Sunday, July 13, 2014

#AFT Convention - I apologize to non-slugs in Unity Caucus - You Know Who You Are

Norman - let me ask you something about your writing. I know we can disagree on things, but why do you have to get nasty and refer to people as "the Unity slugs?" ... high level UFT official (who I respect and like.)
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Anthony Cody ‏@AnthonyCody 3m
Hearing disturbing reports of pushing and shoving of dissident voices at #AFT14 @rweingarten please address

Susan DuFresne1 ‏@GetUpStandUp2 21m
I didn't realize democracy at #AFT14 was a contact sport. @MSGunderson calls multiple elbowing fouls to voices of CC dissent. @coreteachers

.@AFTunion I teach my students to use their words and not push. Let's change floor culture of #aft14 today. @rweingarten can lead this.

.@aftunion @rweingarten Regarding today's floor debate. Time is now to change nature of convention culture. Call off goonish behavior... 
......Selected tweets after pushing and shoving over seating at microphones during common core debate in committee (see AFT Convention Update: Chicago CC Reso Goes Down O...Posted Fri 5PM)
I posed these together as part of my response to the "slug" question -- though I don't get why calling someone a slug is such a horrible thing - I'm not calling them a-holes or useless pieces of shit (UPOS).

Some of my readers claim I am insulting slugs.

But given I like and respect the person I feel he did have a point. I responded that I was not calling everyone in Unity "slugs" but was referring to a certain sub-set - as THE Unity slugs --  meaning the people in Unity who are slugs. He said I wasn't being clear and that to him it looked like a blanket condemnation. And I realized he was right - my language has been unclear. I actually have a more favorable view of the individuals in Unity than some of my colleagues and readers. Yes, there are slugs - my judgements of them are based on their behavior, not on their political stands.

Last night a few of us MOREistas ran into a Unity couple (actually on one of them is in Unity) at a bar and had a lot of fun drinking, talking, arguing. Then we kidnapped them and locked them in a closet so the Unity half couldn't vote today on Duncan and Common Core.

Not that I think there is much hope in moderating the behavior of Unity people.

Look at them twirling around the convention in LA -- their actions in controlling the mikes, for instance. Some of their lemming-like, same brain behavior that so enrages people in NYC at the DA and so enrage many of the CORE/CTU delegates to this and previous conventions. One COREista said to me after the Duncan debate this morning - "I think we got outmaneuvered but we are learning more each time." Another said to me the other day, "We are learning from what they do - we don't think that way (remember my "midwesterners are too nice" statement the other day - (except for Rahm)) - and I'm not sure we ever want to follow the Unity way.

So they fight back and lose many of the debates because they are not as ruthless as Unity is - after all, in totalitarian regimes winning by 75% (as they won the common core debate this morning) is not good enough. (I have a good story for you regarding Randi's appearance at the PSC lunch yesterday but don't know if I'll have time to get to it.)

Now to me behavior around microphones - mic etiquette - is where - at events counts for something. The people assigned to call the question at meeting after meeting - planned cutting off of debate - verges on slug-like behavior. What I often do is take photos of Unity people at mics so I can track their comments or calling the question. Here is one of someone familiar.

I tweeted
- Mulgrew at mike -gets there pretty often. How often can one guy speak? Guess he knows someone.
How does Mulgrew get the floor so often? Unity uses people as place holders. In this case I was told that Greg Lundahl was a placeholder and gave up his place for Mulgrew. Should this be allowed? If Mulgrew wants to speak let him get on line like everyone else. What Unity does is send placeholders to multiple mics and when the strategic moment comes up their designated speaker slips into line. If I was waiting I would trip him.

And there is a true slug - Steward Kaplan. A nasty slug at that. When I tried to take his photo while he was standing at the mic he told me I had to ask his permission - I said - this is livestreamed did they ask your permission? It is his choice to play this role in the mic game and is fair game -- many Unity people do not do this.

No matter to Kaplan. He doesn't want to see himself exposed. In fact even Randi made a public comment when I turned around and taped people (including all of Unity) standing up to support common core. "Norman is photographing everyone." Did she forget they were live streaming with her own cameras? Maybe they will have an 18 second tape malfunction to hide Unity pro common core votes when it all goes to hell and people like Stuart will leave little comments on the MORE blog about us always bringing up the past and why don't we look to the future?

Kaplan can duck but can't hide
And then there is my new/old pal: calls question on all matters - vote on implement Duncan improvement plan- if he doesn't must resign.

I am mellowing. I enjoy Leo and have to say that his speech this morning in that sing-song voice had me laughing myself silly.


Ooops gotta go. Paul Egan, no slug in my book, is getting up to speak. A few
Paul Egan
hours ago he was wearing shorts and a tee shirt. Now look at the dude - he pointed out to me he did change but he is wearing the same crappy shoes, which he hopes no one will notice. I didn't tell him he forgot to put on pants. Shhhhh!

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