By Katie Kieffer
A confident woman who speaks her mind is a powerful force for good, and newly crowned Miss World Megan Young is unafraid to speak her mind on sex, marriage and life.
Young was born in the United States (Virginia) to a Filipino mother and an American father. When she was a young girl, her family moved to the Philippines. Young was crowned Miss Philippines 2013 and, last month, she was crowned Miss World 2013.
One month before she was crowned Miss World, Young was interviewed by the local television network ANC. She told the host: “I’m pro-life, and if it means killing someone that’s already there, then I’m against that of course. …I’m against abortion.”
ANC Host: What about contraception?
Young: “Well, I don’t engage in stuff like that as of now. I think that sex is for marriage.”
Host: Wow! Very good! Ok, divorce?
Young: “I’m actually against divorce because I’ve seen, of course, that in my family. So, I think that if you marry someone, that should be the person you should be with forever.”
Host: Now a woman as gorgeous as yourself, how do you say ‘no’ to sex?
Young: “You just say ‘no.’ That’s it. I mean, if they try to push you, then you step away because you know that that person doesn’t value you; doesn’t value the relationship as much; and if the guy is willing to, you know, to sacrifice that, then that means a lot.”
It is so refreshing to see a young, high-profile woman take a stand with complete confidence on her values, just as it was refreshing to hear Super Bowl champion Matt Birk speak out on life.
During the competition for Miss World, Young stressed her desire to stand by her “core values” and lead others toward social unity. Her integrity and willingness to stand by her beliefs attracted the judges’ attention. Although she was not as tall as many other contestants (Young is 5’7’’), she came out on top by (in her words), “thinking tall.” We all need to think tall. By speaking our minds with calm confidence, we can influence others in a positive way, just like Young.
Another example of gentle words that change the world are the words of everyday Americans who volunteer their time to pray and counsel outside abortion clinics across the country. In Minnesota alone, sidewalk counselors with Pro-Life Action Ministries have saved the lives of 90 babies so far in 2013 and a total of 2,900 babies since the organization was founded. These counselors peacefully stood outside of abortion clinics and offered counseling and brochures to young women who were about to abort their babies. As a result, they successfully convinced thousands of mothers to change their minds and keep their babies. They prayed for and offered encouragement to young, frightened and overwhelmed women whose boyfriends or family members were pressuring them to commit abortion. They also directed young women to pre-natal care, financial resources and adoptive resources that could help them manage their pregnancy.
Young women who face an unplanned pregnancy often feel like they are all alone. They do not realize what their options are, or they feel pressured to choose abortion because it seems like the best option available. They are unaware of all the pro-life doctors, nurses and ultrasound specialists who will volunteer their time to help them keep the baby themselves, or give it up for adoption. They also do not realize the negative health consequences, both physical and psychological, that can come from an unnatural delivery that ends in death.
Speak your mind with confidence and kindness like Miss World, Megan Young, and you will touch hearts.
By Katie Kieffer
Every time Pope Francis opens his mouth on gays or women, journalists twist his words. Why?
In this country, we believe in free speech and religious freedom, as expressed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is concerning that journalists, whose livelihood depends on free speech, constantly run headlines distorting the Pope’s words and thus attacking religious free speech.
These journalists don’t even realize that when they distort Pope Francis for profit (wild headlines make money), they hurt themselves by chipping away at freedom. Journalists are not pastors. Why can’t they be content to let people express their faith for God as they see fit?
Recently, the Pope said this: “When I meet a gay person… If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem … they’re our brothers.”
The Pope’s words sound very loving and Christ-like without endorsing gay behavior in Catholic priests. Here, the Pope is conceding that he, as a human being, cannot judge another human being’s heart. The Pope is articulating the Catholic belief that only God can judge our hearts and we are all brothers and sisters, made in the image and likeness of Christ.
Pope Francis also recently excommunicated a priest named Father Greg Reynolds and TIME ran a sob story, giving former-Fr. Reynolds the chance to call the Pope “inconsistent.” Actually, the Pope was being quite consistent. Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy. It would not have mattered if Reynolds were gay or heterosexual.
The Catholic Church expects its priests to honor their commitments. If Reynolds wants to be a different sort of pastor, there are many other religions where he could do so. He did not need to take a vow of celibacy; he chose to.
Another Pope Francis line that the media loves to twist, is the line below, to say that the Pope believes women should be priests:
“We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of women within the Church. The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions.”
Here, the Pope is holding women up as the powerful leaders that they are, welcoming them into the Catholic Church, and asking others to do likewise. First, if Pope Francis believed women should be priests, he would explicitly say so. Second, being a “priest” would not glorify women in the way that Christ glorified women:
One of Jesus’ favorites was Mary Magdalen. The Pharisees looked down on Magdalen as a “sinner” (Luke 7:39) and thought Jesus should shun her. But Jesus loved Magdalen and admired her enormous humility, repentance and faith. He let her kiss his feet and told the Pharisee named Simon:
“Dost thou see this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she with tears hath washed my feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them.” (Luke 7:44)
To Magdalen, Jesus said: “Thy faith hath made thee safe, go in peace.” (Luke 7:50)
Jesus held Magdalen up on a pedestal as a woman of superior virtue, as he did with his mother, Mary. He did not make Magdalen an “Apostle.” In a sense, he raised her above the Apostles. After he died and rose, Christ appeared to Magdalen outside the tomb. He honored her with this very special visit and entrusted her to tell the Apostles what she had seen instead of appearing to the Apostles himself. That tells you how highly Christ held Magdalen.
The Apostles Mark, Luke and John permanently transcribed Christ’s high esteem for Magdalen in their gospels for all those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. John writes how the Apostles listened intently as Magdalen told them: “I have seen the Lord, and these things he said to me.” (John 20:18) The way Mark, Luke and John write about Magdalen is feminist—if feminists want to pay attention. Even at a time in history when men dominated, the male Apostles had no problem proclaiming how they viewed women like Magdalen as equals in holiness and leadership.
Christ did not reward faith and love with “leadership titles” as we do here on earth. Rather, he rewarded faith and love with eternal happiness, as he told the repentant robber who hung next to him on a cross: “Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
Journalists who twist the Pope’s words should think about why they are obsessed with attacking the Pope’s right to express his faith. It is crucial to respect the right of Catholics to be openly Catholic and not watered-down Catholic, because this will ensure that we all continue to have the ability to express our beliefs in peace, whether we are Catholic or not. To remain free, we must let others say things we disagree with.
By Katie Kieffer
Reagan took vacations. Bush took vacations. Obama LOVES taking vacations. It would not be so annoying to watch Obama vacation if it did not seem like he’s always vacationing—even when he’s supposed to be working. We are still waiting for Obama’s “big recovery” to recover the jobs and wealth we lost during the recession. (The average American has yet to recover 55 percent of their household wealth since the recession.) For all we know, when he is not vacationing, he is imbibing cold beer and smoking e-cigarettes while the rest of us work our tails off.
Dear Mr. President: The next time you decide you need a rest from all the rest you already seem to get on-the-job, here are three friendly suggestions for how you could enjoy your time off:
1.) If you must to go on vacation, take a hunting trip.
You don’t even need to hunt. Have some beef jerky. Play cards at night. Eat eggs, bacon and pancakes with fresh maple syrup and then watch the sun rise from the comfort of a tree stand in the morning. Relax and sip hot coffee from your thermos while you listen to hunters give you a lesson on how to safely clean and store your firearm.
You would benefit from spending time around responsible gun-owners. I think you would quickly realize why you need to start defending the Second Amendment: Guns save lives whereas your executive orders that unconstitutionally regulate firearms simply make it easier for criminals to prey on the vulnerable.
2.) Spend a sunny afternoon during your vacation sitting alone by a quiet stream or a bubbling brook.
If you sit there long enough, you will learn a valuable leadership lesson on being flexible and listening to the marketplace. I recently heard a powerful speech by Jill Johnson, president and founder of Johnson Consulting Services. Johnson shared how, as a teenager, she had a “wake up call” when she spent a few hours sitting by a rushing stream. As she watched, it struck her that the water succeeded in reaching its destination by being flexible. Every time the water encountered a barrier such as a large rock or a fallen tree branch in the middle of the stream’s path, the water simply moved around the barrier. The water did not try to “change” the rock or the stick; it adjusted its course and flowed around the barrier without missing a beat.
Mr. President, I think that if you sit by a stream and watch how successful the water is—because it is flexible—you too will realize that to be a strong leader and to put our country’s economy on the path to job creation you must be nimble. You have spent nearly five years chipping away at a metaphorical rock, trying to change our country—which was founded on freedom, entrepreneurship and faith—into a socialist and secular country.
Your stubbornness in redistributing wealth is getting us nowhere. Your persistence in keeping America’s corporate tax rate as the highest among G20 economies is not creating jobs. It’s time for you to humble yourself, become flexible and exhibit a virtue that you tell us we need to exhibit: “The courage to change.”
3.) Visit a free country where adults are not treated like babies.
Whether you visit a remote island or take a rocket ship to an undiscovered planet, you need to experience how peaceful and happy people become when their government respects their God-given, natural rights and freedom.
The Constitution did not make you the commander-in-chief of cradles. Your job is not to walk around with a basketful of blankies, pacifiers and warm bottles to make us feel safe and comforted. We don’t need you to burp us. We don’t need you to hold our hand when we cross the street. We don’t need you to tuck us in at night and read us a bedtime story. We need you to enforce the law of the land and leave us free to live the way our Maker and our country’s founders intended for us to live: Freely.
P.S. Be sure to send a postcard from your next vacation!
By Katie Kieffer
A wimp waits until a man is dead to sue him. Obama waited to sue Apple co-founder Steve Jobs until he was dead. Because Obama knew he could never win while Jobs was alive, given Jobs’ celebrity status, fearless personality and enormous charisma.
This lawsuit matters to you—whether you love Apple products like iPhones, iPads and MacBooks or you can’t stand Apple products and you prefer other tech brands. If Apple loses this fight, any consumer who believes in competition and wants the best product for the lowest price will suffer. Apple has been going head-to-head with the Obama administration’s Department of Justice for over a year and the stakes are high for all of us.
Obama knows that Americans will blame him and the Democrats for the struggling economy and high unemployment in the midterm elections unless he convinces them otherwise. Obama’s go-to scapegoat has always been “big oil.” His latest scapegoat is “big Apple.”
Apple has long been one of the world’s most valuable companies, up there with Exxon Mobil; Obama likely thinks that he has a chance of winning votes for Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections if he can convince American consumers that he is “defending” them from a conspiring corporation with a well-timed, high-profile lawsuit.
If Steve Jobs—a lifelong Democrat, beloved by Americans of all stripes—were still alive today, I doubt Obama would dare to publicly distort Jobs’ vision or attack Apple. Jobs was a capitalist and therefore his true life story and his company pose threats to Obama’s socialist platform. Thus, Obama’s administration has been out to distort Jobs and destroy the company he built.
On April 11, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice would sue Apple and five major book publishers on charges that they violated anti-trust laws by conspiring to raise the price of e-books.
Here’s the catch: Apple and the five publishers were not conspiring to artificially raise the price of the e-books. They were merely switching from an outdated “wholesale pricing model” for print books to a so-called “agency model” that is better suited for e-books. At the time, Amazon monopolized e-book sales, controlling 60 percent of the market. To this day, Amazon continues to monopolize the e-book market.
I believe that the agency pricing model (spearheaded by Jobs) would help writers and book publishers stay in business in the digital era and thereby give consumers more choices by allowing new retailers (like Apple) to enter the market and compete with Amazon. Apparently, Obama did not want competition. He did not want consumers to have choices. He wanted to bring yet another industry under government control. So, Obama’s DOJ sued Amazon’s competitors in order to further strengthen Amazon’s e-book monopoly.
On July 10, a lone judge, ruling without a jury—declared Apple guilty of violating antitrust laws by conspiring to raise the price of e-books. The deck was stacked against Apple from the very beginning, with the judge, Denise L. Cote, delivering a pre-trial opinion that she believed Apple would be found guilty.
When Apple’s attorney, Orin Snyder, asked Cote to retract her pre-trial opinion, she denied his allegation that she was pre-dispositioned to rule against Apple. Then, low and behold, without any evidence, she declared Apple guilty of anti-trust violations.
Thankfully, Apple is holding strong and plans to appeal this unjust verdict. “So sue me, right.” Obama once quipped on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Obama deserves a taste of his own medicine after suing Apple and its co-founder Steve Jobs when it was too late for Jobs to defend himself. Maybe someone should file an anti-trust lawsuit against Obama for attacking the free markets and protecting Amazon’s monopoly.
It’s Undeniable: Amazon Has a Monopoly
The purpose of anti-trust laws is to promote and maintain market competition by regulating anti-competitive conduct by companies, including setting unnatural prices that inhibit free competition. When Apple collaborated with publishers, I contend that it did not violate anti-trust legislation because Apple’s agency-pricing model actually brought more competition and consumer choices into an e-book market that was—and still is—monopolized by Amazon.
Back in 2009, Amazon was a lone shark, controlling 90 percent of the e-book market. By April of 2012, even after Apple and others had entered the market, Amazon still controlled the majority (60 percent) of the e-book market. Barnes and Noble controlled 25 percent and Apple commanded a scant 15 percent. Yet Obama’s administration sued Apple, the smallest player, for conspiring to undermine Amazon.
Unlike traditional printed books, you can’t physically hold an e-book in your hands; you must purchase a special “e-reader” or tablet to peruse them. Amazon’s e-reader is called the Kindle. So, when Amazon monopolizes the e-book market, it also helps guarantee that people will be more likely to purchase its e-reading device.
Consumers, writers and book publishers have been unhappy with Amazon’s monopoly for some time. From a consumer perspective, Amazon’s monopoly lessens technology options. The Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook are not exactly the best options for e-book readers. As of December of 2012, CNET News rates the fourth-generation iPad tablet as the “best full-sized reading tablet” and even the second generation iPad outdoes comparable Android offerings.
Publishers were also unhappy with Amazon’s “wholesale pricing model” because it cannibalized their print businesses. As Jobs explained to his biographer, Walter Isaacson: “Amazon screwed it up. It paid the wholesale price for some books, but started selling them below cost at $9.99. The publishers hated that—they thought it would trash their ability to sell hardcover books at $28. So before Apple even got to the scene, some booksellers were starting to withhold books from Amazon. So we told the publishers, ‘We’ll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that’s what you [publishers] want anyway.’ But we also asked for a guarantee [per a most favored nation clause] that if anybody else is selling the books cheaper than we are, then we can sell them at the lower price too. So they [publishers] went to Amazon and said, “You’re going to sign an agency contract or we’re not going to give you the books.’”
Jobs further explained: “We were not the first people in the books business. Given the situation that existed [Amazon’s 90 percent monopoly], what was best for us was to do this akido move and end up with the agency model.”
Competition always creates more options for consumers. When publishers can stay profitable and new retailers can enter the e-book market, there are more quality options for readers. And when retailers like Apple can enter the market, they will innovate and offer alternative e-reading devices like the iPad so that Americans have more high-tech options for reading e-books than buying an Amazon Kindle.
Jobs’ Vision Was to Save Journalism, NOT to Rip Off Consumers
Jobs saw an opportunity to provide consumers with more choices. He knew he could turn a profit by competing with Amazon—but money was not his goal. Jobs’ main goal was to save high-quality print media from going extinct in the modern digital era where fewer consumers will pay for printed newspapers and books because they can get so much information and entertainment for free online.
I think Jobs intuitively understood that if major publishers can’t afford to pay writers and journalists, consumers suffer. I think Jobs understood that without media watchdogs, free speech deteriorates and the government is no longer accountable to the people.
For example, Jobs considered the New York Times to be one of the finest newspapers in America and he wanted to save its journalism for future generations. Isaacson writes: “Jobs was particularly interested in striking a deal with the New York Times, which he felt was a great newspaper in danger of declining because it had not figured out how to charge for digital content. ‘One of my personal projects this year, I’ve decided, is to try to help—whether they want it or not—the Times,’ he told me in early 2010. ‘I think it’s important to the country for them to figure it out.’”
Despite being a Democrat, Jobs also had great success working with Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of News Corp., which owned conservative-leaning media giants like the Wall Street Journal and the Fox News Channel. So, I believe that Jobs’ over-arching vision in implementing the agency model was to preserve all high-caliber media.
Dear Mr. President, please stop favoring Amazon. She already monopolizes the e-book market and consumers deserve choices.
Key pages referenced from Walter Isaacson’s biography, “Steve Jobs:” pp. 503-04, 531 and 533-34.
By Katie Kieffer
Toilet paper holders. Cup holders. Cigar Holders. Various holders do an excellent job of ‘holding.’ Eric Holder is our U.S. attorney general who is ironically failing to live up to his name and do his job of upholding the law.
Most recently, Holder disparaged 92 years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent regarding so-called “stand-your-ground” laws.
Holder has been Obama’s attorney general for well over four years and he has never made a public statement about stand-your-ground laws. Suddenly, last week, as Zimmerman trial verdict protesters called for abolishing Florida’s stand-your-ground law, he decided to end his silence. Holder probably figured: “The media’s got my back here. If I fudge about stand-your-ground laws, they won’t hold me accountable.”
So, on Tuesday of last week, Holder gave a speech at the annual conference for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and stated that stand-your-ground laws:
“…senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods” and “By allowing, and perhaps encouraging, violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety.”
On Wednesday, the Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, chimed in with his two cents worth of nonsense:
“…these kinds of laws … have catastrophic effects.” He added: “My personal opinion—I don’t have all the information the jury had—Mr. Zimmerman went way beyond what was necessary in the situation.”
Dayton vetoed a stand-your ground law in February that would have expanded Minnesota’s self-defense law to be similar to Florida’s law. State laws vary, but 25 states have some version of a ‘stand-your-ground’ law permitting citizens to remain in the place where they are lawfully located when confronted by an unlawful intimidation; instead of retreating, they may use lethal force to defend themselves.
Dayton is a career politician and trust fund kid who is better qualified for yachting with elite partiers like John Kerry than governing the State of Minnesota. But Holder passed the bar exam and took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution at one point in his life. Unless Holder suffers from premature dementia, he knows better than to disparage 92 years of Supreme Court precedent as well as the 2nd and 4th Amendments.
Here are the FACTS that Holder and Dayton failed to mention:
1.) The day before Holder made his comments, a female jury member in the George Zimmerman trial (identified as B37) went public for the first time on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 program. She stated that all six of the jury members who found Hispanic Zimmerman “not-guilty” of second degree murder of black Trayvon Martin believed that race was absolutely not a factor in Martin’s death.
She added that she had “no doubt” that in the moments before Zimmerman pulled out his gun he feared Martin was about to kill him. After all, a neighborhood eyewitness had testified to seeing Martin was on top of Zimmerman in a MMA style “ground and pound” mount, hurling blows at Zimmerman.
2.) Zimmerman waited to use lethal violence as a last resort, when Martin was smashing his head into the cement and he thought his head was going to “explode;” after Martin had caught sight of the gun holstered at Zimmerman’s hip and yelled: “You’re going to die tonight!” Many legal experts, including law professors and prosecutors have concurred with what jury member B37 suggested to CNN: The Zimmerman case was a case of basic self-defense, not stand-your-ground.
Zimmerman had the right to defend himself per the 2nd Amendment (“right of the people to keep and bear arms”) and the Fourth Amendment (right of the people to be secure in their persons”). Even without the Constitution, Zimmerman would have had the right to defend himself: Natural Law, which comes from reason, tells you that you own your body and you have the right to defend it against lethal threats with lethal force.
3.) Stand-your-ground laws do not increase violence, as Holder and Dayton suggested. Quite the opposite, actually. States that implemented some form of stand-your-ground law reduced overall violent crime by 11 percent and murder by nine percent, Professor John Lott has shown in his book, More Guns Less Crime (3rd Ed.).
If anything incites violence, it is the irrational and vitriolic comments made by leaders like Holder and Dayton, not stand-your-ground laws.
The Zimmerman incident occurred in Florida. But in California last week, protesters threw rocks at police, punched an officer in the chest, assaulted a news photographer and reporter to the point of hospitalization, vandalized a Wal-Mart store, chased down a restaurant server with a hammer, jumped on cars and ran recklessly through the streets of Los Angeles and Oakland.
If these California protests are not examples of “unnecessary” violence that “escalated in public,” what are they? California’s violence was not provoked by stand-your-ground laws in Florida; it was provoked by leaders like Holder who are whipping up anger and animosity between Americans who would otherwise be friends and neighbors.
Stand your ground against Eric Holder’s rhetoric because he is failing to uphold the law. If there were a contest to see who did their job better—Eric Holder or a toilet paper holder—the winner would be the latter.
By Katie Kieffer
If you plan to mount a dummy on TV, it’s wise to not bring yourself down to the level of the dummy. But a wrestler did exactly that when he tried to defend Trayvon Martin by demonstrating a MMA (mixed martial arts) mount on HLN After Dark.
On July 10, HLN After Dark Host Vinnie Politan invited a black guest named David Otunga, a WWE Smackdown wrestler, to discuss the George Zimmerman trial. Otunga made a fool out of himself trying to disprove Zimmerman’s claim that he shot 17-year-old Martin out of self-defense.
Politan told viewers that he and Otunga wanted to demonstrate their “interpretation” of the way 28-year-old Hispanic Zimmerman claimed 17-year-old black Martin mounted him and began punching him and smashing his head onto the concrete in Zimmerman’s neighborhood on the evening of February 26, 2012.
First, Politan had Otunga demonstrate a position where Martin would have been mounted high—near Zimmerman’s armpits. This position would not have made sense at the time of the shooting because neither Zimmerman nor Martin could have reached for the gun holstered at Zimmerman’s hip from that position.
Next, Ontunga demonstrated a position more likely during the time of the shooting, given that Zimmerman told law enforcement he tried to squirm out from under Martin to move his head off the concrete and onto the nearby grass. Sounding like a fool, Otunga tried to show that Martin was in a position of weakness even though he was clearly on top of Zimmerman in a “ground and pound” position of strength:
POLITAN: “Alright, David, the first [mounted] position. This is belly-button-to-belly-button, right?”
OTUNGA: Otunga straddled a dummy MMA style and then conceded that from this mount, both Martin and Zimmerman could have reached for the gun. This backed up Zimmerman’s claim that it was only after Martin caught sight of Zimmerman’s weapon and yelled: “You’re going to die tonight!” (indicating that he planned to use Zimmerman’s gun against him) that Zimmerman reached down for his gun and shot Martin in self-defense.
POLITAN: “OK, and from that position, can you punch?”
OTUNGA: Stiffly threw his arms straight out in the air and punched without moving his torso forward naturally. “Not really good. I’m barely—this is my full extension—barely touching his chin there.”
OTUNGA: “[I] wouldn’t have any strength trying to punch him there. I’d want to be higher up.”
POLITAN: “OK. But in this position, the gun is exposed?”
OTUNGA: “The gun is exposed.”
When you are sitting on top of your guy—you have him pinned to the ground—all you have to do is lean your torso forward and punch away. Your victim is clearly in a position of weakness and, as a WWE fighter, Otunga knew that. He lied. He sounded like a fool and a wimp. He basically asserted: If you are in a “ground and pound” MMA style position of dominance, you are actually in a position of weakness.
CNN’s Piers Morgan did a far better job of covering the Zimmerman trial on July 10, making Otunga look like an even bigger goon. (Just because you lean left doesn’t mean you need to lean stupid, which is the direction Otunga chose.)
While Otunga was making an ignoramus of himself on HLN, Morgan was making some very good points on CNN as he discussed the Zimmerman trial with two black guests, talk radio host David Webb and New York Times columnist Charles Blow. When Blow suggested that Zimmerman’s story was inconsistent, Morgan countered:
“…If you believe Zimmerman’s version of events, he’s pretty well concussed from the beating he says he got; he’s not thinking straight, he’s probably fired the gun… and there’s the fog of war that comes with all these things; we all know that; we’ve heard from all the witnesses, all saying different things; so it doesn’t entirely surprise me he’s not completely accurate and if you do take everything he says at face value, the question then becomes, is he entitled to use his weapon in that circumstance?”
Morgan added: “The screams are important in this case…the prosecution suddenly seemed to concede that it was Trayvon on top and I just don’t think someone on top is the one crying out for “help;” it just doesn’t make sense.”
Zimmerman’s claims were also supported by an eyewitness account as well as testimony from a forensic pathology expert:
On June 28, an eyewitness to the altercation who lived in Zimmerman’s neighborhood, John Good, testified that he believed he saw Martin straddling Zimmerman in a “ground and pound” or MMA position: Martin was on top, hurling blows down on Zimmerman. Good added that he thought he heard Zimmerman cry out for help.
On July 9, another witness for the defense, Dr. Vincent Di Maio, testified on the bullet’s trajectory: “This is consistent with Mr. Zimmerman’s account. That Martin was over him, leaning forward, at the time that he was shot.” He also said that the injuries on Zimmerman’s face and head were consistent with punches and the assault Zimmerman had described to the police. (Di Maio is a highly renowned and published expert on gunshot wounds and forensic pathology.)
So, what was Otunga thinking on July 10 when he tried to refute this evidence as well as basic fighting knowledge and common sense? At minimum, he was looking like a pretty boy who didn’t know how to fight. But since he’s a WWE Smackdown wrestler who does know how to fight, he just came across as a prejudiced oaf out to further taint the public’s perception of an innocent Hispanic.
By Katie Kieffer
Agency girls are going wild. Obama’s leading ladies make students partying on the beach look like amateurs.
Misbehavin’ is a resume booster in Washington, D.C. But not the kind of misbehaving that you might think. There are no wet t-shirt contests. It’s a buttoned-up misbehavin’—personified by middle-aged matrons on a mission for complete control over your life.
Here are is my annual edition of ‘Agency Girls Gone Wild:’
1.) Lois Lerner:
Lois Lerner is the IRS Director of Exempt Organizations. Right now, she is on a paid summer vacation. You got one day of paid vacation last week for Independence Day. She’s getting the whole summer. Last week, Sarah Palin summed it up well on Fox News: “She’s not doing a lick of work.”
Lerner is on leave because she is very naughty and very bad at math. Hopefully she is using her time off to take some remedial arithmetic courses along with a crash course on ethics at a local community college. More likely, she is lounging on a beach; sipping a girly cocktail; and reading mommy porn like 50 Shades of Gray.
Remember, in early May, a big IRS scandal was about to burst? During the 2012 election campaigns, the IRS unethically targeted and delayed the approval of conservative non-profit organizations. (Obama couldn’t let any tea partiers influence the minds of swing voters like minorities, young people and women! Those were his votes.)
Well, an Inspector General’s report on this scandal was about to go public and the head honchos at the IRS were sweating bricks trying to figure out a way to delicately inform the public of their impropriety. IRS Commissioner Steve Miller reportedly helped Lerner concoct a scheme to mitigate the scandal by slowly leaking it to the public at a May 10 American Bar Association Conference.
The day before the ABA conference, Lerner picked up her phone and rang a D.C tax lawyer acquaintance of hers named Celia Roady. Lerner asked Roady to plant a question at the ABA conference.
The next day, when Roady asked the question, Lerner rattled off the remarks she and Miller had prepared regarding the scandal. The plan failed: News of the IRS’ unethical behavior immediately left the public shocked and furious.
When Lerner was questioned by the press, she dug her hole deeper.
Lerner: “I said that about a quarter of the cases that were selected for full developments had either ‘tea party’ or ‘patriot’ in their name.”
Reporter Tom Costello of NBC News: “OK. Sorry. Thank you for the clarification. But that would be a quarter of the 300 then so we are talking 75 or so?”
Lerner: “That’s correct. Is that a quarter? That’s correct. Thank you. I’m not good at math.”
By now Lerner has probably realized that 75 goes into 300 exactly four times. Certainly it is hard to do differential equations in one’s head under pressure, but, c’mon, how can she be a Director at an agency that collects taxes and admittedly not understand basic arithmetic?
2.) Sara Hall Ingram
Ms. Hall Ingram looks like she lives in a library. But she’s not a sweet little bookworm like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. (To make this assessment is not to judge a book by its cover. It’s judging a book by its contents. If Ms. Hall Ingram were a book, her contents would be quite despicable.)
Good thing Ms. Hall Ingram rarely smiles or people might have suspected Obama of playing games behind Michelle’s back. After all, Hall Ingram made 165 visits to the White House between 2011 and February of 2013. Is there really that much “business” for one woman to do at the White House?
Apparently there is a boatload of work to do at the White House if you are in charge of administering ObamaCare, which is Hall Ingram’s current role within the IRS; the woman in charge of administering the unconstitutional job-killer of the century is basically Obama’s political mistress.
Her previous role was to oversee Ms. Lerner and she did a terrible job of that as well, as the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration pointed out in the report: “Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review” on May 14, 2013.
Hall Ingram brought home over $100,000 just in bonuses during the time that she oversaw the tea-party targeting at the IRS and Obama most likely personally signed off on her bonuses, reported the Washington Examiner.
3.) Beth Tucker
This lady wears black dresses and pearls and tells Fox News that she is a “civil servant.” From the way she presents herself, you would think she were a widow in mourning who volunteers in her community on the weekends. Far from it.
Beth Tucker is the Deputy IRS Commissioner. As one of the IRS’ highest-ranking officials, Tucker partook in a closed-door meeting with the Inspector General back in May of 2012. In this meeting, the Inspector General explained that the IRS was wrongfully targeting conservative groups.
Whether Tucker knew of this targeting activity before May of 2012 was irrelevant. The relevant fact is that this self-declared “civil servant” did nothing. Tucker was more like Obama’s servant. Her silence helped him slide into the White House a few months later by silencing the voice of the tea party.
We do not have enough space to get to all the wild girls in D.C. agencies, but a few deserve honorable mentions:
Victoria Nuland: This State Department spokeswoman wanted the CIA’s Benghazi talking points scrubbed squeaky clean to prevent the public from discovering the incompetence of her group. She feared that Congress would: “…beat [up] the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings.”
Hillary Clinton: She is the worst agency girl in town. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the infamous instigator of a secret gun-running program to Syrian rebels that most likely is responsible for the deaths of four Americans on September, 11, 2012.
Let’s hope these girls aren’t, as Christina Aguilera might croon, “too dirty to clean their acts up.”
By Katie Kieffer
Don’t give up on Hollywood. I just had the exclusive opportunity to pre-screen Gettysburg director Ron Maxwell’s third Civil War movie premiering Friday, June 28. If you see one movie this summer, make it Copperhead.
Copperhead is worth seeing because it re-tells American history with an intimate, engaging and non-textbook approach. Away from the mighty battlefields and memorable generals we finally get to experience behind-the-scenes struggles of the Civil War through a few friends, lovers, neighbors and family members trying to speak their minds while practicing what they preach.
Copperhead is based on a novel by Harold Frederic, who lived through the Civil War as a boy. The lead character, Abner Beech, opens the movie by saying: “They called us people in the North that didn’t want the war Copperheads.” When Abner’s hired boy puzzles over the hatred and violence exerted by one-time friends and neighbors, Abner explains: “War is a fever son… puts you out of your right mind; you do things you wouldn’t do when you’re sick…”
President Obama is on the verge of bypassing Congress and hauling the United States into a war in Syria much like his war in Libya, which he called “kinetic military action” in order to sneak past the Constitution. When it comes to war, Obama is hardly transparent with the American people.
Obama feigns that he is only now contemplating arming sketchy Syrian rebels. But the truth is that he and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been secretly arming Syrian rebels with links to terrorism for a very long time; by all major accounts, Obama’s gun-running program played a key role in the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya on September, 11, 2012.
War, especially civil war, comes at a price and it is far easier to get into war than out of war. Copperhead takes us into the homes of a few families who started out as neighbors with different beliefs. Instead of free speech and open debate, violence became the mode of making one’s points clear. In a particularly emotional scene, two grown men and neighbors-turned-enemies cling to each other in open despair, tears filling their eyes, as they realize they may have lost their most precious possessions in their rage.
As our own young men and women come home without their limbs after bravely fighting Obama’s perpetual wars in the Middle East, Copperhead reminds us that young boys also lost their eyes and limbs fighting in the Civil War and that African Americans were: “bought and sold and whipped just ‘cause the color of their skin.” The movie was humbling to watch; it forces one to contemplate what it means, and how hard it is, to truly “love your neighbor as yourself.” As one teenage boy tells his abolitionist father pushing him to fight: “I didn’t know the ‘Lord’s work’ was killing. … There’s too many folks carryin’ swords; not enough pulling plows.”
Maxwell describes his vision behind Copperhead and how it is different from his previous Civil War films: “I wanted to explore something more intimate. My previous pictures focused on officers and leaders, but, in reality, the war was fought by teenage boys, most from small towns whose families ended up devastated by the war even if no battles were fought nearby. … Not everybody who hated slavery or loved the U.S. Constitution was willing to send their children off to die or be maimed in a bloody battle against fellow Americans. That fascinating reality is the force driving Copperhead.”
Copperhead also drives home the importance of free speech as a way to resolve conflict before jumping into outright war. “If there’s a political point to the film, it’s a defense of dissent,” says screenwriter Bill Kauffman.
Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Professor of Economics at Loyola College in Maryland recently wrote a book called Lincoln Unmasked where he explains history in a way that echoes the message in Copperhead. DiLorenzo explores how, after the Civil War, Americans forgot that the founders intended our union to remain strong and voluntary: “The Jeffersonian, states’ rights tradition, for example, has been whitewashed from the history books thanks to the efforts of several generations of gatekeepers and court historians. …[states’ rights] was an important Northern as well as a Southern political doctrine prior to 1865.”
There are valuable lessons in life and history folded into this fascinating new film coming out of Hollywood. You can request the movie in a theater near you by visiting: CopperheadTheMovie.com.
By Katie Kieffer
American comedians are making a pile of cash with clean humor centered on guns, God and family.
As scandals from Benghazigate to the IRS-targeting of conservative groups shake our country, I think it’s important for us to periodically re-focus on the beauty of America; the beauty of humanity and the beauty of life. I know. It sounds so cliché; so Hallmark card-ish. But it’s true.
It is easy to become cynical and to think that everyone in the world has an agenda. It is easy to get down when we hear stories about our leaders lying and cheating. But not everyone in America is like President Obama. Not everyone in America is like Eric Holder. Not everyone in America is like Janet Napolitano. Most people have good hearts.
When you look at the sort of comedy that is succeeding in America today and the new reality-TV stars that are rising to fame, you should have hope in humanity. I will give you two examples: comedian Jim Gaffigan and A&E’s reality-TV show Duck Dynasty.
Jim Gaffigan, “The King of Clean Comedy”
The Wall Street Journal hails Gaffigan the “King of Clean Comedy.” He is funny, and he does it the hard way—without relying on heavy swearing or raunchiness. Here’s the best part: College students love him. Metropolitan night clubs love him. Midwesterners love him. Everyone loves his bit about Hot Pockets.
He starts out: “I’ve never eaten a Hot Pocket and then afterwards been like, I’m glad I ate that! It was like, I’m gonna die! …I paid for that??” Gaffigan’s Hot Pockets bit has been viewed almost 2 million times on the Internet; when he performs live, audiences don’t want him to leave the stage without doing it.
Gaffigan is not Brad Pitt. He probably does not have time to hit the gym as often as he should. He enjoys eating. So, he uses self-depreciating humor and food in his shows. The Journal described his recent live show in Montclair, N.J., ‘He apologizes for being sort of fat, but explains: “I’m preparing for a role. A cinnamon roll.”’
Gaffigan is laughing all the way to the bank. He wrote a book (out this month). He was nominated for a Grammy on his last album, “Mr. Universe.” And he launched a 16-city tour this year. Last year, Pollstar rated him among America’s top 10 touring comedians. Yes, he’s kind of a big deal.
Gaffigan is married and has five young children who travel with him on his tour bus. He apparently has a lot on his plate—both metaphorically and literally—but he turns his hectic family life into comedic material. (His book is titled “Dad is Fat.”)
Gaffigan tells the Journal: “…I felt like I wasn’t done writing the joke if I was relying on a curse word. It’s like, we’re all adults here, and some of my favorite comedians are really filthy. But I’m an eccentric observation guy. If you’re talking about minimuffins, is it really necessary to say f—?”
The Robertson Family: A&E’s Duck Dynasty
Willie Robertson is the CEO of Duck Commander, a duck call business founded by his father Phil Robertson. Willie and his three brothers, Alan, Jase and Jep as well as Phil’s brother Si all work for Duck Commander. They also own Buck Commander, a deer-hunting business. The Robertsons are born-again-Christians who drew the attention of A&E and now they have their own family-centered reality show (starring them plus their wives and children) called Duck Dynasty.
In its third season, which wrapped up in April, Duck Dynasty became the second most popular program on cable.
Willie was on Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor on April 13. Host Bill O’Reilly asked him why the show is doing so well. Roberton responded: “I really think it’s the family values, it’s something positive, kids can sit and watch, grandparents [can watch], there’s not a lot of filth on it, and it’s funny you know, it’s hard to be funny!”
O’Reilly said of their newfound success: “You are rich, but you don’t act rich and I think that might be the secret to your success.” Willie said: “We’re not all about money, we’re about family. … We try to stick to our roots. We grew up not rich at all; very poor. And so for us we can remember what it was like and so we try to stay humble, and Lord willing you know we’re doing it and we’ve been successful; God has blessed us.”
O’Reilly added: “And you do incorporate God in the show?” Willie said: “Oh yeah, we have a family prayer right at the end [of every show].”
I think the Robertsons are a testimony to the fact that growing up around hunting and guns does not turn children into mass-murderers. A loving family—not the absence of guns in the home—is the key to helping children grow up with values.
TIME Magazine recently interviewed Phil Robertson: ‘He believes that any attempt to limit weapons limits basic freedoms and that “it’s the hearts of human beings that are the problem [not guns].”’
So have faith. America is still a place where, as my cousin always tells me: “good things happen to good people.” Guns. Family. God. Amen.
By Katie Kieffer
President Obama and Sandra Fluke both call themselves lawyers and “reproductive rights activists” without giving you any indication that they understand the Constitution or basic biology.
I’m not a lawyer, but I understand the Constitution. I’m not a reproductive rights activist, but I aced Biology 101. So I can tell you that Sandra and Barack are wrong when they classify women in combat and contraception as “women’s issues.”
Military combat and contraception coverage are not women’s issues. They are freedom issues and freedom is just as important to men as it is to women.
Liberals love dismissing “freedom issues” as “women’s issues” because then it’s like WNBA games—guys check out.
Women don’t go to war by themselves; women fight alongside men. So the question of whether the government can draft men or women is a “freedom issue,” not a “chromosomal issue.”
When a guy turns 18, he must sign up with the Selective Service. The only purpose of the Selective Service is to prepare for a potential draft.
Currently, women are not required to sign up for the Selective Service, but Congress will likely change that now that the Pentagon lifted its ban on women in combat.
Drafts and the Selective Service violate your First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom of association. They also violate the Thirteenth Amendment, by making young people serfs of the government.
Philosopher Ayn Rand writes in the June 1966 edition of The Objectivist newsletter: “Statism needs war; a free country does not. Statism survives by looting; a free country survives by production. … Just as an individual has the right of self-defense, so has a free country if attacked. But this does not give its government the right to draft men into military service—which is the most blatantly statist violation of a man’s right to his own life. …a volunteer army is the most efficient army, as many military authorities have testified. A free country has never lacked volunteers when attacked by a foreign aggressor.”
Anyone who volunteers for a combat role and meets the qualifications should be able to fight. But we should not violate the freedom of young men or women by forcing them to sign up for the Selective Service. That’s point number one.
Point number two is that forcing employers to cover contraception is also a freedom issue, not a women’s issue. Women don’t impregnate themselves. Plus, Obamacare’s contraception mandate violates both male and female free speech.
Ironically, Obamacare is sexist because it teaches guys to be playboys. Now, if a guy pressures a girl to have sex and she gets pregnant, he’s off the hook because he can say: “Not my problem, you should have been using Obama’s free birth control.”
I think liberals like Fluke are hurting women by pushing a one-sided message of sex that gives young women a false sense of security about jumping into bed with guys who have incurable diseases.
One in four teenage girls has an STD. With so much focus on preventing pregnancy, teenage girls seem to forget about STDs. Birth control doesn’t prevent STDs. Even condoms and HPV vaccines are not 100 percent effective against STDs.
An unwanted pregnancy can end in adoption. But an STD can ruin a woman’s life forever.
Liberals will just say we need more government sex education. But, many types of STDs have increased even as the government has ramped up its prevention efforts. The federal government and politicians like Anthony Weiner have no business in sex education. That’s a role for parents and churches.
My overall point is that, as a conservative, you need to change the dialogue and stop letting the left classify “freedom issues” as “women’s issues.” Because when you allow liberals to define the terms, they win.
The way to promote women is not to compel women to sign up for the Selective Service or force employers to cover birth control. The way to promote women is to defend the Constitution and the freedom that men and women both enjoy.
Additional works referenced for this column: Judge Andrew Napolitano’s book “Theodore and Woodrow,” pages 48, 115-116, 121-122 and “Ron Paul on the Draft” – RonPaul.com – 02.12.2009.