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There can be no question that the quality of summer films has deteriorated. It is understandable when you consider the money and talent (the talent goes where the money and the work is) has migrated in a big way toward the mini-series model. The switch-over names are getting bigger (e.g. Julia Roberts, Sean Penn, Emma Stone) every season and the theater productions are increasingly less appealing.  I did manage to see a few films and so will do a quick review for each. The best movies of the year will probably be released over the next several weeks. Hunter Killer–This  Hunt for Red October ripoff has a very few moments’ worth of good action, but the idea that team of special forces could penetrate a

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Markets

[Author’s Note: This is not investment advice but merely educational content. Consult a professional for investment policy recommendations] DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. . . Perhaps the eye of a scrutinising observer might have discovered a barely perceptible fissure, which, extending from the roof of the building in front, made its way down the wall in a zigzag direction, until it became lost in the sullen waters of the tarn.                                                                                    

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Movies

With his newest film Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson creates what has become for him a routine effect; he delivers a refreshingly unique and unpredictable story experience in film. And this time he adds a couple more items: he makes a pun out of the title while probably promoting stop-motion animation to a new level of legitimacy. That he chose a near-future Japan as his setting can only make me curious. Did anime’ influence him? Old Godzilla films? In a day and age of horror and zombie films, and movies that rely so heavily on CGI, it was a great relief to experience lower tech and  more organic storytelling— which is not to suggest that the film was simple. Perhaps it was a canine version of

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          Two of these books will guide you for change that will occur.  The other one is to inspire you to action and help prevent events that could occur. All three books were written in the middle of the last century. The world war was over, but the Cold War had begun. One could argue that the events of the first half of the twentieth century made it clear that human race faced two formidable enemies: the innate human lust for power, and the curse of the tree of knowledge in the form of quantum leaps in technology. The first two books explore the conflicts with these enemies. The last book faces the prospect of defeat – by both. I have

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Markets

[Author’s Note: This information is meant to be entertaining and educational and does not represent a recommendation to make or change investments of any kind.] The Standard & Poor’s 500 index (a.k.a ‘The Market’) may be on the verge of a precipitous decline of 10% or more – that according to technical analysis which in layman’s terms means  “looking at the chart.” In the most recent chart from big charts.com, you can see the support level at just under 2600. If it should break down through that level the implication is that it would drop at least 10% from here. – this is because the line acts as a fulcrum and the first stop would be a level below the line equal to the distance from

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Markets

I was a financial professional during two prior stock-market bubbles, the ones that ended in 2000 and 2008 respectively. This market acts and looks (on a chart) very much like those bubbles.  The key is the exponential curve common to each of them. As you can see with the example below, the slope gets steeper until it appears to be in “vertical climb,” going almost straight up. That’s the phase we are in now–the vertical climb phase.   In the vertical climb phase–EVERONE is buying: the last retail investors joined in, foreigners are strong marginal buyers, and short-sellers are buying to cover their shorts.   But  as stocks go higher in price, it takes more money to accelerate prices higher. Gravity always wins. The way it

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When I hear the Star Wars theme and see the text scrolling up and away from me into the stars, it arouses the wonder in me. And because for over three decades I have been rewarded for accepting the reality projected in these stories, I suspend whatever disbelief I encounter. This episode (VIII) has its share of potential distractions in the form of questionable plot points, but if you can silence those interruptions of reason, the film and the story take you –as all worthy stories do–full circle: from your own human experience to an imagined one and back again. The point, of course, is to see what changed in the process. I hope that enough of the other hundreds of millions of viewers changed as

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  THERE ARE several reasons to believe that the current president just served his first and last full year in office. Here are some of them: He just delivered the Republican party – or you could say he delivered to its benefactors—the biggest thing he could have given them: a multi-trillion-dollar handout in the form of a tax cut.  In other words, his usefulness just became greatly diminished His unpopularity is eroding the Republican brand terribly: They just lost a “red” Senate seat in one of the reddest states in the union – Alabama His absence would not disrupt much: Pence would do the party’s bidding with all the alacrity of a Boy Scout helping an old lady across the street, but without all the drama

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Movies

Jessica Chastain probably gets herself nominated for an Oscar as she plays a very determined and capable woman—reminiscent of her character in Zero Dark Thirty. The film is about a force of a woman—though it’s not necessarily about women, and part of the plot is about gun control in politics—but it’s not really about gun control. It’s about the lobbying industry and the ruthlessness with which big money chases votes, paying mercenaries (lobbyists) to fight their wars for them: if a new or changed law means billions, you quickly pay millions to try to make it go your way. Power is ruthless, so the driving conflict of the film is “winning” or  achievement in pitched battle against conscience and morality. The machines of industry and

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With the recent heralding of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, I find myself transported to the living room floor, crouched alongside my brother in front of the family’s sole TV. Tuned in to one of the few available channels, but “tuning in” with purpose, it became a ritual filled with mysticism and meaning. At the time, and sufficiently stimulated after the show, it only meant that we might demonstrate the Vulcan neck pinch on our sister or younger brother. But today, I reflect on how the show expanded my worldview. Anyone who watched it was forced to consider the implications of ever-bolder space launches and the terrific vaults of technology into abysses of space and time and even being. That small screen made me,

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