SAG UpDate #8

This is a statement released by SAG on 28 July 08.

Dear Screen Actors Guild Member,

The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors met Saturday and passed a resolution reaffirming its support for the National Negotiating Committee.

The resolution passed unanimously with a vote of 68 – 0 and states:
It is a core principle of Screen Actors Guild —

That no non-union work shall be authorized to be done under any Screen Actors Guild agreement and;

That all work under a Screen Actors Guild contract, regardless of budget level, shall receive fair compensation when reused.

This resolution represents guidance from the National Board of Directors to the National Negotiating Committee.  It reaffirms the importance of these issues in our current TV/Theatrical Negotiations.

The Board’s reaffirmation of these principles reinforces what we have been telling the industry for some time:  Screen Actors Guild members and leadership understand how important it is that new media productions under our contract be done union and that there be fair residuals for all programming run or re-run on new media.

This does not mean that new media is our only focus.  We know that you are also concerned about such bargaining priorities as product integration, force majeure, background actors’ issues and mileage.  We will be communicating with you in more depth on these and other bargaining priorities in the coming days.
As we continue to work toward a successful conclusion to these important TV/Theatrical contract negotiations, we remain committed to securing a fair contract that serves actors’ needs.

Thank you to the thousands of Screen Actors Guild members (more than 5,100) who have signed the Solidarity Statement in support of our National Negotiating Committee and to the thousands of you who have sent us your comments and suggestions.  We appreciate your dedication to your union and to your fellow actors.

For those who want to sign on and haven’t yet done so, you can send an email with your name and member ID number to contract2008@sag.org.  Feel free to include your comments and suggestions. Your input is welcome and valuable. You can also visit us at www.sag.org and click on the Solidarity Statement box to see the thousands of actors who have signed the statement.

As many of you know, this year marks our 75th Anniversary. It is a good time to remember our founders and to consider what Screen Actors Guild stands for:  We stand for actors — always. It is more important than ever that we stand together in support of our union, each other and for all of the actors to come.

Thank you once again for your solidarity and commitment.

In unity,

Alan Rosenberg

Don’t Chew The Gum, It Taste Like Rubber!

I usually do not spend too much time writing about these little societal parasites, but this one is just too damn good to pass up.

In recent conversations I have said that Mylie is the next trainwreck waiting for that all important 18th birthday.

According to the New York Daily News, Lifestyles Condoms wants Miley Cyrus, the self-proclaimed virgin, to be the face of their new campaign — and they are willing to give her a million bucks to do it! Ha!

“Pop culture proves that teens are more ready than ever to discuss the subject of sex,” said Carol Carrozza, VP of marketing for LifeStyles. “With recent reports showing that one out of four teenage girls has an STD and the high level of teenage pregnancy, we believe that Miley is both influential and relatable to this afflicted set – and is the obvious choice to get the message of safe sex out to teens across America.”

So, what does Little Miss Miley’s camp think about the offer? Well, they say that have yet to be approached by the condom company, but that it is something her and her camp would never consider.

Jeez, so hasty. Lifestyles is even willing to sweeten the deal, by offering to give the pure teen a lifetime supply of their protection for “whenever she decides the time is right.”

This stuff just falls into my lap and as hard as I try I cannot resist a comment.

Are They Qualified To Be President–Info Ink Commentary

This is something that the media keeps throwing into their different analysis of the election. Clinton was qualified because of her experience in Washington as a Senator and the First lady, McCain is because of his military service and his interment and his Senate experience, Obama is because he is fresh and wants to change the status quo in Washington (a laughable premise). So all have the nads to be president and are qualified, right?

Actually all this is just pure crap fed to you by the media! There are only three (3) qualifications to be president. 1) Be a natural born citizen, 2) must have lived in the US for at least 14 years and 3) must be at least 35 years old. It is that flippin’ simple.

So all the crap about this candidate is qualified to be president is just what I said bovine fecal matter. There is nothing to prepare a person to be president, but being the president. It is a job with no equivalent in reality. It is an OJT gig.

I write this so that people realize the hype being fed to the voter has NOTHING to do with the capability of a person to handle the job of president.

Airline Problems Are The Fault Of Pilots

United Airlines sued its pilots’ union on Wednesday, asking it to halt slowdowns that it said had led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights in the last 10 days.  

The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Chicago, seeks a preliminary injunction against the Air Line Pilots Association and four pilots — Steven Tamkin, Robert Domaleski Jr., Xavier F. Fernandez and Anthony R. Freeman — claiming that the union and the pilots had organized an effort to encourage pilots to call in sick.

United said it was trying to avoid a repeat of a similar slowdown that occurred eight years ago, which led to what came to be known as the “summer from hell” for airlines.

The action by pilots in 2000 cost United hundreds of millions of dollars, and contributed to a financial slide that eventually landed the airline in bankruptcy protection.

United, the second-largest domestic airline behind American, said the campaign had been under way for a year but had accelerated in recent weeks. United said it had canceled 329 flights from July 19 to 27, disrupting plans for 36,000 travelers whose planes had no pilots to fly them.

United’s contract with its pilots’ union, reached while it was under Chapter 11 protection, expires in 2009.

Union officials have said they want to reopen the pact before then, saying they are working under a “draconian contract and work rules.”

Under the Railway Labor Act, airline union members cannot strike until their contracts expire and an impasse has been declared. A cooling-off period must then take place before a walkout can be called.

As a result, workers often resort to slowdowns or refuse to work overtime, prompting lawsuits by the airlines.

Want To Save The US Economy?

If you want to do your part to save a sagging American economy, then go on a DIET!  I cannot make this crap up!  There is really a push for this.

David Pimentel of Cornell University and colleagues have drawn on an extensive body of existing studies to highlight the wastage in the US food production chain. To bring their point home, they have estimated how much energy could be saved by making a few relatively simple changes to the way corn is produced.

Their conclusion is that energy demands could easily be halved. That could stave off the prospect of further rises in the costs of fuel, they say.

To do that, however, would require a considerable change in the average US diet. The average American consumes about 3747 kcal per day compared to the 2000 to 2500 kcal per day recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Using data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Pimentel estimates that half of the energy used to make food in the US is spent making animal products – meat, dairy and eggs. Farmers must produce crops to feed the animals that eventually provide humans with animal protein.

In 2004, Pimentel estimated 6 kilograms of plant protein are needed to produce 1 kg of high quality animal protein. He calculates that if Americans maintained their 3747 kcals per day, but switched to a vegetarian diet, the fossil fuel energy required to generate that diet would be cut by one third.

Reducing their meat intake is not the only way Americans can cut the nation’s energy bill. And Pimentel’s other suggested change to US eating habits would have the added benefit of cutting the national health bill as well.

Other suggested changes to the food production process range from replacing incandescent bulbs with energy-saving fluorescent ones, to using fewer machines, pesticides and fertilisers, and more human power on farms.

Reducing the distance that food is transported could also cut energy costs: food travels 2400 km on average to its consumer in the US. This requires 1.4 times the energy actually contained in the food. Producing food locally would cut the energy expended transporting it by half.

Pimentel estimates that the amount of energy that goes into packaging foods could be halved as well, as could the amount of energy used by agricultural machines.

If his dietary and production measures were implemented, he says, the US food industry would consume half the energy it does.

Ok, you have read it….now comment…..a crock of crap or good idea? Personally, I do not see how my house note is connected to whether I am a vegan or not.

Could Rove Be Charged?

A committee of the House of Representatives recommended contempt charges on Wednesday against Karl Rove, who was President George W. Bush’s top political adviser.

The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines, 20 to 14, to cite Rove for defying its subpoena to testify in an inquiry into improper political meddling in the department.

But the panel’s top Republican, Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, accused Democrats of conducting “witch hunts” and neglecting the people’s real business, like energy needs and border security.

The White House has invoked executive privilege in asserting that current and former top officials cannot be forced to testify before Congress, because the president’s right to confidential advice from his trusted aides would then be compromised.

The committee recommendation now goes to the full House, which voted in February to hold two other former White House officials in contempt in connection with the same inquiry. The House’s votes against Joshua Bolten, the former White House chief of staff, and Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel, were the first contempt of Congress citations against the executive branch since the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Congressional Democrats have been investigating the possibility that nine United States attorneys were dismissed in 2006 because their handling of politically charged cases, like allegations of wrongdoing by elected officials, was out of step with the administration’s political agenda.

As part of its inquiry, the committee headed by Conyers wants to question Rove about his knowledge, if any, of the decision to prosecute former Governor Donald Siegelman of Alabama, a Democrat, who was convicted of bribery two years ago. Several Democrats have asserted that the charges were trumped up and politically motivated.

Rove has repeatedly stated – though not before Congress and not under oath – that he had no involvement in the Siegelman case, but Conyers said he was not convinced. “The questions about his role in the Siegelman case only continue to mount,” he said.

Contempt of Congress is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison. In practice, however, disputes between Congress and the White House in which the specter of contempt charges has been raised have usually been settled well short of the jailhouse door.

As a practical matter, it is highly unlikely that the United States attorney’s office in Washington will seek to prosecute former White House officials on the contempt charges.