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Monday, May 23, 2016

Like it or not, Hiroshima was justified

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

The Hiroshima bombing was a terrible tragedy and will always be remembered as an example of the horrors of war. While it was justifiable, it was nonetheless a tragic loss of human life.

Last month, I tweeted an article putting the nuclear annihilation in historical and mathematical context, and that context is critical to understanding and analyzing the decision to use nuclear power. That context is simple: The Hiroshima bombing resulted in fewer deaths than continuing the conventional war against Japan. Bombing Hiroshima saved lives, on both the American side and the Japanese side.

Sometimes in war, you are faced with no good options. President Truman knew that an invasion of Japan itself would be incredibly bloody and destructive for both nations. He chose the option that would end the war more quickly and result in less death and destruction - for both military and civilians - than an invasion.

In fact, one could argue that nuclear weapons have been the greatest force for peace the world has seen since the end of World War II. The horror of atomic warfare restrained both these United States and even the Soviet Union, a truly Evil Empire guilty of genocide against its own people. Both nations fought proxy wars, but a third world war between the USA and the USSR would have been horrific on a scale that would have easily eclipsed World War II.

While I understand that the destruction brought by only one bomb is very different psychologically than thousands upon thousands of conventional bombs, it is interesting that Hiroshima gets so much more attention than the much larger number of civilians killed by the Allies' conventional bombs in both Germany and Japan. Of course, the Axis targeted cities and civilians as well, with Germany's bombing of London and Japan's war crimes against China and Korea. We should remember those people at the same time we remember the lives lost in Hiroshima.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

City Council should reject Planned Parenthood funding

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:00 PM

Bloomington Herald-Times, May 21, 2016

To the Editor:

The Bloomington City Council should reject Planned Parenthood's cynical request for $7,500 in corporate welfare from the Jack Hopkins Social Services Fund and instead distribute this money to an organization that could actually benefit from the grant.

The fund guidelines discourage funding operating costs, but in reality that is exactly what this grant seeks to do. This is not a "one time" investment, it is a continuing program.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky took in over $15,000,000 in its most recent fiscal report. PPINK also has the backing of an obscenely wealthy national organization and network of affiliates that bring in over $1,000,000,000 in annual revenue. There is more than enough money floating around Planned Parenthood to fund the Bloomington branch.

The city council should stop forcing pro-life residents of Bloomington to subsidize an organization we find morally abhorrent. They should instead donate their own money.

Finally, city councilor Dorothy Granger, who volunteers for Planned Parenthood as a clinic escort, should recuse herself from this vote. Using your position of authority to funnel tax dollars to an organization you personally volunteer for may not be a conflict of interest legally, but it does present a serious appearance of impropriety.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Spoiled? Naw, it can't be that!

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

I posted this on Facebook three years ago and was amused when it came up on my "on this day" page.

Nano came over and nudged my hand because something was in his way and he couldn't get to his bean bag. Naturally, I got up and fixed it. He's happily napping on his bean bag now. My dog might be spoiled.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Backsliding into bad drug war policy

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 3:00 PM

We have made some progress in the failed War on Drugs over the last few years. It actually seems like our national focus is shifting away from the punitive policies of the past that have not only failed, but have unnecessarily ruined so many lives. But the increased use heroin and illegal use of prescription opioids has us teetering on the edge of a moral panic that will cause us to lurch backward into the same old failures.

Charging drug users with murder for sharing drugs with someone else is absurd. These people are not murderers. At worst, they are guilty of negligence or reckless homicide - and sometimes not even that. A charge of murder should require an intent to actually end someone's life, which is absolutely not true with the cases profiled in the Washington Post. Should there be some sort of penalty for providing an illegal drug that kills someone? That is reasonable. But that is not murder and should not be charged as such.

Remember, these people are not drug kingpins or even street-level drug dealers. They are drug users themselves, sharing their high with someone else. There is a reason many states have passed immunity laws shielding people who call 911 to get help from charges. Now, the people who made those calls to save a life are not only not protected, they have been charged with murder. Do you think that will make people more or less likely to seek help in the case of an accidental overdose? Over-charging these people will cause more people to die.

Anger and bitterness are both natural and understandable emotions when someone dies senselessly from a drug overdose. It is natural to want revenge, or to make someone pay for a loved one's death. But that should not be the basis for our public policy. Our policy should instead be decided based on what will be the most effective at eliminating a problem, and what will be proportionate when bad things are done. Murder charges are not proportionate.

We need to treat drug abuse as a public health problem, not as a literal war complete with military equipment including armored Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected (MRAP) military vehicles better suited for dealing with terrorists in Iraq or Afghanistan than drug users. Treating drug abuse as a literal war has been a self-fulfilling prophecy and has empowered hyperviolent cartels. We need to move beyond the failed policies of the past.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Party unity in a "big tent" party

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 8:00 AM

You cannot have party unity in a "big tent" party. If we are going to have a wide range of ideological perspectives in the GOP, then we have to expect there will be heated disagreements and debates about public policy. Sometimes, these debates will become bitter arguments.

It is not realistic to expect people who have wide differences on public policy will not criticize each other and sometimes refuse to support candidates who have wildly different perspectives on public policy.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Movie Review - Captain America: Civil War

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

It is unusual for a superhero to be the villain of his own movie, but Marvel managed to do just that with Captain America: Civil War. Just like with the comic mini-series that inspired the movie, there is not much reason to root for Captain America and his team of anti-registration vigilantes. At least this version of Captain America does not openly commit treason by calling on a foreign power to invade his country to stop the Superhuman Registration Act.

Much like the mini-series, there is an effort to force super-vigilantes to register with a government authority after massive collateral damage during a battle. While in the comics the incineration of an elementary school and much of the surrounding neighborhood was brought on by glory hounds filming a reality TV show, the collateral damage here happened while trying to stop terrorists from stealing a biological weapon. The Avengers, then, are not nearly as unsympathetic as the New Warriors were a decade ago.

I am not sure some of the critics are familiar with the source material. For example:

Woodard's "Who's going to avenge my son?" shamelessly taps the illusion of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Tamir Rice as Boy Scouts and potential Rhodes scholars. That’s way out of bounds.

I was looking for this connection when I watched the movie, and it was just not there. It is a figment of a National Review writer's overly active imagination. It is a very close adaptation of a scene in the comics where a grieving mother accosts Iron Man after her child dies in the blast caused by super-villain Nitro. It is this guilt, in addition to the political realities of superhero registration, that drives his motivation for holding super-vigilantes accountable.

It does make sense given the story that it is the United Nations that will oversee the Avengers, but I think it would have worked better had it been the U.S. government instead. And just like in the comics, Iron Man's support for registration is a compromise to stop something worse. The "something worse" should have been spelled out like it was in the comics. I knew what it probably was because I have read the comics, but people who have not (the vast majority of the audience) will have no clue what he is talking about.

But even without strengthening Iron Man's position, the argument basically boils down to Tony Stark arguing that heroes have to be held accountable and under proper supervision, while Captain America (Steve Rogers) basically says that vigilantes are better for the safety of the world than agents of a military or police force. In the real world, if someone puts on a mask to go beat up muggers, he is breaking the law. There's no reason it should not work that way in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Marvel's mainstream comic books.

Eventually, we find there is a bigger plot behind the scenes, and our heroes eventually join together to stop it. I found it really interesting that Baron Zemo, while his terrorist actions make him an evil character, has a motivation that is understandable and almost heroic. He is not the son of a Nazi war criminal out to take over the world.

A few short things: There was a big plot hole, because the writers apparently forgot that Scarlett Witch had psychic powers in Age of Ultron, as she does not use them here. Quicksilver was not mentioned at all, and one would think his twin sister would still be grieving his death. I strongly disliked the Ant-Man movie, but I loved the character's scenes in Civil War. I loved the inclusion of Spider-Man and while I would have loved to see the "Iron Spider" armor there is no way it would have worked here. His quips were great and he was by far the best thing about this movie.

Overall, this is a very good movie and well worth seeing. Final Grade: A-


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Recognizing simultaneous truths about rape

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Rape is an evil, heinous act. Persecuting young men for crimes they did not commit is also an evil, heinous act. Both statements are simultaneously true, and the truth of one in no way reduces the truth of the other.

Consider this example: In 1989, a woman was savagely beaten, raped and sodomized in Central Park, drawing the outage of a nation and calls for harsh punishment of the perpetrator. The five teenagers who were convicted of this crime - four blacks and one Latino - were completely innocent and spent years in prison for a crime they did not commit. Pointing this out does not minimize the heinousness of that crime. False convictions only make injustice worse.

Now, on to the controversy over rape on America's college campuses and the meme that one in five women are raped or sexually assaulted in college. The "one in five" meme - which makes college campuses more dangerous than high crime inner cities - minimizes the heinousness of rape by including things that are not rape with rape. Forced kissing, fondling, or grinding are acts of moral depravity and a violation of a woman's right to bodily integrity, but none of those things are rape. It is an insult to rape victims to lump those things in with rape.

The Central Park Five is an extreme example, but one that should inform us in how universities and the Obama administration deal with rape on campus. It has been well documented that men on college campuses have been denied due process in campus kangaroo courts, are subjected to an extremely low standard of proof that they committed a crime, are denied the right to defend themselves, are denied the right to call witnesses or have an attorney, and in some cases are even denied the right to know the charges against them. One man was expelled after the woman he allegedly "raped" denied she was raped and said the sex was consensual!

This is simply wrong and it needs to stop. We need to protect rape victims and harshly punish rapists, and that should be done by the criminal justice system instead of a university that can at worst expel someone. I have always been in favor of harsh punishment for rapists. I have never said rape is anything other than evil. But what is going on at college campuses today is just wrong. Rape is evil. Ruining the lives of men who committed no crime is also evil. We need to be very clear in opposing both crimes.


Monday, May 16, 2016

If you condemn Clinton, you must condemn Trump.

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

As Christians, is our loyalty to the Republican Party, or to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? Should our loyalty be to a political party that will give us better tax policy, or to the King of Kings who shed His blood and sacrificed His life to save us from eternal damnation in Hell Fire? This is the question many Christians face in how to deal with Donald Trump's moral depravity, promiscuity, adultery and womanizing.

Specifically, I mean the "christians" who got the vapors over Bill Clinton's immorality yet have no problem with Donald Trump engaging in behavior that is as bad or worse. I am pretty sure Bill Clinton never said that dodging sexually transmitted diseases was his personal Vietnam. These "christians" bring shame upon the name of Jesus Christ.

Christians either believe in Biblical sexual morality (one man, one woman, for life) or they do not. If "christians" condemn Bill Clinton for womanizing, philandering, and committing adultery, they need to condemn Donald Trump just as harshly for doing the same things Clinton has done. If they do not, they are hypocrites. A Christian's first allegiance is to be to God, not to a political party or a political leader. And many "christians" did condemn Bill Clinton for things done well in the past, before he was President.

Yes, Clinton did wicked things that Trump has not done, just as Trump has done wicked things Clinton has not done. That is not the issue here. The issue is whether "christians" actually believe in Biblical sexual morality, or if it is simply a convenient cudgel to use against Democrats but to be laid aside when it does not benefit our political ambitions.

And yes, it does bring shame upon the name of Jesus Christ when His professed followers are hypocrites. Look at how unbelievers and the culture at large reacts to Christianity as a whole when a prominent Christian is caught in terrible sin and hypocrisy. Josh Duggar is one example. Jimmy Swaggart is another. The list goes on and on.

My point here is not even political. It is theological. That's why I am condemning "christians" who refuse to submit to Christ's commandments. I do not believe that voting for Trump is sinful or a betrayal of the Gospel and I do not judge Christians who vote for the man. Different people make different decisions in how they vote based on what they think is pragmatic or the best strategy. But when it comes to morality, we need to be clear and uncompromising. Sexual sin is to be condemned whether the sinner is a Republican or a Democrat.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

1 Corinthians 15:22-26

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

I approve of this candy

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Carrot cake flavor Hershey's Kisses.

I approve.


Friday, May 13, 2016

#NeverTrump Republicans still need to turn out and vote

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

An open letter to #NeverTrump Republicans,

I understand you are frustrated and why you cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 general election. Nonetheless, it is important that you turn out and vote for other Republicans in down-ballot races.

At the federal level, it is important that we elect conservative Republicans to the House and senate who are committed to opposing a big-government agenda from the White House. Republicans may not have moved the ball forward much in the last five years, but they have ended Barack Obama's legislative agenda and moved us closer to fiscal sanity. Even if you refuse to vote for Trump, we need other conservatives fighting the good fight in Washington.

At the state level, "red states" have made amazing progress in advancing conservative values over the last five years since the 2010 wave. We have seen significant advances in protections for the unborn, we have seen efforts to limit government, restrict the power of labor unions, and advance other conservative ideas. You may not like what is happening in Washington, but the real action is at the state level.

Where your vote matters most, and where your vote is needed most, is for Republicans running for local government. In a much smaller electorate, each vote matters much more than in votes for governor, senator and especially President. Local elections may be decided by a few hundred votes or even a dozen votes or less. Here in Monroe County, we have a tremendous set of candidates that can roll back restrictions of our private property rights, expand transparency in local government, and stand against sneaky, underhanded and unethical attempts to "fast track" controversial Leftist agenda items by hiding them from the public.

Vote your conscience at the top of the ballot, but please do not punish Republicans at the state and local level because of your objections to the Republican Party's nominee for President.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Thank you, voters, for your confidence in me.

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

The results of the May 3 primary election in Indiana were very bad at the top of the ticket, but I fared well where I was on the ballot. I will be going to the Indiana Republican Party state convention in June after winning a spot in the primary. I was quite pleased with the finish. Obviously, the Ellingtons are the big names, while Paul White and Ann Collins were running elsewhere on the ballot countywide. Doug Bruce is a well-known local realtor who ran for city council in 2003, and I only finished 47 votes behind him.

First NameLast NameVotes
Jeff Ellington 2,660
Hope Ellington 2,007
Paul White, Sr. 1,515
Ann T. Collins 1,259
Doug Bruce 1,215
Scott Tibbs 1,168
Suzann M. Owen 1,163
Jennifer Mickel 1,046
Doug Bennett903
Patricia K. Parker 811
John P. Roberts 793
Marilyn L. Brinley 764
Doug Horn 749
Gene Moncel 717
Greg Knott 635
Douglas K. Parker 634
John W. Kirtland 610
Stephen C. Moberly 602
Alan Berg550
Marcia Lawlis Gero 519
Nick Ivey 491
AndrewRusch 432
Donna Disque 429
Morgan Parker 421
Doug Kayser 372
Billie P. Spellman 346
Glenn W. Gero 284

I also won my race for precinct committeeman 111 to 78, securing 58.7% of the vote. I won in a plurality in 2012.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Who do you trust to manage your health care?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

The government wants to stop prescription drug abuse by cracking down on doctors. But who do you trust more to manage your health care: Your doctor or a government bureaucrat? I know who I trust, and it ain't the bureaucrat.

Prescription drug abuse is a problem and "candyman" doctors should be prosecuted. But intrusive government regulation of doctors will inevitably result in witch hunts against doctors and (more importantly) patients being denied the pain relief they need due to fear of government.


Monday, May 9, 2016

My general philosophy on voting

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

My general philosophy on voting is this: I will vote for every Republican on the ballot by default. If you are a Republican candidate for elective office you will get my vote. You do not have to convince me to vote for you, but you can convince me to vote against you. There are Republicans who have done that.

One way for a Republican to lose my vote is to take positions so drastically at odds with mine that I cannot in good conscience vote for him. Whether that is private property rights, abortion, gun control, or free speech, sometimes differences are far too great for me to support a Republican. This does not mean I have to agree 100% with any candidate. I will always vote for candidates with positions I disagree with unless I am voting for myself.

A Republican can also disqualify himself from getting my vote by being a moral degenerate. Being a serial philanderer, discarding his wife for a younger woman (especially more than once), attempting to bully elderly widows and steal their homes, employing violent thugs, or a general record of misogyny, thuggery, bullying, and vulgar public behavior can disqualify a candidate from getting my vote.

It is actually rare for me to vote for every single Republican on the ballot, because there is usually a candidate or two who has disqualified himself from getting my vote. I have never believed in 100% total party loyalty. I do, however, vote for the vast majority of Republicans running for office.


Friday, May 6, 2016

No more corporate welfare for baby butchers

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

This is an open letter to the Bloomington City Council.

Councilors,

Planned Parenthood has applied for another $7,500 in corporate welfare from the city's John Hopkins social services fund, and that request should be rejected.

Planned Parenthood took in over $15,000,000 in its most recent fiscal year and has the backing of an obscenely wealthy national organization. There is more than enough money floating around Planned Parenthood nationwide to cover the money PP is requesting for its women's health fund.

As has been the case for nearly two decades now, Planned Parenthood is seeking this handout as a political endorsement instead of as a legitimate means of helping people in need. These requests are not and have never been about need. If you want to endorse Planned Parenthood, then you can pass another resolution supporting their mission like you did last year. I will oppose and speak against that resolution, but it would be far better than wasting another $7,500 that could actually do some good in this community were it not spent on politics.

In the letter you sent to social service agencies about this year's process, you state that these grants are intended to be a "one-time investment." The letter explains the reasoning for this:

This restriction is intended to encourage innovative projects and to allow the funds to address changing circumstances. To make funds available for those purposes, this restriction discourages agencies from relying on these funds from year to year and from using these funds to cover on-going (or operational) costs, particularly those relating to personnel.

Planned Parenthood's requests have not been legitimate "one time" projects for a very long time. These are things that PP does normally. You are subsidizing PP's operating budget despite the guidelines discouraging requests for operating funds. Furthermore, things like STD testing can be done by county government's Futures Family Planning Clinic, which does not carry the moral baggage that Planned Parenthood does.

And Planned Parenthood does carry a large amount of moral baggage, which is why so many of your constituents are opposed to funding them from property taxes. In addition to killing babies every week at the "clinic" on South College Avenue, other Planned Parenthood "clinics" have been implicated in a baby parts selling scandal. This is all the same organization, with the same moral depravity. If you genuinely support PP, then you should combine to write them a check from your personal accounts. Between the nine of you (plus Mayor Hamilton) that is $750 apiece instead of forcing all of us to subsidize an organization we find morally abhorrent.

One final matter: Dorothy Granger, who volunteers for Planned Parenthood as a clinic escort, should recuse herself from this vote. In fact, she should have recused herself from previous votes. It presents an appearance of impropriety for a city councilor to be voting to give several thousand dollars of her constituents' money to an organization she openly volunteers for and supports. It is also an unfair advantage for Planned Parenthood over the other organizations that are applying for money from city government.

Thank you for your time.