Thursday, December 22, 2005

Celebrating Christmas: Views from USA

HI DAVID-- Christmas in the Philippines sounds strangely like the US in that itseems to start earlier every year. But few here celebrate it through to Epiphany on January 6. It has become pretty much a commercial holiday in the US, with Christmas decorations and shopping specials starting early in November. By the time December 25 comes around, most people are getting tired of the incessant Christmas music, enforced good cheer, etc. When I was out doing errands yesterday, I was struck with how harried and impolite people were. When a holiday season becomes this stressful, what is the point? In spite of all that, I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas. ---Judith

DAVID-- I must say it's a bit rum for New York City BILLIONAIRE (that's a B) Michael Blumenthal to call the $60,000 a year transit workers overpaid and thuggish. I would say it's a lot more thuggish to allow someone—because of our insane campaign finance laws—to essentially buy the mayoralty of our greatest city.

Once again, the corporate-controlled mass media has missed the essential point here. The transit workers are mostly on strike to prevent the city from trashing the pension rights of future workers not themselves. The media should be asking why the rest of organized labor has not gone on strike in sympathy in the first general strike of the twenty-first century.

The stakes are high not only in New York City but across the nation. From the days of the robber barons, organized labor has struggled -- through blood, sweat and tears -- to provide American workers with very basic rights and benefits. The logic of globalism, however, is that they will soon have the same rights and benefits as workers in China. This is the real significance of the NYC transit strike. Workers of the world unite. –David

2 comments:

frank holz said...

Dave, being a New Yorker by birth and blood I can comment on your note re the transit strike in NYC. $60k is a lot of money, even in that expensive city. Happily the strike has ended, it was timed to produce maximum pain, which it did, costing the city (mainly the people who struggle daily to earn a living) $400 million a day. Without commenting on the merits of the dispute, the union not only inflicted financial pain, but also lost a good deal of whatever good will existed for its cause before the strike. frank holz.

Without Borders said...

Dear Frank: What you've read there was a reaction from a friend of mine, David Pitts, who lives in Washinton DC. It was his way of giving me a new dimension to how the season was being observed in the US, particularly New York. Certainly there were a lot of issues involved in that strike and its unfortunate that it happened during the holiday season. Being an outsider, i cant really comment on the merits, or lack of it, of the strike and im happy that its now over. You see, I was there a few months ago and my memories of New York is wonderful: the plays and musicals in Broadway and Times square are wonderful.