Thursday, August 09, 2012

Students First NY Campaigns for Justice

We met with Micah Lasher, the voice of Students First NY on Twitter. Lasher angrily denied the UFT charge that Campbell Brown issued a "blood libel" by saying UFT wanted sexual offenders in the classroom.

"This is clearly a garden-variety libel," said an angry Lasher. "It's our policy to mischaracterize union positions, but to do so in a straightforward fashion. We strongly object to the hyperbolic statements issued by the union, and demand an immediate retraction."

"Furthermore," Lasher continued, "the attack on Campbell Brown is overtly sexist. Brown is a woman, and it's clear that anyone who criticizes her must hate women. Furthermore, Brown is a parent, so anyone who questions her motives hates parents too."

When asked whether or not this was slanderous, Lasher smiled faintly and nodded almost imperceptibly. "But it's not blood libel," he insisted.

Lasher explained that his organization was encouraged by columns like the one in the NY Post, explaining that unions were no longer cool. He said he hoped this trend would continue. Things like health care, weekends, collective bargaining, overtime pay, due process, minimum wage, and child labor were hampering the economy and he, for one, was glad to hear they were on their way out. Sure, this would be inconvenient for working adults. "But we can't worry about them any more," said Lasher.

"It's for the children," he continued. "Once we change the law to make sure that Bloomberg can fire anyone he likes, on either genuine or fabricated charges, no matter how independent arbitrators rule, we can take a look at the system overall."

When asked what that meant, Lasher replied that judges and juries were not perfect, and that the only way to ensure justice was to leave the final decisions in all criminal cases to experts like Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, or the Koch Brothers. In times of crisis, there's no time to bother with studies and evidence, said Lasher, and the only way to help the children would be to allow these experts to act immediately, without time-consuming and troublesome restraints.

"Reform is needed now, and can't wait on red tape," said Lasher. "Once we can get the public off this innocent until proven guilty nonsense, which is also no longer cool, we can start to really get things done."
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