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What’s the deal with Harry and Meghan’s son not becoming a prince?

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What's the deal with Harry and Meghan's son not becoming a prince?

What's the deal with Harry and Meghan's son not becoming a prince?

 

One of the most shocking claims made by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their interview with Oprah Winfrey was that their son was denied a royal title due to his skin color.

Archie Mountbatten-Windsor is Harry and Meghan’s seventh-in-line to the British throne. Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, on the other hand, are Harry’s older brother, Prince William’s children.

“They” — presumably the palace — “were saying they didn’t want him to be a prince… which would be different from protocol” while Meghan was pregnant, she said.

She speculated that it could be because “the first member of color in this family is not titled in the same way that other grandchildren are.”

WHERE DID ARCHIE GO?

Archie is one of the Queen Elizabeth II’s nine great-grandchildren. Apart from Prince William’s three children, who are second in line to the throne and are destined to become king one day, they are not princes and princesses.

The titles of prince and princess are only given to the monarch’s children, the monarch’s sons’ children, and “the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales” — William’s son Prince George — according to a decree issued by King George V in 1917.

The rule was drafted, according to Bob Morris of University College London’s Constitution Unit, to reduce the number of princely titles, which has become increasingly unwieldy.

“Queen Victoria had nine children, all princes and princesses, and then they had children and so on, and George V took the view… that something needed to be done to tidy up the situation,” he explained.

The queen has the authority to change the rules, and in 2012 she declared that all of Prince William and Catherine’s children would be princes and princesses, not just the eldest.

Archie is not a prince under the George V convention, but will be once current heir to the throne Prince Charles is king.

“They want to change the convention for Archie,” Meghan said in her interview.

It’s unclear what she was referring to, but Morris claims that Prince Charles has stated that he “favors a smaller royal family” when he ascends to the throne.
Coverage in Detail: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor was one of Archie’s courtesy titles at birth. It was reported at the time that Harry and Meghan had decided against bestowing a title upon him.

“It wasn’t our decision to make,” Meghan told Winfrey.

ARCHIE’S SECURITY IS AFFECTED BY THE TITLE.

Archie “wasn’t going to receive security” without a title, Meghan feared.

However, having a royal title like prince or princess does not guarantee security. Taxpayer-funded police bodyguards are provided to full-time working royals, such as Meghan and Harry before they moved to America last year. Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, the daughters of Prince Andrew, do not have jobs outside the family.

WHAT DOES THE PALACE HAVE TO SAY ON THE MATTER?

The interview’s specific allegations were not addressed by Buckingham Palace. “The issues raised, particularly the issue of race, are concerning,” the group said in a statement. While some memories may differ, the family will discuss them privately.”

My self Eswar, I am Creative Head at RecentlyHeard. I Will cover informative content related to political and local news from the United Nations and Canada.

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Saw-whet owl migration gives researchers in Washington County a chance to study them

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Saw-whet owl migration gives researchers in Washington County a chance to study them

After three fruitless journeys into the darkness this past Monday night, Sonia Martinez and her daughter, Isabel, finally hit paydirt.

There, in mist nets the Martinezes had helped install an hour earlier, were two tiny northern saw-whet owls. Lured to the Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center in southern Washington County by a recording of a male saw-whet owl’s call, the birds peered out at them. Each was about the size of a robin.

“Fourth time’s the charm,” said Sonia Martinez, a volunteer bander with Project Owlnet, a nationwide grassroots banding project to determine the timing, intensity and pace of migration of saw-whet owls.

As Martinez worked to transfer the first owl into a drawstring cotton bag, Jennifer Vieth, the executive director of the nature center, started untangling the second.

“This little stinker was not going to get caught,” Vieth said, as she worked to free its tiny talons and wings from the nearly invisible net. “You have to reverse the process of how it got in. It’s just like untangling a necklace. You want to do it really carefully because it’s a living creature.”

Like Martinez’s owl, Vieth’s owl wasn’t banded.

“No jewelry,” Vieth said.

Project Owlnet was founded in 1994 by ecologist David Brinker of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Since then, the project has grown from five cooperating saw-whet owl banding stations in Maryland to a network of more than 125 in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Project Owlnet volunteers and researchers annually catch thousands of migrating owls and take various measurements assessing each owl’s weight, size, age and gender.

COLLECTING THE DATA

Inside the nature center’s administrative building, Martinez and Vieth weighed each owl, still in its respective bag, on a small digital scale set up on a large wooden conference table. Keeping the owls contained in the dark bags helps them remain “nice and calm,” Vieth said.

After its weight — 83 grams, or just under 3 ounces — was recorded, Vieth gently removed her owl and banded its leg with a small circular piece of metal engraved with a number and the U.S. Bird Banding Lab’s website address.

Then, cradling it in her lap, she felt its keel — which Vieth likened to “your Thanksgiving turkey white-meat area” — to determine whether it was thin, obese or somewhere in between.

“This is a 3,” she said, measuring it with her index and middle fingers and blowing on its chest. “They can range anywhere from 0 to 4. Three is healthy.”

Measuring the tiny owl’s wing chord involved taking a small metal ruler and holding it alongside its folded wing — from the bend of the wing to the tip of its longest feather.

“You don’t measure the span because you don’t want to stress them out,” Vieth said. “This is an easy measurement to take: The wing is in its natural position, and it’s a good indicator.”

IT’S IN THE EYES

After turning off the overhead lights in the room, Isabel, 13, used a small flashlight to illuminate the owl’s eyes and matched the color of its bright-yellow iris to a Benjamin Moore paint sample. In addition to collecting data for Project Owlnet, the women are working on a collaborative Purdue University eye-color study.

Volunteers determine the age of a saw-whet owl based on the appearance of its wings under a blacklight in Carpenter Nature Center in Hastings on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. A team of volunteers have been capturing, studying, banding, and releasing saw-whet owls for seven years. (Emily Urfer / Pioneer Press)

“I think they’re Abstracta,” Isabel said, referring to Benjamin Moore Classic Color No. 322. “I really like that one. It’s interesting because their eyes are so different — some of them are really bright yellow, and some are really dark.”

Vieth used an ultraviolet light to examine the underside of the owl’s feathers to determine its age. “New feathers fluoresce,” she said. “As the feathers age, they get duller. A hatch-year bird has all new feathers and is all pink. Older birds replace some of the worn feathers, so they have a mix of pink feathers and duller feathers.”

Isabel, an eighth-grader at Cottage Grove Middle School, was given the honor of naming the bird. She christened her Belladonna, a nod to Belladonna Baggins, the mother of Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit,” the book she is currently reading.

After all the data were collected and recorded in a three-ring binder, the owl was placed in a small white cardboard box marked “Special Owl Box No. 2 — Do Not Recycle” and left to sit on the building’s back stoop for 15 minutes.

“We want to make sure their eyes are adjusted to the dark before we release them,” Vieth said. “It’s just to be super-careful. You know how when people are taking pictures, you get that flash blindness? You don’t want them flying off and not seeing the big barred owl in the tree and getting eaten because they can’t see right.”

When it was time, Martinez slowly nudged the lid open. The owl peeked over the side and flew off.

“Just don’t go back into the net again,” Martinez told it as it settled on the branch of a nearby spruce tree.

A NUMBERS GAME

After a slow start, this past Monday night turned out to be a banner night for saw-whet owls. The women collected 10 owls, the most so far this year at the Carpenter Nature Center, located near the confluence of the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers.

The most was 16 owls in one night. Some nights, they haven’t gotten any.

“Oh, yes, we’ve been shut out,” Vieth said. “One year we got three owls all season, but no data is still data in the world of research.”

“It just depends on population levels and how excited they are about that really attractive tooting call, which sounds like a truck backing up,” she said. “Sometimes as you’re taking one out of the net, another will fly into the net right next to you. That’s super-cool that they don’t care that you’re standing there.”

The Martinezes volunteer at Carpenter two or three nights a week during owl-migration season.

“It kind of depends on everybody’s schedules,” said Sonia Martinez, an accountant. “We’ll stay out as long as we’re getting birds. The first night we were here, we stayed until about midnight.”

The 10 owls they collected this past Monday ranged in weight from 70.8 to 101.3 grams, with an average weight of 90.3 grams.

It turns out male saw-whet owls are smaller than females, “so if it’s under 85, you most likely have a male,” Vieth said. “If it’s over 100 grams, you don’t even have to guess — either that, or it just ate a really, really big mouse.”

The women recorded one male, one unknown and eight females. Among the names bestowed by Isabel: Bubba, Cleo, Emily, Myrtle, Belle, Holly, Wood and Shire.

HERE TO BOSTON

This is the seventh year volunteers at Carpenter have participated in Project Owlnet.

1634551327 896 Saw whet owl migration gives researchers in Washington County a chance
This saw-whet hatch-year owl, banded at the Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center on Oct. 4, 2020, recently flew into a mist net at Belle Isle Marsh Reservation in East Boston, Mass., a journey of more than 1,400 miles. (Courtesy of Friends of Belle Isle Marsh Reservation)

Two weeks ago, a saw-whet owl banded at Carpenter last fall flew into a net of a fellow Project Owlnet researcher at Belle Isle Marsh Reservation in East Boston, Mass., a journey of more than 1,400 miles.

The owl’s cross-country flight is “yet more evidence of how interconnected we all are,” Vieth wrote in a Facebook post after she learned the news. “She was not very big, only a 2 on her keel score, and she weighed just 92.5 grams. Releasing her into the darkness that evening, I am certain I wondered if she would survive her journey. I always wonder — and hope.”

Vieth, director of Carpenter Nature Center since 2013, has been researching birds for 30 years. A native of Canada, she started as a summer assistant on a snow-goose project in La Perouse Bay, Manitoba, while studying at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. She came to Carpenter Nature Center in 2005 after stints at The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota and at the World Bird Sanctuary.

Birds banded at Carpenter have turned up in Alaska, Venezuela and British Columbia, she said. “Birds connect us,” she said. “We share our birds.”

The owl-banding season at Carpenter generally runs from Oct. 1 through Nov. 15.

“Owls may still be moving south after that, but, for our researchers, you want to be able to get the owl out of the net really quickly and easily, and if your fingers are frozen, it doesn’t work,” she said. “From capture to banding to letting go, our goal is less than 15 minutes.”

Most of the owls banded so far this year have been older owls, which is unusual, Vieth said. “With the warm weather, the youngsters aren’t migrating as early as the oldsters,” she said. “That’s kind of cool. The old birds are, like, ‘I’d like to head back,’ and the young birds are like, ‘Hey, it’s nice here. I’ll hang around a little longer.’ We haven’t seen that before.”

Vieth said she loves getting middle-of-the-night texts from researchers reporting that a bird banded at Carpenter has turned up safe somewhere else. Likewise, she likes to be the one to share the news with fellow birders.

“We’ve caught quite a few that have already been banded,” she said. “It’s like fishing in the night, and then you’re getting these golden tickets. It’s really cool when they already have jewelry on.”

WHAT WE CAN LEARN

By tracking saw-whet owls, who “tend to be pretty route-loyal,” researchers are filling in “some of the mystery dots between where they breed and where they might roost in the winter,” Vieth said.

The owls need safe habitats along their routes in order to survive and reproduce, according to Vieth.

“Just think of how far they travel,” she said. “It’s tricky enough with natural predators and diseases when you are covering thousands of miles each spring and fall. When there’s habitat loss, and humans introduce new challenges like reflective windows, cars, mouse poison, it gets even tougher to make it as a tiny migratory owl.

“This is an amazing story of scientific collaboration and hope,” she said. “I just love how these volunteers and researchers are working to unravel the mystery of the owl’s life cycle, so we can make a difference in their world.”

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Mastrodonato: Game 3 start a big chance for Eduardo Rodriguez to prove himself with Red Sox as free agency looms

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Mastrodonato: Game 3 start a big chance for Eduardo Rodriguez to prove himself with Red Sox as free agency looms

This is Eduardo Rodriguez’s chance.

Manager Alex Cora is giving him the ball again in a crucial matchup with the Astros for Game 3 of the American League Championship Series on Monday with a chance to make his name one that Red Sox fans won’t forget for a long time.

And it’s a chance for him to make perhaps his final pitch to the Sox’ front office, which will have to examine his candidacy for a contract extension with exclusive negotiating rights in a five-day window following this year’s World Series.

If they don’t come to an agreement, Rodriguez will be a free agent for the first time in his career.

Rodriguez, relievers Adam Ottavino and Hansel Robles, and first baseman Kyle Schwarber are among the Red Sox players eligible for free agency after the postseason.

“Probably towards the end of the season I guarantee you they were thinking about stuff like that,” Cora said Sunday. “But now it’s not even on their radar, honestly. I think what they think right now is how we’re going to try to beat them tomorrow, how I’m going to stay healthy, what I have to do to be ready for tomorrow. But (free agency) doesn’t come up right now. It doesn’t.”

If someone had to guess whether or not Rodriguez would end up back in Boston next year, it’d have to be a coin flip.

The Red Sox won’t be desperate for his services.

They have Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi leading the staff. They hold contract options on Garrett Richards ($10 million) and Martin Perez ($6 million), though both should be declined. They have two standout rookies in Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock, who are expected to compete for spots in the rotation next spring. And they have two prospects, Bryan Mata and Thad Ward, likely to return from Tommy John surgery at some point in the middle of the season. Connor Seabold and Jay Groome are a pair of young, intriguing possibilities as well.

The idea of Sale, Eovaldi, Houck and Whitlock making up four of the five starters to begin the year seems like a tantalizing one, and a likely one.

“Whitlock, from day one, he has been impressive, and he really hasn’t waned at all,” Ottavino said. “He has been awesome the whole year. I just think he is going to be truly special for his whole career. It’s been awesome to see him from day one, and Tanner too. He has unbelievable stuff.

“I think they both are starters in the future. But this year they’re kind of our super weapons in the ‘pen. It’s great to be at a point in my career where I can be so pumped to be a part of it and help those guys on their journey as they’re starting out.”

Still, the Sox will need to add another starter or two before 2022.

Rodriguez probably didn’t make himself a lot of money with his regular season performance in 2021. He finished the year with 157 2/3 innings, 185 strikeouts, 47 walks, 19 homers allowed, a 1.39 WHIP and a 4.74 ERA.

Most of those numbers put him toward the bottom of the league among qualified starters, though his strikeout rate was elite, and the best of his career.

Importantly, he made 31 starts one year after a case of COVID-19 left him with myocarditis and bedridden for most of the 2020 season, which he sat out.

“If you ask me that —  that shows you everything,” Rodriguez said. “I’m 100%.”

He said he was thankful just to be alive after his difficult bout with COVID-19.

“I just want everybody to be safe because I know how it is,” he said. “I know how it feels, and I just got to send thanks to God to be here because a lot of people are dead already because of that, and I just am glad to be here.”

In normal times, a lefty who throws in the mid-90s with an elite changeup and a career 4.16 ERA would surely command $12 million to $15 million a year in free agency. After a down year, and amidst an uncertain market, that could be difficult.

The Sox will have some money off the books in 2022, but chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has shown a tendency to prioritize bargain deals.

He’s also shown a tendency to prioritize players with proven track records in the postseason, which Rodriguez has a chance to cement with a strong start against the Astros on Monday.

Until his last start against the Rays, he’d been a postseason failure, with 11 runs allowed in 11 2/3 innings.

The Astros knocked him around good in a pair of starts in late May and early June, scoring 12 runs off him in 9 1/3 innings.

“At that point he wasn’t on point,” Cora said. “I think the change-up wasn’t good. It was a bad sinker. … The pitcher that we have now compared to who he was when we went there and then he pitched here, it’s a lot different. The velocity is up. The change-up is where he wants it.”

A great start will mean a lot for the Red Sox. And it’d mean a lot for Rodriguez’s future, either in Boston or somewhere else.

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Breaking Down Every Nook & Cranny of the ‘Succession’ Season 3 Premiere

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Breaking Down Every Nook & Cranny of the ‘Succession’ Season 3 Premiere
What to make of the season 3 premiere of Succession? David Russell/HBO

After nearly two years off the air, HBO’s Succession has finally returned to delight and entertain with a gaggle of out of touch 1%ers all acting horribly in their own self-interest. While we gave a broad overview of the third season in our (mostly) glowing Season 3 review, Succession deserves more in-depth exploration than just that. So each week, we’ll be breaking down each episode with a beat-by-beat recap while also doling out some weekly awards. Shall we dive in?

Succession S3E1 “Secession” Recap

We open with the Roy family traveling via helicopters across the snowy mountains like a caravan of Bond villains. Logan appears to be contemplating the recent events of the Season 2 finale as Kendall does the same in a bathroom somewhere in Manhattan. Both are processing the bombshell Kendall dropped on his family in their own ways. The Logan Squad is looking for a place to regroup: either New York, London, Singapore, or L.A. Rich people (cue eye roll). Logan doesn’t immediately know where to go or what to do and is taking out his frustration on his family and staff as usual. After taking some time to breathe, Kendall emerges from the bathroom like a man on a mission: “Actions stations. Let’s fucking do this.”

The Season 2 finale promised an all out war between Kendall and Logan. I like how the premiere’s cold open here immediately establishes the battle lines between the two. It appears that Kendall had a rough outline of what he was getting into, but perhaps didn’t think it all the way through. The totality of his actions and the ship he’s just put himself at the helm of are only now sinking in. 

For all the differences between the two, it’s worth noting that both Kendall and Logan are processing in somewhat similar ways before mobilizing. 

Kendall is heading to Waystar, naively thinking he still has a job there. He wants to get a team of lawyers ready. A gaggle of media swarms him outside to which Greg’s response is to continually and needlessly scream “No Comment.” Never change, Greg. Kendall axes one of his assistants for not being fully on board with his takedown of Logan. Honestly, who can blame her? The spur-of-the-moment move may have been necessary for Kendall last season, but the lack of planning is going to be difficult to overcome. Elsewhere, Shiv and Roman discuss the status of the situation and the fate of their father. Both are curious if this is the end of Logan as a media mogul. All children deny any knowledge of Kendall’s plan, which is true. Kendall puts Greg in charge of monitoring his social media temperature.

I love the constantly shifting alliances of the family members and their persistent concern for their own status. For all the machinations, scheming, and planning afoot, the only thing that matters is the family. By clever design, this is also what hurts them the most and adds to their disconnect from the real world. That dynamic is the very center of the show. 

In a hilarious elementary school game of telephone, Logan speaks to Kendall through his assistant Jessica. Logan says he’s going to “grind up your bones to make my bread,” to which Kendall hilariously responds that he’s “going to run up off the beanstalk.” Even with this epic bombshell, Kendall still comes across like a child playing grown up.

I wrote in my review: “The need for emotional honesty directs their business decisions because it’s the only way they know how to articulate and translate their feelings. Logan raised each of them on a transactional basis; how could they not turn to oppositional mind games to express themselves?” Consider the above exchange exhibit A. These people have bottomless pits of money to spend, and yet are still the most damaged of all. No, they don’t have to worry about money, but at what cost does that comfort come?

Logan strategizes with his team. Roman advises not cooperating with the government investigation, which Gerri disagrees with. The plan is to play hardball and wait until Kendall self-destructs. Logan Squad is going to try and bring in the President, who they refer to as “The Raisin,” for support. Meanwhile, Greg can’t figure out whether or not the Pope has followed Kendall on Twitter. Both sides are reaching out to one another with feelers for potential double crosses and information. Both sides are also looking for potential support systems. Logan Squad is sussing out whether or not the DOJ is going to investigate. Things are heating up. 

Greg is Extra Greg this season and it’s a wonderful sight to behold. Overall, “Secession” is laying the groundwork for a never-ending game of alliance musical chairs.

Kendall’s talks with his girlfriend about how he may be the best person in the world at the moment. Waystar Co cancelled Kendall’s access to the office building. Greg compares the situation to “OJ…except if OJ never killed anyone.” To which Kendall responds, with a grin on his face, “Who says I never killed anyone?”

Kendall has always been the most moral of the characters, but that’s like saying saying he’s the nicest of your middle school bullies. At the end of the day, he’s still toxic and self-serving and he’s clearly getting off on the false pedestal of ethics he’s assumed. He’s co-opting the serious issue of workplace sexual harassment for his own purposes and turning his dark side inside out. And for him to joke about the actual person he killed in such a flippant manner is revealing of his true colors. 

“Secession” raises the question: is doing the right thing for the wrong reasons still commendable?

Succession Season 3 COVID
HBO’s Succession David M. Russell/HBO

On behalf of Logan, Shiv is going to try to connect with her friend Lisa Arthur, the same lawyer Kendall is aiming for in this familial debacle. Logan splits up the team for various responsibilities. Shiv and Tom promise to talk about their marital issues at a later time; Shiv tells him she loves him, and Tom doesn’t say it back.

I thought Tom’s line last season (“I wonder if the sad I get from being with you is worse than the sad I get if I alone”) was pretty heartbreaking. And even though he’s terrible, Shiv treats him like shit. Of all the kids, she is clearly the best with other people—it’s why she was sent in to persuade the witness not to testify last season (a point of no return for her character’s morality). But for all of her deft handling of external egos and agendas, she doesn’t know how to act with her own husband.

Season 2 saw Shiv finally enter the family business with bravado and a sense of moral superiority from her work in politics. Now, she may be realizing she’s not quite as smart or ethically stationed as she once believed. She knows Waystar is a cesspool deep down, but she doesn’t care.

Kendall retreats to his ex-wife’s apartment to set up base camp. He tells her that he did this for her and the kids (ugh). He asks her if he can win and she says “I don’t know.” Elsewhere, Logan’s team reviews the litany of disasters and emergencies the company has previously weathered. But this time around, they’re against the Senate, FCC, potential class action lawsuits, etc. It looks bad. Logan doles out responsibilities and strategies while declaring that “IT’S WAR!” He also offers to step back as CEO publicly as part of his approach (whiles still pulling the strings), opening the door for an internal race for new CEO.

Kendall is still all ego. He needs to be validated at every stop. And with Logan opening up a bakeoff for interim CEO, it positions Succession to do what it does best: pit characters against one another in an effort to climb the ladder.

HBO Succession Season 3 Review
Brian Cox in HBO’s Succession. Graeme Hunter/HBO

Alliances are forming and the game is afoot. Greg is hilariously awkward while attempting to flirt with Kendall’s new social media team. Kendall immediately bulldozes them with his own thoughts and plans without listening to their ideas at all. It’s all about “narrative arcs” for them. 

The entire idea of “narrative arcs” is icky. None of what they do is real. In typical Succession fashion, it is the sheen of idealism grafted onto personal vendettas. I love how creator Jesse Armstrong and his writers room can take the trendy buzzwords of today and slip them into this story as examples of how the 1% are just trading on cultural currency for their own benefit. It’s savvy, much like the major players of the show.

Tom pushes Gerri and Roman to Logan instead of Shiv. Roman pushes himself, but also Gerri, for the CEO role, which takes him out of the running in Logan’s mind. Logan likes killers which is partly why he smiled in the Season 2 finale when Kendall blew him up. Roman and Shiv trade some sibling banter. Shiv meets with Lisa Arthur, who is now repping Kendall, and also inquires about some personal assistance to help her navigate the waters. Everyone is watching their own backs. Back at the hotel, Roman wants to fool around with Gerri but she’s not interested. She wants to avoid “mess.” Sorry Groman Shippers. Doesn’t look like it’s happening as quickly as we hoped. But on the more positive side, Gerri has been named interim CEO!

She’s easily the most qualified. I actually think she could help the company. This also sets Roman up well for the future. I’m just worried how Gerri will be eventually screwed over.

Succession S3E1 Recap Explained
HBO’s Succession David M. Russell/HBO ©2020 HBO. All Rights Reserved

Awards & Categories

The Shareholders Award for the central theme of this episode: While this episode did some heavy lifting in the table setting department for the season, it was also very much about the how and why we display loyalty. What is it that endears or attracts us to someone? What is it that keeps us in line? Is it fear? Morality? Personal gain? Should doing the right thing for the wrong reasons still be championed? 

The “Fuck Off” Award for Best Line of Dialogue: Kendall, speaking to his new social media team, says “I think the headline needs to be: Fuck the weather, we’re changing the cultural climate.” In his own way, Kendall is just as much of a bumbling buffoon as Greg. His obliviousness is just propped up with the arrogance that a lifetime of wealth provides. 

The 1% Award for Best Example of Wealth Porn: The laundry list of potential destinations Logan’s fleet of airplanes and private jets were prepared to carpool his squad. I mean, really

The Fortune 500 Award for the Best Strategic Play from a Non-Logan Character: Kendall locking in Lisa Arthur and, by extension, blocking Logan from hiring her. Remember, Shiv’s failure to get Lisa also contributed to Gerri being named CEO. The ripple effects were big on this one. 

Quarterly Earnings—Best Pro and Worst Con of this Episode: The Best Pro would have to be the Action Stations moves from both characters. Succession is a show that has never needed actual action or high concepts to be entertaining. It’s a series of conversations taking place in expensive settings that wring out the drama. It’s a black comedy, a Shakespearean play that just so happens to have very impressive set design and nice clothes.

The Worst Con is that I don’t love the path they’re setting up for Kendall. Call me a sucker, but I wanted him to move morally and be the one ethical light in a sea of sludge and darkness. Instead, he’s just doing all this to save his own ass. While that’s extremely on brand for Succession, I also would have liked to have seen something of a hero to root for.(mostly) glowing Season 3 review

Breaking Down Every Nook & Cranny of the ‘Succession’ Season 3 Premiere

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Editorial: Democrats need concrete spending priorities

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Editorial: Democrats need concrete spending priorities

As they prepare to spend $1.2 trillion on a bipartisan infrastructure deal, along with a vastly larger sum on a party-line social-policy bill, Democrats might be expected to defend their ambitions on the merits. Instead, progressive leaders seem to be focused on fiscal gimmickry.

Their goal is to advance a $3.5 trillion initiative known as Build Back Better. With moderates balking at the bill’s scope and cost, efforts are underway to deliver a slimmer version that might command broader support.

Unfortunately, these seem to be concentrating not on setting priorities, getting value for money, and presenting intelligible choices to the country, but on creative accounting.

Some of the devices under discussion are familiar. One idea would be to set revenue gathered over the full 10-year budget-planning period against spending programs that stop partway through, even though they’re intended to be permanent. More fancifully, President Joe Biden has claimed that the $3.5 trillion plan is “paid for” and hence “costs zero dollars.” Even if it were true that higher taxes would entirely cover the outlays, the cost does not evaporate. (Does this really need to be said?)

As it happens, though, the plan’s tax increases don’t cover the proposed new spending. The true 10-year cost of the proposals would most likely be $5 trillion or more, and the tax increases under consideration would raise slightly over $2 trillion. In other words, apart from costing $5 trillion more than nothing, the plan as it stands would add substantially to public borrowing and future public debt.

Remember that these enormous new commitments were proposed on top of an unprecedented expansion of spending and borrowing due to the pandemic. Government outlays in 2020 were $6.6 trillion, of which just $3.4 trillion was covered by taxes. This year’s budget deficit is again projected to be roughly $3 trillion (13.4% of gross domestic product), pushing public debt to $23 trillion (103% of GDP). With inflation running at a multi-decade high by some measures, these gigantic numbers surely warrant more caution than Biden and progressive Democrats have allowed.

No doubt, elements of the Build Back Better proposal are worthwhile. The plan is nothing if not comprehensive, and some of its ideas, especially if narrowly tailored, deserve support, such as calls for additional funding for everything from affordable housing to R&D.

All of which would be good, if money were no object. In the real world, unfortunately, governments must make judgment calls and trade-offs based on value per dollar spent. That, in turn, requires the kind of attention to detail that has been mostly absent in this debate.

It all bears witness to a deeper problem. Progressive Democrats proudly see their spending ambitions as radical and transformative. But far-reaching plans to reduce poverty, strengthen the safety net, broaden economic opportunity, and expand public services require comparably far-reaching plans to tax and spend prudently — especially if the goal is to create permanent new benefits with recurring outlays. It’s wrong to seek credit for transforming the country if you’re unwilling to be honest about what that demands.

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Minnesota elections 2021: Falcon Heights city council candidates

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Minnesota elections 2021: Falcon Heights city council candidates

FALCON HEIGHTS CITY COUNCIL

Michael Arcand

  • Age: 52
  • What qualifies you to hold this position? I feel being involved in the community is essential. I coached youth sports in the Roseville/Falcon Heights area for 19 years. I served on the FHFD for 13 years and two as the Fire Marshal. Being self-employed since 1996. I work with a diverse customer base and understand problem solving is a team effort that needs involvement and transparency.
  • What would your top priorities be if elected? Community involvement in civic decisions. Transparency of information to our community. Fiscal Responsibility of City Funds.
  • What do you think is the primary role of government? The role of government in Falcon Heights is to responsibly watch over our city funds. To make sure we continue to have an inclusive attitude toward our residents in the decisions our council makes. To be transparent with the information that is used to make decisions.
  • How would you rate Minnesota’s response to the coronavirus? What would you do differently? Minnesota’s response to the Covid-19 crisis has been consistent with our nation’s response. At the local level we are required to follow the State policies and procedures.
  • Website or contact information: arcandforfhcouncil.com

Melanie Leehy

  • Melanie Leehy

    Age: 57

  • What qualifies you to hold this position? I’ve served successfully for 4 years on the City Council, chaired the Community Engagement Commission for 8 years, and co-chaired the Inclusion & Policing Task Force. My professional experience is 40 years in nonprofit community leadership, banking, and public schools. I am known for being a responsive listener who seeks positive action with unity.
  • What would your top priorities be if elected? It is important to our city’s viability and uniqueness to have a balanced budget that covers current and long range financial stability, meet our public safety needs, and honor residents and guests of all ages and backgrounds. This includes stewardship of our environment, infrastructure and amenities like our present need of a new park building.
  • What do you think is the primary role of government? I believe it is to provide servant leadership that seeks the best interest of the community within the scope of municipal parameters. This means operating with fiscal responsibility, seeking creative means for city growth, being responsive and transparent to concerns, and encouraging community involvement.
  • How would you rate Minnesota’s response to the coronavirus? What would you do differently? I am mindful of the challenge State leadership had to respond to something they have never experienced before. I am grateful for the quick answers and solutions. As someone serving in the community it was helpful to have the daily media communication. I sensed there was a desire to work compassionately with people of color and in urban communities.
  • Website or contact information: [email protected] or https://www.facebook.com/MelanieLeehy4u.

Sue Majerus

  • 1634540789 59 Minnesota elections 2021 Falcon Heights city council candidates
    Sue Majerus

    Age: 66

  • What qualifies you to hold this position? My work passion for my city and volunteer experience. BA in Public Administration and lifelong learner. Grew up in Falcon Heights. 40+ years Social Services, technology and business improvement in Ramsey County. Using my knowledge and experiences with many many volunteer and appointments within the city.
  • What would your top priorities be if elected? We have very talented educated residents with busy life’s so think how best to engage with them and there is no 1 single solution that will fit all. Create opportunity for a meet and greet in the community with those affected to engage in a conversation, acquire information, be educated, be heard, and come to an informed decision.
  • What do you think is the primary role of government? To provide a safe community environment and process for services to the community. The city is built and grows based on community input and engagement. It’s the community that makes the City of Falcon Heights unique. Ensure a fiscal responsible budget and acquire alternative funding whenever possible.
  • How would you rate Minnesota’s response to the coronavirus? What would you do differently? The State response Very Good. Communication needs to flows from State-County-City level to the people! It’s the impacts on the community as it relates to jobs, services, housing, food, emotional well-being, isolation, and overall safety of the community that is important. Continue to communicate new program assistance during this difficult time.
  • Website or contact information: https://votemajerus.org

Eric Meyer

  • 1634540789 185 Minnesota elections 2021 Falcon Heights city council candidates
    Eric Meyer

    Age: 34

  • What qualifies you to hold this position? At TakeAction MN and the Minnesota Nurses Association, I organized volunteers and workers to fight for paid family leave and better healthcare. At Generation Atomic, I organize advocates to fight for clean energy and good jobs. My entire career has been focused on bringing people together for the greater good. I want to do that for Falcon Heights.
  • What would your top priorities be if elected? We need a new community center, and while we’re at it, we must ensure all public buildings, walkways, and parks are accessible, safe, and ADA compliant. In general, I want to make our community safer, more connected, and welcoming to workers, businesses, and residents.
  • What do you think is the primary role of government? I believe the role of government is to be responsible and responsive to the people that elect it. From what I’ve been hearing in the community that’s keeping our city safe with sensible ordinances, expanding housing opportunities, and strengthening our business community with innovative ideas. Overall I’m here to serve the needs of the citizens.
  • How would you rate Minnesota’s response to the coronavirus? What would you do differently? As far as deaths per 100,000 people, Minnesota is 12th least in the nation. We’re doing a pretty good job, but we need to act decisively to beat this virus. The science is clear that vaccines are safe and they work. I would support making them more available at community events and mandating them at indoor businesses moving forward.
  • Website or contact information: http://voteericmeyer.com

Nicole Porter

Candidate responses not available.

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Minnesota elections 2021: Hastings school board candidates

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Minnesota elections 2021: Hastings school board candidates

HASTINGS SHOOL BOARD

Carrie Banaszewski Tate

  • Carrie Banaszewski Tate

    Age: 43

  • What qualifies you to hold this position? I’ve managed multi-million dollar budgets and have been a professional change agent for most of my 20+ year career. I help companies identify wasteful spending in order to maximize budgets. I’m a creative problem-solver and work with a diverse group of people. I understand the importance of listening to feedback surrounding changes being made.
  • What would your top priorities be if elected? We need to ensure resources are available to address the exponential growth in mental health issues we’re seeing in students right now, as well as address any possible school-related root causes of those issues. We need to understand why parents are pulling their students from our district and make the necessary adjustments.
  • What do you think is the primary role of government? The primary role of government, particularly in public schools, is to ensure students have the opportunity to receive a solid education. The board must ensure it’s a positive environment where kids can learn to become critical thinkers and contributing members of society, as they prepare to join the workforce or go on to higher education.
  • How would you rate Minnesota’s response to the coronavirus? What would you do differently? I think a lot of mistakes were made in the response to the coronavirus. Private schools were largely open for full-time in-person learning for the majority of the school year while Public Schools were mostly distance learning and hybrid. Students, teachers and parents suffered greatly because of it, so we have a lot of work to do now.
  • Website or contact information: carrietateisd200.com or [email protected]

Jessica Dressely

Candidate responses not available.

Scott Gergen

  • 1634540184 57 Minnesota elections 2021 Hastings school board candidates
    Scott Gergen

    Age: 53

  • What qualifies you to hold this position? I am in my 2nd term (8th year) on the Hastings School Board. I’m regarded as a logical, reasonable person with a penchant for problem solving. I hold multiple advanced degrees in both science and business with 30+ years of experience. I enjoy serving our school district and community. I always strive to do what is best for our students and staff.
  • What would your top priorities be if elected? With declining enrollment, my focus is our budget. We’ve been fiscally responsible in my 8 years on the board, which positions us to make smaller adjustments rather than substantial cuts. My secondary focus will be engaging in governance work as it relates to our overall strategic plan. Continued pandemic response remains a priority as well.
  • What do you think is the primary role of government? A government is responsible for creating and enforcing the rules of a society, defense, foreign affairs, the economy, and public services. As a school board member, my role is to put in place governance over the district so we can provide the best educational opportunities possible to our students.
  • How would you rate Minnesota’s response to the coronavirus? What would you do differently? Minnesota’s response to the pandemic has been measured and appropriate. As a school board member, we rely upon guidance from scientific experts at the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health to help guide our efforts at a local level.
  • Website or contact information: [email protected]

Tashina Miller

  • Age: 32
  • What qualifies you to hold this position? I have the skills to work closely with other board members and develop solutions. People understand our children’s future is our community’s future. We all love our kids and want the best for them, so it’s important that we give them an education to set them up for success. I feel strongly about this, and that’s why I’m running for school board.
  • What would your top priorities be if elected? Recruiting and retaining the best teachers and staff members. Understanding all kids won’t choose to attend college and providing them with skills and training they need to be employed when they graduate. Giving students a safe and accepting environment in which to learn, build self confidence, and be accepted for who they are as individuals.
  • What do you think is the primary role of government?  I believe funding education is the most critical investment we can make if we want our community, state and nation to succeed. An educated population is inherently more productive and vested in the success of our entire society. This leads to economic prosperity for more individuals of all backgrounds, which is one of my main goals as a candidate.
  • How would you rate Minnesota’s response to the coronavirus? What would you do differently? The most-important thing our school district can do is ensure that all of our students and staff are healthy and not exposed to something that will make them seriously ill. We have a legal and moral obligation to protect our kids and teachers if we know there is something that could put them in harm’s way.
  • Website or contact information: www.tashinamiller.com

Mike Reis

Candidate responses not available.

Anna K. Sieben

Candidate responses not available.

Kelsey Waits

  • Age: 35
  • What qualifies you to hold this position? I was first elected to the Hastings School Board in 2017 and have been serving as Chair since 2020. I am also a full-time graduate student in Public Policy and I am very active on numerous community boards and committees. I am a mother of two, a strong advocate for the unique needs of ALL children, and I’m committed to serving my community.
  • What would your top priorities be if elected? There has been a lot of political division in across the country and I would like to address this at the local level by improving community engagement and communication. Addressing mental health and finding ways to support those who are most at risk is also a huge priority as we work to create a safe and supportive atmosphere for ALL of our kids.
  • What do you think is the primary role of government? Government’s role is to serve and support their community. For school boards, this means working with our community to improve student achievement. This includes academics and mental health; we need to focus on the whole child. School Boards operate as part of a district team. Our role is to make policy and set an overall vision for the district.
  • How would you rate Minnesota’s response to the coronavirus? What would you do differently? It can be easy to critique leaders during difficult situations. As a parent and a school board member, COVID has been difficult; however I am not a public health official and I can’t say what should have been done differently. Our leaders made the best decisions they could with the information they had. Now we need to decide how to move forward.
  • Website or contact information: www.kelseywaits.com.

 

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Minnesota elections 2021: Inver Grove Heights school board candidates

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Minnesota elections 2021: Inver Grove Heights school board candidates

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES

Amy Bergum

Candidate responses not available.

Sarah Larsen

  • Sarah Larsen

    Age: 38

  • What qualifies you to hold this position? I grew up in Inver Grove Heights and went to our schools. I am raising my two kids here and I have been involved in the Early Learning Advisory Council, Hilltop Elementary PTSA and the 199 Advisory Council for the past 8 years.
  • What would your top priorities be if elected? My top priorities are communication and mental health. We need to make sure that families and the community know what is happening in our schools. Mental health is more important now than ever. We need to support our kids, families and staff to make sure they have access to the resources they need to succeed.
  • What do you think is the primary role of government? I believe that the primary role of government is to (listen) to what people need and support them in those needs.
  • How would you rate Minnesota’s response to the coronavirus? What would you do differently? I believe Minnesota handled the pandemic well. Difficult decisions were made for the good of the residents.
  • Website or contact information: https://sarahlarsenforschoolboard.wordpress.com/

Carrie Lounsberry

  • 1634539581 338 Minnesota elections 2021 Inver Grove Heights school board candidates
    Carrie Lounsberry

    Age: 42

  • What qualifies you to hold this position? I am a former educator and parent of 4 children in our school system. I value public education and want to use my experience as a teacher and a parent to aid our community. I am an experienced board member who listens well, asks challenging questions and strives to help our district leaders make decisions that elevate our students.
  • What would your top priorities be if elected? I will ensure that our budget is focused on learning, both in supporting struggling learners as well as challenging those ready for more. I will continue to review our policies to ensure they are equitable and provide our students with learning opportunities that inspire them to be the best version of themselves that they can be.
  • What do you think is the primary role of government? The primary role of government is to provide leadership and service to the public.
  • How would you rate Minnesota’s response to the coronavirus? What would you do differently? I appreciate the thoughtful response Minnesota has taken. While it has seemed slow at times, I appreciate the methodical roll out of vaccines as well as the focus on safety for our community.
  • Website or contact information: https://carrielounsberry.com/

Lori Melendez St. Onge

Candidate responses not available.

Mark M. Simmonds

Candidate responses not available.

Charles D. Thompson

Candidate responses not available.

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McCaughey: Dems go on the attack against smart kids

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McCaughey: Dems go on the attack against smart kids

Parents whose kids excel in school need to be on guard. Leftist school administrators across the country are banning gifted programs in elementary and middle school and Advanced Placement courses in high school.

Typically, without any notice to parents, an eighth-grader’s accelerated science class or a fifth-grader’s fast-track math class is merged into the regular classroom. Top students lose out. They need accelerated programs every bit as much as children with learning challenges need special education. It’s discrimination.

The left is seizing on a newly published study of Ohio students from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute to call for banning gifted programs. The study, “Ohio’s Lost Einsteins,” looks at what became of second- and third-grade students who were identified as high performers. By eighth grade, only 30% of Black students, 39% of Hispanic students and 34% of economically disadvantaged students in the group were still outstanding performers. Most had floundered.

The study also underscores the importance of helping gifted children early on overcome barriers to success. They may lack a place to study and, most importantly, an involved parent. Some parents don’t insist their children do their homework, concentrate in class and aim for AP classes. These parents need guidance on buying into the educational achievement culture.

Instead, school administrators are scapegoating gifted kids for the sake of equity. Boston suspended enrollment in its Advanced Work Classes program for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, citing the fact that the school district is 80% Black and Hispanic, but AWC enrollment is 70% white and Asian.

The rhetoric attacking gifted programs is vicious and divisive. The Hechinger Report, based at Columbia University’s Teachers College, claims “gifted education has racism in its roots,” arguing that the scientist who popularized IQ measurement was a eugenicist.

California proposes eliminating accelerated math before 11th grade and requiring all students to study math together. “We reject ideas of natural gifts and talents,” the state’s math plan declares.

Educators are peddling a false claim that students of mixed abilities learn better together. A website addressed to school administrators deplores tracking as “segregation” and announces, “It’s good for students to be in classrooms where there’s a robust exchange of perspectives; perspectives that are shaped by racial, ethnic and economic identities.” Maybe in homeroom or social studies, but not physics. Gifted children in slow classes grow bored and even drop out.

Leftist educators are also targeting AP high school classes. But a study by the left-leaning Center for American Progress shows that students who succeed in AP classes have higher grades in college and are more likely to graduate. Eliminating them would be a mistake.

The equity warriors are also attacking the nation’s 165 competitive public high schools. From Boston to Alexandria, Va., and San Francisco, they’re eliminating entrance exams and allocating seats by lottery or zip code.

Georgetown University’s Anthony Carnevale calls it “a direct populist rebellion.” Don’t buy it. The real populism is parents rising up to resist dumbing down their children’s education. These parents know their best shot at the American dream is to have their children succeed in a highly competitive public school. No one should take that away.


Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of “The Next Pandemic.”

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Oppler: Industry expert rebuts – Realtors put consumers first

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Oppler: Industry expert rebuts – Realtors put consumers first

The editorial board piece titled “Realtors must embrace fair rules of competition” is replete with inaccuracies and mischaracterizations about local broker organizations, Realtors and the American real estate industry. In fact, local broker organizations ensure equity, superior customer service and greater options for buyers and sellers. The National Association of Realtors regularly reviews guidelines to maintain practices that increase transparency and improve the consumer experience.

The latest example of advancing positive change is an NAR committee having recently passed motions that more explicitly state the spirit and intent of NAR’s Code of Ethics and MLS guidelines in some key areas. The guidance reinforces greater transparency and disclosure of compensation offered to buyer agents, ensures that listings aren’t excluded from search results based on the amount of compensation offered to buyer agents, and  reinforces that local MLS market participants do not represent brokerage services as free.

The opinion piece suggests another change that would have many unintended consequences: uncoupling commissions and requiring buyers to pay commissions to their brokers. The Boston Herald says this would lower costs when it would, in fact, have the opposite effect. In this scenario, transaction costs would increase for buyers, particularly first-time and low-income homebuyers. Requiring buyers to pay a commission, which can’t be included as part of a mortgage, would increase their out-of-pocket expenses and freeze many out from an already competitive market.

Or buyers would be forced to forgo professional help during what is likely the most complex and consequential transaction they will make in their lifetime. That’s hardly consumer-friendly, especially when 91% of home buyers say they would engage their real estate agent again or recommend them to others. Leaving buyers to fend for themselves would take us back to the old days where the seller controlled the transaction in a “buyer beware” environment.

The Boston Herald piece also grossly mischaracterizes commission norms in other countries, when the American model has, in reality, long been viewed as a best practice for consumers. First, the American approach consolidates and simplifies the process. In other countries, like Ireland and the United Kingdom, fragmented markets make purchasing a home highly inefficient and complicated.

Second, the fragmented models of other countries freeze out smaller brokerages and limit competition. The 88% of Realtors who are small business owners (approximately 1.3 million), a majority women-owned, would have a hard time staying afloat in other countries. In markets abroad, large brokerages are the ones with the resources and much larger sets of listings to compete in fragmented broker markets. The whole point of American local broker organizations is that everyone has equal access to the same set of listings, which levels the playing field for brokerages of all sizes.

Third, the piece also fails to unpack the math for consumers. In other countries, there are additional fees and taxes on top of broker commissions — meaning the costs paid to buyer brokers and attorneys along with much higher direct consumer out-of-pocket expenses — often equate to as much or more than the costs associated with purchasing a home in the U.S. while only providing a fraction of the services consumers receive in America. Expect the cost to sell to be greater outside the U.S. when sellers don’t have the benefit of a shared local database to access buyers and have to pay for things such as listing marketing costs themselves.

In addition, the Boston Herald piece fails to reference that commissions — which are always negotiable at multiple points in the transaction — have decreased steadily in recent years. In 2020, the commission for agents in the U.S. fell to a new average low of 4.94%, according to Real Trends (an indication of how the market drives commissions, not any “standard”), while the average Realtor in America took home just $43,000 in gross annual income. But regardless of the direction commissions are going, the underlying reality is how much Realtors provide critical expertise to help consumers navigate everything from working with attorneys and lenders to making sense of public property information and price trends.

The Boston Herald did get one thing right in its piece: Home prices are rising — to $356,700 in August — which means consumers are accumulating more generational wealth with the help of expert Realtors who guide them through the process and local broker organizations that provide equitable access to brokerages of all sizes and consumers of different means.


Charlie Oppler is president of the National Association of Realtors.

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‘Dune’ director focuses on sci-fi classic’s environmental message

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‘Dune’ director focuses on sci-fi classic’s environmental message

VENICE LIDO, Italy – When the highly anticipated remake of Frank Herbert’s influential ’60s novel world premiered in September at the Venice Film Festival, it was “Dune — Part 1.”

Now as Denis Villeneuve’s lauded adaptation opens nationwide, it’s simply “Dune” — maybe because no one knows if there will be a concluding Part 2.

“The biggest challenge,” said Villeneuve (“Sicario,” “Arrival”) “is that the book is so rich and its strength is all in its details. I had to find equilibrium for someone who doesn’t know the book at all and be as cinematic as possible. So that they will need to understand the movie without crushing them with exposition. So the ideas could follow the story.”

“Dune” is set far into a future where Oscar Isaac’s Duke rules the kingdom of Atreides. His son Paul (Timothée Chalamet) is marked as a new messiah.

TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET as Paul Atreides in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “DUNE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary release.

They wage a war over Arrakis, a desert planet also known as Dune, whose natives, the Fremen, defend it against the House of Harkonnen.

Intentionally, in Herbert’s 1965 text and this film, there’s an environmental emphasis.

Javier Bardem, a real-life green activist, plays the Fremen leader. Herbert, he noted, “was ahead of his time and already concerned how the world was going forward to lose the capacity to have us all in good health as we violate its limits.

“Here we are today looking at that. It’s on the governments, the big corporations to make a big step ahead and change our minds about how we behave in this world. It’s kind of scary: It’s either that or a disaster.

“My character,” he said, “is that way as well and is defending the environmental aspect of this planet to have his people survive. I was linked emotionally and conceptually to that character.”

Added Villeneuve, “When Frank Herbert wrote ‘Dune’ in the ’60s, he was doing a portrait of the 20th century. But it became more about what will happen in the 21st century as it deals with the merger of religion and politics, the danger of messianic figures, the problems with the environment.

“Through the years this book just seemed more and more relevant. I wish this was not the case but I think this movie will speak to the world now more than it did 40 years ago.

“Future generations will judge us. It’s time to make changes. I still have hope but it’s time to take action. The environment is not talked enough in politics. This book” — and by implication, this movie — “is about survival.”


“Dune” opens Friday.

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