Thursday, September 10, 2015

Quinn, Board Majority Try to Muzzle the Unwashed Masses

To the surprise of nobody, the Board Majority players have introduced a motion that aims to curtail the public input portion of Board meetings. The Gang of Five -- we all know it's really a Gang of Three with bobbleheads Pierce and McCarthy providing two dummy votes -- claim they are seeking efficiency for their meetings. Well that's a nice sentiment but we all know it's also bullshit. Lars Quinn is famously on record as describing the public input piece of Board meetings as " a huge waste of time." 

The outrageous wording of their motion includes this gem: 

 “The public speaking portion of our meetings, which includes many of the same speakers week after week, consumed almost 40 percent of our meeting time last year; and … Board of Education meetings should be reserved for conducting the actual business of the board.”

Funny that they even noticed who the speakers are or that some of them are repeat offenders. Quinn was famously blasted for amusing himself with his cell phone as a student addressed the Board last year. Clarification:  As the kid was describing the bored and aloof body language and actions of Board members Quinn was twiddling with his iPhone. Is there a word for doing what someone is accusing you of doing as he is accusing you of doing it? Let's call it "Larsopathy." Paladino actually told a union rep/teacher activist a while back "You know we don't listen to anything you say when you're up there talking, right?

 When a speaker questioned Sampson's living large on the public dime as CEO of Gateway, Diamond Jim had the guy thrown out by security claiming the guy was out of line and not discussing Board business. Some of us might consider a Board President's shameless abuse of taxpayer funds in a previous position to be quite relevant. Sampson found no nexus between past wrongdoings and his current position of power enabling him to commit more of the same. At a subsequent meeting Gateway Jim tried to shut down a speaker from PUSH who mentioned Paladino's penchant for racist remarks. The guy refused to cease and desist. He finished what he had to say and led the audience in a raucous call and response chant of "Whose Schools?" -- "Our Schools!" before returning to his seat. 

It's pretty clear what this motion is all about friends and it's less abut efficiency than it is muzzling the unpleasant murmurings of the unwashed masses who dare to think they are owed any say in the running of their public schools. The Board Majority, though they have behaved like The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight on more occasions than not, are on a mission. I'm not convinced McCarthy and Pierce even understand their quest completely and I can't help but make the comparison to Bin Laden laughing when he learned that some of the 9-11 hijackers didn't even know what they were doing the day they boarded the planes. While nobody is saying these 2 are looking to do in Americans through mayhem, I see them in much the same role as stridently uninformed with a dew eyed zeal to do their masters' bidding in the war against public education. Make no mistake, the endgame of all this Board Majority's antics is the corporate privatization of public schools. And once they get their hooks into the schools you can rest assured public input at Board meetings and Board meetings themselves will take their place among other quaint vestigial items like the payphones and smoking lounges the Buffalo News likes to bring up in its remarks about BTF contracts.

You know it's serious when I agree with and quote Sam Radford who said quite correctly : “Part of getting better is hearing stuff you don’t like."  Amen to that. 

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