Archive: November, 2007

New York Post Gets It Right:B’Way Strike Part of a War

While most of the media were either busy gurgling over the joy of Broadway theatergoers or regurgitating the “damage” done to the city by the 19-day stagehands strike, Michael Riedel of the New York Post got the story right when he wrote on November 30:

The seeds of the showdown were planted more than 10 years ago, when a group of aggressive producers, appalled at the amount of money it cost them to put on a show, decided to take on the unions one by one. They launched their first attack in 2003 against the musicians. After a four-day strike, the producers were able to reduce — but not eliminate the number of players they had to hire for a show. Three years ago, they went after the actors in an attempt to reduce the cost of touring companies. There was no strike, but the negotiations were nasty and protracted. On the sidelines, watching these clashes were the stagehands — the toughest union of all. They knew they were next.
http://www.nypost.com/seven/11302007/entertainment/theater/stage_was_set_for_bway_war_70632.htm (More)

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Demon in Her BrainBebe Bahnsen’s Back

My friend the writer-feminist-political activist Bebe Bahnsen, AKA Bebe Smith, is having a breakthrough year. She discovered, near death, that her ten year struggle with depression, suicide and institutionalization was being caused by a brain tumor that had been misdiagnosed by her doctors. The tumor was successfully removed and she’s recovering at an amazing pace. Now she’s had parts of her story – Demon in My Brain – published in My Turn at www.newsweek.com.

So this Thanksgiving, we all have something to be extremely thankful for: the return to life of one of the smartest, most dedicated, and, pardon my latent sexism, most beautiful champions of women’s rights and human rights this world has ever known. Welcome back, Bebe!

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From the Debate:It’s not the economy, stupid?

Here are some questions that astoundingly were not asked by Tim Russert or Brian Williams during the Democratic presidential candidate debate on MSNBC last Wednesday night (in Russert’s windy, hectoring style): 

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued a report saying that in 2005 the richest Americans’ share of income hit a postwar record with the wealthiest 1 percent in our country taking home 21.2 percent of all income and the bottom 50 percent getting only 12.8 percent.  CEOs are now making 400 times what an average worker makes.  Economists from across the political spectrum are raising warning signals about the growing income disparity in our country.  What will you do as president to close what has now become the widest wage and wealth gap of any industrialized nation in the world? 

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