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Saturday, March 10, 2012

The high price of jobs

Who can produce jobs?

Not the president, who has almost no immediate impact on the economy no matter how sweeping changes or reform are. Economics are far more complicated and unfold over years, decades or even centuries in our global economy.

Not the congress, although they can make the environment friendly to job creation or finance job programs and incentives.

Not the governor of a state, since state laws and constitutions vary widely and most have at best limited actual executive power.

The reality is that only business can create jobs.

And business is now sending dividends to their stock holders or investing overseas instead of investing in the American workers.

And the businesses that can create the most jobs are ultra small businesses with under 100 employees, and by individual proprietaries or small limited partnerships. Those jobs can be created quickly, but tend to be on the extreme low income level for employees and often without benefits.

The growth is in the low paying service industries and very low paying micro-manufacturing. Large corporations are not investing, or if they are they are building in areas with very low paid work forces and plenty of incentives, usually meaning even lower revenue to the state and local governments.

Just because there are jobs does not mean growth or economic health.

When Walmart comes into a community there is a short term net gain in jobs. The pay is lower and most of the jobs are part time. Over the long term higher paying quality retailers of all sized close, reducing the overall tax base since higher paid employees pay higher taxes, own homes and invest in the community.

This model is becoming true across the service and manufacturing infrastructure of America.

So, who is it that will produce the jobs Americans need, and at what price (pay level) to our standard of living, the money needed to maintain a community and the educated, trained individuals to keep things running?

Who is willing to pay the price? Who is willing to do what it takes? And can we do it in an increasingly international "lowest bidder" marketplace.

Companies go where there is profit for their shareholders. America exports gasoline to markets that will pay more for the refined product than we will at our pumps, yet we cry about high gas prices and a shortage.

We all want the cheapest products at the companies that pay the lowest wage or work part timers as if they were full time, produced by near slave labor or in dangerous factories.

So do we want jobs?

Or are we happy with low prices and a declining standard of living?

-Art Lynch


When Ronald Reagan ran SAG, the union backed McCarthyism and Fear

SAG: the Early Years and the Blacklist.

Early years

Source: Wikipedia

In 1925, the Masquers Club was formed by actors fed up with the grueling work hours at the Hollywood studios.[4] This was one of the major concerns which led to the creation of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933. Another was that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which at that time arbitrated between the producers and actors on contract disputes, had a membership policy which was by invitation only.

A meeting in March 1933 of six actors (Berton Churchill, Charles Miller, Grant Mitchell, Ralph Morgan, Alden Gay, and Kenneth Thomson) led to the guild's foundation. Three months later, three of the six and eighteen others became the guild's first officers and board of directors: Ralph Morgan (its first president), Alden Gay, Kenneth Thomson, Alan Mowbray (who personally funded the organization when it was first founded), Leon Ames, Tyler Brooke, Clay Clement, James Gleason, Lucile Webster Gleason, Boris Karloff (reportedly influenced by long hours suffered during the filming of Frankenstein), Claude King, Noel Madison, Reginald Mason, Bradley Page, Willard Robertson, Ivan Simpson, C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Starrett, Richard Tucker, Arthur Vinton, Morgan Wallace and Lyle Talbot.

Many high-profile actors refused to join SAG initially. This changed when the producers made an agreement amongst themselves not to bid competitively for talent. A pivotal meeting, at the home of Frank Morgan (Ralph's brother, who played the title role in The Wizard of Oz), is what gave SAG its critical mass. Prompted by Eddie Cantor's insistence, at that meeting, that any response to that producer's agreement help all actors, not just the already established ones, it took only three weeks for SAG membership to go from around 80 members to more than 4,000. Cantor's participation was critical, particularly because of his friendship with the recently-elected President Franklin Roosevelt. After several years and the passage of the National Labor Relations Act, the producers agreed to negotiate with SAG in 1937.

Actors known for their early support of SAG (besides the founders) include Edward Arnold, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Dudley Digges, Porter Hall, Paul Harvey, Jean Hersholt, Russell Hicks, Murray Kinnell, Gene Lockhart, Bela Lugosi, David Manners, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou, Chester Morris, Jean Muir, George Murphy, Erin O'Brien-Moore, Irving Pichel, Dick Powell, Edward G. Robinson, Edwin Stanley, Gloria Stuart, Lyle Talbot, Franchot Tone, Warren William, and Robert Young.

[edit] Blacklist years

In October 1947, a list of suspected communists working in the Hollywood film industry were summoned to appear before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), which was investigating Communist influence in the Hollywood labor unions. Ten of those summoned, dubbed the "Hollywood Ten", refused to cooperate and were charged with contempt of Congress and sentenced to prison. Several liberal members of SAG, led by Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Danny Kaye, and Gene Kelly formed the Committee for the First Amendment (CFA) and flew to Washington, DC, in late October 1947 to show support for the Hollywood Ten. (Several of the CFA's members, including Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, and John Garfield later recanted, saying they had been "duped", not realizing that some of the Ten were really communists.)

The president of SAG – future United States President Ronald Reagan – also known to the FBI as Confidential Informant "T-10", testified before the committee but never publicly named names. Instead, according to an FBI memorandum in 1947: "T-10 advised Special Agent [name deleted] that he has been made a member of a committee headed by Mayer, the purpose of which is allegedly is to 'purge' the motion-picture industry of Communist party members, which committee was an outgrowth of the Thomas committee hearings in Washington and subsequent meetings . . . He felt that lacking a definite stand on the part of the government, it would be very difficult for any committee of motion-picture people to conduct any type of cleansing of their own household".[5] Subsequently a climate of fear, enhanced by the threat of detention under the provisions of the McCarran Internal Security Act, permeated the film industry. On November 17, 1947, the Screen Actors Guild voted to force its officers to take a "non-communist" pledge. On November 25 (the day after the full House approved the ten citations for contempt) in what has become known as the Waldorf Statement, Eric Johnston, president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), issued a press release: "We will not knowingly employ a Communist or a member of any party or group which advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States by force or by any illegal or unconstitutional methods."

Under President Reagan the Screen Actors Guild require a loyalty oath for membership that included swearing that you have never been a member of the communist or socialist parties. AFTRA had a less strict oath, but Actors Equity refused to give in to McCarthy and the Red Fear.

None of those blacklisted were proven to advocate overthrowing the government – most simply had liveral, Marxist or socialist views. The Waldorf Statement marked the beginning of the Hollywood blacklist that saw hundreds of people prevented from working in the film industry. During the height of what is now referred to as McCarthyism, the Screen Writers Guild gave the studios the right to omit from the screen the name of any individual who had failed to clear his name before Congress. At a 1997 ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Blacklist, the Guild's president made this statement:
Only our sister union, Actors Equity Association, had the courage to stand behind its members and help them continue their creative lives in the theater. ... Unfortunately, there are no credits to restore, nor any other belated recognition that we can offer our members who were blacklisted. They could not work under assumed names or employ surrogates to front for them. An actor's work and his or her identity are inseparable. Screen Actors Guild's participation in tonight's event must stand as our testament to all those who suffered that, in the future, we will strongly support our members and work with them to assure their rights as defined and guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
Richard Masur, Hollywood Remembers the Blacklist[6]

Source: Wikipedia

Smith Center Grand Open House This Sunday


Tonight: Spring Forward for Daylight Saving Time: Some health, even survival, tips

Daylight saving
Daylight saving time begins this weekend. (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)
Daylight saving time starts this weekend, as it does at roughly this time every year. It's when we "spring forward" one hour with the clocks so we can enjoy more sunshine at the end of the day. Sounds like a perfectly good thing, right?

As benign as it might seem, daylight saving time has a dark side. Although many people quickly acclimate to the change, others suffer sleep setbacks, anxiety, missed appointments, even car accidents as a result. In extreme cases, they can spend days feeling as if something is "off," experts say.

The jet-lag feeling will pass in time, said Helena Schotland, a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan and a researcher at the school's sleep disorders laboratory.
"But there are more issues in terms of safety," she told The Times.

First, the spring ahead leaves people sleep deprived. And then some forget to change their clocks -- or fail to change a crucial clock, such as the alarm clock. They can realize their mistake when they're already in danger of being late for work or a critical appointment -- and have to rush about frantically. That gets the week off to a rocky start.

Some studies show a spike in car accidents in the days just after the time change, Schotland said, perhaps due to all that rushing around as well as the unexpected surprise of seeing the sun's new placement in the sky. Suddenly, you're driving home and the sun is in your eyes.

"Any little variation -- if you're used to driving at a certain time, you're used to seeing the sun in a certain place -- any little variation can throw people off," she said. "Human beings like change to be gradual, not sudden changes."

There's also some evidence that the risk for heart attack might rise after a time change. The reasons for that are still unclear, Schotland said, adding that such research has only recently come to her attention and that she's looking forward to digging in for answers.

So what to do?

Prepare, prepare, prepare.

"Don't leave everything to the last minute," she said.

It's far better to ease into the time change. If possible, go to sleep a bit earlier for a few nights in advance.

"The problem," Schotland said, "is when people fail to give their bodies a chance to catch up."
Technically, the time changes at 2 a.m. Sunday (except in Arizona and Hawaii). But Schotland, herself, gets ready on Saturday. That's when she changes every clock -- the one in the car, the one on the microwave, the stove, etc.

And when she wakes up Sunday morning, she forces herself to immediately adopt a normal schedule. She also advises against napping, no matter how tempting it may be. "It will just make it that much harder" to acclimate, she said. Instead, save the naps until you're sure your normal sleep patterns have resumed.

Also, look over your schedule for Sunday and Monday and plan accordingly. If you're meeting people, call them in advance to make sure they haven't overlooked the time change.
Finally, if you're driving, leave early and take extra care, realizing that other drivers might be a bit more frantic than usual behind the wheel.

Most important: Find a way to enjoy all that extra sunshine at the end of the day.

From The Los Angeles Time.

KONY 2012