The February 2017 Issue of Substance

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We were forced to suspend subscriptions to our print edition a year ago, and after wishing we could get back into print have finally admitted that we can only continue as an online publication. Therefore, readers can no longer subscribe to Substance on paper, but those who wish to donate will be thanked.

Rauner's union busting plan now state law in Iowa... Unions sue to block so-called 'Right to Work' attacks on organized workers, weakened unions...

The union busting "Right to Work" law that has been pushed for Illinois by Governor Bruce Rauner just became law in Iowa, and unions have been forced to sue to try and block it. Meanwhile, . . .


'Scrapping the Cap' (as proposed by Bernie Sanders) will keep Social Security solvent for the next sixty years (at least)...

Despite the decade-old propaganda (begun when President George W. Bush was trying to privatize Social Security) that the nation's Social Security system was going to go "broke" (in twenty or thirty years or so, maybe), . . .


Trump administration's 'illegal immigrant' guidelines will make enforcement of anti-gang rules even more difficult for Chicago Public Schools... Chicago's drug gangs will find it even easier to operate under the Trump administration's attacks on immigrant communities...

Here is a prediction from an expert on gang crimes in Chicago schools who has been blacklisted by Chicago's corporate media for years and years (me): For more than 25 years, I have been one . . .


'Teacher turnover in high poverty schools'... Proving the obvious as it's been for the past 50 years...

[Editor's Note: For the past 50 years, since I began teaching at Attucks Elementary School shortly after I graduated from the University of Chicago in 1969, I've written about the problems facing teachers in "high . . .


BLACK HISTORY MONTH: A reminder from 'Peekskill' that fascism in the USA has often been just a few doors away... Paul Robeson faced death to sing in Upstate New York in 1949 after the American fascists got hold of the nation's temper...

[Editor's Note: Substance hasn't devoted as much space this year as in previous years to Black History Month because other news has been closer. After all, when the President of the United States has a . . .


BOOK REVIEW: Part Two...A Look Back at the 2012 Strike in a Recently Published Book by Steven Ashby and Robert Bruno: A Fight for the Soul of Public Education (Part 2)...

In 2011 Chicago had a new mayor, a pugnacious foul-mouthed transplant from the northern suburbs, Rahm Emmanuel. He had a reputation in Washington of being combative and he is partially to blame for the breakdown . . .


BOOK REVIEW: A look back at the 2012 Chicago Teachers Strike in a recently published book by Steven Ashby and Robert Bruno: 'A Fight for the Soul of Public Education (Part 1)'...

The news in Chicago about public education has been catastrophic: looking at every governmental level: federal with the appointment of an avowed enemy of public education, Betsy DeVos, as Secretary of Education; Bruce Rauner and . . .


Madison remembered...A Look Back in the Mirror at the Wisconsin Uprising:

A Review Essay of It Started in Wisconsin: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Labor Protest, ed. by Mari Jo Buhle and Paul Buhle; Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from . . .


A tribute to the 'Mango Mussolini'... Matt Farmer and his band are back with a new song, 'Alternative Facts', and it's better than the 2012 Rahm Emanuel Chicago hit 'Too Big to Fail'...

The lyrics and graphics are a hoot, and the song should go to the top of anyone's charts as Matt Farmer has returned with a new song, "Alternative Facts." Farmer and his band have dubbed . . .


Trump's loss at the 9th Circuit begins the end of his mindless bluster against democracy...

[Editor's Note: Donald Trump's silly (all caps) "SEE YOU IN COURT!" may be some kind of mindless mantra from the golden domed guy presently holding the office of President of the United States. But as . . .


Chicago Teachers Union blasts Senate approval of Betsy DeVos while research continues to show her hostility to American traditions of universal public schools... CTU notes that DeVos and Rahm Emanuel agree on privatization, other policies...

The Chicago Teachers Union and dozens of other organizations immediately moved to denounce the February 8, 2017, approval of billionaire Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education. The CTU statement came after the Senate, for . . .


Threats to special education in Illinois... and to me

[Editor's Note: Donald Trump isn't the only authoritarian trying to shut up those who disagree with him. As we learned the hard way at Substance (when we were sued for "copyright infringement" for publishing the . . .


CTU WATCH: Leaders of Chicago Teachers Union calling for more 'actions' while failing to explain how they could have agreed to two years of a new contract with no raises... and now because of furloughs a two percent pay cut...

The officers of the Chicago Teachers Union are expected to spend a good part of February 1, 2017 rehearsing their lines to present to an increasingly angry group of local school delegates prior to the . . .


Chicago Metro Seniors warn of fallout if 'Obamacare' is ended...

Chicago-Metro Chapter met January 23,2017 to discuss Medicare, Medicaid and Obama Care as part of the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans. Here is the Speech by Jeanne Cameron, E.D. of Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans... . . .


UNION NEWS: Carpenters union leader sucks up to Trump, leaving most unions wondering it it's time for a repeat of the founding punch of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) during the early New Deal...

For those who have studied "Labor History," the photograph of some of the leaders of the nation's building trades unions sitting and smiling with President Donald Trump at the White House was cause for a . . .


Federal immigration officials to be barred from Chicago Public Schools unless they have a criminal warrant, says CPS... History will evaluate how far Trump administration will go against Chicago's schools, teachers, families, and children...

On the days that the Trump administration announced its latest draconian attacks on "illegal immigrants", top officials of the City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools announced important guidelines to protect children and families of . . .


Strategic Thinking and Organizing Resistance... ' Rushing into the streets, as exhilarating as it can be, is not enough for the long haul. And if we want to win, we have to be prepared for the long haul...'

The first few weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency has seen an amazing explosion of mobilizing to oppose him and his administration on oh-so-many levels. And that has been heartening. But it is not enough. The . . .


Another elected official who 'persists'... Chicago Congressman Luis Gutierrez ejected from meeting by Paul Ryan!...

This news is just coming in, and it gives people from the Resistance another reason to head across the border into Wisconsin to unseat one of the most odious of the Republican leaders currently wallowing . . .


Forrest Claypool gives press conference for lawsuit at Lindblom High, met with student sit-in and challenging questions about CPS finances...

Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Forrest Claypool, Janice Jackson (the "Chief Education Officer") and Frank Clark (Board of Education President) gave a press conference on Monday, February 13, 2017 to announce the Board of . . .


Northwest side parents, politicians, and school leaders oppose Noble charter school expansion, while Noble continues citing its alternative facts about 'waiting lists' and so-called 'demand'...

Leaders from the real public schools of Chicago's northwest side continued to voice their opposition to charter school expansion and charter school lies, with the majority of aldermen opposing the expansion of the Noble Network . . .


Open Letter Sent to NEA Representative Assembly delegates on February 8, 2017... Open letter to the National Education Association Representative Assembly exposing NEA's Clinton debacle and slavish bowing to conservative Democratic Party politicians...

This morning I got the email that all NEA members got from NEA boss Lily Garcia: “You inspire me.” Well, Garcia, you don’t inspire me. You rigged NEA’s internal processes against Bernie Sanders in order . . .


How many sellouts by 'labor leaders' before the working class needs new unions and a new class struggle vision of unionism?...

After the dramatic appearance of a faction of the leadership of the AFL-CIO with President Donald Trump at a convivial meeting at the White House recently, more and more people have been indicating that they . . .


Several hundred teachers and allies protest at Chicago's City Hall on first of four 'furlough days'...

Several hundred Chicago Teachers Union staff, union members, and supporters joined together to protest at Chicago's City Hall on February 3, 2017, the first of four 'furlough days' imposed on school workers by Chicago Public . . .


BOARDWATCH: Chicago Board of Education meeting of January 25, 2017 faces challenges about facilities plans and privatization schemes...

Despite attempts by leaders of the Chicago Public Schools to continue to shift responsibility for Chicago's public school funding to the State of Illinois, a large number of people challenged the Board at its January . . .


RESISTANCE UPDATE: Trump and Bannon wanted chaos but didn't expect massive resistance against ban on Muslims...

[Editor's Note: As the resistance to the massive discrimination against Muslims instituted by the administration of Donald Trump continues on February 1, 2017, more and more analysts are noting how the Trump White House is . . .


We were forced to suspend subscriptions to our print edition a year ago, and after wishing we could get back into print have finally admitted that we can only continue as an online publication. Therefore, readers can no longer subscribe to Substance on paper, but those who wish to donate will be thanked.

Contact Substance | Suggestions (email)