Thursday, March 29, 2007

NYC to Wal-Mart: fuhgeddaboudit

Saying "thanks, but no thanks" but to union-hostile, low-wage jobs with employer-provided healthcare often worse than the meager public health benefits available to its employees, upon my arrival from Europe, New York City succeeded in doing me proud once more by prompting Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott Jr. to exclaim “I don’t think it’s worth the effort.” Scott was referring to the efforts of Wal-Mart, one of most visible manifestations of corporate banality, to come to the five boroughs.

In a city of such dizzying variety of choice, the New York Times opined yesterday that, in addition to union-led opposition to a New York invasion by the chain, “Wal-Mart, a cost-minded retailer known for its dowdy merchandise, and New York, a city of excesses known for cutting-edge style, have long had an uneasy relationship.”

Damn straight, and hopefully this beautiful city will resist the malling of America for many years more.

In Zimbabwean, meanwhile, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was detained by police for several hours in an apparent attempt to keep him from addressing reporters on the spiraling violence by the government of Robert Mugabe against the citizens there. Tsvangirai was eventually released, but this situation requires vigilance.

An interview with me, conducted in Spanish, was published on the Haitian media outlet AlterPresse, after originally appearing in the New York Spanish-language publication La Voz. It can be read here.

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