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Star Trek Producers Join Picket Lines November 6, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: ST09 Creative , trackback

The WGA strike kicked off on Monday with picket lines at all the major studios. The guild has ordered all of its members to do 20 hours of mandatory picket time per week. According to this morning’s Variety, Star Trek producer Damon Linedolof and producer-director J.J. Abrams (who are both guild members) hit the picket lines yesterday to show solidarity for their writing comrades. From the Variety article…

J.J. Abrams ranks among the multihyphenates [writers who also direct and/or produce] caught in the crossfire of a writers strike hitting just as he’s set to start helming a feature, Par’s “Star Trek” franchise revival that’s set to begin lensing Wednesday. Abrams said he would honor his contractual obligation to work as a director on the pic but would render no writing services. And in his downtime, he plans to spend time on Melrose Avenue joining such chants as “Who’s got more money than they can count? Paramount.”

“If I didn’t stand with my fellow writers, I’d feel it in my gut,” Abrams said.

While Abrams was in front of Paramount in Hollywood, Damon Lindelof was hitting the streets in front of Disney in Burbank. Again from Variety:

The strike line outside the Disney lot included the stewards of one of the company’s most valuable properties, ABC drama “Lost.”

“Everybody’s a little saddened and surprised and shocked to be out here,” said “Lost” exec producer Damon Lindelof.

Lindelof and fellow “Lost” exec producer Carlton Cuse, a member of the WGA’s contract negotiating committee, said they spent much of the weekend putting the finishing touches on episode eight of “Lost,” submitting the script to the network on Friday and tweaking it over the weekend.

Star Trek scribes Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are also expected to put in their time on the lines.

Related: Star Trek ready for writers strike

(Source: Variety)

Comments

1. Commodore Z - November 6, 2007

OK, I’m now officially impressed with Abrams and Lindelof.

2. Robby13 - November 6, 2007

money….sometimes I think Hollywood has way too much of it.

3. CmdrR. - November 6, 2007

Leno passed out doughnuts. JJ should pass out plomeek soup.

4. Diabolik - November 6, 2007

Thank goodness the script is done and the filming can proceed. I just wonder how far along the sets are. How long before we are leaked a pic of the sets and costumes? I can’t wait!

5. KevinA Melbourne Australia - November 6, 2007

Let hope this resolves quickly ‘coz if the movie is bad in anyway they be blaming this strike for all it’s worth.

6. DavidJ - November 6, 2007

I’m all for the writers in this… but damn, it sucks that so many of my favorite shows and movies are being jeapordized in the process. :(

7. Joey - November 6, 2007

First? My second post ever. Sucks that things have shut down. I hate to see this go on. Here’s to a quick resolution!!

8. Joey - November 6, 2007

Clearly not first! There were no comments when I logged in. You guys are speedy!!!

9. Michael - November 6, 2007

I’m starting to get worried this may yet impact the schedule for the movie. Or worse, the suits might try to push it forward without the talents that have been working on it in the event this strike goes on for a long time.

10. Paul - November 6, 2007

I wonder if Hollywood big wigs get desperate enough, they’ll hire scab labor. I would love to write for a TV show, of course even if it is a sitcom, I’d work Star Trek into it somehow. hope this works out soon

11. Randall Anderson - November 6, 2007

“Writers? We don’t need no steenking writers!” – overheard at a recent Paramount executes meeting

12. Olympus1979 - November 6, 2007

Gotta love the extremely wealthy protesting for more more from the extraordinarily wealthy!

13. I AM THX-1138 - November 6, 2007

You don’t want to do that, Paul. Once the strike ends (and it shall), you would never be issued a writer’s guild card, effectively ending your career.

14. DavidJ - November 6, 2007

12

I gotta imagine very FEW writers are what you would call “extremely wealthy.” Only the showrunners and famous screenwriters, etc.

15. Clinton - November 6, 2007

14

Bingo.

16. CanuckLou - November 6, 2007

No on the set writing enhancements for any movie in production cannot be a good thing.

17. David Sturm - November 6, 2007

#13 Perhaps Paul’s point of view is that he’d like to write without making it a career. Many examples of one-off scripts even in (and especially) throughout sci-fi. Plus, there’s Canada, UK, plenty of other English-speaking lands where WGAE and WGAW aren’t everything. Perhaps the recreational writer might prosper in such an environment.

Frankly, as much as I understand the WGAE and WGAW strike they’re extremely tone-deaf as to what is going on in *the rest* of America right now…

It would have been much more interesting for them to work under protest in some manner, or go patriotic with their strikes… as opposed to using tired old Big Labor rhyming chants.

Frankly, watching on the newsmedia, the limpy lines, the lack of uniformity in wearing the Red Shirts (hmmm, poor choice of color, ya think? why not fluorescent yellow-green instead?).

We realized last night, that as far as we’re concerned at home, this strike can go on forever. We’ve accumulated so many videos, and other discs of shows we never got to watch, that we can self-program for years.

#12 I understand you.

18. Angry but I'll get over it - November 6, 2007

stupid stupid stupid, they’ve made it this far just fine, now that stuff is being shown on the Internet, more money…and no concern for some of the top shows out there that will be affected…thank goodness for Star Trek being done

19. Decker's Stubble - November 6, 2007

I’m with the writers on this – they’re getting almost nothing from digital sales of their work (downloads, ITunes, etc.).

Besides, where would supposed ‘funnyman’ David Letterman be without writers? Back in Indianspolis forecasting weather again or cleaning toilets at Ball State.

20. I AM THX-1138 - November 6, 2007

#17
Point taken. But, fundamentally, stabbing someone in the back by crossing a picket line to further oneself would leave one on somewhat morally shaky ground. And I don’t know where Paul is from, but the prospect of moving to another country or adapting one’s writing to suit an audience in a different culture and market demographic at the same time as sabotaging the future of your writing career would be ill-advised. Personally, I am not so desperate as to better my position at the expense of others.

Not that I’m trying pick a fight or anything with you, David. Just offering a different perspective.

And sorry for talking about you like you weren’t in the room, Paul.

21. CmdrR. - November 6, 2007

I say give the writers as much money as they want under certain conditions:

1) ’30 Rock’ must henceforth include humor
2) Any future Trek scripts are forbidden from using time travel
3) ‘Bionic Woman’ may only continue if the hot chick uses her real Brit accent all the time
4) Oprah be banned from using cute estrogen-laced language such as but not limited to Vah-jay-jay

22. Ron Mosher - November 6, 2007

I am solid in my support of the writers and I’m going to support them anyway I can. We all know the studios are in it for $$$ so this may take awhile.

23. Pragmaticus - November 6, 2007

Star Trek starts filming tomorrow!!!

24. Commodore Z - November 6, 2007

Even if you only want to write one script for the fun of it, I would think you’re doing this because you admire the work of writers like Abrams and so many others who worked so hard on Star Trek. If so, why would you want to hurt them by working against their efforts to be fairly compensated for their work?

The studios are making money from new media. It’s only fair that the writers should get a fair share.

25. KennyB - November 6, 2007

19. I am sure “funnyman” Letterman supports the guild. As a matter of fact one of his first gigs was as a writer on “Good Times” and he is still credited as being a writer on “The Late Show”.

26. Section31 - November 6, 2007

Hi,

sorry for being a bit off-topic. But there is one thing about the release date that bothers me. I have learned that the sequel of “The DaVinciCode” which grossed about 750 Mio. Dollars, called “Angels and Demons” by Ron Howard/Dan Brown starring Tom Hanks will be released just one week before Star Trek (2008). Isn’t that a problem? I mean, I would like to remind you that “The Lord Of The Rings III” has been released nearly at the same date “Nemesis” came out. One of the reason of Nemesis’ failure at the Box Office was the start of another blockbuster movie. So what do you think? Is there any danger this could happen again?

Greetings,

Section31

27. CmdrR. - November 6, 2007

Section 31… yes, but Nemesis sucked the vaccuum out of space.

28. DavidJ - November 6, 2007

21

’30 Rock’ not funny?? In what universe is that?

Last week’s scene of Baldwin playing both of Tracy Jordan’s parents– and Tracy himself– in a therapy session was the funniest thing I’ve seen in years!

29. the king in shreds and tatters - November 6, 2007

the season opener was pretty weak, though.

30. scott - November 6, 2007

Right On #17!
Go to Canada!
Self Program!

31. Anthony Pascale - November 6, 2007

26
during the summer and holiday seasons there is no way to open a big movie without another big movie opening within the week. THe good news is that no other big movies open the same weekend or the week after…so far.

32. Anthony Pascale - November 6, 2007

oh and 30 Rock is hilarious

33. Gary - November 6, 2007

SPOOOOOOOOOCK! Nimoy is the Best and the should revise the Script! He is the MAN!

34. Bob, the Evil Klingon Frontline Leader - November 6, 2007

#32 – When 30 Rock won the Emmy this year the crew thanked their hundreds of viewers. Great show.

35. David - November 6, 2007

26, Section 31

Sadly Nemesis was up against a titan of a movie, the third part of the highest grossing series to date. So in that case, even if Nemesis was good, it still would have tanked.

Not so with Angels & Demons. It’s technically not a sequel (it’s a prequel) which will likely underperform DaVinci Code. Although it’s story will translate better to the screen (it has mad scientists, an antimatter bomb, mach 6 aircraft, and the illuminati) I think Star Trek will have a bigger media push by then. Star Trek will be the one to beat.

Just my two cents

36. theinquisitor - November 6, 2007

Where’s Brunt FCA when you need him!?

37. David Sturm - November 6, 2007

#20 Good perspective you have. Thanks for keeping it intellectual.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m glad to see JJ and Damon on the picket lines: they’re in WGAW, it’s their moral obligation to back up their colleagues. I don’t fault the rank and file, but the leadership of the union. And what I’ve seen on the media so far is pathetic. The recent GM strike is a good counter-example. Current employees of GM are in danger of losing their jobs permanently. Hollywood, I rather doubt, will lose any jobs, it’s about a piece of the DVD circumference divided by the DVD diameter.

Many claim without evidence that New Media is making a boatload of money for the studios. I don’t buy it. Literally… it’s being leveraged by advertising on the Internet which is the next dot-com crash about to happen. Particularly when the US is about to experience rapid hyperinflation. I believe WGA’s offer to the studios was for a small % of New Media profits. Seems reasonable… but as jms has noted, he’s got a % of Babylon 5 residuals, yet they’ve yet to pay a dime. Studios are very creative with their Enron-esque accounting.

1138, also, I didn’t suggest Paul or anyone move to a third country. Canadians have no problems contributing to American television, but few Americans submit to Canadian productions. There’s nothing keeping someone from pitching “DeGrassi Space Academy” right now up north. Or perhaps “This Light Year Has 101,325 Astronomical Units”…. Or, why not try to get that “Dr. Who” script pitch into BBC… Last I checked, I can still mail Canada and the UK.

The free exchange of supply and demand doesn’t work very well when it’s walled off into two cabals consisting of The Studios on one side, and The Writers on the other. To the OUTSIDE watcher… they’re both in the wrong. In the, ahem, real world.. people must produce or perish.

There were more mediation attempts possible: the federal negotiator wasn’t even given a real chance to effort a solution.

Trust me, if this strike lasts a long time, it’s really going to burn “The Studios”… but they don’t seem to care, so pack it in a long time. It might be June. Meanwhile, reality continues, and most of America will look on both sides with “a plague on all your houses.”

Oh, and #21, amen on point #3. Except, speaking the mother tongue that way isn’t technically an accent ;) It’s how English should be spoken.

#30 Canada’s a great place. You should visit it right now, your Yankee $ is only worth about 92 cents now after conversion fees. Sad it used to get you CDN$1.60 not that long ago…

38. Pragmaticus - November 6, 2007

I’m hoping that the writers and producers are in constant negotiations during the strike. They’d be unbelievably stupid not to be.

39. CW - November 6, 2007

Screw unions.
I say fire them all and hire some actual talent. Then, maybe Hollywood as a whole might start making money again instead of losing it.

40. Chris TROC - November 6, 2007

I’m so glad I don’t belong to a union which can shut down my entire industry and mandate that I waste my time on nonproductive silly public agitprop with signs and rhyming slogans. I’ve seen their effects on public education and the manufacturing sector, and now they’re stifling the arts and entertainment. Once America’s entertainment industry becomes as leaden as the Big 3 or our secondary education, can we expect a complete collapse of the industry? (To be blamed on the internet, no doubt.) Or is the industry already that staid…remember, for every Journeyman or Star Trek affected by the strike, there’s at least a dozen series like “Two and a Half Men” or TV movies like “Chupacabra.”

Maybe we can do like Reagan did to the air traffic controllers and get some fresh blood. Couldn’t hurt.

41. I AM THX-1138 - November 6, 2007

David, all good points. Although I think the success rate of mailed-in scripts is about as good as everyone agreeing on this message board. In a sense the writers are facing a David and Goliath type battle. The pie has grown decidedly larger and for their contribution, I don’t believe the writers are out of line asking to be compensated fairly. Again, to meaure their success in this endeavor, please see the first part of this comment. The two sides can take as long as they want as far as I am concerned. I have more than enough DVD’s in my collection, rarely, if ever watch TV, and normally read about three books at a time.

I once had to walk a picket line when I was in the musician’s union to protest one of those traveling ice-skating shows that had stopped hiring musicians for their shows and had been using canned music. That is until I realized that if I had actually accepted a gig performing with them, I would have been making less money than I was performing with my own groups and recording. Plus, I’d also have to sit through the ice skating show. I fulfilled my obligation to the members of the union that felt strongly about the issue, but subsequently dropped out of the union and made more money and didn’t have to pay union dues. For me, independant contracting proves to be more lucrative. It is up to me to be creative in how I generate income and create my own jobs.

And I love Canada. Although, it is quite a bit harder getting back into the U.S. than it used to be. Guess I’ll just save my $.08.

42. ZoomZoom - November 6, 2007

I heard today that the guy that has penned the next Bond outing has trousered $4m+ apparently.
All out brothers!
Gives him some time to spend his doh, doesn’t it!

43. GaryS - November 6, 2007

it should be an interesting year for hollywood .
it looks like the unions have the upper hand .

44. JCool - November 6, 2007

Anthony,

Have you heard about the Star trek open casting call

check Comingsoon.net for info.

45. CmdrR. - November 6, 2007

This is all about money. Hollywood is full of people who sue each other one minute and work together the next. Some of it’s cold-blooded. Most of it is just the way things are. No biggie.

46. Lou - November 6, 2007

OH NO!! I can’t POSSIBLY live off of $2,000,000 per year!!! I’m being jipped out!!!

*shakes fist at hollyweird*

47. Dennis Bailey - November 6, 2007

#40:Maybe we can do like Reagan did to the air traffic controllers and get some fresh blood.”

No, you can’t.

All the “screw the union” folks can chew on that until they choke, if it will help. :)

#2:”money….sometimes I think Hollywood has way too much of it.”

Only because you willingly give it to them.

We line up at movie theatres, DVD sales counters, “big box” retailers of TVs and other electronics DirectTV dealers, porn shops (uh, scratch that last) and empty our wallets in exchange for something we tell ourselves is an optional expense.

What we’re ultimately paying for is for someone to tell us a story.

As Robert McKee has observed, human beings spend an enormous amount of our lives listening to and telling stories of one kind or another – it may be our single most time-consuming activity other than sleep, and we underestimate it because we’re unaware of much of it. We do it at work, in raising our children, when making love…

Something which is being driven home to the studios today is that their productions are being hobbled more rapidly than they expected because of the number of producers and others who are, in fact, writers and identify themselves most strongly as writers. Divide-and-conquer isn’t working. The whole “writers are at the bottom of the food chain” mentality is taking a hit, and with good reason: it’s not in any way a coincidence that the executives running all the [i]best[/i] scripted television are writers and members of the WGA.

And those folks are showing the studio chiefs what Shawn Ryan – producer of “The Shield” – has written so eloquently today:

“…it became very clear to me that the only thing I can do as a showrunner is to do nothing. I obviously will not write on my shows. But I also will not edit, I will not cast, I will not look at location photos, I will not get on the phone with the network and studio, I will not prep directors, I will not review mixes. These are all acts that are about the writing of the show or protecting the writing of the show, and as such, I will not participate in them. I will also not ask any of my writer/producers to do any of these things for me…”

That’s the crux of the matter – that phrase “these are all acts that are about the writing of the show or protecting the writing of the show.”

48. James Heaney - November 6, 2007

#37: Shhh! You’ll let everyone else in on my plan to break into the writing world via over-the-transom Doctor Who scripts!

You know, I think unions by and large have a tendency to get greedy these days, and I’m usually disinclined to sympathize. But this strike seems pretty reasonable to me. So good luck to everyone, despite the fact my nightly dose of fake news died last night and a whole lot of other shows I watch will be crashing in the near future.

49. Magic_Al - November 6, 2007

When I saw TNG’s “Shades of Gray” I thought the memory of its awfulness would forever deter future writer’s strikes. I wish Enterprise were still on so they could do a writer’s strike sequel with Riker telling Troi he’s having flashbacks to the time he had a disease that made him have flashbacks.

50. Paul - November 6, 2007

21 Hear Hear!!

51. David Sturm - November 6, 2007

Dennis, excellent points in #47 making note of how many writers have moved up the food chain now… and adding reference to Shawn Ryan’s excellent comments made elsewhere.

Then I read somewhere else, that pickets at a location shoot of Desperate Housewives featured picketeers chanting:
“We write the story-a, Eva Longoria”

Le sigh.

It’s unfortunate that quality writers (many of whom have moved up the food chain like Ryan, or Abrams, etc.) also have to be represented by what must be hacks… because I can’t fathom a quality writer starting a change of “We write the story-a, Eva Longoria”….

Perhaps if the upwardly mobile writers can penetrate the ranks of The Studio in coming years, that would help.

Perhaps instead of insisting on a “cut”, go for shares of The Studio… stock options…. Or why not a Writers Studio project…. something built by writers, for the writers…. (Hmmmm, something like Screen Artists’ origin…)

52. Redshirt - November 6, 2007

The studios need to remove their heads from their collective @$$ and come to terms about the whole electronic media secondary market. The future of entertainment is going to be a brave new world of HD, high speed, on demand media!
…and there is no reason writers [as well as all the other people involved in production] should not get a cut of this new market. I’m sure that an equitable resolution can be reached and all the studio execs can keep their multi-million dollar incomes and satisfy stockholders at the same time…
END THE STRIKE NOW! GIVE THE WRITERS THEIR DUE!

53. Oregon Trek Geek - November 6, 2007

A little off-topic, but has anyone thought “why are Letterman, Leno, Conan, etc. unable to do their own jokes for a while?”

Maybe it’s solidarity with the strikers, but they are all funny guys in their own right… one would think they could rough it for awhile without writers. Heck, I think maybe I could come up with a few jokes myself….

54. Dennis Bailey - November 6, 2007

Many of them, like Letterman, are WGA members – they can no more write for their own shows than their staffs can.

55. sean - November 6, 2007

You guys are smoking something if you think the majority of the writers involved in this strike are making $2 million a year.

That aside, it isn’t about whether they’re making $2 million a year or $20,000 a year, it’s about fairness. There are products being sold off the back of scripts these guys have put blood, sweat and tears into that they aren’t being properly compensated for. The internet and other mediums are quickly becoming a vast market for television and film, and there’s no reason that the writers shouldn’t share in the profits (as well as other crewmembers that work hard on these productions).

56. Kevin - November 6, 2007

Does anyone think that since Abrams is a supporter of the WGA, that it will affect his performance as director on the new movie? Since he is also a strike supporter, do you think he will be distracted and not be able to give the movie one hundred percent of his attention? Will this strike hurt production of the movie?

57. Mark - November 6, 2007

Well, if the new movie is successful and leads to sequels, at least Abrams and the rest can draw on their experience as Borg (union members) for those sequels. The union mentality is garbage. Rights belong to individuals, not groups. The mob mentality of stopping someone from working that wishes to work (often through violence) is collectivism at its finest. What nonsense.

58. Oregon Trek Geek - November 6, 2007

#54 – I think I understand then. The hosts of the late night shows could certainly make it without the writers, but are prevented from doing so because of belonging to the same union?

59. Magic_Al - November 7, 2007

#54. Hosts are, in fact, allowed to write for themselves during the strike, although they are not supposed to write a greater proportion of material than they normally do and most of the show must be ad-libbed. In 1988, after several weeks of reruns, Johnny Carson and David Letterman went back on the air without their writers and wrote abbreviated monologues and bits by themselves. Letterman’s former executive producer Bob Morton was on NPR this morning reminiscing about it, and he pointed out that these comedy-variety talk shows have to balance showing solidarity with 13 or so writers while caring for over 100 other employees who don’t make a lot of money and depend on the shows to support their families.

60. Dave O - November 7, 2007

“Rights belong to individuals, not groups”

Mark,

What about The Bill of Rights? Doesn’t that belong to a group of 300 million people?

Just sayin.

61. Dennis Bailey - November 7, 2007

#57:”Rights belong to individuals, not groups. ”

Saying that doesn’t make it so, and Rand failed to make the case. There’s nothing nearly so unexamined or reflective of “groupthink” among the members of the various guilds in Hollywood (or most unions) as there is in the proclamations of objectivists and the even less-thoughtful folks who just parrot cast-off bits of their fictive “philosophy.” :)

As far as problems for the movie…presumably there are no pickets at the location site. If and when Abrams and other WGA members have to cross picket lines at the studio in order to work on the film it might cause some discomfort.

OTOH, it’s been reported that the picketing is being set up at hours such that it doesn’t interfere with Teamsters arriving for work, etc. Perhaps the producers can arrive and leave at hours that don’t require them to make the choice.

62. Commodore Z - November 7, 2007

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ55Ir2jCxk

We enjoy the writers’ work. We need to support their efforts to be paid fairly.

Hey Anthony, maybe you could post that video on the front page?

63. Steven Choate - November 7, 2007

#60: ““Rights belong to individuals, not groups”
What about The Bill of Rights? Doesn’t that belong to a group of 300 million people?”

The fact that 300 million people with rights can constitute a group of people with the same rights does NOT make their rights ‘group’ rights. The fact of the matter is, the Bill of Rights ARE and always have been INDIVIDUAL rights (and have always been held to be so by the courts). I think you’re confusing the general definition of a ‘group’ with the constitutional definitions of groups vs individuals.
The 2nd amendment is an easy example. If the 2nd is an individual right then you as an individual have a right to own a gun not only as part of a group (military/militia) but also for the purposes of home self-defense, target shooting, hunting, etc. IF the 2nd is a ‘group’ right then you would only be allowed to own a gun as part of a group (the military/militia). Your 1st amendment right to free speech works similarly: if it’s an individual right then you can stand on the street corner and say anything you wish; if it’s a group right then you would not be allowed to speak by yourself.

64. Steven Choate - November 7, 2007

#47: “Shawn Ryan – producer of “The Shield” – has written so eloquently today…” & “That’s the crux of the matter – that phrase “these are all acts that are about the writing of the show or protecting the writing of the show.””

It may be eloquently written, and passionately felt, but it’s a bit lacking in intellectual thought. There’s NO question that TV and movie production are collaborate efforts that all help to make the whole of the show; but each thing (writing, directing, editing, location shooting, etc) are all just subsets of that whole and in fact are NOT the same thing.
As a member of the writers guild Mr. Ryan is morally obligated to follow his union and not do any writing for his show. BUT, if any of his salary is derived from editing, director prep, etc then he has an obligation to continue with those parts of his job.
The WRITERS are on strike, not anyone else. Writing is NOT editing, directing, etc. IF they were then there would not be different unions, each with their own contracts. The fact that there are different unions disproves Mr Ryan’s point.

65. Redshirt - November 7, 2007

The constitution gives us the right of assembly and that in turn allows for UNIONS.
Unions are NOT evil and if you know your history, they are the reason the American worker has such a high standard of living. In the 19th century, workers were exploited in ways that would shock most people today. The American labor movement has been a boon to our economy and our status as the world’s super power.
That said, the Unions have caused problems with non-union people often denied employment in “union shops”, public safety threatened by police, transportation, and garbage strikes, and by violence over strike breakers just wanting to feed their family’s.

The issue of this strike is one of compensation for work provided in a changing electronic media. Hopefully it will not be like the baseball strike, where many a fan walked away and took years to return.

PLEASE…BOTH SIDES… SETTLE THIS DAMN THING FAST SO EVERYONE CAN GET BACK TO WORK !!!!!
[AND SO LETTERMAN AND CONAN STOP SHOWING RERUNS!]

66. Mark - November 10, 2007

#60 – Steven correctly answered your question “no” in #63.

#61 – “There’s nothing nearly so unexamined or reflective of “groupthink” among the members of the various guilds in Hollywood (or most unions) as there is in the proclamations of objectivists and the even less-thoughtful folks who just parrot cast-off bits of their fictive “philosophy.””

If you are referring to me, I am neither. Sorry to disappoint. Also see my following comment.

#65 – The Constitution does not give us the the right of assembly – or any other right. As the Declaration of Independence states, our rights come from God. The only legitimate function of government is to protect our right to life, liberty and property – rights that existed prior to government. Anything beyond that is immoral and illegitimate.

If you are going to concede that our rights from government, then you have to allow the corollary that government can take them away. This why the Founding Fathers gave us a republic instead of a democracy – they knew that all too often it is a common tendency for people, when they can, to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is often done through the ballot box. They don’t realize that in the end they will vote themselves into slavery – and we are not too far from that now.

As regards unions, you might spend some time here: http://www.mises.org/ Do a search on union or unions.

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