|Wednesday, April 16, 2014|
Why does a rural sheriff's department in Wisconsin need a Mine Resistant Ambush Protection Vehicle (MRAP) designed to protect soldiers in a war zone from land mines, improvised explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades? Are shoplifters and methamphetamine addicts carrying military-grade equipment procured from terrorist organizations? For that matter, why does West Lafayette need a MRAP? Exactly how militant are those engineering students at Purdue? Do college parties get that much out of hand?
Congress passed the Posse Comitatus act in 1878 to strictly restrict the use of the military for domestic law enforcement. While giving armored military vehicles to police is not technically the use of the military for law enforcement, making law enforcement into a pseudo-military organization certainly breaks the spirit of the law and should be a real concern for Americans who value their civil liberties. This is an overreaction to our culture's paranoia about crime, despite the fact that violent crime has been falling for twenty years.
The problem with blurring the lines between military and police is that the two have very different missions. The police are to arrest criminals, yes, but also to protect and serve the community in various other ways. The military's job is to fight wars: They are to kill people and break things. Therefore, the category of people the military is designed to interact with - enemy soldiers - are entirely different from the civilian population that the police interact with.
This is why mixing military and police is dangerous. Police should not see the citizens they are supposed to protect and serve in the same way that the military sees foreign soldiers and/or terrorists. Militarizing the police creates a natural tendency to see citizens as the military sees enemy soldiers - and that is very dangerous for civil liberties. We need to only look at the disaster in Waco twenty-one years ago this Sunday for why this is a frightening thing.
Bloomington Herald-Times, April 14, 2014
To the Editor:
The big concern with the theft of $800,000 from city government is not that there was a corrupt city employee. After all, we know from Romans 3:10-12 that there is none righteous, and Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that the heart of man is desperately wicked.
No, the big concern is the apparent lack of internal financial controls that made the theft possible. Why did accounts payable not notice that invoices were being paid for work that was not done? Where is the flaw in the process of auditing claims? The Kruzan administration has serious questions to answer about the city's financial processes.
The secretive nature of the Kruzan administration regarding the investigation is worrisome. The Kruzan administration's suggestion that financial records must be sealed because of an investigation is absurd. What if the newspaper had gotten the records in December, well before the scandal broke? The nature of the financial records does not change simply because there is official misconduct.
If anything, this scandal should make the Kruzan administration more open about city finances, not less. What is the Kruzan administration trying to hide? We need to remember this in 2015, and Kruzan needs a challenge in the next election.
When I was in high school, several students were told to remove the neon shoelaces they had purchased for their basketball shoes back to the laces that came with the shoes. We were not to draw attention to ourselves, and the neon laces were meant to attract attention. Coming from this background, I find the "controversy" about telling middle school girls not to wear leggings as pants to be absolutely absurd.
One set of "parents" even sent a letter to the school saying the ban contributes to "rape culture." This kind of absurd hysteria borders on child abuse. No one is saying that girls who wear leggings as pants "deserve" to be violently attacked, or that criminals are somehow less responsible for their actions. Furthermore, we are talking about middle school boys here. Feminists are only discrediting themselves by using rhetoric that portrays children as sexual monsters because they are distracted by inappropriate clothing.
The issue is not oppression of girls and it certainly is not "rape culture." The issue is basic modesty standards and not creating a distracting environment for students. The issue is having children attend school dressed in a way that they are prepared to learn and not prevent others from learning. This is not oppressive to either boys or girls. It is the same as telling students they may not wear green Mohawks.
The problem here is a small example of the overall problem created by our culture's hatred of authority and irresponsible "parents" more interested in being their child's friend than being mothers and fathers. It is pathetic and irresponsible.
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Find out more at ClearNoteBloomington.com.
How can it be that financial records that were open to the public by force of state law just three months ago suddenly be closed to the public and the media because they are critical for an investigation by law enforcement? The Herald-Times is in a dispute with the Kruzan administration over a records request related to alleged crimes by a city employee:
|Those records include emails as well as the bids, contracts and invoices involving concrete projects under the direction of Justin Wykoff, the city employee who was charged early this month in connection with the embezzlement of $800,000. As noted in an earlier column, the city legal department told The H-T it would not release some of the records because they are "investigatory records" exempted from the Access to Public Records Act.|
Here are a few questions that demonstrates the absurdity of the Kruzan administration's argument that the records should be sealed: What if the Herald-Times or even an enterprising blogger had requested and gotten the records three months ago? What if the newspaper (or that blogger) had scanned and saved the documents to PDF and posted them online? Would those records be seized by law enforcement? Would the Kruzan administration's legal department file a lawsuit to take down the records?
The Kruzan administration's argument is weaker than a wall made of tissue paper. It is absolutely absurd that the nature of the city's financial records would change simply because law enforcement is examining them. Would the Kruzan administration argue that city financial records should be sealed during an audit by the State Board of Accounts?
The voters need to remember this in 2015.
According to Leftists like George Takei, White House employees did not have the opportunity to work in a "hate-free zone" for more than three-fourths of Barack Obama's first term as President. Yet neither Takei nor the vast majority of other supporters of "marriage equality" condemned Obama for his stance against homosexual marriage or called for him to resign or be impeached for a stance rooted in his religion. They certainly did not campaign against Obama in 2008, despite (according to Leftist "logic") Obama's hatred of homosexuals.
The hyper-partisan hypocrisy of the Left underlines the absurdity of Mozilla's decision to terminate its CEO because he gave a donation to the campaign to pass Proposition 8 six years ago - an amendment to the state constitution that was approved by 70% of black voters in California. Are Takei and other advocates of homosexual marriage now saying that 70% of blacks in California "hate" homosexuals - or at least did just six years ago?
Obviously, as a private entity, Mozilla can make decisions as it pleases regarding employment policy, but forcing out a CEO because of a donation made six years ago is a silly bow to politically correct hysteria. It also demonstrates the militant intolerance of the Left. If you simply disagree with homosexual marriage you are guilty of "hatred" and you must be personally and professionally destroyed. It is a common error of our society that disagreement is the same as "hatred" - a position that not only reveals emotional and intellectual immaturity but also reveals a deep and intense intolerance of the people who hold that utterly absurd viewpoint.
No, what is really happening here is that the militant homosexual-rights movement is determined to silence Christians who publicly speak what God says about homosexual sin. The militant homosexual movement has never been about "tolerance." It is and has always been about mandatory acceptance. Just as the Pharisees who murdered Stephen in the book of Acts, they will do what is necessary to silence anyone who dares afflict their consciences.
I went to Office Depot earlier this week, and showed the clerk a picture of my newborn son Rob while I was paying for my item.
"Is that your grandson?"
Well, I guess technically I am old enough to be Rob's grandfather, since there are 40 years between us.
If we are serious about protecting victims of crime (specifically victims of rape and sexual assault) then we need to engage in financial terrorism as a matter of public policy. The only way government agencies will be spurred into action to protect the innocent is if their funding is slashed.
As a case in point, consider this horrific story from Muncie, Indiana. A teenage girl was attacked and brutally raped in the bathroom of her own high school and the thoroughly corrupt principal did absolutely nothing about it, either to protect the victim or bring justice to the perpetrator. It is both his job and his moral responsibility - as an agent off the taxpayers and as a civil magistrate given authority by Almighty God - to protect the innocent and bring justice to the guilty. He failed in his responsibility to both man and God.
Obviously, this man should face severe criminal penalties including many years behind bars. It is a terrible tragedy and a miscarriage of justice that he will not. But that is only the beginning of the punishments that should be enacted, and those punishments should go farther than the criminal principal. The school should be punished as well.
Those punishments should take the form of severe and draconian budget cuts, enforced by state government. That will serve as a warning to other schools, effectively terrorizing them into making sure policies and procedures are in place to ensure something like this will not happen at their school, and that no victim of violent crime is abandoned.
This is why I was advocating that Penn State so-called "University" be thrown out of the NCAA, to make an example out of them and terrorize other universities into making sure this is not allowed to happen on their campuses.
If we really want to protect crime victims and force those with authority to do their job, there is no more effective way to terrorize the organizations in question - especially schools and universities - than to threaten their revenue streams. It shameful that such moves would be necessary, instead of the fear of an Almighty God who will judge those who allow children and teens to be abused. But in a godless society we need to take drastic steps to protect the innocent.
The MCCSC school board passed a resolution against a proposed charter school in Monroe County.
If MCCSC is providing a quality education, they should not need to worry about losing students to competition from a charter school. They should be more worried about providing the education these children need than taking away choice.
This sounds a lot like Cosa Nostra turf protection.
A very interesting aside in a story about the expanding problem of heroin abuse:
Farmers in the storied "Golden Triangle" region of Mexico's Sinaloa state, which has produced the country's most notorious gangsters and biggest marijuana harvests, say they are no longer planting the crop. Its wholesale price has collapsed in the past five years, from $100 per kilogram to less than $25.
"It's not worth it anymore," said Rodrigo Silla, 50, a lifelong cannabis farmer who said he couldn't remember the last time his family and others in their tiny hamlet gave up growing mota. "I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization."
Read more on WashingtonPost.com.
I am admittedly late getting to the viral video of a woman dealing with a tailgater, but this represents a perfect example of what not to do, and both of these individuals should have their drivers licenses permanently revoked. They were both in the wrong from the beginning.
Obviously, the pickup truck driver should not have been tailgating. The woman should not have been in the passing lane if she is not willing to go with traffic and will not let people around her. If someone wants to pass, you get over and let them pass - you do not block traffic like a jerk. The man passed her on the right, which is illegal, but where it got dangerous is when the woman sped up and cut him off rather than letting him pass. He made an obscene gesture and crashed.
The woman was clearly worse, because she made a dangerously aggressive move and created a traffic hazard. She was as much at fault for causing the accident by spitefully cutting him off as he was by being a jerk. But that is not the worst part of the scenario. What if an innocent person had been in an accident and was seriously injured because these two were in a childish ego-measuring contest? What if a child had been killed because these two were so busy trying to one up each other that they involved an innocent party?
The truck crossed over the center line and could have easily hit an oncoming vehicle head on. An innocent person - perhaps even an entire family - could have been killed because these two were using their vehicles as weapons. The actions of these two were more than irresponsible and more than dangerous - those actions were just plain evil.
Neither of them have any business being allowed to drive on public streets. Both should be aggressively prosecuted for reckless driving and any other applicable crimes to the fullest extent of the law and and both of them should permanently lose their drivers licenses.
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
Rob Jeremiah Tibbs, born April 2, 2014.
He weighed 8 pounds and seven ounces and was 21.5 inches long.
Governor Mike Pence stepped up to protect civil liberties last week by signing a law prohibiting law enforcement from electronically spying on Hoosiers. At a time when we are increasingly concerned about the federal government's wide net in collecting electronic information on Americans, this is a welcome step to limit the reach of government.
The Fourth Amendment makes it illegal for government to conduct an unreasonable search of persons, houses, papers, and effects, and requires that warrants be based on probable cause. At the time, the men who wrote the Bill of Rights could not have conceived of a computer, much less a handheld computer as powerful as a smartphone. They could not have conceived of a telephone, for that matter.
It should be obvious, though, that the founding fathers would place smartphones, laptops and desktop computers in the same category as papers and effects. (E-mail hosted on a remote server, such as Gmail, would also come under that umbrella.) After all, our mobile devices carry a great deal of private and personal information, as well as sensitive financial information and family photographs. One of the things that made the colonists so angry with the British Empire was the practice of using general warrants, which is strikingly similar to government electronic surveillance today.
This legislation will not protect us from federal abuses, but it does provide another layer of protection and privacy against rogue law enforcement agents at the state and local level. But the sad thing is that in a sane world this law is redundant and unnecessary. The Constitution itself provides more than enough protection from wireless spying on people, whether by local, state or federal officials.
While Pence does deserve praise for this legislation (and it is a nice addition to his resume should he run for President in 2016 or 2020) it is worrisome that legislation was needed at all to protect our basic Constitutional rights.