Re: Teacher Salaries

taqwcorekid replied to your photo: Let’s be honest, teachers are glorified…

are you fucking serious! this country is one of the stupidest ever and you really want to take money out of education!? are you fucking serious? why do you think theres so many kids doing drugs and killing each other? if youwanted to REFORM teaching so that teachers got paid MORE when they produce good results and put better teachers in bad schools we would not have nearly as much problems. but cutting how  teachers trully meager salaries are only going to drive otherwise willing and good dedicated teachers away fromthe profession alltogether. my mother is a teacher and you have no idea how many UNPAID hours of work she puts in making entire lesson plans, grading hundreds of papers, and going to meetings, and not to mention tutoringstudents. her day may TECHNICALLY end at 2:30 but she still has to go home and do work somtimes only getting four hours of proper sleep not to mention cooking and raise me and my family. not counting the housework all this is STILL almost equal to the amount of  paid work hours she puts in. SO THE LAST THING WE NEED TO DO IS CUT TEACHERS SALARIES IF ANY THING THEY SHOULD BE RAISED!!. WHY NOT BASEBALL PLAYERS. OR OUR FUCKING MILITARY BUDGET! PLEASE DON’T BE STUPID BY TREATING POORLY ONE OF THE FEW GROUPS OF PEOPLE THAT CAN ACTUALLY HELP US!

I urge you to re-read the graphic. It is a satire playing on the absurdity of paying teachers so little.  It approaches the topic from the logic of someone who does not value the work and efforts of teachers the way that you or I do. From that perspective, the logic goes to show that, even if we paid teachers at the rates we pay babysitters (each parent paying $19.50/day/child, for a classroom of 30, teachers would make over $100,000/year, twice what they currently make). The conclusion drawn is that teachers are paid half as well as we pay our babysitters or nannies for daycare service; and teachers are not only watching your children, but responsible for educating them.  I’m Occupy Online…cutting teacher pay is in the same goal bucket as paying CEO’s bigger bonuses for schmoozing, pushing paper, and making callous, exploitative decisions.

The graphic is playing on absurdities ;)

Police Forcibly Evict Midwest Occupy Conference Participants; 14 Arrested In St. Louis

[USTREAM VIDEO]  [NEWS COVERAGE]

Activists in St. Louis for a national Occupy convention were arrested Thursday night while leaving a park where the city had denied permission for them to camp.

Some 600 people from all over the US are gathering in the midwest city for the second major national conference of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Scheduled events include workshops, discussions, general assemblies and a march to the famous Gateway Arch on the Mississippi River.

Organizers of the three-day Midwest Occupy Conference claim that conference participants were subjected to police brutality and that their First Amendment rights were violated when law enforcement officers with batons aggressively attacked a group of 150 demonstrators who were marching out of Compton Hill Reservoir Park at 10:48 p.m. on March 15.

At 10:48 p.m. witnesses say they observed police beating protesters with batons at Compton Hill Reservoir Park as the crowd was leaving the area. Organizers had already convinced the protesters to vacate the park and they were leading the majority of the people away when the police moved in aggressively and began making arrests. Observers watched as the law enforcement officers entered the march and started pushing demonstrators. There was shouting and chaos, then the acrid scent of pepper spray filled the air.

The activists report that police also used batons and tasers. They say at least two people were hospitalized as a result of the police actions.

[Read the rest of the article]

The 2nd Circuit Slams Occupy Wall Street ‘Hero’ Judge Rakoff
By MASSIMO CALABRESI
Remember how last fall that “heroic” Manhattan-based U.S. district court judge Jed Rakoff “ripped the SEC a new one” by blocking a massive settlement the agency had proposed  with Citigroup for the bank’s allegedly knowing and fraudulent acts in the run-up to the great recession? At the time of Rakoff’s decision last November, I wrote:


When U.S. district judge Jed Rakoff rejected a $285 million settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup on Nov. 28, he effectively marched out of the federal courthouse on Foley Square and took his place as the most powerful protester in Zuccotti Park. In a blunt court order, Rakoff broke with decades of judicial deference to the feds and suggested that regulators were enabling Wall Street’s efforts to hide allegedly “knowing and fraudulent” acts from the public. While the decision’s long-term effects depend on the case’s future in the courts, it could immediately impose new standards of accountability and disclosure on an often too cozy system of financial oversight.

It turns out that whole “breaking with decades of judicial deference” thing is a problem, legally speaking. On Thursday, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which oversees district courts in New York, Connecticut and Vermont, ripped Rakoff a new one, staying his ruling and suggesting that his decision misunderstood their previous rulings, overstepped his authority to challenge regulators and made unwarranted assumptions about what had actually happened in the case. The stay can be found here (pdf). Reports the New York Law Journal:

The Second Circuit said Judge Rakoff (See Profile) failed to show proper deference to the SEC’s judgment that the settlement of fraud claims stemming from the sale of mortgage-backed securities was not against the public interest… [and] stayed Judge Rakoff’s ruling ordering a trial in the case while the circuit considers appeals by both the SEC and Citigroup. The panel said both parties showed they would probably prevail in their challenges to Judge Rakoff’s decision… [and said Rakoff] “prejudges the fact that Citigroup had in fact misled investors.”… “[Further Rakoff] does not appear to have given deference to the SEC’s judgment on wholly discretionary matters of policy,” the circuit said [and]… “misinterpreted” certain rulings in holding it was against the public interest to approve a settlement in which Citigroup made no admission of liability, when in fact, those rulings “stand for the proposition that when a court orders injunctive relief, it should insure that injunction does not cause harm to the public interest.”… Finally, the court said it had “no reason to doubt” the SEC claim that the settlement was in the public interest…
Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said in a statement, “We are pleased that the appeals court found ‘no reason to doubt’ the SEC’s view that the settlement ordering Citigroup to return $285 million to harmed investors and adopt business reforms is in the public interest. As we have said consistently, we agree to settlements when the terms reflect what we reasonably believe we could obtain if we prevailed at trial, without the risk of delay and uncertainty that comes with litigation. Equally important, this settlement approach preserves resources that we can use to stop other frauds and protect other victims.

So will Rakoff’s decision still compel higher standards of disclosure by banks making settlements with the SEC? Maybe. This win by the SEC will receive a lot less attention than the initial Rakoff ruling, even though the latter is clearly going to be reversed. So perhaps Rakoff’s goal of attracting attention to the SEC’s deal making will turn out to have been an end in itself.

The 2nd Circuit Slams Occupy Wall Street ‘Hero’ Judge Rakoff

Remember how last fall that “heroic” Manhattan-based U.S. district court judge Jed Rakoff “ripped the SEC a new one” by blocking a massive settlement the agency had proposed  with Citigroup for the bank’s allegedly knowing and fraudulent acts in the run-up to the great recession? At the time of Rakoff’s decision last November, I wrote:

When U.S. district judge Jed Rakoff rejected a $285 million settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup on Nov. 28, he effectively marched out of the federal courthouse on Foley Square and took his place as the most powerful protester in Zuccotti Park. In a blunt court order, Rakoff broke with decades of judicial deference to the feds and suggested that regulators were enabling Wall Street’s efforts to hide allegedly “knowing and fraudulent” acts from the public. While the decision’s long-term effects depend on the case’s future in the courts, it could immediately impose new standards of accountability and disclosure on an often too cozy system of financial oversight.

It turns out that whole “breaking with decades of judicial deference” thing is a problem, legally speaking. On Thursday, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which oversees district courts in New York, Connecticut and Vermont, ripped Rakoff a new one, staying his ruling and suggesting that his decision misunderstood their previous rulings, overstepped his authority to challenge regulators and made unwarranted assumptions about what had actually happened in the case. The stay can be found here (pdf). Reports the New York Law Journal:

The Second Circuit said Judge Rakoff (See Profile) failed to show proper deference to the SEC’s judgment that the settlement of fraud claims stemming from the sale of mortgage-backed securities was not against the public interest… [and] stayed Judge Rakoff’s ruling ordering a trial in the case while the circuit considers appeals by both the SEC and Citigroup. The panel said both parties showed they would probably prevail in their challenges to Judge Rakoff’s decision… [and said Rakoff] “prejudges the fact that Citigroup had in fact misled investors.”… “[Further Rakoff] does not appear to have given deference to the SEC’s judgment on wholly discretionary matters of policy,” the circuit said [and]… “misinterpreted” certain rulings in holding it was against the public interest to approve a settlement in which Citigroup made no admission of liability, when in fact, those rulings “stand for the proposition that when a court orders injunctive relief, it should insure that injunction does not cause harm to the public interest.”… Finally, the court said it had “no reason to doubt” the SEC claim that the settlement was in the public interest…

Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said in a statement, “We are pleased that the appeals court found ‘no reason to doubt’ the SEC’s view that the settlement ordering Citigroup to return $285 million to harmed investors and adopt business reforms is in the public interest. As we have said consistently, we agree to settlements when the terms reflect what we reasonably believe we could obtain if we prevailed at trial, without the risk of delay and uncertainty that comes with litigation. Equally important, this settlement approach preserves resources that we can use to stop other frauds and protect other victims.

So will Rakoff’s decision still compel higher standards of disclosure by banks making settlements with the SEC? Maybe. This win by the SEC will receive a lot less attention than the initial Rakoff ruling, even though the latter is clearly going to be reversed. So perhaps Rakoff’s goal of attracting attention to the SEC’s deal making will turn out to have been an end in itself.

Inquiries on Violence at Occupy Protests Moving Slowly

More than four months after an Occupy demonstration shut down the Port of Oakland and devolved into violence, at least nine separate investigations into the ways police officers dealt with the protests in Oakland and on University of California campuses in Davis and Berkeley remain unresolved.

Many of the investigations have been delayed for reasons that range from a court challenge to the difficulty of scheduling meetings with college students. And while people on both sides of the Occupy issue applaud the efforts, experts said the sheer number of investigations could be counterproductive.

There is a danger that excessive investigation “can actually lead to greater obfuscation, because no one understands what each investigation is doing,” said Linda Lye, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which is representing protesters in lawsuits against Oakland and U.C. Davis. “Delay is always a concern, because it can lead to diminished public interest and distraction.”

At U.C. Davis, where a campus policeman pepper-sprayed a group of seated students and others on Nov. 18, a task force report was expected last week. However, a judge granted a temporary restraining order at the request of the police union. A hearing is scheduled for Friday in Alameda County Superior Court.

At U.C. Berkeley, several groups are reviewing the events of Nov. 9, when campus police jabbed demonstrators with batons and dragged two protesters, including a professor, to the ground by their hair. The professor, Celeste Langan, was one of five people charged by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office last week with misdemeanor resisting arrest in connection with the protest.

Lt. Eric Tejada of the U.C. Berkeley police said the results of one investigation were expected “any day now.”

Meanwhile, a report by U.C. Berkeley’s Police Review Board, initially expected in January, may now be finished in April. “We had a subcommittee of five people,” said Jesse Choper, a professor at the university’s law school and chairman of the review board. “Two of them are students. It’s very hard to get meetings together.”

In Oakland, investigators are working through hundreds of complaints of police misconduct, many of them related to Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran who sustained a fractured skull during a protest on Oct. 25. Mr. Olsen’s lawyer, Mark Martel, told The Bay Citizen this week that Oakland police had acknowledged that a bean bag round hit Mr. Olsen in the head. It is still not clear who fired the shot.

“I think that it’s been plenty of time by now,” Mr. Martel said. “It doesn’t take five months to find out who shot him.”

Sgt. Chris Bolton, the Oakland Police Department’s chief of staff, said his department was reviewing hundreds of videos, documents and other evidence related to Occupy protests on Oct. 25 and Nov. 2.

“I don’t want anyone to think that it’s ever our hope or intention to let things die down and never address it,” Sgt. Bolton said. “We have never backed down from telling people that where appropriate we will investigate, and we will hold ourselves and each other accountable. So at some point those investigations will conclude.”

Undisclosed to Congress, the Fed Gave Banks $13 Billion in Secret Loans

The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.

The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.

Saved by the bailout, bankers lobbied against government regulations, a job made easier by the Fed, which never disclosed the details of the rescue to lawmakers even as Congress doled out more money and debated new rules aimed at preventing the next collapse.

A fresh narrative of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 emerges from 29,000 pages of Fed documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and central bank records of more than 21,000 transactions. While Fed officials say that almost all of the loans were repaid and there have been no losses, details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger. 

Read More

6 Ways to Get Ready for the May 1st GENERAL STRIKE



Yesterday, 60,000 people marched on Madison to mark the one-year anniversary of the passage of Governor Scott Walker’s drastic dismantling of collective bargaining rights for public employees. Last year, Walker’s attacks on labor rights sparked massive protests that saw hundreds of thousands occupy the Wisconsin capital building. Their actions prefigured Occupy Wall Street and inspired countless others to take a stand against economic inequality, political injustice, and the tyranny of the 1% enforced through politicians and banksters alike. 

This is just one example that people across the globe are actively resisting attacks on the 99%. This year has already seen the largest-ever strike on record in India, hundreds of thousands marching for democracy in Bahrain, general strikes in Montreal and Spain where students once again occupied public space in protest of the austerity measures and spending cuts being enforced by the European banking elite, massive uprisings in the streets of Moscow, and more. Even in the United States, the movement grows. The corporate media claims that Occupy’s strength is waning, but they are merely in denial. During the coldest months of this year, the United States has already seen more revolutionary momentum than it has in decades. 

This winter, we refocused our energies on fostering ties with local communities, saving homes from corrupt banks and jobs from greedy corporations, and building and expanding our horizontal infrastructure. This #GlobalSpring, we will take the streets again. On May 1st, Occupy Wall Street has called for a General Strike.  We are calling on everyone who supports the cause of economic justice and true democracy to take part: No Work, No School, No Housework, No Shopping, No Banking - and most importantly, TAKE THE STREETS! 

Occupy May Day

We are getting ready. Planning is already underway in dozens of cities. Labor organizers, immigrants’ rights groups, artists, Occupiers, faith leaders, and more have all joined in the discussion to get ready. Now, all we need is you. 

May 1st, also known as International Workers’ Day, is the annual commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when Chicago police fired on workers during a General Strike for the eight-hour workday. In many countries, May 1st is observed as a holiday. But in the United States, despite the eventual success of the eight-hour-workday campaign, the holiday is not officially recognized. In spite of this, May Day is already a powerful date in the U.S. In 2006, immigrant’s rights groups took to the streets in unprecedented numbers in a national “Day Without An Immigrant” - a general strike aimed at proving the economic power of immigrants in the U.S. At least one million people marched in Chicago and Los Angeles alone. Hundreds of thousands more marched throughout cities across the U.S.

mayday chicago 2006

Now, in response to call-outs from Occupy Los Angeles,Occupy ChicagoOccupy Oakland, and other General Assemblies and affinity groups, the Occupy Movement is preparing to mobilize a General Strike this May 1st in solidarity with struggles already underway to defend the rights of workers, immigrants, and other communities who are resisting oppression. Dozens of Occupations in cities and towns throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia have already endorsed May Day. Here is just a taste of events in the works for New York City:

  • 8am-4pm: Midtown action staging zone in Bryant Park.
  • Disruptive actions in midtown all day! Hit the 1% where they live and prevent them from getting to work. Let’s make this a Day Without the 1%, as well!
  • Family friendly, free food, a really, REALLY free market, skillshares, workshops, lectures, art, fun and more!
  • 4pm: March to Union Square for solidarity march
  • 5:30pm: Solidarity march from Union Square to Wall St.
  • 7pm: March to staging area for evening actions

And this is just the beginning. To quote the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, a major Spanish union, who recently called for a national General Strike in Spain on March 29th to protest labor reforms:

For the CNT, the strike on March 29 must be only the beginning of a growing and sustained process of mobilization, one which includes the entire working class and the sectors that are most disadvantaged and affected by the capitalist crisis. This mobilization must put the brakes on the dynamic of constant assaults on our rights, while laying the bases for the recovery and conquest of new social rights with the goal of a deep social transformation.

None of this would be possible without the grassroots support of everyday organizers who volunteer their time to grow the movement against Wall Street greed and political corruption. Here are eight simple things you can do to help advance the cause of equity for all:

[1] Work with Your Local Occupy: There are hundreds of Occupy groups still holding regular meetings and events. Chances are, there’s one nearby. (And if there isn’t yet -it’s easy to start one!) General Assemblies are open to everyone, and everyone has a voice in the consensus planning process. So find your nearest Occupation and go to a GA! If they haven’t already endorsed the General Strike, propose it to the group and start planning marches, distributing fliers, and forming direct action groups.

[2] Spread the Word on Social Media: Follow #M1GS,@OWSMayDay@OccupyWallSt, and @OccupyGenStrikeon Twitter. Also be sure to RSVP on Facebook and followfacebook.com/OccupyGeneralStrike. You can also look for city-specific events, like these from Chicago and Detroit.

[3] Start an Affinity Group: You can take action on your own. All you need are a few friends. Affinity groups are groups of people who know each other and come together autonomously for a particular action. Find a few people who are interested in helping you out on a project you have in mind - whether it’s making fliers and literature to distribute, or shutting down a Wall Street bank in your hometown. Get creative, and get to work! (Here’s a hint: OccuPrint collects, prints, and distributes posters from the worldwide Occupy movement, and they have a ton of amazing General Strike posters!)

[4] Join the General Strike Conference Calls: InterOccupyhosts regular calls to organize May 1st activities. Check out their schedule and join in the conversation!

[5] Talk to Labor: Due to federal laws, most unions are forbidden from organizing strikes for political reasons. However, unions and labor groups are still some of our strongest allies. During last year’s General Strike in Oakland, many unions encouraged their workers to take the day off or attend demonstrations after work. Not long after Occupy Oakland shut down ports in solidarity with striking Longshoreman, their employers caved to the union’s demands in a new contract. Get in touch with local unions and labor organizations, let them know about the plans for a General Strike, find out what they’re working on and how you can help, and encourage them to let their members know about May 1st and get involved in organizing directly.

[6] Organize Your Workplace, Campus, or Community: If you’re a unionized worker, encourage your union to support the General Strike. Whether your workplace is union or not, you can encourage co-workers to take a sick day on May 1st. If you can’t afford to lose out on pay, that’s okay - there will be plenty of celebrations, marches, and direct actions throughout all hours of the day. Invite your community to attend. If you’re a student at a high school or college, spread the word to walk-out of class on May 1st. If you’re not a worker or student, organize your friends!

More information: [MayDayNYC.org] | [OccupyMay1st.org] | [StrikeEverywhere.net] | [NYC General Assembly - May Day]

may day