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Friday, May 22, 2015

Students for Concealed Carry Foundation -- Money Bomb!

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 7:30 AM

I am donating space on the blog today today to promote the SFCCF money bomb.

Today is the money bomb to officially launch Students for Concealed Carry Foundation!

Students for Concealed Carry Foundation will be supporting students who protest being disarmed on campus, providing them with studies to better make their arguments when defending their rights, and take up litigation when necessary.

We also plan to have expansive education programs, from teaching students about their rights, to providing them with training on the actual handling of firearms.

Help us help students around the country as they stand up for their rights to protect themselves.

All donations up to $20,000 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous donor, so there has never been a better time to make the most of your donation.

Our goal for the day is $6,000. So if 600 people across the nation were to donate just $10 a piece, our goal would be met.

Also, our top 5 largest donors will be contacted to vote on which initiative we will fund first. This is a great way to make your voice heard in the organization you are supporting.

To donate, visit http://sccfund.org/donate/


Students for Concealed Carry Foundation


Thursday, May 21, 2015

One of life's mysteries

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Why am I not getting any sound on this video I am watching?

Hmmm, the sound is not muted...

OH! I have to put my headphones on!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pay close attention, Rachel Maddow!

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:30 PM

"Once he announced that he wanted to be governor of Indiana, he basically didn't even have to campaign for it, he just got it." -- Rachel Maddow on Mike Pence, May 19, 2015

I invite anyone who actually was paying attention to the gubernatorial race in Indiana in 2012, and saw the final result, to chew on that for a little bit.

Is it really that difficult to check your facts, Ms. Maddow?


End the corporate welfare to Planned Parenthood

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Bloomington Herald-Times, May 18, 2015 (Comments)

To the Editor:

Once again, Planned Parenthood has applied for a handout from city government's social services fund. This is the sixteenth time in the last seventeen years PP has come to taxpayers for corporate welfare, and with only a couple exceptions the city council has given them a handout every year. Even when PP did not get money from the social services fund in 2000, they got corporate welfare from the community development block grants fund.

I have explained many times over the years that Planned Parenthood does not need the welfare they get from city government. They are not even pretending to seek "one time" funding anymore, which is the purpose of the fund. They are asking for money to cover ongoing costs. Yet the city council repeatedly denies deserving organizations funding so they can make a pro-abortion political statement by donating money forcibly confiscated from taxpayers to Planned Parenthood.

I again strenuously object to my money going to an organization that performs the barbaric act of abortion at its "clinic" on South College Avenue. No organization that engages in the barbaric act of exterminating a human life in the womb should be funded by taxpayers.

End this corporate welfare farce.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A quick common sense reminder

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Never take a picture or post anything to any social media website that you would be horrified to see on the front page of the newspaper or as the lead story on the nightly news.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Why is it important to oppose funding of Planned Parenthood?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Why is it important for Christian pro-life advocates to oppose and speak against the city council (and the county council) when it gives corporate welfare to Planned Parenthood each year? Are we wasting our time? Are we being productive when we speak and write and lobby local government to not fund the local abortion mill?

This June, the Bloomington City Council will consider funding Planned Parenthood again. The council has given PP a handout 14 of the last 16 years, and out of dozens of votes cast there have only been a total of seven "no" votes over that sixteen year span. Usually, the funding passes 8-1 or 9-0. The best year was 2002, when the funding passed the nine-member council with two dissenting votes. The other "no" votes were in 2001, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011 - but those "no" votes were only one of eight or nine votes cast each of those years.

So why should we bother?

First and most importantly, we are to speak in defense of the unborn, and against the civil magistrate funding those who oppress them, because we are obedient to the God who made those babies in His image. When we obey our Savior, we do so because we are called to be faithful. We may be successful or we may not, but we are to be faithful regardless of the outcome.

By speaking against this welfare, we also educate the community. When we speak to the council, the meetings are broadcast on cable television and people can see the arguments made for and against the funding. Many people have no idea that city government funds the local abortion clinic each year, and (since it is more recent) even fewer realize that county government has joined in to hand Planned Parenthood even more welfare.

It is important that local government officials know that someone is watching them and they will be opposed when they make these votes. Who knows what minds will be changed? The Pharisee Saul had a miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus and became the Apostle Paul. If God can change Saul's heart, He certainly can change the hearts of the city council and call them to repentance.

We are the vessel, but God is sovereign.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Human rights update

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Here is an article in the New York Times on the progress of efforts to end prison rape.

See previous blog posts here and here and here and here and here.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Have we as a society gone completely insane?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

This is just plain absurd.

Look. Even if you mutilate a dude's genitals and give him hormones, he still has a man's bone and muscle structure. It's not fair to have a man fight a woman. Period. It amazes me that we as a society have become so insane that we're even contemplating having men fight women in mixed martial arts.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Another sexist comment from the right?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

It is unfortunate that in our politically correct age, people who ask legitimate questions are often immediately accused of being racist or sexist or bigoted in some way. We saw this last week when someone on HeraldTimesOnline.com asked if Allison Chopra, running as a Democrat in the third city council district, will "really have the proper amount of time to devote to the Council." That was immediately denounced as "a sexist comment from the right."

But is it really a sexist comment?

Chopra is in law school, which can be an enormous amount of work. She also has two children. I am a few years younger than Chopra, and like her I have two children. (I have a one year old and a three year old.) Between that and my other responsibilities, running for office as a major party candidate is therefore off the table for the time being. I did not even run for delegate to the Republican state convention last year because the convention was in Fort Wayne instead of Indianapolis, and my younger son was two months old.

Am I just consumed by anti-male bigotry and self-hatred?

It is reasonable to ask if someone who has a lot of responsibilities if they will be capable of fulfilling his or her duties as an elected official. That is not a sexist question, because it can be asked of both men and women. Immediately accusing someone of sexism for asking that question does a disservice to everyone involved because it "poisons the well" and reduces the civility in politics. These unfounded accusations do not change minds or advance an argument.

Now, can Chopra fulfill her duties as a city councilor, if she elected this November? It has been said that if you want something done, ask a busy person. I am sure that she can make time to serve the city and her district. I do not think that is an issue in this race. (But again, it is not sexist to ask the question.) The issue will be the policy differences between Chopra and her Republican opponent. I am looking forward to see that debate unfold over the course of the next few months.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Perception is reality, so education is critical

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

When it comes to politics, the reality we all face is that perception is reality. No matter how right you are on the facts, and no matter how well your argument is constructed, you have to deal with the voters where they are, not where they should be. This is why it is critical to never stop teaching voters about facts and policy, and (like it or not) this is something advocates of criminal justice reform have to deal with.

With that said, here are three very informative bits from Radley Balko's blog post last week:

About half as many cops are killed on the job today as in 1968, despite the fact that there are significantly more cops on the street. So far this year, 10 U.S. police officers have been killed by gunfire. That puts us on pace for 29 by the end of the year. That would be the lowest raw number in well more than half a century. And again, once you factor in the increase in the number of cops overall, the drop in the homicide rate among cops is even more dramatic.


The crime rate was much higher in 1968 than it is today. Here's a mind-blowing statistic: There were 500 fewer overall murders in 2013 than there were in 1969, despite the fact that the population increased by 115 million people.


In 2013, there were nearly 9,000 fewer homicides, about 27,000 fewer rapes, and about 368,000 fewer aggravated assaults than there were in 1991, even though the country's population increased by 64 million people.

These are the kind of statistics that criminal justice reformers need to keep repeating, as often as is necessary to educate the public about the reality of crime in America. Even as crime has fallen, we have continued our "tough on crime" policies, and the use of paramilitary SWAT raids continues to increase even on nonviolent suspects. Even regulatory agencies are employing SWAT teams to enforce code, which sounds like it should be in an absurd parody movie, not reality.

Balko expresses frustration that two pundits critical of Hillary Clinton are only engaged in political analysis instead of dealing with the facts, and that is a reasonable criticism. It is irresponsible for a journalist to deal only with perception when that perception does not match reality.

But whether we like it or not, in politics perception is reality. This is why voter education is important. The statistics about the falling crime rate need to be pounded over and over and over so it is inescapable in order to combat the sensationalistic "if it bleeds, it leads" focus of the news media (especially TV news) as it covers violent crime. Because these statistics are not "sexy," they need to be hammered home all the more.

That said, I think Balko overstates his case when he describes policies that disproportionately harm blacks as "racist" in areas governed by blacks. Merriam-Webster defines racism as "poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race" or "the belief that some races of people are better than others." I cannot imagine the black leadership of Baltimore are intentionally harming blacks. It strains credulity to describe it as such.

But bad policy is bad policy. We do not need to attach a loaded word like "racism" to bad policy to explain why it is bad policy. We simply need to explain why that bad policy is causing a great deal of harm without getting much in the way of positive results, and that there are alternative ways to solve problems without the negative externalities caused by the current "tough on crime" mentality. Using a loaded word like "racism" is unnecessarily divisive and creates a left/right debate that is a needless distraction.

We have a lot of work to do in order to roll back the abuses of the War on Crime and the War on Drugs, and there is a bipartisan coalition of Republicans and Democrats ready to work toward that goal. (I would be remiss if I didn't point out that those Democrats and Republicans have just recently caught up to where the Libertarians were decades ago.) There is also bipartisan resistance to reform, as the current leviathan is a bipartisan creation. Let's not blow this opportunity by making it a left vs. right or a Republican vs. Democrat issue.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Not messing around

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Jehu is not messing around in II Kings 10:21-27.

He turned the house of Baal into a latrine!


Monday, May 11, 2015

Silence is not approval. Silence is silence.

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

If someone does not express an opinion on a particular topic or event, he is not endorsing or supporting anything. He is also not opposing anything. Silence is not the expression of an opinion. Silence is the absence of an opinion. If course, I should not have to explain this at all. This is a basic premise of logical thought, and should be well understood by everyone.

I have been falsely accused more times than I can count of endorsing or supporting something, when I have been silent on the topic. Even when a news story breaks about a particular scandal in the middle of the work day, I have been falsely accused of "supporting" the scandalous behavior if I do not immediately comment on it. I have even been accused of supporting bad behavior that I have previously denounced, because I did not denounce it again when that same action was in the news again.

Such is the nature of "gotcha" politics and instant communications via the Internet. People on both sides demand answers RIGHT NOW, and then denounce their political opponents for their silence without regard to any kind of logical thinking whatsoever. This unfortunate trend in anti-logic has expanded dramatically in the last twenty years. Both sides need to drop this charade immediately.

It is perfectly reasonable to ask someone's opinion in a public forum, especially if that person is vocal in the public sphere. It is not reasonable and it is not civil to assign someone an opinion he has never expressed. When that fabricated opinion is then used to accuse someone of "hypocrisy," it crosses the line into a lie, making the accuser into a liar. It shows more than a lack of critical thinking skills - it shows a severe lack of integrity.

This is not difficult, people. Do not assume someone has a particular opinion on an event, topic or issue unless that person has expressed an opinion on the matter. Many times, your assumption will be wrong, especially if you are making that accusation with a reckless disregard for the truth. (In other words, if you are a liar.) Simply wait for an opinion to be expressed, or ask someone what his opinion is. Silence is silence.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Here is an amusing diversion

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:30 AM

For the record, I am 41 years old.

I don't like this game. I don't want to play any more.




Friday, May 8, 2015

Is the tactic really distasteful?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Is it beyond the bounds of respectable political discourse to compare a candidate's roots in his community to the roots of a new arrival running for the same office?

A letter to the editor complains about the campaign tactic of touting that a candidate is a "lifelong Monroe County resident," meaning that we should not support "outsiders" - specifically people who came here because of Indiana University. The author complains "it was a distasteful tactic then and it's distasteful now."

But is it really distasteful?

"Carpetbagger" has long been a term of derision, describing someone who moves to a different area in order to be elected to an office. Hillary Clinton faced the "carpetbagger" criticism when she ran for U.S. Senate in 2000, and it certainly hurt Scott Brown to be running for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire a mere two years after losing an election for a Senate seat in Massachusetts.

Someone who is a recent arrival to Bloomington or Monroe County does not have the same kind of roots, knowledge and connections as someone who has been here for decades. If I had been a candidate for city council in 2003, I would have been far less qualified than I would be in 2015, after living here as a "townie" for another decade-plus. While I had been a Bloomington resident for ten years at that point, four and a half of those years were as an undergrad at Indiana University - hardly giving me the kind of experience I needed to be a truly effective city councilor. (No, that does not mean I am running this year!)

Relevant experience for elective office is a reasonable and proper thing to consider when choosing between candidates for elective office, either in the primary or in the general election. Considering and comparing experience is not a personal attack, nor is it "distasteful." It is and always has been part of the normal political process, and we should not be shaming people who raise that issue in a campaign.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bloomington City Council, District 3

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

I was not surprised to see incumbent city councilor Marty Spechler lose his primary race on May 5.

Spechler won his primary with a plurality in 2011, but he only got 35% of the vote in a multi-person race. He got the nomination despite 65% of Democrats in his district picking someone else. One could say his 2011 victory was a fluke. In a one-on-one race, he was always going to have a more difficult time.

However, I was surprised to see how badly he lost. He only got 27% of the vote this time. He did not just lose. He was annihilated. I figured the race would be much closer than that, especially since Spechler is an incumbent. It is difficult to unseat an incumbent, especially in a primary.

It will be interesting to see if the Herald-Times makes an issue of a moderate Democrat losing in the primary to a challenger from his left. Not much was made of that during the primary campaign. Many would argue that if this were a Republican primary, the local newspaper would have already devoted at least one editorial bemoaning the fact that a moderate was at risk of losing his seat in the primary.

The Republicans did not field a candidate in the 2011 general election, but that is not the case this year. It will be interesting to see if Nelson Shaffer can win that seat, and how close the results are in the fall.