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Charleston: Is Forgiveness A Virtue?

In the aftermath of Charleston, SC, where nine people were murdered at the Emanuel AME church, the families of the victims forgave the murderer.

I was asked about this by Cam Edwards, host of Cam and Company on NRA News. I responded that I find forgiveness at times like this not a show strength, but actually a “curious weakness.”

Certainly, Christians are taught forgiveness, and no one should be surprised that these families looked to their faith to find a way to deal with the tragedy that has befallen them.

I have a far different view of forgiveness, in this case, than many.  When I spoke with Cam, I said my view was far more honest and, “…far more natural and, in many ways, far more decent than sometimes the reactions I see.”

I said, “When someone kills your father, your mother, your friends, your family, and our default response is forgiveness; with all due respect, and they can choose how they are, I don’t wan’t forgiveness. I want to put my hands around them and I want to kill them myself.”

I continued:

I find it a moment of curious weakness that we do not respond with, “You don’t get to kill us. We kill you. As a matter of fact, we kill you ten-fold.”

Yes. I don’t want to forgive murderers. I want to kill those who do such harm to the ones I love.

That’s rough talk. As I stated on my morning show:

I didn’t know that, particularly, I have a problem with forgiveness. But I do. I’m very bothered. I look at the forgiveness, and I am angered. I am vexed. Part of me is disgusted. I do not want forgiveness towards those who murder us. I want to destroy those who are trying to kill us and trying to separate us.

Wanting to kill the murderer, and acting out on such wants, are two very different things. We have a legal system which I believe in. My conversation was (which I have discussed over the last year in detail) on how we deal with those in our society who want to be violent, and want to do harm and destroy lives and property.

I want those people to know, before they do harm, that they do so at their own peril. I want society to be prepared for the worst situations, as that preparation will do the most to deter many of the worst situations from happening.

It would be wrong of me to decide how others decide to deal with their grief, but I am not deciding how others deal with grief. I am voicing a point of view that, honestly, I don’t want to forgive this murderer. He doesn’t deserve it.

Some might tell me that the forgiveness is for me, not for him. We will probably never agree. As I also stated, “If you want to argue with me that we need more love in the world, I will say OK. But can’t we direct it at those who deserve it?

Katz in Daily Caller – Shannon Watts, Guns and Propaganda

In a piece for Indianapolis Monthly magazine, the official poster girl for Moms Demand Action — Bloomberg devotee and financial recipient Shannon Watts – claimed to be a Second Amendment supporter while blaming the National Rifle Association for the nation’s woes. She bills herself as a gun activist. As we have learned from her actions, Watts is no activist. Watts is a propagandist.

Indianapolis Monthly magazine did an expose about a growing trend of violence in the Circle City. Yes, its been a problem, as “Nap” Town transitions into a mid-west powerhouse with a growing tech sector, a thriving arts scene and some of the best food, chefs and restaurants in the nation. The problem, as they see it, is focused on guns and not those who engage in criminal acts with guns; gang members and drug dealers killing each other, and the innocent.

The magazine brought in “experts” to give their point of view on guns, gun rights, and the future of the city. Opinions, well, everyone has one.

Watts partaking in this type of conversation is not surprising. There were no questions being asked. There was no one to rebut her statements, ask a follow up or press the facts over her emotion. As she stated (emphasis mine):

The rhetoric of the NRA has created an extremist group terrified their guns are going to be taken away. Which could not be further from the truth. We support the Second Amendment. Many of our members are gun owners. We’re terrified our children will be taken away. That’s the emotion that will win this debate.

Emotion. Not facts.

Watts statement requires the type of cross-examination that she seems to be unwilling to engage in. Watts doesn’t do interviews. I host the morning show on the largest talk station in Indiana, where she resides. No, we have not been able to get an interview with her.

When fellow radio host and BlazeTV host Dana Loesch showed up at a Moms Demand Action rally in Indianapolis, Watts refused an interview as well. But Watts did more; she ran away.

Loesch wanted to confront Watts on lies she told about Dana’s connection to the gun accessory manufacturer MagPul. This wasn’t about politics, this was about setting the record straight.

The event was over, but Watts was not heading for the exits. She was talking with others at the rally, and to the mainstream press that had arrived. Loesch came with her camera crew, introduced herself to Watts and proceeded to ask a question.

Watts refused to answer; she refused to admit that she unfairly linked Loesch to a gun company to better her own narrative, and to denigrate Loesch in the eyes of her followers. Then, Watts ran. That’s not hyperbole. That’s what happened. Shannon Watts ran away from questions.

Watts recently excoriated law enforcement for arresting a man who tackled another man with a firearm inside a WalMart. This wasn’t the case of a deranged villan firing upon defenseless children. The man in question had a concealed weapons permit, and went shopping.

The other man, seeing the gun on his hip, determined that this person carrying a gun was clearly dangerous and rushed him, putting him in a choke hold and tackling him to the ground. Watts thought it was wrong that the tackling man got arrested; For Watts, the issue was the tackled man who dared to engage his right to lawfully carry a firearm.

Watts believes that tackling law abiding citizens in big box stores is a virtue. When asked her rationale for this line of thought, she said nothing. Why? Because, as far as I know, she’s never answered any questions. Watts does not allow herself to be asked. She does not engage. She bullies (see Kroger Supermarkets) and she runs.

Shannon Watts is not a gun activist. Shannon Watts, by her words and actions, is an anti-gun propagandist. Her rhetoric for Indianapolis Monthly (we support the 2nd Amendment) is far different than her rhetoric on social media (tackle anyone who has a gun), or in person (run away from questions).

For Watts to really engage in activism, she’ll have to engage. Activists don’t shy away from conversation, they crave it. They want to share their thoughts and ideas. They want to reach an audience and bring people to their side. They want to change things to their point of view, and work tirelessly to do so.

If Shannon Watts is an activist, then it’s time for Shannon Watts to act like it. I have a microphone waiting for her whenever she decides to start.

This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller.

Gov. Pence’s Staff Makes Life Miserable For Mike

This story originally appeared on WIBC.com:

A firestorm erupted when Gov. Mike Pence announced a plan to create a government run news service in Indiana called “JustIN.” The service, as described, would, “break news — publishing information ahead of any other news outlet. Strategies for determining how and when to give priority to such ‘exclusive’ coverage remain under discussion.” JustIN would also offer lighter fare, “including personality profiles.”

Republicans and Democrats alike denounced the idea. The Governor had to “clarify” his remarks, in press conferences and on WIBC. In trying to contain the damage, he has hurt his image, and, possibly, his re-election chances and potential presidential aspirations. Here are 4 problems that Gov. Pence and his staff have created for themselves:

[1] Pence looks inept

Pence, in trying to control the situation and limit the damage, called the brouhaha around #JustIN an “understandable misunderstanding.”

The release called it a news service, and said the state would be breaking news. Where, exactly, is the misunderstanding? The misunderstanding should have been corrected when the governor looked at his staff quizzically, stood up behind his desk, and asked in a loud, clearly disgusted voice, “Are you out of your mind with this idea?”

In speaking with Greg Garrison, Gov. Pence said that he learned about the memo from “press reports,” and that he only had “passing knowledge of this project.”

Those are words you hear (and laugh at) from President Obama. It’s stunning to hear this admitted lack of awareness from Pence.

[2] Pence looks like he has no control of his staff

This has a history to it. It was 2013 when Pence’s office was caught deleting negative comments from the governor’s official Facebook page on the subject of same-sex marriage. Egregious on it’s face? Somewhat, but not earth shattering. Compared to that, #JustIN might make some think all of this hubbub is just a tempest in a teaspoon.

But a careful and critical view shows a potential pattern: When given the opportunity, Pence staffers will do things that are ridiculous, and with zero potential for a positive result. When given the opportunity – which is to say, when they are not properly trained and controlled – they will propose and implement the worst ideas; Ones that are guaranteed to do the most damage to the governor’s reputation and re-election chances.

I’m sure there are good, smart, people in the Governor’s office. To paint them all with the broad brush of ineptness would be wrong. However, these are two world class black eyes for Governor Pence. He needs to gain control of his house. Probably should start with a good cleaning.

[3] Pence has united Progressives and Conservatives against him

When Matthew Tully of the Indianapolis Star and Noah Rothman of HotAir.com agree that his idea is awful, you have a problem. That’s not to say that what Tully or leftist site Raw Story wrote are decent or completely accurate. Raw Story called Pence the, “NPR hating, Tea Party governor” in their headline. Tully said this will allow Indiana to run favorable stories about the Koch Brothers.

Both are remarkably daft statements. And neither would have ever been looked at if Pence and his staff hadn’t given them cover. As Rothman writes, Pence’s explanation of an “understandable misunderstanding” is “cold comfort:”

If the purpose of this venue is merely to disseminate press releases to reporter and average Joe alike, there is no need for the creation of a new outlet. The “newsroom” section of the governor’s website serves that purpose just fine. If Pence’s news agency has the mission of repackaging and spinning news stories with a “voice” presumably favorable to the administration, then it would be an abomination. How would that be distinct from the objective of institutions like TASS, IRNA, or Xinhua?

[4] Pence doesn’t look Presidential (right now)

While time heals most all wounds, the timing of #JustIN effectively ends all 2016 talk – whether that talk is for the top or the bottom of the ticket.

Pence already had a tough road to the White House this cycle, and conversations with some people close to the situation pointed to Pence not heading down that path. Yet, Pence had a brilliant moment with his trip to Israel over Christmas.

He met with Netanyahu, and forcefully declined a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He referred to Israel as the Holy Land, and brought his entire family with him.

He made himself look presidential; He looked strong. He owned the media cycle for over a week. Pence had found a way to highlight himself as the kind of guy who’s in charge and in control; A guy whom you could look at and say, “Hmmmm. Maybe.”

But that was then. Now, Pence is the guy who didn’t see the clear danger of promoting anything with the words “state-run” and ” breaking news” in the same sentence, and that’s enough to destroy people’s faith in him. He can’t control his staff, and, based on his conversation with Garrison, his staff is not filled with the right kind of professionals. The concept of #JustIN, and his response, gives the opposition evergreen content to use against him. And they will.

Yes, time heals most all wounds. But there’s not enough time between now and 2016 for the White House. He should hope there’s enough time for that house on Meridian.

Brawl and Gun Shots Cause Mall Evacuation, Tony Katz was there

On Saturday night, I appeared on RTV6 to talk about being part of the evacuation of Castleton Mall in Indianapolis on reports of gun shots.

I was at the AMC theater watching The Hunger Games – Mocking Jay Part One. Late into the film, a man exited the theater, and then returned quickly saying there was a large crowd screaming and running towards the theater.

As reported by WIBC, a brawl ensued at the mall with upwards of 60 people, and attracted a crowd of over 100. During the brawl, allegedly, gun shots were heard. In my theater, we evacuated quickly and without incident.

I joined RTV6 later that night to discuss what happened.

 

The Wrong Will Fail, The Right Prevail; Tony Katz sees the Good in People

On my morning show on WIBC, I took the chance on Christmas Eve to read the poem Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and give an honest assessment of the state of man; that, in the main, people are good and decent and inspiring when given the opportunity to live a life free of oppression.

Listen, Share and Comment. Merry Christmas.

 

If It’s Good Enough For Elizabeth Lauten, It’s Good Enough For CNN’s Carol Costello

WIBC morning host Tony Katz breaks down the media attack on former GOP staffer Elizabeth Lauten, who resigned as communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher of Tennessee after posting comments about President Obama’s daughters on Facebook.

Lautner commented on their appearance during a Thanksgiving event attend by them and the President, and went on to suggest that they lacked class and a “proper role model.”

lauten_sasha_malia

The press pounced, as one might guess they would. Yet, after the resignation, the attacks have continued. Her supposedly sealed “criminal record” was exposed by the site The Smoking Gun. And, according to the Washington Free Beacon, two press trucks have been parked in front of her parent’s North Carolina home.

Tony is wondering why the same scrutiny wasn’t give to CNN anchor Carol Costello, who laughed and giggled her way through an audio tape of Bristol Palin, daughter of former Governor and Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, discussing how she had just been attacked at a party? Are children off limits, or just some people’s children? And, is this – continued attacks, harassment and outright reputation destruction –  the new journalism?

If so, Tony says, so be it. But remember, American Left, you made the rules.

Will the Rams Allow The Big Ferguson Lie to Pass?

This article originally posted on wibc.com

As the St Louis Rams exited the tunnel during the team introduction in their football game against the Oakland Raiders, five Rams – led by Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin – put their hands up in the air in an homage to the Ferguson protesters slogan of, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.”

They should be suspended.

What these Rams players – as I now call them, The Rams Five – did Sunday night was disgusting. They perpetuated a meme that has been proven false. Michael Brown did not have his hands in the air. Michael Brown was not giving up. Michael Brown charged officer Darren Wilson after he physically assaulted him in his car.

In the simplest of terms, The Rams Five lied on national television in support of an ideological obedience to race.

Britt, a receiver on the Rams, said about the move, “Taking sides? We wanted to show that we were there for a cause that something positive comes out of it.”

What good comes from a maneuver, on the biggest stage you can find, that further divides Ferguson, and the nation? This was not about political speech. This was the very worst of racial politics.

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot is a myth, and should hold no place in America as a symbol for justice. This is not Muhammed Ali refusing to serve in the military. This is not the 1968 Olympics; Tommie Smith and John Carlos each raising one arm, their hands encased in black gloves.

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot is not a call to justice (not like the other examples are either, honestly.) It is a call to allow looters and rioters and law breakers to engage in such activities without repercussions.

This is what five professional football players agreed with Sunday afternoon; looting, rioting and law breaking. What they said is,  “Yes, we agree. It’s about evil White cops attacking unarmed Black teens. It is not about the facts of the case in any way.”

They showed an ideological obedience to race. They chose race over facts. They chose race over the rule of law. They chose race over decency. They chose race over Natalie’s Bakery and Sam’s Meat Market, both of which were destroyed in the aftermath of the grand jury decision. They value destroyed businesses over rational protests and honest discussion.

The Rams Five did more to hurt race relations in that moment than Al Sharpton has all year.

It’s disgusting. And it’s wrong.

The NFL should fine them, and I assume they will. However, the Rams ownership needs to sit them down. Not for tea, and not to hold hands and understand their feelings. But suspend them without pay for one game, or two.

The Rams Five would be well within their rights to join in protests on their own time any time. However, to do so on the field is to say that the St. Louis Rams, and the NFL, condone such activities. In a league that wouldn’t allow former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon to wear a headband that read “Rozelle” on it, one must assume that proactive, bigoted, fear mongering political speech (as well as lying) will not be tolerated.

The Rams Five chose the “black” race over the “human” race, and did so at the expense of the truth, and every paying fan and advertiser. The Rams organization, and the NFL, must respond.

The Propaganda Of Michael Brown, the Sickening New York Times and the Spirit of Al Goldstein

After discussing the latest events in Ferguson with Fox News Radio’s Jeff Monosso, WIBC morning host Tony Katz spoke about the protests that have taken place in Indianapolis. The protests are fine, but the signs at the protests expose the power of propaganda. In this case, referring to Michael Brown as a “jaywalker.”

Things get stranger as the New York Times publishes an article that includes the address of Officer Darren Wilson. Isn’t this an invitation to those angry with Wilson to do harm to Wilson? And how does one properly respond to such a failure of journalism? As Tony explains, the spirit of Al Goldstein might hold the answer.

Listen, Share and Enjoy!

Ferguson is not about race, it’s about facts

WIBC morning host Tony Katz spoke with Reverend Charles Harrison of the Ten Point Coalition of Indianapolis about the rioting in Ferguson and the possible overflow in Indy.

Tony then followed up with a moment of clarity about the decision of the grand jury not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. To fulfill their narrative, many need this to be about race. As Tony points out, this was never about race. This has always been about the facts.

Listen, Share and Enjoy!

Indianapolis Star Falls Prey To Censorship Mob Over Immigration Cartoon

The Indianapolis Star made headlines over the weekend after publishing a cartoon from Gary Varvel that highlighted President Obama’s executive action on immigration. After having the cartoon called “racist” from different groups and others, the Star decided to take down the cartoon instead of defending their staff.

The cartoon depicted a family having Thanksgiving dinner, while a latino family climbed through the window to eat with the family. The caption, as stated by the father holding a cooked turkey, reads, “Thanks to the President’s immigration order, we’ll be having extra guests this Thanksgiving.”

Varvel_comic_IndyStar

The Star apologized for the cartoon, saying “We erred in publishing it.”

As I stated on The Morning News with Tony Katz today, there was no error in publishing it. The issue here is kowtowing to pressure groups and allowing freedom of the press to become even more fragile. Freedom of the press doesn’t exist only when people agree with you. As George Orwell stated, “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”

Listen, share and enjoy!