Thursday, July 04, 2002
So now that these employees are bored with passing boorish anti-Israel referenda at their national conferences, what exactly do the striking employees want? The city offered them 3%/year raises in salary for each of the next three years, and also offered to continue to current agreement that any municipal employee who has more than 10 years of service will have a job guaranteed for life.
No, you didn't misread that. If a 28-year-old guy is been cutting the grass in High Park, and has been doing so for the last 10 years, then the city has agreed that by God he should be guaranteed that he can still be doing that in the year 2039.
But the union is not impressed. No, CUPE says, 10 years is far too long to wait. Our employees deserve lifetime employment guarantees much sooner than that. How about...six years? (And in 2005, let's try for three years!)
The big background issue here is of course privatization. What if Toronto were to offload its garbage collection or other services to a private firm that has an incentive to operate efficiently? Odds are that the private firm could get the work done with fewer employees. This makes money for the firm, and lowers the cost to taxpayers. It's a win-win scenario! Everybody wins...oh, right.
So, will that 24 year-old who has managed to show up for work on most of the last 1,500 work days get guaranteed employment through 2043? Stay tuned.
I pledge allegiance to all the ordinary people around the world...the sweatshop workers from New York to Indonesia, who labor not under God but under the heel of multinational corporations; I pledge allegiance to the people of Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan, and to their struggles to survive and resist slavery to corporate greed....
Dana is very proud of this Pledge:
My daughter, who is 11, and I...have always been uncomfortable saying the pledge, not only because of the religious imposition, but because it seems very strange to pledge loyalty to a scrap of cloth representing a corrupt nation that imposes its will, both economic and military, around the world by force. So she inspired me to rewrite the Pledge.
Imagine schoolchildren every day reciting the following:
Yes. Just imagine. Just imagine how much Dana Cloud has already screwed up his/her daughter's life after only 11 years.
Isn't Communication Studies that joke major that all the football players take? Maybe Professor Cloud can get them to say the Pledge at the beginning of each of his/her class sessions.
Your editorial about American resistance to the ICC's jurisdiction is compelling as far as it goes, but it doesn't go deep enough.
The American stance says, in effect, that the United States is not a nation like other nations, and, in a number of senses, this is correct. It is more powerful and richer than any other nation, and more rides on its decisions than on those of any other nation -- but these are all matters of degree.
The real reason for U.S. intransigence on the ICC is that the U.S. feels itself to be a sacred nation, the Holy Land of the new world, "one nation under God." For those who feel so, it would not just be bad politics to permit U.S. service personnel to be tried by the ICC, if it ever came to that; it would also be sacrilege (as were the attacks of Sept. 11).
Canada, of course, is not a sacred nation in this sense. And so an act of terrorism in Canada would be a tragedy, a disaster, a matter of intense concern -- but not an act of sacrilege; because however profound our patriotism or national feeling, it is different in kind from that of our neighbours. Until this is recognized, the obstinacy and isolationism of the U.S. will not be fully understood.
Wow, Grayson has really put his finger on it through this sophisticated use of "content analysis." The Pledge of Allegiance is a dead giveaway! "One nation under God," what more evidence do you need of the U.S.'s pretensions? As they say in the professoriate, Q.E.D.
Now, how does that Canadian national anthem go again? "God keep our land glorious and free...." And that's just from the verse that they sing at hockey games. The subsequent verses include:
"Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our dominion whithin thy loving care;
Help us to find, O God, in thee
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the Better Day,
We ever stand on guard.
[Blah blah] on guard for thee."
So now the source of Canadian anti-U.S. sentiment is revealed. Canadians believe their nation to be sacred, protected (perhaps uniquely so) by God. The U.S., as a mere guttersnipe of a nation, is a secular upstart. Thank you, Professor Grayston, for revealing the power of such analytical tools. As we say in the United States, Q.E. friggin' D.