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Monday, September 1, 2014

Courting vs. Dating: The debate rages

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. -- Proverbs 22:6

I recently read three interesting blog posts regarding dating and the alternative many Christians are embracing, courting. (Whatever that means. Definitions of both can vary wildly.) See here and here and here for more. So what is the best answer? In my opinion, the answer is neither and both.

The first thing we have to do as Christians is to not make our personal preferences into a theological absolute. Different people have different commitments and absent a clear commandment from Scripture (such as believers not joining with unbelievers) we should not be saying that our way is the only right way to live.

Christian liberty covers a large swath of our lives and as Christians we need to be both loving and humble enough to realize that the way we do things might not be the best choice for someone else. That is where we find ourselves with courting and dating.

Different families have different relationships, histories and personalities, as well as different levels of holiness, purity and wisdom. Even within a family, what is the right choice for one teenager may not be the right choice for another teenager. Christian parents have to use discernment in deciding what is best for their particular situation, while considering applicable Biblical principles.

Both courting and dating can be supervised by parents, to guard their teenagers against sin and to avoid unnecessarily tempting situations. In both systems, parents of both sexes should be involved and examine whether the other teen is a good match or a potential anchor dragging down their son or daughter. Both systems, with appropriate parental supervision and involvement, are infinitely superior to the "hookup" culture that is so pervasive, especially on college campuses.

Above all else, parents need to teach their children and teens the foundational moral principles of Scripture so they can apply those principles themselves. Once a teenager turns 18 and either heads off to college or into the workforce, the opportunity for parents to supervise is either lost or greatly diminished. All we can do as parents is teach our children well and pray that God will reign in their hearts as they get older.

That starts at birth and never ends.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Shameful and disgusting

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 11:00 AM

This is shameful and disgusting:

Man arrested while picking up his kids: "The problem is I'm black."

I hope he sues the city into bankruptcy.


Friday, August 29, 2014

No good can come by being belligerent with police

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Last week, I shared an article on Google Plus from a police officer advising readers on how to deal with police when you are stopped. Basically, it comes down to this: Be polite, be cooperative, and do not be belligerent.

Even if you feel the stop is unjustified, no good is going to come by being belligerent. If you are dealing with a jerk, the situation can escalate quickly and it will be much more unpleasant than it would otherwise have been. Even when dealing with good cops, acting belligerent and combative can needlessly escalate a situation and lead to violence, when it could have been handled easily and with a minimum of confrontation. We saw this in action in a high-profile drunk-driving arrest in downtown Bloomington a number of years ago.

On the other end, no harm can come by being polite and cooperative. A good cop will appreciate a good attitude and the stop can be handled quickly and with minimal disruption for both parties. Being polite and cooperative might not help when dealing with an authoritarian jerk, but it certainly cannot cause any harm. If the officer misbehaves, file a complaint. If that does not work, make noise publicly, after the fact. Lobby the mayor or local legislative body. In some cases, pro bono legal help might be available, such as from the American Civil Liberties Union or a state affiliate.

Obviously, nothing excuses police brutality, the abuse of authority, or violations of civil rights. Police officers who behave in such ways should be disciplined or fired, and in some cases criminally prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. Police officers are human beings too, and are tempted by the same wickedness that lives in every human heart. We must aggressively hold abusive police accountable, and governments that employ such officers should face severe and draconian financial penalties as a deterrent. But a little politeness can go a long way.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

A note about editorial archives

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:30 PM

Because I have moved around a few times (from Blogspot.com to WordPress and back, more than once) the blog archives from 2003-2009 (as well as editorials written between 1997 and 2002) are not on ConservaTibbs.com.

Here they are.

I have not as of yet found a good way to merge the website archives and the blog, while maintaining the functionality of the blog, including the ability to have comments.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Not even a drop in the bucket

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:30 PM

ABC World News reported last night that corporations moving to another country can cost the federal government $19 billion in tax revenue over ten years. That sounds like a lot, but it is basically nothing. Compared to the size of the federal budget, that is not a drop in the bucket. That is a drop in the Pacific Ocean.


Thoughts on Facebook Messenger

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Facebook's messaging app has generated quite a bit of controversy, though many of the concerns about it have been addressed. I had it installed, but I uninstalled it due to one very frustrating feature.

I resisted using Messenger at first because I was annoyed that Facebook is pushing people to use it by breaking the Facebook app. The Facebook app has handled messages for years with no problem, and the only reason to disable that feature of the app is to get people to use the new app. But even that was not enough to make me uninstall it.

No, the reason I uninstalled Messenger is because of the extremely obnoxious dialogue box that asks to turn on push notifications for the app. I generally do not like push notifications, so I do not allow them. With most apps, this is not a problem - the app requests the ability to do push notifications, I decline, and I never worry about it again.

Messenger is different. Every single time you go to the app - whether you are switching back and forth from Facebook or opening the app from the menu - the app asks for permission to use push notifications. It does this every single time. That is incredibly annoying, and makes it more trouble to use Messenger than it is worth.

So if I want to see private messages on my iPod Touch, I will use the mobile website via Safari. As far as I can tell, all of the features of the Facebook app are also available on FB mobile, and private messages actually work on the mobile website. For me personally, it is rapidly becoming more convenient to use the mobile website instead of app.

This was a bad marketing decision by Facebook. It will be interesting to see if they backtrack.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The danger of an unarmed attacker

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Here is an informative article regarding how dangerous an unarmed attacker can be. I do not know whether the shooting of Mike Brown was justified or not, but let's dispense with the fallacy that someone cannot be a threat to life if he is not armed. Domestic violence statistics alone prove that to be false.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Mireille Miller-Young is a terrorist, plain and simple

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Earlier this year, a so-called "professor" physically attacked a teenage girl and stole her property, because she did not like the political message on the girl's sign. It is inarguable that Mireille Miller-Young is a thug and a bully, but she is more than that - she is a terrorist. Let's review Merriam-Webster's definition of the word terrorism for more:

  • The use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal

The definition fits. She is obviously not morally equal to the ISIS terrorists cutting a bloody swath across Iraq, but there are always degrees of crime. Shoplifting a candy bar is not the same as embezzling ten million dollars, and is not punished the same way. But both actions are stealing, and both perpetrators are thieves. This so-called "professor" did not fly a plane into a building or set fire to someone's home, but she is still a terrorist.

Some would say that my logic is the same as the "logic" the so-called "professor" used to accuse the teenager of being a terrorist. That is an absurd false equivalency bordering on moral relativism.

The teenage victim engaged in no violence. Miller-Young used violence to censor political speech she disliked and intimidate a teenager and her companion into not engaging in political speech, simply because she is bigger and stronger - which she openly bragged about doing. Her actions were designed to intimidate and censor future protests. The message behind Miller-Young's thuggery was clear: "If you come on campus with unapproved speech, university 'professors' will physically attack you and steal your things."

Miller-Young's defenders have whined about the "angry black woman" portrayal, but this is not a racial issue. This is a criminal issue, as well as an issue of free speech and civility. Attempting to deflect the legitimate consequences for her criminal behavior is not only desperate race-baiting, it is racist itself.

As a free society, we must not tolerate this kind of behavior from thugs like Miller-Young. The real issue is that an employee of a state university violently suppressed the free speech of a teenage girl who was peacefully picketing on campus. If we value free speech, this thuggery must be harshly punished.


Friday, August 22, 2014

"We never should have gone into Iraq..."

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

With the unmitigated disaster currently unfolding in Iraq, we are naturally re-litigating the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 and force Saddam Hussein from power. But if we're going to have this debate again, the people arguing against the 2003 war need to be honest and take their argument to its logical conclusion. Specifically, people who argue that the 2003 invasion and regime change was a mistake should admit the following premise:

It would be better if Saddam Hussein was still in power.

I include myself in this group. I supported the war in 2003, and I wrote a number of articles defending the invasion and explaining why this was a good idea. I changed my position in 2008, because I realized I was wrong. But am I willing to do what I am asking of war opponents, from Barack Obama on down? Yes. As evil and antagonistic as he was, it would be better if Saddam Hussein was still in power.

This, of course, does not mean that Hussein was a good person. He richly deserved to be executed at the end of 2006, and he was a threat to U.S. national security. He brutally oppressed and murdered his own people. He committed war crimes against the Kurds, against Kuwait, and against the Iranians.

But by throwing Hussein out of power, we took a dictator who was mostly contained by our sanctions and military supervision and threw Iraq into chaos. We fought a years-long insurgency at the cost of thousands of lives. We knew that whenever we left Iraq, there was a risk that the country could degenerate into civil war. Now, we're seeing a dangerous scenario where the terrorist "army" ISIS has been blocked in its march to Baghdad but is mercilessly slaughtering people, including Christians.

The civil war in Iraq threatens to spread to other parts of the region, and ISIS is so brutal that we actually have a pseudo-ally in Iran also opposing them. Thankfully, this nation did not follow the advice of foolish warmongers like John McCain to help ISIS remove Bashir Assad from power and take over Syria. The thought of ISIS getting their hands on Assad's chemical weapons stockpile is truly frightening, and one shudders to think how much worse the current humanitarian crisis would be if that had happened.

But yes... it would have been better if Saddam Hussein was still in power. ISIS would not have been able to carve out a portion of Iraq for a caliphate, and we would be able to contain Hussein as we contained him for the dozen years before the invasion. It would not be an ideal situation by any means, but it would be better than what we have today.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

"If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me."

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Monroe County Democrats fund child abuse with tax money

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

The civil magistrate exists to protect people from violent criminals and predators. But what are we to do when the government uses public resources to enable violent crime? What are we to do when government is actually enabling violent crime against children in violation of the law?

Last week, Caroline Craddock wrote about a horrific story where a Colorado Planned Parenthood "clinic" allegedly helped a sexual predator continue to brutally rape his stepdaughter by aborting the 13-year-old girl's baby and then giving her birth control. That, of course, allowed the stepfather to continue to rape the young teenager without the need to worry about her getting pregnant.

Here in Monroe County, the local Democratic Party is joined at the hip with the Planned Parenthood "clinic" in downtown Bloomington. Democrats on the Bloomington City Council have given PP handouts nearly every year since 1999. (PP did not get funding in 2009 or 2012.) The Monroe County Council got into the act in 2009, and then gave handouts to PP in 2010, 2012 and 2013. The most shameful of the handouts was in 2010, when Planned Parenthood bragged in their application that they would be giving birth control to girls as young as 13 years old.

Now, why does a 13 year old girl need birth control? The age of consent in Indiana is 16. Any sexual contact with a child 13 years old or younger is a felony under Indiana law. There are some medical uses of birth control, but let's not fool ourselves here - the birth control being given to 13 year old girls is being used to prevent pregnancy. In other words, those drugs are being used to cover up felony sexual abuse, and the Monroe County Democratic Party is more than happy to use taxpayer money to cover up felonies.

City Council elections are next year, but county council elections are this November. The candidates in all four districts should answer this question: How can you justify spending tax money to give birth control to 13 year old girls? Are you so gullible or willfully ignorant that you do not see this will be used to enable the crimes of sexual predators, or do you simply not care? What if it were your own daughter?


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Judy Sharp should apologize for wasting tax money

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:30 PM

Bloomington Herald-Times, August 19, 2014 (Comments)

The comments section for John Kirtland's July 24 letter is a sad reflection on the state of modern politics. Hyper-partisan defenders of Judy Sharp did everything they could to defend her irresponsible and wasteful decision to spend tax money so her employees could stay at a hotel in Brown County for a conference.

Keep in mind that many people commute that same distance to Monroe County to work every single day, including over 3500 from Lawrence County, over 2900 from Greene County and over 2200 from Owen County. See Geoff McKim's blog post at http://bit.ly/1qH77c7 for more.

According to Google Maps, the trip to Nashville takes about a half hour. See http://goo.gl/rfmtZG for more. Employees should be trained, but there was no need to stay in a hotel.

There is simply no way to justify this. Sharp should apologize for this abuse of her authority and reimburse county government for this waste of money.

Why was this revealed to Herald-Times readers in a letter to the editor instead of a news report? The Herald-Times' stubborn refusal to cover this scandal was a betrayal of this community's trust. The news media is supposed to hold government accountable, not cover up scandals.


Monday, August 18, 2014

"What about black on black crime, huh?"

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

In the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown, a number of conservatives have shown their ignorance of a basic premise of logical argumentation, in addition to at least appearing uncaring and callous about the violent death of a man made in the image of Almighty God. These nonsensical "arguments" about black on black crime need to stop.

Obviously, black on black crime is monstrous. The number of young black men murdered by other young black men is a national tragedy and we need to do more to oppose and fight against this bloodshed. The fact that black babies are aborted at a rate far above the black percentage of the population - and the fact that 60% of black babies in New York City are murdered by the abortion industry - is absolutely horrific.

But the conservative movement as a whole seems to only be worried about blacks killing blacks when it can be used as a distraction from discussions of police brutality, racial profiling, and the general relationship between law enforcement and blacks, especially in poor areas and the inner city. Too many conservatives smugly point to the black homicide rate and proclaim, "What about that, huh? Why don'cha talk about that, huh? Don't those victims matter to you? Why are you silent on this, huh?"

Grow up.

A discussion of police brutality and unjustified use of force is not the time for discussions of black on black crime. While those issues do deserve to be discussed, they are irrelevant to the question of whether the fatal shooting of Brown was justified. It is childish and callous to seek to derail a discussion of use of force by bringing up issues that have nothing to do with that use of force. Those issues should be dealt with separately.

We should not forget the unique position of the state in the use of force, if for no other reason than the firepower at the state's disposal. With police getting more and more military equipment, that firepower is growing by the month, and it is quite frankly more than a little frightening. We trust the civil magistrate to protect us, so use of force used by the civil magistrate needs to be very carefully monitored.

We should always remember that a government that does not abide by the rule of law is more dangerous to our liberty than any terrorist, foreign aggressor or common criminal could ever hope to be.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Obama's open rebellion against the Constitution

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 10:30 AM

As students arrive at universities around the nation and an effort is made to prevent sexual assault, we need to guard civil liberties against the Obama regime's illegal, unconstitutional and anti-American effort to introduce a "preponderance of the evidence" standard over the accepted and just standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt." The Obama regime's open rebellion against the Constitution and the rule of law must be opposed.


Friday, August 15, 2014

A shooting and civil unrest in Ferguson

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

The shooting of an unarmed black man last weekend was certainly a tragic event, not only because of the potential that was snuffed out but (more importantly) because a precious life made in the image of God was violently destroyed. Details have been slow to come in this shooting, and there are wildly different accounts of what happened.

First, let's get this out of the way. Michael Brown was not a "child" and portrayals of him as such are wildly irresponsible. He was 18 years old and a legal adult. Saying he was a "teenager" is accurate but can be misleading due to his status as a legal adult. Saying Brown was a "child" is a flagrant and shameful lie designed to do nothing more than whip up outrage. Brown was a man, and should be described as such.

Dorian Johnson was with Brown in the moments leading up to the shooting, and his account of the events is absolutely horrific - portraying this as a cold-blooded execution of a nonviolent man. Because the account is so horrific, I have serious questions about its authenticity. If Johnson's story is true, this is clearly a crime worthy of the death penalty.

We do not know the full extent of what really happened here, so we should be careful about making a final judgment based on the limited facts we have now. That said, one claim that has not been disputed is that Brown was shot while he had his hands in the air and was surrendering. It is difficult to imagine how a shooting in that case could be justified, especially if (as Johnson claims) Brown had already been shot while he was fleeing from the police officer.

Much has been said about the nature of local government in Ferguson, and how it increases the frustration of a community with a huge black majority being governed by an almost entirely white local government. For example:

As black families moved into Ferguson, the whites fled. In 1980, the town was 85 percent white and 14 percent black; by 2010, it was 29 percent white and 69 percent black. But blacks did not gain political power as their numbers grew. The mayor and the police chief are white, as are five of the six City Council members. The school board consists of six white members and one Hispanic.

Source: New York Times, August 13, 2014

This leads to one very obvious question: Who elected these people? Clearly, no one can get elected in Ferguson without at least a significant portion of the black vote, and yet black voters continue to elect whites to represent them in local government. There is no legitimate room to complain about the racial makeup of local government, when the voters chose that government. If there is a problem, it is with the voters.

The frustration with the choices of black voters in Ferguson, the makeup of the police department, the alleged racial profiling by police, or this particular shooting cannot justify the people who are acting like mindless savages. Rioting, looting and setting fires is never a legitimate response, and only deepens the divide with police while making the rioters look like little more than thugs. This was about getting free stuff, not because people are legitimately angry.

Matt Walsh made a good point this week: Do not blame all police officers because of the actions of one man. It is true that there are bad police officers, there are corrupt police officers, and there are abusive police officers. This is because all of humanity is cursed by the Fall, and that all men are wicked and corrupt by nature. But we should not assume that every police officer is bad because of some bad actors - or that every black person in Ferguson is a thug because of the actions of some mindless savages who are desecrating Mike Brown's memory.

Also, conservatives need to stop spouting foolish and childish non sequiturs about black on black crime. That is a terrible tragedy, and it does need to be addressed, but this is not the time to address it. In addition to stirring anger by being callous about the real pain caused by this killing, these childish non sequiturs miss the point.

A killing by an agent of the state is a unique situation, because of the power wielded by the civil magistrate. Government is much more dangerous and can do much more harm than criminals, which is why we need to aggressively hold government and its agents accountable for crimes and misbehavior.

What we need to do here is let the process play out while closely monitoring the actions of Ferguson's government. The federal government's intervention is appropriate here to ensure justice is done, and to ensure this is not swept under the rug. However, we should also closely watch the federal government to make sure they do not overstep their authority and deny due process in a politically-motivated rush to judgment.

The best place to resolve this is the courts, not the streets.