Warner Todd Huston

Stagehands Extort Hundreds of Thousands From Theater Goers

2010 December 30

If there never was a story that explains how unions are really little else but a criminal extortion racket, the story by James Ahearn in the New Jersey Began Record helps explain it for us. Ahearn’s piece headlined “For Backstage Labor, Rich Rewards,” informs us that some stagehands in New York theater make upwards to $422,000 a year in salary — and that doesn’t include benefits.

These positions are not as highly skilled as brain surgeons, to be sure, yet these guys make hundreds of thousands a year to move chairs, rearrange scenery, raise curtains, and what have you. Why the absurdly outsized pay scale? Threats of strikes shutting down Broadway and its multi-million dollar industry is why. read more…

Hollywood Lunatics and Other Stories

2010 November 26

It’s a holiday and some might say we should be charitable to the unfortunate. By unfortunate usually they mean those that don’t have as much as you and I. But one might construe “unfortunate” to mean being gut wrenchingly stupid, too. And when one thinks of the gut wrenchingly stupid one often thinks of the denizens of Hollywood above all others. Still it is awfully hard to be charitable toward such stupidity, I have to admit.

Today I have two members of the gut wrenchingly stupid Hollywood set to report upon. It might have been three but the terminal lunacy of Charlie Sheen just goes without saying.  read more…

L.A. Sports Stadium Project More Important Than Libraries, Police, Firemen?

2010 November 20

Cross-posted from Right Wing News.


The 2010 elections are now history. If there was any lesson from this Republican tidal wave that swept across the country it is that the vast majority of Americans are furious at the overspending and flawed leadership of our politicians. Voters are no longer so easily fooled by claims that wild spending sprees are beneficial. California was spared the GOP tidal wave but California voters of all stripes voted in droves to impose a high threshold on imposing any new taxes (what was LA turnout). In the City of Los Angeles real pain is being felt as libraries are shut down due to budgetary cuts with police and firefighters next on the chopping block. Yet even with all these cuts in services, politicians in the City of Los Angeles are still considering a multi-million dollar subsidy — using taxpayer dollars – for the problematic Staples NFL Stadium project.

Across the country voters are starting to veer away from supporting public money going to fund stadiums and other such entertainment projects. Recently the Wall Street Journal reported that, “taxpayers are opposing agreements to fund baseball projects after a decades long boom in publicly financed ballparks.” It appears that L.A. has not learned its lesson from November 2nd.

L.A.’s budget is deeply in the red. In mid-September, the city announced that it was shutting down libraries on Mondays to save money. The Los Angeles Police Dept. similarly announced deep cuts that will affect its SWAT teams, its K9 program and other special units all due to the city’s budget morass. L.A.’s firefighters have said that budget cuts will hamper their efforts to fight brush fires and puts other emergency services at risk. Even L.A.’s celebrated Neighborhood Prosecutor Program has been slashed in half.

read more…

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