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busy, busy, busy

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

It looks I won't be able to blog from the shitter after all.

"It hurts, but one has to tell this government where to get off."

If only American workers would take after the French, no doubt we would see some pretty impressive changes.
France's famously organised public service unions brought the country to a halt yesterday, and severely affected travel across the rest of Europe, posing the biggest domestic challenge yet to the year-old rightwing government.

More than a million demonstrators took to the streets in a display of union muscle unseen for years, and those commuters who dared to go to work were forced to jog, bike, scooter, rollerblade or even skateboard into the office.


Four in five flights were grounded, two-thirds of mainline rail services were cancelled, and the Paris metro was largely shut down. Hardly a bus was to be seen in the capital, Bordeaux or Strasbourg, and transport was paralysed in 15 other cities. The port of Calais was closed for part of the day, and only Eurostar trains ran normally.

Schools were shut, newspaper kiosks were devoid of papers, and the national grid suffered a 10% loss in its electricity supply. Even private sector workers swelled the ranks of the 24-hour protest.

The unions were triumphant and were yesterday already warning of the next one-day stoppage, if the government did not back down.

It will never happen here, though, not with weak-willed and company-friendly unions who sell out the workers to curry favor with the company executives. Of course, that's the American way, since anything else might be seen as creeping socialism. Can't have that. Read the article here.

And who says Democrats are pussies?
Democrats blame the standoff on the GOP's attempt to redraw the state's U.S. congressional districts, a process dictated every 10 years to reflect population shifts found in the U.S. Census.

Texas already has a court-drawn redistricting map, but Republicans say it doesn't reflect state voting trends and want to redo it. Their plan could add five to seven GOP House seats to the 15 the Republicans already have.

From their motel in Ardmore, Okla., the Democrats blamed U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay for the shutdown of the Texas House of Representatives.

"We have a message for Tom DeLay: Don't mess with Texas," said House Democratic Legislative Caucus leader Jim Dunnam. "We did not choose the path that led us to Ardmore, Okla. Tom DeLay chose that path."

Read the whole article.

Quote of the day (from The Guardian): From the Attorney-General of New Mexico to the Govnernor of Texas, replying to his request to arrest representatives hiding out in that state. "I have put out an all-points bulletin for law enforcement to be on the lookout for politicians in favour of health care for the needy and against tax cuts for the wealthy."


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