Saturday, September 20, 2014

Secession Fever: Scotland, Catalonia, MORE and (Hopefully) Most of the American South

When 45% of the people vote to secede as they did in Scotland, that is one heavy minority for Britain to bear. Note the push for independence was due to the conservative government in London and its austerity program dictating to the smallish much more social democratic oriented Scotland. Freedom didn't quite ring but the YES group seemed to wrangle some concessions.

Catalonia wants independence from Spain. ISIS just took parts of a few nations and created its own state. Slick. Putin is going the other way - trying to put the Soviet eggs back in the basket.

Everyone wants their own country. Why not 5 billion nations of one?

If the South were to secede today would Obama pull a Lincoln and go to war to pull them back or would he say gey avek? Which of course means go away. He might also say zei gezundt - go in good health - but don't take Obama care with you.

My semi-pagan father misused zay gezundt to mean "good riddance." When he said it to me when I was still in the crib it made me think.

Portelos secedes from MORE
We even have our own secessionist movement here in the UFT with a new Portelos-led caucus. When people in MORE heard Portelos was leaving there was no gnashing of teeth or rending of clothing but a hell of a lot of "gey aveks."


  1. People have unfortunately been leaving MORE for some time. They asked me to leave for over a year. My response was "No. I'm staying and hopefully I can help "steer" the caucus to a teacher centered position. After my second run on steering, with major issues revolving around the March for Justice, you and Julie Cavanaugh lambasting me for daring to "talk with New Action", no marches for teachers, being censored and sending several people to MORE with no assistance provided etc., I realized that it was way too much effort and I was outnumbered. So, I (WE) started a caucus that will run on a platform of teacher justice. Not just veteran, disappearing minority educators, exiled, ATR, probationary and discontinued, but EVERYONE. From the abuses of excessive paperwork, that plague our entire profession, to PD issues and horrific implementation of the standards and lack of curriculum. Did I miss something? No worries as we encourage members to join, bring their baggage that eats away at our profession and education system, and work together to find and execute remedies.

    Initial sign up on the site is coming from members we never heard of. There are 200,000 dues paying UFT members that need a union. We will attempt to work at getting them their money's worth.

    We put together this Venn diagram to represent what we believe exists in comparison and contrast with MORE. It's rather simple.

    1. Oh and one more thing. Top people at Stronger Together through back channels informed some MORE people they would not run with MORE as long as you were on the slate and there were suggestions that if you were bumped something could be worked out. They thought you were toxic. Key MORE people stood firm for you and refused. They didn't want to tell you and hurt your feelings - ha. That was in late March/early April. Those are the very people you betrayed. So no wonder they said zei gezundt. I personally couldn't care what you do since history plays itself out in certain ways aside from individuals. I saw a guy do what you are doing in the 70s and he was much more politically adept than you though he had a gigantic ego. Eventually the people in the caucus he created had enough and tossed him out. History does repeat itself. Have lots of fun - this is better than anything on TV.

    2. Just wanted to say that is THE WORST Venn Diagram I have ever seen. At least this other group knows how to convey information.

    3. Who did I betray? List them here and how I betrayed them.

      March? March I was in a jail cell while top MORE people were twiddling their thumbs.

      Norm you can't do new things with your old style of thinking, Time for a change.

    4. And who are TOP people at Stronger Together? Ianuzzi who helped set up this ridiculous evaluation system and I exposed it on MORE's youtube channel? Think he didn't see that?

    5. Please explain then... From top person at Stronger Together
      From: "beth dimino"
      Date: Sep 23, 2014 6:50 AM
      Subject: Re: NYSUT RA
      To: "Francesco Portelos"
      Cc: , "J Lee" , "Peter Lamphere" , "Mike Schirtzer" , "Norm Scott" , "James Eterno" , "Julie Cavanagh"

      Stronger Together never wanted More and unfortunately never endorsed More... I wanted More... there was no discussion about you specifically with Iannuzzi

      On Sep 22, 2014 10:06 PM, "Francesco Portelos" wrote:
      I don't know either, but according to Norm, Stronger Together didn't want MORE running with them because I was running.

      Beth, we basically created a new caucus here in NYC and it's rubbing some people in MORE the wrong way.

      Either way, I'm figuring someone on this list would know.

      Francesco A. Portelos

  2. I already joined Solidarity. I'm anxious to see how democratic the caucus will be if people disagree with you - if you can handle differing viewpoints - what if someone brings up a resolution calling for something related to social justice? Will they be banned? Will a democratic vote be taken? Or are you going to set parameters for joining? Ie like NYCORE - if you don't want to focus on battling racism this place is not for you. I'm anxiously awaiting the first meeting - or will I conveniently be left off a list? Hey - maybe I'll run for steering.
    Yes, most MORE people were not unhappy to see you go. But to say that for a year they wanted you to go is ridiculous. We could have held a vote for steering and you would have finished last but we argued for steering to be expanded so you could be on it. That was in July. Then you misused your position on steering to reach out to New Action when MORE policy was not to do so. Then you - who keeps track of everything - sort of forgot we met with them and had a tape of that meeting - which you listened to - and then went silent. In fact the very rally you were urging MORE to do jointly with NAC was attended by at least 5 MORE people - while you yourself didn't show up. You resigned from steering on your own. Then when a few people wanted to meet with you to find a way to keep you in MORE by having coffee - you charged they were going to give you a talking to. But of course meeting with Randi Weingarten for coffee where we know a busy lady like Randi takes time to meet for some ulterior purpose - I know her 20 years and she never asked to have coffee with me. And didn't she get exactly what she wished for for her pal Mulgrew - a divided opposition.

    1. What makes you think I'm not democratic? You keep saying that. I created DTOE and then created a steering committee to help run it. I could have held a dictatorship, but didn't. You voted on something and you were vetoed. Blog about that.

      I never said that they wanted me to go for a year. I listened to some of the NAC tape and didn't go silent. The case was moot since I left.

      Copy and paste the MORE policy that says not to reach out to NAC. Copy and paste the vote that was taken and the policy. Please right here in the comments. Or do a post about it.

  3. This is an interesting turn of events.....I will say this much, Francesco needs to be careful and anyone who associates with him needs to be EXTRA CAREFUL....he has pissed off so many people in the DOE and UFT, that any mere association with him in public might put people in jeopardy. I admire his fight, but I will not be joining HIS caucus....because quite honestly, I believe it will be full of racists, malcontents, and hypocrites who do not have one ounce of political savvy and are concerned only with their paychecks......

    1. "You have enemies? Good, that means you stood for something sometime in your life" - Winston Churchill


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