Thursday, November 29, 2007

A WORLD OF BEAUTY

Life is so magnificent. There is so much beauty everywhere, which to me is evidence of God. Lately I've been starstruck by trees and nature. Here is a photo of an eel my son took while diving in Belize this summer. We all saw it up close. Then we petted nurse sharks. Yesterday, December 1, was the anniversary of my brother Paul's passing. God Bless you Paul, I love you.





I'm not gay, but I think Kristin Kreuk, who plays Clark Kent's star-crossed love Lana Lang on my son's favorite show "Smallville" is among the most beautiful women in television or movies. As far as physical beauty goes, I was also a big fan of Olivia Hussey when she played Juliet in Franco Zefferelli's magnificent production of Romeo and Juliet. Other beauties I love: Audrey Hepburn and Angelina Jolie. I think what is so beautiful about these women is their humility and dignity.



The greatest beauty of all time though, is Mother Theresa. She took a vow of poverty and had absolutely no possessions except the clothes she wore. And yet she was the most generous and famous woman in the world.

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See we are open to all views, even conservative! Last Friday - November 30, 2007 - Pat Buchanan, who blasts Bush in his new book, was our guest on the Basham and Cornell Radio Show at 8 am Pacific Time on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas, and simulcast worldwide on the web.






Doug Basham & Lydia Cornell Your daily alternative to “conservative” talk radio. Weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern) On AM 1230 KLAV The Talk of LAS VEGAS!

The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern) on KLAV 1230 AM Radio live in Las Vegas. All shows are simulcast worldwide on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk If you've missed our show, check out the audio archives. We have interviewed Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards, John Dean, Valerie Plame, Dahr Jamail, Elizabeth Edwards, ELizabeth Kucinich, Mike Gravel; Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie Savage, Congressman Charlie Rangel, Senator Byron Dorgan; bestselling authors Greg Palast, Paul Krugman, Greg Anrig, Mikey Weinstein, Paul Krugman; Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert and Paul Waldman are regular guests. Upcoming: Obama and Hilary. If you missed any of these shows, check out the archives on our website.

Pat is considered to be America’s leading traditional conservative. He was a senior adviser to three American presidents, ran twice for the Republican presidential nomination, in 1992 and 1996, and was the Reform Party’s candidate in 2000. The author of eight other books, including the bestsellers Right from the Beginning; A Republic, Not an Empire; The Death of the West; Where the Right Went Wrong; and State of Emergency, he is a syndicated columnist and a founding member of three of America’s foremost public affairs shows, NBC’s The McLaughlin Group and CNN’s The Capitol Gang and Crossfire.

America is coming apart at the seams. Forces foreign and domestic seek an end to U.S. sovereignty and independence. Before us looms the prospect of an America breaking up along the lines of race, ethnicity, class and culture. In Day of Reckoning, Pat reveals the true existential crisis of the nation and shows how President Bush’s post-9/11 conversion to an ideology of “democratism” led us to the precipice of strategic disaster abroad and savage division at home.

Ideology, writes Buchanan, is a Golden Calf, a false god, a secular religion that seeks vainly, like Marxism, to create a paradise on earth. To save America the first imperative is to remove from power the ideologues of both parties who have nearly killed our country. In his final chapter, Buchanan lays out ideas to prevent the end of America. He calls for a bottom-up review of all of America’s Cold War commitments, a ten-point program to secure America’s borders, ideas to halt the erosion of our national sovereignty and restore our manufacturing preeminence and economic independence, and a formula for finding the way to a cold peace in the culture wars.

Buchanan offers a radical but necessary program, for neither party is addressing the real crisis of America -- whether we survive as one nation and people, or disintegrate into what Theodore Roosevelt called a “tangle of squabbling nationalities” and not a nation at all.

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The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern). All shows are simulcast on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at www.BashamAndCornell.com

The Basham and Cornell Show
2301 E. Sunset Road #8022 | Las Vegas, NV. 89119
Web Site: http://www.BashamAndCornell.com

Email Address: show@BashamAndCornell.com

Monday, November 19, 2007

GIVE THANKS TO SCOTT McCELLAN: BUSH KNEW

On thanksgiving we were thankful to Scott McClellan, former White House press secretary, for revealing that Bush knew more than we were led to believe he knew ... in his new book "HE KNEW".

Jay Rosen of HuffPo says:
McClellan's specialty was not lying, or the traditional art of spin but what I have called "strategic non-communication." Lying we understand, spin we have to come to grasp. Non-communication we still do not appreciate; its purpose is to make executive power less legible. Only a stooge figure would be willing to suffer the very public humiliations that such a policy requires of the man in the briefing room.

McClellan was often described as "robotic" because he would mindlessly repeat some empty formula he had concocted in anticipation of reporters' questions. The point here was to underline how pointless it was even to ask questions of the Bush White House. And reporters got that point, though they missed the larger picture I am describing. Many times they wondered what they were doing there.

I will tell you: they were a constraint being made more absent with every exchange they had with the thick-headed and graceless McClellan. In this sense they were part of the Terror Presidency. The agenda was not to get the White House message out; it was not to explain the president's policies. At both of these (common sense) tasks McClellan was simply awful, his performance a non-starter. No, he was part of something larger and far more disturbing; and it would have been disturbing even to loyal Republicans if they had bothered to understand it.

The goal, I think, was to make the American presidency more opaque, so that no one could see in. No self-respecting man would take that job aware of what he was going to be asked to do. McClellan was unaware. He remains so. But he's not the only one.



"Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world? It is that we have only known the back of the world. We see everything from behind, and it looks brutal. That is not a tree, but the back of a tree. That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud. Cannot you see that everything is stooping and hiding a face? If we could only get round in front." — G.K. Chesterton

Regarding prayer: When the tsunami hit, then the Breslan massacre, then Katrina -- not to mention the Iraq war -- I spent weeks praying for the children and innocent people lost. I felt so powerless, just praying. But then the thought came that there has actually been some healing as a result of all of our prayers. I live far away from these tragedies and these poor souls — and couldn't go to them, or abandon my children and join the Red Cross. But I could give, send money and pray. And in my heart I had the sure feeling that someone had been comforted and given hope. Maybe that is what God is – the silent, invisible transfer of love to another."

HOMELESS IN AMERICA
The other day I was walking the dog behind Trader Joe’s and I passed a shady alcove bordering the alley, in the center of which was a large tree. I peeked into the bushes, and saw a grocery bag. I thought this looked like a private place for a homeless person to rest, but just at that moment I glimpsed a pair of shoes, then bruised legs in camouflage pants standing behind the tree, inside the tree, as if they were hoping not to be seen, trying to blend in with the shrubs. I could hear the owner of this pair of legs trying desperately not to breathe. Was it a homeless person, or just someone who was trying to go to the bathroom in the bushes?

As I passed by, I shouted out: “God Bless you.” I kept walking, and then circled back. Realizing that I was holding in my hand two sticks of string cheese, I went back to the bush and offered it to the person hiding in the trees. “Would you like a piece of cheese? It’s wrapped in plastic, it has its own wrapper.” A woman’s voice rang out, “No, no thank you.” Then, the voice said: “You are so sweet.” I could see she was wearing glasses and had dark hair.

I walked away and said, “You are sweet too.”
Then I started crying… again. The same way I cried for our troops dying needlessly in Iraq, or during the Breslan school massacre in Chechnya, or on Sunday when our minister at church talked to us about the homeless people and how desperately sad they are. It has been dawning on me more and more how truly tragic it is to be homeless — and especially to be a homeless child. It is hard to even say this, but there are over one million homeless children in America.
Can you imagine what it’s like to have no place to rest, no privacy for going to the bathroom — no safe, clean place to put one’s head, no soft pillow that is not infested with cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes or rats? Can you imagine what it’s like to have no place to dress, to bathe, to do homework — or to bring friends home for ice cream? No place to sit and look your mother in the eyes while eating dinner or playing Monopoly. No dinner? God bless these poor lost little souls.

Los Angeles Times staff writer Anne-Marie O’Connor reports: Experts say that there are more homeless children in America than at any time since the Great Depression. About 40% of America's homeless are now women and their children - the fastest growing homeless group.

THE TAPESTRY: NEW ORLEANS

Imagine if the human pageant were just a tapestry — and God sees the complete picture on the finished side — but from our vantage point beneath, we only see dangling threads that keep disappearing as they are woven in and out. As people pass on, certain threads disappear because they are part of a grand stitch that completes a beautiful landscape on the other side. We can’t see the whole picture. We don't know the reason for death and suffering; we don't know what's on the other side, but I'm sure there are many mansions and colors — and the weave creates a majestic tapestry.
In this modern age, I still can’t comprehend why we — the most powerful and technologically advanced nation on the planet — could not deliver drinking water to our own suffering people in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. We couldn’t deliver water to babies and children who were dying of dehydration, heat stroke, hunger and toxic disease. We couldn’t do it on Monday, the day the storm subsided. And on Tuesday, the day the press arrived and showed people stranded on rooftops, President Bush was at an elegant golf resort in Arizona, holding a press conference. A13-year-old girl was found raped to death, her throat slit, inside a ladies room in the Superdome. There was no air conditioning, the sewer system had stopped, the toilets were overflowing, and a man jumped to his death inside the stadium from a second floor tier. What I find strange was that President Bush flew back in the dead of night to intervene in the Terry Schiavo matter, a private family matter that didn’t require government intervention — yet he did not feel the same urgency as he watched the devastating aftermath of Katrina unfold on his television screen. He couldn’t pull himself away from a party to help the dying souls in one of the worst natural disasters in United States history. Later he said, “ “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” He said this, even though a month earlier, he had been vigorously warned and shown footage of the devastating consequences of just such a breach.

I find it so strange that the president of the United States did not respond with any urgency to this tragedy of monumental proportions. He did not order troops or supplies to be sent in right away. Helicopter food drops could have been made immediately. Police and National Guard could have been parachuted in to restore order and protect the innocent. For four days people suffered without water. I don’t understand how we managed to drop thousands of anti-Sadaam pamphlets and parcels of food into Iraq in a matter of hours, but not to our own people in New Orleans. Someone said, “The president doesn’t have a heart for people’s suffering.”

The news footage of looting in New Orleans after Katrina gave certain right-wing pundits fuel for their bigotry. But couldn't they see that the economic system that created such a wide chasm between the "haves and the have-nots” actually created Les Miserables? A culture that constantly advertises salvation through Nintendo, i-Pods and Plasma TVs creates an insatiable craving for stuff. Yes looting is bad, but looting pension funds is worse. Looting votes through gerrymandering is worse. And to think the minimum wage is only $5.75 an hour, while Congress votes lifetime pensions for themselves into the six figures. Reaganomics and the trickle down theory did not work because of the greed of the corporate executives, who continue to take such a large slice of the pie they have to eliminate the actual workers. Ford and GM outsourced thousands of jobs to make their corporate owners wealthier. And churches are not tithing enough to support the needy. A society must take care of the “least among us.” Then we will see amazing things begin to happen. And I'm not talking about a welfare state, by the way.
Helping the poor is Christ’s most vital commandment. He is unequivocal about this. The more you give, the more you are doing the will of God according to Christ’s law to “take care of the least among you” thereby increasing the goodwill of the citizens. And it would actually make our country wealthier, because everyone would prosper. It’s a spiritual principle. It does not make for a stable economy or safe society to have such a large gap between the rich and poor. Tithing is a law of the universe that pays for itself triple-fold. If we are going to mix church and state, at least let it help people, not take away from them and give tax breaks only to the rich.

It’s Sunday and I’m standing in the kitchen peeling garlic for my son’s favorite pot roast. I turn on the radio to NPR and begin chopping onions, celery and carrots. I add the bay leaf to the broth and set it to simmer. As I listen to a broadcast describing the bodies floating in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, I become limp with heartache. I see the faces of these poor souls and the loved ones left behind whose grief is so deep, it seems they will never smile again. They are wading in death’s water or standing on its shore or climbing out of its rooftops. Arms outstretched, their faces frozen in horror and helplessness. They are so tired, trying to save the dead. But the ones drifting by do not fight the tide — for they are peacefully asleep.

The tears burn my eyes. My knees buckle, actually buckle and I slump over the sink. I am crying and praying. It’s a sudden jolt, like an electric shock and even though my eyes are over flowing with tears, I see something. During the Breslan school massacre, the genocide in the Sudan, the tsunami in Indonesia and all the hurricanes, wars and catastrophes — I have been praying without ceasing for weeks at a time. I have cried out to God in my house, silently in my car, until crying and praying have become one. And out of nowhere the thought comes to me that maybe my prayers have not been in vain. The thought comes that there has actually been some degree of healing as a result of all our prayers. I live far away from these dead poor souls — and cannot go to them, can’t abandon my children and join the Red Cross. But I can give. And in my heart I get the peaceful feeling that someone has been comforted, given hope, awakened. Maybe that is what God is – the silent, invisible transfer of love to another.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

DENNIS & ELIZABETH KUCINICH ON OUR SHOW


Today: HOMEWALK Los Angeles. Walk for the homeless at Exposition Park.


There is actually a lot of good news about wonderful people all over the world. The networks won't cover it, but we need it. Check out these GOOD NEWS stories (below) and more from Good News Network.org ... but first, on Friday November 16, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dennis Kucinich (for the 3rd time) and his goddess wife Elizabeth on our show BASHAM AND CORNELL PROGRESSIVE TALK



The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern) on KLAV 1230 AM Radio live in Las Vegas. All shows are simulcast on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk If you've missed our show, check out the audio archives. We have interviewed John Edwards, John Dean, Valerie Plame, Dahr Jamail, Elizabeth Edwards, Mike Gravel; Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie Savage, Congressman Charlie Rangel, Senator Byron Dorgan; bestselling authors Greg Palast, Paul Krugman, Greg Anrig, Mikey Weinstein, Paul Krugman; Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert and Paul Waldman are regular guests. Upcoming: Obama and Hilary. If you missed any of these shows, check out the archives on our website.

Check out these GOOD NEWS stories (below) and more from Good News Network.org

'Anonymous Friend' Gives $100 Million to Town
Written by geri
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
In a beautiful story, an unnamed 'friend' gives $100 million to the struggling old industrial city of Erie, Pennsylvania, to be divided among its 46 charities including the food bank, a women's center, and a group for the blind, and its universities. "What a godsend for some of these agencies," says a resident. (CNN) Thanks for the great link, Han!

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Volunteers Build 200 Homes in African Slum in One Week
Written by geri
Monday, 12 November 2007
"1,400 Irish workers brought hope to hopelessly misnamed Freedom Park slum. The initiative, now in its fifth year, was organized by Niall Mellon, a Irish millionaire who bought a holiday home near Cape Town but could not accept the squalor in the townships nearby."

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Teacher "Angel" Donates Kidney to Former Student
Monday, 12 November 2007
"Samantha now can dream about a career, shopping and boys — about life beyond the boundaries of a dialysis machine, thanks to her art teacher who gave the girl one of her kidneys." She was one in a long list of angels Samantha's mother credits with helping her baby of two survive into young adulthood. (Suburban Journals)

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In Africa, a Papercraft Path Out of Poverty
Written by geri
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
Poor Ugandan women who were living on the streets begging for food, have now turned their lives around after joining BeadForLife, a small Colorado-based nonprofit group dedicated to eliminating poverty through handcrafts. (CS Monitor) Submitted by Steve Ghent!

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Friday, November 09, 2007

VETERANS DAY * A NEW MISSION

Met Daniel Ellsberg and Seymour Hersh last night after they spoke at the 24th anniversary of the Office of the Americas celebration. They were both amazing. Hersh revealed where he got the Abu Grahib photos. Also ran into the wonderful Paul Haggis (writer/director and Oscar winner of "Crash" and "Million Dollar Baby." Haggis is a tireless peace activist. His wife Deborah is too. More on this evening later.

Today on BASHAM AND CORNELL PROGRESSIVE TALK our guest is Marine Combat Vet John Conley, the amazing Marine who sent me his Purple Heart after the death threats my family received from Ann Coulter's fans...

The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern) on KLAV 1230 AM Radio live in Las Vegas. All shows are simulcast on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at BASHAM AND CORNELL.COM We have interviewed Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards, Valerie Plame, Dahr Jamail, John Dean, Elizabeth Edwards, Mike Gravel; Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie Savage, Congressman Charlie Rangel, Senator Byron Dorgan; bestselling authors like Greg Palast, Mikey Weinstein, Paul Krugman; Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert and Paul Waldman are regular guests. Upcoming: Obama and Hilary. If you missed any of these shows, check out the archives on our website.



In the Screen Actor's Guild Building, there used to be a huge painting of Norma Rae holding the "UNION" sign. When I stepped off the elevator and saw it for the first time, it gave me goosebumps. It reminded me of the common cause we all share, not just as actors but as American citizens and workers.


I met Elizabeth Kucinich last night at a fundraiser for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and after hearing the speakers, it struck me anew that Democrats are desperately in need of hope and inspiration. We are all too mired in negativity, fear and hopelessness.

Elizabeth Kucinich, whom we're having on our show next week, has a positive, exciting new message, that inspired me to remember our true mission. We need to realize we are on the precipice of exciting, catastrophic change. We are on the edge of the NEW ENLIGHTENMENT. Instead of being defeated and pessimistic, we need to see that it's always darkest before the dawn. This is the perfect time to turn it all around. But we can't do it with incessant anger and fear. That's why Obama's message rang so true in the beginning. He was untainted. The naysayers' force of media worship and it's hideous underbelly hadn't gotten to him yet. So far, he seems to have stayed above the fray, but hasn't fulfilled expectations of the Great Colorblind Hope.

The naysayers in the media are trying to splinter us, and it may look like we've lost our balance — but now is the perfect time to see the silver lining in this whole shameful political spectacle.

BEST EXPLANATION OF THE WRITER'S STRIKE:

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Liberals and Democrats are passionate about ending this war and all future wars. Republicans have more cynicism about America's place in the world. Liberals are probably more pure and unjaded. We actually believed the American Dream that we were the peacekeepers of the planet - the good guys. As it turns out, we are the only civilized nation to have ever dropped a nuclear bomb on a civilian population. And now we have a delusional, fear-based president who is instilling terror in us by provoking nuclear conflict with Iran. It's like the Harry Truman quote on my sidebar:

But I no longer want to focus on the bad news. Everyone else is doing that. We need to be constructive and look at the good being created all around us. There is a silver lining to every single "bad" thing happening.

New industry will be created out of the oil and gas crisis. New forms of energy, new ways to save the planet, new jobs created, newfound simplicity and love for our fellow man.

Even the Writers Strike may turn out to be the beginning of a new paradigm — where antiquated corporations no longer have a stranglehold on the true owners of creative content. Who needs corporate bosses any way?

Think about it. See a new way. I will post more later.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

VALERIE PLAME LIVE WEDNESDAY

Quote of the Day: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead (US anthropologist, 1901 - 1978)

Today November 7, 2007, VALERIE PLAME is our guest on the Basham and Cornell Radio Show at 8 am Pacific Time on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas (simulcast worldwide on the web.) And we’ll have her for the entire hour.



Valerie Elise Plame Wilson, known as Valerie Plame, is a former United States CIA officer who worked as a classified covert intelligence agent for over twenty years and the wife of 2-time past guest on the show, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson.

On 14 July 2003 Robert Novak identified "Wilson's wife" publicly as "an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction" named "Valerie Plame" in his syndicated column in The Washington Post. In that column Novak was responding to an "op-ed" entitled "What I Didn't Find in Africa," written by former Ambassador Wilson and published in the New York Times the previous week, on July 6, 2003.

In his op-ed, former Ambassador Wilson states that the George W. Bush administration exaggerated unreliable claims that Iraq intended to purchase uranium yellowcake to support the administration's arguments that Iraq was proliferating weapons of mass destruction so as to justify its preemptive war in Iraq.

Novak's public disclosure of Mrs. Wilson's then-still-classified covert CIA identity as "Valerie Plame" led to a CIA leak grand jury investigation, resulting in the indictment and successful prosecution of Lewis Libby in United States v. Libby for perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to federal investigators, in the Wilsons' civil lawsuit (Plame v. Cheney) against current and former government officials (dismissed on July 19, 2007 in U.S. District Court in a decision appealed the next day), and in continuing related controversy.

The controversy related to the leak of Plame's identity and subsequent legal and political action is sometimes referred to as the Plame Affair. Her autobiography, “Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House”, was published on October 22, 2007.

The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern). All shows are simulcast on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at www.BashamAndCornell.com
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PENCILS DOWN Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors Issues Statement in Support of Writers Guild of America...(more below)

Going on strike is a very sad thing, but the producers won't budge on the hated DVD issue and the new media downloads. I have something important to post later today on this. As members of AFTRA and SAG, we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of the Writers Guild. Let's pray for a swift resolution.

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The National Board of Directors of Screen Actors Guild unanimously approved a statement of support for the Writers Guild of America (WGA) at its plenary meeting in Los Angeles Oct. 27.

Saturday’s resolution, which is included below in full, sounds a resounding note of support for the WGA from the highest elected body of Screen Actors Guild.

SCREEN ACTORS GUILD STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR THE WGA

WHEREAS the advent of digital production and distribution of content through the Internet, cell phones, and other new media platforms has created a moment of historical urgency for the Guilds that represent creative talent;

WHEREAS our employers sought to change the compensation structures fought for by generations of actors, writers and directors by proposing to pay residuals on a profit-only basis across all media;

WHEREAS our employers have thus far been unwilling to counteroffer the reasonable WGA payment proposal for Internet streaming and instead call such use “promotional” even when whole pictures are shown and new revenue is generated;

WHEREAS our employers persist in equating content downloaded over the Internet with the sale of DVDs despite the complete absence of manufacturing costs and the relatively de minimis cost of digital distribution;

WHEREAS our employers have thus far been unwilling to recognize that the wages, working conditions and residuals provided in our basic contracts should govern work made for any platform, new or old;

WHEREAS our employers have had sufficient experience in new media to make confident, public revenue projections to their shareholders, but nevertheless insist that they must study new media for another three years before they can bargain a residuals formula;

WHEREAS any solution devised for payment of residuals in new media must address the problems of monitoring and enforcement;

WHEREAS our employers have been unwilling to improve the unjust home video residuals formula despite record home video revenues they have reaped since convincing the Guilds over 20 years ago to help grown this market by accepting a discounted residual;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the National Board of Directors of Screen Actors Guild that:

1. The current position of the AMPTP and its members referred to above are unreasonable and would set a dangerous precedent for all creative talent.

2. The Guild supports the WGA and any other Guild or union that seeks to resist the employer positions referred to above and fight for fair compensation and protections for creative talent in the motion picture, television, and new media industries.

Adopted unanimously this 27th day of October 2007 by the National Board of Directors of Screen Actors Guild.