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High school students take action against McGuinty's Bill 115

Photo: John Bonnar
Bramalea Secondary School staged a protest against Bill 115, the Putting Students First Act, that freezes teachers' wages for two years and prevents them from striking.

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| February 21, 2014

Politics, humour and Ontario teachers

"Hillary's last laugh." Image: Doug Millison/TheConcreteJungleBook.com/Flickr

The Internet rescues political humour. I don't mean humour about politicians, which is doing fine. I mean the gormless putative humour voiced by politicians, that reporters often describe with one of journalism's most irritating words, quipped. ("They said they're furious? That's too bad," quips Mayor Ford.) Take Hillary Clinton, running four years ago for her party's presidential nomination. Her laugh itself -- a self-conscious attempt to prove she had a lighthearted side -- became a joke. But social media came to her aid through YouTube. Using the famous scene in the film Downfall, set in Hitler's bunker, with Hillary as Hitler, she lambasted her staff, via subtitles, for failing her against Obama: : ". . .


Only teachers and their unions can save public education

Photo: andres musta/Flickr

Who will save our schools, and public education?

Not Premier Dalton McGuinty, who's bought into the common obsession that the money "just isn't there." So he freezes public sector wages, pulling even more money out of the economy, assuring there'll be even less in taxes to spend on programs, leading to the same death spiral that Europe is following. I know high-school kids who understand this better than Dalton, but maybe it's because they can still take economics and business courses -- although his stress on standardized tests in the "basics" is undermining all that.


Organized labour and the attack on the Chicago teachers union

President Barack Obama meets with Rahm Emanuel in the Oval Office, March 4, 2011

Unions are under attack in the United States -- not only from people like Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, but now, with the teachers' strike in Chicago, from the very core of President Barack Obama's inner circle, his former chief of staff and current mayor of that city, Rahm Emanuel. Twenty-five thousand teachers and support staff are on strike there, shutting down the public school system in the nation's third-largest school district. This fight now raging in Chicago, Obama's hometown, has its roots in this historic stronghold of organized labour, and in the movement started one year ago this week, Occupy Wall Street.

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