THE GRINCH | Movie Review

The Grinch

by REGGIE WOLTZ

The Grinch’s 2018 comeback is to Christmas what Black Friday is to the holiday spirit: commercially perverted to the core. But what else should be expected from a family animated movie that has been promoting an updated Christmas staple since the early days of November?

Benedict Cumberbatch is the new voice of the ill-tempered but lonely Grinch, who lives a solitary life in his cave high atop a mountain that overlooks Whoville. The miserable green guy has only Max, his faithful dog and best friend, to keep him company and, other than occasional trips to Whoville to get food, has nothing to do with his neighbors in the valley.

It’s during one of his reluctant shopping trips that the Grinch encounters Cindy Lou Who (Cameron Seely), a pig-tailed and fearless little girl with a precocious heart. For Christmas, she wants Santa to give her struggling single mother, Donna Lou Who (Rashida Jones), the break she needs and deserves. Only, Cindy Lou Who plans to trap Santa so that she can ask for her request in person.

Grinch, perturbed by family and friends gathering together to celebrate in Whoville, plans to dress up as a less-than-jolly Saint Nick to steal everything associated with the holiday and turn the town’s Christmas Day joy into grief.

In effect, our understanding of the Grinch’s motivations are the same and we get to see a little more into Cindy’s character. Sounds like a good way to add something late on so that the second half might not feel like retread! Unfortunately, albeit with a tad more set-up, the plot leads to the same Cindy and Grinch interaction and resulting events as the original version.

The Grinch does more than triple the running time of the original TV classic, which is to say this animated big-screen version is three times too long and ten times as unnecessary (much like Jim Carrey’s live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas from 2000).

Other than padding the plot, backstories for the main characters, and additional comedic relief, The Grinch is ultimately faithful to its source material. But it never improves upon it – for it may look better with more advanced animation but underneath the paint job is the same old overpacked sleigh.

Most disappointingly, the voicework, outside of Cumberbatch’s starring role, is unmemorable. Of the notable failures, Pharrell Williams replacing Boris Karloff as the story’s narrator and Tyler, the Creator’s update of Thurl Ravenscroft’s “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” amount to interesting choices by the filmmakers that, despite trying, cannot replace either of those iconic performances. The same could be said of this Grinch update itself.

© Copyright 2017 – 2018. ALL Rights Reserved.
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RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET | Movie Review

Ralph Breaks The Internet

by REGGIE WOLTZ

It took six years for a Wreck-It Ralph sequel to take shape, and it quickly proves why. Ralph Breaks the Internet mostly eschews the video game cultural mash-up of the original to tell a kid-friendly story set inside the Internet. It’s such a different beast than its predecessor, and yet it’ll likely reach a similar adult audience as the original, as the barrier between gamers and memers isn’t too high, if it exists at all.

As far how the plot handles that transition, screenwriters Phil Johnston, also serving as co-director, and Pamela Ribon simply have the arcade owner plug in the establishment’s first Internet router. But an overlong first act has the unfortunate job of setting up the circumstances that bring Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) into the world wide web. There are too many scenes that exist to re-establish their friendship while they play in the same world as the original. It feels like a lifetime establishing Vanellope’s reason for going into the Internet (they have to find a spare part for her arcade machine on Ebay), and the script doesn’t clue us into Ralph’s arc until hers is ending.

But things pick up significantly when the pair starts exploring the Interweb. The jokes are largely simple, such as birds in a tree tweeting primarily photos of cats, and yet just clever enough that they feel fresh. The smart personification of pop-up ads (Bill Hader voices J.P. Spamley, get it?) breathes some life into the early Internet scenes, but the story really comes alive when Vanellope enters an online racing game far more violent and hardcore than her candy coated arcade machine. She’s inspired by that game’s popular racer Shank (Gal Gadot), and thus begins a journey of finding her true home. Splitting from Ralph, their individual journeys give Ralph Breaks the Internet some surprising emotional power in its second half.

Still, the animated sequel feels very much mass-produced and corporate-approved. When the entity doing the approving is Disney, the result is more often than not a mixed bag. When Vanellope visits a family friendly Disney fan site, it’s hard not to feel directors Johnston and Rich Moore sucking up to their corporate overlords. Nods to Marvel and Star Wars aren’t so much hidden as they drive the plot and humor. But then, sometimes the Disney brand is just undeniably strong and, when manipulated in clever ways, can be used effectively. Ralph Breaks the Internet‘s best scene sees Vanellope entering a room filled with all of the classic Disney princesses, from Snow White to Moana. It is an extended sequence written out of pure joy with not an ounce of cynicism. It’s one of the best moments of popular cinema this year, and gives way to one of the film’s other transcendent moments: a hysterical yet poignant song sung by Vanellope about finding where she belongs in a gritty, ultra-violent racing game.

The film draws her arc so smartly, that when it starts wrapping up as Ralph’s is getting started (far too late), the story at large starts to feel like overkill. And yet, the script still weaves in a powerful message about the nature of friendship that, while not wholly original, is relatively unexplored in children’s media.

So while the rough first half could definitely have been shorter, a lot of Ralph Breaks the Internet ends up being worthwhile. As a visual send-up of some of the Internet’s most popular corners, the film is clever and inventive, even if the jokes themselves likely won’t age well by the midway point of the 2020s. But this being as it may be, there’s an artfully written sequencing for the film and a strong heart rooted in friendship. By no means a classic, or capable of making much of a stir on the actual Internet, this animated sequel is coded to entertain, and that it does.

© Copyright 2017 – 2018. ALL Rights Reserved.
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CREED II | Movie Review

CREED II

Reviewed by Reggie Woltz

While I’m still not sure Creed, with its 95 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was quite as good as everyone makes it out to be, it was certainly better than it had any right to be. What sounded like a joke—a spinoff of the Rocky series starring Apollo Creed’s son, (born out of wedlock), as he masters prizefighting under the tutelage of the Italian Stallion—was instead inventively filmed (the one-shot fight midway through the picture stands out as a brilliantly cinematic scene) and passionately performed.

Similarly, Creed II seemed like it would be a cash-in nostalgia play: newly crowned champion Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is challenged to a fight by Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) and his hulking monster of a son, Viktor (Florian Munteanu). Ivan, of course, killed Adonis’s father in Rocky IV before losing to Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and losing the Cold War altogether.

Creed II could have been a silly rehash of Rocky III (a champ abandoned by his trainer because he’s unlikely to beat the physically imposing, impassioned challenger) and Rocky IV (the Russians: still bad all these years later!). But, like its predecessor, Creed II is much better than it has any right to be. And that’s almost entirely because of the work done by Lundgren and Munteanu, who make the Dragos not only sympathetic but kind of sad.

After Rocky’s humiliation of Ivan in front of the Soviet Politburo—during which the Soviet crowd literally started chanting Rocky’s name, recognizing America’s greatness and the implacability of its champions in a moment that signaled America would triumph in the Cold War once and for all—Drago was cast out of Russian society. His leaders shunned him; his people spit on him; his wife left him and Viktor. This isn’t a mission of revenge; it’s a mission of rehabilitation. Drago wants to reclaim the family name, restore their glory, and maybe even win back his wife.

It’s rare for the villains in these films to have interesting motivations. Usually they’re just guys to beat, obstacles to overcome. But the Dragos are interesting, they have a life and world all their own. And that helps Creed II transcend the sequel doldrums that afflict much of the rest of the film. Steven Caple Jr. has replaced Ryan Coogler behind the lens, and his work here is competent but not much more. Visually speaking, there’s nothing particularly compelling about the climactic fight, or anything else, really.

Michael B. Jordan remains charismatic and compelling, his expressive face and chiseled body dominating the screen. By film’s end he too is a father, worried about the world his daughter will face and the challenges she will have to overcome—and weighing what he owes to his father, the boxing great cut down by the hulking commie. Rocky, who probably gets a bit too much screen time, gumming up the momentum of the movie, is having dad problems all his own, trying to work up the courage to reconnect with his somewhat-estranged son.

Creed II sometimes barely feels like a boxing movie, and I mean that in the best way possible: It’s a film about what parents owe their children, and vice versa. The physical combat that frames these conflicts is little more than window dressing.

© Copyright 2017 – 2018. ALL Rights Reserved.
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FANTASTIC BEASTS: The Crimes of Grindelwald | Movie Review

The Crimes of Grindelwald

Movie Review by Reggie Woltz

The biggest crime in David Yates’ “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is that it makes the dynamic and magical “Harry Potter” universe boring.

Set 70-odd years before the adventures of the “Boy Who Lived,” the second installment in the “Fantastic Beasts” series gets off to a decent start, as the evil wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) breaks out of custody during a high-flying prisoner transfer above New York City. But from there, things go downhill — fast.

The next two hours wander through a labyrinth of convoluted narratives, all loosely connected to a troubled young man with terrifying powers named Credence (Ezra Miller), who is hiding in Paris after having survived the events of the first film.

Grindelwald is convinced that Credence is the key to destroying his nemesis, Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), and hunts the boy in Paris. Dumbledore wants to protect Credence, but since he refuses to confront Grindelwald, he persuades magical beast enthusiast Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to find the wayward youth.

For their part, the Ministry of Magic believes Credence is a dangerous threat to society, so they’ve sent an agent named Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), Newt’s sidekick from the first film, to find him.

That’s the simple version of the plot, and it reads clearer in print than on screen. “Crimes of Grindelwald” also incorporates a number of romantic subplots that further complicate the story: Newt and Tina’s potential relationship is on the rocks after some miscommunication, and Newt’s friend Jacob (Dan Fogler) and Tina’s sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) are back but wrestling with the realities of forbidden love since Jacob is a “no-maj” (the American term for Muggle).

Newt also has a brother, Theseus (Callum Turner), who works for the ministry and is now involved with Newt’s old Hogwarts crush, Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz). To top off the myriad characters’ romantic intertwining, there are also strong hints that Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s relationship is … complicated. 

None of these subplots are crippling individually, but their cumulative effect easily distracts from the film’s underdeveloped core. About halfway through “Crimes of Grindelwald,” you start asking yourself: Is it a Dumbledore origin story? Is it about Grindelwald’s quest for pureblood wizard rule? Is it about social justice for wizards and muggles? “Crimes of Grindelwald” appears to be about a little of everything and a lot of nothing.

The production values are strong, but the dazzling effects of a dramatic third-act finale don’t carry any weight without narrative stakes to support them, and the competent acting goes to waste on characters the audience isn’t invested in. As its centerpiece, Redmayne may be a perfect match for Newt, but is Newt a perfect protagonist for a multifilm franchise? Supposedly, Yates and Co. have three more years to answer that question and correct these outlying concerns.

The introduction of Albus Dumbledore was a hopeful sign that “Crimes of Grindelwald” would help energize the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, but Dumbledore is barely in this new movie at all, and a five-minute scene at Hogwarts feels like a glorified cameo. This isn’t to suggest that these new films have to recycle “Harry Potter” material to satisfy fans. Rather, the problem is that these fleeting elements are reminders of the sense of magic and wonder that was so palpable in that other series and so absent this time around—aside from the actual CGI magic. 

Where the “Harry Potter” films were grounded in Harry’s coming of age and driven by the conflict with Voldemort, the “Fantastic Beasts” narratives feel wandering and arbitrary. You could argue that author J.K. Rowling — credited as “Crimes of Grindelwald’s” writer — is a better novelist than a screenwriter. But even so, Yates’ film feels like a deep B-side track, fleshing out obscure details and offering extreme fan service while trying to force a retroactive square story into a round narrative hole.

If you’re starting to worry that we’ve got a “Lord of the Rings” vs. “The Hobbit” situation on our hands, you’re not alone.

© Copyright 2017 – 2018. ALL Rights Reserved.
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BEAUTIFUL BOY | Movie Review

BEAUTIFUL BOY

Movie Review by Reggie Woltz

American movies about addiction follow a pattern that’s difficult to escape: serious drug/alcohol problem, rehab, relapse, rehab, epiphany, sobriety. They normally end on a hopeful note mostly because studios are reluctant to bum the audience out, even though in real life the recovery rate is under 50%.

I single out American cinema because Europeans are more willing to show the darker side of addiction, physical deterioration and all. In fact, one of the best films this TIFF was Let Me Fall, a fierce Icelandic drama that lets you know early on there won’t be a happy ending, yet you stick around because the lead’s descent into dependence hell rings compelling true.

Beautiful Boy tries hard to break the mold, but comes up short. The movie opens with journalist David Sheff (Steve Carell) trying to understand the grasp crystal meth has on his eldest son Nic (Timothée Chalamet). David’s research triggers flashbacks involving early signs he chose to ignore, Nic’s transformation into a full-blown tweaker, and the collateral damage Nic’s addiction inflicts on the family.

While Beautiful Boy hits most of the same beats as other addiction movies, the main characters seem like actual people. Carell makes great use of his affable, sad persona with an edge (and he is believable, unlike his bizarre dramatic turn in Foxcatcher). Chalamet, who last year crushed it in Call Me by Your Name, is fine as the teen who thinks he has everything under control until he doesn’t. As a family, too, the Sheffs are intellectually minded and well off, which is a slight break from the usual addiction narrative.

The film is based on two biographies, Beautiful Boy, by the real life David Sheff, and Tweak, by his son. Director Felix Van Groeningen (The Broken Circle Breakdown) leans noticeably more on the father’s story, which is a bit of a shame considering how few first-person accounts we have of drug abuse survivors with literary inclinations (A Million Little Pieces? Fake). Chalamet is good, but his role never feels fully inhabited.

The character arcs are immediately recognizable. David goes above and beyond to help his son until he realizes the best course of action is to let the boy figure it out on his own. Nic’s half-baked attempts at getting better eventually cease, and it takes a major trauma to force him to accept his inability to control his dependence.

The film’s main achievement is underlining the insidiousness of crystal meth. This particular drug alters your brain chemistry and reduces your capacity for rational thought, making rehabilitation an even taller order.

One of the ways you know this is a Hollywood movie is that Chalamet never loses his boyish good looks, he just seems a little paler and skinnier towards the end (if you have ever seen a meth addict, you know they are nothing like the Call Me by Your Name dreamboat). Still, Beautiful Boy is competent: capable of tugging your heartstrings, while being truthful enough to freak out every parent who watches it.

© Copyright 2017 – 2018. ALL Rights Reserved.
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BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY | Movie Review

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

Reviewed by REGGIE WOLTZ

Put Rami Malek on the list for best film performances of 2018. As Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the British band Queen, the Mr. Robot star performs miracles, catching the look, strut and soul of Mercury, who died of complications from AIDS in 1991. Sadly, the film itself shows signs of a difficult birth. Sacha Baron Cohen was set to play Mercury before he left over creative differences. And director Bryan Singer (X-Men, The Usual Suspects) was fired for not showing up on set (an uncredited Dexter Fletcher replaced him).

As such, Bohemian Rhapsody moves in fits and starts as we follow Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara of Parsi descent, from baggage handler at Heathrow Airport to co-founder of Queen with guitarist/astrophysics scholar Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and drummer/dental student Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy). He auditioned for the musicians in a parking lot and, with incautious speed, is soon onstage as their frontman with John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) joining in on bass.

Shy offstage and struggling with his love for Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) and his growing attraction to men, Mercury was secretive and conflicted. But when the singer plays “Love of My Life” on the piano to show his love, the feeling comes through as genuine due to the raw emotion Malek and Boynton pour into their roles. It’s significant that Mercury left Austin the bulk of his fortune in his will. No similar authenticity seeps into the scenes of Mercury’s hedonistic gay lifestyle, participating in orgies that come off here as more mild than wild.

In struggling to make a PG-13 movie out of an R-rated rock life, Bohemian Rhapsody leaves you feeling that something essential and elemental is missing. Thankfully, there’s the music that keeps filling the holes in the script by Anthony McCarten (Darkest Hour, The Theory of Everything) with a virtuoso thrum that is never less than thrilling. And there is Malek, who digs so deep into the role that we can’t believe we’re not watching the real thing, down to the eerie coincidence that both singer and actor shared an immigrant experience (the actor’s parents are from Egypt, Mercury’s from Zanzibar). 

Mixing his voice with vocals from Queen and Mercury soundalike Marc Martel, Malek ostensibly becomes the rock star. On set, the actor sang out the throat-straining vocals in his own voice so that, take after take, the lip-synching would match up perfectly and erase any taint of bad karaoke. He also wore fake teeth to capture the four extra incisors in Mercury’s upper jaw that the singer insisted gave him more power and range. 

Physically, Malek nails the frontman’s sexual bravado onstage, with his cropped hair and porn-star mustache, letting loose with “We Are the Champions,” “We Will Rock You,” “Radio Ga Ga” and, of course, the title song. The creation of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” an unprecedented, six-minute mix of rock and opera that delighted Mercury even as critics decried it, allows for a comic bit with Mike Meyers as an EMI record exec who claims no one will ever play it. (Cue the Wayne’s World head-banging car scene).

Many of the major Queen hits are heard in the film’s most daring conceit, a painstaking recreation of the band’s 20-minute appearance at the 1985 Live Aid concert from London’s Wembley Stadium. This is what many called the greatest live performance in the history of rock, and, even as a recreation, it’s hard to argue. Whatever special effects were used to show the band in front of this enormous crowd, the scene captures something crucial about Queen’s connection to an audience as Mercury leads an elaborate call-and-response with his fans. The rousing life that Malek brings to this extraordinary recreation deserves all the cheers it gets. Screw the film’s flaws — you don’t want to miss his performance.

© Copyright 2017 – 2018. ALL Rights Reserved.

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FIRST MAN | Movie Reviews

FIRST MAN

by REGGIE WOLTZ

Director Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash,” “La La Land”), reunites with Ryan Gosling in “First Man,” the story of Neil Armstrong. While almost everyone in the world knows of the moon landing and Armstrong’s poignant words while making history, most do not know the entire story — his tragic life and the failed missions before July 1969. “First Man” takes us on this nearly 10-year journey, allowing us into Armstrong’s private life and how this emotionally broken man could leave his mark on the world in spite of it.

We meet Armstrong in 1961 as a test pilot, skyrocketing out of the Earth’s atmosphere and back again as he narrowly escapes crashing into the peaks of mountains before skidding for miles in the Mojave Desert to a halt as he calmly radios in, “I’m down.” This, of course, elicits laughter from the audience, but this is just the first of many harrowing and stressful situations of the cool-as-a-cucumber pilot and astronaut.

What we quickly learn next is that his young daughter has a brain tumor. Her tragic death will forever change his emotional connection and fortitude. As the family moves on, with an older son and a new one on the way, Armstrong reaches for new accomplishments with NASA. He buries his feelings deep within, never addressing the elephant in the room, and plunges into his work becoming physically and emotionally absent from his wife and two sons.

The story bounces back and forth over the next several years from Armstrong’s personal life to the missions with which he is involved: the Gemini projects and then finally Apollo. The firsthand scenes are quickly paced, only portraying short pieces of their lives. We do understand Janet’s (Claire Foy) frustration and devotion, and get a glimpse into Armstrong’s guarded interactions with well-meaning colleagues attempting to be friendly.

Armstrong’s matter-of-fact personality is either very odd, or he is emotionally shut down because of the tragedy of his daughter as well as the many deaths of his co-workers. This is never really clear, and perhaps it is meant to allow you to draw your own conclusions about this man.

The film, from a technical perspective, is perfection. Chazelle draws you into the cockpit of the shuttles allowing you to feel the dizzying, confusing and breathtaking situations. He shuts us into these small spaces, eliciting a feeling of oxygen deprivation using extreme close-ups and camera angles filling the screen. These scenes, unlike the personal interactions, feel as if they take place in real time, not fast-forwarding in any way.

It might be the closest most of us get to being in an astronaut’s shoes … or should I say “boots.” And there’s a documentary, hand-held camera feel to the scenes in the shuttles, adding a layer of reality and timeliness to the film.

The technical perfection doesn’t stop with the cinematography. It is an example of precise balance in time, color and sound or lack thereof. Sound, music and silence are just as important in this film as the acting and camera work. Whether it’s background music or shockingly deafening silence, sound accentuates each and every scene. Even hearing the astronaut’s amplified, deep inhalations and exhalations, inadvertently forces you to match that rhythm, completely syncing you with the characters in the film.

We feel we are right there with Armstrong or Aldrin. We are pulled into the whir of the now-antiquated control board which is abruptly cut short as Armstrong opens the hatch to take in the enormity of the moonscape. Not a sound can be heard, and you are there with him, in a black and white vacuum, feeling small and in awe of what lies ahead.

Gosling shines as the reserved, emotionally broken and guarded American hero. He creates the man who changed history but did so with tunnel vision. It’s a complex and subdued role of great importance, one that requires subtlety and skill. While Gosling expertly portrays Armstrong, it is Foy’s portrayal as his wife, Janet, that shines. She’s strong, independent and understanding, yet she’s simultaneously shattered and in need of her husband’s absent strength and love.

Unfortunately, Armstrong’s personality is rather flat, and it is Aldrin (Corey Stoll) who enjoys the limelight and has a sense of humor, something the story truly needs.

“First Man” gives us all the back stories of the lives lost during the race to the moon. There are political statements, small pieces of information shared, opening our eyes to the past’s turmoil. It is a spectacular feat in retelling history and the journey of getting to the moon. We learn of the men who paved that path, some by laying down their own lives to make it possible. Armstrong’s story is real, if at times uninteresting and emotionally disconnected (just like the man itself), and Chazelle does his best to turn that story in to over two hours of entertainment. The film requires patience of its audience and, considering the level of dedication it took to make the real-life events happen, that is only appropriate. While we don’t get the feeling of being the first human to set foot on the moon, our experience in looking through the eyes of the actual first man is a reward unto itself. 

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Weiner’s Laptop | Perspective

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“…Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, humankind cannot know.” ~Bertrand Russell


With the 2018 midterm elections right around the corner, and with the regular updates about Russia’s intent to meddle in our midterm elections, and now news of Iran, China and North Korea contributing in the effort to undermine our elections, it’s very important to learn the lessons of the past.

There’s immense value in using the scientific method to find answers to the unanswerables.

The SCIENTIFIC METHOD: Make an observation. Ask questions. Form a hypothesis. Test the hypothesis. Correct the hypothesis if necessary and/or form a new hypothesis. Reach a conclusion.

OBSERVATION: Bizarrely, disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop became a factor in the 2016 election.

QUESTIONS:

  • How many Clinton emails were on Weiner’s laptop?
  • Why were Clinton’s emails on Weiner’s Laptop?
  • Were the Clinton emails found on Weiner’s laptop the same ones the FBI had already located on Clinton’s private server, or were these some of the missing 30,000+ that Trump asked Russia to help find?
  • Is it true that the Clinton/Abedin emails were in a folder labeled “life insurance” on Weiner’s laptop, or is that just a figurative way an investigator might explain his gut instinct about why hundreds of thousands of Clinton and Abedin emails were on Weiner’s laptop?
  • How secure was Weiner’s laptop, considering it was the same laptop Weiner was sexting with a 15 year old girl?

HYPOTHESIS: Putin had eyes on Weiner’s laptop. (Putin blamed Hillary Clinton for the popular uprising against Putin during his re-eection bid in December 2011. Although Putin won the election, he never forgave Clinton. In fact, Putin hated Hillary Clinton. Putin was former director of the KGB and would have likely begun tracking Clinton and her inner circle as soon as he became president. At the end of 2012, just a year after Putin returned to power, Clinton left her post as Secretary of State and retired. The American public speculated that Hillary was prepping to run for president. Putin surely drew the same conclusion. Huma Abedin was Hillary’s right hand lady. Huma Abedin is married to Anthony Weiner. Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 after his sexting addiction became public knowledge. Putin would have been delighted by the demise of Weiner. Perhaps this was when the seed of an idea was planted in the back of Putin’s mind. Putin would draw the conclusion that Weiner was Hillary’s weakest link.)

TEST the HYPOTHESIS: It’s unclear if the American public can test whether Putin had eyes on Anthony Weiner’s laptop, and the 650,000 Clinton emails stored there, amongst which were presumably the missing 30,000/some of the missing 30,000 Clinton emails, but based on Mueller indicting two dozen Russians for computer crimes, it seems highly probable that of course Putin had eyes on Weiner’s laptop… for all we know, Putin’s hackers may have been the ones who stashed the 650,000 emails on Weiner’s laptop.

CONCLUSION: Putin took advantage of Weiner’s scandalous, heinous, twisted sickness to undermine Clinton on the eve of what should have been her winning the 2016 election, because surely Putin was tracking Comey too. Putin knew Comey would do the right thing.

Putin has been resting on his laurels for two years.

Again, the 2018 midterm elections are just two months away. We need to understand our enemies and know how they operate so that we can protect ourselves and our cherished democracy. SUN TZU: The only way to win a battle is to know your enemy, and know yourself.


NOTES:

  • The historic timeline of Clinton’s emails
  • FBI interviewed Clinton for 3.5 hours on July 2, 2016
  • FBI made a public announcement on July 5, 2016, no one would be prosecuted “no charges are appropriate in this case.” Comey said that there was no “clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information.”
  • FBI’s notes on Clinton’s emails
  • Trump “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said during a news conference here in an apparent reference to Mrs. Clinton’s deleted emails. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” July 27, 2016
  • Anthony Weiner’s laptop and Clinton’s emails

 

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Important Upcoming Primaries | The Future

Spaceship interior with view on the planet Earth 3D rendering el

“When once a Republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.” ~Thomas Jefferson

The time is now…

I can’t fathom there ever having been a more urgent moment to get involved in the electoral process than the present. Trump is furiously promoting his Anti-American/Pro-Russia Agenda in a flurry of “Divide America” rallies. We mustn’t fight each other, we MUST fight for the future of our remarkable nation.

Flipping the House and throwing Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy out of office, and power, is within our reach.

There are still 18 primaries to be held before the midterm elections on November 6, 2018. If a few dozen Russians were successful at influencing our election, then a few million American Facebook posters can be succeed at enlightening our fellow compatriots about which candidates will best lead us forward and restore our lost principles.

Tuesday AUGUST 6, 2018

  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Washington

Saturday AUGUST 11, 2018

  • Hawaii

Tuesday AUGUST 14, 2018

  • Connecticut
  • Minnesota
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin

Tuesday AUGUST 21, 2018

  • Alaska
  • Wyoming

Tuesday AUGUST 28, 2018

  • Arizona
  • Florida

Tuesday SEPTEMBER 4, 2018

  • Massachusetts

Thursday SEPTEMBER 6, 2018

  • Deleware

Tuesday SEPTEMBER 11, 2018

  • New Hampshire

Wednesday SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

  • Rhode Island

Thursday SEPTEMBER 13, 2018

  • New York

Of course we can do this better than Russia!


For more information call NCSL (National Conference of State Legislatures) 303-364-7700 / elections-info@ncsl.org .

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Protecting America’s Natural Wonders | The Future

Spaceship interior with view on the planet Earth 3D rendering el

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
~Albert Einstein

It’s July 2018, the height of summer vacation season, with millions of American families across the country piling into cars, boarding planes and trains, and trekking the distance to our country’s mesmerizing natural wonders.

gallantBlog7.22.2018a.jpg

Families arrive at each destination, bright-eyed with sublime awe, enthralled with the dazzling displays of pristine landscapes seemingly untouched by humans prior to their arrival.

Most beautiful Falls in United States--Havasu Falls,Supai, Arizo

We’re all extremely proud of our nation’s natural beauty. For 200 years, ever since the Lewis & Clark Expedition (May 1804 to September 1806), when we first discovered these abundant natural resources, we’ve eagerly sacrificed whatever is necessary to preserve our most valuable treasures.

Yosemite Valley

American tourism is a $1.5 trillion industry, employing 7.08 million Americans. An economic powerhouse that features some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world.

Horseshoe Bend, Grand Canyon

But what will we the future hold for these iconic pillars of our American identity after the Trump team has completed their destruction agenda of these remarkable national assets?

Sunset at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona, Utah, U

The current reality of recently resigned EPA Director Scott Pruitt’s, and Office of the Interior Director Zinke’s, swift and determined effort to rollback the safeguards that our previous presidents fought so hard to implement and maintain… is alarming.

PRUITT is RESPONSIBLE FOR:

  • Undoing the Clean Water Act implemented to protect wetlands and streams, many of which run through our millions of acres of National Parks
  • Dismantling Obama’s clean power plan
  • Halting the scheduled ban on chlorpyrifos which negatively impacts development in children
  • De-prioritizing the clean-up of superfund sites
  • Failure to focus on the Flint water crisis
  • 700 EPA employees leaving their jobs Pruitt’s first year in office
  • and so much more…

ZINKE is RESPONSIBLE FOR:

  • Canceling the freeze placed on coal companies for new leases on public land
  • Slashing the size of national monuments in an effort to promote mining and drilling, despite the fact that the world is shifting to clean energy at a rapid pace (Trump announced that Bears Ears monument will be cut by three quarters, and that Grand Staircase-Escalante monument will be cut in half)
  • Eviscerating the plan to save the endangered sage grouse, potentially opening up these thousands of acres to mining
  • Deleting Obama’s regulations against fracking on federal property
  • Opening up all US coastal shorelines to gas and oil drilling, destroying the lifeline of our immense tourism industry (again, this despite the fact, the world is rushing to shift to clean energy)

Tuesday November 6, 2018 is right around the corner. Let’s express our horror at these seeming crimes at the voting booth.

Tropical sunset with palm tree silhouette panorama

© Copyright 2017 – 2018. ALL Rights Reserved.
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