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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Yes, Ted Cruz is a natural born citizen.

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:30 AM

I posted this on Facebook last month and it's worth re-posting as people keep spreading this stupid myth.

Donald Trump is a liar.

There is not any question about Ted Cruz's citizenship, and Trump knows it.

https://travel.state.gov/

Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by a Child Born Abroad

Birth Abroad to Two U.S. Citizen Parents in Wedlock

A child born abroad to two U.S. citizen parents acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provided that one of the parents had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the child’s birth.

Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent in Wedlock

A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) of the INA provided the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for the time period required by the law applicable at the time of the child's birth.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Observations on "Return of the Jedi"

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:30 AM

I am still working my way through the first half-dozen Star Wars movies. Here are my observations on the third part of the original trilogy. When I eventually get to the prequels, I will have some criticisms but (spoiler!) I am not going to rip them to shreds. I actually like the prequels - even The Phantom Menace. They are flawed, but still enjoyable.

I was surprised by how strongly the Stormtroopers were put over when I re-watched the first two movies, but this is where they turned into laughingstocks. They were physically overpowered and beat down by a bunch of three foot tall teddy bears. The Ewoks were a marketing success but they completely buried the Stormtroopers as a legitimate threat to the heroes. Burying the Stormtroopers also buried Rebel Alliance soldiers who were completely helpless against the army that could not defeat a bunch of three foot teddy bears with crude stone weapons.

The battle on Endor would have been so much better had the natives been Wookies like originally planned. The Wookies carrying crude stone weapons while Chewbacca is proficient with modern technology could have been explained. Perhaps Chewbacca was taken prisoner by Imperial forces when they occupied Endor and either escaped or was rescued by Han Solo. Imagine the Stormtroopers getting overwhelmed by hundreds of Wookies.

And where did the Rebel soldiers go during the big fight? We had Han, Leia, Chewbacca and the droids, but all of the Rebel soldiers went AWOL once the fight started. Way to fight for survival guys. Princess Leia ought to be Force-choking everyone after it was all over. She is storng in the Force, after all.

There was no legitimate reason in storyline bring C-3PO to the forest moon. C-3PO is completely useless in battle and there is no reason for the Rebels to think his interpreter skills would be useful in a military raid. Jar Jar Binks would have been more helpful. Yes, he got the heroes out of the situation with the Ewoks, but it was clear they could have fought their way out of it if they wanted to. Luke alone could have cut them all down with his Lightsaber. There is no reason the heroes should have allowed themselves to be captured. Wheat if the "savage" Ewoks had just skewered the heroes after they allowed themselves to be captured? The movie is over and the Empire wins. Idiots.

In Empire, Darth Vader and Luke were evenly matched in their Lightsaber fight when Luke was using two hands and Vader was using one hand. The minute Vader puts both hands on his Lightsaber playtime is over and so is the fight. In Return of the Jedi, Vader is using both hands from the beginning and still gets beaten down. The only reason the fight lasted as long as it did is because Luke did not want to fight. This is a great way to show how much more powerful Luke was as opposed to where he was in Empire.

The evolution of Vader's character is well done too, especially the subtle change in his language. In Empire he was referring to Luke as "the son of Skywalker" but in Jedi he calls Luke "my son" several times. He even indicates he regrets becoming a Sith Lord but is trapped when he says "it is too late for me, my son." That is an indication not of someone who is dedicated to the Sith cause but someone who is going through the motions.

Ian McDiarmid is by far the best part of the movie as the Emperor. You could tell he was having a ball playing a character who is so delightfully evil. The only problem is that he is so charismatic and just plain fun to watch that it is impossible to hate the character. It weakens the movie when you are almost rooting for the villain.

As a movie, Return of the Jedi is the weakest of the original trilogy. However, that is quite a high hurdle and almost an unfair comparison. This is still a great movie and fun to watch.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Baby Nano

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

August 2004: We got a little puppy we named Nano.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Stop calling me, Indianapolis Star

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

I've been getting a number of phone calls from the Indianapolis Star. I had subscribed to the Star's website about a year ago and decided the service was not for me. That's fine, not every product or service is for everyone.

I've been called a couple times since then, asking to re-subscribe. I declined. That is also fine. But what is most certainly not fine is getting phone calls from the Star where no one answers when I pick up. I don't know if this is a robo-call where an operator was not available or some kind of technical glitch, but it is very irritating. I could not get through when I called the Star offices (what a surprise!) to demand I be taken off the list.

Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about this, because the Indiana state legislature, in a shameless bit of political pandering, exempted newspapers from the Do Not Call List. This is a shameful example of protecting special interests.

This exemption is also illegal, due to the Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 23: "The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizen."

I have a very simple, two-fold message: Indianapolis Star, stop calling me. Indiana General Assembly, stop violating the Indiana Constitution by granting special rights to a politically favored class. You bring shame upon yourself and on our state by doing so.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Iowa

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:30 PM

Cruz - 27.7%

Trump - 24.3%

Rubio - 23.1%

Donald Trump's vaunted poll numbers didn't prevent a Rubio surge or a Cruz win.

Hopefully Republicans are finally seeing through him, recognizing him as the gun-grabbing, radically pro-abortion, Nancy Pelosi supporter he really is - a big-government, socially liberal Leftist who uses government as a Mob enforcer to take an elderly widow's property by force.

If you vote for Trump, you might as well vote for Hillary Clinton. There is no difference, in ideology or corrupt personal character.


Pfaff on government spending

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM


Monday, February 1, 2016

Why be involved in pro-life activism?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

We need people involved in opposing abortion. Can you help protect these little ones made in the image of God?

Last year, the pro-life movement in Bloomington and Monroe County was invigorated like I have not seen in twenty years. There were several rallies at Planned Parenthood protesting the national scandal where PP was found to have sold the body parts of aborted babies. The cold attitude of Planned Parenthood employees when they were caught on tape horrified and shocked many people and spurred others into action.

We have let local government know that we are watching them and that we do not want to see any more of our tax dollars going to fund Planned Parenthood. When the Monroe County Council voted to give $3,000.00 to the ghouls at Planned Parenthood back in August, a huge crowd of people showed up to protest and speak against this corporate welfare. This was by far the biggest crowd to ever show up at one of these meetings, and this was despite the fact that it was literally organized with less than two days' notice because the county council tried to hide the vote by fast-tracking the process. Or local elected officials know we are watching them!

It is important that we do not lose the momentum we have built over the last eight months. It is important that we do not let this issue slide back out of the limelight, back to something that only a select few are actively opposing, with a large group supporting the effort but not actively contributing to it. Our God tells us to defend the innocent in His Word:

Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will He not repay everyone according to what they have done? --Proverbs 24:11-12 (NIV)

We have all heard the larger numbers for abortion nationwide, but let's make it more personal. Right here in Monroe County, Indiana, 10,202 babies were murdered by abortion between 2001 and 2013. That bloodshed is happening in downtown Bloomington, just a few blocks from the Monroe County Courthouse. Right now, Planned Parenthood is preying on our community and killing babies made in the image of God next to where many of us work and shop!

I understand that not everyone is called to pro-life activism. Each of us has our own calling and our own way to serve His kingdom. But I am convinced that most people can do more, even if it is a very small time commitment. Go to Christian Citizens for Life's Facebook Page and send a message. Someone will help you get plugged in.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Seat Belt Laws

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Here is an excellent observation about seat belt laws:

If a seat-belt violation causes a low-income man to be pulled over, searched, fined and fined again for nonpayment, then results in a suspended license, and then arrest and incarceration for driving on a suspended license, the state is no longer protecting him — it's ruining him.

Source: The Washington Post.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Utterly disgusting

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 3:56 PM

I said this on Facebook yesterday:

The "christians" who condemn Bill Clinton's adultery and womanizing and yet give Donald Trump a pass on the same issue are utterly disgusting and bring shame upon the name of Jesus Christ. I have no patience for hyper-partisan hypocrites who place party loyalty over their faith in their Savior.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Abortions in Monroe County, 2001-2013

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

2013 - 753 abortions.

2012 - 811 abortions.

2011 - 731 abortions.

2010 - 809 abortions.

2009 - 818 abortions.

2008 - 855 abortions.

2007 - 845 abortions.

2006 - 767 abortions.

2005 - 676 abortions.

2004 - 775 abortions.

2003 - 784 abortions.

2002 - 753 abortions.

2001 - 825 abortions.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Be like Scott.

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

"Pragmatic" idolatry: The Republican Party is a false god

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

I am so sick of the "pragmatic" argument for stopping Hillary Clinton from becoming President at any cost that I literally want to vomit. I see this all the time from "conservatives" who justify voting for any Republican, no matter how flawed and no matter what his ideology, just to oppose Mrs. Clinton.

A friend of mine on Facebook described the argument like this:

This is the statement of someone who has intellectually and morally checked out. This sort of cynical and supposedly pragmatic thinking has left the Republican Party in shambles, with no real leadership or discernible reason for being.

The argument goes something like this:

"Oh, well, I know this Republican is a pro-abortion extremist who defends partial-birth abortion, and he has a long history of being anti-gun, and he is for same-sex marriage, and he openly praises Communist butchers and murderers, and he brags about his plans to murder innocent people including women and children, and he wants to strictly limit free speech."

"I know he is also a nasty, foul-mouthed bully, and he is a thin-skinned crybaby who throws a temper tantrum any time he gets even mild criticism, and he donated $50,000 to Rahm Emanuel and tens of thousands more to other far-Left Democrats, and he praised ObamaCare, and he has repeatedly abandoned his wives for younger women. However, he is just a shade better than Hillary Clinton so I will vote for him. Any Republican is better than a Democrat!"

This is not just a case where someone has sold out his principles. No, this is much worse both in this life and eternally, and someone has to say it. This is idolatry, and it is shocking and disgusting to see self-proclaimed Christians making this argument. This is making the Republican Party into a god, and I have no patience for it. The Republican Party is not god. Jesus Christ is God and we know from 1 Corinthians 10:20-21 that if you worship anything else you worship demons. Repent!


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Trump Tapes

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM


Monday, January 25, 2016

In defense of "partisanship"

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

People love to complain about "partisanship" and the resulting inability to "get things done" but I do not think many of them realize what they are saying or asking for when they complain about it. In fact, "partisanship" is a good thing, and should be applauded. The inability to "get things done" is actually a feature built into the Constitution, not a flaw in the document.

Of course, I am not defending pure partisanship and the slavish devotion to a particular party that comes along with it. I am a Republican, and political alliances are necessary in order to operate effectively in our political system. But few things frustrate me more than double standards and hypocrisy. It is thoroughly disgusting to see Republicans condemn Democrats for doing something and then either defending or even applauding Republicans for doing the exact same thing. This, of course, works both ways.

No, what I am actually talking about is principle, which is why "partisanship" is in quotes above. People of good faith can disagree on policy out of principle, rather than the need to defend a particular clique. Many times, the end goal for two sides might be different, but even people with the same end goal might disagree on how to get there. Conservatives and liberals largely agree that it is good public policy to reduce childhood obesity, for example, but conservatives would not favor action by the federal government to achieve that goal.

There is a reason that the Constitution broke the legislative branch into a higher and lower chamber, and gave the President veto power that can only be overridden after meeting the high supermajority hurdle. Treaties must be approved by a supermajority as well. There is a reason that Supreme Court justices must be approved by the Senate, instead of giving the President authority to do as he pleases. The legislative process was always intended to be slow and deliberate. We have seen what happens when things are rushed through, from the significant expansion of federal power in the so-called "Patriot Act" to the debacle of ObamaCare.

More importantly, there is a reason that power was originally designed to be split between the sovereign states and a very limited federal government!

Instead of condemning "partisanship" (more often principled opposition or legitimate disagreement) we should be thankful for it. "Partisanship" has often restrained the urge to "do something" that would have been ineffective, counterproductive or even destructive. "Partisanship" helps cool the passion to "do something" in the heat of the moment without thinking it through. "Partisanship" is one of the most important tools we have to defend our liberty, and it has worked to protect us when practiced by both Republicans and Democrats.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Spending cuts and laws that work

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Here are two short thoughts on two different issues.

Spending cuts

Back in 2001, I said that "cutting or reducing the rate of growth in (government social programs) does not actually take money from the poor." The second part of that statement is obviously true on its face. Reducing the rate of growth is not a cut - the amount of spending is still increasing, though it is increasing by a smaller amount.

But even if you actually did cut benefits, it would not actively take away anything. This is because social welfare spending is by definition something that is not earned. It is something given to beneficiaries. They are still getting a benefit, they are just getting a smaller one. That clearly does not take away money the poor already have.at.

Laws that work

Is it intellectually inconsistent for gun-rights advocates to argue that gun laws do not keep criminals from getting guns, but support laws that attempt to make voter fraud illegal or criminalize things like murder and rape? The distinction we need to think about here is a morally neutral activity like owning guns or buying pseudoephedrine is very different from an activity we want to eliminate or at least greatly reduce.

Murder, rape and voter fraud are things that are wrong on their face. While no law will ever eliminate crime, we make these things illegal anyway because we recognize they are wrong and do our best to minimize the behavior.

Buying guns or pseudoephedrine are morally neutral activities. Laws restricting the right to own guns or buy pseudoephedrine will not keep criminals from getting guns illegally or manufacturing meth, but will restrict the liberty of law abiding citizens. That is what is unacceptable about unreasonable restrictions on both.