Friday, September 03, 2010

752 Labor Day 2010

752 Labor Day 2010

Here's what happens when you screw around with holidays. Historically, Labor Day is the first Monday in September. It's been an official holiday since 1884, but the first Labor Day parade was held in New York City two years earlier. New York goes its own way. Always. Somewhere along the line we got all those Monday holidays, but Labor Day weekend always has been Saturday-Sunday-Monday. Pioneers! The parade itself doesn't always land on the holiday itself, though it should. Recently, it's taken place on the Saturday FOLLOWING the holiday.

In 2010, the Saturday following the holiday is September 11th. So this year, there will be no parade by fiat of whomever is the current New York City Commissioner of Whacky Edicts. Granted, 9/11 is a bad day for a celebration. So what about doing something like re-positioning the parade on the Saturday of the holiday weekend, 9/4? Or, to be really radical, how about holding it on the actual holiday, 9/6?

The holiday is a salute to the American worker, to the men and women who built this country, to the men and women who fought for their rights as human beings in an era when they were considered farm animals or machines, who organized and then told capital "you can't do this to us. We're doing the work. We want our share, no more, but no less."

Rudy Giuliani was the public face of the trade center aftermath. But Rudy Giuliani was not the guy who raced into a soon-to-collapse building in hopes of saving lives. That was the job of first responders -- cops and firefighters and EMS people. Rudy Giuliani does not know what to do with a burn victim or someone who's been knocked unconscious by an office desk that has just fallen through a ceiling and landed on the guy's head. And he doesn't have to. But let's not forget who did the work. Around the clock work for how long? And let's not forget who's building whatever it is they're building down there. It's not Mike Bloomberg. It's people named Joe and Jose and Jamal and Ellen and Maria and Kaneesha.

At the height of union membership, it took forever for the parade to pass by. Lately, not so much. Publicity glutton politicians remained the warts on the line of march. But not so many electrical workers, carpenters, boiler operators, steel workers, retail clerks, truck drivers, subway motormen, railroad engineers, pilots, performing artists, teachers and nurses, postal workers, toll collectors, as once.

Maybe for 2011, they can get some disbarred lawyers, banned stock brokers, defrocked clergy sentenced to community service to march as ringers.

Shrapnel:

--Now he tells us! Bank bailout king and fed chairman Bernanke says "too big to fail" has to be -- as Don Rumsfeld would say -- recalibrated and bad banks closed down before they drag the whole system down with it. Ben, babes, also is the king of near-zero percent financing -- for everyone except us laboring peasants who need it most.

--Here's a list of the members of the Big Ten Football Conference: Illinois-Urbana, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin-Madison. No math majors in the big ten, or is it that no one in college football can count to 12?


I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010


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