Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Teaching at the Teach-In

I do have a certain degree of tolerance for liberals (having once been one myself in the idealistic and sheltered days of my youth). If the individuals in the upper echelons of the faculty union I am effectively compelled by law to join (or else pay them an agency fee equal to what my dues would be) were mere liberals, then I really wouldn't have much of a problem.

Unfortunately, my union is run, from the very top downward, by far left radicals who make the likes of Ted Kennedy or Andrew Cuomo seem like right-wing fascists by comparison. For the past few weeks, my union nomenklaturaniks and their apparatchiks have been promoting a "Teach-in" on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Murphy's Law did a posting on 4 November 2011 which explains just who the OWSers really, really are. Taking him up on his invitation to disseminate it, I put it to paper (4 pages) and had my local Minuteman Press guy run about 50 copies (Thanks, Murph!).

After arriving on campus today and tending to the business of collecting my paycheck from the Bursar's Office, I then went to the "Teach-in" to take a look. In the room reserved by the union were about 180 - 200 people, mostly students (including one of my own former students, who never did impress me as a clear thinker), all attentively taking in the panel discussion without question.

I wondered what good I could do. For one thing, that particular panel's presentation had just begun, and would last more than an hour, and I had too much on my "must do" list to wait around. And because it was a peaceable gathering, any attempts to agitate may well have backfired (I would have given further consideration if there were a few more like me there, but I didn't see any -- quite the opposite).

Seeing the empty expression on so many of the attendees' faces, I began to wonder whether I could be more effective if I attempted to vaccinate those who had not yet entered the room, instead of trying to cure those already in the room who were eating up the party line without question. A few seconds later, I realized that the alpha panelist on the dais was none other than Frances Fox Piven herself. That sealed the deal; if I am in the same room with Frances Fox Piven then there definitely is something wrong!

I immediately exited the room and then started placing my own printed literature on the tables in the cafeteria across the hallway, right next to the flyers already on the tables which promoted the Teach-in! I also tacked a few to some bulletin boards around the campus.

But I had the most fun when I taught my classes this afternoon. The lecture was on real property, so when I got to the part of my lecture notes about the right of property owners to exclude others from their property, the Zuccotti Park situation with the OWS trespassers fit in real nicely.

And one of my students, who works in Manhattan's financial district, told me and the class that one of the OWS protesters physically assaulted him, and told my student that the attack was because my student was wearing a necktie. A few other students chimed in with their own anti-OWS comments and observations.

I also gave my students something to think about: If they are so indignant that people who work in the financial industry have such high salaries, why do they not complain about the entertainers and professional athletes, many of whom are paid even more? And I also mentioned that the labor unions who have backed the OWSers would not do their memberships any favor if the shutdown of the financial markets they now seek were to tank the values of the members' pension funds.

I also suggested that Barack Hussein Obama might benefit if the OWSers were to get really violent, because then he could try to use it as a pretext to declare martial law and cancel the 2012 election. A bit far-fetched? Perhaps! But at least some of my students are going to think about it, and will at least question the much vaunted OWS movement.

My union urged me to participate in their Teach-in, so I did! But they are surely not very happy about what I taught.

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