Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hollywood files for idea bankruptcy

Court action leaves several productions in limbo

Dispatches from the Future
June 7, 2020

LOS ANGELES (Gloomberg News) – Attorneys representing 27 Hollywood studios and independent movie production companies sought protection Monday in United States Idea Bankruptcy Court.  The action, filed under Chapter 13 of the U.S. Idea Bankruptcy Code, allows the studios to seek reorganization for their ideas. 

The law is designed to allow artists, writers, and producers to continue their projects under court administration pending the outcome of the case.  However, an attorney for the producers stated that production will stop for now on several motion pictures already underway.

Atty. Gen. Tom Horne: Arizona cannot ignore judge's education order

If Arizona loses its court battles and winds up facing a final judge's order to fork over a lump sum payment of up to $1.7 billion to the state's schools--can the state get away with simply ignoring the order?  In an exclusive interview on this topic with PowerTalk 1210, State Attorney General Tom Horne admits some legislative leaders have run that question by him.  And he further admits this is not the first case in which that question has come up.  Horne's advice:  don't even think about it.  The issue came up last week when former State Senator Frank Antenori, who is an influential leader in the state's Republican Party, raised the possibility that the legislative branch and the governor might choose to simply ignore such an order.  A move like that would not be without national precedent, and would force a constitutional crisis in Arizona.

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The immigration truth is out. And now it's time for DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to go.

Now we know some key facts in this summer’s immigration crisis that the government has been keeping from us.  But more than that, now we know whose side the government is on. 

This summer, when a human tidal wave of illegal immigration hit our borders, the government’s response was to wave huge numbers of them right on through.  And officials did it on the honor system, putting mothers with children on planes and buses and instructing them to report to immigration authorities when they reached the U.S. destination of their choice.

This led to what would seem to be a pretty obvious and simple question:  how many migrants got this VIP treatment?  And then later, a second, equally obvious question popped up:  How many did report to immigration authorities as they had agreed to do?

Domestic abuse: What is an employer's responsibility?

When Ray Rice swung on his soon-to-be-wife, he did more than punch her unconscious.  He got the nation talking about domestic violence again.  The NFL was shocked to discover the public expected it to set a leadership example.  The league came under withering criticism for not doing enough to investigate what Rice had done and to administer the appropriate discipline.  This raises a question:  exactly what role should employers play in setting expectations for their workers?  Ed Mercurio-Sakwa, the CEO of Tucson's Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, joined me to discuss this question.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Education funding: Might Arizona simply ignore a judge's order?

What if a judge were to order Arizona to provide money it doesn't have for public education?  Might the state simply ignore the order?  Former state senator Frank Antenori of Tucson, an influential voice in the state's Republican party, says that's one possibility.  Antenori tells PowerTalk 1210 that such an order could force a state constitutional crisis with a wide range of dire consequences.

At issue:  Educators are demanding up to $1.7 billion in payments.  A judge has already found that the state must pay $317 million immediately for having failed since 2010 to increase the state education budget by at least 2% a year as mandated by a voter-approved initiative.  State educators have offered to settle at that amount now and give up their demand for another 1.3 billion in "back pay." 

Below is an interview with Sen. Antenori as heard on PowerTalk 1210's Forrest Carr show in which he discusses these and other educational funding possibilities and challenges.

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Immigration bureaucrats do not understand the word "undocumented"

No, I am not making this up.  It’s official.  I have the government email in my hands.

Ever since a new wave of illegal immigration began washing up at our country’s southern border this summer—which happened right about the time I joined southern Arizona’s PowerTalk 1210—reporters have been trying to get more information about it.  I don’t know whether other journalists have given up, but I haven’t.  In wrestling with the government on this info quest, I have found the task to be a bit like trying to deal with an aloof and distant parent who’s just a little bit miffed at you.  Or maybe more than a little bit. 

Strike that—as annoyed as my late mother sometimes got at me, she never at any point invited me to call and email her, and then refused to answer the calls or emails.

My Great Cigarette Rebellion

How my mother’s simple request to run an errand changed my life.

My doctor doesn’t believe I’ve never smoked.

In January I was diagnosed with a relatively rare form of kidney cancer—Transitional Cell Carcinoma, which had begun in the kidney and then descended into the bladder.  Thankfully, it had only just arrived in the latter when we caught it, otherwise I’d be of considerably less use to myself right now.   But the left kidney had to come out.

Right after delivering the news, my doctor—who is world renowned in his field—asked whether I smoked.  I assured him I didn’t.  Then he wanted to know when I’d quit.  I told him the stone cold truth:  I’ve never puffed a cigarette in my life.  An eyebrow went up.  He didn’t quite say, “Uh, huh.”  But I could tell he wanted to.  He went on to explain that the disease I had was considered a smoker’s cancer.  Kidney cancers are not particularly unusual, he told me, but my particular type is.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Confessions of a TV News Director: The Outrage Industry

How the news business is manipulating your emotions for fun and profit.

In the 1976 film Network, the great American writer Paddy Chayefsky created one of his most memorable characters:  Howard Beale, a network news anchor who went a little bit balmy one day, lapsed into an angry, out-of-control rant, and urged his audience to open their windows and shout with him, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

This was back when network news operations were very staid and formal, if not stodgy.  It’s said that the movie really torqued off a lot of the real-life news executives of the day.  Some critics now label Chayefsky’s vision as “prescient.”  And maybe it was.  But if so, he wasn’t predicting the next decade, he was predicting the next week.  Not even Chayefsky foresaw the outrage industry as it exists today.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Okay, DHS: Let’s do narrow

The Department of Homeland Security rejected my request for still-secret information on this summer’s immigration crisis as being “too broad.”  Fine.  We can address that.

When I filed my FOIA request one month ago on behalf of PowerTalk 1210 for information about this summer’s immigration crisis, I didn’t for one second expect it to be successful.  By stonewalling reporters at press conferences, the government had already signaled its degree of willingness to answer questions about how many migrants it had put on buses, how much money it had spent on plane rides for them, how many illegal immigrants actually did check in with immigration authorities at their final destination as instructed, and so on. 

Further, DHS put its attitude toward the media on its sleeve when it established a press office with a secret phone number, telling reporters to hit the keyboard, not the phone, with their questions.  (I’m channeling Bill Lumbergh, the suspender-wearing, coffee-sipping exec in the movie Office Space, here:  “Yeah....  Just go ahead and contact us by email.  That would be terrific.  Okay?”)

The Congressional hearing on the VA scandal

We spent the entire (shortened) show on Thursday (9/18/14) digging into the Congressional hearing on the VA scandal.  Here's the discussion, minus commercials.   (Hearing audio is courtesy of CSPAN.)

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Department of Homeland Security to PowerTalk 1210: “This is not a denial”

You gotta love government bureaucrats.  Who else could figure out how to keep you in the dark while denying they’re doing so?

If the government had had its way, chances are you would never have known about the wave of illegal immigrants that began flooding across our borders this summer.  The Border Patrol made no announcement.  Neither did its umbrella agency, the Department of Homeland Security.  They simply began dropping off single immigrant mothers with children at bus stops—including Tucson’s Greyhound station.  They didn’t bother to notify local agencies, much less alert the media or the public at large.  We only found out because alert reporters glommed onto the fact that agents were dumping off the immigrants without food or water.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sue the Bastards

In this installment:  a jilted lover gets fired, a girl finds out her brother receives a bigger allowance, and a prison inmate wants his credits back.

Dear STB:
For about a year, I dated my supervisor at work.  I’m single and he’s married with two kids, but he promised me he would leave his wife.  I finally realized it was never going to happen and dumped him three months ago.  Since that time, he has been very formal with me at work, but I can’t honestly say he’s treated me unfairly.  In fact, he’s shown me nothing but courtesy and professionalism.  Still, the breakup has been very hard on me, and I’ve been missing a lot of work due to depression.   He has not been sympathetic to me on this.   Last month he wrote me up for what he calls “Mondayitis and Fridayitis,” which was his way of saying that I call in sick a lot on Mondays and Fridays.  But after the warning, my depression only got worse, and so did my attendance.  Last week he fired me.  Can I sue?
--Terminated in Tallahassee

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Will America let an innocent U.S. Marine languish in a Mexican prison? We have so far.

You can make a difference.  If you care to do so.

At first I didn’t pay much attention to the case of U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.  And I’m guessing I was like a lot of people in that regard.  I’d heard that he’d been jailed after showing up at a Mexican border checkpoint with three guns in his truck.  I knew that anyone who drives anywhere near the border sees signs warning you not to do that.  I thought, “What a chump,” and dismissed it from my mind.

But late last month a Facebook posting made me sit up and pay attention.  A journalist friend of mine for whom I have a great deal of respect was calling for a boycott of Mexico.  The friend is a retired TV anchor named Wes Sarginson who has decades of experience.  I knew him to be an honorable man, a capable journalist, and a patriot.  If Wes was calling for something as extreme as a boycott, something was up.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Breaking News: Obamacare death panel kills its first patient!

Test your IQ!  Test your gullibility quotient!  Fast, reliable results!  No charge!  Confidentiality guaranteed!

As of this writing, a web site called "americannews.com"  has posted a story claiming that an Obamacare "Death Panel" has ordered its first patient put to death.  Could that possibly be true?

Well.  Let's examine that, shall we?

This site came to my attention through a friend of mine who was commenting on an unrelated posting she'd somehow found there.   I checked and discovered the posting she was writing about to be utter lying crap (it was a patently false claim that NBC News was reporting that Obamacare would require us all to get microchips by 2017).  That done, I then spotted this headline on the site for a different story:

Constitutional Shield Sought for Hurt Feelings

Measure would provide new rights to offended Americans

Dispatch from the Future
September 24, 2015

WASHINGTON (Gloomberg News) –  U.S. Rep. Dave Caloraire (D-New York) announced Wednesday that he will propose an amendment to the Constitution putting new legal tools into the hands of offended Americans.  The announcement drew immediate cries of alarm from free speech advocates, who vowed to defeat the measure.

In unveiling the proposal, Caloraire said, “For nearly two and a half centuries, Americans who’ve been forced to hear offensive speech have had no choices other than to sit and suffer through it.  It’s time for that to change.”