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Trump changes national conversation to sports and liberals happily oblige

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Trump changes national conversation

The big story of the day is all about sports teams and athletes reacting to President Trump by taking a knee during the National Anthem. All of that is covered below, but I’m going to rant for a moment first.

Fine. President Trump wants us talking about athletes. North Korea is closer to attacking us than they’ve ever been. The healthcare system is crumbling and we’re back to square one on the discussion. Iran is practically begging us to declare they’ve broken the nuclear deal which will send the Middle East into further disarray.

But the President wants to talk about football. The media is all aflutter over it, thinking they can gin up opposition to the White House and make everyone suddenly “woke.” Most Americans prefer the topic change because it’s something they can grasp and debate over Sunday brunch.

If I sound a little bitter, it’s because I feel there are a million things more important than whether or not the NFL should fire uninspiring athletes over their asinine protests.

I’ve been boycotting the NFL for a long time. To me, this is a question that should be answered by the people: do we support their behaviors or not? If we don’t, are we opposed to those behaviors enough to make the choice not to support them financially in the form of television views, game attendance, and merchandise sales? For me, the answer is a resounding “no.” I will not support the men who chose to insult the symbols of our freedom.

With that said, it’s an afterthought. It doesn’t deserve the President’s attention. It deserves a quick mention by the media before they move on to bigger issues. It should barely be a conversation to a people faced with some of the worst potential crises we’ve had to deal with since 9/11.

Yet, here we are.

I sincerely hope this passes quickly, but I fear it won’t. I hope that people will have their say, Tweet their Tweets, debate it for a day or two on Facebook, and then move on to more pressing topics. In the meantime, I’m obliged to cover it with the stories below because that’s what the nation’s discussing right now. Unfortunately.

Perspectives

NFL Players Kneel During the Anthem Division in America | National Review

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/451673/nfl-players-kneel-during-anthem-division-americaThe president’s comments on Friday have opened up the protests to new meanings. Players can kneel during the national anthem in a way that looks like a protest of the president,  or in solidarity with their fellow athletes. Consequently, more are joining them. But the protests may still be perceived as against the flag or anthem, whether by fans, the local big-wig season ticket buyers, or advertisers.  Probably millions of football watchers will construe these protests as against them in some way, for voting for Trump, or disapproving of Colin Kaepernik’s original protest. This dynamic is a disaster for the NFL.

Steelers stay in the locker room during national anthem as dozens of NFL players protest | Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2017/09/24/ravens-jaguars-players-kneel-during-national-anthem-after-trumps-attacks-on-nfl.htmlThe Pittsburgh Steelers remained in the locker room during the national anthem as dozens of NFL players from several teams kneeled or locked arms at games nationwide just hours after a similar protest in London during the national anthem there.

Pittsburgh Steelers remain in locker room during the national anthem

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/20801902/pittsburgh-steelers-remain-locker-room-national-anthemAs the anthem began in Soldier Field, several Steelers coaches were on the sideline, including head coach Mike Tomlin, while the players were not present. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley, offensive line coach Mike Munchak and running backs coach James Saxon also were spotted.

NFL chief, team owners, NBA stars slam Trump – CNNPolitics

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/23/politics/nfl-goodell-trump-response/index.htmlRoger Goodell of NFL just put out a statement trying to justify the total disrespect certain players show to our country.Tell them to stand!

First Amendment Protects Kneeling In Church and On Football Field | The Resurgent

http://theresurgent.com/first-amendment-protects-kneeling-in-church-and-on-football-field/During the Reagan Administration, the Supreme Court determined that acts of protest are protected under the first amendment, so long as there is no breach of the peace or imminent threat of lawless action. SCOTUS held in Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989) that laws against burning or otherwise desecrating the American flag were invalid as unconstitutional.

Oakland A’s Catcher Bruce Maxwell Becomes First MLB Player to Kneel During National Anthem | Daily Wire

http://www.dailywire.com/news/21444/oakland-catcher-bruce-maxwell-becomes-first-mlb-emily-zanottiOakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell, who is black, knelt for the “Star Spangled Banner” during Saturday night’s game against the Texas Astros. As the song began, Maxwell dropped to one knee in the player lineup, but removed his hat and placed his hand across his heart.

Shahid Khan, the Jaguars owner who stood with his team, has long espoused the American Dream – The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2017/09/24/shahid-khan-the-jaguars-owner-who-stood-with-his-team-has-long-espoused-the-american-dream/?utm_term=.1f259eae6110One man in particular stood out: Shahid Khan, the perpetually well-coiffed and mustachioed owner of the Jaguars, also walked out with his team, locking arms with a player on each side. As “The Star-Spangled Banner” played, Khan closed his eyes and clenched his left fist.

Reactions

Final Thoughts

Between the media and those of us who consume it, the President couldn’t have picked an easier group to manipulate. We love it when he Tweets insults whether we’re willing to admit it or not. He’s created outrage. Some are outraged at him. Others are outraged at his targets. This is how he controls the news cycle. He Tweets. Everyone responds.

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Entertainment and Sports

Harden scores 48 points, Rockets beat Lakers 138-134 in OT

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Harden scores 48 points Rockets beat Lakers 138-134 in OT

HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden was the star for the Houston Rockets as usual on Saturday night, but he and the team got a big boost from Eric Gordon in his second game back after recovering from a bruised knee.

Harden scored 48 points, Gordon added 30 and the Rockets overcame a 21-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 138-134 in overtime.

The Rockets trailed for most of the night and were down by 18 in the second-half. Gordon sent it to overtime with a 3-pointer, and made four free throws in the last seconds of the extra period.

“He’s playing unbelievable,” coach Mike D’Antoni said of Gordon.

Coming off 57- and 58-point games, Harden had his 19th straight game with at least 30 and he’s had 40 in 10 of the last 13. He was 14 of 30 from the field, going 8 of 19 on 3-pointers, and hit 12 of 15 free throws.

Harden was asked if Gordon being back after missing eight games before his return on Wednesday night eased the burden on him a little bit.

“A little bit? It takes a lot of burden off me,” Harden said. “He’s so offensively gifted and talented being able to shoot the basketball, being able to get to the rim, being able to make plays for others. You get a guy like that on the floor with you it makes it easier for not only myself but for everybody.”

Brandon Ingram missed a 3 for Los Angeles before Harden hit 1 of 2 free throws to make it 132-130 with less than a minute left. Ingram tied it with a basket, and Harden again made 1 of 2 free throws to make it 133-132.

Los Angeles missed a 3 before Gordon also made just 1 of 2 free throws to leave Houston up by two with 12.6 seconds left. Kyle Kuzma lost the ball and it went out of bounds to give Houston the ball back. Gordon added four free throws after that to secure the victory.

It was the second straight overtime game for both teams after Houston lost to Brooklyn on Wednesday night and Los Angeles beat Oklahoma City on Thursday night.

Kuzma had 32 points for Los Angeles and Ingram added 21 in a game where coach Luke Walton was ejected in the third quarter.

Already without LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, the Lakers have another injury concern after Lonzo Ball sprained his left ankle in the third quarter. Walton said his X-rays were negative but that he’d have an MRI and “we’ll see where we are after that.”

Four straight points by the Lakers stretched the lead to nine in the fourth quarter, but Harden and Gordon made consecutive 3-pointers cut it to 112-109 with about two minutes remaining.

Los Angeles made four free throws to make it 116-109 about a minute later, but Harden made two 3-pointers around a basket by Ivica Zubac to get Houston within three with about 30 seconds left.

Lance Stephenson missed a 3-pointer and Harden made two free throws to cut the lead to 118-117 with 5.7 seconds left.

Zubac made two more free throws before Gordon’s off-balance 3-pointer with 2 seconds left sent it to OT.

“I saw Kentavious Caldwell-Pope running out to me and I thought he was going to fly right by me, but he stood right there,” Gordon said. “So I had to try to shoot it with confidence and I’m glad it went in.”

The Lakers built a huge lead early and were up 64-46 at halftime, with Kuzma scoring 24 points.

They were ahead by 17 with about eight minutes left in the third quarter after scoring five straight points capped by a basket from Kuzma before Houston scored the next 15 points to cut it to 74-72 three minutes later. James Ennis had five points in that stretch and P.J. Tucker capped it with a 3-pointer.

Ball was injured just before Houston’s run began. He remained on the court for a couple of minutes talking with trainer’s before he was helped to his feet where he hopped on his right foot for a few steps before being carried off the court and to the locker room by Stephenson and Michael Beasley.

Walton was ejected a couple of minutes after that when he got two technical fouls after yelling at officials during a timeout.

Ingram pointed to losing Ball as when things started to get away from the Lakers.

“Right when Lonzo went out,” he said. “That’s exactly when it went away. We lost momentum a little bit.”

TIP-INS

Lakers: James was out for the 13th straight game with a strained left groin and did not make the trip. … Stephenson finished with 16 points.

Rockets: Harden also had eight rebounds, six assists and four steals. … Ennis returned after missing Wednesday’s game after cutting his left leg in a fall at his house. … Chris Paul missed his 14th game in a row with a strained left hamstring … Clint Capela had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks.

THEY SAID IT

D’Antoni on Houston’s comeback: “Words don’t do it. That was just our guys showing a lot of heart.”

UP NEXT

Lakers: Host Golden State on Monday night.

Rockets: Visit Philadelphia on Monday night.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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‘Unsolved Mysteries’ is coming back, only ‘Stranger’

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Unsolved Mysteries is coming back only Stranger

Robert Stack brought us over 500 Unsolved Mysteries episodes from 1987 to 2010 across three networks. Apparently, that’s not enough, and now the executive producer of Stranger Things wants a shot at rebooting the iconic television show for Netflix.

Netflix Reboots ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ With ‘Stranger Things’ Shawn Levy

https://deadline.com/2019/01/netflix-unsolved-mysteries-shawn-levy-1202537462/The series, which was hosted by Robert Stack and ran for over 500 episodes between 1987 and 2010, is being refreshed by Stranger Things EP Shawn Levy and his company 21 Laps Entertainment and Netflix.

The 12-part show will use re-enactments in a documentary format to profile real-life mysteries and unsolved crimes, lost love, cases involving missing persons and unexplained paranormal events. Each episode will focus on one mystery. In the original series, actors played the victims, criminals and witnesses but family members and police were regularly interviewed.

My Take

This is one of those shows that really doesn’t have a conclusion. It could conceivably go on indefinitely because there are always new and interesting mysteries to be solved. Since each one has its own spin and attachment to reality, there’s no need to worry about fatigue.

Some shows need to be buried forever. Others have a valid reason to keep going and get a reboot. Unsolved Mysteries falls in the latter category.


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Trailer for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum reveals everything we need and nothing we don’t

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Trailer for John Wick Chapter 3 - Parabellum reveals everything we need and nothing we dont

Fans of action movies have been foaming at the mouth over the John Wick series since it was launched in 2014. The first movie was amazing, scoring an uncanny 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, a rarity for action flicks. The sequel in 2017 was even better, scoring an 89% and breaking from the Hollywood tradition of completely botching things the second time around.

As the series reaches its cinematic climax, hopes are high that the long journey of the titular character, played by Keanu Reeves, will be the exception to the rule by delivering on three great movies. Few series have been able to do this, especially in the action genre. One can argue the Mission ImpossibleFast and Furious, and James Bond series were able to do it, but none of them did it consecutively. There were stinkers mixed in.

Lord of the Rings was a fantasy series with action while the original Star Wars trilogy did science fiction action like no other. Can John Wick be the first purely action trilogy to pull the trifecta?

If the trailer is any indicator, yes. Yes they can.

It has motorcycle sword fights. There’s a giant in the mix. We even get to see gun play on horseback. Throw in Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston, and the amazing supporting cast that has returned and suddenly there’s hope that the impossible can happen. They might be able to go from great to greater to greatest. Thankfully, this is a rare “good” trailer that gives us just enough information to know where we stand in the series but does’t have real spoilers that ruin the whole thing.

It’s noteworthy that this series has been one continuous series of events. Chapter 2 picked up shortly after the first, while Chapter 3 is an immediate continuation from Chapter 2.

The subtitle of the film, “Parabellum,” is Latin for “prepare for war.” That may not be possible since nothing can prepare fans to wait for it to come out, but we’re almost there. The film hits theaters on May 17.


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