The so-called "Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine" has rented billboards in Indianapolis urging people attending the Brickyard 400 to stay away from hot dogs because they are unhealthy.
First, let's cut away the spin and expose the truth. The PCRM is an "animal rights" group with a plethora of ties to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and has been funded by PETA in the past. Their holy war against hot dogs does not have one single thing to do with human health. This is only due to the fact that they believe eating meat is immoral. They are hippies pretending to be doctors.
Look, if you believe that eating meat is immoral, fine. I disagree with you, but you have the right to eat or not eat whatever you wish. You have also have the right to try to convince others to follow what you consider to be a "moral" diet that does not involve meat or animal products. Despite my disagreement with your religion (and it is a religion) I can respect your beliefs and the sincerity of those beliefs.
What I do not respect, however, are liars and frauds. When you shamelessly lie to me about your true intentions, I cannot respect your argument. It is impossible to have a rational discussion with a liar. If you want to be treated with respect, then behave in a manner that deserves respect. The PCRM deserves no respect whatsoever.
Second, the PCRM's so-called "study" is based on someone eating a hot dog every single day and the alleged increased risk of cancer caused by such dietary choices. But it is more than a little dishonest to take an extreme case and use it to condemn a popular treat. How many people actually eat a hot dog every single day? What are the risks (if any) of consuming an occasional hot dog instead?
I have consumed an average of about two or three hot dogs per year over the last twenty years. However, I am going to go to Naughty Dog this weekend. I will take a picture of whatever I order and send it to PCRM.
This was submitted to the Muncie Star-Press on July 27, 2011
To the editor:
A July 26 letter to the editor falsely claims that Mike Pence never stood up to President Bush. Criticism is fine, but that criticism needs to be factual.
The fact is that Pence consistently stood for fiscal conservatism during the Bush years, opposing new federal programs such as the Medicare prescription drug entitlement and the No Child Left Behind law.
In fact, Pence led the revolt in the House of Representatives that delayed passage of the bailout of Wall Street – a bailout supported by the establishment of both parties including President Bush, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and John McCain.
The letter writer may have been misinformed. The Indiana Democratic Party is not misinformed. They know the facts well, so when the Democrats posted a link to the letter on Twitter they were intentionally misleading their followers.
I call on John Gregg to denounce the false propaganda advanced by his party. Civility demands that parties and candidates be truthful, and the Indiana Democratic Party failed in that regard.
Finally, the Muncie Star-Press should have known better than to publish this letter to the editor. Congressman Pence's record is well documented and letters containing false claims should be withheld from publication. This was a bad call by the editor, and corrective action should be taken so that the newspaper does not publish false claims in the future – especially claims that are so obviously false, as this one was.
I sent the following e-mail to the Herald-Times reporters who wrote the July 18 article about the cocaine problem in Bloomington. Whoever is responsible for Lauren Spierer's disappearance should be held fully accountable, but groundless speculation and gossip does not help anyone.
With all due respect, inserting the speculation about cocaine's role in the Lauren Spierer case tarnishes what is otherwise a good piece of investigative journalism about the cocaine problem here in Bloomington. You admit in your article that there is only speculation about cocaine in the Spierer case at this point, so why even include the fact that rumors are circulating?
If the H-T has some hard evidence of cocaine use (such a blood test results) then let's see that evidence. Until then, reporting unfounded speculation and rumors belongs in the pages of the National Enquirer or Weekly World News, not in the primary news source for a university community that houses one of the nation's best schools of journalism.
There are way too many rumors floating around out there, with a number of wild accusations in the comments on HeraldTimesOnline. We're not just talking about Ms. Spierer here, but also about the reputations and futures of her friends. The H-T has a responsibility to the people involved in this case, to the readers and (most importantly) to the truth to be very careful about what is printed in the newspaper or posted to HeraldTimesOnline until more facts are available.
It is very easy for a lynch mob to form in cases like these. We have seen it in the Casey Anthony case (an innocent woman in Nevada was attacked by a vigilante because she looked like Anthony) and we saw it in the utterly shameful Duke "University" lacrosse case, where the so-called "university" immediately punished players who had committed no crime and had no sexual contact whatsoever with fraudulent "rape" victim Crystal Gail Mangum.
Let's not have the H-T smearing the reputations of these young people without evidence.
Herald-Times editor Bob Zaltsberg attempted to explain away the newspaper's call for one party rule yesterday, by basically saying "we did not actually say what we said. You misinterpreted it." Of course, the H-T did call for one party rule. See the following statement.
|Perhaps it's time to lay the local Republican Party to rest in Monroe County. That would at least shift the public's attention to the various factions and philosophical differences within the Democratic Party, and make room for those differences to articulate themselves.|
It is unusual for the newspaper to officially respond to a letter to the editor, so my criticism must have stung last week. This is not because I did something special, of course. I merely pointed out the obvious.
Zaltsberg failed miserably in his attempt to spin the facts. A "clarification" of that editorial two weeks after the fact carries very little credibility - especially when the H-T could have easily published a clarification on the editorial page within a couple of days or posted an online editorial clarifying the position within a few hours. If the H-T is so concerned that its editorial was misinterpreted, why did they wait two and a half weeks to issue that clarification?
I'm simply not buying it, and a lot of other people have the same attitude. The Herald-Times got caught with its pants down and now Zaltsberg is trying to backpedal.
How refreshing it would be if the H-T would simply man up and admit that the editorial was an overreach. Instead of more of the same dishonest spin that is so common in politics, the H-T could have owned what they said and apologized for it. Instead, the H-T has further damaged its own credibility with more shameful dishonesty.
Yes, the Republican Party's showing in the 2011 city election is and will be pathetic. There are only three candidates on the ballot for eleven offices. The best the GOP can possibly hope for is a 6-3 Democratic majority, and that would take a miracle. But there would be five candidates if not for the incompetence of the former GOP chairman, who missed the deadline to file paperwork to place two more candidates on the ballot.
Republican struggles in the city are not new, even though this year is particularly pathetic. There is a strong chance that the city council will have a 9-0 Democratic majority in January. But as I have explained before, the city and the county are not the same. Republicans hold two seats on the county council and the county Recorder's Office. Republicans dominated Richland and Van Buren township elections in 2010. Lumping the entire county in with the city demonstrates an ignorance that is simply not acceptable, especially for the primary source for local news.
No one denies that Monroe County Republican Party is in shambles, hampered not only by incompetence and a severe lack of confidence but also by years of sabotage by a number of malcontents. There's no reason the party cannot regain its footing, especially in county elections. The 2011 city elections are a lost cause and even making an impact in 2012 may be difficult. But with the help of a motivated and active chapter of the College Republicans the GOP can be rebuilt.
Last week on HeraldTimesOnline, Greg Travis posted the following (now deleted) comment in response to a story about a hate crime suspect. Travis serves on the Economic Development Commission as an appointee of the Monroe County Council and is the husband of failed county commissioner candidate Sophia Travis.
|Then there's your friend, Scott Tibbs, who here on HTO has referred to Judaism as a "Doctrine of Devils."|
Now, where exactly does this come from?
Back in May, I humiliated Greg Travis when he was posting outrageous lies about Biblical doctrine regarding eating meat. Travis claimed that Christian doctrine forbids eating meat, which is a lie. After I demonstrated how completely wrong he was, he posted the same foolishness on MobTalk.net and I humiliated him again. Unable to admit he was wrong, Travis posted the same foolishness on the Herald-Times website again, only to be proven wrong again. Because he is bitter about being embarrassed, Travis must try to defame me as an anti-Semite.
Let me clear up this foolishness. The Bible declares in 1 Timothy 4:1-4 that those who command others to abstain from meat are preaching a doctrine of devils. This statement was written by the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In case you didn't know, Paul was a Jew. Not only was Paul a Jew, he was a Pharisee who strictly adhered to the ceremonial Jewish law before his conversion to Christianity.
That's right, the Apostle Paul (who wrote the "anti-Semitic" statement) was a Jew.
Christians consider the Bible to be the Word of God. If 1 Timothy 4:1-4 (written by a Jew) is anti-Semitic, then every Christian on the planet is an anti-Semite for accepting the Bible as the Word of God. Is Travis claiming that all Christians are anti-Semites? This is something that failed County Commissioner candidate Sophia Travis can expect to answer for should she run for office again in the future. Does she share her husband's view of Christianity?
The fact of the matter is that every single person who forbids eating meat as part of their religion is preaching a doctrine of devils. This includes People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (an organization Travis supports) and the blasphemous trash they post on their site. As a Christian, I will never back away from this absolute truth.
Greg Travis (husband of failed county commissioner candidate Sophia Travis) is a crybaby who fancies himself to be some sort of Avatar of Knowledge. His bloated ego cannot handle being proven wrong and embarrassed, so he is now obsessed with defaming and discrediting me. But because his basis for this character assassination is that I submit to the Bible, he is defaming all Christians.
Monroe County deserves better than to have someone on the Economic Development Commission who has this bigoted attitude toward Christians. The County Council should never have appointed him to this position of authority, and should remove him as soon as legally permissible.
Calvin Woodward of the Associated Press makes the utterly laughable suggestion that liquidating the government's gold reserves "could raise a very handy $400 billion" for deficit reduction, comparing it to selling the family's jewelry during hard economic times. The point is to compare the federal budget to "kitchen table" economics.
Of course, that would be completely meaningless, short-sighted and foolhardy. The estimated budget deficit for 2011 is $1.64 trillion. That's not the national debt, folks. That is the amount that spending exceeds revenue just for one single year. Government spending increased dramatically from $2.98 trillion in 2008 to an estimated $3.82 trillion in 2011, according to the official White House web site.
What that means is this: If we sold every last ounce of gold in our reserves, the federal budget deficit for 2011 alone would be $1.2 trillion. Liquidating our gold would eliminate only 1/4 of the budget deficit and would have absolutely no effect from 2012 and beyond. A silly suggestion like this should not be taken seriously. We are on a path that everyone knows is unsustainable, and we have no other choice but to drastically reduce government spending.
The arguments from Democrats on the deficit represent shifting goalposts. First, they argue that we must increase taxes in order to close the budget shortfall. When conservatives point out (correctly) that spending is the problem, Democrats complain we cannot reduce spending because that would hurt the economy. Hello? Increasing taxes would hurt the economy too - something Barack Obama himself admitted last December when he decided not to raise taxes.
If we are going to get a long-term handle on the deficit, we need to deal with entitlements, which represent a huge portion of government spending. But fear mongering by Leftists makes a rational discussion more difficult. A couple months ago, a Leftist group released a video with a man shoving a terrified elderly woman off a cliff. This supposedly represented what Republicans wanted to do to seniors.
In response, a conservative group released a parody of that ad, pointing out that unless we solve the budget crisis, we will condemn future generations to crushing tax and debt burdens that will strangle both the economy and personal wealth. Whether the image of tossing a child off a cliff is appropriate or not, this is something that must be solved and it is incredibly irresponsible of politicians to keep handing out the cash with no effort to balance the budget.
President Barack Obama is toast in 2012:
|Registered voters by a significant margin now say they are more likely to vote for the "Republican Party's candidate for president" than for President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, 47% to 39%. Preferences had been fairly evenly divided this year in this test of Obama's re-election prospects.|
This is bad news for the President. The fact that the incumbent President is polling at only 39% less than 15 months from the election against a generic opponent demonstrates just how weak he is. Thirty-nine percent is basically the Democratic base, with a plurality looking to vote for "anyone but Obama."
I said last December that Obama-mania was never real. Obama won the White House on nebulous promises of hope and change, against a weak Republican candidate who was despised by the Republican base. But two and a half years later, Obama has a record. We have seen the budget deficit explode thanks to Obama's reckless spending and we have seen the economy mired in a terrible slump.
This poll is especially noteworthy because none of the Republican candidates has managed to light a fire under the Republican base. Combine this with the total rejection of the Democratic Party in the 2010 election, and 2012 is looking very good for the eventual Republican nominee.
Printed in the Herald-Times, July 19, 2011
To the editor:
I was shocked that the Herald-Times advocated for one-party rule in Monroe County after the Republican ex-chairman missed the deadline to place two more Republicans on the ballot.
City elections and county elections are very different. The GOP's failure to field candidates this year should be balanced against the 2010 elections. Republicans filled most of the ballot, and the only real failure was not having a candidate in County Council District 1. It is no surprise that no one wanted to challenge sitting judges or the always-dominant Judy Sharp.
Republicans dominated Richland and Van Buren township elections, won back a seat on the Monroe County Council and won back the Recorder's office. The most Republican areas of Monroe County have now joined the rest of the county in the new Ninth District.
The Herald-Times' call for one-party rule with policy differences decided by factions of the Democratic Party is without merit. Even with intra-party disagreements, there are enough differences between the two parties that a dissenting voice needs to exist.
Finally, conflict between the parties during the general election generates interest in local news. The Herald-Times is disregarding its own economic interest in the pursuit of a partisan pipe dream.
I joined Google Plus yesterday. Here are my thoughts on Google's attempt to compete with Twitter and Facebook on a social networking platform.
On Facebook, you only have a connection to someone else if a "friend" request is both sent and approved. On Google Plus, you follow and are followed by other profiles without approval. You could technically follow many more profiles than follow you, or vice versa. In this way, it is much more like Twitter than Facebook. Right now, Google Plus is not nearly as robust as Facebook with its many applications, games and so forth. I expect that will change quickly.
Here is an annoyance. All of your Google products are linked to your Google Plus profile. This means my "album" of pictures posted to this blog is linked on my profile. If the album is not public, then pictures do not load on the blog. This is not a big deal, since all of the pictures in the album were posted to this blog anyway, but it would be nice to have the option to not link to it. Furthermore, the collection of pictures looks strange without the blog posts to provide context.
I have not found a way to feed my blog posts into Google Plus, like you can with Twitter and Facebook. That doesn't mean the feature is not there, of course, just that I have not found it yet. Right now, when I post on this blog, both my Twitter feed and the Facebook fan page for ConservaTibbs are automatically updated. I expect Google will add that feature soon if it doesn't exist already.
Unless there is an option to add a feed to Google Plus, I don't expect my profile will be updated often or will contain much more than the bare minimum it does now. I have more than enough to do without adding something else.
I've been using Microsoft Office 2010 for a few months, and here are some thoughts.
First, Microsoft fixed the bug in 2007 that made it nearly impossible to distinguish between highlighted cells and non-highlighted cells in Excel, so that is a huge improvement.
Another bug, however, has not been fixed. You still have to change the preferences in two different places to get Word and Outlook to not change straight quotes into "smart" quotes. This is simply bad design, and unlike last time (when Office went through a major facelift with the ribbons) there is simply no excuse not to fix it.
Microsoft has fully changed Outlook to use the ribbons, whereas the last version of Outlook was a hybrid between the ribbons and the old file menus from previous versions. The biggest annoyance is that Outlook is now much slower than before in both sending and receiving messages. This needs to change.
But those are far from the biggest annoyances. When you copy-paste text into Excel, the program will not unwrap the pasted text. It simply ignores clicking the "wrap text" button at the top to undo it, and it ignores unchecking the "wrap text" option in the "format cells" menu. This is really annoying, but it can be fixed by setting the row height.
But there is no reason this should be the case. The program should never ignore the "wrap text" button in the ribbon. How about just not forcing the text to wrap in the first place? There is a "wrap text" button I can easily click if I choose to wrap text. Excel should not force me to change it, and it certainly should not ignore me when I try to fix it.
This is not Microsoft's first trip around the block. How many versions of Office have they released now? You would think they would know what they are doing by now. You should never have features in the previous version of Office suddenly refuse to work once you upgrade to the new software. But that is not surprising from this company, because every single release of Internet Explorer has been worse than the one before since IE7 was released.
Microsoft needs to do better with the next release.
On July 1, Princess Diana would have been 50 years old. She was a feature in tabloids worldwide during her short life, which was cut off violently when she was murdered by paparazzi at 37 years old.
Wow. That's an intense statement and condemnation. Am I a wacko conspiracy theorist?
No. I am making a moral judgment based on the established facts of the case. Diana had been stalked for years by the vicious and creepy paparazzi. The night of her death was no different - she was being stalked by these vultures in an attempt to gets some pictures to sell to the tabloids. Princess Diana was murdered for money.
Diana and her entourage attempted to get away from the paparazzi, but the vultures pursued. They knew she was trying to get away, but engaged in a high speed chase on the streets of Paris, France. The high-speed chase led to the crash that killed Diana, her boyfriend and their driver.
But murder is a strong word, isn't it? No, it is not. It was obvious that Diana was trying to get away. The paparazzi intentionally created a dangerous situation by pursuing at a high rate of speed through the streets of a major city. The paparazzi recklessly created a highly dangerous situation for the purpose of scoring a few pictures they could sell for cash. They knew this high speed chase was potentially deadly, and they didn't care. Three people made in the image of God were sacrificed that night to the pagan god Mammon.
It is ironic that the 50th anniversary of Diana's birth would coincide with a major scandal in the British paparazzi. The sick bastards at the News Of The World tabloid hacked into the cell phone of a 13-year-old murder victim to spill some gossip to the public in hopes of selling a few more papers and get a little more money. It is a blessing from God that this damnable paper is finally gone, something that should have happened many years ago.
The paparazzi murdered Princess Diana just as if they had been playing Russian Roulette, yet they have never been held accountable for their crimes. That is sick.
Last week, the Herald-Times suggested it was "time to lay the local Republican Party to rest in Monroe County," so that the public could focus on "the various factions and philosophical differences" in the Monroe County Democratic Party and allow those factions a better chance to argue their positions.
It was a shocking call for one-party rule, even for a newspaper that has been known for biased coverage against Republicans. The reasoning behind this was that the GOP is in disarray, but as I pointed out last week the Republican Party is still viable despite a few bad years. The H-T jumped the gun in declaring the GOP is "dead."
But what is amazing is that a mainstream "newspaper" would actually editorialize for abolishing one of the two major political parties in the county, so that all of the debate would take place within the Democratic Party. It is true that there are disagreements within any political party. After all, "business Democrats" and "green Democrats" had very public fights a decade ago, contributing to Republican victories. But there are still enough differences between the two parties that a dissenting voice needs to exist.
What is more amazing, even with the Herald-Times' complete ignorance of local political history over the last decade, is that the editorial board would call for the end of the Republican Party when the incumbent Congressman for the Ninth District lives in Bloomington. Republicans dominated the Richland and Van Buren township elections in 2010 - the most Republican areas of Monroe County that have now joined the rest of the county in the Ninth District.
Just from a business standpoint, it is shocking that the "newspaper" would call for one-party rule, because conflict during election season generates interest in local news. It is telling that the H-T places partisanship even above their own economic interest in selling more newspapers and website subscriptions.
It is critical that there be two viable political parties in Monroe County. If for no other reason than partisan gain, the parties will keep tabs on what the other is doing in the offices they hold, and more information and vigorous public debate is always good for the public. It is incredibly short-sighted for the "newspaper" to advocate otherwise.
The Evansville Courier had an interesting article on smoking: Despite the fact that the city's smoking ban allows smoking in bars and taverns, many of those establishments are banning smoking voluntarily. Why? Because 72% of Vanderburgh County residents are nonsmokers.
See, this is how the market should work. A business makes a decision to please the majority of customers and therefore increase the number of people who will patronize his business. This voluntary change in policy may annoy some, but will please a larger number. Therefore, the majority gets what it wants: Less smoking in public, less secondhand smoke and, hopefully, less smoking overall.
Proponents of a nanny state don't agree. They want to force businesses to ban the use of a legal product on private property. Instead of allowing consenting adults to make their own choices, the nanny state forces its own preferences on everyone through the force of law.
But the reality is that as the dangers of smoking have become more well-known and as smoking became less socially acceptable in the culture, smoking rates have dropped dramatically. In the mid-1960's, over 50% of men smoked. Today, less than 25% of men smoke. Smoking rates for women (who have always smoked less than men) have seen a similar decline over the last 40 years.
There is no doubt that government policy, from steadily-increasing taxes on cigarettes to regulations on where and when people can smoke, has had an impact. But there is no doubt that tens of millions of people have simply decided not to smoke any more, while tens of millions more have decided never to start at all. The culture is already moving in the right direction. We do not need more bans on smoking and restrictions on private property rights.
Ultimately, this comes down to the role of government and how we want to live with our neighbors. Do we want to persuade them to follow our line of thinking, or do we want to force them to do as we say? With the rise of the Tea Party movement, hopefully we will see a lot more of the former and a lot less of the latter. But we see every year there are legislators who want to micromanage our lives. Those people must be stopped.
Florida governor Rick Scott signed a law mandating drug tests for welfare recipients this week, with the ACLU fighting it and arguing that it is unconstitutional. Governor Scott signed a similar executive order earlier this year mandating that state employees be drug tested. The Los Angeles Times reported in March that this "would require testing of each employee 'at least quarterly'."
It it fairly common for employers to screen applicants for illegal drugs. I've worked for a couple companies that have required that I submit to a test for drugs as a condition of employment. It is reasonable for employers to want to make sure that potential employees are drug-free, and someone who does not want to submit to such a test can always seek employment elsewhere.
But is it really necessary to test state employees four times a year? Are state employees really that untrustworthy? If there is reason to believe that a state employee may be using drugs, a drug test is reasonable, as are drug tests for people operating heavy machinery or working in other high-risk jobs. But, again, four times every year? Legality aside, that is excessive and not in the spirit of limited government that Republicans are supposed to support.
Drug testing welfare recipients, like drug testing state employees, is reasonable. As a condition of getting something of value from the state, people must trade something else. If they choose not to submit to drug testing, they can forgo the benefits they are seeking. No one is forced to take a drug test. It is actually compassionate to hold people accountable as a condition of receiving benefits, because it helps them avoid self-destructive behavior.
Now, I am a long-time critic of the war on drugs and I have become increasingly alarmed by the use of paramilitary SWAT teams in drug raids. Look up the story of Kathryn Johnston in Atlanta, a 92-year-old woman who was mowed down in her own home by a SWAT team looking for drugs. I am worried that we are giving up far too much liberty in our efforts to fight not only drugs, but crime in general.
That said, I do not see drug testing for state employees or welfare recipients as a terrible thing, provided the tests are not so frequent as to be overly intrusive. A prospective state employee or someone looking for government assistance can choose not to submit to the test by not applying for employment with or benefits from the state. It is a voluntary trade off that is part of an agreement between consenting adults.
Ann Coulter wrote a provocative column last week, using the Casey Anthony mess as a jumping off point to address the destructive impact of illegitimacy on society. Her editorial should provoke thoughtful discussion about this issue.
There is one point where I disagree with her presentation, and that is the laser-like focus on single mothers rather than fathers. We must not ignore the destruction left by absent fathers, especially morally depraved men who impregnate multiple women and then do nothing to support the children they have created. Our society has become so debased that there is actually a movement ("Choice for Men") to give men the legal right to abandon their children, using abortion rights as an excuse.
Letting immoral men off the hook and directing scorn only at single mothers only deals with half the problem, especially when it is men who almost always initiate and pressure their girlfriends into sex. Many single mothers at least make an effort to rear their children properly, while the fathers vanish into thin air.
But the statistics are clear: Children reared by single mothers are much more likely to be involved in crime, abuse drugs and alcohol, or engage in any number of behaviors destructive to society. Children reared by single mothers are also much more likely to produce illegitimate children themselves, perpetuating this destructive cycle into the next generation. While there are exceptions, this is a general truth and we should not hide from this reality.
There was a time when being born out of wedlock was a shame, and "bastard" was one of the worst things you could call someone. There was a point in my lifetime when having sex outside of marriage itself was considered immoral by a majority in our society, and I am only 37 years old. Within my lifetime, a man who got a woman pregnant was expected by society to marry and care for her and their child. That's simply not the case any more.
Part of the blame goes to government, which has implemented programs that have placed the state as the father of the home, allowing morally depraved men to abandon their responsibilities. The liberal cultural elite has derided marriage for decades and claimed that alternative lifestyle choices are just as valid, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.
But the real failure here is that the church of Jesus Christ has completely failed to uphold Biblical sexual morality as the standard, with all other expressions of sexuality labeled as deviant. Children need to grow up in the rich black soil of a mother and a father, not with one or the other. The church has failed to discipline its own members for sexual sin, has failed to preach on Biblical sexual standards and has failed to warn even its own members about how God's gift of sex can be incredibly destructive when misused.
The solution is obvious. It needs to be very clear - starting with the church - that the only appropriate avenue for sexual expression is within a lifelong, monogamous marriage between one man and one woman. We need to reemphasize what two thousand years of church history has recognized, that out of wedlock births are a shameful thing. The church needs to lead, but where are the shepherds with the courage and integrity to proclaim the truth?
The Bloomington Herald-Times editorial board revealed their true colors again, calling for the end of the Monroe County Republican Party after incompetent GOP chairman Les Compton failed to file the paperwork on time to put the candidates the GOP had selected in a caucus one week earlier on the ballot.
This is simply inexcusable, and there is no doubt that the Monroe County GOP is in shambles. This is a deadline the GOP should have known about months in advance. The chairman had all day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week to meet the deadline, plus half the day on Tuesday. This is an unmitigated disaster.
The voters of Bloomington deserve better than this. The candidates deserve better than this - especially David White, who already had T-shirts printed at the 4th of July parade and who already launched a campaign website.
But does this mean the Monroe County GOP is dead, and should be abolished? No. That is just silly.
Just last year, the GOP picked up a seat on the county council, going from a 6 to 1 Democratic majority to a 5 to 2 Democratic majority. Republican margins across the board were better than in 2006 (the last election when we actually had a viable Republican Party organization in Monroe County) and 2008. Jim Fielder won the Recorder's office (taking it away from the Democrats) and Republicans were very close to winning the county clerk's race. Republicans are rebuilding.
Despite some counter-factual whining from the GOP chairman last summer, The GOP filled the majority of the spots on the ballot with a few exceptions.
The Republicans did not find anyone to run against incumbent Democratic judges, but that is understandable because it's nearly impossible to defeat a sitting judge. No Republican challenged Judy Sharp for county assessor, but she has so dominated her races for the last 20 years I cannot be surprised by that.
The only glaring omission from the 2010 ballot was the GOP's failure to field a candidate in county council district 1, because The GOP could have defeated Vic Kelson.
But the GOP contested the majority of the ballot. Republicans even ran a candidate in 4th county council district, which was drawn (by Republicans) to pack in the most Democratic areas of Monroe County. Republicans had a candidate in the heavily gerrymandered 61st state representative district for only the second time since 1998. Republicans had a candidate in state representative district 60 for the first time since 2004.
Let's not forget that it was only nine years ago that the Republicans picked up 2 seats on the county council for a 5-2 majority and unseated an incumbent county commissioner for a 2-1 majority. The Republican candidate for secretary of state won Monroe County despite the fact that the Democratic candidate was the Mayor of Bloomington. With a viable organization, Republicans can win.
So what is the deal in 2011? Why is the Republican Party AWOL from the election? In 2007 and 2011, Republicans did have a very difficult time finding candidates to run for office - in Bloomington city elections. (Of course, the GOP filled the ballot in 2003 and were a couple hundred votes away from winning control of the city council in 1999.) County elections are another matter entirely.
Now, because of one person's incompetence we should just abolish the Republican Party? That is either a hysterical drama queen reaction or it is an absurd fantasy - most likely the latter. Les Compton cannot leave as chairman quickly enough, and the Republican Party needs an active, loyal chairman who will work tirelessly - starting right now - to recruit for 2012 and 2014.
As I have observed the NBA labor dispute, I find myself having very little sympathy for the owners.
It is true that employers can only pay employees a salary that represents their market value. Owners claim they are losing money, and players cannot expect their share of revenue (net or gross) to be at a level where the teams are losing money. These teams need to make a profit.
But the kicker for me is that no one is forcing the teams to sign these deals. The Atlanta Hawks are losing money, for example, but no one forced Atlanta to pay a player $16.3 million for the 2010-2011 season when that player averages 18 points, 4 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. We're not talking about LeBron James here. My gut reaction to owners complaining that they cannot afford player salaries is "Do not sign deals you cannot afford."
For example, a guest on ESPN's NBA Today podcast said that one thing under consideration is eliminating sign and trade deals, because those deals add cost over time. Again, do these teams not know this will happen? Do these teams not know that trading a player making $15 million a year and one year left on his contract for another player with a similar salary but a much longer deal will lock in that cost for a longer time? Why eliminate a way for teams to improve because some owners are unable to plan for the future?
I understand the need for a salary cap, in order to keep the league competitive. It would become very boring if the only teams that contend for a championship every year are in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston while cities like Indianapolis and Sacramento have little chance of breaking through because they cannot compete against the teams with the most money. But that is very different from protecting teams from their own stupidity.
The NBA needs to be very careful with this situation. They could lose a large number of fans if the season is shortened by a lockout. If an entire season is lost, it will be even worse. It could take years to rebuild the fan base if fans become frustrated and stop following the league, especially with so many things competing for our entertainment dollars. It's going to be very interesting to see how this turns out.
In the ancient land of Caanan, a particularly wicked practice of the pagans was human sacrifice. They would take their infants and place them into a burning altar, sacrificing them to the "god" Molech. This practice is so horrifically evil that it did not even enter into the mind of God that people would do such a thing. (See Jeremiah 32:35.)
This practice was later adopted by some of the wicked kings of Israel and Judah, including Ahaz (2 Kings 16:1-3) and Manasseh (2 Kings 21:1-6.) This provoked the Lord to anger, and when Josiah became king of Judah (see 2 Kings 23:8-10) he destroyed the altars so that the infant sacrifice would stop.
We look back on this with shock that anyone would do such a thing. How can you watch your baby burn alive in some sort of ritual to some sort of evil god? We are so much more moral in America today, having abandoned the evil practices of the past. We are, by many accounts, the most Christian nation on earth. We are the beacon of liberty to the rest of the world. We sacrifice American treasure (and even American lives) on humanitarian missions.
But this "Christian" nation has seen 50 million children slaughtered in our "medical" clinics - children sacrificed to the gods of humanism and self determination. America's death toll is five times that of Nazi Germany.
As evil as Molech worship was, that evil was out in the open. In America, we hide our child sacrifice behind euphemisms like "reproductive choice" and describe the murder of unborn children as a "legal medical procedure" as if we were cutting out a tumor or donating a kidney. We hide behind lies and hypocrisy while our streets run red with the blood of our children. We drive by the abortion mill with no thought of the abominations that go on inside.
We make excuses for baby killers by saying that Planned Parenthood does many "good things" - as if that can wash away the blood spilled right here in Bloomington, Indiana every Thursday. We praise Planned Parenthood for screening for AIDS and cancer with one hand while they rip unborn children limb from limb with the other hand.
Today is the Fourth of July. Today, we celebrate our secession from the British Empire. But while America has done much good for the world, I am amazed that God has been so incredibly kind and generous toward our nation while we murder babies made in the image of God an average of 3,200 times every single day. As Americans, we need to repent of this terrible evil and ask God to forgive us for what we have done.
On the June 19 edition of "This Week" on ABC, John McCain whined about "isolationism" within the Republican Party, especially given objections to President Obama's military action in Libya.
First, we need to define the terms. Merriam-Webster defines isolationism as "a policy of national isolation by abstention from alliances and other international political and economic relations." Is opposition to the attack on Libya isolationist or non-interventionist?
There is a difference between being an isolationist and a non-interventionist, and McCain is more than a little dishonest to pretend the two are equal. I recognize the need for America to be engaged in the world, especially economically. I am a strong proponent of international trade. But, while I am not a pacifist, I believe military action should always be the last resort, and then only to protect national security interests. The attack on Libya fails that test.
On the national security angle, McCain said Muammar Gaddafi has American blood on his hands. This is true, and this is why Ronald Reagan bombed Libya in the 1980's. (Tragically, we failed to end Gaddafi's life.) But Libya has been contained for two decades, and the relationship between the US and Libya has improved. In 2004, the Bush administration lifted economic sanctions and restored diplomatic relations with Libya. So after two decades, why are we going back now? What makes Gaddafi a threat now, when he was not a threat just seven years ago?
Bringing up our hostilities with Libya in the mid-1980's is a shamefully dishonest attempt to distract from the real reason we are there - to prevent Gaddafi from going after his own people. If we are going to have a legitimate debate about military intervention in Libya, let's at least discuss the real reasons for it.
It is also important to uphold the rule of law. The Constitution is clear that Congress declares war, not the President, and Congress tried to take some of its Constitutionally-mandated authority back with the War Powers Act. President Barack Obama has simply ignored his legal obligations under the WPA, dishonestly claiming that our military action against Libya does not constitute "hostilities." I am surprised he can say that with a straight face.
The Hypocrite-In-Chief has also abandoned his own position. Obama said four years ago that "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." Pretending that this "kinetic action" does not constitute a military attack does not erase the facts, not does it free Obama from his legal responsibilities.
If we are going to intervene, why not intervene militarily in Sudan, where genocide has been taking place for years? Why not intervene in Syria to stop the abuses of that government? For that matter, why not act militarily against China, which is well known for human rights abuses against its own people?
We simply cannot be the world's police force, nor should we be. This does not mean that we should not use other means at our disposal to pressure governments on human rights. From diplomacy to sanctions, we can advocate for human rights around the world as well as provide a good example for others to follow. But military intervention often breeds resentment, even when done on humanitarian grounds. It should be reserved for self-defense only.