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fishwax

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 25,820

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U of Virginia football player on hunger strike in solidarity with university workers

A yahoo article about Virginia Safety Joseph Williams: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/virginia-safety-joseph-williams-hunger-strike-university-workers-173337610.html

(Virginiasports.com)Rarely do we see student-athletes, football players, get involved in political matters that affect the universities where they play. We're not talking about student government, but the politics that happen within the university, disputes between workers or teachers and administration

Virginia safety Joseph Williams is changing that.

For the past eight days, Williams, a junior walk-on who has played in two games during his career, has been on a hunger strike "to protest the economic and social injustices perpetrated by the UVa administration against the vast majority of the University's service-sector employees."


And Joseph Williams explains his actions at michaelmoore.com: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/why-im-hunger-striking-uva

I am a third year studying Political and Social Thought, and a student-athlete at the University of Virginia. Last Friday, 12 University students began a hunger strike to protest the economic and social injustices perpetrated by the UVa administration against the vast majority of the University’s service-sector employees. I joined two days later; since then, 5 more students have joined the hunger strike, which is now closing in on in its 7th day. Although the University of Virginia - Thomas Jefferson’s brainchild and the only US university designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site - has the prestige and high moral traditions of other top institutions, levels of inequality exist here today that are reminiscent of Jefferson’s days as a slave-master and plantation owner - with one anonymous employee even referring to the University’s Grounds as “the plantation”.

Our University seeks to distinguish itself as a caring community and prides itself on traditions of honor and student self-governance. However, in our “caring community,” hundreds of contract employees may make as little as $7.25/hour while six out of the top ten highest paid state employees in Virginia hold administrative positions at the University. Many employees, mostly women and African Americans, do not receive enough pay for their basic necessities to exist in Charlottesville, where the cost of living is nearly 10% higher than the national average. This extreme inequality has disturbed and disillusioned students for decades, many of whom have tried to grapple with issues of race, class, and poverty in and out of the classroom. We have taken every conventional route towards this goal, garnered wide student, faculty and community support - yet our pleas have been consistently ignored and workers are still paid unjust wages.

On a personal level, this cause is one that hits very close to home. As one of four children supported by a single mother, I have experienced many periods of economic hardship in my life. Growing up, I moved over 30 times – including various stays in homeless shelters, the homes of family friends, and church basements. As a result of these experiences, I know firsthand what the economic struggle is like for many of these underpaid workers. One UVa employee anonymously shared that though she works full time for the University, over 40 hours a week, her family was still forced to go without electricity for nearly 3 months, unable to pay for the rent, electric bill and other basic necessities on the meager wages she is paid by the University. Such stories are the reason that I and countless other Living Wage supporters have chosen to take up this cause and give a voice to the many University employees who often cannot speak up for fear of retaliation from the administration.






10 Things to Watch During the 2012 Legislative Session

http://www.thelostogle.com/2012/02/03/10-things-to-watch-during-the-2012-legislative-session/#more-21234

So I guess they're going after OETA ... Also on the list, adjusting open records laws, income tax fights, and that guy who introduced the "no fetuses in food" bill.



2. OETA

Several legislators have expressed their feelings about the “edgy” Oklahoma Education Television Authority, which broadcasts such avant-garde programs like “This Old House,” and Gothers’ favorite the “Nightly Business Report.” Bills which would eliminate state funding of OETA have been introduced. This has been tried before but only a handful of legislators supported the effort. It may have more support this time, but Republican Rep. Doug Cox has the trump card. A year ago, when legislators were debating a bill which would have forced OETA to cut programing to pay for a new video system to live broadcast the House and Senate sessions, Cox, who represents a northeast corner of the state, told his colleagues:

“If I do anything that interferes with my folks’ ability to watch Lawrence Welk on OETA, they might cut me out of the will.”

Playing the Welk card is always a strong hand.

What are your go-to Oklahoma blogs?

I thought it might be useful to compile a list of Oklahoma-centric blogs worth following or knowing about.

The only one I regularly check, at this point, is The Lost Ogle, which is mostly an Oklahoma City blog with commentary on local news and culture. I think I first found them in a post ridiculing Sally Kern for her crazy homophobic comments back in 2008.

But I know there are other blogs out there, so what Oklahoma-centric blogs do you recommend and/or read regularly? Any topic is fine--progressive politics, right-wing blogs (to keep up with the crazy), sports, music, food, humor, business, whatever.
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