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Sunday, April 1, 2012

A new union born...Art Lynch to be on the inagural National Board of SAG-AFTRA

SAG-AFTRA is born! This is the day we have decisively chosen a path of unity and Strength! -Ken Howard on Fridays final merger vote tallies. Below was written on Friday afternoon...

Today we became one union, SAG-AFTRA

"How about that!" exclaimed now national co-president Ken Howard as the audience sang to the tune of 'We Shall Overcome",  "We have overcome today!"

"What is so overwhelming to me is the sheer number of members who took the leap of faith together and proved there is power in unions." added co-president Rebecca Reardon to solid applause.

I cannot out it into words. I am proud to serve as Nevada's representative on the inaugural National Board of our new merged union. I am humbled and look forward to the work ahead forging the bones, skin and fabric of our new union. I would hope I can see it through over the next two to five years. Thank you for your support and your votes.

The national vote came down as follows:



86% of AFTRA 
82% of SAG voted to approve merger!

57% return on AFTRA side, or over 37,500 votes counted
53% return on SAG side, or over 55,000 votes counted.

Shortly after one this afternoon a press conference from the SAG headquarters shared the results of a month long vote, which ended at ten this morning. As Ken Howard put it "This is the culmination o years of work, of all the dedicated people who have worked toward this goal for decades. You have sent a message to our employers. you have said loud and clear, that this is not a fractured union this is a unified group ready for the future."

Howard welcomed "the largest and most powerful  union in Hollywood. In this single day the future has become brighter.."

Co-president Rebeca Reardon later pointed out "considering what has happened to public employees and other unions in Wisconsin and across the country, today is a victory for the American Labor Union Movement. We can turn the tide." To which Howard added "a rising tide raises all ships."

Co-president Reardon exclaimed "the birth of your new union is an historic day for the American Labor union movement...The collective will and energy to make this happen, the energy, power and collective will to move forward as the bargaining rights of collective workers across the country have been under siege, the solidarity and collective will to get this done will empower all Americans to move forward!"

Reardon spoke of organization efforts "coast to coast, large markets and small towns, on all areas of work and contracts...We have one voice. We are all about organizing. We are going to organize not only in the major cities, but in every city and town in this country!"

The room was packed with reporters, as well as past presidents of both unions, past union officers and members who flew in from as far away as Boston to be in the room during the historic announcement.

Elections for the new union will occur in the spring or summer of 2013 and will include all offices and seats. Select positions, including at least one national vice president, will be elected at an AFTRA style member convention sometime between spring and fall of next year.

Once again. Thank you for making this day possible! Thank your for electing me as your national board representative so I could continue to be a part of a process I became involved in over 17 years ago, and thank you for your consideration for my continuation under the new union as we build the union and its fabric over the next two to five years.

-Art Lynch

Upcoming CSN Events Weekly Magazine

Countdown...Blog referral from Rebecca Johnson

From:    Johnson, Rebecca
Subject:    RE: Blog
To:    Lynch, Arthur
I have a link. :O

Democrats are right brain, Republicans Left.

Two Lobes Divided: The Battle for the Brain.

While this does not hold true from individual to individual it does in terms of party platforms, basic beliefs and doctrines. And for a western democracy this is considered normal and even healthy, despite the polarized paralysis we have today. Since for better or worse, emotion is a right brain function, Democrats have usually been more successful in selling emotional need. The current "tea bag" movement and a major well financed move to blog, e-mail and capture the Internet by the Republican Party may just reverse that, at least in the short term.

So, it works for democracies? Or just democracies based in the Phoenician, Greek, Roman and Anglo (English) tradition? Eastern societies have a much more balanced perspective. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, that may be changing. A capitalistic China, sweat shop Asia, unemployed middle east and Africa for sale look at the early 21st century may mean it is time we all take a step back, try to work with each other, and think about where our brains may be leading us.

The beginning of a Wall Street Journal look at the Brain, its two halves and social evolution can be found below. The full story may require subscription. The link is  to the full story is attached .

(partial from story in Wall Street Journal, January 2, 2010, W9)
Why is the brain divided? If it is about making connections, why has evolution so carefully preserved the segregation of its hemispheres? Almost every function once thought to be the province of one or other hemisphere—language, imagery, reason, emotion—is served by both hemispheres, not one.
There is nonetheless a highly significant difference in how the two hemispheres work, giving rise to two wholly distinct takes on the world. Normally we synthesize them without being aware that we are doing so. But one of the two hemispheres can come to dominate—and just as this may happen for individuals, it may also happen for a whole culture.
[BRAIN] illlustration by Douglas B. Jones

The neuropsychological evidence shows that the right hemisphere pays wide-open attention to the world, seeing the whole, whereas the left hemisphere is adept at focusing on a detail. New experience, whatever its kind, is better apprehended by the right hemisphere, whereas the predictable is better dealt with by the left. And because the right hemisphere sees things in context, as inseparably interconnected, it recognizes the vast extent of what remains implicit. By contrast, because of its narrow focus, the left hemisphere isolates what it sees, and is relatively blind to things that can be conveyed only indirectly.

In humans, the left hemisphere controls the grasping right hand and the bits of language that enable us to pin down meaning unambiguously. It helps us manipulate and use the world, in pursuit of our aims. The left hemisphere's world is sharply delineated and certain, along the lines of the general's strategy map on the command room wall, where the complexity of the world is stripped away. Yet we still need to see the essentially human world as it is before we simplify and disconnect it. A general needs to be in touch with the world in which his soldiers actually fight. The knowledge that is mediated by the left hemisphere is knowledge within a closed system. It has the advantage of perfection, but such perfection is bought ultimately at the price of emptiness.

The right hemisphere's take on the world is far more complex and nuanced. Instead of distinct mechanisms, the right hemisphere sees interconnected, living, embodied entities. In communication the right hemisphere recognizes all that is nonverbal, metaphorical, ironic or humorous, where the left is literalistic. The right is at ease with ambiguity and the idea that opposites may be compatible.
There is a reason we have two hemispheres: We need both versions of the world.

Without the right hemisphere, we are socially and emotionally insensitive, and have an impaired understanding of beauty, art and religion. Effectively autistic, we have no sense of the broader context of experience. Meanwhile, without the left hemisphere, we struggle to bring detail into focus. If a culture were ever to rely excessively on one take alone, there would sooner or later need to be a correction.

Yet in the West there has been such an imbalance. And as a consequence, over the past 2,500 years, there has been a kind of battle going on in our brains, the result of which has been, despite swings of the pendulum, an ever greater reliance on the left hemisphere.

(continuned at Wall Street

First published 1-1-10

Beware Free Dowloads...Virus, worms and worse await!

'The Hunger Games' used as bait by hackers

Hunger GamesFrom the LA Times Company Town Blog (click here).

The "Hunger Games" heroine Katniss is apparently catnip for hackers.

Cyber criminals have been dangling the lure of of free online copies of the blockbuster film to trick young fans into downloading malicious software onto their computers.

In the two weeks preceding the movie's March 23 premiere, experts identified some 37 instances of offers for illegal movie downloads that were "poisoned."

"It's not actually the 'Hunger Games' footage, it pretends to be that," said Marian Merritt,
internet safety advocate for Norton, industry giant Symantec's brand of anti-virus software. "It's posted merely for the purpose of tricking fans."

Merritt said cyber criminals often use big cultural events -- such as the royal wedding or the release of the "Twilight" movies -- to dupe the unwitting into downloading a bit of malicious software onto their computers.

Such programs allow hackers to gain access to the information stored on that computer, infect other computers on the home network and beyond, Merritt said, or use the computer as a "bot" (short for robot) to launch a variety of attacks, such as sending out spam or being part of a coordinated "denial-of-service” attack.

"The 'Hunger Games' in part is of appeal to the youngest kids," Merritt said. "We find that kids are particularly vulnerable to this kind of threat, the poisoned search result threat."

Merritt urges parents to talk to their kids about steering clear of such online promises of sensational content, such as leaked videos. Norton and other companies, of course, make software that's designed to prevent this problem.

A free version of Norton Safe Web Lite can be found here.


'Hunger Games' ads coyly don't show the Hunger Games
Studios gorge on young-adult fiction amid success of 'Hunger Games'
'Hunger Games' sets a mark for a non-sequel with an estimated $155-million start
-- Dawn C. Chmielewski

Photo: Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from "The Hunger Games." Credit:  Murray Close / Lionsgate

Stand Up Comedy at CSN

Sunday Morning News and Views, Part II

It's Palm Sunday for Christians and April Fools day for pranksters. Passover begins on Friday.

A new class of performance is not getting it's due. Actor Willem Dafoe played a nine foot alien with six arms in "John Carter of  Mars." He says he gets upset when someone says he "voiced" the computer generated character, since he spent six hard months performing the character on a performance capture sound stage (to actors "motion capture" is a management bias term...since what is really happening is that their performance is being recorded on computer). From "Avatar" to "Planet of the Apes", "Lord of the Rings" to "Hugo" actors are creating characters that are then altered and enhanced through computers, providing the core humanity for the characters, something computers alone have yet to generate.

3-D is pulling an April Fools Joke on all of us, with 3-D dollars coming in on the three to ten extra bucks charged to see a film in 3D. Of course 3D cannot make characters more than one dimensional. Even the best older movies were made for 2D and are being converted from their original vision just as Ted Turner made black and white classics into colorized films. The primary reason for conversion is to milk old cows and provide product for the increasing number of 3D movie screens and anticipated 3D craze for home televisions. Without product, or soft-ware as movie and TV content is now called, those expensive product conversions will not turn the corner into profitable for the manufacturers and theaters.

75% say they are not going to play a prank today, April Fools Day.
22% say they will.
3% forgot it was April Fools Day.

"There is a sucker born every nano-second" to modernize PT Barnum's famous slogan (which is also a hoax, as he never actually said that). April Fools Day is a good day to talk about how gullible Americans have become, believing stories sent over the Internet or passed on by politicians or  sold to us by Karl Rove and others, or told to us by someone who knows what we want to hear or already want to believe.

63% of  Republicans polled say they do not want Rick Santoum to drop out of the Republican Presidential Nomination race. Despite Romney taking a commanding lead Santorum remains possible for a convention nominated candidate or at the very least a major conservative voice for the party to have to deal with. He did not say he would not drop out when and if Romney gets the required number of delegates prior to the convention in Tampa, but did say that for the party to succeed it needs to be true to the party's grass roots, and the party's mission.

Only one time in 120 years has a Republican defeated a democrat incumbent, and that was Ronald Reagan over a very besieged Carter, who was cursed with the hostage crisis in Iran and the defection of religious groups who supported him when he ran for office four years earlier.

While polls vary, depending on who is paying for them or the bias of those interpreting them, scientific method polling by organizations that historically are accurate show that President Obama will win the popular vote by at least 10%, but risks a loss in the electoral college come November. Of course a great deal can change before November. Republicans are receiving 80% of media coverage, much of the interest of those who follow the news and benefit from current top of mind. The economy, military engagements, employment, levels of burn out on politics or apathy could well impact the race and shift actual November voting habits from where candidates stand in polls today.

While the media is leaning toward making the public uncertain about the heath care law and that overturning it is a real possibility, constitutional scholars and history itself say that most likely Obamacare will be upheld. Any vote the other way will make this the most activist court since the Great Depression. Nearly two thirds of Americans say the health care bill should be overturned, at least in part. A campaign against it still warns of "death panels", "health insurance being cancelled" "illegal when that part of the low takes effected), that Obamacare is responsible for the rising cost of health care (again, the provisions that would lower rates and control medical cost have yet to take effect so they could not be driving up costs) and

Can we ever return to balanced journalism?  A few important changes are occurring now. First are robotic reporters. Actual robot programs read police and other records and turn them into news stories, without a human being being involved in the process. The need for advertising drives content, pages, six minute content increments on TV and radio and priorities, making true balanced reporting or an honest prioritization of what will be reported and how more about readers or viewers than truth and balance.

Sunday Morning News and Views

Monday Argentina is marking the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War by honoring its military. This is creating emotive contradictions in a country was also preyed upon by that same military. A government backed by a military dictatorship took over the British Commonwealth territory of Falklands, located off the shores of Argentina. This led then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher declaring war and a bloody conflict in which Great Britain, at great loss, came out victorious. Weekend Edition Sunday on NPR has a story on a military hero who was one of the first to die for Argentina, and how it has been revealed he was a treacherous henchman of the regime, responsible for an unknown number of Argentinian civilian deaths.

Another international conference on the Syria crisis will be held in Istanbul today, with envoys from dozens of Western and Muslim nations attending. In addition to renewing their call for a halt to Syria's bloody crackdown on dissent, the conferees are also expected to push the disparate opposition groups toward greater unity. 

Following the Israeli supreme court decision to boot out settlers from a large unauthorized West Bank outpost, Israel's government is seeking a solution to assist the evacuated settlers. The government is planning to set up a trailer park near a nearby settlement to temporarily house the evacuated settlers. Then, Israel would build a new permanent settlement for the evacuees on a nearby West Bank hilltop that is not private Palestinian land but considered Israeli state land. Palestinians are crying "foul."

Three Republican presidential candidates -- Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich -- spoke yesterday at an event in Wisconsin hosted by conservative activist Ralph Reed. Wisconsin holds its Republican primary on Tuesday. Santorum and Gingrich both focused on arguing that Mitt Romney does not represent Wisconsin's heartland conservative nature or the core of the Republican party.

It's July 1960 in Philadelphia. A political party has gathered to nominate a presidential candidate, but both leading contenders are flawed and the convention is deadlocked.  Who is the "best man" for the job?  Gore Vidal's 1960 play, THE BEST MAN, is surprisingly timely.  It features an all-star cast: James Earl Jones, John Larroquette, Angela Lansbury, and Candice Bergen, among them. The play represents a time when presidential candidates were selected in smoke filled rooms and in behind the scenes deal making and lies at the actual party political convention. Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson and Edie Adams starred in the 1964 film version.