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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Despicable racist ad has no place in politics

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

A political action committee in California stirred up a great deal of controversy with an advertisement against Janice Hahn, who is running for Congress in a special election. It is not unusual for ads by outside groups to be controversial, but the content of this ad had brought extra well-deserved criticism.

The ad is shockingly racist. The video is not safe for work, so beware opening it.

It is one thing to criticize someone's policy positions and point out the result of those policies. It is another to use openly racist images to frighten people into voting for you - in this case, young black men playing over-the-top stereotypical "gangstas" who will terrorize your neighborhood.

The only thing Turn Right USA managed to do is discredit themselves and take the focus off their message. Instead of having a discussion about Hahn's policies, the focus is on Turn Right's offensive racist message. It was a politically stupid move that only created sympathy for Hahn and forced her opponent to discuss Turn Right instead of his own message and criticisms of her.

And really, we should be beyond this kind of filth by this point. Do we really need to use the black male boogeyman as a political prop in 2011? No, we don't. This is the same crap we have seen for over a century, with black men portrayed as savages (or worse) who threaten the peaceful white community with their vicious crimes. Racism has no place in politics and Turn Right USA should be ashamed of themselves for playing to our worst instincts.

Finally, it is this kind of irresponsible fear mongering that makes a rational discussion on crime policy much more difficult. There are legitimate questions about whether incarceration is actually effective, especially the huge number of people we lock up for nonviolent crimes thanks to the War on Drugs.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"News" media continues to brazenly lie about video games

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of the video game industry, striking down California's ban on the sale of violent video games to minors. ABC World News claimed on their June 27 broadcast that the law prohibited the sale of video games that allow kids to "shoot John F. Kennedy in the head" and "re-enact Columbine."

That is a lie. It is a blatant, brazen, bold-faced lie.

These are downloadable games made for the PC. These are not published for game consoles. Not one single game on any current-generation game console allows you to assassinate JFK or re-enact Columbine. Not on the Wii, not on the PS3, and not on the XBox 360. No game on any of the previous generations of consoles allowed players to do these things. None of the current or previous generation handheld consoles have any games allowing this.

Not. One. Single. Game.

This is a critical distinction and that is why it is so incredibly dishonest for the so-called "news media" to be lumping those games in with the video game industry as a whole, especially with console games sold in retail stores. If I possessed the necessary programming skills, I could make a computer game right now where you could do all kinds of terrible things, and upload it to the Internet for people to play by downloading the game or playing in their browser via flash.

Here is some history. The Atari 2600 was the first major game console, and because of mistakes Atari made it wound up being an open system - anyone could make games for it without Atari's approval. Atari fought this in court but lost. This led to a glut of terrible games that contributed to the crash of the video game market in the early 1980's. Because of this, every console since has been a closed system.

What this means is that you cannot make a game for any console unless you have permission from Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo. This is why you will never see a modern remake of "Custer's Revenge" unless the developer hacks the console, which is illegal under federal law. You cannot even modify your own console under federal law.

I'm not saying there are not a lot of very violent games. There certainly are violent games, including Mortal Kombat, Manhunt, Grand Theft Auto and God of War. There are some sexually explicit games as well. But ABC News should at least have enough respect for their audience to discuss reality, not fantasy.

The so-called "news media" obliterates its own credibility when it shamelessly lies about the case. Unfortunately, this is not new. The so-called "news media" has a long and shameful history of playing fast and loose with the facts in order to put out sensationalistic and alarmist headlines.

I do not deny that there are many games that are inappropriate for children. I would not allow a 10-year-old to play any of the Resident Evil games, for example. But it is ultimately the responsibility of the parents to control what their children see, read and play. It should not be the government's responsibility to take the role of parent. We have already seen an alarming loss of liberty as government has moved more and more toward being our nanny.

Previously: News media flagrantly lies about video games - again.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Take the politicians off welfare

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

The US Supreme Court case about public financing of elections in Arizona illustrates why meddling politicians have it wrong on campaign finance, especially when it comes to public funding.

The big issue here is public financing of campaigns. In other words, turning politicians into welfare queens. Instead of working to raise their own donations, politicians can simply put their hand out and the government will forcibly confiscate money from taxpayers at the point of a gun and hand it to that politician.

Public financing has the goal of eliminating corruption in government, which is a legitimate concern. Making politicians into welfare queens is not the way to solve it. Government should not be funding political candidates, especially when it gives extra money to candidates in order to ensure "fairness" in the face of a well-funded opponent.

The best way to battle corruption is with sunshine. This means full disclosure of employment practices of elected officials, and full disclosure of campaign funding. One solution is to require that campaign finance ties be prominently disclosed in legislation and regulations. For example, if Construction Firm A donates to Politician B, that would have to be disclosed in legislation authored by B (such as new highway construction) that would benefit A.

This is not anything new. Candidates and elected officials are already required to disclose personal finance records for the sake of exposing potential conflicts of interest. There's no reason that campaign finance laws cannot be updated to include the same information. All of this would be posted to an easily-navigated public web site.

Speaking of web sites, we live in a different world than existed even in 1998, when the Arizona law was passed. Internet access is much more ubiquitous now than before, allowing for information to be spread "virally" though blogs, social media and electronic mail. Candidates are now much more able to get their message out via the Internet, and the Internet also offers many opportunities for fundraising -something that helped Barack Obama in 2008.

Government should be a neutral observer in elections - stepping in only to enforce violations of the law and not taking sides by giving money to one candidate or another. All public funding should be eliminated.

And while we are at it, we should eliminate the unfair advantage that incumbents have to send glossy, full color (and taxpayer-funded) "informational" mailings to voters - mailings that are only to enhance the politician's name ID.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Security cameras in downtown Bloomington?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

Security cameras have been prominent in the investigation of Lauren Spierer's disappearance, which led the H-T to ask a question - should the city install security cameras downtown?

One of the most important responsibilities government has is to not violate the rights of its citizens, so the first concern should be whether this infringes on civil liberties. My answer is that it does not. There is no real expectation of privacy on a public street, where all of your actions are already visible to everyone.

I do not want the government snooping through my e-mail, listening to my phone conversations or spying on me in my home, but I expect I am being watched in a public place. (I should have the right to not be detained by agents of the state for simply walking or driving down a public street, though.)

Concerns about the cameras are reasonable. It is one thing for a private business to be electronically monitoring their property, but having government electronically recording you is a little creepy, even if you are in public.

Even with cameras, one should not have a false sense of security. People should still take common sense precautions to ensure their safety. Cameras cannot cover every inch of downtown. The cameras would be more useful in catching people after the fact or acting as a deterrent. Cameras can be useful in specific situations, such as catching the people responsible for vandalizing the B-Line Trail.

I think comparing cameras to increased police patrols is a flawed analysis. If the idea is to cover as much ground as possible, security cameras would be much more effective than a few more police officers. A couple more officers on patrol will not be able to watch nearly as much area as the cameras, and hiring more officers would be much more expensive than cameras. The biggest expense of any organization is always personnel.

In the end, I do not believe this is necessary. Bloomington is not a high-crime town, and I do not believe the cameras would actually accomplish much. This is a reasonable idea, but the city is right to reject it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Justice, not convictions, must always be the goal.

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

The Indiana Daily Student's article about how Indiana University is "among the worst in the nation" in gaining convictions for sexual assault is symptomatic of one of the fundamental problems of our criminal justice system. Getting convictions should never in and of itself be the goal of law enforcement. The goal should be to see that justice is done.

False reports of rape do happen. Four years ago, a 19-year-old IU student fabricated a kidnapping and "rape." She later recanted her story and admitted that she "engaged in consensual sex with a man at a local motel." (Herald-Times, March 30, 2007) Who can forget the Duke lacrosse scandal, where a stripper fabricated a "rape" that never took place and engaged in a criminal conspiracy with disgraced, disbarred ex-prosecutor Mike Nifong to railroad men for a crime that never happened? Let's not forget that the "university" immediately took the side of the false accuser.

Worse, the Obama Administration has issued new regulations calling for universities to consider "a preponderance of the evidence" in rape cases, rather than the traditional standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. Does President Obama understand basic American values and the principle of innocent until proven guilty?

But the problem is more widespread than that. We have seen story after story about people who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit, and released after decades in prison when serious flaws in their convictions came to light. In some cases, those convictions were based on corrupt prosecutors deliberately hiding evidence so they could "win" a conviction at the expense of justice.

The Innocence Project has a list of people who have been wrongfully convicted and has worked tirelessly to help secure the release of people who have committed no crime.

Rapists who are convicted after a fair trial by a jury of their peers should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. There may be things that can be done to ensure that rapists do not get away with their crimes. But the goal should NEVER under any circumstances be "more convictions." The goal should always be justice.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Peggy Welch is not a terrorist

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

When the Bloomington City Council voted to give corporate welfare to baby killers last week, Monroe County Council member Sam Allison spoke in favor of the grant. In his comments, he referenced the crimes committed by fringe anti-abortion elements, and claimed that the pro-life movement "condones" bombings, assault and murder.

First, Sam Allison is a liar. The pro-life movement does not condone any of these things, and Allison knows it. The pro-life movement has been very clear that violence is not acceptable as a means to oppose abortion. After the assassination of abortionist Barnett Slepian, the American Life League and other pro-life groups issued a "pro-life proclamation against violence." Multiple pro-life groups condemned the murder of George Tiller in 2009.

Sam Allison knows all of this. Rather than address our opposition to funding Planned Parenthood on its merits, Allison chose to smear and defame. Instead of behaving like a respectable public servant, Allison decided to behave like an anonymous Internet troll. When Allison began his comments, he introduced himself as a member of the county council, so he was speaking in an official capacity.

The people of Monroe County and the Fourth District deserve better than this. It is shameful that a member if the county council would shamelessly lie about and smear his own constituents. Allison demonstrated that he does not have the integrity to serve on the county council. He should retract his despicable character assassination and apologize to the people of Monroe County for his behavior last week. Then he should resign from the county council so that a reasonable and mature adult can take his place.

The Democratic members of the Bloomington City Council, the Democratic members of the Monroe County Council, Democratic Mayor Mark Kruzan and the Democratic County Commissioners should repudiate Allison for his shameful rhetoric. If the Democratic Party is serious about making this a safe and civil community, they should denounce Allison's irresponsible remarks.

This is obviously a preview of how Allison will be voting should Planned Parenthood request another handout from the county council this fall.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bad economy provides the roadmap to defeating Obama

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

Republicans say that they are dissatisfied with the Republican field and many Republicans are openly worrying about whether we can beat President Obama in 2012. I say this is hogwash.

It is never easy to beat an incumbent President, but with the economy in tatters we have as good of a shot with any of the candidates as we are going to have. This President may have inherited a bad economy, but his policies have done nothing to help.

Instead, he has burdened the economy with crushing debt to the point that he makes George W. Bush look downright fiscally responsible. Even the worst deficits from 2001-2008 are tiny compared to the debt burden Obama has given us.

Obama claims that we will face "bumps in the road." The summer of 2010 was supposed to be the "summer of recovery." But the bottom line is that Barack Obama's policies have failed to promote economic growth. Had he failed to implement these destructive policies, we would be much better off today.

See this video from the Romney campaign:

This, my friends, is how we defeat Obama in 2012. Whether our nominee is Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum or a candidate who is not in the race yet such as Sarah Palin or Rick Perry, we only have to point to his record.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Herald-Times defames opponents of sobriety checkpoints

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

Printed in the Herald-Times, June 18, 2011

To the editor:

The Herald-Times' June 3 editorial was shameful and despicable.

Supporters of sobriety checkpoints (including conservatives, moderates and liberals) make utilitarian arguments about why the "inconvenience" of a checkpoint is necessary to prevent the greater evil of drunk driving. While I disagree with this position, I can respect the intentions of those who make that argument.

I do not respect those who argue that opponents of these checkpoints are a bunch of drunk drivers who do not wish to get caught. That represents everything that is wrong with modern American politics, where the focus is not on ideas but on destroying political opponents.

This was a shameful editorial, seeking to discredit those with legitimate objections to the checkpoints by smearing and defaming us as a bunch of drunks. And yes, I mean "us." After all, I wrote a guest editorial against the checkpoints that was published on November 16.

People across the political spectrum oppose the checkpoints. We object to being asked to "show our papers" to an agent of the state in order to proceed. We worry that this is another step toward a police state. We are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, conservatives, liberals and moderates. Are we all drunk drivers?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Planned Parenthood gets corporate welfare again

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

On, Wednesday night, the Bloomington City Council gave another $4,200 to Planned Parenthood, which operates an abortion mill a few blocks from City Hall. This year, Planned Parenthood pretended to be concerned about people infected with HIV, asking for money to test for the virus.

Of course, we know that PP doesn't care about this. The sole purpose of seeking this funding is to get a political endorsement from city government. PP has mountains of cash and does not need the money by any stretch of the imagination. There are legitimate charities, however, that do need the money and the $4,200 that went to Planned Parenthood could have easily gone to a deserving organization.

In a letter explaining the process, Isabel Piedmont-Smith said that over $383,000 was requested. The council had about $220,000 to spend. In other words, in a year where $150,000 went unfunded, $4,200 was wasted on a political endorsement of a corporation with over a billion dollars in annual revenue.

The Hopkins fund is not intended to be a permanent funding source for local charities, but is intended to help with short-term or one-time projects. Why, then, has Planned Parenthood gotten money from city government 12 out of the last 13 years? (Not to mention the fact that PP has gotten a handout from county government the last two years.) This is clearly an abuse of the process and disrespect for the other organizations.

Several members of ClearNote Church attended the meeting to speak against the funding, suggesting that the money that went to PP could have fully funded the requests ranked higher by the committee and pointing out that government officials will be held accountable by God for the decision to fund the butchers at Planned Parenthood.

There are faith-based charities getting funding as well. It is a mistake for churches and parachurch organizations to get entangled with government, which is why I opposed President Bush's idea to fund faith based charities and why I oppose vouchers for private schools. With government money always comes government strings, and churches and parachurch organizations should have the faith that God will provide what they need without help from government.

Furthermore, atheists should not be forced to fund churches and parachurch organizations through their taxes.

Councilors Mayer, Ruff, Sandberg, Satterfield, and Volan voted for the funding package. Councilor Sturbaum recused himself because his wife is affiliated with one of the applicants. Councilors Rollo and Piedmont-Smith missed the meeting. Councilor Wisler voted no, as usual.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No corporate welfare for the merchants of death

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

Tonight at 7:30 in City Hall, the Bloomington City Council will vote to distribute about $226,000 to local social service agencies as part of the Jack Hopkins social services fund. That package includes $4,200 for Planned Parenthood, which operates an abortion "clinic" a few blocks from where the vote will take place. Tomorrow morning, Planned Parenthood will murder several children at that "clinic."

If it were up to me, there would not be a social services fund at all. But if the city is going to have a social services fund, it makes no sense to give money to Planned Parenthood. The national office and all regional affiliates combine for over one billion dollars in annual revenue. Planned Parenthood clearly does not need this money, yet they have gone to local government every single year since 1999 seeking a handout from the taxpayers. (PP did not apply for money from the city council in 2009, but did get a handout from the county council for the first time.)

Meanwhile, there are local charities genuinely need the money they get from city government, charities that do not have the backing of a national organization with $1 billion in overall revenue. Every single penny that goes to Planned Parenthood is a penny that could be put to good use by legitimate charities such as Middle Way House or Mother Hubbard's Cupboard.

So why does Planned Parenthood ask for this money every single year? Thw answer is simple, and is the primary reason why PP's request should have been automatically denied. PP is seeking a political endorsement from city government. They do not respect the other organizations, they do not respect the social services funding process, and they do not respect the taxpayers of Bloomington. This is a shameful, cynical misuse of tax money.

Planned Parenthood claims this money will be used to test people for HIV. But it is the culture of promiscuity that is promoted by Planned Parenthood that causes HIV to spread, along with multiple other sexually transmitted diseases. Giving this money to Planned Parenthood to test for HIV is like giving Philip Morris or R.J. Reynolds a grant to help screen for lung cancer. It makes no sense.

But this has nothing to do with people who may be infected with HIV getting diagnosed so that they can seek treatment and prolong their lives. Persons infected with HIV are political pawns for Planned Parenthood, nothing more. The city council could easily find another organization willing to perform these tests. Perhaps Volunteers in Medicine could administer these tests instead of Planned Parenthood.

Of course, let's not forget the key issue here. Every Thursday, Planned Parenthood's kills babies at their "clinic" on South College Avenue. Less than twelve hours after the City Council votes to give PP our tax money, the "doctor" at Planned Parenthood will be busy killing babies by dismemberment. The tens of thousands of people in Bloomington who find abortion morally repugnant should not be forced to finance an organization that performs this barbaric procedure.

The one city council member who has stood against these shameful handouts is Brad Wisler, who represents the Second District and is the only Republican on the City Council. When Planned Parenthood played their cynical political games in 2007, 2008 and 2010, Brad voted against the allocation of funds. We should all thank Brad for his courageous stand, which led to vicious personal attacks against him in the last city election.

Tonight, the City Council has an opportunity to break with the cynical political gamesmanship of the last 12 years and spend our tax money in an appropriate, ethical and non-partisan manner. I know I can count on Brad Wisler to vote "no." Will 4 of the 8 Democrats finally stop playing along with Planned Parenthood and instead vote to distribute the limited funds available in a way that is financially and morally appropriate? Don't bet on it. This will pass 8-1 just like it always does. The social services funding process is hopelessly corrupt and the only way to fix it is to throw the Democrats out of office in November.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A political scandal with cultural and spiritual implications

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

One week ago, a prominent Congressman admitted that he posted an inappropriate photo of himself via Twitter, and that this was part of a pattern of behavior that included cyber-affairs with multiple women. I am not going to mention the individual's name because this post is not about him - it is about an overall point and an important cultural issue.

First, the minute this individual said "it could be a picture of me, or it may not be, we have not determined that yet" (paraphrasing) it was all over. No one - and I mean no one - sees a picture of himself in that context and does not know with 100% certainty that it is him.

I will never understand why these idiot politicians try to cover this stuff up. It seems like every politician who does something like this thinks he is the one person who can cover it up. It never works.

By stomping his feet and petulantly denying that he posted the photograph, the Congressman lengthened the life of the story and caused a lot more people to hear about it than would have otherwise. He created more news stories by fighting it and issuing increasingly bizarre denials. Had he admitted and apologized for his behavior the moment it happened instead of going through all this rigmarole, he would have appeared broad-shouldered, humble and legitimately sorry for what he did. Now he is a national embarrassment.

Being rebuked for your sin is a wonderful gift from God. Consider the story of King David in II Samuel chapters 11 and 12. After committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband Uriah, David is confronted by the prophet Nathan. Upon being confronted with his sin, David immediately confessed and repented, saying "I have sinned against the LORD." (Be sure to read David's powerful Psalm of confession in Psalm 51.) All politicians caught in scandal would do well to imitate King David in his confession and repentance when rebuked for his sin.

But there is a much more important issue here, and that issue is the wider cultural implications of this scandal. We have an entire generation of young people who are growing up in a culture that has been defined by over sharing. First with MySpace, then with Facebook and Twitter, people are sharing many intimate details of their lives that are best left private. And peer-to-peer communications are much darker and potentially dangerous.

From middle schools upward, "sexting" has become a common shame. Boys and girls (and women and men) are sending pictures of their private body parts to each other as a modern (and incredibly depraved) courting ritual. Pictures sent (especially by girls) often don't remain private, as boys may share those pictures with "friends" and even post them to the Internet. Those pictures are commonly used for blackmail, especially for sex acts.

This is a scary world that young people today are facing. My generation saw the rise of the Internet, which made pornography so ubiquitous that the majority of Internet traffic is consumed by porn. Now, tens of millions of amateur pornographers share explicit photos "privately" via cell phone as well as on the web. This has become so common that when the next generation looks back at this scandal they may think, "So what? Everyone does that."

It is absolutely critical that parents know what their children (especially teenagers) are doing online, which means that parents need to actively monitor and restrict Internet and cell phone usage. Even video game consoles (including handheld consoles like the Nintendo DS) have the capability to browse the web, and mobile phones (even those that are not "smartphones") offer opportunity for immorality. Parents need to teach modesty from birth, and boys especially need to be taught to respect and honor women and girls.

Modern technology and communications have been a great tool for humanity, and have helped in exposing the deeds of corrupt governments and even bring down tyrannical regimes. But with this technology comes dangers for our souls - dangers with eternal implications. If nothing else, this scandal offers an opportunity for awareness of the dangers of modern technology and why we need to be so careful in using it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

You can't argue Christian doctrine without the Bible!

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

Here is a scenario that has played out a few times: I make a statement, and a Leftist accuses me of not being a true Christian. I post a text from Scripture demonstrating that my statement is Biblical. The response?

  • "The bible written by oppressive men (not God) is a large part of your dysfunction."
  • "The bible is a piece of trash made by man, edited by man, put together by man."

I find this endlessly amusing, as well as enlightening to the character and intellectual honesty of the person making that statement.

When discussing the Christian faith and Christian doctrine, everything eventually comes back to the Bible. How is one saved? What are we permitted to eat? What is God's plan for sexuality? How are we to treat our neighbors? All of the answers are in the Bible. You simply cannot discuss what is and is not correct application of Christian doctrine without going back to the foundational document of the Christian faith.

That doesn't stop Leftists from trying. Step One: Take an un-Biblical position. Step Two: Be proven wrong from Scripture. Step Three: Throw the Bible in the trash and claim it is false or that it is "the work of man."

The last argument is my favorite. If the Bible is not to be the source of arguments about Christian doctrine, then what is to be the source? Where are you getting your theology? What writings can you point to that are the true foundation for Christian doctrine? Did you gain some sort of special revelation about God that no one else has?

The point, of course, is not to argue a specific doctrine, which is why I haven't discussed any specific doctrine. The point is that we cannot argue anything objectively unless we have a clear set of guidelines. No one would say that the rules of basketball are "the work of man" and to be disregarded when they are caught running with the ball or goaltending. The rules are what they are. The basis for proper interpretation of text is always the text itself.

Does this mean every single thing in the Bible is to be taken literally? No. In fact, Jesus rebuked His disciples for taking Him literally when He warned against the "leaven" of the Pharisees in Matthew 16:6-12. Does this mean that people cannot have reasonable disagreements about the meaning fo specific doctrines based on the text of Scripture? Again, the answer is no. Does this mean that my personal understanding of Scripture is automatically the correct interpretation? God forbid! I am a man, therefore I am prone to error and sin.

But all arguments about Christian faith must have their root in the Bible, because the Bible is the Word of God. You may not fabricate a "god" and a "jesus" that have absolutely nothing to do with the God and Jesus of the Bible, in order to massage your own ego, soothe your conscience or validate your preferences. That leads to the kind of spiritual anarchy and ultimately the same sort of vile wickedness we see in Judges 21:25.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Joe Donnelly's hyperpartisan double standards

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

The most consistent complaints we heard from Democrats during the Bush administration were over the Iraq war. Joe Donnelly voted "yes" to investigate a possible impeachment of President Bush over "lying" about Iraq. Donnelly also opposed and spoke against the surge that has been wildly successful in Iraq.

Now a Democrat is President. George W. Bush went to Congress to get authorization to use force in Iraq. Barack Obama committed U.S. military forces against Libya without Congressional authorization and then ignored the deadline to seek Congressional approval required by the War Powers Act. This brought about a rebuke from the House of Representatives. Given Donnelly's history, you would expect him to vote with the majority, right?


Donnelly voted against a resolution, which passed 268-145 on Friday. Forty five Democrats voted for this resolution, including Donnelly's fellow Hoosier, Pete Visclosky.

Principled people have differing opinions about the Iraq war and whether we should have invaded and forced regime change. But there is no question that this was a joint effort by President Bush and Congress. Obama's military adventure in Libya, meanwhile, was decided by Obama alone, without authorization from Congress.

Donnelly's double standard here is shameless. He claims to be the "most independent congressman" in Indiana on his YouTube page. If that is the case, then why is he casting such an obviously partisan vote defending the Democratic President's indefensible military action against Libya?

Of course, hypocrisy is nothing new for Democrats on this issue. On December 7, 2007, Barack Obama said, "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." So what changed, Mr. President?

This entire episode is a joke. Democrats, after spending eight years bitterly attacking President Bush, calling him a war criminal and calling for his impeachment, are now lining up behind Barack Obama for war against Libya depite the fact that there are no vital national security interests at stake and despite the fact that Obama has been far more aggressive than Bush in abusing his authority.

Joe Donnelly wants to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. He does not deserve the promotion.

See previous posts from April 1 and April 9.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A shameful and despicable personal attack

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

On June 3, the Bloomington Herald-Times published this remark about sobriety checkpoints in a staff editorial:

We’ve always suspected the drivers who complain the loudest about the checkpoints may be those who worry they may be caught driving under the influence.

On Friday evening, I tweeted this response to the editor of the Herald-Times: "You should be ashamed of yourself for your despicable character assassination against opponents of sobriety checkpoints."

I had a guest editorial in the Herald-Times last November where I argued that sobriety checkpoints should be banned. Is the Herald-Times saying that I am a drunk driver who is only concerned about getting caught by police? I can't imagine that it crossed their minds, but the connection could easily be made.

While I have repented of the heresy that drinking is sinful, I am effectively a teetotaler because I find the taste of alcohol very unpleasant. My opposition to the sobriety checkpoints is based entirely on my love and respect for the Constitution and the basic freedoms this nation was founded to protect. But why should I even have to make that argument? Is the H-T really so arrogant to believe the only people who disagree with them are drunk drivers?

This is the same "newspaper" that has banned using the word "murder" to describe abortion in story comments because it is "defamatory" to abortionists, yet the H-T editorial board has no trouble dismissing thousands of people in Monroe County - people from all over the ideological spectrum - with legitimate and coherent legal and philosophical arguments against sobriety checkpoints as a bunch of drunks who fear getting caught by police.

This is the same "newspaper" that has often breathlessly opined about civility. The H-T commended Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads for civility in opposition to I-69, called for civility in landlord-tenant disputes, celebrated the civility of a theological debate, and called on county leaders to "ensure a climate of civility" in debates over county planning. Does the Herald-Times have any credibility on the issue of civility in public discourse?

This is shameful. The Herald-Times should issue a retraction and an apology for this uncalled for personal attack on those who disagree with sobriety checkpoints.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Barack Obama's pro-abortion extremism

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

When Mitch Daniels signed HEA 1210 into law and prohibited Planned Parenthood from receiving tax money through Medicaid, he said that "any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions."

Planned Parenthood of Indiana could not abide this restriction because they are determined to murder unborn children. If they are truly so concerned with providing the alleged "wide range" of "services" to their clients, why not end the abortion practice that they claim is such a small portion of their business? Why not work within the system to provide health care to those who need it?

Let's not forget that PPIN has been caught twice on tape by Live Action Films trying to cover up the sexual abuse of 13 year old girls.

Let's also not forget that Planned Parenthood also bragged in a request for funding from the Bloomington City Council and Monroe County Council that they would provide contraception to 13 year old girls. When a 13 year old girl is pregnant, that is prima facie evidence that a felony has taken place. As I explained months ago, giving contraception to these girls helps sexual predators cover up their crimes.

The people of Indiana, through our elected representatives, have decided we do not want to subsidize this reprehensible corporation. Barack Obama (who carried Indiana in 2008) has decided he simply does not care what the people and our elected legislature want to do in terms of administrating the state's Medicaid program and will instead force us to send tax money to Planned Parenthood.

The Indianapolis Star reported that Obama's decision "could cost the state millions and possibly even billions of dollars" by taking away federal funds from Indiana's Medicaid program.

So there you have it. Barack Obama is so radically pro-abortion that he would deny health care to hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers rather than see Planned Parenthood lose one dime of corporate welfare or see them stop performing abortions. Does this man have no shame?

Indiana should call Obama's bluff. We should simply refuse to comply with Obama's unconstitutional attempt to void an act of the Indiana State Legislature. If Obama chooses to withhold funds from the state and deny health care to the poor, the disabled and the elderly, make him own his choice. As people go without health care, make it clear that President Obama is the one taking it away.

Let's see just how committed President Obama is to the cause of killing babies in the womb. Let's see if the President who was elected on a platform of providing universal health care is willing to sacrifice the health (and maybe even the lives) of hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers rather than give a picometer of his militant pro-abortion agenda.

It's your move, Mr. President. What is your choice?

Friday, June 3, 2011

The truth hurts, doesn't it?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. -- John 3:19-20

Last week on her program, Rachel Maddow asked Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin CEO Teri Huyck what her reaction was to the deranged psychopath who was planning to murder staff at a Planned Parenthood clinic. (Fortunately, he was arrested before he could carry out his plot.) Huyck said that her reaction was "Anger at a society that has an anti-abortion voice that by their rhetoric that demonizes Planned Parenthood. They encourage the people who have a propensity toward violence to take an action like this."

No, Ms. Huyck, we aren't demonizing Planned Parenthood. We are telling the truth about you. The fact of the matter is that you murder babies by dismemberment for profit. The fact of the matter is that Planned Parenthood regularly helps sexual predators cover up their crimes, and supporters of Planned Parenthood even have the audacity to brag about it. Here in Bloomington, Planned Parenthood has corrupted the process of distributing tax funds to local social service agencies with their cynical and selfish political games.

When George Tiller was assassinated two years ago, abortion opponents were accused of contributing to that act of terrorism by saying that abortion is murder. I wrote in a guest column for the Herald-Times that if abortion-rights advocates want me to stop saying abortion is murder then "They are going to have to convince me that abortion is not murder." Until then, I take the same position that Martin Luther took when he made his statements about Biblical doctrine: "Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me."

Abortion is murder. HeraldTimesOnline can ban that argument in story comments and abortion-rights advocates can falsely accuse me of encouraging terrorism, but I am going to keep proclaiming that truth until I am convinced otherwise. If I am wrong, I will gladly recant my position, but I simply cannot see how it is possible to view the results of abortion and deny that this is the willful, intentional killing of a human being.

People like Huyck know that they profit from murdering babies. They are trying to silence the truth about abortion not because they fear "overheated rhetoric" will lead unstable people to violence, but because they do not want their consciences to be convicted as they go about their evil work. So rather than engage abortion opponents in the arena of ideas regarding the humanity of the unborn, they hypocritically smear all of us as "terrorists" while they go about slaughtering 1.2 million babies made in the image of God every single year.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Eating meat is normal and natural

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

With the news that Mark Zuckerberg will only eat what he personally kills, the hippies at PETA have questioned whether "Zuckerberg is missing the empathy gene" and sent him vegan "gift" basket.

Of course, this set off the usual debate about whether eating meat is morally justifiable, including "arguments" that Christianity prohibits eating meat. Of course, that is not true. Not only is that a fabrication, it is a blasphemous heresy and a doctrine of devils. People who advance this damnable lie should repent or risk eternal damnation in Hell. The so-called "jesus" these people worship is a false god that has nothing to do with the Jesus of the Bible.

Previous Editorials:

Once this damnable blasphemy is rightly dismissed, Zuckerberg's behavior is something that could be emulated. He is doing this as a personal challenge and character-building exercise. In an age where self-control is almost nonexistent, taking up any challenge that forces you to discipline yourself is a good thing. So this has me thinking - what challenge can I take to discipline myself and build character? It is a valuable question to ask.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Palin Derangement Syndrome, revisited

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

Larry Flynt should be euthanized. More than thirty years ago, he was shot and paralyzed. The injuries left him confined to a wheelchair and in constant pain. He later became addicted to prescription painkillers, as well as illegal drugs. What kind of life is it to be in a wheelchair and in pain? He needs to kill himself, or one of his doctors needs to do the compassionate thing and kill him. A simple morphine overdose would be fine.

If anyone reading this is not intelligent enough to figure it out, the above paragraph is sarcasm.

But even in sarcasm, that paragraph merely applies Flynt's own philosophy to himself. After all, he is the one who ripped into Sarah Palin for not murdering her baby, Trig. (Hat Tip: Jill Stanek) In Flynt's warped worldview, the defective should be exterminated because they do not have a good quality of life. So why does this not apply to him?

(Sarah Palin) did a disservice to every woman in America. She knew from the first month of pregnancy that kid was going to be Down's Syndrome. It's brain dead. A virtual vegetable. She carries it to all these different political events against abortion, she did it just because she didn't want to say she'd had an abortion. How long is it going to live? Another 12, 15 years? Doesn't even know it's in this world. So what kind of compassionate conservative is she? I don't think anybody will want her near the White House."

Source: The Independent, May 27, 2011.

What I said is true. She knew that baby was Downs Syndrome. If she thought it would be something heroic or courageous to have this child, it's her decision but I think she's an idiot. I'm not ashamed of my statement.

Source: Flynt's Twitter and Twit Longer, May 27, 2011.

If Flynt's worldview sounds familiar, it should. His views are strikingly similar to those of Nazi Germany, which implemented a policy to kill those deemed "defective" such as Jews and Gypsies. And yes, the handicapped were also among those murdered by the Nazis. You might have heard of the Holocaust.

Now, I am sure some of you think the Nazi comparison is unfair. I am not saying that Flynt would have endorsed the Holocaust, but his views on what is "compassionate" are strikingly similar to those of the Nazis. And for a man who is obsessed with exposing "hypocrisy" (he once offered a $1 million reward for information on sexual misbehavior by members of Congress) he is demonstrating an enormous amount of hypocrisy by not killing himself.

So why is Sarah Palin hated so much by the Left, to the point that many Leftists become deranged at the mere mention of her name? I am convinced that some of it is class-based, that elitists on the Left (and on the Right for that matter) cannot abide what they consider to be a hick having so much influence on national politics.

But the reason many on the cultural Left hate Sarah Palin so much is that she not only talks the pro-life talk, she walks the pro-life walk. When Palin decided to have her child she became a statistical anomaly, because 90% of Down Syndrome babies are murdered by the abortion industry. (See here, here and here.) Palin represents a threat to the abortion industry because of the example she sets. When abortion is threatened, rampant sexual immorality is also threatened. Immoral men who exploit women sexually hate Palin as much as anyone for that reason.

Flynt provided a valuable service with his comments, because he is honest enough to demonstrate to the world the vile and bitter hatred that so many Leftists share.