Red Rock Resorts, Inc. Class A Common Stock (RRR) Stock

NamSys Inc. (TSX.V: CTZ)

Summary of Findings
I am recommending that you take a close look at NamSys Inc. NamSys Inc is a simple predictable free cash flow generative business with a durable competitive advantage and a long runway ahead of it. It has a strong market position in the cash management industry and a growing SaaS business model. As of January 5th, 2020, NamSys Inc, which trades under the ticker symbol “CTZ”, closed at a share price of $0.90 or a market cap of $24.5m. It has about $5.5m in net cash on the balance sheet and the stock currently trades at a 9.3x pre-tax cash flow multiple, which translates to a 10.8% pre-tax free cash flow yield. At this price, I think it is worth a close look.
Business Overview
NamSys Inc is a small company based in Toronto, Ontario that specializes in providing SaaS software solutions to the cash management industry for financial institutions, retailers, casino operators, transit services, and to many different government entities. It sells 4 cloud based software solutions: Smart Safe Monitoring, Cash-In-Transit (CIT) logistics, Currency Controller (cash vault management), and Deposit Tracking (Banking). NamSys’s cloud based solutions are labelled under the brand name, “Cirreon ''.
Cirreon Smart Safe - The Cirreon Smart Safe product segment represents over 70% of NamSys’s total revenues and it has been growing at approximately 20% compounded annually over the past 10 years. The software solution is being sold in 24 countries but most of it is in North America. There are 16,000 NamSys smart safes out of a total of 80,000 smart safes in North America, which translates to 20% market share in the smart safe segment.
Cirreon CIT Logistic Software - The CIT logistic software assists cash-in-transit operators, who are responsible for safely transporting a business’s physical cash to the bank, to manage day-to-day operations. The Cirreon CIT software solution is an app that allows CIT providers to manage their fleet, track pickups and deliveries, strategically map routes, provide GPS navigation services, and also allows the CIT driver to communicate with the other drivers or customers. The CIT logistic software represents 4-5% of total revenues. CIT sales have been growing by 300% over the past two or three years, according to management, so it is a stream of revenue that will grow at huge rates over time. NamSys Inc has a long-term partnership with CIT providers across North America. The biggest CIT customer is Brinks, similar to the smart safe product. Brinks control 25% of the CIT service market in the cash management industry, which obviously exposes NamSys to 1/4 of the total market.
Currency Controller - The Currency Controller is a cash vault system used to process cash, count cash, and fill cash orders. The Currency Controller can be found within ATM and bank machines and assists banks and CIT services with accounting, billing, management and fulfillment that they need to perform for customers. The Currency Controller segment represents about 20-30% of sales and it has grown at 50% compounded over the past 3 years. It is available with a license and a subscription-based pricing model although the subscription model is becoming more popular.
Cirreon Banking - The Cirreon Banking app is a new product segment that has been introduced a few years ago and represents about 8% of total revenues. The Cirreon Banking app helps customers create and track deposits, place change orders, and request support, all from the customer’s phone. The Cirreon Banking app is sold as a subscription just like the rest of the Cirreon software solutions.
Durable Competitive Advantage
High Switching Costs - Once a retailer is hooked up onto the Cirreon platform, the idea of switching to another software platform is very unlikely and rather costly. Since Cirreon holds all of the retailer’s financial data related to invoices, cash inflows and outflows, and other important information, transferring this data on to a whole different platform will not only take up a lot of time and money, but sometimes might not be technologically possible. The Cirreon platform uses Java based programming, which makes it almost impossible to transfer data. In addition the learning curve for business owners and retailers when joining a new platform is very steep, which makes it uneconomical for NamSys customers to switch and spend hours, if not days, getting used to a whole new set up. The high switching cost nature of the software solution is evident with the high customer retention rates of the Cirreon platform, which management has reported to be very high. In the CIT logistics segment, NamSys provides navigation services and GPS software which interacts with the Cirreon platform to help retailers track where their cash is heading while also allowing CIT providers to communicate with local financial institutions. NamSys also has the benefit of high switching costs because CIT providers almost always stick with their logistic software providers and rarely switch. This is mainly because NamSys’s logistic software is already embedded in the CIT network system and the cost of reprogramming all the computers inside the CIT trucks and stopping business is so high, that it remains uneconomical for a NamSys customer in the CIT logistics space to switch over to another software provider.
Product Differentiation - Cirreon integrates many different parts of the cash management cycle onto one platform. There are very few services like this in the cash management industry that offer an all-in-one, easy to use service. In fact, the closest product offering could be from Safeology, which is a new tech startup, prominent in Europe. However, even Safeology fails to offer the quantity and quality of services NamSys provides to customers, as they do not have an established smart safe software service or an online banking app. In the most recent annual shareholder meeting, management has asserted their ability to increase prices to improve profitability. However, from a strategic perspective, they prefer to continue to add value to customers by keeping prices stable and remaining much more competitive in the marketplace. If you can add enormous value by providing a better quality service at great prices, then it is almost inevitable that the business will succeed over the long term. Holding this philosophy over the past 5 years contributed to the stellar growth in the business and I expect this to continue.
Brinks Long Term Partnership - NamSys and Brinks have strong business relationships with each other that should last over the long term. They both have a 3 year contract with an option to renew the contract at the end of each term. Since NamSys has already penetrated Brink’s ecosystem, it is expected that their customer relationship continues over the long term. With Brinks focusing on the hardware side and NamSys providing the software, both Brinks and NamSys have worked together to launch extremely successful cash management products and have been rapidly expanding to over 24 countries. NamSys is able to piggyback on Brink’s acquisition driven approach for expansion and its 23% share of the global cash management market, which provides countless opportunities for NamSys to grow and gain more market share in the software industry. For example when Brinks acquired Dunbar or G4S (both are cash management companies), they converted Dunbar and G4S’s old cash management software and integrated NamSys’s software in all the smart safes, CIT logistic networks, and currency controllers. As a result, NamSys inherits a strong market position and bigger network when Brinks acquires its competitors. Most of NamSys’s competitors lack valuable customer relationships with big players like Brinks and it is part of the reason why NamSys has been able to keep high returns on invested capital and operating margins for a decade.
Revenue Breakdown and Capital Efficiency
The SaaS revenue stream consists of hosted service fees and technical/maintenance support. It is clear that from 2015 to 2019, the recurring revenue stream has grown to 83% of total sales revenue. The licenses segment as a % of revenue has been decreasing as it represents an old fashioned method of selling software (customer provides a payment at the time the software is provided). This is more or less caused by customers abandoning licenses and getting onto the SaaS platform, which is a much cheaper option. The professional services segments represent the small customized projects NamSys does for specific customers but we will exclude this out of our analysis as it is negligible and very volatile.
The business requires very little incremental capital to maintain and grow its line of business. ROIC has gone from 135.6% in 2015 to 463.8% in 2019, which illustrates the capital light nature of NamSys’s business. With very little tangible capital employed, NamSys was able to grow revenues at a 20% CAGR over the past five years and increase cash flow generation significantly.
Revenue growth exceeded 20% in 4 out of the 5 past years, besides 2018. Revenue growth in 2018 fell down to 12% primarily due to NamSys’s decision to fully convert its currency controller segment, which makes up about 20% of revenues, into a SaaS model. Before, customers had to pay a big upfront cash payment (software licenses), but this all changed during 2018 when customers had to pay a fraction of the big upfront cash payment, due to the shift in payment terms. Thus, the lack of revenue growth in 2018 can be seen as an anomaly. Furthermore, gross margins have averaged about 71% over the past five years, declining 2-4% in 2018 and 2019 due to an increase in staffing costs. Operating and EBITDA margins are very healthy, averaging about 43% over the past 5 years, which illustrates stellar operating performance. FCF margin has averaged about 38% over the past 5 years, moving up and down due to aberrations in changes of working capital. Finally, the company has averaged about 29% FCF growth over the past 5 years, however the volatility in the changes in working capital create stark differences in the yearly figures. Moreover, based on analyzing NamSys’s historical growth and margins, one can conclude that NamSys is a predictable business that will grow over the long term.
Opportunities to Grow
The smart safe software revenue segment, which consists of 60% of total revenues, has grown at 28%+ per year over the past 5 years. With Brink’s, a $3B private security and protection company, being the largest customer, NamSys can piggyback on Brink’s international growth plans. NamSys has a strong customer relationship with Brink’s, as Brink’s builds the hardware for the smart safe and NamSys installs its proprietary software into the smart safe. At the moment, over 16,000 smart safes with NamSys software are being used in North America. However, in places like South America, the smart safe market is growing at 100% per year while in places like the Middle East or Africa, there is no smart safe market. NamSys has significant international opportunities to grow and expand its software service, which should be a prime driver of growth moving forward. If you do the math, Brinks projects that there will be 1.2 million potential new locations for smart safes to be installed worldwide. If the partnership between Brinks and NamSys gets hold of 10% to 20% of this market, this could mean about 60,000 to 120,000 smart safes installed within the next decade. Right now, NamSys Inc has around 16,000 to 18,000 smart safes installed. Over the next decade, I conservatively project that NamSys Inc can 3x to 7x their sales today, as long as they keep good customer relationships with Brink’s. Obviously, this is not accounting for the fact that Brink's is gaining a ton of market share through acquiring a lot of its competitors, which should yield more market share for NamSys in the software development space.
In addition, NamSys is currently experiencing huge tailwinds in their CIT logistics and currency controller software lines of business as well. I think there is a great runway with Next Gen ATM and the whole trend behind CIT companies acquiring ATM networks. With Next Gen ATM, NamSys can be positioned to sell not only their CIT logistics application but also their cash vault (currency controller) product as well. Furthermore, NamSys is also participating in a pilot project with the US Federal Reserve, with testing new software products and solving issues relating to the transportation of cash. The revenues from this pilot project should materialize within the next 3-4 years, as it is a long term project.
Management
The CEO of NamSys Inc is Barry Sparks, who has been the CEO for over 15 years. Mr. Sparks is the President of Torvan Capital and owns 40% of NamSys common stock through this investment vehicle. The President and COO Jason Siemens has been with the company for about 23 years and owns about 0.8% of the common stock. Mr. Siemens is a very competent manager, who thoroughly understands the cash management business. Through analyzing all the past earnings transcripts and shareholder meetings, it is evident that Mr. Siemens has a clear strategy on building NamSys’s moat and growing the business. One of the best and worst capital allocation decisions management has ever made was entering the hardware market (a lower ROIC business) in 2006 and leaving it in 2011, which led to NamSys’s stellar financial performance from 2012 and onwards. In addition, there has been no shareholder dilution (through stock based compensation) over the past 10 years, which is beneficial for long term shareholders of this business. Along with the Board and Mr. Sparks and Mr. Siemens, I think NamSys is a well managed and shareholder friendly business and I do not foresee any managerial issues arising from the individuals who run this company.
COVID-19 Impact
NamSys Inc has not really been negatively impacted by COVID-19 when compared to most other companies. A lot of their customers are grocery chains and gas stations that were running even when most businesses were closed. Revenues for Q2 2020, period ending April 30th, increased by 14.5% when compared to Q2 2019. Revenue for the first six months of fiscal 2020 increased by 19.2% when compared to revenue in the same period in fiscal 2019. NamSys generated a significant amount of free cash flow and the cash balance grew to $5.5m, up from $4.3m from Q1 2020. COVID-19 had an immaterial impact on NamSys Inc from a financial standpoint, which further emphasizes the durable business model of NamSys Inc, which can grow even during a pandemic and recession. So, while most businesses are struggling amid today’s unstable business environment, NamSys is growing its market share and throwing off more cash.
Valuation
I think NamSys’s intrinsic value will grow and compound over time, given its sticky business model and long growth runway. Please see for the supporting financial model of the base case valuation. For the base case valuation, I think a reasonable case would be projecting out a revenue CAGR growth of 13.7% over the next 5 years until 2024 (compared to 24.6% between 2015 and 2019). Given the company has a history of growing revenues at 20%+ CAGR over the past five years and the future growth potential in its smart safe and Cirreon banking application segment, I expect operating margins and its cost structure to remain stable over time. Keeping the 15x FCF multiple constant, the value of the business will grow to about $2.00+ per share by 2024, which represents an IRR of 23% per year. I think this is a compelling investment opportunity with significant upside. First DD, so thanks for reading :)
I have 2,500 shares at 0.88
submitted by 00nizarsoccer to pennystocks [link] [comments]

From Conspiracy to Fact: An analysis of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Information Control, and the New World Order (Appendix includes hundreds of citations) - PART 1

PLEASE NOTE: This article may be updated periodically with new information and links as they become available. All referenced information and a whole lot more is indexed and linked in the related appendix posts. Please feel free to crosspost, share, and take from my ideas to build your own. Namaste.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Appendix A | Appendix B

Hello. My name is Chris. I am nobody, really. An average citizen. I am an overweight 42 year old white male from the Midwestern suburbs of the US who has been fortunate enough to live a pretty comfortable life. I used to be a freelance graphic designer with a focus on small businesses, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that that career and part of my life is more than likely over in light of current events. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
I've always been concerned about social injustice and tried to stay politically informed, even dabbling in some activism here and there. At times I've stepped away from paying attention for my own mental health, or due to laziness, defeatism, whatever. But I've never stopped caring, or trying, to fight the good fight and do the right thing.
The news recently has of course swept us all up, and touched all our lives in some way or another. The world has never seen anything like the "Coronavirus Pandemic," and it's clear that our society will be changed forever when we finally come out the other end of this mess. But I've had the luxury of time recently, and in reading the news about things that were going on, I couldn't help but notice the patterns, and that a lot of stuff didn't exactly make sense.
So, here we go, with the "conspiracy theory."
I hate that term, because although it's technically accurate, it's been demonized and weaponized by the media and society at large to take on a bad connotation. Tinfoil hats, alien abductions, crazy people muttering to themselves, etc. You've no doubt got a lot of images in your mind of a conspiracy theorist.
And make no mistake, what I'm going to tell you here is all currently very popular conspiracy theory. However, I think that by removing opinions and conjecture from it, and focusing on facts and things that have already happened, I can present this huge amount of overwhelming, disparate information in a way that makes it less a "theory" and more a "research project." And so that is how I have approached this.
I have spent the last week doing little else besides reading every news and opinion article I could find, saving and organizing hundreds of links, and assembling a coherent, logical outline to organize and present these theories, and more importantly, facts. There are a lot of less-than-reputable sites and publications out there, and I have tried when at all possible to provide sources from verifiable news sites, with a wide range of slants and focuses, to illustrate that what is happening is not part of any one particular political agenda.
I hope that you take the time to check the links, really look into the information presented here, and form your own opinions. Please do not just take my word for it. To that end, there are also a few links mixed in that are labeled as having come from conspiracy. These are well-written and well-reasoned posts from other concerned citizens that I think are worth reading, and relevant to the discussion here.
One last thing - If you are new to most of these ideas, the information presented here is more than likely going to seem overwhelming at first. I encourage you now, and always, to take mental health breaks for yourself, and put down your phone or turn off your computer. The information will be here when you come back. And as you'll soon understand, what is happening is an unstoppable tide, truly a force of nature at this point, and there is nothing you can do to fight it, so try your hardest to relax, put on some chill music, hug your dog, and most of all...
BREATHE.
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If you start researching conspiracy theory, you're going to find a lot of information. Some much better or worse presented than others, and some much more plausible or unbelievable than others. Despite the seeming ridiculousness of some things you might read, I encourage you to always approach new information with an open mind.
That said though, I have one main principle that guides all my beliefs about conspiracy theories, and that is the "Filter of Likelihood." Essentially, you have to ask yourself how possible, how likely, and how feasible a piece of information is. Furthermore, you need to ask yourself what the motivation would be. In many cases, it's quite easy to see how something makes a lot of sense based on other known info, whereas some theories seem rather implausible no matter how you look at it.
I am interested only in the plausible, and where possible, the already actualized. Additionally, there's a lot to be said, and a lot that has already been written on many of these topics, so I will focus on current events and simple concepts.
I will also ask you to open your mind to possibility. Please consider this as you evaluate new information:
  1. Do you believe there are things going on in the world that you don't know about yet?
  2. Do you believe that there is technology and science you've never heard of?
  3. Do you believe that society is progressing at an increasing rate?
  4. Do you believe that as populations grow, we require new societal strategies?
  5. Do you believe that those with power and money want to retain their power and money?
Of course you believe all these things, and none of these are wild or unusual concepts. Rather, these are very basic concepts that apply to everyone, and always have. They are all part of our shared human experience, and undeniable facts of life. Populations grow, societies evolve, technology advances, and the world changes. And most important to our discussion here, people, families, and empires constantly jockey for power and control, while fighting for resources, power, fame, and...
MONEY.
We all hate TicketMaster, right? Who do they think they are, what the hell is this bullshit "service fee," etc. It's something everyone can get behind. But did you know that TicketMaster willingly cultivates that image? That venues, teams, and artists, in their pursuit of more money, raise fees and then let TicketMaster be the bad guy and take the heat so their reputations remain intact?
There are many more people, organizations, and other entities in the world playing that same role for those who really have the money, who really call the shots. And those who call the shots work very hard and spend absolutely unfathomable amounts of money, time, and blood, to make sure that you don't ever realize who's actually taking your money.
They do this in the simplest, easiest way. If you simply control information from the top down, and disseminate it when and where you see fit, you can effect great societal change without lifting a finger.
Please imagine... really, try to imagine... You just read an article, saw a video, whatever, from a very, very reputable source. And it just informed you that an asteroid was 83% likely to impact the Earth next month. What would you do? What would happen in the world?
Hopefully an asteroid will not hit next month, but it's important to really imagine what would happen and why, and how. Because a huge amount of information would be generated and published, people would panic, society would crumble, and the world as you know it would change forever in an instant, the moment you read that headline.
Control of information is one of the most powerful tools known to mankind today. A person living in 2020 can easily encounter as much information in a day as someone in Medieval times might have encountered in a lifetime. And it comes at you from all angles, in all forms, non-stop, 24/7. Much like the water in the pipe, the information is always there, and one needs but turn it on.
Disseminating the information then becomes a practice all its own, and to be sure, information processing accounts for more than half of the US GDP. And the rate at which it's spread, and way it is handled makes a huge difference in the societal repercussions. So a few different techniques are used:
It might be the greatest understatement of all time to say that there has been a lot of information passed around about COVID-19, the "Coronavirus," recently. In fact, there has never been anything like what we are currently experiencing in all of human history, and not by a long shot. And this unprecedented turn of events has caused a lot of people to react in a lot of ways, and say and do a lot of things, for better or for worse.
Full disclosure: In particular, if you look up conspiracy theory, you'll see a lot of stuff suggesting that the "Coronavirus is a hoax." (You'll also find a lot of poorly-written rambling) I want to be clear that I DO NOT believe that. I am 100% sure that there is a Coronavirus, that it is making people sick, that a lot of people are dying, and that our medical professionals and many other undervalued workers are overwhelmed, and breaking their backs every day to do their best to keep their friends, families, and loved ones safe. I am extraordinarily grateful for them and admire the resolve and bravery that so many have shown in the face of this disaster. I do not think it is a hoax at all.
However, I think that literally everything else that is happening surrounding the "pandemic" is.
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The Pandemic
In the first week of January this year, I got sick. Really sick. I know when I got it and who I got it from, and honestly the exact moment I got it (I only was in proximity of the dude for a few minutes). He had warned me that he was really sick, and I blew it off. I started feeling sick a day or two later, and a day or two after that I felt like I was dying. Fever, chills, aches, extraordinary fatigue. And literal, nonstop, 24/7 coughing. I had every single symptom of what we now know as COVID-19. I commented to anyone who would listen that I didn't recall ever feeling that sick before in my entire life. The most memorable part of it though was that after a couple days, I completely lost my sense of smell and taste. Joked a lot about how you could feed me onions and soap cause I'd have no idea. I try to have a good attitude about being sick.
I spent a week sleeping on the couch before I finally went to the doctor. She gave me a Prednisolone steroid pack (which has worked well for me in the past), some Trazodone to knock me out, and Benzonatotate for my cough. As soon as I took the first dose of steroids I started to feel pretty fucking great, and it was more or less a non-issue after that.
I spoke to a lot of people about it then and after, and man, I can't tell you how many stories I personally heard from people I know that said the exact same thing. Then I started reading the same story over and over again on Reddit:
We didn't start really hearing about the Coronavirus in the media until the beginning of March, and we didn't hear about the "Pandemic" until just a couple weeks ago. And what a couple weeks it's been since then. But I am quite certain that it's been around for a lot longer and that I, and a lot of other people I know, had it - and DID NOT DIE FROM IT - way back in January.
We now know that the first documented case in the US was on January 19th, but that word "documented" is so, so important here. That means that we had identified the virus, developed a test, and tested a person with the symptoms that day. It does NOT mean that was when the virus reached the United States. How sick do you have to be before you take a day off work? Before you go to the doctor? With America's healthcare system or lack thereof, it's almost certain that many people had this virus before we determined what it was, and how infectious it really was.
There is also the matter of the statistics of severity vs the regular flu. This is a highly contentious topic and I am no medical expert, and do not wish to make any assertions. However, what I can tell you from my personal experience is this: I had a horrible "flu" in January, got basic medicine, got better. So, either I had the flu, or perhaps I did indeed have the Coronavirus.
We will never know because I was never tested. But the important thing is that it doesn't matter. Either I (and many others) had the Coronavirus and it did not kill us (calling into question the severity of the infection) or we just had a bad cold or flu, but it had the exact same symptoms as COVID-19 (calling into question the extent of Coronavirus diagnoses). But logically, one of those two statements is true.
Furthermore, the data keeps changing, and I don't mean increasing on a daily basis. I mean up and down, back and forth, it is deadly or maybe it isn't, etc. On January 14 the WHO told you it couldn't spread from human to human. But then on Jan 19 we saw the first case of Coronavirus in the United States. Then it turns out that the Wuhan market outbreak began earlier in December. And then it's an "epidemic," but most people will only get mild symptoms. What are you supposed to believe? And it sure does seem to come at you as a firehose, and it's hard to even think about anything because OHMYGODTHECORONAVIRUS!
But let's stop and look a couple basic facts. As a matter of fact, I'm going to let Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi explain this one to you. This is a very informative 10 minute video, watch it:
Sucharit Bhakdi - Very clear math showing that the COVID statistics are being manipulated
So 80% of people only experience mild symptoms, and we're crashing the economy for this? The statistics aren't any more extreme than many other illnesses we've had over time, and we're crashing the economy for this? It doesn't make sense until you consider that there are other factors besides just the virus at play.
Wolfgang Wodard - Explaining how the statistics are being manipulated to cause panic
The media, and society at large is inundating you with terrifying information about the Coronavirus. But if it's not as bad as we originally thought, then why? We don't freak out about every illness that comes along, and we've certainly never in the history of civilization had over 1/3 of the global population locked down under mandatory quarantine.
And then there's the debate about where the virus came from. We believe it came from a meat market in China, under unsanitary conditions. The science behind a coronavirus making the leap from one species to another is well-established and researched, and it is a very likely scenario. There are also conspiracy theories that state that China released it on its people intentionally, or even that the US military released it in China. Again, we will never know exactly where this Coronavirus came from. It may be natural, it may be man made, and there are very plausible paths for both. I don't know what to believe myself. So here I ask you to make your own judgement based on likelihood.
What we do know though is that the state of the world this virus has been unleashed on has played a major factor in its spread. In 1950 the global population was 2.5 billion, and that has exploded to almost 8 billion people in 2020. As a matter of fact, population growth has been exponential since about the time of the Industrial Revolution.
With all these people on the planet there are sure to be many disagreements and conflicts, and there indeed have been. As a matter of fact, 2019 saw global protests on an unprecedented scale, in Hong Kong, France, Syria, and many other countries. Citizens have literally been fighting police and military with rocks, clubs, arrows, and molotov cocktails.
Did you know that? Despite my seeing headlines and pictures every day of the riots in Hong Kong, I have been shocked to learn that multiple of my close friends, intelligent and aware people, had no knowledge whatsoever of the protests even existing. But that is far from a coincidence; rather, it is quite by design.
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Billionaires and Coincidences
Another major talking point over the last 5 to 10 years has been the "1%" - the handful of super-rich individuals who posess and control the vast majority of the Earth's wealth and resources. Where it used to just be a numerical term, "Billionaire" is now a dirty word, and one of the nastiest. We all hate billionaires. They are evil, and profit off the exploitation of the rest of the world.
The "Illuminati" we call them, in pursuit of a "New World Order." Crazy stuff, right? Mysterious symbols and people in black robes doing nefarious things in secret meetings, and running the world from behind the scenes. We love the Illuminati, it's a huge pop culture thing now. The subject of endless speculation, they are made fun of in the media, movies, and now Taco Bell commercials. It's so far fetched it could never really be true. And the fact that you think that is by design as well.
So, we don't know where the Coronavirus came from, but it's certainly here, and there are lot of other things unfolding in the world around it. Many different current events from all different places and fields of study. Some of it seems a little too coincidental. It is certainly very coincidental that this economically destructive Coronavirus entered the world right as there were global uprisings, protests in the street, and a growing public hatred for billionaires.
Well, here are a few other coincidences: Hundreds of CEOs of major companies stepped down from their positions in recent months. Multiple US Senators sold stock right before the market crashed. Even the boss of the New York Stock Exchange sold his own stock right before the crash. Did they know something they weren't telling us?
Here's another coincidence. In 2010, The Rockefeller Foundation published a selection of future-predicting scenarios in the name of "exploring the ways that technology and development could co-evolve." One of these four scenarios, entitled "Lock Step," eerily predicts a global viral pandemic and the resulting hypothetical consequences, which almost exactly mirrors the COVID-19 pandemic we are in the midst of today.
Also coincidental: The first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in China on November 17th, 2019. Literally one month earlier, The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. In this exercise, they discuss the potential implications and consequences of a novel Coronavirus, including an economic crash, martial law, and of particular interest, the control of information. (You can view some published highlights here)
The World Economic Forum is comprised of the richest of the rich. The 1%. The Billionaires. CEO's, politicians, business owners, and many other powerful and influential figures. They meet regularly to discuss topics of global concern, and strongly control the dissemination of information. And of primary concern to many of them is maintaining their wealth and power in a rapidly-changing world.
And finally, here's one more coincidence: At the exact same time as the Event 201 exercise, The World Military Games was held in Wuhan, China, Oct 18-27, 2019. It was the largest military sports event ever to be held in China, with nearly 10,000 athletes from over 100 countries competing in 27 sports. Wuhan China was, as we now believe, the source of our current global COVID-19 outbreak.
Whether you think it is a "conspiracy" or not, that is all certainly coincidental, to say the least.
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"Why didn't I hear about any of this?"
That's an excellent question, and one that likely has multiple answers. For starters, how much do you really pay attention? Where do you get your news from? Do you research things you hear or just accept them on hearsay? Critical thinking skills are paramount in making sense of the chaos unfolding all around us.
As I mentioned before, I can tell you that I personally know multiple people who had no clue whatsoever about the riots in Hong Kong last year. As you read this, you may be one of them. And it may seem like something that is happening far away, and "could never happen here." Or you may have been aware of it but just that it was happening. But please, consider for a moment: millions of average citizens risked their lives and safety in the streets of Hong Kong for months on end, fighting police and military, and transforming the city they lived in into a warzone. WHY? Why would people do something like that? Regardless of their motivations, that many people were banding together to fight for something they believed in. And that is worth considering.
It's not really your fault though that you may not catch wind of all this news. The "mainstream media" that you hear about all the time deliberately controls information - downplaying threats and overreacting to silly things - in order to make sure that you hear the version of the news that they want you to hear.
Did you know that only 6 corporations control 90% of the media In America? That number is reduced from 50 companies in the 80's. And literally all the news you see on TV, at the very least, is 100% owned and controlled by these companies. Lately, distrust is growing for cable news networks, and many people turn to their local hometown station for trusted news. The problem with that though is that your hometown station is probably owned by Sinclair Media, one of the most powerful broadcast networks in the country that you've never heard of.
Please watch this very brief video, illustrating the chokehold that Sinclair Media maintains over your nightly local news broadcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWLjYJ4BzvI
Of course, not every piece of news is pre-programmed but a lot is. The real news is out there, but sometimes you have to look a little deeper than the infographics on TV news. Even if information is being directed from the top down, the boots on the ground tend to be passionate people with a variety of interests and agendas, and they are still doing their best to do real journalism despite corporate oversight.
Think of those who are directing the information as steering an impossibly massive ship with a rudder. You can slowly adjust the course of direction, however it is slow to react. If you want to stop, you have to start thinking about stopping wayyy ahead of time. And similarly, once it gets underway, it is then influenced by an inertia all its own. Micro controls and adjustments aren't really possible.
Our society is this giant ship. There are 8 billion people on this earth - that is 8000 million. An incomprehensible number that grows rapidly every day. As civilization grows and advances, so does our medicine, our technology, our cultural norms. These are all natural processes that are necessary to manage an increasing number of societies all around the globe. And many of the advances we're making have exciting potential benefits for humanity, although as with all tools, they also inherently possess the potential for abuse.
Here are some other things happening in society right now, some you may be aware of and many you may not:
There is an interesting chicken or egg relationship between science fiction and real world science. Sci-fi writers are inspired by the real science of the day, then they apply their creativity to imagine what might be in the future. Young scientists encounter these fantastical ideas and think they are worth pursuing, and then set about to make them a reality, and the cycle continues.
Futuristic concepts are then preempted and introduced through the media to the conscious mind, as we include them in books, movies, TV, video games, and more. Eventually we start seeing headlines of these new technologies and developments happening in other places, usually Japan and China first due to their prevalence in the industrial and technological sectors of our global economy.
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Continue to Part 2

submitted by SquarePeg37 to conspiracy [link] [comments]

My take on fixing the "Star Wars" Sequel Trilogy (Part 3)

If you're curious: Part 1 is HERE, and Part 2 is HERE.
STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII — THE LAST JEDI (Part 2)
As the battleship Comet Chaser flees the destruction of the planet Coruscant, New Republic officers frantically man the guns and attempt to call for help. But as they soon learn: calls for help are coming in from all over the galaxy.
"We're getting a distress signal!" one officer yells. "The Black Fleet is attacking Corellia!"
"The Crimson Legion just landed on Mon Calamari!" another officer calls.
"The Dark Chosen are on Carida! They're reporting thousands dead—soldiers and civilians!"
"The True Sith are bombing Naboo!"
All over the galaxy, Imperial loyalist groups are emerging from the shadows to attack the New Republic in a massive coordinated strike. Individually, each group would be no match for the New Republic fleet—but with the First Order's brazen attack on Coruscant, dozens of terrorist groups are finally coming together.
As the Comet Chaser fights its way through the swarming First Order starships, Leia confers with the fleet's admiral, who asks for her help in bringing Kylo Ren to justice—unaware that he's actually her son.
Suddenly, the bridge takes a direct hit from a First Order dreadnaught, and Leia and the admiral are sucked into the vacuum of space. Moments later, as Finn and Poe look on in astonishment, Leia reveals her long-nurtured Force sensitivity and manages to use her telekinetic abilities to propel her body through space and guide herself back to the airlock. She narrowly survives, but she collapses upon being brought back into the ship, and the officers are forced to take her to the sickbay as they make the jump to lightspeed and flee Coruscant.
Back on Ahch-To, Rey is gripped by a palpable sense of dread and fear as she senses that thousands of innocent lives have been snuffed out on Coruscant. As she looks to Luke for guidance, he collapses.
With his keen Force abilities, Luke feels every individual life as it ends, and he feels each moment of terror and pain. He instantly knows what's happened.
"Ben..." he gasps. "What have you done?"
As Luke shares his vision of the destruction of the New Republic's capital at the hands of the Star Hammer, Rey begs him to leave Ahch-To to aid his old comrades, but Luke sadly shakes his head and turns away. As Rey follows him into his stone temple, he tells her that the Jedi were never as great or powerful as they were made out to be, and they caused nearly as much death and destruction as they stopped.
When Rey implores Luke to remember all the good that he did in his younger days, Luke stubbornly insists that he never amounted to much either. Now that Kylo Ren has turned his wrath on the galaxy, Luke finds himself haunted by his memories of the last time he saw Kylo, when he tried to save him from the allure of the Dark Side—and failed.
As he and Rey sit down together in the temple, Luke finally opens up about his brief time as Ben Solo's teacher.
"For many years, there was balance," he says. "And then I saw Ben. My nephew with that mighty Skywalker blood. And in my hubris, I thought I could train him. I could pass on my strengths. Han was Han about it, but Leia trusted me with her son. I took him and a dozen students, and began a training temple. By the time I realized I was no match for the darkness rising in him, it was too late."
"What happened?" Rey asks.
"I went to confront him," Luke says. "And he turned on me."
As Luke flashes back to his younger days, we see a brief vision of Luke approaching a young Ben Solo as he lies in bed in his quarters at the temple. When Ben opens his eyes and sees his uncle standing over him, he moves to draw his lightsaber, and he raises his hand. Calling upon the full might of his powers, Ben unleashes a blast of Force energy—and the walls of the temple come crashing down, burying Luke in stone rubble.
"He must have thought I was dead," Luke says. "When I came to, the temple was burning. He had vanished with a handful of my students and slaughtered the rest. Leia blamed herself, but it was me. I failed. Because I was Luke Skywalker. Jedi Master. A legend..."
As the Comet Chaser drops out of hyperspace at the head of a small fleet of surviving New Republic warships, the ship's ranking officer takes stock of the New Republic's unfolding crisis.
With the death of the admiral, his second-in-command—Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo—takes command of the fleet and orders her mechanics to begin repairs. As reports of mounting casualties and continuous attacks continue to pour in, Holdo soon realizes that every Republic world within reach of a hyperspace jump is now under siege by Imperial militants. For the moment, the fleet is alone, with no backup or safe harbor in sight. Worse still: at least half of the Galactic Senate and the New Republic High Command were killed in the escape from Coruscant. The New Republic is in shambles, and it may never rebuild itself.
As the crew awaits orders from their new commanding officer, Holdo gives them just one: keep flying.
Upon learning that Leia brought two civilians onboard, the ship's first mate gives Finn and Poe the opportunity to temporarily join the Comet Chaser's crew as active-duty crewmen. Accepting the offer, they're assigned to a mechanic squad alongside a new recruit named Rose Tico.
As they bond with Rose, Finn and Poe tell her all about their adventures on Jakku, Takodana and Ilum, and they open up about their lives before the two of them crossed paths. Finn admits that he's a former operative of the First Order himself, and Poe admits that he's a member of the underground Resistance movement.
Much like Finn and Poe, Rose was born into poverty in a backwater world on the Outer Rim—but she ultimately chose to join the military, believing that she could make a better life for herself by serving the New Republic. Now that the New Republic might not exist anymore, though, Rose feels adrift. In spite of their differences, the three realize that they have a common enemy in Kylo Ren.
To give Rose a glimmer of hope, Finn and Poe share a secret with her: just a few weeks ago, Finn managed to find a map that led directly to Luke Skywalker—and they have a friend who went looking for him. After ten long years, the legendary Jedi Knight might finally be returning to aid the galaxy in its darkest hour. And if anybody can beat back the tide of the Imperial cause, it's him.
Their bonding is interrupted when a small fleet of First Order starships suddenly drops out of hyperspace, with Kylo Ren's flagship in the lead. Somehow, the First Order has managed to track the fleet through hyperspace.
Moments later, the ship trembles as the First Order takes aim and fires, and alarm sirens blare as Holdo calls the ship's crew to their stations.
As a tense space battle ensues, the trio are forced into the fray as the Comet Chaser begins taking damage, and they're ultimately forced to don pressurized spacesuits and venture onto the ship's exterior to repair one of its primary laser cannons. When they do, Finn and Poe find themselves in a tense firefight with a squadron of the First Order's "Space Troopers", who attempt to sabotage the ship from the outside while wearing armored rocket-propelled spacesuits.
After defeating the Space Troopers and returning to the ship, they soon learn that the Comet Chaser is running disastrously low on fuel—and with the First Order apparently capable of tracking the fleet through hyperspace, they may not be able to use their hyperdrive to escape. But when Poe and Finn confront Holdo in hopes of finding out her plans to save the fleet, she angrily turns on both of them.
By now, Holdo has learned that her two new "civilian" recruits are far from civilians: Poe is a known member of the Resistance with ties to multiple high-profile radicals, and Finn is a former soldier of the First Order who's wanted by Planetary Security for resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. As an argument ensues, it becomes abundantly clear that Holdo has no love for the Resistance, and she's unwilling to overlook Finn's past.
"In the Resistance, you might talk a good game about freedom," Holdo says coldly to Poe. "But on this ship, I'm in charge! I won't be questioned by radical scum, or by a runaway terrorist! While you were skulking in back-alleys and shouting slogans, I was defending the borders of the Republic that my forefathers died for! You say that you're keeping Luke Skywalker's dream alive—but you don't even understand what that means! Luke Skywalker was a leader! He made sacrifices for us! What have you sacrificed, Dameron?"
Rose attempts to jump to her new friends' defense, but she's sternly silenced by Holdo, who orders her back to her post.
"When this is over, I want you off my ship!" Holdo angrily tells Finn and Poe. "You'll leave, and you'll never come back!"
After the argument, Rose comforts Finn and Poe, assuring them that she doesn't share her commanding officer's view of them. Later, when the trio find a secluded place to talk, Finn shares some key information with the others:
During his time with the First Order, he learned that Kylo Ren's technicians were working on a cutting-edge hyperspace tracker that could track enemy starships through hyperspace. If the First Order managed to attack them immediately after they dropped out of hyperspace, it's possible that they've completed their hyperspace tracker. If his hunch is correct, then they might be able to escape the First Order's fleet by shutting down the tracker. But since the tracker used an advanced computer mainframe to track ships' movements, it could only be shut down by hacking it.
"It's at the heart of the ship, guarded by at least a few dozen troopers," Finn says. "But if I could just get aboard that ship, I could find it. I know I could!"
"Holdo would never go for a plan like that," Rose says. "But if you really think it could save us all, then I can stomach breaking a few regulations."
"But what about hacking it?" Finn asks. "Could any of us really pull off something like that?"
"No," Poe says. "But I know somebody who could..."
As Poe shares with his friends: during his time with the Resistance, he and his comrades would regularly hack into holographic news broadcasts on Jakku to send out Resistance slogans. While hacking was never Poe's specialty, one of his old comrades was a man called "DJ" who was legendary for his skill with computers. Incidentally, DJ has owed Poe a favor ever since he saved his life during one of their many run-ins with Planetary Security—and according to a persistent rumor, he recently resettled in the city of Canto Bight on the planet Cantonica, which is only a short flight away.
Convinced that recruiting DJ could be the only way to disable the hyperspace tracker and save the ship, Rose uses her access codes to get Finn and Poe into the Comet Chaser's hangar, where she helps them steal a shuttle. Firing the shuttle's engines, the trio slips out of the hangar and sets course for Canto Bight.
On Ahch-To, Rey is startled by a vision of Kylo Ren, who calls out to her by name. Although she initially believes that she's hallucinating, she realizes that Kylo is using the Force to psychically communicate with her.
Still haunted by her memories of watching Kylo stab Han Solo to death, Rey tearfully asks him why he murdered his own father. Kylo insists that he killed him because he was his sole remaining link to his old life as Ben Solo, and he believed that he needed to cut all ties to his old life in order to realize his full potential. Kylo suggests that Rey also struggles with her lingering ties to her old life on Jakku, and that she also needs to cut those ties in order to become truly strong in the Force.
"Your parents threw you away like garbage," Kylo says. "But you can't stop needing them."
Kylo recalls the night that he destroyed Luke's temple and ran away. Although Luke claimed that Kylo lashed out at him after he tried to confront him about his temptation to turn to the Dark Side, Kylo tells a different tale: Luke feared that he would become more powerful than he ever was, and he tried to kill him in his sleep out of jealousy.
Rey shares her own secret: the previous night, she disobeyed Luke's warnings and snuck into the haunted cavern beneath his temple, lured by a strong feeling that it would finally answer her questions about the identity of her parents. Instead, she simply saw a reflection of herself: alone and lost, just as she's always been.
Extending his hand in a gesture of friendship, Kylo assures Rey that she's not alone, and he'll never abandon her like her parents did. And although she may have been forced to live in poverty and squalor in the New Republic, Kylo promises Rey that she can have a place at his right hand when he sets out to built a better society. The past is over—and only the future beckons.
"Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. That's the only way to become what you were meant to be."
Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Luke, who is enraged to learn that Rey has been in contact with the man who killed Han Solo and destroyed his academy. Drawing her lightsaber, Rey confronts Luke about what happened between him and his old apprentice, telling him that Ben told her everything.
Luke doesn't deny that he drew his lightsaber on his teenaged apprentice while he slept, but he insists that Kylo didn't tell her the full truth about that night either. Luke saw a vision of the death and destruction that young Ben Solo was destined to wreak upon the galaxy when he embraced the Dark Side—and for one awful moment, he was tempted by the thought of preventing that future by killing Ben in his sleep. He came to his senses before he could strike the fatal blow, but the temptation lasted just long enough that Ben woke up to find his teacher standing above him with a lightsaber in his hand.
Even though he never struck Ben, Luke blames himself for his turn to the Dark Side, believing that his apprentice's feelings of betrayal and disillusionment ultimately pushed him over the edge, showing him that he couldn't put his trust in the Jedi. Haunted by his failure, Luke went into exile, and Ben found a new teacher: the Oracle.
Rey believes that there is still good in Kylo Ren, and he could be turned back to the Light Side—just like Anakin Skywalker was. Luke tries to persuade Rey that it's far too late for that, but Rey refuses to listen.
With that, she boards the Millennium Falcon and sets course for Kylo's ship, believing that she can convince him to leave the First Order and return to his family.
Landing just outside of Canto Bight, Finn and Rose find themselves entranced by the glitz and glamor of the upscale resort town, but Poe warns them that it can be a dangerous place. As they make their way through a swanky casino packed with wealthy alien patrons, they soon realize that most of the denizens of Canto Bight don't seem to know or care that the New Republic is under attack by terrorists and on the verge of collapsing.
As Poe explains: the people who spend their time in Canto Bight are rich enough that they're effectively outside the New Republic's jurisdiction, and they've built their own insular paradise that will outlast even the most destructive war. Many of them, in fact, have found ways to profit handsomely from the New Republic's ongoing clashes with Imperial militants—and whichever side wins, they'll find a way to get rich.
Inside the casino, Poe finds his old friend DJ entertaining a group of well-dressed businessmen at a private table, and the two old comrades warmly embrace. Their reunion takes a sour turn, however, when DJ admits that he's got gambling debts at the casino, and can't leave Canto Bight until he finds a way to pay them back. DJ claims that he can't help Poe hack into Kylo Ren's ship—but Rose manages to sway him by convincing him that she's a high-ranking officer in the New Republic fleet, and that she can use her influence to protect him from his creditors in exchange for his help.
In a frenetic chase sequence, the trio manage to escape from the casino with DJ in tow, but they end up with the casino's security detail on their tail when they realize that DJ is attempting to dodge his gambling debts and skip town.
On the outskirts of Canto Bight, the group makes their escape after hijacking a shuttle owned by one of the many arms dealers in the city. As they set course for the First Order's fleet, DJ rifles through the arms dealer's onboard computer, and soon finds evidence that he—like many other war profiteers in Canto Bight—was selling weapons to various Imperial loyalist groups in addition to the New Republic. While Finn and Rose are horrified to learn this, DJ tells them that it's simply the way of the galaxy: money and power are the only constants in the world, and "Good" and "Evil" are just imaginary concepts that exist to keep the wheels of commerce spinning.
DJ admits that he left the Resistance when he became disillusioned with their mission, and he came to believe that their ideals were just as hollow as anything that the Republic or the Empire ever believed in. Now, he devotes his life to the pursuit of money and power, the only things that can make a difference in the world.
"It's all a machine, partner," he tells Poe. "Live free! Don't join."
As Rey intercepts Kylo's flagship and flies into the docking bay, she finds Kylo waiting for her. She's cuffed by Stormtroopers and marched into the Oracle's private chamber to face his judgment. Although she tells Kylo that it isn't too late to break free of the Oracle's influence, Kylo doesn't seem to listen.
Undeterred, Kylo pushes Rey into the room. Flanked by his Praetorian Guard, the Oracle is waiting for her.
Just as Rey and the Oracle lock eyes, DJ's hijacked shuttle coasts into the hangar of the ship, and DJ shows off his hacking skills as he disables the ship's security system. After stealing a set of officer's uniforms from a nearby locker room, they proceed to the center of the ship in disguise.
Back on the Comet Chaser, Leia awakens from her coma to find Vice Admiral Holdo standing over her. As Holdo tells Leia: she has a plan to save the remnants of the New Republic Fleet—but it's a risky plan with no room for error.
As the First Order closes in on the fleet, Holdo plans to use the Comet Chaser as a decoy while she evacuates the passengers and crew in a small fleet of cloaked shuttles. The shuttles will slip away and take refuge in an abandoned Rebel Alliance base on the nearby planet of Crait. But in order for the escape to work, someone will need to stay behind to pilot the ship so that the First Order doesn't suspect that it's been abandoned. Holdo volunteers to stay behind, despite knowing that the choice will likely lead to her death.
As Holdo escorts Leia to a shuttle, the two women say their goodbyes, and Holdo reveals that it was Leia's heroic actions in the Galactic Civil War that inspired her to enlist in the fleet. As Leia boards a shuttle, Holdo leaves Leia with a simple farewell message:
"May the Force be with you—always," she says.
Back on Ahch-To, Luke carries a flaming torch up to the top of a hill, where his crude stone temple overlooks the ocean. He plans to burn the temple to ground—and with it, the sacred Jedi texts that have sat there for centuries.
Before he can set the temple ablaze, though, a familiar face stops him in his tracks. Yoda, his old teacher, has appeared to him, using the Force to speak to him from beyond the veil of death.
Luke defiantly tells Yoda that he plans to destroy the Jedi texts, ensuring that the Jedi Order will die with him—and nobody will ever repeat the Jedi's mistakes. Much to his surprise, though, Yoda takes the initiative himself, using his Force powers to set the temple alight with a bolt of lightning. Overcome with sorrow, Luke sinks to the ground and watches the temple burn.
Taking a seat beside his aging student, Yoda assures Luke that the sacred Jedi texts didn't contain any wisdom that Rey doesn't already possess. If the Jedi are truly going to survive into a new era, they can't spend all of their time looking to the past for answers. Instead, they must look to the future and put their faith in the next generation. And although Luke may never be able to undo his mistake that drove Ben Solo to the Dark Side, he can ensure that Rey doesn't go down the same path that he did.
"I can't be what she needs me to be," Luke says, hanging his head.
"Heeded my words not, did you?" Yoda asks. "Pass on what you have learned! Strength, mastery. But weakness, folly, failure, also. Yes... Failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters."
Contemplating his master's words, Luke looks to the sky.
As they make their way through the winding hallways of the flagship, Finn, Poe, Rose, DJ and BB-8 find themselves surrounded by First Order troops, who quite clearly knew that they were coming.
It turns out that DJ sent a secret message to the First Order while flying the others to the ship, promising to deliver three high-ranking Republic soldiers into their custody in exchange for having his debts cleared. Poe lashes out in anger as he realizes that his friend betrayed him, but the soldiers force him and his companions to their knees, preparing to execute them.
In the Oracle's chamber, Kylo confiscates Rey's lightsaber and presents it to his teacher as a gift. As the Oracle lies back in his bed, he clasps the lightsaber in his gnarled hands, laughing a low, mirthless laugh.
Taunting Rey, the Oracle reveals that he and Kylo know about the Republic's plan to evacuate their fleet. Kylo already used the Force to locate their shuttles, and he ordered his crew to target them and destroy them as soon as they were all boarded. Moments later, the ship's guns begin firing—and Rey is forced to watch as she stands at the nearest viewing window, looking out across the vast gulf of space as one shuttle after another explodes. As dozens of lives are snuffed out with each explosion, she feels a sharp pain in her heart.
Back on the Comet Chaser, Vice Admiral Holdo watches in horror as the fleeing transport ships are blasted into oblivion. Her plan to evacuate her crew has failed, and the last remnants of the New Republic fleet may die. Unless she can come up with a new plan to save them...
Thinking fast, she takes the helm of the Comet Chaser and prepares to turn it around. As the First Order's guns continue to target the defenseless transports, they don't see her aiming the prow of her ship at the center of their fleet...
The Oracle turns to Kylo.
"The end of your journey nears, my worthy apprentice," he says. "The ultimate power awaits you. But remember your lessons well: the stories of the strong are written in the blood of the weak. If you would claim the ultimate power, none may challenge you. Least of all, Skywalker's apprentice."
As a final test, the Oracle orders Kylo to kill Rey, proving that he will not be held back by mercy or compassion as he embarks on his last journey.
Kylo looks across the room at Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber, which Rey stole from his personal shrine. Two great Jedi in the Skywalker bloodline have wielded that lightsaber. One of them fought for the Dark Side, and the other fought for the Light. But which path will Kylo choose when he reclaims his birthright? For the first time in a long while, Kylo feels his soul cleft by doubt. Is there a third path, somewhere between light and darkness—or is he doomed to become a monster?
Raising his hand, Kylo reaches out with the Force, and the lightsaber floats into the air. But before he summons the lightsaber it to his hand, he ignites the blade and stabs the Oracle through the heart, killing him.
Enraged, the warriors of the Praetorian Guard charge at Rey and Kylo with weapons drawn. In an intense battle, the two of them fight the Praetorian Guard side-by-side, narrowly winning after a long and grueling duel. As Rey looks at the Oracle's dead body, she realizes that Kylo spared her life and chose to save her, and willingly chose to kill his own master instead of her. Perhaps she was right all along, and Kylo really does want to abandon the Dark Side.
When Rey looks out at the remnants of the Republic fleet, she realizes that there are still a handful of shuttles left, but the First Order's guns are still firing on them. Only Kylo can give the order for them to stop shooting.
Rey asks Kylo to order his men to cease fire. But to her horror, he refuses.
At the end of his journey with the Oracle, Kylo has become convinced that both the Dark Side and the Light Side are built on lies, and he refuses to follow either path.
"It's time to let old things die," Kylo says. "The Oracle. Skywalker. The Sith, the Jedi, the Rebels... Let it all die. Rey, I want you to join me. We can rule together and bring a new order to the galaxy!"
Rey, however, sees Kylo for the delusional would-be tyrant that he is. While Kylo might believe that he's embraced a higher worldview beyond Light and Darkness, his mindless pursuit of power has led him down a path trodden by countless murderers and tyrants.
Finally, Kylo tries one last ploy to convince Rey to join him: he reminds her of her journey into the cave, and of what she saw there. While Rey couldn't bring herself to say it outright, Kylo knows that Rey learned the identities of her parents—and he knows that she was utterly devastated by what she learned. And if she could only admit the truth about them, she could finally be persuaded to abandon the past and embrace a new future.
"Do you want to know the truth about your parents?" Kylo asks. "Or have you always known, and only hidden it away? You know the truth. Say it."
As her memories of the cave come flooding back, Rey's eyes brim with years.
"They were nobody..." she softly whispers.
Kylo nods.
"They were born on a peaceful planet at the edge of the galaxy," he says. "And when the last war came to their doorstep, the Rebels and the Empire fought over their world. Your mother was pregnant when she watched the skies burn. And when she cried out to the heavens, neither side answered her. Your parents fled to Jakku in search of a better life, but they knew that they couldn't keep a child fed and clothed. So they abandoned you in the slums, and they never saw you again. Your parents have been dead for years, Rey. They starved to death in a back-alley at the heart of the city. They died cold, hungry, and forgotten. And nobody cared."
At last, Rey finally understands to full truth of who she is.
She isn't the heir to a proud legacy, and there's no momentous destiny laid out for her. She's just the cast-off daughter of two poor, homeless refugees who were driven from their home by a war that they never wanted any part in, and she was never meant for great things.
Perhaps Kylo is right. Maybe there is no real difference between the Dark Side and the Light. To a pair of homeless refugees, after all, it didn't matter which side won the war. Neither side cared about them. And neither side would care if it happened all over again. Maybe letting it all die really is the only way forward.
But no. If there's really a better future for the galaxy, an unrepentant murderer like Kylo Ren won't be the one to bring it into being.
Rey raises her hand and reaches out with the Force, attempting to grab back Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber. Kylo raises his hand and attempts to pull the lightsaber toward him. As Rey and Kylo grapple over the lightsaber, the force of their exertions threatens to pull it apart.
Back on the Comet Chaser, Vice Admiral Holdo keys a command into her control panel, plotting a jump to lightspeed—right through the heart of the First Order's fleet.
The jump will require incredibly precise calculations—but if she can pull it off correctly, she could cripple the First Order's warships, possibly buying the transports the time that they need to complete the journey to Crait.
With her course plotted, Holdo takes a deep breath...and engages the ship's hyperdrive.
BOOM!
For a moment, time seems to stop as the Comet Chaser engages its hyperdrive and tears through the First Order fleet in a streak of light. One by one, the First Order's ships shatter and explode, torn apart by the herculean force of the Comet Chaser's hyperdrive engines as they propel the ship forward in a suicide run at the speed of light.
Chaos erupts in Kylo's flagship as it's rocked by the explosions of nearby ships.
In one part of the ship, a squad of First Order troops are thrown against a bulkhead before they pull their triggers and execute Finn, Poe, Rose, and BB-8. Taking advantage of the distraction, they make a break for it, running toward the ship's hangar.
Back in the Oracle's chamber, Rey and Kylo are thrown to opposite ends of the room—just as Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber splits in two.
Leia stands at the window of her transport ship as she watches the First Order fleet explode.
After fighting their way through dazed and confused First Order troops, Finn, Poe, Rose and BB-8 make it to the hangar and hijack a First Order shuttle. Gunning the engines, they set course for Crait to join the rest of the fleet.
On the surface of Crait, Leia takes refuge in the abandoned Rebel Alliance base with the last few survivors of the fleet—a few dozen soldiers, technicians, and crewmen. Finn and his companions manage to pilot their hijacked shuttle to the base, and they take their place among the assembled New Republic troop as they prepare to make their final stand against the First Order.
Within the hour, Kylo Ren's fleet lands on Crait, and a massive army of tanks and walkers disembarks from the First Order's landing craft, preparing to make their move on the armored base.
The soldiers make a valiant effort to drive them back—but soon, the base's wall comes crashing down. From inside, a crestfallen Leia watches as the First Order's forces advance.
Then, just when she least expects it, a familiar figure walks into the room. A bearded man with weary eyes, dressed in the brown robes of a Jedi Knight. It's Luke!
For the first time in ten years, brother and sister are reunited. As their eyes meet from across the room, they smile. A moment passes, and Luke walks forward to embrace Leia.
Luke's years of buried regrets come bubbling to the surface as he remembers the day that he left his sister behind, but he knows that he can't undo whatever pain he caused her.
"Leia, I'm sorry..." Luke says.
I know," Leia says. "I know you are. I'm just glad you're here at the end."
"I came to face him, Leia. And I can't save him."
"I held out hope for so long, but I know my son is gone."
Luke gives her a wary look.
"No one's ever really gone," he says.
Without another word, Luke strides out onto the salt plains of Crait, lightsaber in hand. Almost immediately, Kylo catches sight of him from the cockpit of a walker.
Overcome with blind rage, Kylo orders every one of his armed vehicles to target Luke and blow him away. They obey his order—but when the smoke clears, Luke is still alive, and there isn't a scratch on him.
Kylo exits his walker. Lightsaber in hand, he steps forward to confront his master.
"Did you come back to say you forgive me?" Kylo asks mockingly. "To save my soul?"
"No," Luke says simply.
As master and apprentice ignite their lightsabers, they circle each other and begin to duel.
Moments later, it finally dawns on Poe: Luke is distracting the First Order to buy them enough time to escape. At first, it seems impossible to slip out undetected—but with some quick thinking, they manage to find a hidden tunnel amid the disused mines at the interior of the base.
Luke's duel with his old apprentice rages on. Finally, as Kylo steps back and prepares to charge at his old master one more time, Luke stares him down.
I failed you, Ben," Luke says. "I'm sorry."
"I'm sure you are!" Kylo spits back. "The New Republic is dead! The war is over! And when I kill you, I will have killed the last Jedi!"
Luke smiles.
"No," he says. "The Rebellion is reborn today. The war is just beginning. And I will not be the last Jedi!"
Kylo sneers.
"I'll destroy Rey, and you, and all of it," he says.
"No," Luke says, still undaunted. "Strike me down in anger, and I'll always be with you. Just like your father."
Screaming with rage, Kylo charges at Luke, raises his saber, and brings it down for a killing blow...
...But when his blade comes down, it passes through Luke's body as if he's a ghost.
Gaping in disbelief, Kylo steps back. And at last, he realizes what has happened: Luke never left his island refuge. He used the full might of his Force abilities to project himself to Crait through the astral plane, allowing himself to distract the First Order and buy the New Republic's forces a few precious moments to escape.
Many years ago, Luke nearly succumbed to the temptation of anger and killed his young apprentice. Now, he has mastered that anger. Heeding the words of his mentors, he found a way to use the Force to save his old comrades without taking a single life. Blinded by his anger at the teacher who failed him, Kylo has been vainly fighting an illusion.
Once again, Luke smiles.
"See you around, kid," he says.
With that, Luke vanishes—leaving Kylo standing alone on the salt plains.
Back on Ahch-To, Luke sits cross-legged at the top of a rocky hill, his body levitating just a few feet off the ground as he reaches out with the Force and projects himself to Crait. As soon as he's confident that his work is done, he opens his eyes and floats back down.
His limbs tremble with fatigue, sweat coats his body, and blood drips from his nose. He has given the last remnants of the New Republic a fighting chance—but this last great feat of Force magic has taken every last ounce of his strength. Now, he has nothing left. At long last, he can die at peace.
As the sun sets over the wind-tossed seas of Ahch-To, Luke lies back against a rock and breathes his last breaths. Moments later, his body fades away and vanishes as he becomes one with the Force. When the wind picks up, it blows away his empty robes.
As Finn, Poe, Rose, and Leia lead the remnants of the New Republic's forces through the mines, they come to a pass blocked by fallen rocks. It seems impossible to make it through—but then the rocks rise into the air as if by magic, clearing the way.
At the other side of the pass, they see a familiar figure standing proudly with her hand raised, using the Force to lift the rocks aside. It's Rey—and she's standing in front of the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca by her side! After her battle with Kylo, Rey managed to escape his ship in the Falcon, and she made it to Crait just in time to help the New Republic's forces escape.
Together, the soldiers board the Falcon and soar into the skies of Crait, escaping in the nick of time.
Hour after the battle on Crait, the halls of the Falcon swarm with New Republic soldiers and crewmen, numbering in the dozens. They're low on supplies, they're far from safe haven, and they know that the First Order and their allies aren't far behind them—but they're still alive, and they've sworn to take the galaxy back when the time is right.
When things seem uncertain, Rey turns to Leia, who knows what it's like to be outnumbered and outgunned. While Rey isn't sure if they can build a fighting force out of a few dozen soldiers and a battered old freighter, Leia urges her to have faith.
"We have everything we need," Leia says.
As Rey walks away to join her friends, we zoom in on a shelf by Han's old dejarik board. Among the various assorted trinkets on the shelf is a set of dusty old books: the sacred Jedi texts. It turns out that Rey took the Jedi texts from the temple before she left Ahch-To. And while the temple was destroyed, the Jedi texts weren't.
Luke Skywalker is dead—but the wisdom of the Jedi lives on, and Luke's apprentice will carry on his legacy no matter what it takes.
On the other side of the galaxy, Kylo Ren sits alone in the Oracle's old chamber.
Rey and her companions slipped through his fingers, but the New Republic is still in ruins—and even if Rey can evade the First Order, she and her companions can never bring back the New Republic as it once was.
All over the galaxy, reports continue to pour in: most of the Core Worlds have fallen to attacks from Imperial loyalists, the New Republic fleet has been routed, and at least half of the Outer Rim worlds have seceded from the New Republic. With the New Republic a shadow of its former self, anarchy reigns, and there is no obstacle to the Knights of Ren and their ultimate mission. Yet until Rey dies, Kylo knows that he won't be able to rest.
But for now, none of that matters. All that matters is the quest for the ultimate power, which drew Kylo to the Oracle's side long ago. Once, the Oracle promised that he would guide Kylo to his destiny. But with the Oracle gone, Kylo has no choice but to embark down that path by himself. The road will be long and full of trials, but he's ready.
Kylo reaches into a metal chest that sits beside the space where the Oracle's life-support machine once stood. He pulls out a small object: an ornate wooden box with arcane symbols and characters etched along its surface.
He takes a deep breath and opens the box by a fraction of an inch—and golden light streams upon his face.
TO BE CONCLUDED...
TL;DR:
While the remnants of the New Republic fleet escape the destruction of Coruscant with the First Order in hot pursuit, Finn and Poe are temporarily pressed into service on the Comet Chaser’s crew while the ship attempts to find safe harbor. While serving on the crew, they find themselves clashing with their new commanding officer Vice Admiral Holdo, who looks down upon them for their pasts with the First Order and the Resistance.
Instead of simply disliking each other, Poe and Vice Admiral Holdo distrust each other because Holdo views the Resistance as dangerous radicals, while Poe believes that the New Republic is just as oppressive as the Empire. In the Canto Bight sequence, Poe accompanies Finn and Rose Tico to recruit DJ, and DJ is introduced as one of Poe’s former comrades from the Resistance. And instead of being "filthy junk traders who sold [her] off for drinking money", Rey's parents are revealed to be refugees from the Galactic Civil War who abandoned her in the slums of Jakku because they couldn't afford to raise a child.
In the final scene, Kylo Ren finds and opens a mysterious box in the Oracle’s quarters, which is hinted to be a key to the "ultimate power" that the Oracle promised him.
submitted by themightyheptagon to fixingmovies [link] [comments]

Part 6: Amazing In Depth Essay About Sopranos Symbolism and Subtext (credit: FlyOnMelfisWall source: thechaselounge.net)

Kennedy and Heidi: Vicarious Patricide as Tony’s Decompensation

At the risk of needless redundancy, I think it’s helpful to summarize Tony’s state of mind going into the episode Kennedy and Heidi. His consciousness is teeming with ancient but recently-agitated memories showcasing his father’s violence and toxic influence, like Johnny shooting a hole through Livia’s hairdo and baptizing him in the act of murder. He’s unable to shake stories of parental neglect leading to tragic outcomes for children. He’s painfully aware of Christopher’s hatred of him and desire for murderous revenge, feelings ultimately rooted in the fact that Tony guided him into the same corrupt existence into which he himself had been led by Johnny, Junior, and company, suggesting a reciprocal, if unconscious, rage by Tony towards those men. His subconscious mind is under constant assault from hats and movie posters and coffee mugs bearing the image of a bloody meat cleaver, an emblem of his own lost childhood innocence and inculcation by his father into his brutal, ugly vocation. He is racked with acute but intense guilt over the role he thinks his life’s example has played in shaping his son’s values and poor sense of self-worth. And he is still repressing a mountain of hurt over the fact that his uncle and second father tried not once but twice to kill him, a repression Melfi warned would someday result in a total collapse of his defense mechanisms, that is, a collapse of his paternal hero-worship and related quest for the macho validation that has prevented him from critically examining his father, uncle, and the men upon whom he modeled his life.
Now consider the circumstances immediately before the crash. Tony and Chris are on a routine drive back from business in Christopher’s new black Cadillac SUV (the first Cadillac Chris has ever owned, incidentally.) The conversation turns to life priorities. Chris, conspicuously clad in a Cleaver hat, specifically mentions how Kaitlyn has changed his priorities, and Tony mentions the “shit with Junior”. So the context is immediately pregnant with the fact that Junior shot and nearly killed Tony within the past year and with the fact that Chris is in a new place of responsibility, a position where he is, for the first time, truly the custodian and trustee for another life.
In a perfectly-timed illustration of just how ill-equipped Chris is to live up to those responsibilities, he nervously and repeatedly fiddles with the car stereo, fidgets, and widens his eyes, telegraphing to Tony that he is high as a kite on drugs. “Comfortably Numb” swells on the sound system as Tony stares at him, the lyrics underscoring that, in that moment, he does not see Chris as a youngster, as the “adorable kid” he once road around in the basket of his bicycle, but as a grown man:
When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse Out of the corner of my eye I turned to look but it was gone I cannot put my finger on it now The child is grown, the dream is gone
Chris swerves, and the crash happens seconds later.

Tony as the Child in the Carseat

It’s critical to note that Tony initially manifests every intention of helping Chris, even as he’s fighting his own injuries. “I’m comin’,” he says as Chris asks for help. His expression and demeanor only change when he realizes what Chris means by “help”. “I’ll never pass a drug test,” Chris moans. “What?” Tony asks incredulously as Chris is inhaling his own blood. Almost simultaneously, Tony turns towards the back and sees that a tree limb has penetrated the passenger compartment, lodging in Kaitlyn’s car seat like a spear. While Tony would somewhat exaggerate the size of the branch in later narrations of the event, there’s no question that it was large enough to have impaled or seriously injured an infant.
Even after this warning shot over the bow, Tony apparently intends to help Chris, coming over to the driver’s side and breaking the window when he couldn’t get the door open. He draws his cell phone to call for help but stops when Chris again mentions being doped up, which suggests that Chris is more concerned about the legal consequences of his intoxication than about the fact that he is drowning in his own blood, completely belying his claim to a life newly ordered around the lofty priority of fatherhood.
That’s the moment when Tony forms a genuine murderous intent, an intent that has little to do with Christopher’s animosity towards him or the danger that he might flip. Those are conscious, background motives that help Tony rationalize and make sense of his actions later. But the factor impelling him to end Christopher’s life is his own, fundamental identification with the child who might just as easily have been killed or seriously harmed in that carseat.
To objectify this point, there is a slow pan of the limb sticking through the seat as Tony performs the suffocation, clearly not a shot representing Tony’s vision or gaze at that moment but objectively corroborating the earlier angle when Tony glances back and we see the seat from his point of view. The juxtaposition of these shots – subjective and objective – tells me the carseat is not just a convenient excuse for Tony. This is what he’s really feeling. In this moment, he is the phantom child in that carseat, a child whose safety and well-being come second to his father’s corrupt values and reckless self-indulgence, a child whose soul and humanity are metaphorically impaled by riding in and being taught to drive his father’s black Cadillac.
The exclamation point on the symbolism is provided by Christopher’s hat. Incredibly, it remains on his head throughout the crash and suffocation, its bloody cleaver logo pointing towards Tony when the car comes to rest. As Tony acts consciously on behalf of an innocent child, the symbol of his own lost childhood innocence is directly before him. And, for good measure, the cap and logo stare back at him in the hospital from the gurney laden with Christopher’s bloody clothing and the black bag containing his dead body. (The logo antagonizes Tony a final time from his coffee mug the next morning before he angrily tosses the mug into his backyard woods.)
Several points about the suffocation itself are remarkable. First was the look of absolute depravity on Tony’s face as he watched Christopher struggle to breathe. This look was unlike any ever seen on Tony’s face at any other moment in the series. Even when committing other personal and deadly acts of violence, his face and demeanor had always betrayed a commensurate level of animus, an active, passionate intent. In contrast, he reached through the window and pinched Christopher’s nose – and maintained that hold – with remarkable calm. His face and eyes throughout the suffocation were paradoxically both incredibly intense and completely devoid of human emotion, a look far more disturbing than any look of mere rage he’d ever worn before.
Second, although this act was, in my judgment, clearly about the release of Tony’s pent up rage towards his father figures, the method of killing evokes Livia. Besides her conspiracy with Junior to kill Tony (which she rationalized was for his own good) and general obsession with stories of child deaths, she had once threatened to “smother [her children] with a pillow” to save them from a fate she deemed even worse. Tony grabbed a pillow intending to smother her in the season one finale before nursing home personnel intervened. In Members Only, Tony spoke of being smothered with a pillow as a suitable form of euthanasia. Its functional equivalent at the scene of the crash had a definite vibe of putting Chris out of his own – and everyone’s – misery. So, in killing his “father”, Tony was also paradoxically suffocating his “son”, thereby channeling Livia’s filicidal urges and concept of mercy killing.
The most spine-tingling resonance with the scene comes from two season four episodes where Tony’s deep identification with “innocents” – be they children or animals – once again comes to the fore, as does his appreciation for the consequences of Chris continuing to use drugs. In Whoever Did This, Tony warns Christopher that he “can’t be high on heroine and raise kids.” And in The Strong, Silent Type, after learning that a doped-up Chris accidentally smothered and suffocated Adriana’s dog, Tony ominously snaps, “You suffocated little Cossette? I oughta suffocate you, you prick!” It’s such perfect foreshadowing that the earlier episodes seem to have been written with the outcome of Kennedy and Heidi in mind.

Righteous Retribution as the Explanation for Tony’s Lack of Sorrow

As previously noted, the most troubling aspect of the episode from the standpoint of character consistency and plausibility was not the fact that Tony murdered Chris. It was his vacuous expression during the killing and the fact that he never betrayed a moment’s genuine sorrow or regret afterwards. He remained, in fact, defiantly happy and unconflicted about it, especially to Melfi, and was sincerely troubled that neither she nor anyone else could see how Christopher’s death rescued Kaitlyn from a lifetime of risks and harm that she would naturally suffer as the daughter of a drug addict (and mob captain).
In his therapy scenes with Melfi, real and dream, Tony even makes the very contrast I raise, noting that he’s never felt this way after murdering any other person close to him. He alludes to his sorrow over Pussy and specifically allows that murdering Tony B left him “prostate [sic] with grief.” In effect, Tony himself is revealing that this killing feels righteous and justified to him on an instinctive level and is therefore not one about which he can feel guilt or sorrow.
That sentiment makes no sense if his dominant motives were those he talked about in therapy: Christopher’s animosity and resentment towards him after the Adriana hit and his drug-use and consequent risk to flip. Whatever weight those factors carry in justifying murder in the corrupt “ethics” of the mob (which, in any case, is less than the weight of the transgressions by Pussy and Tony B), they carry absolutely no legitimate moral weight outside it and could not sustain in Tony the sense of just triumph that he felt in response to Christopher’s death. What could inspire that sense of triumph is the perceived liberation of a child from a dangerous and toxic father, experienced subconsciously as vicarious retribution for the abuse and harm he himself suffered at the hands of his own father and uncle.

Significance of the Names “Kennedy” and “Heidi”

“Kennedy” and “Heidi” are the names of the young passenger and driver, respectively, in the car that sideswipes Christopher’s SUV before the fateful crash. The girls are barely onscreen a few seconds, just long enough to (somewhat artificially) learn their names in the following exchange:
Kennedy: Maybe we should go back, Heidi! Heidi: Kennedy, I’m on my learner’s permit after dark!
Much forum debate after the first airing of the episode centered around the significance, if any, of these names. I propose a related but even more basic question: why are the girls present in the scene at all?
Tony’s windfall opportunity to murder Chris and pass it off as death from accidental injury was entirely dependent upon being unobserved by others after the crash. Given Christopher’s intoxicated state and inattention to the curvy road while he fiddled with radio controls, a mere swerve and over-correction or swerve to avoid an animal (Tony’s crash with Adriana, anyone?) would have easily sufficed to trigger the accident but without the problematic involvement of another car, the driver of which would have to be made to flee the scene illegally and in contravention of the ethics and instincts of at least 95% of the motorists on the road. So the very fact that another car is involved, complicating both the story and the filming, suggests some symbolic or subtextual design to the involvement related specifically to the momentous event occurring right after the crash.
One aspect of that design is revealed and amplified when a grieving Kelly shows up at Christopher’s wake with dark hair framing her face and large, dark sunglasses covering her eyes. A member of the crew remarks, “Look at her. Like a movie star.” An odd look immediately crosses Tony’s face as he spontaneously responds, “Jackie Kennedy”, noting Kelly’s resemblance to the widow of John F. Kennedy.
In my mind, this striking moment in the episode can have only one purpose, and that’s to evoke Johnny Boy in relation to Christopher via a kind of symbolic math. If Kelly = Jackie Kennedy, then Chris = JFK = Johnny Boy since JFK was the explicit parallel figure for Johnny in In Camelot, the first episode of the series depicting cracks in the foundation of Tony’s paternal hero worship. When that foundation completely crumbles inside Tony’s subconscious a season and a half later, it’s entirely fitting that the JFK/Johnny parallel is renewed.
As for the name “Heidi”, most folks around these parts felt it was meant to evoke the idea of “orphan” because of the famous Swiss orphan tale of the same name and because Kaitlyn (and Paulie) both lost parents in the episode. That’s an entirely plausible analysis that requires no expansion, although I’m inclined to think there’s more to it than that, starting with the analogy of Tony himself to “Heidi”. No, Tony was never technically orphaned, though he arguably suffered more as the son of Johnny and Livia than if he had been. He was certainly deprived of real parental love and guidance, on both sides, and that roughly equates to the definition of “orphan”.
Before discussing this episode for the first time, I never knew that Heidi was the story of an orphan, only that it was some kind of tale for children. And I knew that only because of the epic 1968 football game between Joe Namath’s Jets and the Oakland Raiders, the climactic ending of which (an improbable comeback by the Raiders) was cut off abruptly for television viewers at the end of its scheduled broadcast slot so that a movie version of Heidi could begin airing on time. I was only four at the time of this debacle but recall my parents talking about it – and the considerable chaos it caused at NBC and at telephone switchboards around the country – for years afterwards. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidi_Game
It wouldn’t become clear until the end of Made In America, but there’s an obvious parallel to the Heidi phenomenon in the wind-up of The Sopranos. Consider that, like the Heidi Game broadcast, Made in America featured an abrupt, unexpected termination of excruciatingly tense action at a penultimate moment, pre-empting audience experience of what appeared to be an imminent and momentous climax. The Sopranos ending may not have disabled an entire telephone network, but it certainly generated an enormous amount of controversy that, for better or worse, persists to this day.
Beyond that, there were enough other football references in the final Sopranos episodes, and especially Jets references, to warrant further consideration of this football connotation for “Heidi”. In Remember When, Tony’s betting losses on Jets football games prompt his call to Hesh for a bridge loan. Later that same episode, Paulie annoys Tony and company with yet another old tale, this one relating how, after witnessing Joe Namath stagger drunk into a bar the night before a game, he bet a load of cash the following day on the Jets’ opponent. In Chasing It, Tony gets inside information on a Jets football game and is irate when Carmela refuses to bet money on it. The episode features a closeup of a large newspaper headline, “Jets Bomb Chargers”.
In Blue Comet, then-current coach of the Jets, Eric Mangini, makes a cameo appearance in Vesuvio, with Artie informing a suitably-impressed Tony so the two can go over and shake hands. News articles at the time clarified that the cameo wasn’t Mangini’s idea but the idea of Sopranos producers, who contacted him months in advance and made accommodations in the shooting schedule around his availability. So this seemed more than a casual desire to have some generic celebrity show up.
That especially seems true considering Mangini was given no dialog and that his meeting with Tony and Artie was only depicted in the silent background of a conversation between Charmaine and Carmela. Mangini’s only purpose on set was apparently to show his face briefly and to have the fact of his identity (Tony has to tell a bewildered Carm that Mangini is the head coach of the Jets) permeate the minds of the audience and the subtext of the scene, which is ultimately about chickens coming home to roost on Tony and Carmela because of the lives they chose.
As alter egos for Tony and Carmela throughout the series, folks who took the proverbial “other path” in life, Artie and (especially) Charmaine engage in subtle gloating in the scene. Football coaching was firmly established as Tony’s “road not taken” in Test Dream, so having an actual football coach present in the episode where the unsavory and downright deadly consequences of his chosen vocation are crashing in all around him provides dramatic ballast. All the better to have the coach in the scene be the coach of the team involved in the Heidi game in view of the ending planned for the following episode.
And speaking again of that ending, the wall behind Tony in Holsten’s is consumed with four large murals specifically brought in by the production crew for the shoot. The largest and most centered depicts a huge, light-colored building with lots of windows, somewhat reminiscent of the Inn at the Oaks in Tony’s coma dream. It’s apparently a high school, however, as it is flanked on either side by images of football players in full uniform with what appear to be names and year of graduation engraved at the bottom. To the side and extreme left is a mural of a tiger and the caption “Class of 1973” at the bottom. The tiger is presumably the mascot for the team and school represented in the other murals. So there is a strong symbolic presence of “football” in the last scene of the series, particularly of high school football from roughly the era when Tony would have entered high school.
Finally, though it may be completely insignificant, when Tony tells Carm about the accident from his hospital stretcher in Kennedy and Heidi, he mentions that he re-injured his knee, “the one from high school.” That certainly sounds like a reference to an old high school football injury.
If these loose strands from multiple episodes are indeed intended to connote football in relation to the name “Heidi”, what does that actually mean in the context of the episode Kennedy and Heidi? What does football have to do with Tony killing Chris or, more precisely, with him killing his father in the guise of Chris?
The linchpin in that symbolism, it seems to me, is Tony’s old high school football coach, the guy who would have been his coach when he originally injured his knee, the guy Tony dreamt repeatedly of trying to silence or kill, the guy whose puzzling duality in Test Dream suddenly makes sense when he’s viewed as a classic, Freudian composite of opposites, specifically a composite of Tony’s opposing father figures with Johnny dressed in the physiognomy of Coach Molinaro by Tony’s subconscious in order to render acceptable imagery of his latent, patricidal feelings.
If you further allow, as I do, that the Johnny look-alike shooting at Tony with a scoped rifle (ala Oswald/”Kennedy”) in that same dream is yet another Freudian “reversal into the opposite” by Tony’s subconscious to disguise his repressed paternal rage, then the Kennedy/Heidi connection is pretty clear. The names are presented proximate to the crash to connote that, in killing Chris, Tony has finally acted out the Test Dream imagery that haunted him for years: he has (symbolically) killed his father, the “Kennedy” and “Heidi” of his dream.

“He’s Dead”

In my judgment, this explains Tony’s otherwise puzzling, peyote-induced insight when he proclaims, “He’s dead,” after winning at roulette on 3 successive spins, prompting him to fall to the floor in spectacular and uncontrollable laughter. What other, real death could have inspired such a euphoric and epiphanic reaction? What real death could Tony only have appreciated while in a drug-induced, altered state of consciousness?
Many felt the line referred to Christopher because he’d just died, obviously, and because Tony’s gambling luck suddenly changed afterward. That analysis never made sense to me.
First, Tony plays roulette at the casino while sober when he first arrives in Vegas and loses every round. Chris was already dead at that time, as Tony well knew and accepted. Indeed, Tony was never in any state of denial about Christopher’s death (or about having killed him.) He embraced it, both consciously and in his dream therapy session with Melfi after the crash.
The “he’s dead” insight occurs only after Tony takes peyote and notices a sudden and complete about-face in gambling luck. Why would he need psychedelic drugs to suddenly realize what he already knew and accepted about Chris? And why would Christopher’s death be tied in his mind to his own gambling luck anyway? No prior connection between those two things had ever been suggested.
On the other hand, Tony’s sudden escalation in gambling, which coincided with the agitation and intensification of his latent rage towards his father(s), could easily be seen as a subconscious rebellion against the stern, anti-gambling lecture Johnny imparted the night Tony witnessed the cleaver incident. To the extent that the rebellion results in huge financial losses and self destruction, it obviously fails. His father retains ultimate power and authority. To the extent the rebellion results in huge winnings, it succeeds, and Tony vanquishes his father.
That conquest was the ineffable and elusive “high” that Tony was subconsciously pursuing in Chasing It but which he could not articulate to Melfi. Thus the sudden change in gambling fortune on his Vegas trip is easily tied in Tony’s drug-altered psyche to a euphoric realization that he has conquered or symbolically killed his father, none of which Tony could appreciate without a vastly altered state of consciousness.
And that leads to why he went to Vegas in the first place. He asks that question out loud to the Vegas prostitute, Sonia, immediately before admitting that Christopher once mentioned taking peyote with her. Tony then confesses to having always wanted to try the drug.
Clearly, then, he didn’t just happen to pick Vegas and didn’t just happen to make contact with this girl. His subconscious was pushing him to that venue because he craved the enlightenment of a peyote experience. So while Tony’s real motives for the murder, and for his otherwise inexplicable jubilance afterward, were completely closed off to his conscious mind, somehow he sensed their existence and yearned to unlock and understand them. However his peyote revelations didn’t stop with simply understanding why he killed Chris.

“I Get It. I Get It!”

Tony’s desert epiphany is a bookend to his near-death coma experience and, I believe, can only be fully understood in relation to it. Yet exploring that relationship is a journey all unto itself, calling not only for consideration of the coma episodes and Kennedy and Heidi but the meaning of the cut to black that ends the series. While exploring the religious and spiritual underpinnings of those episodes is of even more weight and interest to me personally than the issue of Tony’s motives in killing Christopher, it deserves and demands its own, dedicated discussion. For now, I’d simply like to posit what I strongly believe Tony’s epiphany to have been with only minimal argumentation as to why I hold that belief.
The epiphany is presaged when Tony enters the casino on his peyote trip and notes that the roulette wheel is built on the same principle as the solar system. The ball spins round and round the center or “sun” of the wheel because of two delicately-balanced but largely opposing phenomena: the momentum of the ball (which, without the wheel, would carry the ball away in a straight line) and the centripetal force of the wheel (applied by the rim, which continuously pulls the ball towards the center even as the ball’s momentum continuously pulls it on a path perpendicular to the centripetal force.) The antagonism (or cooperation, if you prefer) of the forces gives rise to a unified system: an orbit.
If this sounds a bit like the Bell Labs scientist’s explanation of how two tornadoes are in fact just facets of one, unified system of wind, it’s likely no mere coincidence. As Hal Holbrook’s character argued, separateness is a mirage. The universe, and everything in it, is one big soup of molecules interacting in cause/effect fashion according to laws, making it one whole, not a bunch of discrete parts. “Everything is everything,” as the black rapper reduced it.
That was the philosophy that really made an impression on Tony in the days and weeks following his coma. The principles of quantum physics articulated by Holbrook’s character are likely as close as you can get to a scientific codification of Bhuddism and therefore reinforced much of what the Bhuddist monks conveyed to Tony in his coma. The monks laughed when Tony claimed he wasn’t Finnerty and explained that there really is no “you” and “me, that death would bring an obliteration of individuality. Separate consciousness – and the consciousness of separateness – is an illusion of the living.
So all this laid the philosophical groundwork for Tony’s Las Vegas trip. In that trip, Tony seeks out a girl with whom Chris had slept, then sleeps with her himself. He mentions having refrained from a longstanding desire to try peyote because he always felt the weight of his responsibilities, an implied contrast to Christopher, who always indulged in drugs despite his responsibilities. The idea that Tony was seeking to almost live life in Christopher’s skin in the Las Vegas portion of the episode was something several posters mentioned in first discussions after Kennedy and Heidi aired. Even the girl, Sonia, remarks how similar Tony and Chris are, a somewhat dubious observation that somehow offends Tony but which also helps define his impending epiphany.
That epiphany is spurred when the rising sun flares at him over the desert mountain vista. This recalls Tony’s earlier comparison of the roulette wheel to the solar system. It also resonates completely with the fact that Kevin Finnerty was a solar heating salesman from Kingman, Arizona, a town which, not coincidentally, lies 95 miles southeast of Las Vegas and shares the same desert landscape. Also not coincidental, IMO, is the fact that in the prior episode, Christopher spoke of the perks of joining witness protection and of “living large” in Arizona.
So I believe that, in that desert sunrise on the cusp of Arizona, in fulfillment of his identity as Kevin Finnerty, solar heating salesman, Tony saw his “son” – Christopher – “rise” and realized that, in murdering him days before, he (Tony) was really “rising” as a “son” against Johnny Boy. And in that linkage, he suddenly realized that “everything is [indeed] everything.” He is both Chris and Johnny Boy, both abused and misguided son and abusing, misguiding father. He is murdering uncle and would-be murdered nephew. He is both the mother that sees suffocation as mercy killing and the son who is suffocated. Christopher is both his son and his father. Johnny Boy is Coach Molinaro. “Kennedy” is “Heidi”. Opposites are really two sides of the same coin. In that fleeting moment of insight, Tony was truly feeling “one” with the universe.

The Second Coming

The episode following Kennedy and Heidi is titled The Second Coming after the Yeats poem that grips AJ in the English lit class he’s auditing. While the poem speaks to the bleakness of his depression and outlook on life at that particular time, there’s little doubt that – like everything of substantial weight in the Sopranos universe – it ultimately relates, first and foremost, to Tony. First referenced in the Cold Cuts therapy session dealing with pent-up rage where Tony’s deep shame from the cleaver incident is finally revealed, the poem seems the veritable inspiration for the storyline (as interpreted in this article) that culminates in Christopher’s murder:
The Second Coming By William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight; somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
The widening gyre, the orbit that breaks down when the center can no longer hold, is clearly a parallel to the decompensation of which Melfi warned, the point at which Tony’s defenses after Junior’s second murder attempt could no longer hold and the underlying pathological rage at his fathers would take over. True to the poem, a “blood-dimmed tide was loosed”, inspired by a perverse compassion for the “innocent”. While “the best” all mourned Christopher and thought his death a tragedy, Tony, “the worst”, was full of passionate intensity and could not understand why no one else saw the greater good in Christopher’s death.
The “revelation” occurs in a “waste of desert sand”, imagery easily compatible with Tony’s “I get it” moment in the Nevada/Arizona desert. The uniquely depraved look on his face as he suffocated Christopher is evoked by the line describing a “gaze as blank and pitiless as the sun”. “Twenty years of stony sleep” refers to the decades of denial Tony maintained, the defense mechanisms that kept him all his life from confronting and admitting that, in some very real ways, he hated his father. It’s a figurative sleep that was suggested literally in the noted fact that so many episodes in season 6B started with Tony in a deep sleep. Somnolence was suggested even in the choice of the song “Comfortably Numb” as soundtrack in the moments immediately preceding the crash, the moments right before the hour of the “rough beast” finally arrived. Even the incidentals are perfect allusions, as with the image of “stony sleep” being turned into a nightmare by a “rocking cradle”, or, in this case, by a car seat with a branch sticking through it.
I’m intrigued by the line describing the emerging beast as having “lion body”. It may mean absolutely nothing. But among the story points worth considering in relation to it are the tiger on the wall in Holsten’s and the enigmatic cat in Made In America.
More obscure is the fact that in Remember When, the single episode most explicitly dealing with the violent release of stifled paternal rage, Carter Chong described his grandfather as a “lion” and noted that his father owned “Grumman” stock. (Grumman manufactured a number of high-profile fighter military aircraft, most of them named for some kind of cat, e.g., Panther, Jaguar, Tomcat, Tigercat.) Carter was reviewing these facts to himself in the scene immediately preceding his vicious attack on Junior, suggesting that, in acting out on his stifled paternal hatred, he was adopting the predatory, aggressive characteristics of a wild cat. Notably, when Junior, the paternal surrogate who modeled this kind of aggressive behavior to Carter, was seen at the end of that episode bruised and literally defanged, his sunken mouth void of false teeth, he was stroking a harmless little housecat on his lap. Once a lion, the former mob boss was a lion no more.

Asbestos Dumping as a Metaphor for Tony’s Toxic Spill of Rage

Kennedy and Heidi opens with a controversy between Tony and Phil Leotardo over asbestos disposal. One of Tony’s contractors was removing asbestos from old buildings, while following none of the strict (and expensive) asbestos-handling laws regulating worker and public safety, and was seeking to dump completely uncontained truck-fulls at waste stations controlled by Phil. Phil’s guys were denying the trucks the right to dump. As a consequence, huge, openly-smoking asbestos mounds were building up at job sites.
After Christopher’s death, Tony was doing little to find a solution, skipping town to gamble, get laid, and get high and leaving the contractor high and dry. Finally, near the very end of the episode, the contractor dumps heaps of asbestos at dawn in an open marsh area resembling the New Jersey Meadowlands.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that gained widespread use in the 19th and 20th centuries as an ingredient in various building industry materials – including wall compounds, insulation, and roofing materials – primarily because of its extreme insulative properties and resistance to heat and fire. In the last 40 years, it’s become better-known for its cancer-causing and toxic effects on those mining and working with it in manufacturing, demolition/remodeling, or other “raw” environments.
Both the heat resistance and toxicity of asbestos make the shoddy removal/dumping storyline a compelling metaphor for Tony’s equally shoddy “dumping” in Kennedy and Heidi. The smoldering heat and flames from his hatred towards his father and uncle were contained beneath his consciousness by an insulating firewall of denial and repression. In essence, this denial and repression was Tony’s psychological asbestos, and it (more or less) contained the heat and fire within him for 47 years.
But it finally broke down, allowing the flames to rage and do damage and necessitating a messy disposal. Unfortunately the breakdown didn’t happen where it should have, in his therapist’s office as the result of honest introspection and dialog about little things like his uncle trying to kill him twice and his father indoctrinating him to murder at 22. That would have been the equivalent of careful, legally-compliant asbestos removal. Instead the breakdown occurred in a roadside ravine and the resulting “waste [in the] desert sand” was every bit as toxic as the smoking piles illegally dumped in the Meadowlands immediately before the desert epiphany and which we saw reprised in the very first shot of the following episode.
Think about that for a moment. Tony’s “I get it” moment was literally sandwiched between shots of noxious mounds of asbestos blowing in the New Jersey wind, a significant clue that some other kind of perversely cathartic disposal was in the middle of that sandwich.

The Orbit of the ‘Blue Comet’: Long Journey to Nowhere

It’s fair to ask: if the broad strokes of my interpretation are valid, what impact did the epiphany have on Tony going forward? After the drugs wore off, did he actually retain any specific understanding of his subconscious motives for killing Chris? Was he left only with the impression that he had enjoyed a very brief moment of enlightenment but without intellectual distillation of the enlightenment itself?
Because the insight was founded upon the secret that he had murdered Chris, even if Tony had retained it, he couldn’t overtly share it with anyone. Still, I lean toward the interpretation that the specifics (at least the ones I proffered) were lost to him when the altered state of consciousness ceased. When he tried to describe the magic of what he experienced in the desert to his crew, he could only come up with the most mundane, inadequate words: “The sun . . . came up.” They all looked at him like he was half retarded.
He was slightly more specific with Melfi, offering that he saw “for pretty certain” that this reality is not all there is. He couldn’t define the alternative but was still convinced there was “something else”.
He did speak in therapy of appreciating a balance and unity in opposites that he hadn’t appreciated before, a “ying” [sic] and “yang”. And he offered that “mothers are like buses . . . the vehicle that gets us here,” but that, once here, we are all on our own, individual journeys (mothers included.) So, to the extent his epiphany comported with what he revealed in therapy, it seems to have had little to do with fathers and with Christopher’s murder and more to do with letting go (finally) of some of his issues with his mother.
But perhaps the best clue to his residual state of understanding came when he indicated that some of what he thought he had grasped in the desert now eluded him. “You think you know, you think you learn something . . . like when I got shot,” he begins. Then, speaking specifically about the peyote experience, he reports that the insight gained is “kinda hard to describe. . . . You know, you have these thoughts, and you almost grab it . . . and then . . . ftt.” He flicks his fingers away from his chin as if to indicate “nothing”. So, to paraphrase Edna St. Vincent Millay, a fragment of what he knew remains, but, apparently, the best is lost.
It wouldn’t take long for all of it to be lost. By the time Tony sits with AJ’s female therapist in Made In America, “going about in pity” for himself because of who his mother was, he has come full circle, essentially back to where he was to start the series. Like a “blue comet”, his orbit was highly elliptical, if not erratic, and carried with it the potential of veering off into deep space or crashing into the sun. But despite killing his own nephew, having a near-death experience himself, and saving his son from an act of suicide, the orbit held. The sober breakthrough never came. The repudiation of his father and of his way of life never took hold in his consciousness. And so, by series’ end, we, like Tony, were exhausted from a long journey that ultimately took us nowhere.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
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Today's Pre-Market Movers & News [Monday, March 30th, 2020]

Good morning traders and investors of the wallstreetbets sub! Welcome to the new trading week and a fresh start! Here are your pre-market movers and news this AM-

Today's Top Headlines for Monday, March 30th, 2020

  • U.S. stock futures were pointing to a modest decline for the Dow Jones Industrial Average at Monday’s open after President Donald Trump extended national social distancing guidelines to April 30. The Dow, which closed 4% lower Friday, did soar 12.8% for the week, logging its best weekly gain since 1938 and raising questions about whether blue chips have bottomed. However, heading into Monday’s session, the Dow was still nearly 27% off last month’s record highs. The yield on the 10-year Treasury remained below 1% early Monday. U.S. oil prices sank below $20 per barrel, near 18-year lows hit earlier this month.
  • On Sunday, mortgage bankers warned that Federal Reserve mortgage purchases are unbalancing the home lending market. In addition to the Fed’s extraordinary no limit fixed-income purchases, Wall Street analysts and economists said it would not be out of the question to see the central bank take for the first time ever a passive interest in the performance of the stock market.
  • Preparing the nation for a death toll that could exceed 100,000 from the coronavirus, Trump on Sunday walked back his previous remarks about wanting to reopen the country for business by Easter. In continuing social distancing until the end of next month, the president said, “Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory has been won.” Earlier on Sunday, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said the country could see up to 200,000 deaths and millions of infections. However, he also cautioned that those numbers are based on outbreak modeling and nothing is certain.
  • The U.S., which has the most known coronavirus infections in the world, saw confirmed cases jump to over 143,000 with 2,513 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. New York has about 40% of those cases and fatalities. A field hospital has been set up inside New York’s Central Park to treat coronavirus patients. Abbott Laboratories, which received FDA emergency use authorization on Friday for a test that can detect coronavirus in 5 minutes, was praised by Trump. “Abbott has stated that they will begin delivering 50,000 tests each day, starting this week,” he said. Abbott shares were soaring about 8% in the premarket.
  • Global coronavirus cases increased to over 730,000 with 34,685 deaths and more than 149,000 recoveries. Italy, No. 2 to the U.S. in cases with about 97,700, has the worst death toll. Italy’s 10,779 fatalities are more than three times as many as China’s 3,308 deaths. Rounding out the top three, Spain just surpassed China in infections, with over 85,000 cases and more than double China’s death toll at 6,803. China, where the pandemic started in December, has the world’s fourth most known infections, nearing 82,200 cases. Germany is No. 5 in worldwide cases at about 62,400. It has 541 deaths.
  • Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City, plan to strike on Monday to call attention to what they claim is the lack of protections for employees. Chris Smalls, a management assistant and a lead organizer of the strike, told CNBC that workers at the fulfillment center known as JFK8, have grown increasingly concerned about coming into work after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus there last week. Amazon told CNBC that the company was supporting the individual in quarantine and asked anyone who was in contact with the worker to stay home with pay for two weeks. JFK8 remains open.

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THIS MORNING'S STOCK NEWS MOVERS:

(source: cnbc.com)
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – The company announced it has identified a lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and plans to begin phase 1 clinical trials by September at the latest. Its intention is to have the first batches of vaccine available for emergency use by January.

STOCK SYMBOL: JNJ

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Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) – The nation’s largest egg producer reported quarterly earnings of 28 cents per share, 10 cents a share above estimates, Revenue also beat forecasts and Cal-Maine said it is not seeing any supply chain disruptions as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

STOCK SYMBOL: CALM

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Sanofi (SNY), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) – The drugmakers expanded a clinical trial of their rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara as a coronavirus treatment. The trial now includes patients outside the U.S., after beginning in America last week.

STOCK SYMBOL: SNY

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STOCK SYMBOL: CALM

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United Technologies (UTX), Raytheon (RTN) – The defense contractors have received all regulatory approvals for their all-stock merger, and expect to close the deal prior to the open on Friday. United Technologies will be renamed Raytheon Technologies and trade under the ticker “RTX.” The Carrier and Otis businesses of United Technologies will become separate publicly traded companies, trading under ticker symbols “CARR” and “OTIS,” respectively.

STOCK SYMBOL: UTX

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STOCK SYMBOL: RTN

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La-Z-Boy (LZB) – La-Z-Boy furloughed 6,800 workers, cut the pay of senior management by 50%, and of salaried workers by 25%. The furniture maker also eliminated its June dividend and stopped its share repurchase program indefinitely.

STOCK SYMBOL: LZB

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Tegna (TGNA) – Tegna said it has held talks with two of four interested parties about their takeover proposals for the regional TV station operator. Those talks have stopped, however, due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

STOCK SYMBOL: TGNA

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Jefferies (JEF) – Jefferies said its Chief Financial Officer Peg Broadbent has died from the coronavirus. The investment bank named Teri Gendron, the CFO of the company’s financial services arm, as Broadbent’s successor.

STOCK SYMBOL: JEF

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Gilead Sciences (GILD) – Gilead said it would stop taking individual emergency requests for its experimental coronavirus drug due to overwhelming demand.

STOCK SYMBOL: GILD

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Eldorado Resorts (ERI) – Eldorado’s deal to buy rival casino operator Caesars Entertainment (CZR) could be in danger, according to the New York Post. The paper said regulators have delayed their review of the $17.3 billion deal due to the virus outbreak, while the casino industry takes a hard hit from ongoing closures.

STOCK SYMBOL: ERI

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Novartis (NVS) – Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan told a Swiss newspaper that its malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is the drugmaker’s biggest hope against COVID-19.

STOCK SYMBOL: NVS

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Apple (AAPL) – Apple could see an 18% year-over-year drop in iPhone orders during the current quarter, according to a Reuters report.

STOCK SYMBOL: AAPL

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Papa John’s (PZZA) – Investor advisory firm ISS said retired basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal should not be re-elected to the board of the pizza chain, according to a Bloomberg report. ISS said O’Neal skipped too many board meetings and that shareholders should vote against his re-election at the April 23 annual meeting.

STOCK SYMBOL: PZZA

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Procter & Gamble (PG), Kimberly-Clark (KMB) – Jefferies upgraded both consumer products makers to “buy” from “hold,” noting that both are benefiting from the “pantry-loading” taking place due to the coronavirus outbreak.

STOCK SYMBOL: PG

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DISCUSS!

What is on everyone's radar for today's trading day ahead here at wallstreetbets?

I hope you all have an excellent trading day ahead today on this Monday, March 30th, 2020! :)

submitted by bigbear0083 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Today's Pre-Market Movers & News [Monday, March 30th, 2020]

Good morning traders and investors of the StockMarket sub! Welcome to the new trading week and a fresh start! Here are your pre-market movers and news this AM-

(CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL SOURCE!)

Today's Top Headlines for Monday, March 30th, 2020

  • U.S. stock futures were pointing to a modest decline for the Dow Jones Industrial Average at Monday’s open after President Donald Trump extended national social distancing guidelines to April 30. The Dow, which closed 4% lower Friday, did soar 12.8% for the week, logging its best weekly gain since 1938 and raising questions about whether blue chips have bottomed. However, heading into Monday’s session, the Dow was still nearly 27% off last month’s record highs. The yield on the 10-year Treasury remained below 1% early Monday. U.S. oil prices sank below $20 per barrel, near 18-year lows hit earlier this month.
  • On Sunday, mortgage bankers warned that Federal Reserve mortgage purchases are unbalancing the home lending market. In addition to the Fed’s extraordinary no limit fixed-income purchases, Wall Street analysts and economists said it would not be out of the question to see the central bank take for the first time ever a passive interest in the performance of the stock market.
  • Preparing the nation for a death toll that could exceed 100,000 from the coronavirus, Trump on Sunday walked back his previous remarks about wanting to reopen the country for business by Easter. In continuing social distancing until the end of next month, the president said, “Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory has been won.” Earlier on Sunday, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said the country could see up to 200,000 deaths and millions of infections. However, he also cautioned that those numbers are based on outbreak modeling and nothing is certain.
  • The U.S., which has the most known coronavirus infections in the world, saw confirmed cases jump to over 143,000 with 2,513 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. New York has about 40% of those cases and fatalities. A field hospital has been set up inside New York’s Central Park to treat coronavirus patients. Abbott Laboratories, which received FDA emergency use authorization on Friday for a test that can detect coronavirus in 5 minutes, was praised by Trump. “Abbott has stated that they will begin delivering 50,000 tests each day, starting this week,” he said. Abbott shares were soaring about 8% in the premarket.
  • Global coronavirus cases increased to over 730,000 with 34,685 deaths and more than 149,000 recoveries. Italy, No. 2 to the U.S. in cases with about 97,700, has the worst death toll. Italy’s 10,779 fatalities are more than three times as many as China’s 3,308 deaths. Rounding out the top three, Spain just surpassed China in infections, with over 85,000 cases and more than double China’s death toll at 6,803. China, where the pandemic started in December, has the world’s fourth most known infections, nearing 82,200 cases. Germany is No. 5 in worldwide cases at about 62,400. It has 541 deaths.
  • Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City, plan to strike on Monday to call attention to what they claim is the lack of protections for employees. Chris Smalls, a management assistant and a lead organizer of the strike, told CNBC that workers at the fulfillment center known as JFK8, have grown increasingly concerned about coming into work after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus there last week. Amazon told CNBC that the company was supporting the individual in quarantine and asked anyone who was in contact with the worker to stay home with pay for two weeks. JFK8 remains open.

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THIS MORNING'S STOCK NEWS MOVERS:

(source: cnbc.com)
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – The company announced it has identified a lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and plans to begin phase 1 clinical trials by September at the latest. Its intention is to have the first batches of vaccine available for emergency use by January.

STOCK SYMBOL: JNJ

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Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) – The nation’s largest egg producer reported quarterly earnings of 28 cents per share, 10 cents a share above estimates, Revenue also beat forecasts and Cal-Maine said it is not seeing any supply chain disruptions as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

STOCK SYMBOL: CALM

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Sanofi (SNY), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) – The drugmakers expanded a clinical trial of their rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara as a coronavirus treatment. The trial now includes patients outside the U.S., after beginning in America last week.

STOCK SYMBOL: SNY

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STOCK SYMBOL: CALM

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United Technologies (UTX), Raytheon (RTN) – The defense contractors have received all regulatory approvals for their all-stock merger, and expect to close the deal prior to the open on Friday. United Technologies will be renamed Raytheon Technologies and trade under the ticker “RTX.” The Carrier and Otis businesses of United Technologies will become separate publicly traded companies, trading under ticker symbols “CARR” and “OTIS,” respectively.

STOCK SYMBOL: UTX

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STOCK SYMBOL: RTN

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La-Z-Boy (LZB) – La-Z-Boy furloughed 6,800 workers, cut the pay of senior management by 50%, and of salaried workers by 25%. The furniture maker also eliminated its June dividend and stopped its share repurchase program indefinitely.

STOCK SYMBOL: LZB

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Tegna (TGNA) – Tegna said it has held talks with two of four interested parties about their takeover proposals for the regional TV station operator. Those talks have stopped, however, due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

STOCK SYMBOL: TGNA

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Jefferies (JEF) – Jefferies said its Chief Financial Officer Peg Broadbent has died from the coronavirus. The investment bank named Teri Gendron, the CFO of the company’s financial services arm, as Broadbent’s successor.

STOCK SYMBOL: JEF

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Gilead Sciences (GILD) – Gilead said it would stop taking individual emergency requests for its experimental coronavirus drug due to overwhelming demand.

STOCK SYMBOL: GILD

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Eldorado Resorts (ERI) – Eldorado’s deal to buy rival casino operator Caesars Entertainment (CZR) could be in danger, according to the New York Post. The paper said regulators have delayed their review of the $17.3 billion deal due to the virus outbreak, while the casino industry takes a hard hit from ongoing closures.

STOCK SYMBOL: ERI

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Novartis (NVS) – Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan told a Swiss newspaper that its malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is the drugmaker’s biggest hope against COVID-19.

STOCK SYMBOL: NVS

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Apple (AAPL) – Apple could see an 18% year-over-year drop in iPhone orders during the current quarter, according to a Reuters report.

STOCK SYMBOL: AAPL

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Papa John’s (PZZA) – Investor advisory firm ISS said retired basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal should not be re-elected to the board of the pizza chain, according to a Bloomberg report. ISS said O’Neal skipped too many board meetings and that shareholders should vote against his re-election at the April 23 annual meeting.

STOCK SYMBOL: PZZA

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Procter & Gamble (PG), Kimberly-Clark (KMB) – Jefferies upgraded both consumer products makers to “buy” from “hold,” noting that both are benefiting from the “pantry-loading” taking place due to the coronavirus outbreak.

STOCK SYMBOL: PG

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STOCK SYMBOL: KMB

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FULL DISCLOSURE:

bigbear0083 has no positions in any stocks mentioned. Reddit, moderators, and the author do not advise making investment decisions based on discussion in these posts. Analysis is not subject to validation and users take action at their own risk. bigbear0083 is an admin at the financial forums Stockaholics.net where this content was originally posted.

DISCUSS!

What is on everyone's radar for today's trading day ahead here at StockMarket?

I hope you all have an excellent trading day ahead today on this Monday, March 30th, 2020! :)

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