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August 27th, 2014

Max’s View

The Giver **1/2

Most Americans are in favor of freedom and equality. Those two values are contradictory, however. Those who value freedom above all believe in the greatness of individuals and want government to stay out of our lives as much as possible. Those who value equality, whether they realize it or not, support a powerful central government. We are born une...

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The Book of Mormon ****

  Compared to other countries in the civilized world, the United States is strikingly religious. There are far more evangelical Christians, more churchgoers, and more believers per capita here than in Western Europe. It wasn’t always this way. At the time of the American Revolution, the United States wasn’t an unusually faithful place. The Enl...

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Get on Up ***1/2

  I don’t know you well enough to guess what your favorite movie is. But I think I can guess what it isn’t. Your favorite movie isn’t a celebrity biopic. Biographical movies about celebrities are not destined to be great films. They are based on the flawed notion that celebrities are more interesting than us because they are in show business....

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Begin Again ***

  I’ve written a lot of articles praising the institution of marriage over the years. Today I’m going to switch it up and offer some genuine praise in defense of the institution of divorce. I never conceived of divorce as being an option for me. But I am incredibly grateful that my ex-wife did. With one little open-minded decision, she changed...

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The Lego Movie ***1/2

Video Pick   I don’t like children’s movies. But I have to tip my cap to the people who make them. Not only do they have to make entertaining movies, they have to make sure that their movies help their bosses sell merchandise, toys, and video games. I have watched my best friend’s son grow up. I have witnessed him evolve from a toddler who was...

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ***1/2

  “America: Love it or Leave it.” That’s a good idea for a bumper sticker. But it isn’t true. One of the many great things about the United States is that you don’t really have to choose. You can do neither. I’ll bet there are a solid 100 million people out there who don’t especially love America but certainly don’t have any intention of leavi...

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The Putin System **1/2

Available on DVD and iTunes   The founding fathers did a darn good job of preventing dictators from taking over the United States. Our system of federalism, separation of power, and regular elections makes it exceptionally difficult for one man to grab the reigns of power and single-handedly change the country. This is something to be thankful...

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Gore Vidal: the United States of Amnesia ***

  If you don’t mind, please name five current celebrities who everybody in America knows…… ……Okay, are you done? Good. I have no idea who is on your list (mine is Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Katy Perry), but I do know that you didn’t name a single intellectual. That’s because there are absolutely no celebrity intellectuals...

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Why I Love House of Cards

  “Congressman Max Abrams: hopelessly conservative. Abrams voted to increase Medicare co-pays for people most in need. And Abrams co-sponsored a bill that would have raised the minimum age for Social Security recipients. Max Abrams: Bad for seniors. Bad for Vermont. (Paid for by Ted Wilkins for Congress 2014).” If I were a politician, I’d have...

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A Million Ways to Die in the West **

  I wish I could go back and live in the old west. The old west was majestic, rugged, and beautiful. The old west: where a man could test his mettle and experience American freedom in its purest form. I’m just kidding, of course. The old west was horrible. Settlers faced isolation and extreme boredom. There was an ugly male/female ratio, which...

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