Help Us Make An Incredible Faith Based Film!

The Plot: Decades after the previous pastor committed a horrific crime, Mark Everest takes on the unenviable task of rebuilding a disgraced church. But when the town’s dark history resurfaces and evil forces threaten his family, Mark finds himself unraveling a conspiracy wilder than anything he ever imagined.

The Campaign: We just launched our crowdfunding video for the genre-bending thriller “In the Shadow of the Valley!” If you like what you see, head on over to our fundraising page at www.InTheShadowOfTheValley.com to learn more, donate, and follow our campaign!

We NEED to get at least 1,000 followers to qualify for the next level of the Hometown Heroes Contest that offers up to $50,000 in additional funding, So even if you can’t donate, just “following” the campaign will help us immensely! Go to www.InTheShadowOfTheValley.com and click the “follow” button on the site, you’ll then be prompted to register, the whole thing takes only a few seconds!

 

 

 

David West and Brian Josephson Gun Control Debate: Moderated By Talk Radio’s Bill Meyer

May 9th following the national interest in the topic of gun control, talk radio host Bill Meyer moderated a debate between March for Our Lives Coordinator and  presidential honor award recipient Brian Josephson, and Oregon filmmaker, and gun rights activist, David Kirk West (my husband). Brian was recently recognized as one of the top 160 students in the nation and David West is a christian, libertarian filmmaker and  the creator of many films advocating libertarianism and gun rights. He is also known for his confrontation with current national security adviser John Bolton on Fox’s John Stossell’s show and his ghost gun video breaking down the arguments of anti-gun California Senator Kevin De Leon.

Below is the live link of the debate, a full version with the audio of the audience questions will be up shortly and I will post it once it becomes available. In the meantime, here is the live link, we had about 4 thousand  folks watching online live as it happened last night, in addition to those in attendance.

Colin Kaepernick Takes Stand By Sitting During National Anthem

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San Fransisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick is under fire after refusing to stand for the national anthem. Check his  Twitter feed  if you’d like to follow some of the action.

In true American fashion, within hours people were burning his jersey, he was mocked for daring to care about the oppression of others while he himself is a multi millionaire, memes were circling the internet showing wounded warriors going to great lengths to stand for the anthem while Colin Kaepernick is “able bodied, yet refuses”

But if you ask me? I’m impressed.

Because to be frank, patriotism isn’t that great. Nazi’s and North Koreans are very patriotic, what’s so great about that? Is a dutiful Nazi better than our unpatriotic and treasonous founding fathers who very un-patriotically told THEIR country to  “F off”?

Kaepernick was quoted as saying the following:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game against Green Bay. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

The 49ers issued this statement: “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”…

“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” he said. “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”

Showing integrity and using your platform  to make a difference in the world vs  merely using it for  your  own self promotion, is nothing to be ridiculed, disdained, or mocked. It should be commended.

Wasn’t this the same attitude our founding fathers had when their government became intolerable and oppressive? Why are so many people able to applaud these actions from over 200 years ago, but vilify the same spirit of righteous indignation and demands for justice when they see it in people today? . What is weak about a man abiding by his conscience, even to his own detriment?

As a Christian, I see pledging to a flag as a form of idolatry. A person’s postal address has nothing to do with the content of their character. A flag is nothing to die or kill for. My allegiance is to God, and the values I believe in – truth, liberty, and justice. My thoughts on flags, anthems, and allegiance aligns with that of Arundhati Roy when she said the following:

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Like Kaepernick, I also often times do not stand for the anthem. It’s not something I hold particularly strong feelings about, for example,  if I’m in the middle of a conversation with a friend at a game and the anthem comes on, I likely wont sit and will just stay standing. But if I’m not otherwise distracted or am already sitting down? – no way I am standing up just to talk to a piece of cloth. I’m not the only one. Last year I wrote a story about a New Hampshire girl who refused to stand..Linked here: Teacher Takes Action Against Student Who Refused to Stand for Pledge of Allegiance

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Here is another quote from Kaepernick I would like to share:

“My faith is the basis from where my game comes from. I’ve been very blessed to have the talent to play the game that I do and be successful at it. I think God guides me through every day and helps me take the right steps and has helped me to get to where I’m at. When I step on the field, I always say a prayer, say I am thankful to be able to wake up that morning and go out there and try to glorify the Lord with what I do on the field. I think if you go out and try to do that, no matter what you do on the field, you can be happy about what you did,”  Kaepernick told Daily Sparks Tribune in 2012.

I do believe Kaepernick should be proud of his actions on the field Friday. I believe he took a much bolder stand against injustice by sitting than he ever could have by standing and saying the pledge like everyone else.

Ironically, Kaepernick also showed a firm intolerance for systemic injustice and oppression – values shared by the often praised founders of our country – how very “American” of him.

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Are FOX News Satires Even Possible? Bill O’Reilly On “Well Fed” Slaves

 

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I came across this meme mocking FOX News well before O’Reilly said his comments about how well the slaves were treated who were forced to help build the white house.

By the way, here is what Abigail Adams, John Adam’s wife,  had to say about the slaves who built the white house. Surely she is a great source since she actually witnessed the slave labor first hand that Bill O’ Reilly speaks of …you know, the ones who were so “well taken care of.”

“Two of our hardy N England men would do as much work in a day as the whole 12, but it is true Republicanism that drive the Slaves half fed, and destitute of cloathing, … to labour, whilst the owner waches about Idle, tho his one Slave is all the property he can boast.” – Abigail Adams

Dismiss The Concerns Of Black Lives Matter At Your Own Peril

Unchecked power and authority impact all of us; on both a visceral and physical level. Admittedly, I myself am engulfed with frustration and rage against those who spread the attitudes and lies that allow injustice to proliferate. Those whose inaction is validated by their misplaced sense of security. Security derived only from themselves not being the current target.
It is indeed true, that an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere. I am disappointed in the majority of our population in their failure to see such a truth. Disappointed in their failure to remember history. Disappointed in their failure to hold vigilant watch against any form of unruly government powers. And disappointed by how fervently they latch on to talking points, yet forget sound principles. They name the oppressed their enemy and have forgotten the true enemy.
 
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
I am not called a selfless person by many people, hardly anyone now that I think about it. So it is not out of “white saviorism”, “white guilt”, or selflessness  that I support the Black Lives Matter movement and others who share my desire for a more accountable, safe, prosperous, and just society. It is because of my own hatred for injustice and my own instinctive self preservation that I stand for any cause that seeks to eradicate the entities and practices that exist to the detriment of its people. It is because every time  I see  a person killed or brutalized by the state a piece of my soul dies. And  while the black man today… may be the  most likely and vulnerable victim of the state’s brutalities, he certainly is not the only victim..
White children, boys and girls, have been murdered in their sleep due to careless no knock raids. Unarmed, non threatening, and non violent Hispanic and white women have been killed, rendered to a vegetative state, had their teeth knocked out, and their skulls cracked by those who claim to serve and protect us. Young white men with bright futures have been killed, others put into a comas for infractions as innocuous as a broken taillight.  Acts as innocent as picking up ice-cream on a first date have ended in the execution of white men. It wasn’t long ago, the state awarded a 3 million dollar settlement to a white woman’s family after she was fatally shot 6 times in the head and neck by a plain clothed officer for improperly parking in a church parking lot.
While I do not say this to dismiss the undeniable and factually sustained claim that blacks are the ones who currently suffer most from an overbearing, inherently immoral,  and corrupt police state. The truth is, every year the police kill far more whites than any other race. Blacks are killed at a much higher rate, but because they are a much smaller percent of the population, they do not account for the majority of police killings.
So yes, police abuse and brutality should concern all of us. And yes, as it stands today, police abuse does have the most oppressive impact by far on the black community. This is why we should listen to the warnings of Niemöller, learn from mankind’s past mistakes,  and understand history teaches over and over, we will all ultimately be subject to whatever we tolerate. Such a poignant message is more critical now than ever before.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

– Niemöller

Many refuse to acknowledge the horror inflicted upon our society’s most vulnerable, out of a fear of igniting a war on police. but even with the increase in tensions, officer fatalities have been at an all time low the past several years. And, as shown in statistics ranking professions by their risk of fatality,  as of 2016, it is significantly more dangerous to be a landscaper than a police officer.
The rhetoric is hype.
Used to scare us into placing justice in the backseat, and into accepting the oppression inflicted upon entire communities as a necessity for peace. To tell us silence is needed because the pursuit of justice would not be worth the cost. That justice should be sacrificed at the alter of peace. Yet, Christ taught wisdom must be pure before it can be peaceable.
When a man stands on the sound principles of human dignity, liberty, the right to privacy, the right to be secure in his own persons, government accountability, and the truth that we are all created in the image of God. Then the onus of changing for the sake of peace is on whoever stands against him. What value is a peace that survives only on  acquiescence to evil?
It was the same charge given by white plantation owners against those who sought to eradicate slavery.  To be labeled disruptive to the peace is a charge that will always be hurled toward anyone who stands for justice in an unjust world. Because where there is injustice there is the society in which it was established and tolerated. Where there is injustice there is the status quo and the system that sustains it
So yes. There will be division. There will be disruption. The blame for which is not on those who seek a just and accountable society. That blame is on the man whose peace is placed in a world sustained by corruption, greed, violence, and hatred. It is up to him to search his heart, acknowledge the error of his ways, and do everything within his power to be a man of justice every day forward.
 If you are of the belief that all men are created in the image of God. Then trust in that principle more than the false narratives of corporate whores in the media. And instead start asking questions.  Why would you believe law enforcement can do no wrong when Jesus Christ himself was crucified by men dutifully enforcing the law?
If you believe all men were created in the image of God why do you tout off statistics like, “90 percent of black people killed every year are killed by other blacks,” without putting it in context by also mentioning that, “84 percent of white people killed every year are killed by other whites.”
Why bring up a statistic in response to someone’s murder? Does any statistic invalidate their right to justice? Does any statistic have the power to make something wrong, no longer wrong simply because it is one of many? The next time a white person is murdered by an authority figure, do you believe it is wrong to get upset or seek justice because a single murder is “frivolous” in comparison to the  “white on white crime rate” ?  
When you see a mother devastated by the murder of her innocent son at the hands of police, or a black man going about his business shot for no reason before your very eyes, yet feel nothing more than the urge to repeat an ingrained talking point; it is time to question who you have allowed yourself to become, and what you have allowed yourself to believe. These pundits who claim Christ, yet do nothing but support evil, spread misinformation, and perpetuate intentional lies,  will not be there for you on the day you become the state’s unfortunate target.
protestdress
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth but the righteous are bold as a lions”

 

 

 

How to Create a Nation of Criminals

The Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed an alarming increase in the number of Americans imprisoned in our country. Frontline demonstrated this in the graph below. These statistics should not strike fear into the hearts of violent criminals. This trend is a threat to all of us.

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Our prisons have become a for-profit industry. This is something that has devastated millions of lives and must be stopped. Laws have become so overbearing that many statistics have concluded the average working american unknowingly commits 3 felonies a day on average. This is discussed in L. Gordon Crovitz’s article in the Wall Street Journal and in Harvey Silverglate’s book Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent.

I would like to leave you with this eerie warning from Ayn Rand, in 2015, this hits us right at home:

“We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Turning the Wronged into the Wrong: Media Continues to Ignore Years of Police Brutality Prior to Baltimore Riots

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Since 2011 over 100 people have won lawsuits against the Baltimore Police Department for use of excessive force. Many of the officers involved were given a slap on the wrist, did not even lose their job, and continued to walk free after terrorizing the very people they were entrusted to protect.

In the rare instance an officer actually stood up against one of his own, the results were typical and disappointing to say the least.

After blowing the whistle on two fellow officers after they assaulted a suspect in 2011, former officer Joseph Crystal was forced to resign after continued harassment from officers in his department for being a snitch.

The message is clear. Cops protect their own, this allegiance is placed above, right, wrong, injustice, and justice. Any officer who fails to comply with this code of “honor” pays the price.

The 10,000 protesters who marched the streets of Baltimore for justice in the death of Freddie Gray  should not be expected to answer for, or be responsible for the actions of looters and vandals. The protesters do not represent them, and are in no way responsible for those taking advantage of a moment of civil unrest.

No amount of looting or vandalism discredits the true issue at hand. And to those who actually care, no amount of misdirection is going to numb the pain and hurt levied against communities by lawless, power hungry police officers who walk free time and time again after they destroy and end lives.

When men are left beaten or dead, and those responsible are more likely to receive paid vacations during  “investigations”  than prison sentences, you would be naive to not expect outrage.

The riots in Baltimore are tame and what is to be expected given the devastating circumstance those protesting find themselves in. The fact media outlets claim to be appalled and shocked by a few days of mayhem in response to decades of oppression and systematic police brutality only goes to showcase the flippancy with which they view the devastation caused by systematic unpunished police brutality against entire communities.

While I do not condone violence, and while I do not support looting or robbing random businesses who are innocent in this situation, I also must be honest in saying, I really don’t give a damn about a looted CVS store, and I really don’t give a damn about a few people getting roughed up amongst some rioters, and I really don’t give a damn about people setting fire to police vehicles.

I just don’t.

The thought of a broken window or a pair of stolen Reeboks isn’t going to keep me up at night, it just isn’t. It shouldn’t keep you up at night either. A looted CVS store has never been cause for national outrage or national attention before, so why would it suddenly be so important now?

The media is intentionally changing the narrative of this story.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Something has to change. If you expect the community to do nothing or depend on and have faith in a justice system that has failed them over and over and over again then you are completely illogical.

The justice system and the police force that victims are told to put their trust in, are the very entities that have oppressed them for decades. We have reached a point where there is no reasonable or logical hope for legal means of retaliation or justice.

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Do you honestly expect these people to just sit down, shut up and trust the moral sensibilities of their oppressors, hoping their oppressors decide to yield justice against themselves?

That is insanity.

We as a nation need help, this is about more than Freddie Gray, the riots in Ferguson, or the Baltimore Police Department, this is about an epidemic of unbridled police power throughout our entire nation and it has gone on for far too long.

Right now communities such as the impoverished areas of Baltimore are feeling the brunt of police violence because police know they can get away with attacking those of little power, with little influence, and little means of retaliation. Police consistently attack those who are impoverished and consistently attack minorities because they know that they can.

It is up to us to tell them they can not. It is up to us to let them know we do care, we will speak up, and we will make sure officers are held accountable for their actions.

We are not looking at an instance of “two wrongs” but an example of an oppressed and victimized community taking a stand, taking action -any action, against their violent oppressors.

And it is only at this point the media has the gall to act offended by violence? It is at this point the media has chosen to make a call for peace?

Where was the media’s concern with violence when Freddie Gray was being murdered? Where was the media’s concern with violence while the Baltimore police murdered 6 black men from January 2014 to March 2015 alone?

This isn’t a game, it isn’t a soundbite. We are talking about human lives, and it is only when those victimized take a stand against their oppressors that our media has the audacity to position itself as the moral authority on the issue of violence.

The media coverage over this has been disgusting, and we should all be disgusted. The outrage felt by these protesters is more than justified. Condemning peaceful protesters, or even those who are opportunistic looters, over state funded murderers is morally indefensible.

Crime and injustice are not the same thing. If a robber robs a store, and is then apprehended tried and convicted; justice was served. Robbery is not something our society repeatedly turns a blind eye to. Authoritative abuse is. When a cop can murder a man on camera, and walk away a free man. No justice was served.

This is not just one cop. It is not a few “bad apples”, but every member of the police force who turned a blind eye to misconduct and did nothing is also responsible for the situation at hand. They are the ones responsible for the situation in Baltimore. Their families, their friends, their loved ones who did not speak out against their deplorable actions are also responsible. The time has come for us to hold officers accountable for their actions, for even in their inaction they have chosen action.

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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