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Colin Kaepernick is living the new American dream

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Colin Kaepernick is living the new American dream

NFL free agent quarterback and originator of the anti-American kneeling movement Colin Kaepernick just signed a “star” contract with Nike to be the face of their 30th anniversary Just Do It campaign. As a “star” for Nike, Kaepernick will be treated like a “top-end NFL player.” He will have his own branded shoes and other apparel while getting paid millions.

Kaepernick is currently a free agent with few teams considering adding him to their rosters.

Colin Kaepernick to be face of new Nike ad campaign

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45403855Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand for North America, was quoted by cable sports network ESPN as saying: “We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward.”

Kaepernick, 30, signed a sponsorship deal with Nike in 2011 and has been kept on its payroll throughout the kneeling controversy, ESPN reported.

The player opted out of his contract with the 49ers in 2017 and has not played since. He is currently suing the NFL claiming he is being kept out of the league because of his part in the protests.

Outrage towards Nike is matching the outrage and ridicule towards Kaepernick himself on social media:

My Take

I have no respect for Kaepernick. If I wore Nike, I’d stop. But there’s something important happening here that needs to be discussed.

Kaepernick is cashing in on controversy rather than the job he was originally tasked to do. Once a promising football player with real star potential, he became more and more mediocre at a time when he should have been getting better. Say what you will about his activism, but I personally believe he would never have been taking a knee if he hadn’t been benched in the first place.

Was this his goal? Of course not. In fact, I believe he didn’t think it was ever going to be as big of a deal as it is today. But he’s cashing in now, getting paid what the elite in his profession get paid for endorsements. It’s a sad testament to what the American dream is becoming.

I’m not suggesting the old American dream no longer applies, but there’s a new one that’s been emerging for the last couple of decades. First, let’s look at what the dictionary says the American dream is:

The ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.

Today, it seems there are more and more people achieving their own version of the American dream through means other than hard work, determination, or initiative. Society tends to reward many who have done very little to deserve it, from the Kardashians or William Hung to Omarosa or Kevin Federline.

It’s not just famous people, either. We see examples of people doing normal things, wrapping them in a story that tugs on heartstrings, then posting it to GoFundMe until the media makes them wealthy. It happens every day now. Sometimes, even these incidents go south:

Homeless veteran says couple who raised $400K for him are ‘hypocritical,’ won’t give him money

https://abcnews.go.com/US/homeless-veteran-couple-raised-400k-hypocritical-give-money/story?id=57527615Bobbitt, a 35-year-old Marine Corps veteran who says he was living on the streets of Philadelphia, gave Kate McClure, 28, the last of the cash he had panhandled that day after she ran out of gas, she wrote on a GoFundMe page that she created on Nov. 10 last year.

The page ended up raising more than $400,000, according to the GoFundMe page.

There’s another, less publicized version of the American dream that’s been catching my attention. While merely anecdotal, it struck me how many people I’ve talked to in the last couple of years who are on some form of government assistance. The welfare state has been alive and well for a while, but I’m talking about variations that do not just aid the poor.

I was chatting with a friend who said he and his wife were both on disability. That’s not out of the ordinary, but then he suggested I do the same. I’m not disabled, but he said that didn’t really matter. Doctors today are ready and willing to sign off on just about any mysterious pain or problem that can be cashed in for disability checks.

Then, it got stranger. Not only was he and his wife on disability, but most of their extended family were as well. Brothers, cousins, aunts… apparently the vast majority of both sides of their family no longer worked.

As I mentioned, this is anecdotal. I haven’t researched statistics, but based on what I was told and other stories of work-free American dreams coming true for people, I have no reason to doubt the validity of these claims.

Here’s the bottom line: The America that I thought I grew up in was either an illusion perpetuated by my hard-working parents and years of working hard myself, or this new version of the American dream is growing. When people like Kaepernick can be more successful by failing at their real jobs but cashing in on their activism, should we condemn them?

As a federalist and conservative, I cannot. I don’t like what he started, but I won’t begrudge him for his success. I will continue to believe hard work, determination, and initiative must be the driving forces for not only the true American dream but also for America itself. Nevertheless, I won’t be buying Nikes any time soon.

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Democrats

If only one Democrat, mainstream media shill, or Hollywood snowflake admitted they were wrong about Mueller…

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If only one Democrat mainstream media shill or Hollywood snowflake admitted they were wrong about Mu

My nasty, terrible, awful secret is that deep down, I thought Donald Trump Jr. colluded with the Russians. I know what you’re thinking. “How did you fall for the media’s fake news?” As ashamed as I am of this revelation, I figured based on the information being circulated, it made sense that Don Jr. got a tip that could help his father and he likely acted on it.

Following the summary of Robert Mueller’s investigation report that claimed there was no collusion by the Trump campaign, I’m pleased to acknowledge that I was wrong. Of course, I’m not a Democrat, a mainstream media shill, or a Hollywood snowflake. I’m just an innocent conservative who fell for onslaught of “bombshell” reports.

I was wrong and I’m happy about that.

Now, try to find anyone in the opposition party in newsrooms, Hollywood, or the DNC who is willing to admit they were wrong this whole time. Anyone? ANYONE?

Here’s the thing. If there’s one thing that would help heal this nation’s divide, it would be the Democrats coming out and acknowledging they made a huge mistake following faulty reports and wishful thinking that led them to believe in something that simply wasn’t there. Aren’t the Democrats about uniting the nation? Aren’t they the ones always saying the nation’s divided and it needs to be fixed?

I’m one of those people who likes many of the things the President is doing while not liking the way he’s doing it. But I’m also the type of person who can acknowledge when I was misled, and after falling for the witch hunt hoax of the century, I have no problem doing so now.

Therefore, I call on those who helped spread the Russian-Trump collusion narrative to publicly admit they were spreading the rumors from their own echo chamber and turning it into what they would consider to be news. If they can do that, I’ll actually regain a smidgen of respect for them.

It’s hard to admit when you’re wrong. I get it. But the nation is truly divided and the Russian-collusion fake news witch hunt hoax is the primary culprit of the last two years. Grow some integrity and acknowledge your errors, Democrats.

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Entertainment and Sports

Interview with Christopher Shaw

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Interview with Christopher Shaw

I was given the opportunity to interview Christopher Shaw. He is the director of the upcoming movie, Church PeopleChurch People is “romantic comedy satire” about a celebrity youth pastor caught up in the marketing machine of his mega church. In the interview, Christopher discusses the redemptive story arc involving what is a sad reality within churches today.

But the journey leading up to this movie was no cakewalk. Christopher’s start came from making Youtube videos. He then built a network of Christian comedians on Facebook, most notably the relationship between he and Thor Ramsay, the writer and star of Church People. They finally began their working relationship at the 168 Film Festival back in 2010. During this festival, they produced the short Skip Listening in a short period of time, the entire process taking no more than 18 days. Skip Listening won accolades at the festival and so the two have continued working together ever since.

As a Director, Christopher appreciates a high quality film. This was his critique of faith based movies, however he emphasized his optimism for how much the category has improved over the years. Passion of the Christ, he says was a breakthrough in closing this disparity. Since then, a number of faith-based films have proven to be remarkable returns on investment. As I pointed out in the interview, Christian comedy, remains rather untapped in its potential, which is a reason I sought to interview someone behind Church People.

Because this interview was for Startup Christ Presents, one of the goals of the interview is to tap their entrepreneurial wisdom. Christopher was not lacking for advice to give. The theme of the advice can be summarized by saying unless God is saying otherwise, start making content. Technology has increased the ease of entrance with film and distribution of content.

These are some of the highlights from the interview. You can watch, or rather listen, on youtube, and if you feel so inclined, subscribe to Christianity Visualized, a new channel I am working on. More to come on that later.

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Conspiracy Theory

No, Symeon Star-Eyes is not the Night King

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No Symeon Star-Eyes is not the Night King

A week ago, HBO dropped the long awaited and highly anticipated Game of Thrones final season trailer. This take may be late take, but oft times, I believe in letting the hot takes simmer down so the voices who aren’t seeking quick views for their lackluster analysis stand out. Now a lot of fan accounts on Youtube have boasted finding all these “easter eggs” in the trailer that just are not there. Particularly a lot of people are being misled by the theory that the legendary Symeon Star-Eyed is the Night King. The theory has the vote of confidence from Cosmo and its readers.

This theory existed on Reddit long before the trailer dropped. It goes so far to suggest that Symeon Star-Eyes was perhaps a Stark, but definitely from the North because the “North would want their own hero amongst the greatest heroes in Westeros history.” There is no evidence to suggest why Brandon the Builder, Breaker, Shipwright, and Burner aren’t sufficient legends. Knighthood is tied to the Seven, so it is unlikely he was from the North… But I need to slow myself down. The Game of Thrones trailer featured a star-eyed Night King reigniting this theory.

image

The seven pointed star is symbolic of the Faith of the Seven, the religion of the Andals, which would make, according to this theory, the Night King an Andal in origin. The belief that the Night King is the Andal Symeon Star-Eyes, a fabled knight from the Age of Heroes, is self defeating. Let’s first address the proposed evidence.

“There was a knight once who couldn’t see,” Bran said stubbornly, as Ser Rodrik went on below. “Old Nan told me about him. He had a long staff with blades at both ends and he could spin it in his hands and chop two men at once.”

“Symeon Star-Eyes,” Luwin said as he marked numbers in a book. “When he lost his eyes, he put star sapphires in the empty sockets, or so the singers claim. Bran, that is only a story, like the tales of Florian the Fool. A fable from the Age of Heroes.”

AGOT Bran VII 

Now, it’s important to note that White Walkers, which are referred to as Others, have not directly appeared in the books. In the lore, the Others are always depicted as having blue eyes, like when the when the 13th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch (allegedly) had sex with one.

“A woman was his downfall; a woman glimpsed from atop the Wall, with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars. Fearing nothing, he chased her and caught her and loved her, though her skin was cold as ice, and when he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well. He brought her back to the Nightfort and proclaimed her a queen and himself her king, and with strange sorceries he bound his Sworn Brothers to his will.”

AGOT Bran IV

That man was known as the Night’s King, which is a far more plausible than Symeon Star-Eyes for being the Night King. This of course would only be true if the Night King was not an original amongst the Others. For this is generations after the Others were defeated, hence why there is a Night’s Watch. The idea that the Others have changed leadership is a major supposition not supported by either canon material or even the show who depict neither a queen nor power struggle which would likely still remain if an Other form of Symeon Star-Eyes usurped power to declare himself Night King.

And that is the less obvious reason why this fan theory is the Fake News of Game of Thrones theories. The most pressingly clear reason is that there were no Andals during the Long Night. The Andal Invasion did not occur until well into the Age of Heroes. The argument I’ve seen in response to this pressingly obvious fact is that history in Game of Thrones is unreliable. George RR Martin is intentional about using non-reliable narrators as well as writing a history of Westeros that is entirely contingent upon the interpretation of its multiple writers. Therefore the exact timing of the arrival of the Andals is subject to debate. This is all true. However, there is nothing to suggest that the Andals invaded during the Dawn Age. The Age of Heroes began after peace was made with the Children of the Forrest, as explained in the show in season one.

The First Men, who are the other predominant race in Westeros have the Others embedded in their culture, while the Andals generally believe the Others to be no more real than grumpkins and snarks. By the time the Andals arrived in Westeros, we are well into the Age of Heroes. Let’s go into more detail. When the Andals arrived they carved runes of seven pointed stars and brought their faith with them. Their invasion was repelled by the Stark Kings of Winter. Thus, the North remained primarily First Men and worshiped the old gods. House Stark remembers the Others, hence Winter is Coming. The Arryns of the Vale were established towards the very beginning of this time, for the Vale is the nearest landing spot. House Arryn is one of the oldest and purest of the Andal houses, until the current storyline. The Long Night is not in their culture. Lann the Clever had already taken Casterly Rock and established House Lannister. House Lannister bares a maternal lineage to Lann the Clever, a First Man, and has taken on an Andal line. There are FOUR Lannister POV characters. None of them reference their ancestors fighting Others. As you can see, the Andal houses did not experience the Long Night, meaning they Others invaded long before they arrived. So once again, how can Symeon Star-Eyes be the Night King.

Explanation

There are two reasons why the Night King’s, and by extension all Others’ eyes would be shaped as a seven-pointed star. The first is that a dragon must have three heads and a star must have seven points. This is to say that HBO is blowing smoke up people’s asses. The second is that the Children of the Forrest created an abomination to the old gods, whom they worship along with the First Men. This abomination bore resemblance to the faith of the seven, much like how the god Baal resembles numerous other false gods. As for me, I believe the former because the show-runners are not that intricate.

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