The Life & Times of Edward Norton

You’ve probably heard of Edward Norton. You probably only know him as that actor in Fight Club and Birdman and not as that philanthropist and environmental activist.

Known for his humility, he has even gone so far to say, “If I ever have to stop taking the subway, I’m gonna have a heart attack”. Edward Harrison Norton was born on August 18th, 1969 to Edward Mower Norton Jr. and Lydia Robinson. His father Edward Mower Norton Jr., was a marine lieutenant in Vietnam, an environmental lawyer and federal prosecutor under the Carter administration. His father is what inspired him to be an environmentalist.

Norton has given millions of dollars towards clean energy and charities for more affordable housing in low income communities. He is a user of solar energy and driver of a car with a hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicle. He is on the board of trustees of Enterprise Community Partners, a non-profit developer for affordable housing in his hometown and a major supporter of BP’s Solar Neighbors program. He is the president of the American branch of the Maasai Wildlife Conservation Trust. He has also appeared in ads against buying elephant ivory, the “say no” campaign.

“People say you can’t make movies about your politics, or the environment. And, generally speaking, I completely divide those sides of my brain,” says Norton. He is also very politically active. He was a major supporter of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and a staunch opponent of Donald Trump during the 2016 election. He says the reason he is so opposed to Trump is because he “cares about the future of his kids”. He also produced the HBO documentary The Election of Barack Obama: By The People. It is a documentary that follows Obama and his campaign team for the two years prior to his election.

Edward Norton is not only of of the great actors of his generation, he is also a great person and role model.

Trump’s Dual Roles Collide with Presidency

Donald J. Trump, the recently sworn in president of the United States of America, has gone against the constitution and he does not care, and as it seems neither do the American people. Trump has been taking money directly from foreign world leaders in return for access to do business in the USA.

Mr. Trump’s multinational corporation has been making deals in foreign countries with people in the government. This is in direct violation of the constitution which states that the president is not allowed to accept anything from foreign leaders. This has raised the question of whether or not what he is doing is really unconstitutional, seeing as most of the deals that have recently gone through were in their beginning stages before Trump became president. However, Trump has not only made deals with these people, but he has also accepted a multitude of gifts, and this has made many people believe that these were in return for total control over the US economy. There have already been reports of foreign leaders buying land in the US in order to start the construction of “Super Hedge Fund” sites. Basically, they built factories on the land and start producing goods. From there they will build towns and shops that only sell goods made in these factories. You may ask, wouldn’t that be a monopoly? It is, however; with Trump’s executive order, he has made it legal for anyone that is a business partner of his to create such monopolies.

Trump, plotting against America

Trump, Plotting against America

This wouldn’t be all bad if it was from allied countries, but so far Trump has only signed with countries that we currently have conflict with. This leads many to believe that he, is in fact, a Russian spy sent to take over the US and make it into Putin’s own personal sandbox. Reports found from American Intelligence Officers, or AIO, have shown that Trump does have major ties to Russia. This has led to many believing that his wife, Melania, was sent by the Russian government to keep an eye on Trump and make sure that everything he is doing is up to par with what the Russians are asking of him.

There is no real way to tell  if these claims are true yet, but speculation has led to the belief that they are and that the American people are now being led by Russia and other foreign powers. Trump’s paranoia has led him to make some very large claims against the Obama administration. He is claiming that they wire tapped his phones and bugged his house. People are starting to question Trump’s legitimacy and many people have stated that claims as serious as these can be grounds for impeachment if they turn out to not be true.

So we now have a president who is possibly a Russian spy, making deals with our enemies, who goes directly against the constitution, and is so paranoid that he just made a claim against former president Barack Obama that could lead to his own impeachment. All this being said most of it is not true and was written to try and fool you by making crazy outlandish claims.  

Pulling out the Trump Card

President Trump shows off his executive order, signed.

President Trump had already written his first executive order before Inauguration Day, ready to be signed as soon as he was sworn in. This is no surprise, though, as Trump was eager to start making America great again as soon as possible. The real surprise was what was written in this executive order. It ordered that all anime must be stripped from store shelves, removed from TV channels, taken down off the internet, and confiscated from all citizens, and that it should be enacted immediately.

The Trump Administration was very quick to enforce it, too. The next day, police officers were going door to door all over the country confiscating any DVDs containing anime, and jailing anyone who refused to give up their prized discs. The amount of jail time earned is not yet decided, but a representative of the Trump Administration said that it could be anywhere between two and five months. A reported 1,337 people were jailed within the first week of the order being enacted.

“I woke up at five in the morning to a loud banging on my door,” says anime enthusiast Jamison Randall. “By the time I got up, officers had busted down the door and were all over my house searching for anime DVDs, and I was held at gunpoint to open my safe. When I opened it, they searched through it, and left everything exactly where it was except for my anime.” Randall also claims that after the anime was confiscated, the officers left his house casually, like nothing ever happened.

Examples like this sparked controversy among citizens, mostly about the harshness of the confiscation. One supporter of the ban even said, “The ban was a good idea, but the way cops are taking anime from homes is over the top.”

The debate about whether or not the ban was a good decision is causing fights all over the country. An estimated 4,200 people have been hospitalized in the past week due to injuries caused by fist fights over this executive order.

It is estimated that about 69% of US citizens agree with Trump’s decision to ban anime. Those who disagree are going to extreme measures to hide their precious anime, doing so much as to hide it in their ceilings. President Trump called for another search to happen this weekend, as he is suspicious of people hiding anime.

Opposers are hoping that the all the protest and violence that happened over the past few weeks because of the order will encourage Trump to revoke the order. Whether or not he will do so is completely unpredictable.

“Hamilton” Star to Join the Cast of Broadway’s “Great Comet”

Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan, who played Hercules Mulligan and James Madison in the Broadway hit Hamilton, is set to replace Josh Groban in the new musical Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.

Onaodowan will play Pierre, a wealthy aristocrat going through an existential crisis. Groban will depart the show on July 2, and Onaodowan will replace him the day afterward and stay until September 4. This will be his fourth Broadway show after Cyrano de Bergerac, Rocky, and Hamilton.

Okieriete Onaodowan at the opening night of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.

Okieriete Onaodowan at the opening night of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.

The musical, often called simply Great Comet, is an electropop adaptation of a seventy-page portion of War and Peace. Onaodowan, the son of Nigerian immigrants, will play opposite Denée Benton as Natasha, so the two leads will be played by black actors despite the show taking place in nineteenth-century Russia.

“Having the opportunity to have two black actors star is, to me, irrefutably huge,” Benton said to the New York Times about the casting choice. “Actors of color definitely feel the limitation to have to tell the stories the world has decided are your own, when if you look at the breadth of characters handsome white males can play, they’re given access to the whole range. It’s exciting to have that same opportunity.”

Onaodowan, who is known for his range and versatility as an actor, will have to learn to play the accordion and focus more on singing than rapping, giving audiences a chance to see more of his skills. “It’s very different from what I’ve done before–there’s a lot to dig into,” he said.

The Pros and Cons of the United States Involvement in NAFTA

The North American Free Trade Agreement is a trilateral trade deal between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It was negotiated under the George H.W. Bush administration, signed by President Bill Clinton, and implemented into effect on January 1st, 1994. According to Bill Clinton, NAFTA was signed because “NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t support this agreement.” This has been a very controversial statement because NAFTA has led to many jobs leaving the US into other countries, however it has also led to many jobs leaving other countries and coming into the US. With NAFTA being in the news so much lately because of President Trump wanting to pull out of it, it is important to know all of its effects.

NAFTA has created 5 million jobs since it was put into place. That is an avergage of 227,000 jobs made per year. We also now have an average of 42,000 outsourced jobs per year due to NAFTA.

In 1993 the US had a $1.7 billion trade surplus. In 2016 the US had a $54 billion trade deficit which has led to the loss of many U.S. factory jobs.

NAFTA has led to many environmental problems because environmental standards were a minor part of the agreement. This has been criticized harshly for many years with a lot of people wanting to renegotiate or pull out of the deal partly because of this.

Apparel prices have dropped 7.5% since NAFTA was implemented. This has helped the poor the most because they are able to obtain their basic needs for much cheaper. A 2015 study discovered that completely shutting off trade would lead to a 69% loss in real income for the bottom 10%.

Proponents of NAFTA claimed that it would reduce illegal immigration from Mexico.  Mexican immigration – legal or illegal – doubled from 1990 to 2000 and has been rising consistently since.

President Trump has called NAFTA “the single worst trade deal ever approved in this country” and since he took office he has quadrupled the tariffs that are still existing between Mexico and the U.S. and will likely try to pull out of it or renegotiate it.

Hugh Jackman Leaves roll as Wolverine

Hugh Jackman has played the role of Wolverine in Marvel’s The X-Men for about 17 years now ever since his first appearance in the original X-Men back in 2000. But after years of tiring work Jackman is ready to call it a wrap, with Marvel’s Logan being one of the last films that he expects to play in the role of Wolverine. Hugh Jackman states that he is uncomfortable leaving the role, as it has been a major part of his life for such a long time. He also states that “there’s been a gnawing turmoil that I hadn’t really nailed it, fully — either story or performance or whatever,” but not with Logan

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Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

Logan is the real story behind Wolverine, with his life as a hero falling into darkness and torment. The idea was thought up by Jackman himself after being asked if he had to do one last movie and what would it be. After “a few wines” he blurted something out and then went home and went to sleep. He then later woke up to send a voice memo, and that became the basis for the plot.

 

The director of Logan James Mangold said in an interview, “By thinking of this as his curtain call, he arrived every day on set electric. I don’t think anyone can see this film and call it a paycheck film for him.” Hugh Jackman was not going to leave the tale of Wolverine half finished or done poorly, so he gave it his all every day in hopes that his spectacular performance would give the character of Wolverine a good ending point, one that people will remember.

 

Mr. Jackman said that he knew that the role would eventually get passed on and there would be a new Wolverine and that he was at peace with that, but then jokingly said, “unless Daniel Day-Lewis plays him and wins the Oscar — then I might have a little problem.”

 

He recently spent a lot of time in New York filming The Greatest Showman which he did not intend to pivot from The X-Men franchise, but he had been working to help develop it for some time. In this movie, he plays a showboating, larger-than-life impresario, who is almost an opposite of his role as Wolverine.

 

Hugh Jackman has decided that the newest film, Logan would be his last performance as Wolverine, and he is at peace that his role will be taken over by someone else and that he will have to see the role that he played for years being played by someone else.