hi-liter's work particularly damaging to the Gubner's claims. (John Oliver had to postpone his show at UB Tuesday night managing to get off a blast about Buffalo and our "ridiculous thunder snow" in his tweet.) 

And by sheer finger pointing coincidence word has reached us through the snow that Cuomo's minions in NYSUT -- in spite of what they claim, they are his crew, the same way Weingarten is his girl -- are using election data to harass union members for not voting on election day. What? Yes. NYSUT "leaders" like Karen McWho? are hammering local union leadership and blaming members for failing to vote (against Cuomo?) last time around. I read on the twitter where one of Cuomo's henchmen threatened his sheep that after election day they would have a list of who voted and who didn't and it would be used the way politicians use such data to punish anyone who didn't Harrumph at the proper point in time: 

Coming from a Cuomo operative one tends to shrug and say Yeah that's Andy's team all right, that and the lawyer who suggested Astorino's running mate, Sheriff Chris Moss could find work on the box of Cream of Wheat or fill in for Aunt Jemima after the election. No shocker there really. But when you learn that your union leadership who fake fumbled the ball when it had a chance to endorse and rally behind Zephyr Teachout is borrowing a page from Cuomo's book of thuggery it makes you re-think your Vote Cope donations at very least. For NYSUT "leadership" to blame members for losing an election in which NYSUT "leadership" willfully aided, abetted and enabled Cuomo is simply unacceptable. But then again their Patron Saint Randi Weingarten's robocalls on behalf of Cuomo's running mate Kathy God Guns and Get the Hell Back to Honduras Hochul was equally unacceptable. As was the sweet pension deal they made for themselves but fought to hell and back again to prevent outgoing Ianuzzi guy Peter Cutler from getting. As is the directionless, spineless, stool at the table excuse of Quisling leadership slurping crepes at the Fort Orange Club while the rest of us brace for Cuomo's breakup of "the last monopoly" into which he's caricatured educational professionals. I once worked in a building with a Principal who'd been a Mayor of Lackawanna at the height of the steel era -- which is to say at the height of Lack City's political corruption. He'd been run out as Superintendent of the same city by political enemies and landed on his feet in Buffalo. It was widely shared that he could call Albany and get Mario Cuomo on the phone in the time it took to change classes. While we walked the halls one morning in one of Buffalo's most dangerous and since shuttered high schools, he explained to me that politics was a game. "You take care of your friends" he said, then smiled a nasty grin adding, "And you stick it to your enemies. And one is just as important as the other."  Not sure how the rest of you are feeling these days but I for one am about sick of my so called friends sticking it to me every time I turn around. What's left for my enemies? 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Why Larry Quinn Is on His Way Out

Pssst... Wanna know why Buffalo School Board member Larry Quinn is in trouble? He's a wienie. And if there's one thing B-lonians will not abide it's a wienie. Carl Paladino, on the other hand, is a loose cannon. He's got a trail of wreckage in his wake that includes racist  and bestiality emails and threats to journalists (if you can call Fred Dicker a journalist). He's got conflicts of interest all over the place with his charter school leases in place as he sits on a public school board. Carl can be profane and abusive as seen in this encounter detailed by Alan Bedenko aka "Buffalo Pundit" a month or so ago when he was still with Artvoice: 

 As we both extended hands to shake in greeting, I hesitated and said, “you don’t like me. I’m Alan Bedenko”. At this he recoiled and inquired whether I was fucking serious. When I answered in the affirmative, he took a step or two back to tell me that I’m “a real fucking asshole, you know that?”  I replied that yes, indeed, I am, as I grinned from ear to ear.  He went on to berate me as a “disgrace” and a “fucking coward”.  I continued smiling as this old man angrily spat expletives at me on a sidewalk, in front of people, on a cool Buffalo night. He then went inside in disgust, informing the people with whom I was chatting that he would not speak to them while they were talking to an asshole like me. It was surreal. 

Yeah, that's the guy. You can read the rest of this bizarre but not uncommon tete a tete HERE. What's really true of this profanity laced interaction is that BP sums up the communal response to a guy, a public figure, an elected school board member no less, laying into another adult publicly with the dysfunctional summary statement of "That's just Carl being Carl."  Whut?  Anyone from outside our little snowglobe here by the lake night say "Are YOU fucking serious?" Yes, we somehow tolerate this guy in all of his invective spewing rage fueled misbehavior because he's Carl. He used Harley Davidson colors in his campaign when he ran for Governor. He strutted around with a baseball bat menacing Cuomo and anyone like him. His love child from an extramarital affair emerged from the shadows after ten years or so. But Carl buys drinks. He got rid of the Ogden Street and Niagara toll booths. He lost a son in a tragic car accident. And for all of this we accept Carl and even those of us who think we hate his guts know he's at worst a broken clock that still manages to be right twice a day.

Larry Quinn, on the other hand, has no such charms. Where Carl swings a bat we expect to see Quinn hefting a Polo mallet and awkwardly at that. If Carl unloads on a local journalist with a fountain of F-bombs, Quinn snatches a hairpiece off the head of a guy who goes about 5'3" and whips it across the room.  Where Carl gets a free pass and ringside seats, Quinn will get the doorman's forearm stretched across his chest with a "Where you think you're going fella?"  Since Carl brought Quinn with him to visit Lafayette High School and Quinn showed everyone what a contemptuous, dismissive prick he is, everyone is going to be watching. And now that we've seen Quinn's petulance -- saying of the faculty "I only came here as a favor to Carl I didn't want to meet with these clowns" his disdain for working people, calling teacher leader Pat Foster "an idiot" you can be sure Larry will make some half hearted obligatory attempt to reign in his tongue. But we all know better. A guy like Quinn is not going to negotiate these waters with grace or skill. He's going to be spending a lot of time out of his boat getting bounced around in the rapids. The peek he gave Buffalonians of his true self at Lafayette is just the beginning of Larry Quinn's unraveling. Carl tried to apologize away Quinn's boorish antics when pressed about it by a news reporter. He admitted Quinn was rude and unprofessional in his dealings with school officials and teachers. He then tried to slip a card from his sleeve hoping nobody would notice describing the performance as "a bad hair day." He should have said "That's just Larry Being Larry." 

Friday, November 14, 2014

School Board Member Larry Quinn Tells Teachers What He Really Thinks of Them.

Education Expert Larry Quinn

Enquiring minds have been told that Buffalo Board of Education members Larry Quinn and Carl Paladino paid a visit to Lafayette High School the other day. Onlookers reported Carl's demeanor was subdued and friendly for the duration of the visit. Larry Quinn, errr... not so much. It has been reported that Quinn was overheard in a loud clear voice referencing teachers there as "clowns" whom he did not want to meet with. This from a guy who, when he was helping drive the Buffalo Sabres into the ground -- You don't have one of those nice Briere or Drury jerseys I hope --  snatched Art Wander's toupee off his head and flung it across a roomful of people. Maybe the Tiny Tot of the Kilowatt hit a nerve with his hockey commentary? I heard that story from an on air local sports guy years ago and it never quite left me as a signpost of the Quinn's character deficit. Clowns. Nice.

Found an hilarious old rant about him too when he was "helping" the Sabres. It's called Why the Hell Does Larry Quinn Talk? Funny how some things never change. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Election Deja Vu in B-Lo

Election day was something of a deja vu for us in B-lo's Ed Scene. Back in May we had a school board election that ousted one majority and swept in another in an eerily similar manner as the country witnessed on Black Tuesday. 

Nationally it seems President Obama was bitchslapped by an angry, impatient, potentially racially charged voting bloc that seemed hellbent on throwing Democrats out of office simply because of their association with him, his policies and the merest hint of a connection to him or his office. I'll admit I have little sympathy for Democrats in light of what John Stewart called their Chickenshit Strategy.  Their spinelessness aside I have also grown weary of these neoliberals trying to out-Republican the GOP on everything from The Keystone Pipeline to Education Reform so called. It's not that I look forward to the onslaught of privatization, pollution enabling, bank deregulation, destruction of public educations and vilification of unions that the incoming crew promises to unleash on the morons who voted them in. Not at all. I dread what's been turned loose. But I loathe and despise the do nothing Democrats who helped create the leadership vacuum wherein the GOP and its operatives could stand up on their hind legs and howl their way into office. Pissed off voters headed to the voting booth with an anybody but you mentality did not appear from the ether. They were spawned and tweaked and agitated and ignored over and over again until they eventually morphed into the mindless fuckyoubots who scribbled in the fuck you circles and slammed their little ballot into the computer with a grimace and a grunt.

Here in B-lo we endured a similar dynamic with our own Board of Education election in May. The prevailing majority of last year and many years previous was made up of African American women, affectionately known as The Sisterhood by one of their loudest critics who now sits alongside their remnants on the board. Carl Paladino couldn't get out of his own way when he ran against Andrew Cuomo for Governor. His love child, hushed up for some 10 years, emerged from the shadows, his racist, perverted emails were handed over to all the right sources (some say by the staff of his cousin in law Congressman Brian Higgins.) Carl completely lost it one night on the campaign trail and threatened Fred Dicker of the NY Post saying "I will take you out." In short he was a train wreck whose machismo played well in South Buffalo but not so well in parts of the state where he couldn't walk in and buy drinks for the house.  But like any other broken clock Carl had his moments, especially when it came to The Sisterhood and their endless repertoire of shiftless appointments, inexplicable dismissals and a seemingly interminable ability to treat themselves to conferences and perks and catered meals all on the taxpayer's dime. When Amber Dixon was working as Interim Superintendent after James Williams was finally run out of town, it was common knowledge that the board majority had no plans whatsoever to allow her to remain in the job. Furthermore it was also repeated as least once by a fellow board member at the time that there was no way in hell they were going to allow a white woman to be Superintendent. And they didn't -- in spite of the fact that Dixon was a local who'd come up in the system, knew the system, its strengths and weaknesses and had a plan on where to start undoing their boy Williams' damage. The Sisterhood sent her packing and brought in Pamela Brown, PhD Harvard, who dithered, hid, lied, colluded and was eventually run off same as Williams after reportedly writing all of her own letters of recommendation which she was to present to future employers as though board members had penned them. Without spending a lot of time with all the days and ways of the Sorority Majority's manifest misdeeds let's just say they polluted the air, land and water with their antics and truthfully set the stage for anyone to come in and "trow da bumzout!" Well, not just anyone, but you get the drift.

Sadly, the so called White Knights of Buffalo's Board of Ed are exactly that. If not royalty, they are used to life at court and being surrounded by lackeys who do their bidding and taste test their drinks. On Board of Ed election night their official newsletter aka The Buffalo News reported with fawning admiration how freshly elected member, Larry Quinn, former part owner of the Sabres was sipping wine and snorkeling shrimp at an elevated table in Bacchus wine bar, chatting with local developer/charter operator Frank McGuire who also happens to be Paladino's partner in the charter that used to be Holy Angels School. Coincidence? James Sampson another member of the Caucasian Caucus as I will dub the pale knights, happens to be the Vice President of West Buffalo Charter School where Paladino is also the landlord. Are you starting to hear them banjos yet boy? It's gettin just a hair incenstuous if ye gather my drift.  And recently Paladino gave a little speech were he promised as a sitting board member to a group of local businessmen that he was going to dissemble the Buffalo Public Schools, promote charters, hand out vouchers to private schools and essentially do everything in his power to end public education as we know it. Yes he said this as a board member who leases properties to no fewer than 3 charter schools currently with one for sure and another likely in the pipeline. 

Yesterday I was on the twitter and I noticed a tweet directing readers to a blog written by one of the Board's former majority. While I agree with her message about Paladino and the dire outlook for Buffalo's schools I have a really hard time feeling too bad for her or any of her remaining holdovers from the old Majority. Here is her blog and this is the comment I left for her: 

 Unfortunately, the board's last majority so thoroughly enraged voters with a litany of shiftlessness, terrible hirings and the persistent appearance of anti white bias that you created the environment where Paladino and his privileged white cadre could breeze into office. He couldn't have come to power without your help.

I kind of think they deserved it more than Obama did but I'll reserve my tears for some worthier cause, like the men's room running out of paper hand towels. It'd be different if they simply ended their own careers by pissing off the meager percentage of citizens who vote in school board elections. But in reality they have gambled with the future of public education and in losing they've handed it over to the rich white guys all for the sake of hiring their pals and pocketing the petty rewards to be gotten from abusing the public trust. I hope it was worth it ladies. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Your Union Dues Hard At Work Just Not for You

After Sheriff Andrew had his angry little snit with the Daily News editors explaining how he was going to crush the teachers and their unions if re-elected I'll bet you can only imagine the red hot rhetoric boiling from our various firebrand union leaders. Ahem.

Yessirree Old Karen Magee -- whose name I am not even sure I am spelling correctly -- but truthfully I give about a rat's ass which is one rat's ass more than I have seen her caring about the rank and file teachers looking to her for support -- came out swinging. Well, maybe not swinging exactly. I guess we might agree she came out. No, that's not really true either. O.k. let's say she cracked the door an inch and declared bravely that Cuomo's comments were "unfortunate and a distraction." Yeah. Hellz Yeaaah. Fuckin A Kar, way to lay into that bastard. Big Bill Haywood is sitting up in his coffin about now asking "Who is that gal ? "If I was a radical she's a goddamned square root."

But it gets better folks. Labor is Dead you say? Pshaaw. Did you see the love letter Corny Karl sent to anti-tenure, anti-collective bargaining, anti-Triborough Amendment candidate Rob Astorino who brought Scot Walker here  fresh from destroying the State of Wisconsin as a fund raising attraction? Yeah, Astorino is banging his hands bloody on the Anti Common Core drum -- even creating a line on the ballot for Stop Common Core -- This ingenious gesture has proven quite the shiny object in the path of far too many otherwise reasonable and intelligent people who've got in touch with their recessive Teabagger gene and decided to throw their vote to this odd, shrew faced little man because they really think he's going to be good for teachers and education in spite of the company he keeps and the obvious anti teacher postures he's struck. Did I mention he's also a fan of charter schools same as Cuomo? Here's a peck of the soul kiss NYSUT laid on Astorino:

On behalf of NYSUT's 600,000 members, we thank Rob Astorino for his Oct. 29th open letter expressing support and respect for teachers and public education in New York State. While we differ on a number of issues, we wholeheartedly agree with his statement that teachers deserve respect and that strengthening New York State's public school system should be our shared focus. And we pledge to acknowledge all leaders who similarly commit to statements of respect and support.

Did I say it KEEPS getting better? While NYSUT was busily slobbering on Astorino, AFT President Randi Weingarten was reinforcing her singular place in labor history as possibly the most useless and widely despised Union President of all time in attempting to walk back comments Cuomo himself has made no attempt to distance himself from. 

Taking on the role of the idiot aunt who has no sense of why children behave the way they do

 -- remember folks this human was never a teacher like you are. She never ground out a long March in the classroom between Winter Recess and Spring Break or sat in a hostile parent conference where you were pretty sure calling the cops was the right call afterward. No, she never walked 5 feet in your shoes so don't bestow the title or honor of "teacher" on her. She is and always has been nothing more or less than a lawyer. As such she likes to think she has mastered the art of the cleverly turned phrase, the surgically omitted detail, the lie that you'd swear was the truth if you didn't know better. But the truth is she's not very good at these things. She kind of sucks at it but she brazens it out and does it anyway. You've heard her agreeing about the disaster that is Common Core then she throws in her little spiel about implementation negating the larger point that CCSS blows goat.

 But I digress. The idiot aunt explanation when a kid behaves like a bloodthirsty savage? Oh, he's just tired, the poor dear. And when faced with Cuomo's declaration of war on teachers and public education as a whole, what does our fearless union lightning rod have to say on the topic?

“We’re in the political season. At the end of the day, … I’ll chalk it up to politics,” Weingarten told Capital on Friday when asked about the governor’s comments earlier in the week...

Yep, Randi gave Cuomo a mulligan. In as many words she said he's just tired. It's the political season and he's just not himself, he's saying mean things and being grumpy so let's all forget what he said and let him get a nap, a juice box and a crustable so he can be nice again.  As my role model and colleague RealityBasedEducator has pointed out on PerdidoStSchoolBlog Randi would rather chase the paper tigers at Time Magazine demanding a meaningless apology for their teacher bashing cover last week than address the snarling sociopath prick in the Gubner's mansion here in Albantucky. Or is he staying in his Westchester house with the upgrades done without building permits or tax adjustments? Hard to keep track of Sheriff Andrew is,  Saddam- like in his ability to remain a moving target.

While Rome burns our union leadership alternates between roasting marshmallows over the flames and saying things like "at least it's not raining." That loudmouth at the end of the bar down at Sully's Tavern saying "Unions are all corrupt, the leadership is a bunch of sellouts who don't give a damn about none a yous dues paying guys?" That loudmouth lately is looking like a McArthur Fellowship winner. In case you didn't realize it,  that makes him a genius.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NYSUT and VOTE COPE: Dumb and Dumberer

If you weren't impressed yet with the yield of your Vote Cope donation here's yet another piece of their high octane strategerizing. Apparently the Vote Copers can't afford a spell check option maybe because they've dumped what? half a million plus into Marc Pannepinto the convicted voter fraud's campaign? Well, if you felt a little shortchanged by the battered woman ad that suggested Mark Grisanti would step over her with reptilian detachment on his way to a fundraiser then maybe this Mike Ranzenhofer slam is more your style:

Those Teutonic surnames can be tricky but this is Western New York where people ask reflexively when they learn your name -- What is that? Meaning, is it Polish, German, Irish, Cambodian, Sierra Leonean? We are ethnically obsessed and we can handle these euro names with ease. But the noobs of Vote Cope whoever the hell they are come stumbling into town and they can't even spell "RANZENHOFER? More to the point, they can't even spell LOSING? And they claim to be the political wing of the largest Teacher's Union in New York State? 

So Vote Cope shakes down hard working, tax paying, dues paying teachers for donations. Mind you these teachers are under siege from a sociopathic Governor who just yesterday declared he planned to break the teacher's union if and when he is reelected. I hesitate to mention that said Governor wears the emblem of the Democratic Party jackass, the one NYSUT pursues their abusive relationship with in something of a textbook abusive relationship tableau. 

...Curious to observe also that during the Governor's debate, Kathy Hochul sat with County Executive Mark Poloncarz (who is on record as saying Vote Cope should be embarrassed at their Abused Woman/Grisanti ad) and Byron Brown, Mayor. They sat away from the rest of the rabble in a direct eyeline with Cuomo. Meanwhile the two Dumbocrats who showed up at City Hall to express their deep concern for education were seated in another section. Sean Ryan sat a few rows ahead of us (Green Party invitees) and Tim Kennedy  sat in the seat to my left.  It struck me that these two are not part of the cool kids club and they won't be either as long as they keep up this pro-teacher posturing... 

These aforementioned teachers are also under fire from a Dumbocratic Party federal government that cheerleads the destruction of unions and plays open favorites to charter schools and the powers behind the school privatization movement. So when teachers hand over their hard fought money to a group that claims it will act in their best interests wouldn't you expect that they'd get a little better representation than a picture of a battered woman and another of a generic yogurt container with Halloween letters and two misspellings.

Instead of handing over your hard fought salary to these jackasses I suggest you invest in lottery tickets or take it the casino. The odds can't be any worse than what's coming out of NYSUT these days. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Could NYSUT Suck Any Worse?

Hey kids it's Vote Cope season in case you didn't get an email or a text message. And here's a handy suggestion for how much you should donate: Take the first two numbers of your annual salary and add a zero to them. So if you make $550,000.00 like AFT President Randi Weingarten does just send Vote Cope a check for $550.00. Why would I donate to something that sounds like a pain reliever for the election season? you might ask. Well, if you do you can claim your little piece of the brilliant strategery our bright bulbs at NYSUT's political wing are cranking out. Here's a sample:

I know you'd like to feel special that NYSUT took the time to smear a local hack whose reputation includes switching sides and parties more often than an Afghan warlord not to mention that embarrassing brawl he provoked trying to stick his nose into an argument between two Native Americans in the Seneca Niagara Casino. Ahh but don't get too carried away Western New Yorkers, NYSUT isn't that into you. The Mensa members of NYSUT's New York Post JV team used the same ad against two other candidates downstate Republican Sue Serino and Republican Terrance Murphy. I wonder if Sue and Terrance are polling better than Grisanti whose Republican endorsement was yanked in a primary by a self financed lawyer guy who goes door to door dressed like a character out of an F. Scot Fitzgerald novel, one Kevin Stocker. The overkill employed against Grisanti is vile enough on its own demerits. To imply that he'd blithely stand by checking his email and Facebook via iphone while battered women crawled at his feet pleading for help is the stuff of mudslinging with broken glass in the mud. 

And the real payoff comes when the Buffalo News and everyone else who's looking for a cheap shot at teachers gets hold of the ad, finds local Democrats like County Executive, Mark Poloncarz to denounce it for the rot that it is. This was his reaction to the flier Thursday morning on Twitter:

“Came home from debate to find this in the mail. Horrible. This makes people hate politics. Vote-Cope should be embarrassed.” ( I saw him at the debate sitting next to Kathy Hochul and Mayor Byron Squarepants).

Marc Panepinto, who has a  2000 conviction for voter fraud involving invalid signatures is the Democratic Party candidate to whom NYSUT is funneling hundreds of thousands of Vote Cope dollars this cycle. According to the Buffalo News, "Panepinto’s campaign said that it has nothing to do with the flier but did not take issue with it." “Our campaign has nothing to do with independent expenditures, including this shameful mailer,” said campaign spokesman Conor C. McMahon. “But it’s clear that Grisanti’s ultraconservative opposition to women’s equality is out of step with Western New York voters.”

So they admit it's shameful, deny and any association with it but try to piggyback a free plug in making a follow up statement that actually elaborates on the message they just referred to as "shameful." 

In case the Fullbright Fellows of Vote Cope aren't aware, Buffalo Schools are currently under siege from nearly every corner of the globe. The Buffalo Board of Ed is now run by a majority of wealthy white men with friends in the charter school business. The titular head of the parent group in Buffalo just co-authored a letter to the editor clamoring for more of the wealthy white mens' agenda, more charters, more closings, more teacher and union bashing. Board member Carl Paladino was recently heard explaining his educational philosophy to a group of Erie County businessmen in the following terms: 

By no coincidence school closer, charter promoter, non educator "Education Expert" Dr. Terry Ross is coming to Buffalo to share his vision of closed schools, high graduation rates through attrition and mandatory entrance exams to anyone willing to show up at Waterfront School on a Friday night or Saturday morning in December. It's been said Eva Moskowitz is looking to gain a foothold for her despicable "Success Academies" here. In short, the few of us left who get it and are willing to fight find ourselves in something of an Alamo situation. 

One might expect given the current climate, with teachers in desperate need of all the friends we can find that our state union would refrain from doing something so egregious, so completely stupid and reckless that the average jerk on the street would be hard pressed to disagree when The Buffalo News unloads in one of their trademark teacher bashing editorials under the headline:

Teachers Should Be Ashamed of Union's Unseemly Efforts to Unseat Grisanti followed by " is rare that Western New Yorkers are subjected to a campaign as vile and devious as the one leaving its trail in the 3 way race to represent the 60th Senate district and driving the dishonest and distorted contest are New York's school teachers or more specifically New York State United Teachers the largest of the state's teacher unions." 

A friend the other day made what I took to be a darkly comic remark when he said it. I am now re-thinking the comedy end of it and looking at the possibility that he is onto something. Do you ever wonder, he asked, if Buffalo is being offered up as a sacrifice?  Now I am not one for conspiracy theories and I have always gritted my teeth when the end of the bar gasbags pronounce all unions to be corrupt and in league with the powers they are supposed to be doing battle with. It's getting harder and harder to argue with these kinds of gasbags when even the Buffalo News is able to pimpsmack teachers then qualify it later by saying "Oh, we meant their union, not them" it's pretty hard to see where my union has my best interests at heart. Their motives are their own and they operate in a thick layer of insulation from anyone I know. Call me conspiracy theorist, call me "divisive" as they do any time you object to Mulgrew or Weingarten's self serving hijinx. Just call me in a really loud voice cause my tinfoil hat is going to have some gigantic earflaps. This is Buffalo, it gets cold here.