Campus Equity Week — Equal Pay, Unionize, Stop the Flow of Public Education into the Pockets of Money Changers!

So, how do I say this? I went to Vacations International last night with my special education partner. She just got off work at 7 p.m., a day that, well, started at 7 a.m. You know, children, abused some of them, bad homes, bad things in their lives, and the developmental delays, the challenges of autism,  etc. I got that goofy American huckster phone call that I had won a prize. I tracked it down — the total surveillance and sharing all personal information part — to the Clark County Fair when I took some of my clients there two months ago, to enjoy the scene and livestock and greasy food. I guess I was fooling around with one of the brain killers, some iPad set up, while next to the 4000-pound bulls, and I inadvertently signed into/up for a contest.

What a pathetic world we are. A bunch of guys and a few women in a building in Vancouver. That’s 8 p.m., and the Hawaiian music was blaring, some of the folk had on Hawaii shirts, and, well, here we were, just ready to listen, laugh at the Vacation Ownership scheme, and get our RT airfare and two nights in a hotel in one of those great American cities — Las Vegas, Reno, Phoenix, LA, SF and somewhere else.

Hotel, plane, and a meal coupon. Free (sic).

Not just teachers do this kind of shit. Really, even the Trumps of the World get free things. Remember when Romney gave his half-consumed hot cocoa to the servers as a tip — “This is really good, and here, dear, I left you some.” Romney tip. This is how they work, whether WASPs or WJFCs — white jewish financial class. It was a waste of time, in many ways, but I am a writer, an observer, and one up for story after story on America’s slide into the sty. But also an experience that is, what, a back to the future kind of thing for me, since I am so old, 56, and have covered almost every story theme-topic as a reporter. I did the John Newcomb resort time share tour in 1977 in Puerto Vallarta. I covered other scams in Arizona and New Mexico. Scam, scam, scam.

Nothing changes, but it does get worse. TV, culture, hip and dippy, movies, and these people in our society, mostly guys who probably flipped off so much in school, and some bubble brains in the female category, who probably liked some of that schooling, and they are trying to extract every last disposable dollar Americans have.

Buying these two weeks a year at some hotel or several? You know, put down $15,000 for 25 years, pay $1200 a year for maid service, and, shoot, access to these great beach-eating, city-cluttering resorts. Up to 3,000 square feet, kitchen, five bedrooms, balcony out onto the Puerto Vallarta Pacific. Really? That’s the vacation? Inside, TV, flat-screen lives, tequila, a balcony, and pissing contests to see who can hit the natives five floors below selling mangoes in their bike carts? America, the Spring Break mindset of the planet.

In this economy, with the usury of the Zionist class sucking every last dime from the lower classes and flagging middle classes? How many service fees, add-ons, regressive taxes, loopholes for the rich-corporations, military junk sales, political class salaries, lobby fascists do we pay for, in our ever-precarious and temporary jobs? These men, older and young, smarmy and full of car-salesman charm, just are stuck in the 1970s. No Willy Lomans here.

Amazing, really, that this scamming still exists, and in fact is being dialed up. I know it’s not as sophisticated as the NPR and high class crap of the high tech industry selling us THEIR services — name finders on the internet, web site managers, cloud servers, photo drop boxes, and the other shit of Microsoft-Apple-Java.

The real confrontation happened early on — we told them we like out of the way places, no tourist traps, camping, and we like local businesses. Having them, grown men, mind you, having orgasms over the Orlando DisneyNaziWorld resort, I mean, waking up with Mickey outside your Jacuzzi, and Snow White changing your linens, whew, Infantilized we is, Donald Duck.

But what really got us going, after two hours, was the pathetic nature of these people’s pathetic treatment of teachers. See, we had to identify our class. And, these guys, all anti-education sorts, believe me, I can tell, just pathetically felt sorry for us, showed pity, kept saying how little we get paid, and, wow, did you hear that in LA, the teachers got vouchers for 30 percent of their pay cuz the system went belly-up for a while.

I just wanted out of there, and, then this little shot across the bow. I mean, I was there keeping my mouth, my communist checkbook mouth, shut. Because it would have been giving it away. I was also taking notes, and they were sure to yank all paperwork when they figured out WE NEED MORE TIME to consider this. Can you believe it, they expected people, oh, six couples, to sign on the dotted line then and there? And, my socialist writer  self kept listening, because I am a true believer in narrative, Joe Bageant, Studs, Twain, Annie Dillard, more and more, thanks to Margaret Atwood, et al.

This is emblematic of the PROBLEM. People in the working class, these hucksters who DO not GIVE back to SOCIETY, they, feel our pain, pity us, listen to FOX and CNN and maybe redneck NPR, and they know we get shit for wages, and, yes, they have friends and family who once were teachers. Part of the solution means, what — not selling this bullshit, $15000, $1200 a year for upkeep, and, the reality that fees are added to the resorts they supposedly sold us, as “owners.” Imagine, you put the money down — in payments, $15000 plus 6 % APR, and you STILL have to pay to get into one of VI’s resorts if it’s not YOUR week, or your points schedule!

I’ll take a Fuller Brush saleperson and Seventh Day Adventist at the door, ANY DAY compared to THIS!

Amazing, amazing, amazing. I was waxing for the good old days of phone solicitors trying to sell year subscriptions to the daily newspaper or Golf Digest or Playboy.

We are in a new generation of people listening, DNA wrapped up in cognitive dissonance, the few elites becoming more elite, and a large chunk of the 19 Percent of Americans, making 53 percent of the green, compared to the One Percent, 40 percent of the pie they gobble up, they are NOT our friends. They perpetuate the giant scam-scam-scam of American capitalism and private enterprise/continuing criminal operation style. It is absolutely expensive being poor, being a teacher, being someone working for society. We pay-pay-pay through the nose and other orifices.

They want us to see the light, enjoy that poverty for a while, and join the Vacation International Scam-Scam-Scam. We all can be entrepreneurs, business owners, house flippers, instant gold bullion dealers, on-line impresarios, doing all we can do to get all that we can get before the big C gets our guts or the big SCD, sudden cardiac death event, takes us out.

AMERICA hates school, hates college, and the ones in college, unfortunately, are milquetoast, rotten fighters,  afraid, and sort of in their little choir of smart, important and do nothing for the community, outside the very important community of schools.

Teachers count, but teachers are not doing enough to shove the Admin Class pikes for our heads up their proverbial you know what.

The people I run into, daily, even the tragically so hip and progressive and totally out of it, they pity me, feel bad, but heck, it’s all going on-line, and, darn, that’s the way of Technology — it’s all for the betterment of society, you, sucker, and, well, teaching, like reading, you know, deep reading, critical reading, and well talking, and arguing in a great arena of other live people, it’s all just soooooo 20th Century, Luddite You, backward, nostalgic, nincompoop.

Ya shoulda planned for the future, should have invested in Microsoft and Texaco, and you should have anticipated the debts and the waning class of professional managers, and, well, that yuppie dream and boomer boom, well, we all have to evolve, and government for, by, and because of the people HAD to shift into Free Enterprise-Free Market-Privatizing Elite Power Class taking care of us, taking care of their serfs.

So, below, Campus Equity Week, something most people, even the Vacation International group that pities my PK12 wife, and thinks, “Damn, you a college professor? English, not my favorite subject, man I suck at writing, but, heck, college professor. The big bucks.”

Shoot, why bother with the smarmy, smooching, huckster guys. Rolling in the dough. Campus Equity Week, like getting the governor of WA state to sign an Adjunct and Part-time Faculty Day, it’s just more tire spinning, and pity party stuff. We are getting old, long in the tooth, and almost caricature, really. My voice, as I just told friend John Steppling, is arrested developed, 25, maybe even 22nd Century, radical, revolutionary, not tempering with age but raging with anger each John Trudell Day.

Steppling in his new post on sports schizophrenia:

The presentation of big time sports includes a fawning adoration of ownership. These yellowing rat toothed rheumatic and sclerotic old men, gazing down upon their gladiatorial holdings, or holding forth in their private sky boxes with movie stars and politicians, are treated as some grand national treasures. They are addressed as “Mister”, rarely by first names (though Jerry Jones invites such familiarity, as befits his twinkle in the eye good old boy front), and they are inserted into the ongoing narrative of a pastoral American Rockwellian vision of autumnal residential streets in any-town Kansas, or Vermont or Massachusetts. It is the same narrative in which white families carve up Thanksgiving turkey, and Grandma brings out her famous apple pie. A small town sentimentality which Spielberg, for one, has exploited for thirty years. The public wants to believe Spielberg and Rockwell, not Inge and Dreiser. All of this is to say, that that remark of Tim Green is right, though probably not for the reasons he thinks. There is no way to overemphasize the ways in which a manufactured “real” has eclipsed all narrative today. Clearly, Americans have always embraced sentimentality. Always. Lurking beneath these Rockwell or Leyendecker, or Christy illustrations, was the savage Puritan heart, the pitiless and brute sensibility of the Indian Killer and the Slave owner and the ruthless businessman. Capitalism is predatory. The story of capitalism is the story of emotional disfigurement.

Then, Trudell, who said, basically, “Of course I wake up everyday angry. Who wouldn’t in this world. What kind of world would we have it we didn’t wake up angry. That anger is not the defining energy of the day, but it is necessary to start the day, to act, to move and to do and make good on the promise of social justice and revolution.” Sort of creative paraphrasing, but, here, quoting Trudell:

The thousand year reich, I look at it as an industrial reich. It’s evolved into the form of a corporate reich. The industrial reich started emerging in the 1800?s, especially once they had found fossil fuel. When they found ways to mine and tap this energy. As the technology evolves it’s spreading through the generations. As the technology evolves the generation of change and the terminology changes. The behavior pattern of the mining process of feeding off of the larger energy of the human being, that pattern basically remains the same, because that’s what the civilization has been all about. Once they found new forms of energy such as fossil fuel then this is when what I call the industrial reich started to emerge. And it’s been around a hundred forty or a hundred and fifty years.

I think that the industrial reich is really the industrial ruling class. So I want to look at the industrial ruling class because they created the industrial reich. They created the corporate nazi-ism, so let’s talk about the industrial ruling class. They created the different industrial governing patterns. They created industrial socialism, they created industrial communism, they created industrial fascism, they created industrial capitalism.  They created all these industrial isms, each for a period of time, figuring out which one served them best. Which one was most efficient for their energy accumulation.

I think Nazi Germany was an experiment. They created a nationalistic boundary to advance their programs. World War II took the world into the jet age, the atomic age, and it advanced antibiotics. Leaps forward were made industrially, technologically because of that war. They sacrificed the nationalistic reich so they could make the technological advances in order to further the needs of the global industrial reich. They created communism to see how efficient that would be. So they created these different controlling mechanisms to mine the energy. And now we’re coming to the period, historically speaking, where they are now taking the parts of these different systems, fascism, Nazism, communism, they’re taking the parts of these different systems that were the most efficient for their industrial needs. We talk about FEMA camps now, in the Soviet Union they had gulags.  They’re now consolidating it. But it’s all about mining the energy of the human being. So I think we’re about 150 years into the industrial reich. I’m trying to clarify the terminology. There is an industrial ruling class on this planet. The thousand year-reich is part of that industrial ruling class’s plan. In this generation the corporate Nazi has emerged.

Okay, now Campus Equity Week, which is about showing, sharing, communing around equal pay for equal work, and, about taking care of the weakest group and individuals in the unit, in the collective bargaining unit, unionized or not. Shame on America Day, is what I call everyday when teaching on campus. The shame of the sham of education colluded with Big Business and Giant Corporation. Shame on the retrograde NOT LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE faculty, which is the majority, like the NOT SO LIBERAL PRESS. Shame on politicians with their intellectual scurvy, and shame on the Zionists Zucker-Bezos-Gates-Bloom-Google in their Kafka shit parade on America, on the globe, in their greed lust for more-more-more that is not theirs-theirs-theirs.

Campus Equity Week

In organizing around contingency, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Throughout the years, the AAUP has articulated principles and recommendations regarding contingent appointments that, for advocates and organizers like myself, should serve as a bill of rights upon which to build platforms for change.

“Bill of rights!” was exactly my thought back in 2003 when I felt liberated (and extremely grateful) with the release of the Association’s groundbreaking statement on Contingent Appointments and the Academic Profession.[i]. The statement delinks tenure from professional rank and FT/PT status, and challenges the widely held idea behind common practice that tenurable academic work is only that which includes the expectation of research:

 A faculty member whose position focuses primarily on teaching, supported by sufficient opportunity for scholarship and service, is also engaged in tenurable academic work. Just as there are different emphases in the range of faculty appointments in research universities, comprehensive universities, liberal arts colleges, and community colleges, all of which define tenurable faculty work, so, too, there may be different models for tenurable faculty work within a single institution.

What, in my opinion, makes this statement groundbreaking is that it introduces into what could be called the progressive higher education reform movement the possibility of conversion of faculty status from contingency to stability in order to address the many problems brought upon faculty and students by an increasingly exploitative system. Among these are the unbundling of faculty work and the erosion of equity among academic colleagues, academic freedom, shared governance, and quality of student learning.

Contingent Appointments and the Academic Profession was followed in 2009 by the report on Tenure and Teaching-Intensive Appointments,[ii] which reasserts and expands on the Association’s recommendation of conversion of status—rather than of positions or lines—as “the best way to stabilize the faculty”:

Several noteworthy forms of conversion to tenure have been implemented or proposed at different kinds of institutions. The most successful forms are those that retain experienced, qualified, and effective faculty, as opposed to those that convert positions while leaving behind the faculty currently in them.

The report includes two useful appendices, which provide actual examples ofConversion Practices and Proposals (A)[iii] and of Forms of Stabilization Other Than Conversion (B).

It would be accurate to say, however, that presently conversion faces, if not insurmountable, at least serious obstacles at most institutions because of the cultural changes that it would involve. Short of conversion, the progressive reform movement should advocate for strong due process with automatic mechanisms for reemployment rights leading to appointment with continuing service, as articulated in Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure.[iv]

Finally, just last year, a joint subcommittee of the Committee on Contingency and the Profession and the Committee on College and University Governance prepared a report on The Inclusion in Governance of Faculty Members Holding Contingent Appointments[v] (2012). This report describes and addresses the effect of contingency on governance; namely, the cutting off of the majority of faculty members from participation in an integral part of faculty work. The seven recommendations are grounded on an inclusive definition of “faculty”:

Recommendation 1: Institutional policies should define as “faculty” and include in governance bodies at all levels individuals whose appointments consist primarily of teaching or research activities conducted at a professional level. These include (1) tenured faculty, (2) tenure-track faculty, (3) full- and part-time non-tenure-track teachers and researchers, (4) graduate-student employees and postdoctoral fellows who are primarily teachers or researchers, and (5) librarians who participate substantially in the process of teaching or research. Those individuals whose primary duties are administrative should not be defined as faculty.

This Campus Equity Week, as you advocate for change, promote these principles and make them your own.

Mayra Besosa is in her nineteenth year at Cal State San Marcos, where she teaches full-time on renewable three-year appointments. She presently chairs her California Faculty Association chapter’s Faculty Rights Committee as well as the AAUP Committee on Contingency and the Profession.

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.