Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 09/29/23

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Dean Cain lets his opinions fly. He soared to fame as Superman on the nineties TV hit Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman – which, for my money, remains the best screen take of the Man of Steel. Speaking of money, the popular actor has invested well – placing his earnings from that series and the various movies he has starred in since (several of which share a  pro-faith theme) in hard assets like real estate and gold. From his place in Spain, he spoke with me about his thoughts on the issues facing America and why he signed on as a spokesperson for the biblically-based investment company Genesis Gold Group.
JWK: I assume you’re being paid by Genesis Gold Group but that doesn’t mean you don’t believe in the value of gold as an investment. Why is gold a good investment?
Dean Cain: First of all, I don’t stand by anything if I don’t believe in it. Gold is a great investment because of the way things have been financially with the government printing money backed by nothing. A great story about it is my sister. (She and) I created a 401k for her 25 or 30 years ago. It’s done very well – except for the last few years (when) it has really started to drop off. She said “What’s going on here?” I said “You’ve been hearing me complain about fiscal policy from our government.” When they started printing money that (led to) inflation. That’s a tax on everyone. You’re IRA is gonna suffer. The volatility of the market is terrifying. If you look at gold during that same period of time, since 2000 it’s up like 5000%. If her IRA had been in gold she’d be in a lot better shape.
JWK: It’s true. I see the numbers but, to be honest, I don’t get it. What is it about gold that since the days of The Bible people have held it up as a sturdy investment – especially during difficult economic times?
DC: It’s something that holds it value. You go back and you look at the Three Wise Men. What did they bring? They brought gold, frankincense and myrrh – but, I mean, they brought gold! At our founding, the Constitution of the United States had us on the gold (and silver) standard…That’s the way it was up until Nixon, I believe. So, it’s always been a very valuable metal. It’s something we have always held up to be worth something. (All metals hold value) – especially gold and silver – with what you can do with those things now with our technology. (Metals are) just necessary – but I would say gold itself has been sort of the monetary unit for just as long as man has been trading.
JWK: Of course, it’s something solid.
DC: That’s something else. I can go into wherever I have it – which I won’t say – and I can touch it, feel it and see it. I (also) love the historical aspect of a lot this stuff. I was a history major in college. So, I love the historical aspect of certain coins, certain bits and pieces. I find that fascinating to be honest. I love the history behind that stuff. So, I’m into collectable coins as well – but just gold itself, man, just to be able to hang onto it and go have this right here as opposed to sort of like a central bank digital currency which just terrifies me – where (if they) don’t like your political views you suddenly can no longer have access to your (money).
JWK: You anticipated my next question. Cryptocurrency is sort of at the opposite end of the spectrum where there’s literally nothing there. If anything it’s built on thin air and is a bubble that is just waiting to burst. 
DC: It does seem like a bubble ready to burst – but if you have gold that bubble doesn’t burst. That’s the thing. That’s valuable to everybody in every society throughout the world. Watching our government in the United States print trillions of dollars – we’re now 33-trillion dollars in debt – is terrifying to me. So, a lot of my money obviously is in gold and precious metals – but also in real estate. Those are the two places that I invest.
JWK: Speaking of real estate, you just left Malibu, California. 
DC: I prefer where I (live) now, Nevada. Where I am right now actually is in Spain. I’m coming to you from Spain where I have a home as well. Like I said, I did invest in real estate and have done very well in real estate.  That’s been great. Real estate is finite but it acts well.
I left California because of terrible policies. I loved Malibu, California. There was nothing about it that wasn’t wonderful and as far as the weather, etc. etc. I grew up there. That’s really my home but terrible policies are being implemented. All the taxes!
My son would listen to me complain about taxes – a lot! I remember teaching him about that. I would make him breakfast. I’d put the eggs out in front of him and then, of course, I’d take a bite and go “Taxes!” He’d go “What is that?! Why do you do that?!” I’d say “Taxes. You don’t know what taxes are?” He’d say “No – but I don’t like them!” I’d go “Yeah – but, if I go out and earn a dollar right now, how much do you think I take home?” He said “A dollar.” I go “No, buddy. I’ll bring home like forty-eight cents.” And he goes “Where does the rest of it go?!” I said “The government takes it from me!” He said “That’s terrible! Taxes suck!” I said “Well, thank you. Welcome to my thinking.”
JWK: I read a story about a college professor who redistributed the grades of his class so that the students who got As would have their grades averaged out with the kids who got lower marks, including Ds and Fs. Needless to say the otherwise liberal kids who got the As weren’t too pleased.
DC: That’s socialism!
JWK: He did it, I think, to get the reaction he got. 
DC: Socialism is just taking from those who have more and giving to those who have less regardless of their input or output…If you know you’re gonna make five dollars at the end of the day no matter what you do then you’re not gonna work that hard. I mean that’s just human nature. It’s been proven throughout history – and, if you don’t have to do anything to make your five dollars, you’re not going to do anything!
JWK: A lot of times people will make that appeal to Christians – or just anyone who wants to be a good person – that socialism is good because those with more should give to those with less. It sounds moral. Give to the poor. It sounds moral – but yet when it’s forced and coerced the results are not good.
DC: If you want something done inefficiently have the government do it. I know people – individuals and churches – who are doing more (good than the government). They’re literally set up just for the community. They work in that community, live in that community and really want to lift people up. Government is just so inefficient. It’s so terrible. Ronald Reagan‘s nine scariest words in the English language: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
JWK: Which brings us to politics. What are your thoughts? Anyone out there you like?
DC: I think on the Republican side, Donald Trump is far, far, far ahead of all. The only two real candidates outside of him on the Republican side would be, obviously, Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswami. Vivek has a great message. He has great ideas. I love his youth and enthusiasm but I don’t thing there’s anybody that will catch up to where President Trump stands currently in the polls.
Obviously, on the Democratic side, it’s Joe Biden whose administration I couldn’t dislike much more. I don’t think I have the words for what they’ve been doing (and how much) I disagree with what’s going on there. I think it’ll end up coming down to, probably, Donald Trump and Joe Biden again. If that’s the case, I hope voters make the right decision and change this administration out.
JWK: Have you ever thought of throwing your hat into the political ring? I know you can’t be president because you were born on Krypton.
DC: (laughs) Yes, I have thought about it. I don’t like politics. My business is ugly. The entertainment world is ugly but, if you want to get really ugly, politics! It’s just crazy! So, if I thought I could do some good, I’d jump in there and do it for a short period of time and then get out. Everybody’s entrenched. I think all these politicians get entrenched. They stay there forever because they love their power. They love the corruption, the kickbacks. It’s unfortunate that that exists. So, I think one way to get rid of that is to have somebody who goes in and doesn’t need anything and tries to just do a good job for the people – and then gets out and goes back to being the governed. Quit always being the governing and go back to being the governed. I mean Nancy Pelosi – she’s been there her whole life! She came in worth very little and now she’s worth $98-million on $174,000 a year. I can’t do the math on that but, unless she was buying gold with every penny, I don’t know how she made that much money.
JWK: So, you would consider dropping your hat in the ring at some point. Has anybody approached you?
DC: Oh, I’ve been approached a number of times. There’s a saying: “You may not be interested in politics but I promise you politics are interested in you” (demonstrated by) when you start seeing all of the ramifications of bad policies.
Bad border policy, let’s say, for example – what’s happening at the border is insane. I’m here in Spain right now. I went through a lot of checkpoints to get here. I own this house – but I don’t own this house because I can’t own it. My corporation owns this house because that’s how it works in Spain. There are rules you follow when you’re in different countries. They want to know when you’re leaving. You can’t stay forever. I can’t stay here more than ninety days. There are laws in place for countries to be sovereign and, therefore, to have borders and, therefore, to have a country. If we completely ignore that – like we are right now – we’re creating such a fiscal crisis – and a human crisis.
It’s crazy what’s going on – and I think we’re gonna learn more and more as time goes on about these cartels and what they’re doing to the people who are trying to cross – and how much money they’re making. That’s going to have to be dealt with at one point in time. That reckoning is coming. All of these people are flooding into the United States completely unvetted. I’m all for legal immigration. I mean immigrate to the United States! It’s the greatest country in the world – because of our Constitution and because of the laws that we have, the freedoms that we enjoy and the Bill of Rights – but don’t do it illegally. It’s the wrong way and this current administration is allowing this to happen in a way that’s going to create a gigantic crisis. They have so many things they are doing that are creating crises – which is why I hold onto my real estate and I hold onto my precious metals.
JWK: It doesn’t even seem like ineptitude. It seems like there’s something else going on.
DC: Oh, they’re doing it on purpose. There’s no question. I think they’re gonna try to bring all these people in, they’re gonna try to get them citizenship and then they’re gonna have them vote. (They think) they’re gonna go “Hey! They gave me all this free stuff!” – which they didn’t. First of all, the government doesn’t make money, they make taxes. They take taxes from their citizens who make money. The government doesn’t create anything. They don’t create jobs. They create an atmosphere that’s good for jobs but they don’t create anything. What they’re gonna try to do, I believe, is they’re gonna try to get all of these people who came in illegally and say “We brought you in to make you American citizens. Vote for us!” There’s a limit to how much that can really accomplish and I think we’re hitting that spot pretty soon.
JWK: So, you think the people are ready for a change?
DC: Mm-hmm. I think if you just look at what’s going on right now – even in New York City, a very liberal city (that has proclaimed) “We’re a sanctuary city! We’ll take everybody!”…Well, sorry, Mayor Adams of New York, it’s becoming a problem because Texas has been dealing with this forever and now their bussing everybody in and saying “Look, if you want to be a sanctuary city…then you deal with these folks that are just pouring through the border.”New York City is at a breaking point, as are a lot of sanctuary cities, because it’s unsustainable.
It’s wrong. First of all, Congress has a responsibility to change the immigration law and they should have done that. They should be working on that…but the President has the ability to enforce the existing immigration law. It’s totally on purpose. It’s not a mistake. They’re doing this for what they believe will benefit them politically down the line.
JWK: If you were to jump into politics, do you have a timetable? Could we see you running for senator or something like that during this upcoming cycle?
DC: I don’t know. I just moved out of California. I’m super happy. I’m in Nevada now. No state income tax. I adore that. I’m just getting used to it. My parents live nearby too – so it’s great! I don’t know. My life is pretty wonderful so (would I) serve in politics? Only if I felt completely compelled, like I’ve got to this, I’m called to do it to try and help people. Ultimately, that’s what we’re doing here. If you can make other people’s lives better than I think you’re doing God‘s work and I try and do that. If it means having to serve in the Senate I would make that sacrifice – but it should be a sacrifice. It shouldn’t be an aspiration for people. I don’t think people should aspire to get into politics just so they can rule over others. It should be a calling – and your aspiring to serve your constituents, the people you represent. That what I believe it should be. So, if I do it, that’s why I’m doing it.
JWK: Just briefly, getting back to your work as a spokesperson for Genesis Gold Group, are you going to be doing TV commercials? Will you be the new William Devane?
DC: (laughs) Listen, there’s only one Bill Devane! He’s wonderful! I love him to death. He’s got that message of getting out there and buying precious metals – and there’s a reason for it. It’s because it’s a phenomenal investment. Now, Genesis Gold Group views things a little bit different then some of the other companies because it is biblically-based. So, the idea behind it is service and taking care of people in the right way. I’m not saying that Bill Devane’s gold company or other specific gold companies are not doing it the right way but there are companies out there that take advantage (of people) if they can. Genesis doesn’t do that. Jonathan Rose is a phenomenal guy. I knew him for a long time before I started working with him. We just have very similar values. If you call Genesis Gold Group, you are gonna find people who are very, very helpful, very respectful and they’ll take their time to discuss with you what you’re doing. You know, sometimes you’re just treated like a client and once they get your money it’s “Oh, okay, we’re good!” and there goes any discussions or any caring. That’s not what happens with Genesis Gold Group which is why I’m working with them.
JWK: Anything you’d like to say as we wrap up?
DC: I think the Buffalo Bills are are going to win the Super Bowl this year. I just want to throw it out there. I played for Buffalo. We lost four Super Bowls. We need one! I’m really hoping that the Bulls can pull it off this year.

JWK: Thank you. By the way, I don’t live in Nevada but if you ran in my neck of the woods, I’d vote for you.
DC: I appreciate that. Like I said, I’d be running to serve my constituents.
Timely disaster film On Fire opens in movie theaters today. My review follows the trailer.

IMHO: From Maui, to New Mexico, to Canada, wildfires have recently been fodder for some awful and scary headlines. You don’t to be obsessed with climate change to worry about them.  So, a movie about one is not surprising.

Set in Northern California and inspired by a true story, On Fire stars Nurse Jackie‘s Peter Facinelli as Dave Laughlin, an ordinary family man determined to get his pregnant wife Sarah (Fiona Dourif of The Blacklist), teen son Clay (Asher Angel of Shazam!) and elderly father George (Lance Henriksen of Millennium) to safety as a growing and vicious wildfire engulfs everything around them. Ashlei Foushee (Ballers) plays Kayla, the concerned 911 operator desperately trying to lead them to safety. The tension the story naturally elicits is visceral and terrifying as anyone could imagine him or herself as one of the characters caught up in the taut and relatable story.

Like many a fire, the film starts slowly but builds with ever-increasing intensity. As drama, the film plays out as part seventies-style disaster movie, part monster movie with the fire being an ominous beast akin to a land-based shark from Jaws. While suspenseful, the movie is, however, a far cry from that Steven Spielberg classic. For one thing, like so many of today’s suspense films, it lacks a musical background track that pops and amplifies the appropriate viewer emotions. It also seems to me that with all the smoke that one would expect such a fire to produce, there should be more coughing by the characters. I know you can’t just have the characters coughing all the time but a little more acknowledgement of the impact and danger of the smoke as well as the flames would have added to both the tension and a sense of realism.

But those are quibbles – and not every suspense movie can be expected to live up to the legacy of Jaws. The Bottom Line is that On Fire tells a story about characters you end up caring about and holds your interest until the end. Recommended. 

John W. Kennedy is a writer, producer and media development consultant specializing in television and movie projects that uphold positive timeless values, including trust in God.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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