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Rick Blanc
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As usual I disagree with your interpretation of "the facts" and your sense of what those interpretations mean. That's how it is. As to original intent I don't think you've done your homework.
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You answered your own question: the genius in the distribution of Constitutional powers is exactly that it does enable the Senate under many circumstances to block "progressive" legislation, as it should. And one person one vote is not necessarily the Holy Grail. The Founders counted southern blacks as 3/5 of a person for representative purposes. Many mistakenly believe this was a manifestation of a racist impulse. In fact it was to diminish the representative power of the South in federal decision making precisely for the purposes of ending slavery and weakening the slave economy politically. Just because we have some busybodies in the large (and small) locals who want to transform the union landscape doesn't mean it's a good idea.
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I wouldn't characterize it in terms of "right" or "wrong," it is simply the decisions people make. I hope the changes at 802, like changes anytime anywhere, bring positive results for musicians and the musical marketplace.
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This reminds me of the way you and your cronies talk about Tom Lee.
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While it is not very clear, I don't believe the post you refer to was offered as an editorial comment from the Committee, but rather came from a contributor.
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2009 on The COMMITTEE is WRONG again at The AFM Observer
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Lest we forget, Michael Comins engaged in vulgarity, libel and lying -- when he thought he was anonymous and could do so with impunity. But his identity was discovered. Now, rather than contrition what we get from Michael Comins is defiance and justification of his moral turpitude consisting of further attacks on me. This indicates an unprincipled person of low moral character. It might be irrelevant except Michael Comins is an activist within 802 politics, being an editorial writer for the "Members Party" and aspiring to the 802 Executive Board. Is this the kind of unprincipled behavior the rank-and-file wants on the EB at 802? He is also an RMA partisan who routinely demonstrates contempt for part-time or "hobbyist" musicians. Would his lack of integrity and dishonesty represent and serve well the 802 rank-and-file?
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2009 on ICSOM goes public at The AFM Observer
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The liar Michael Comins persists in his dishonorable conduct, so I'll just remind readers of his lack of integrity from time to time, primarily to diminish his voice in NY and 802 affairs. It's only fair that people know the character of this destructive, dishonest individual.
Toggle Commented Sep 9, 2009 on ICSOM goes public at The AFM Observer
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It may be ad hominem but it is deserved. His voice, his character. He owes me an apology. He should take responsibility for his words.
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2009 on ICSOM goes public at The AFM Observer
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You must have a case; you've got the vulgar, libelous liar Michael Comins on your side.
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2009 on ICSOM goes public at The AFM Observer
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And not so incredibly, Dave Pomeroy sounds like a broken record. Sharp as a marble that Pomeroy. Needless to say my ideas about what is relevant diverge from Dave's. But Dave wants to explain that we live in a democracy. Thanks, Dave. Dave knows little about me or my history but would like to presume he does know. Dave says the address I gave when joining 257 doesn't exist. This is factually, verifiably false. I can provide directions if anyone wants to drive over there. And who gives a crap anyway? Some of these Nashville guys (Dave, Bruce) seem obsessed with my address. Dave apparently has nothing better to do than go after me. The more he writes the more he exposes his own mental limitations.
Toggle Commented Aug 27, 2009 on RMA at ROPA at The AFM Observer
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RL: "Never said you hadn't done "a lot" of recording, whatever that is; just said that your activity in the field was relevant." You brought it up -- you and bruce -- not me. As to whether I'm "entitled" or relevant in speaking about union matters you can form your own opinions about that; I don't care. Based on your comments you manifestly don't understand Marxism. Marxism is, among other things, a way of understanding political, economic and cultural phenomena. It is not necessarily prescriptive. And it's about process. But if you want to believe you understand it you can file that in with your other beliefs. RL: "Do you think it increases the credibility of your argument to call me intellectually dishonest and defensive?" I don't know if it does or not, and establishing credibility is not my primary objective. People believe in things that are incredible while disbelieving things that are credible all the time. "Stone walls do not a prison make nor iron bars a cage; minds innocent and quiet take that for an hermitage." (Richard Lovelace) But to your intellectual dishonesty, let's be honest. It doesn't matter what the criticism of the RMA is, you are going to step in and deflect. You often do not deal with (reasoned) arguments, you spin, you circumlocute, you turn the topic around, you do verbal gymnastics. This is a form of intellectual dishonesty. Why do you do that? You are the RMA waterboy, their crony, their partisan, their "useful idiot." Maybe you share their self-serving radical beliefs -- even though you are apparently not a recording musician yourself. Maybe you're motivated by a common radicalism. Great. I know you can't be persuaded, but you and the RMA can be defeated.
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2009 on RMA at ROPA at The AFM Observer
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For your edification Robert, I've done a LOT of recording. And I paid union dues for how many years? How many times do I have to repeat myself? As often as you and bruce insist on digging it back up I suppose. Maybe you can find a new way to discredit me? The old way is getting boring.
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2009 on RMA at ROPA at The AFM Observer
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I am shocked -- SHOCKED -- that Robert disagrees with me and continues to run interference for the RMA. By the way Robert you really don't seem to understand Marxism. And the lawsuits didn't pass judicial muster. "Too bad" I guess. And as for my qualifications to speak: I know I'll be attacked because my opinions are unpopular -- at least on this blog. That's the only reason. If I were one of your cheerleaders nobody would question my qualifications. But that's the way you are. It's a mix of intellectual dishonesty and defensiveness which is fine, and predictable.
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2009 on RMA at ROPA at The AFM Observer
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And once again Bruce has attempted to discredit me. I might point out that he is using the same irrelevant quasi-facts that he has repeated ad nauseum already, presumably because he has run out of fresh material. All very well and good Bruce but your little factoids have nothing to do with the substance, the topic. But people like Bruce choose to try and discredit the person rather than the ideas. It reflects on the intellectual poverty of people like Bruce.
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2009 on RMA at ROPA at The AFM Observer
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One of the arguments Marc Sazar offers to his audience about why they should care about RMA gripes is, "The companies and employers who commercially exploit music for profit are part of a finite world." This is nothing more than warmed over Marxist zero-sum game thinking and is patently false. The marketplace is neither zero-sum nor is it static. He continues, "...and their attorneys and executives are interwoven with each other." Does that mean they communicate -- from Bratislava to London to Sydney to Seattle to San Francisco to Prague? Let's assume they are all in contact; what do you suppose they are ALL saying about the RMA? That the RMA offers the benchmark against which all international production can be competitive. In other words, anyone anywhere can beat RMA pricing and demands. Sazar continues, "As the Federation approach of weakening our contracts works its way through, all of you will suffer economically along with recording musicians." Even if one accepts the premise -- which I don't -- where is the evidence of this? It is a baseless pathetic assertion. Sazar: "After all, as work dues from recording contracts shrink as a result of the anti-player strategy the AFM is embarked upon, where do you think future AFM Conventions will look for financial support? As relationships with recording musicians are further damaged, where will the AFM look for the next "financial package"? First, he alleges the AFM is following an anti-player strategy. Obviously many, if not most musicians would take exception to that statement and reject the premise. That mud won't stick. Then he throws out a red herring, a scare -- that the AFM will come after their money once the RMA funds dry up. This is demagoguery. The reason the recording business is making money for the AFM is because the recording is taking place UNDER AFM CONTRACTS. The AFM is endeavoring to bring more work, especially videogame work, under AFM contract. And unlike the RMA, the AFM is endeavoring to achieve those goals while dealing realistically with today's marketplace, not on the basis of RMA cronyism. In today's marketplace effective AFM strategy cannot myopically limit itself to management vs. labor. International competition cannot be ignored. Sazar seems to completely fail to grasp the fact that we are in an interconnected world wherein orchestras are ready to work from anywhere -- live or using Source Connect technology. Globally recording is expanding rapidly; geographical limitations are increasingly meaningless. Meanwhile the RMA is stuck in a kind of elitist provincialism, as it fights with the American Federation. It's too bad none of the ROPA musicians asked Marc Sazar how much ROPA member's hard-earned work dues had gone down the drain fighting off the "non-RMA" lawsuits. It's too bad none of the ROPA musicians asked Sazar to explain the goals and intentions of Fareplay, the RMA's legal warchest. The RMA would have you believe it speaks for all recording musicians. It doesn't. And the longer it remains intransigent the fewer musicians it will represent. If the RMA doesn't like the "politics," that doesn't mean the process is breaking down, it just means the RMA is not getting its way. The good news is that the RMA doesn't run the AFM.
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2009 on RMA at ROPA at The AFM Observer
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Maybe the idea of whether these are "RMA lawsuits" or not is academic in a sense because it is just a label. Obviously the names of several individuals appear as plaintiffs on the Complaints, not "RMA." We know that these individuals are RMA members -- and AFM members, and Local 47 members -- and we know their issues are of general, if not major, concern to RMA members. We know that the lawsuits are probably of greater interest to members of the RMA than to the rest of the rank-and-file. And we know that Fareplay was the mechanism for funding. We can say then they are Fareplay's lawsuits. If we know who funds Fareplay we know who's lawsuits these are. Not that I expect disclosure of that information. In case Fareplay is funded fully or mostly by RMA members would that surprise anyone? I'd be curious as to what might motivate someone to donate to Fareplay who was NOT a member of the RMA.
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TE: "... just to encourage that the parties involved in the discussion be vested in the organization that we are all talking about.... leaves me wondering what your motives are...." I'm vested, I'm invested. I've been a musician my entire life. I'm interested in the music business, it's future, it's health. I don't see that as necessarily synonymous with being a current AFM member. Why is that difficult to understand? I may be more honest than some; if I'm not "in solidarity" I don't pretend I am. I endeavor to play a role in shaping the future -- of the business and a healthy union. You can disagree, question my motives, make your own statements -- go ahead. I think it's a little silly to focus so much on my membership while so many people are doing really destructive things in the name of "solidarity" and "unity" -- all bogus. Is it the $160 dues that interests you the most? Or is a little cash the only way you know how to measure "investment." You think you're better able to "observe" the AFM if you've paid your $160, or whatever it is? Does your vision improve upon remittance. My vision is still pretty clear from all the dues I've already paid.
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RL: "The kind of statement that reminds me that trying to have a discussion with Rick Blanc is a complete waste of time. The only mystery is why I forget that so quickly." Believe what you will. The real mystery is why you continue to be the RMA waterboy. And Timothy, what has my membership have to do with the topic? Nothing really, it's just a predictable tactic from people like you who insist on control and want to silence the opposition.
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RL: "I believe the RMA’s position on the lawsuits has been consistent as well. As regards your “simple questions,” they’re not simple at all." The questions are in fact simple, that doesn't mean the subject matter is simple or answering them is simple. A good place to start would be RMA officers themselves but they won't debate honestly. They manifestly won't address these questions RL: "How could anyone know the levels of support within the RMA membership absent some kind of polling mechanism? No doubt some RMA members support the lawsuits, some don’t, and some don't care. The same could be said of the AFM membership." Disingenuous. RMA leadership has a good idea about this but again remain covert. The RMA, as mentioned earlier, is a subset of the AFM membership; they're closer to the topic and a sample of their opinions would undoubtedly be much different than a random AFM sample. RMA leadership will not address this either. RL: "Regarding funding, this has never been a mystery – that’s why FarePlay was put together." Who put the money into Fareplay? Don't tell me they don't know. RL: "Can you define “moral support” in a way that the question is subsantively answerable? I sure can’t. Same goes for “tacit support.” Yes, it's simple if you are not trying to obfuscate. Any explanation is helpful. Why are you covering for them? Bottom line: as much as RMA leadership dishonestly insists these are not "RMA lawsuits" everyone knows they are -- everyone except Robert Levine maybe. The RMA has achieved appalling levels of dishonesty and refuses honest debate. They seem to think they should just be given control and the rest of us should just shut up and go away. Meanwhile they are so put upon. They are such victims.
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TE: "Quitting in protest? Is that supposed to be noble?" To be honest I don't know. I don't know if it was the right thing to do or not -- it is what I decided to do.
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One more thing Timothy, You show up, presumably for the first time, on a blog and right out of the box you're telling the web's owner and host what to do? TE: "Robert ended anonymous postings and now he should make this blog for union members only" Why don't you start your own blog?
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TE: "The vilification of the RMA, and by extension RMA members like myself, is destructive and counterproductive." Maybe the vilification of Tom Lee and the IEB is destructive and counterproductive..., as might be suing the AFM in the name of unity. What a joke. RMA members are getting the feedback they're getting in the marketplace of ideas. Why whine about it? TE: "This blog has better things to do than host a non union member who is not invested in the AFM. This point comes up once in a while. I've been in the business my whole life and have an AFM pension resulting from my "investment" in the AFM. I'm every inch the pro you are. I resent the idea that only AFM members are pros or even allowed to speak. What kind of crap is that? If I were a non-AFM RMA cheerleader I wouldn't be getting any of this kind of criticism -- that's obvious. I quit Local 47 in protest when the RMA took control of the local. TE: "we as a membership cannot afford to remain divided and distracted." Maybe "we" as a membership should stop suing the AFM and undermining the IEB. Maybe "we" as a membership need to start being less exclusive, less elitist, more community oriented. If you have contributions to make why don't you make them rather than criticize those who actually do? And notice that the RMA is now distancing itself from these lawsuits and no one will answer the simple questions about RMA support -- moral, political and financial -- for these lawsuits. I guess that's all in the name of union unity.
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RL: "It is impressive the effect that the constant repetition by determined propagandists of phrases like "RMA lawsuits" and "lawsuits filed by RMA members" can have on susceptible minds, isn't it?" I don't concede that 'RMA lawsuits' isn't accurate to one extent or another, or that it is propagandist influence of susceptible minds any more than your positions. Not only do I not concede the point I believe your statement is false in that it goes too far. But rather than speculate on that how about I repeat my questions from earlier, questions no one will answer? 1) ... I'm wondering if support for the lawsuits is universal within the RMA or not, and assuming there were significant costs involved where did the funding come from? 2) It has been repeatedly asserted that the plaintiffs in these cases are not "representing" the RMA in their lawsuits, and that they are not RMA lawsuits. Ok, so what level of support either tacit or active is the RMA giving these plaintiffs, e.g. moral support, financial support etc? Is that an unreasonable question, and if so, why is it unreasonable? And your constant repetition of the assertion that the RMA has nothing -- absolutely nothing -- to do with these lawsuits don't make it so either, even if you believe it.
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RL: "You confuse "explanation" with "process." The explanation for adjudication is the need felt by most societies to have a conflict resolution procedure other than simple violence. What you are doing is describing a process. And you're mischaracterizing it as well." Talk about digressing, complicating .... and unsuccessfully stretching logic. Nice try though. RL: "...the court decided those claims didn't rise to an actionable level. The first ruling, in particular, was very careful not to get into whether or not the bylaws were interpreted correctly by the Federation... Thank you.. RL: "My position has always been clear; these were not RMA lawsuits... Your position may have been clear but the general perception out there is otherwise -- and not without reason. RL: "As you have gone well beyond the simplest explanation for what has happened, I doubt that very much." Not only have I not gone beyond the simplest explanations but I keep in mind that if I don't make clear distinctions I leave dangerous ambiguity behind. I may be the only one around offering clear and simple explanations in fact. I think Occam would like it.
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Back to Occam's methodology since he's popular here: RL: "The simplest explanation for the lawsuits is... that the musicians filing the lawsuit feel that the AFM has violated their rights as members." And the simplest explanation for adjudication is to establish the facts and seek appropriate remedies. But what the filing musicians "felt" didn't translate into "fact," according to the Judgments. As the facts are unlikely to change maybe it is the "feelings" and related convictions that need to be reassessed. Earlier, the RMA Svengalis were excited about these lawsuits. You were really gonna stick it to Tom, you were going to show him and the IEB! That's right! Now that the litigation has proven to be more of an expensive embarrassment than anything else you seem to be running away from it like little girls: 'These people don't represent the RMA, they're just individual AFM members, their RMA affiliation a mere coincidence -- it's "unreasonable" to assume any particular RMA support.' Sure, as if anyone will buy that. Whether you (all) think it proper or not these lawsuits are identified in people's minds as RMA lawsuits. And while the Grand Poobah Levine Himself has deemed me incompetent to make these kinds of judgments, I think Occam, by contrast, would be ok with my reasoning.
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