Six In The Morning: Budget and Bigotry Blues

1 MOVING BACKWARDS Obama’s health care law is under scrutiny for the third day as Supreme Court justices assess the provisions of Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, introduced in 2010. Critics question the constitutionality of the law’s individual mandate, which requires every American to buy health coverage. Two related provisions, protection from retracting health care coverage and higher premiums for pre-existing medical conditions, are also expected to fall if the mandate is ruled unconstitutional. Before this law was enacted, the United States was the only developed country without a national health care program.

2 NOT GOOD. An Iraqi woman was taken off life support on Saturday, after being severely beaten in what authorities suspect could have been race-related hate crime. Maybe it was the note saying “go back to your country” found next to the woman’s body that gave it away. Shaima Alwadi, a 32-year-old mother of five was found by her daughter in their San Diego home a week ago today. Oh yeah, and apparently Germany is having some issues with neo-Nazis. Great.

3 SPEAKING OF CRAZY RACIST GROUPS A document was leaked by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization, exposing some pretty questionable strategizing by the National Organization for Marriage to eliminate same-sex marriage in the US. The documents indicate the organization has been trying to create a strategic divide between the black and gay/lesbian vote, while increasing support for traditional family values in the key swing Latino vote.  

4 AHA! THEY’VE GOT IT! The Riots Communities and Victims Panel, a government-organized panel tasked to investigate the UK riots last summer has released its findings today. The issue: people need a stake in society. Weird, isn’t that what was figured out after the riots in Paris? And weren’t immigration, racism, and social integration central issues in BOTH LA riots? Maybe, just maybe, countries which rely so heavily on immigration for demographic stability should consider ramping up social integration policies rather than slashing them.

5 I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN HANDLE ANOTHER BUDGET Flaherty releases the Federal budget  tomorrow, and if it follows the pattern of the budgets we’ve seen so far this month, it should be a treat. Newly appointed NDP leader Thomas Mulcair used the budget discussion to evoke some serious imagery, warning of  Harper government’s painful public service cuts by a “rusty machete”.

6 BREATHING ROOM The deadline for Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit applications has been extended three months in order to allow productions to wrap up their current seasons before the program is eliminated entirely. Brad Wall promised yesterday to consider alternatives of a more ‘sustainable’ nature. Ron Goetz, president of the Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association points out that while the extension allows productions to capitalize on the film industry’s busy season, more importantly, it also provides the time for the industry’s supporters to come up with a new plan.

38 thoughts on “Six In The Morning: Budget and Bigotry Blues”

  1. #6 and new poll: it’s midmorning and I’ve had my coffee, but I’m missing the point of the PD poll.

  2. #5 Not only is Thursday budget day, it’s also the day a Conservative controlled Parliamentary committee has called the chief electoral officer to come before it to testify about the robocalls scandal. What a coincidence!

  3. Barb – the point is that everyone watches movies I guess? A more relevent question might be “have you ever watched a production that has benefitted from the SK film tax credit”? To which my answer would be yes.

  4. I think the point is that everywhere on earth has a tax credit program for movie production. If you’ve ever seen a movie, you’ve seen it because of tax credits. Bravo clever poll-doer.

  5. It’s not so clever if people such as anonymouse and I either have to ask about the point or have a better poll question to pose.

  6. I think the poll is less of a question and more of a statement: film tax credits are such a no brainer that it doesn’t bear having a poll about it.

  7. “Not sure” if you’ve seen a movie? Please. With all the talent at your disposal, could you not have had a relevant poll?

  8. The poll question is funny in its positing of a deliberately funny (to the point of being absurdist) question. I appreciate that not everybody has the same sense of humour, but as previous poll questions have on occasion been facetious, I recognize this as being within PD house style.

    P.S. I laughed for a good five seconds when I read the question.

  9. Me? In the spirit of the question, I voted “Not sure”. I’m not sure how Barb voted. I wouldn’t want to presume that she’s seen a movie.

  10. anonymous # 10 and 11: Russell Peters is not looking over his shoulder or losing sleep.
    When there’s a good poll question, I’ll vote.

  11. Barb: My tastes run closer to Jonathan Winters and the Goon Show, so yes, to reiterate I appreciate that not everybody has the same sense of humour, and may explain how our respective personal barometers measure it accordingly.

  12. Ah, real humour! Jonathan Winters and The Goon Show: how standards have dropped since then.

  13. In deference to us, perhaps the next poll might include “Needle nardle noo” as a possible answer.

  14. There’s an idea! Create an extra box for those who fail or refuse to acknowledge this type of humour.

    Or alternatively, a space could be left beside an “other” category, and one could simply fill in their own opinion on the topic at hand.

    But wait, isn’t that the purpose of these comment sections?

    I imagine the never-ending grammar hunt must be taxing. Leaning towards an appropriately lame check box rather than addressing the content at hand is completely reasonable.

  15. I think in all fairness, for those of us who are not sure if we’ve ever watched a movie, perhaps a definition of a movie could be provided.

  16. Anonymous sir/madame: “Movie” is the vulgar term for one of Mr Edison’s Motion Picture Exhibitions. I hear that at one such demonstration in France, the image of a moving train was so affecting to the audience that several individuals grew panicked and fled the auditorium.

    As for me, our household boasts several diverting zoetropes and we feel no need to take in those gaudy, filmed spectacles. Moreover, I should say that I am glad our government has stopped frittering away our money on such superfluous peacockery. If we’re going to diversify the province’s economy, it should be through investment in more useful ventures, such as tobacco farming and the manufacture of moustache wax.

    Hip young gentlemen the world over are crying out for a good moustache wax and Saskatchewan could provide it for them.

  17. I have some things I am wondering about the film tax credit:
    1. How valid are the multiplier effect on the economy numbers that are being used ?
    2. When the stadium promoters start spreading their made up numbers about multiplier effect will they be treated by the arts community with the same support that they gave to these ones?

    3.If every jurisdication has a tax credit, what’s the next step, a higher tax credit to attract money?

    4. Why do I imagine the boys in Hollywood as Lyle Lanley singing Monorail as they go from town to town getting the locals to pony up cash to film the latest zombie movie that no one wants to see?

    5. Why do I think many ( but by no means all) of the productions funded by this are product to fill a platform and not art?

    6. Is there another way to make an investment in the film community so that they could tell stories about this place, our history and what it means rather than a bad thriller starring a washed up Andy Garcia? Saskatchewan Arts board type funing from the 1940s maybe, a competetion for sask film makers wher the juried winner gets there movie funded?

  18. Dear, dear Katherine: perhaps the energy you put into ragging on people for your own shortcomings would be better spent on those shortcomings, hmmmmmm?

  19. Actually, this exchange has little to do with me, or anything I have said. Nor does the poll question you find so inappropriate.
    I am involved because you happen to have chosen to rattle on underneath something I have written.

    That said, I do find it cute that you think you are in any position to call someone out for “ragging on people.”

  20. #19: Thank you, kind sir. Our household never moved past the phenakistoscope, so we kind of got lost in the format wars.

    And a capital suggestion regarding diversification, sir. I will immediately approach our elected officials with a modest proposal for my newest venture, “Spatco”.

  21. #20:

    1. Typical cultural and cultural industry economic multipliers range anywhere from 3- to 7-to-1, by my experience of working in the sector and following the news when economics of arts stories come up. Counterarguments that the multipliers are too high tend to come from hard-right sources; you can find examples of these in the arguments put forward by Republican legislators in Michigan when they debated their own film tax credits. But that range is commonly accepted, and in the case of the Sask. tax credit argument, has been framed as the ratio of Sask. tax credits to other investment in a film’s financial structure, which falls with the range I’ve indicated.

    2. I think this is close to an apples-and-oranges comparison, if for no other reason than the total commitment of funds for the SFETC over its 14-year history equals what will probably be about 1/4 the construction cost of the stadium. And will the economic impact merely supplant the old stadium, or add substantive value? Will people have four pints at Bushwakker after the big game at the new stadium, rather than the two they’d regularly have? I do think it is fair however, to look at economic multipliers for a new stadium, but it’s also fair to put those numbers against the $250-500 mil initial capital investment plus operating costs.

    3. Yes, this is actually a problem. I don’t think the problem will correct itself until jurisdictions come closer to a 1:1 investment/return ratio.

    4. Well, California has a tax credit as well, so maybe ask them. The thing about mid-to-low budget filmmaking is that there can be a surprisingly decent return on video over the long run. If you have a genre picture that cost $1 mil, it can make that back plus a profit if you’re willing to wait for it.

    5. Filmmaking has ALWAYS been seen as having two streams: as art, and as industry (the nouveau term being, “cultural industry”). Tax credits for filmmaking have almost always been argued for their industrial, rather than creative, impact. Numbers are easier to quantify than aesthetics. Having said that, the debate on whether box office/video sales returns should be a factor when picking companies for future investment is something that has raged in the English Canadian film and TV industry for decades, and probably for some time to come.

    6. Yes there is, and the Arts Board is one place. Saskatchewan Filmpool is another (SaskFilm used to have a “Filmmaker’s Fund,” but that’s now gone, as is its low-budget feature competition. SCN used to be an outlet for Sask. filmmakers to tell Sask. stories, and again, that avenue no longer exists). There’s also private investment, which can be leveraged through crowdfunding such as Kickstarter. Look up the funding guidelines for the Arts Board and Filmpool, and if you think there should be more resources available for filmmakers, by all means write to the government.

  22. Apologies: I had cut and pasted #20’s comments for reference and forgot to delete them from the body of my response. Were there an edit function, I would clean this up.

  23. Anon @24&25: I used my magic admin powers to delete the stuff that you seemed to have wanted deleted.

    Hope I didn’t wreck anything while I was in there.

  24. Adulthood: the time in life when participation trophies are no longer distributed, and people must get by on their skills – provided that they’ve acquired any.
    Don’t feel singled out, Ms. Norton: I’d rattle on for anyone.
    P.S: I’m with Moon Daddy; the poll is “asinine”.
    Anonymous #24: excellent comments.

  25. Interesting comment by #24
    3. Yes, this is actually a problem. I don’t think the problem will correct itself until jurisdictions come closer to a 1:1 investment/return ratio.

    So why don’t we just have a crown corp of fim making and hire everyone, because that’s what a 1-1 ratio is.

  26. #29: My point being that it’s been noted in the industry that the potential exists for states and provinces to continue to raise their tax credits in a “cold war” of escalation. I’m not seriously suggesting it’ll ever reach 1:1.

    And we did have a Crown corporation of “filmmaking” in the ’70s and ’80s; it was called SaskMedia and was responsible for producing material for Saskatchewan Education among other government agencies. It was privatized by Grant Devine’s government in the ’80s and was one of the catalysts for spurring growth in the Saskatchewan film industry.

  27. Gee Thomas Mulcair, Harper didnt introduce daily whippings for the slaves or reinstate child labour. Are you shocked,my little bearded paranoid friend.

  28. #1 I didn’t really see any “point”either, but I did appreciate the comedy.

    #19 Yer right about vulgarness of it all. It’s movies.

    #24 All 6 are good points.

    Especially P4.

    If a local band could get a “credit” to make a video, pre-budget, and now they can’t, I guess the troupe now just sez they are from somewhere else.

    #28 yer a bit harsh.
    I agree w / the #24 oomment.


    You could be aym1 & aym2
    but do want to be a number or a freeperson?

    Thomas is right. harpo is Ass fucking Canadian citizens, but still giving the talking head to the,( mostley oil ), corporations.

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