Friday, December 23, 2005

Oh, and another thing about the strike

I forgot to mention that we were also discussing how slimy the MTA (the employer) is in all this strike business.

The Taylor Law in New York makes it illegal for public employees to strike. It was enacted (I think) after another transit strike many years ago that crippled the city. The MTA has beem making a lot of noise about how what the transit workers did was "illegal." The union leaders were threatened with jail time if they didn't call off the strike.

Meanwhile, the MTA has been pulling their own shady shenanigans for years, cooking their books, lying to the union and public, pretending to be in dire financial straits to justify a 33% fare increase to the public and then "unexpectedly" finding enormous budget surplusses after the fact, effectively lying to and cheating both the workers and the riders. The MTA leaders should have been fired and thrown in jail, end of story.

Meanwhile, they have this Taylor Law on their side and get to threaten the union with jail for taking the only steps they have to protect themselves.

My point is, while this Taylor Law makes sense because we simply can't have the city brought to its knees over things like this, shouldn't the employer have some sort of legal obligation to avert a strike as well? If you remove the ability to strike but don't balance it with an obligation on the other side, you're really putting all the power in the hands of the MTA. And we know from experience that that ain't good. Lying bastards.

Did you like it better when I talked about my cat?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I've revised my position

Hello faithful readers,
George & I made it to Chicago, and barely. It took hours to get to the airport, but thanks to Jim's willingness to pick us up & brave the horrible traffic, we made it in the nick of time.

Jim and I were talking about the strike, and I would have to agree with his point of view to some extent. People are pissed as the transit union for striking, but more because of WHEN they chose to strike (right before the holidays) rather than BECAUSE they chose to strike.

It's true that they are already more highly paid than the majority of workers, and they don't currently contribute anything at all toward their health or pension plans. It seems unfair to the rest of us.

But that's why they have a union. Unions serve a good purpose (at least the ones that aren't controlled by gangsters.) And just because all the other workers and/or unions in the US have caved to The Man doesn't mean the transit union has to. They've decided to draw a line, and they're sticking to it. So, ok.

But they finally realize what a PR nightmare they've created for themselves. This strike would have been more effective if they had made noise in the media about seeing New Yorkers through the holidays before going on strike. People would have appreciated that gesture. And so, that is why (in my opinion) they have called it off for the duration of the continuing negotiations.

While we're still on this topic, what is the deal with calling Bloomberg a racist because he called the union leaders "thugs"? Everyone knows the stereotype of unions being run by the mob. I thought "thug" was just a synonym for "mobster." I have never associated that word with any kind of race. When I think of a "thug" I think of one of those big bald guys with five o'clock shadow that you might see in a Mad Magazine cartoon - the kind of guy who grunts out "dis is a stickup!" Since when does "thug" refer to a black, Latino or Asian person? It's quite possible that I'm behind the times with respect to the definition or connotation of this word. Just curious.

Random thoughts during a mass transit strike right before the holidays

1. Everyone in New York now hates the transit union. They have certain beefs with their employer, so they're punishing the public at large. It is just unbelievable what removing transportation has done to New York. I get heartsick when I think of all the hourly workers who can't get to their jobs (and consequently cannot get paid) because they have no transportation. All sorts of stores, restaurants and other businesses have just shut down for the duration of the strike because they either can't get their workers there or they can't get their supplies delivered. It's really despicable that the union chose to do this right before the holidays. They could have just as easily waited until January 2 to go on strike.

2. I hope the courts strictly enforce the $1,000,000 per day fines that they have imposed upon the union.

3. We are supposed to fly to Chicago tomorrow. I've been getting anxious voice mails from my family asking if we'll be able to get there (since there are no good options for getting to the airport.)

4. The problem mentioned in #3 above has been addressed: our friend Jim is going to drive us. Parts of the freeway to La Guardia will be off limits to us because they're only allowing cars with 4+ passengers to use them. Through a combination of partial side-street and highway driving, we should be able to find our way there, though we will be sure to leave 3.5 hours early.

5. My friend Oddrun let me stay over at her apartment last night so that I could make a 10 am meeting this morning. I still had to leave her apartment before 8:00 am to make the 2-mile walk to the appointment. If I had been gimped I wouldn't have been able to go at all.

6. Today, George + Tom = 8 years! We celebrated this evening with Sarah, Ben, Sue & Jim in New Jersey with a lovely pork roast, red cabbage, potatoes, champagne & cake dinner. It took over 2 hours to make the trip to their home, since the transit strike has caused mayhem all over the tri-state area.

7. Did I mention that everyone in New York hates the transit union? This strike had better be over by the time I get back from Chicago, or they're going to have one serious bitch on their hands. And I'm not even talking about what George's mom will do if she can't make it back to the horse races by then!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


The New York MTA workers (subway operators & bus drivers) are on strike now. It is going to take hours upon hours to get to work. And I don't even want to think about what it will be like trying to get home.

I have a ton of sh*t on my desk to take care of by EOD tomorrow, because Thursday I'm supposed leave for Christmas vacation. And tons of stuff to take care of during non-working hours, which I will now have to forfeit because I'll need the time to walk to & from work instead.

The union is striking because these already highly paid employees are now being asked to contribute something to their own health & pension plans, like 99.999% of the other workers in this country, present company included.

Happy f*cking holidays, sh*theads.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Happy Holidays from 30 Second Bunny Theater!

The folks who create our favorite reenactments have a new one on "A Christmas Story!"

Watch it here!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Random Thoughts on a Saturday

1. Our new apartment has dimmer switches in every room. I can't stress the importance of mood lighting in the bathroom. When I first get up in the morning, nothing really works but soothing dim. By the time I'm done with my shower & ready to confront my face, I up it a little bit. When I need to do some heavy duty examination, I turn it all the way up and it's like an interrogation room in there.

2. We have a cool medicine cabinet that has another mirror inside the door - you can open it up and do minor surgery on yourself. (This next part is really gross, so if you're disgusted by bodily things, stop reading.) I had a soreness in the back of my throat last week and it seemed kind of odd, so I turned up the bathroom lights & opened wide to see what was what. I discovered I had one of those annoying little canker sores (fever blisters) on that flappy thing that covers your windpipe when you swallow! Yuck! Couldn't exactly get any cold sore medicine back there. So I had to endure the stupid thing being aggravated every time I swallowed for about a week. It's better now.

2. Ok, that was TMI. Sorry.

3. I'm turning forty and I get to behave however I want on my bloody birthday, Sweetie, house rule.

4. Certain people that I work with are big liars, and I'm not afraid to point this out to them when they try to dick me. I'm becoming more of a New Yorker every year.

5. I'm writing Christmas cards again this year after missing 2004. If you are not normally on my list and want to receive one, you should email me your address.