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Tentative deal reached to end Los Angeles teachers strike

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A crowd of teachers roared its approval after a tentative deal was announced Tuesday between Los Angeles school officials and the union that will allow educators to return to classrooms after a six-day strike in the nation’s second-largest district.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, accompanied by leaders of United Teachers Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District, announced the agreement at City Hall a few hours after a 21-hour bargaining session ended before dawn.

“I’m proud to announce that, pending approval by the teachers represented by UTLA and educational professionals and this Board of Education, we have an agreement that will allow our teachers to go back to work on their campuses tomorrow,” Garcetti said.

Union President Alex Caputo-Pearl said the 30,000 members would vote later Tuesday, and he expected approval. A union summary of the agreement called it “historic” and urged teachers to vote yes to ratify. Educators met with UTLA representatives to familiarize themselves with the details before casting ballots.

It wasn’t clear when the vote results would be known, but teachers were expected to be back at work on Wednesday.

The deal was broadly described by officials at the news conference as including a 6 percent pay hike and a commitment to reduce class sizes over four years.

Specifics provided later by the district and the union included the addition of more than 600 nursing positions over the next three school years. Additional counselors and librarians were also part of the increase in support staff.

Marianne O’Brien said the need for additional support staff was one of the main reasons she walked picket lines. “This is not just for teachers. It’s also for counselors, nurses, psychologists and social workers,” said O’Brien, who teaches 10th grade English.

The new contract also eliminates a longstanding clause that gave the district authority over class sizes, officials said. Grades 4 through 12 would be reduced by one student during each of the next two school years and two pupils in 2021-2022.

District Superintendent Austin Beutner said he was delighted the deal was reached. But he hinted that financial challenges remained.

“The issue has always been how do we pay for it?” Beutner said. “That issue does not go away now that we have a contract. We can’t solve 40 years of underinvestment in public education in just one week or just one contract.”

Under the tentative agreement, the district, the union and the mayor’s office will work jointly to “advocate for increasedcounty and state funding” for Los Angeles schools, according to the UTLA summary.

The Board of Education met in closed session on Tuesday and was expected to move quickly to ratify the deal, which would expire at the end of June 2022.

The deal came as teachers in Denver were finishing up a vote on whether to go on strike as soon as next Monday. The main sticking point is increasing base pay and lessening teachers’ reliance on one-time bonuses for having students with high test scores or working in a high-poverty school.

In Oakland, California, some teachers called in sick last week as part of an unofficial rally over their contract negotiations, which also hinge partly on a demand for smaller class sizes.

Thousands of boisterous educators, many wearing red, and their supporters gathered on the steps outside City Hall.

The crowd began cheering, blowing horns and chanting the initials of Caputo-Pearl as the smiling union leader emerged from the building and walked through the throng.

Joaquin Flores, a special education teacher, said he believed he would support the deal unless it weakened health care or didn’t go far enough to reduce class size.

“It’s almost like metaphoric,” Flores said. “The sun’s out. When we started, it was all rainy and cold. I feel like it’s a new day.”

Teacher Sharon Maloney said she was reluctant to support the deal without seeing the details. She was skeptical that the district had made enough concessions on class size, health care benefits for new teachers or that the superintendent would spend enough of about $2 billion in reserves.

“I suspect the motives of Beutner,” Maloney said. “If he doesn’t release some of that $2 billion and there’s no understanding for moving forward how he’s going to cut out this crap that we’re running at a deficit and yet our reserves are going up every year.”

Talks resumed Thursday at Garcetti’s urging. The mayor does not have authority over LAUSD, but he sought to help both sides reach an agreement after nearly two years of fruitless talks.

Clashes over pay, class sizes and support-staff levels in the district with 640,000 students led to its first strike in 30 years and prompted the staffing of classrooms with substitute teachers and administrators.

The district maintained that the union’s demands could bankrupt the school system, which is projecting a half-billion-dollar deficit this budget year and has billions obligated for pension payments and health coverage for retired teachers.

Teachers hoped to build on the “Red4Ed” movement that began last year in West Virginia and moved to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona, Colorado and Washington state. It spread from conservative states with “right to work” laws that limit the ability to strike to the more liberal West Coast with strong unions.

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Associated Press writers John Antczak and John Rogers contributed to this report.

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Follow Weber at https://twitter.com/WeberCM .

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Economy

The 1751 machine that made everything

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The 1751 machine that made everything

A short video on how technological innovation born of economic liberty has changed the world.

History is more than dates, places and battles. In many instances it’s technological advances that change the world for the betterment of all mankind. In this case it’s the story of French inventor Jacques de Vaucanson and his creation in France of the first all metal slide rest lathe, the forerunner to all modern machine tools in 1751.

Lathes had been around for centuries, but lacked the precision with hand held cutting tools. The slide rest of the Vaucanson metal lathe that provided the control to produce metal part of exacting dimensions. The lathe is said to be able to produce every other machine and machine tool. This advancement changed everything.

The producer of the video references a profound chart of World Population GCP and per Capita GCP 1 –2008 AD from data of the late Angus Maddison, similar to this produced by the  Visual Capitalist, we credit them for the chart and commentary:
Image Credit: Visual Capitalist

 

For thousands of years, economic progress was largely linear and linked to population growth. Without machines or technological innovations, one person could only produce so much with their time and resources.

More recently, innovations in technology and energy allowed the “hockey stick” effect to come into play.

The video was produced by Machine Thinking last year.

While some may quibble about which particular machine produced this miracle The larger point is that the machines of the industrial age profoundly changed what people could produce.

As the video noted the average person in 1600 was no better off economically than someone thousands of years earlier. This is what is called the Malthusian trap and for seven thousand years, it was inescapable no matter what we did.

Machine tools such as this changed all of that, one person could produce what had taken many. This surplus could outpace births, allowing the economy to grow at an incredible pace as seen in the chart. All from the genius of the mind undergirded by the Economic liberty of the free-enterprise system. This is why this is vastly superior to the societal slavery of socialism.

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Education

Congress tries to force schools to make girls compete against biological males

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Congress tries to force schools to make girls compete against biological males

Every Democrat in the House of Representatives but one were joined by two Republicans to sponsor the Equality Act, an amendment to the Civil Rights Act that would add “sexual orientation and gender identity” as protected characteristics under federal anti-discrimination law. The controversial component of the act is how it would force schools to allow biological males who identify as females to compete in girls’ athletics.

The two Republicans who joined the Democrats were Reps. John Katko of New York and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania. The lone Democrat who didn’t sponsor the bill was Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski, the only pro-life Democrat left in the House.

234 House Democrats, 2 Republicans Co-Sponsor Bill Forcing Schools to Let Male Athletes Compete on Girls Sports Teams

Opinion

The left loves to talk about “settled science” when it comes to climate change, evolution, and other issues that pertain to politics, culture, and religion. Here’s a taste of science that is actually settled. Males are physically superior to females when it comes to athletic events. They are stronger. They are faster. They are larger.

Let’s not even go into the patently obvious reality that these transgender girls will dominate the sports. It’s continuously well documented; we’ve talked about it ourselves a few times.

Instead, let’s discuss two other important issues: safety and the political ramifications. Is it safe for a biological male who identifies as a girl to wrestle biological girls? How about a biological female who is using hormones to transition to become a male? Texas wrestler Matt Beggs won the state girls’ wrestling championship two years in a row. Watching the video, it’s clear the girls had zero chance of winning, but more importantly they were in more physical danger than they would have been had they been wrestling someone who had not been given male hormones.

The other aspect, and perhaps the only silver lining to all this, is the hope that common sense is still alive and well in America. If the GOP can make this an issue in the 2020 elections, they have an opportunity to highlight the leftist lunacy that’s spreading across the Democratic Party. I find it hard to believe a majority of Americans believe biological males should compete with biological females based on how the males identify.

Then again, this could demonstrate that America really has lost its way. If I’m wrong and a majority really doesn’t see anything wrong with this, then perhaps our fates are already sealed.

Quote

“Very disappointed in and for sponsoring the Equality Act. Have you ever seen a biological male wrestle a girl? If not, I’ll spoil it for you. The one with male musculature wins every time and it’s not even close. Put science over your feelings, guys.” – JD Rucker

Final Thoughts

The line needs to be drawn immediately. This isn’t just about the unfairness of biological males dominating female sports. It’s about the safety of these young ladies. Identifying as females doesn’t change the reality that they’re bigger, stronger, and faster, period.

This story was updated to demonstrate the proper sex of Matt Beggs.

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Conservatism

Conservative Michael J. Knowles attacked with ‘odorous substance’ during campus speech

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Conservative Michael J Knowles attacked with odorous substance during campus speech

The ongoing campaign of intimidation and violence against conservatives speaking on college campuses took an ugly turn last night as Daily Wire show host Michael J. Knowles was sprayed with an “odorous substance” made to seem like bleach during a YAF speech at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He was hit in the face but wasn’t concerned, thinking it was paint or even milk. Later, he realized it was possibly bleach but was told by police it was not.

He was giving a speech titled “Men are Not Women” when the attack took place.

Here is a better angle to see the attacker and subsequent law enforcement take-down:

Here’s what was left from the water gun used by the attacker:

Michael J Knowles Attacked

Opinion

Where do we begin? This represents an escalation of tactics that seems to be becoming more prevalent over the last couple of years. It wasn’t too long ago when leftists on campus would simply protest. They learned that these protests didn’t get the kind of attention they wanted and did very little to stop conservatives from speaking on campus, so they turned to more aggressive forms of protests that could actually disrupt the speakers.

The assault on Knowles wasn’t the first time physical violence was employed and it won’t be the last. But since it won’t work to actually stop most speakers from appearing, the next stage of escalation could turn deadly. That’s the real fear and why law enforcement is unfortunately required in order to keep the speakers and those in attendance safe from the unhinged progressives.

As I’ve noted before, this isn’t a question of freedom of speech. It’s about freedom of thought. As college progressives attempt to make their campuses “safe” from the ideas that conservatives spread, what they’re really doing is stifling the types of thoughts that could free some student from a life of helplessness, victimhood, and declining personal responsibility. Many if not most conservative speakers invited by organizations like YAF offer viewpoints that these students will not hear in classrooms or in the cafeteria with friends. The concepts being quashed are driven by the philosophy that made America a great nation, the concepts that desperately need to be heard by a generation that is growing increasingly lost in their own servitude to the leftist mindset.

It’s imperative for conservatives to keep speaking, for students to start listening, and for the radical progressives to stop shouting down the ideas that could actually keep this generation from destroying the United States of America.

Quote

“If a masked idiot came at me during a speech he better hope there’s campus police to take him down and not this pissed off preggo mama. has more restraint than I.” – Elisha Krauss

Final Thoughts

The escalation of suppression techniques used against conservative speakers on campus is scary. Before, it was the heckler’s veto. Today, it’s odorous substances. Tomorrow, it could be more deadly. The left can’t win with thoughts so they rely on anger.

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