Detroit and San Diego: Vastly Different in Form, Similar in Essence

And On Wisconsin!

By Rich Gibson


In the early evening of March 10th, Detroit Federation of Teachers dissident, and likely winner of the recent DFT presidential election, Steve Conn lost his bid to overturn his suspension from union activities for seven months. In a disputed vote (again) the DFT members assembled voted 157 to 142 to uphold the suspension imposed by a kangaroo trial in which the incumbent candidate, Keith Johnson, served as witness selector, judge and jury–in essence silencing his opposition in the union.


Conn needed a 2/3 membership vote to upend the suspension. Both opposing sides worked hard to get a turnout that was about half again more than a typical DFT meeting.


When the vote went against him, Conn and his supporters walked out of the meeting, meaning the suspension of his wife, Heather Miller, would be continued as well. Conn again claimed vote fraud, citing some figures that two of his supporters said were inflated. Even so, the real fraud took place in the original presidential contest when hundreds of ballots went uncounted and the subsequent election committee meeting which simply rubber stamped the initial hoax.


The charge against Conn was “imposing himself” on American Federation of Teachers Michigan boss, David Hecker in a meeting where Hecker swore in the fraudulently elected officers before the meeting was called to order, and then fled. Video’s of the incident show a raucous union meeting, hardly unusual for the DFT. If Conn ever even touched Hecker, I can’t see it. Hecker never moved, never flinched. The real imposition is the one now imposed on DFT members: the grotesquely undemocratic “shut up and go away,” aimed at Conn and the nearly 1500 people who voted for him.


As courts rarely overturn internal union matters, Conn and Miller appear to be outcasts until, at least, November. It’s a move that other American of Federation of Teachers should note, and reject.


The suspensions of the two radical partners, both leaders in the checkered By Any Means Necessary group, will last through a summer which may witness the end of schooling as most people think of it in Detroit.


A Broad Foundation puppet, Robert Bobb, appointed by the former Democratic Governor as Emergency Financial Manager, announced in February that he will close one-half of the schools in Detroit, threatening to boost high school class size to 60. Bobb’s term, which pays him about $450,000 a year when private foundation money is matched to his city salary, comes to a close at the end of the summer, but a new EFM is in the wings. 


The district is indeed bankrupt. While nobody can trust figures coming out of the city, the real debt is probably $400 million. The official figure is $327 million. In 1966, Detroit Public Schools served 299,962 children. It was recognized as one of the finest urban education systems in the western world. Now, there are less than 80,000 kids, probably far less as too many adults have a stake in ballooning the figure. Corruption and incompetence are endemic at every level in DPS, now nearly destroyed by capital flight, racism, and the sellout of city leaders who routinely betray the people they promise to represent.


If we set aside the fact that never gets notice in the corporate media, the $12.9 trillion bank bailout paid because the banksters at Goldman Sachs et al, have power, it is a very real financial crisis. The demagogue, Obama, is not going to print money for the children of Detroit.


Robert Bobb, DFT president Keith Johnson, and American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten joined forces to sell what I argue is the worst contract in teacher bargaining history on Detroit school workers. Then, realizing its impact, rank and file members sought to un-elect Johnson, probably choosing instead Conn who had led the militant 1999 Detroit teachers’ wildcat strike–but in the DFT, if voting mattered, they wouldn’t let you do it.


The Michigan state legislature, now Republican dominated, passed three bills during the week of March 10th that would fully empower the next EFM to abolish the DFT contract, to strip the school board and city council of any meaningful power and places this tyranny outside the chance of any citizen opposition through votes or recalls.


Johnson, who promised teachers better days as he sold the current contract, knew about the bills in the legislature, urged members to make phone calls in opposition, swore the mighty state AFL-CIO (which betrayed every job action in the city in the last 40 years) would weigh in with its electoral clout. The electoral card in Detroit played out, and lost—completely.


Days before the bills passed, the DFT executive committee met. Johnson, ever portraying himself as a fighter on behalf of DFT members, concluded the meeting by announcing that the Denver public schools might be hiring. He’ll hold a “job fair” for the 600+ school workers who will assuredly soon get lay-off notices. Johnson is good enough to note that while Denver is in a right to work state, they might offer some relocation bonuses. He didn’t add that Denver is infamous as a bad place for teachers to work.


The social and economic collapse in Detroit is notorious. So bad, Chrysler ran an ad on Super-bowl Sunday featuring the misogynist skinny self–proclaimed bad boy, MandM, who doesn’t live in Detroit, claiming the city would come back. There’s no evidence of that. None. Detroit is stark proof of this choice: community or barbarism.


Instead, to add to the tragi-comedy that is Detroit’s ruling elite, on March 10 the president of the Detroit Public Schools board was charged by his estranged wife with not living in the city–illegal under board rules. Board president Adams, we may remember, replaces the last board head who was separated for repeatedly masturbating in front of the female superintendent–who finally complained. That man was supported by another board member who said, “young men do have these urges.” The former board boss is in his fifties. His supporter has had his six children removed by Child Protective Services, but has been elected to the board again and again.


Detroit  has not been able to produce honest and competent leaders. Mayor Dave Bing is a millionaire suburbanite who moved to the city to run for election–and owner of a recently failed business. The former mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, is in jail for corruption, as is former city council woman Monica Conyers, wife of Congressman John.


A former police chief was jailed after an FBI raid on his home. When agents poked a hole in his kitchen ceiling and a million dollars in cash fell on the floor, the Chief cried out, “Now where did that come from!!??”


Recently selected as the worst city in the United States by several blogs and publications including, Detroit’s poverty rate is officially 30%. Generation on generation in the city has never had a steady job. Illiteracy is over 50%. The city schools scored at the very bottom in recently released tests in science and literacy which, of course, measure poverty.


Two-thirds of the buildings in Detroit, homes and commercial real estate, sit empty, many of them burned out hulks. This collection includes more than ten new schools built by a “Takeover Board,” imposed on the citizens by a Democratically controlled legislature about seven years ago. That board passed out millions in no-bid contracts to builders for new schools, in a city that loses well over 12,000 students a year. Now those new building are empty, stripped of everything of value, and DPS spends more than a million dollars a year to “guard” their remains.


With leadership like Kilpatrick, Bing, Bobb, and the school board,  success in silencing Steve Conn, takes an important, if not always decorous, voice out of the Detroit mix, leaving the field to people so debased, so dishonest, and in some cases so stupid and crazy, that one can only search desperately for hope in the city–perhaps among new, unknown educators in the DFT who may now find a chance to come forward–or not.


Conn could, in turn, realize that the barriers of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, barriers of unionism which too often does not unite people but divide them by job, status, industry, etc., can be transcended by his suspension–leading him to expand his student and community base of class conscious, activist, support and build a resistance that could transform schooling and the city as well.


If, however, hope vanishes in Detroit schools, a rebellion is more that possible. Detroit readers, keep it peaceful. A violent uprising in Detroit, logical in a city born in the naming of the River Rouge (red with blood), would meet a dreadful response made possible by the racism which stabs the city now. A Detroit rebellion would become a frightful example.


Let us turn from segregated Detroit, set apart by Eight Mile Road from some of the richest suburbs in the United States, to wealthy San Diego which quietly and genteelly keeps its poor on the other side of a more easily seen wall, the border, letting them in when their labor is needed, cruelly kicking them out when their labor is unneeded–packing them in open thick-wire cages in the back of pickup trucks as ICE cops go on the hunt for more—a scene so appalling that it should make revolutionaries of the most unsympathetic spectators.


San Diego, compared to Detroit, is rich. Really rich. Posh La Jolla, inside San Diego but like many communities in the city, proud of its own name, is the site of some of the most beautiful ocean views, and costliest homes, on the continent. Snow doesn’t turn brown and ugly in San Diego. It’s usually seventy and sunny–barring wildfires or earthquakes.


San Diego is educated. 85% of the residents have high school diplomas. Nearly 50% hold Bachelor degrees. It hosts four major universities and two artificial ones: Phoenix and National growing like mad.


There are more casinos, per capita, in San Diego than Las Vegas. Tourism is a key economic factor, as are agriculture, development (a new publicly funded baseball stadium and current demands for the public treasury for a football park–funds that all know would come directly from the schools–and a publicly funded school-brary, a school/library whose architectural plans look like a tower with a prophylactic over it–a cockamamie boondoggle), high tech (convicted again and again for monopoly moves, copyright theft, stock market manipulation), the drug trade (remember the border is a sieve for a reason), mercenary corporations like SAIC and Titan (now EL) and the ever present military.


Unlike Detroit, where the manufacturing industry harbored a culture of openness, that is, publishing every day the number of cars produced, auto profits, information  necessary to keep the businesses running, all of San Diego’s industries are rooted in secrecy. The universities are overrun by military and intelligence projects. Major employers for grads from San Diego State and elite U.C. San Diego are the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, and ICE. Tourism’s secret: the sea water on many beaches is so polluted that locals won’t get in. Casinos: you lose. Developers: deals with politicians to heist land and public money. Mercs and the military run on secrecy and deception. High tech science created the hell-bound drones used on the border, as well as in Afghanistan and Iraq, blowing up wedding parties from time to time.


The upshot of this is that in Detroit,  public numbers may well not be true, may be grossly fudged but they are recognized as truly public, not secret.


In San Diego, the city and its schools routinely reject requests for information, throw away Freedom of Information requests, and interrogate those who seek mundane information for bona fides and intent. Even then, officials do everything they can to stop any information at all from reaching the public. It is a culture of official secrecy that is very hard to crack.


The San Diego press is of little help. The main newspaper, the Union Tribune, was edited by Herb Klein, Nixon’s press secretary, until three years ago. Then the paper fired their veteran crusading journalists like Don Bauder and, later, laid off the fellow who won the Pulitzer Prize for them in 2008. Today, the paper’s circulation is down 40%. But it is howling to build the football park and the school-brary. Few adults seem to work at the UT.


Even San Diego, however, was hit by the financial collapse of 2008, the wars (it’s the most militarized area in the USA), and the $12.9 trillion bailouts to the banks. Housing speculation was common in San Diego where home prices frequently more than doubled between 2002 and 2007. Flippers were everywhere. Now, some of them are stuck. There are 1.3 million citizens in the city, 32,941 vacant (foreclosed) homes. Unemployment tops 12%, keeping in mind the collapsing incomes of tourism workers.


Six years ago when the border-czar-turned-school-superintendent (and now border czar again, appointed by Obama) Alan Bersin, a petty fascist who made his life through connections with the wealthy, dividing people by class and race, attacking the poor under the guise of honest concerns for equality, when Bersin decided to apply his Blueprint for Education, a drill and kill exercise that wiped out recess, history, and nearly anything but literacy and math in San Diego City Schools, to the entire city, the powerful citizens of Legally objected. They recognized the Blueprint would make their kids stupid. They told Bersin they would make their entire area a charter district–opt out.


Bersin, realizing that the loss of Legally test scores in city reports to the state would collapse the district, declared that since Legally’s test scores were high, they would not have to be Blueprinted. Segregation proved, double.


In 2010, San Diego became a majority/minority city with hispanics moving in and, to a much lesser extent, black people and whites moving out.


City boosters like to present an image of integration and, compared to Detroit, it is a mecca of multi-culturalism but, in fact, it’s a segregated city, mainly by income, and the schools are segregated in similar fashion. Given that the black population is below 5% (which cannot be a fluke) citizens don’t so much care if you are Asian, or Hispanic, or Filipino, as long as your pocketbook matches the neighborhood.


Schools are segregated, even internally, when poor kids are bussed to wealthier areas. One respondent, a substitute at a rich elementary school, watched teachers gather the bus children, split them away from the nearby neighborhood kids, and systematically call the bus kids, “you visitors,” over the course of months.


It remains, though, that while San Diego’s political class is utterly corrupt (with the pension scandal that created the nickname “Enron by the Sea,” the entire city top administration was on the take and caused a mayor to resign, the mayor before him went to jail, etc.) there is still plenty to steal in wealthy San Diego.


Detroit’s crooks really are fighting for crumbs. Even with massive public thievery in San Diego, there is a good deal left. In Detroit, there was nearly nothing from the start.


The San Diego Education Association, led until recently by Camille Zombro who is tied closely with the sycophantic leadership of the National Education Association, and is now led by a protégée, Bill Freeman, played the electoral card well. In partnership with the county AFL-CIO (riddled with police of all sorts, building tradesmen devoted to corrupt development, firefighters who were key beneficiaries of the pension scam, etc.) SDEA managed to, in essence, remove three superintendents they didn’t like much since Bersin and, significantly, elect a voting majority on the current school board.


In 2010, behind Zombro as president, SDEA made a series of modest concessions (compared to the DFT’s hideous cave in): a 3% wage cut taken in terms of furlough days, increases in co-pays, and dramatically higher class sizes, especially in k6 where, in California, a firm cap of 20 was won for k3 about a decade ago. That cap is gone, in practice, nearly everywhere. Concessions, which never save jobs, are now part of SDEA culture.


Zombro, Substance readers may remember, was important at the NEA representative assembly last year, in two ways: she vigorously opposed motions to discuss, yes discuss, the nation’s wars, and, when challenged in a state caucus to begin to organize people for action, Zombro shouted, “I know my people won’t march,” a lie that she knew was a lie since she herself had organized demonstration after demonstration at school board meetings, all within the confines of electoral work. She also knew SDEA struck in 1999.


This year SDEA faces the same very real budget crisis Detroit faces, except, as above, San Diego is much richer. 1500 school workers, about 900 classroom teachers,  will begin to receive layoff notices from SDEA’s school board after a March 10th vote in which the SDEA elected board members decried, “there is no other alternative.” The economy was the bigger ally to these elected officials, who are devoted to protecting its boundaries.


Veteran teachers have been through this before. Many believe the district, which has cried the Layoff Wolf before, won’t do layoffs, will find the money since, after all, SDEA elected these people.


Last year, however, there was the Obama bribe: shut up, abuse the kids with the RaTT, take my TARP money, it’s business as usual.


This year, the demagogue’s ploy ran out. There is no TARP money. The banksters got theirs. The warriors get their yearly trillion. But like Detroit, there is no money for San Diego’s kids and none for their teachers either.


At the March 10th school board meeting, SDEA organized a demonstration of red-shirts, objecting to the layoffs, mostly younger teachers who predict they will be hit directly by the cutbacks mixed in with some SDEA leaders. Only one person I talked to (and he road to the meeting with me) believed that anything but another couple of votes would be needed to halt the cutbacks.


In fact, SDEA and its parent body, the California Teachers Association (I am a member) have urged support for a projected ballot measure that would extend a series of tax hikes, aimed solely at working people, in hopes of staving off what I believe is a very real Wolf at the door.


San Diego and Detroit have a lot in common. The former an NEA local, the latter AFT, but both played the dead man’s hand, the electoral cards, and both are about to lose. The union leaders are Quislings at heart and in daily life.

The teaching force, in both instances, trusted the political system and their union bosses. The school workers ran on the NCLB and RaTT treadmill, alienating themselves from the kids and population–and proved their allegiance with tax schemes, development plots, that only benefit the rich, hurt the working class. They abandoned the struggle for control of the products and processes of their work. The more they did that, the more powerful they made an economy that can now only be called “Their economy,” and the under-bosses who run it. The more the school workers followed this path, the less humane and connected they became, the more they became instruments of their own oppression.


They fit in the larger context of the attacks on American schooling: class war and empire’s war. Rich city, poor city: different in form, much the same in essence.


Even in the context of Wisconsin. On Wisconsin!


Wait! On Wisconsin? Will that be the rank and file’s Wisconsin, the union tops’ Wisconsin, the Wisconsin of the two headed snake that is the two party system, the Wisconsin that bore Tailgunner Joe McCarthy (Roy Cohn must have loved the moniker), the Wisconsin of Big Ag, or Whose?


The union tops and Democrats, leeches drawing life from each other, were first out-voted in Wisconsin by an openly reactionary gubernatorial candidate, then out-witted in the legislature by marginally clever Republicans who made the Democrats flight from their own state irrelevant.


Now what? What is next is a possible collision of rank and file direct actions, made necessary by the dual impacts of perpetual warfare and financial bailouts, with the equally requisite efforts by misleaders of all kinds, seeking to surround, dominate, divert, and demolish those actions.


Well, what actually happened?


The union heads had already agreed to concede nearly every financial cutback the Republicans wanted except one thing vital to the unionists: collective bargaining.


What’s that?


At base, it is the traditional exchange of labor peace for the dues check-off. It can mean the agency shop (you either join the union or pay fees after a probationary period–most civil service and school positions) or the union shop (you must join the union–organized auto plants, etc.) or, in a few areas, the closed shop (you must belong to the union to get the job).


In the instances at hand, as in Wisconsin, we see efforts to eliminate the agency shop for public workers. In other states, like Florida, Republicans want to abolish a mild bargaining law that doesn’t include the agency shop. (Remember though, that Florida in 1968 led the only state-wide schools strike, a strike ushered in by leaders like Dexter Hagman and betrayed by Dade County’s discredited Pat Tornillo who was jailed, years later, for embezzling from the members, many of whom still live in trailers. That strike was illegal, proof that the only illegal strike is one that loses). 


But the crux of each of these “shops” is simply this today: union bosses sell the pacified,  guaranteed,  labor of their members in exchange for very health paychecks and retirement packages for the union heads. At the extreme of evidence is the last year’s salary of former National Education Association President, Reg Weaver: $686,949.


For a time certain, the period of a labor contract, relatively enriched labor mis-leaders promise acquiescence.


Can bargaining take place outside this milieu? Of course it can, and it does. People can bargain about wages, hours, benefits, working conditions, and more–and have for decades. At issue is whether those people are sufficiently conscious, united, and active to force employers to bargaining tables: do the workers have the ability to exert considerable control over their work places or not?


But the check-off is the life blood of union top salaries. It means they can run unions like vending machines. Collective bargaining to unionites means selling labor peace for a given period of a contract, in exchange for dues collection. That is exactly the traditional trade-off. When Henry Ford finally figured that out, after resisting the union for a long time, he said, "you mean I am the unions' banker? I will sign on to that!"


When that contract is signed, for its duration, unionite bosses have demonstrated that they will use force and violence to “protect the contract,” that is, dodge management lawsuits. The union treasury becomes more important than what most people believe are union goals: solidarity for control of the work place to win better lives. Doubters about the use of force and violence should check on United Auto Workers union action at the Chrysler Mack Avenue sit-down strike.


The heads of the biggest unions in the US met on February 14, 2011 in the offices of the largest union in the U.S., the 3.2 million member National Education Association at the behest of its president, Dennis Van Roekel. NEA is not part of the AFL-CIO. It was an extraordinary meeting in an extraordinary location although Van Roekel and his predecessors have tried for a decade to force the NEA members to merge with the corrupt, bankrupt, useless, AFL.


The big labor bosses laid out a plan to contain the rank and file within the electoral arena while creating a pretense of leadership and militancy. They rededicated themselves to the Democrats, to the electoral world, and to fund-raising for that effort.


I now have personalized emails from NEA (2 of them in the last 3 days) asking me to send them more money in this "profound education crisis and attack on workers" Who could imagine the NEA recognizing the existence of a working class, even if they cannot yet say "Class"? Crisis? Send NEA more money to boost its $350 million+ treasury.


Things are indeed heating up, as projected, but never quite as projected.


People are fighting back because they must, in order to live---world wide.


The empire is under very real assault, militarily, financially, politically, and morally.


So is the US working class.


What can the Substance readers and educator activists do?


As things sharpen, I think we can foresee that the many political differences among us will sharpen too, which is fine. We have been pretty successful at building a community around friendship and politics interacting. I think we can sustain that, learn from each other, respect other opinions, recognizing that our friends have the common good in mind, are not cops, etc.


Even so, as things grow more intense, the need to deceive the working class will grow too, i.e., union bosses, sects, liberals, dogmatic pacifists, etc, finding every possible, easy, way to urge people to do anything but consider mass, class conscious direct action.


Poverty pimps like Jesse Jackson and media hacks like the self-building Democrat Michael Moore have dragged through Madison, Moore now calling for a one day school walk out, on Friday March 12th . The call reached most people on March 11th. We shall see how well the electronic media organizes this.


The unions are not going to be destroyed. They are far too useful to too many elites who may, indeed, have very harsh differences with other elites.


Again, the call for Collective Bargaining is, as far as I can tell, a bogus call. It means, "let us keep automatic dues check off so we can get the money without too much trouble and collect our nice salaries."


The unions have already given away nearly everything that can be given away, and were prepared for more in Wisconsin What is driving them berserk is dues income. They don’t want to go person-to-person asking for money to support a union that would have to be supportable. That would be too much like organizing.


I think we can reasonably try to do several things.


            *Insist that this is about empire's wars and class war together. Not recognizing that ineluctable fact destroys everything that follows.

            *I believe this government is a corporate state, not a democracy or republic but fascism emerging, an executive committee and armed weapon of rich in charge. Many disagree, obviously. No big deal.

            *Continue to try to link the schools struggle with the antiwar movement. That nobody I know of has successfully done this much in practice seems a shame but I think we will see some movement on this fairly soon. March has all kinds of antiwar actions scheduled.

            *Press for a real General Strike of Schools and everywhere on May 2. Since the massive immigrants rights demos over the last six years, people are at least vaguely aware of Mayday. We could try to organize or join marches on that Sunday and call for the May 2 action as well.

            *Urge people to come to the Rouge Forum conference May 20. George Schmidt and others from Chicago have agreed to be there. Peter McLaren and Dennis Carlson are other keynoters.

            * Constantly point at and expose quisling leaders in our midst, rats like NEA boss Dennis Van Roekel and all the people around him. That goes further for me. I am more than weary of those who believe they can teach their way out of capitalism, who fight those who say that C word, try to silence them. That would include many of those calling for a million teacher march in DC this summer. Not all of them, but many, like the vacillating reactionary, Dianne Ravitch. A million teacher march, which might on a stretch be endorsed by the unions, would mean 999,000 white people saying, "Save my ass!" It's possible to join and criticize a demonstration like this, but I won't be there. 

            *I don't know how long it will take for people to learn that they must have new organizations that go far beyond even the structural barriers of US unionism (setting aside their role of the empire''s unions, their persistently dishonest, opportunistic leaders at all levels, etc) but daily life may deliver a message that broader, more militant groups are far more important than unions in this crisis and the ones that are ahead. Actually, union bosses are our nearest and most vulnerable enemies. In any case, justice demands organization.

            *The organization has to have an idea. For me, that is equality, and end to exploitation, and to a lesser degree, democracy. Social change is rarely truly democratic.

            *We should continue to urge people to work with troops wherever that is possible. The weapons can be turned around, with the right ideas. Ideas are more powerful than weapons when those ideas are grasped and accepted as action items by masses of people, including troops. No real change is going to take place in the US without the help of troops on our side.

            *We should realize that everything is in place for a dramatic shift to the left, and the right. Either could happen. The empire has lost its moral standing, it is losing wars, it's fake democracy is more and more exposed, the financial crises are real, elites are fighting bitterly among themselves, their allies don't trust them to be able to protect them around the world, and inequality is booming.

            However, decades of shopping, mis-leadership, racism, anti-immigrantism, jailing of the poor, racism, nationalism, sexism, evangelical religion, the eradication of history in schools, and the nature of the government, its cops, laws, military, etc, all add up to a real possibility of, not the left, but the right. Our ground work is not done, and theirs largely is.          

            *Even so, more and more people are likely to at least listen. Anti-communism, anti radicalism, does not seem as powerful as it was a decade or 20 years ago. Elites forgot to worry too much about that, it appears.

            *It is fair to say, or guess, that "accelerators" are likely to take place. The fruit vendor, stopped by the cops in Tunisia, the guy who immolated himself in a tragic protest, was such an accelerator. The whole Middle East went up. Like the Boston Tea Party, or Lexington/Concord, or Chicago 68. It is easy to become heady in those moments, as people are, when cool analysis is absolutely vital, hard as it is to be detached.

            *All must rise with all. Everyone needs to grasp, to the biggest extent possible, grand strategy, strategy, and how to develop tactics. Since this is always something new, but connected to the old, it can be a fine case of all teaching all. Still, educational inequality is important. We saw that at play in the March 4 and March 2 actions. Students and others from elite universities have skills, training background that (un) naturally thrusts them into leadership positions. Even when they rightfully try to hold back and move others forward, they wind up running meetings, leading key actions, etc. There is nothing wrong with leadership, but the past suggests that educational inequality is a poisoned well to those who want equality, class conscious action.


Those are my two bits. San Diego. Detroit. Wisconsin. Your home town and state. We may or may not have a chance to really influence events. But, not hacking at the empire in some way, each days, would guarantee we do not.



Good luck to our side and to hell with theirs.

Rich Gibson is a co-founder of the Rouge Forum, an NEA delegate, history professor, and volunteer child watcher where he learns the lessons of the Ransom of Red Chief.