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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No good reason to challenge Dan Burton

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:30 AM (#)

The Republican establishment is continuing its misguided efforts to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Burton, and that is unfortunate. There is no good reason to take Burton out of Congress.

I am not opposed to challenging incumbent Republicans in the primary. I have supported and will continue to support primary challenges to incumbents. I have even voted Libertarian when a RINO is on the general election ballot. But if you are going to challenge an incumbent of your own party, you need to have a good reason for doing so. "I want to be a Congressman" is not a good enough reason and in an ideal world should you to be defeated in the primary.

Burton has a 97% rating from the American Conservative Union, a 94% rating from the Club for Growth and a 98% rating from the National Right to Life Committee. Burton also has a 100% rating from the American Family Association, the Family Research Council and the Christian Coalition. Burton got an A rating from the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America.

So why are so many establishment Republicans trying to take Burton out of Congress?

Perhaps establishment Republicans want a Gray Poupon candidate who won't embarrass them at the country club. I'm convinced that at least some of the opposition to Burton comes from elitists who think he's too brash or aggressive - the same reason many establishment Republicans despise Sarah Palin. That's not a good enough reason to remove a public servant like Burton, who has been on the front lines for conservative principles his entire career.

There has been a lot of heat on the Tea Party movement for challenging longtime establishment Republicans. Why is so little said about the Republican establishment's repeated efforts to get rid of Dan Burton, who has been a reliable conservative vote and loyal Republican for decades?

Eventually, Burton is going to retire, and there will be plenty of opportunity for another Republican to grab the brass ring. Burton should have earned enough loyalty by now to leave him where he is.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Video games are not real, Part 2

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:20 AM (#)

In March of 2009, I pointed out that video games are not real. Now, for most people, this is an obvious truth. To the fools at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, it is not obvious. You see, the fools at PETA are really, really stupid. That's why they are whining and crying about the "Tanooki Suit" in the new Super Mario game for the Nintendo 3DS. (See articles here, here and here about this stupid non-controversy.)

Of course, the Tanooki suit isn't the only "skin" Mario has worn. The Tanooki suit was introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3, where Mario also wore a frog suit and a Hammer Brothers suit - each of which granted special powers. Mario also wore a turtle shell in the New Super Mario Bros. game for the DS.

This is to say nothing of the scores of animals that Mario "kills" in his adventures. Turtles, moles, fish, beetles, squids, crabs, bats and caterpillars are just a few of the types of enemies Mario has "killed" through his dozens of adventures on multiple game consoles and hand-held systems. So why not cry about all of these other things?

Better yet, why cry about Mario's Tanooki suit at all? PETA does stand for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, right? Why are they worried about pixels and polygons, when not one single animal is actually harmed?

The answer is actually very simple. PETA cares much more about drawing attention to itsELF than actually advocating for animals. There is so little difference between PETA and the Westboro Baptist "Church" that Ingrid Newkirk and Fred Phelps might as well be the same person.

Here is what is unfortunate. PETA actually raises some good points about fur. In western society, there is no need to wear real fur. The animals killed are for a luxury item, and in many cases the animals are killed in extremely inhumane and painful ways. Legitimate efforts to improve the treatment of those animals and educate the public are lost behind PETA's attention-grabbing "LOOK AT ME" antics that make them more like the Westboro Baptist "Church" than a legitimate organization trying to improve the treatment of animals.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Remove Smith-Ille from the Election Board

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:49 PM (#)

Printed in the Herald-Times, November 25, 2011

To the Editor:

The 2011 election night vote-counting disaster was shameful. First, there is no excuse for county clerk Linda Robbins to not know the law. This does not bode well for the high-turnout 2012 election, and voters should remember this fiasco in 2014.

But it is the childish behavior of Republican Election Board appointee Judith Smith-Ille that deserves the most scorn. As a longtime Republican and a former Republican candidate for elective office, I am ashamed of her actions.

She admitted (H-T, 11/9/2011) that she knew months in advance about the process-breaking rules, but did not inform the clerk about it until two days in advance. This is unacceptable and reeks of sabotage.

Smith-Ille and her anonymous defenders whine that she is ignored by the Democrats on the Election Board.

Maybe they would have ignored her had she presented the facts. Then the election night disaster is completely on them. But Smith-Ille has a responsibility to the voters of Monroe County and to the Republican Party to provide the necessary information in a timely manner.

Monroe County Republican Party chairman Steve Hogan should remove Smith-Ille from the Election Board and apologize on her behalf to the voters of Monroe County.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 8:00 AM (#)

A few verses from God's holy Word for Thanksgiving:

♣ Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. -- 1 Chronicles 16:8

♣ Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. -- Psalm 18:49

♣ Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. -- Psalm 30:4

♣ Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. -- Psalm 75:1

♣ Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. -- Psalm 106:1

♣ But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. -- 1 Corinthians 15:57

♣ Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. -- 2 Corinthians 2:14

♣ Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. -- Philippians 4:6

♣ And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. -- Colossians 3:17

♣ In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. -- 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mr. Newt's personal baggage and 2012

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:30 AM (#)

Newt Gingrich has vaulted to the top of the polls, taking his place as the latest "not Romney" candidate with the Republican base. Whether he stays there and can win the nomination remains to be seen, but it is remarkable how he has recovered from his campaign collapsing earlier this year. Gingrich has a long history in politics, and one question that has dogged him is his three marriages, all of which are tainted by the stain of adultery.

We all know the story. Gingrich committed adultery and divorced his first wife to be with his mistress. Then he committed adultery again and divorced his second wife to be with his next mistress. In 2009, Gingrich converted to Roman Catholicism, speaking publicly about his sin and how he repented and asked God to forgive him.

This is the story of every single person who has ever accepted Christ as his savior. We all do wicked things, and we deserve eternal damnation in Hell for it. But Jesus Christ took the punishment for our sins upon Himself so that we might escape the damnation we deserve and instead have eternal life.

  • "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." -- 1 John 1:9

  • They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. - Mark 2:17

There's no question that Gingrich has committed wicked sins. What he did cannot be excused. In terms of character and fitness to be president, the main question is this: Is Gingrich's repentance genuine? Or is he saying what he needs to say in order to minimize the effect of his adultery with evangelical Christians who make up the Republican base?

Gingrich has said a few things about what he did, some of which were off the wall, and some of which indicated genuine repentance. I don't know him personally, so it is difficult (though not impossible) to discern whether his repentance is genuine. I am willing to let him have the benefit of the doubt, which is the charitable thing to do. Absent evidence of further wickedness, his past adultery would not prevent me from voting for him a year from now.

Gingrich is certainly more qualified than Barack Obama, though that could be said about every Republican in the field. While I am supporting Texas governor Rick Perry in the Republican primaries, I would be more than happy with Gingrich as the nominee. He is a "vision" candidate with a strong record of conservatism (despite a few "off the reservation" moments) and I am confident he would defeat Obama.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shameful incompetence thwarts open government

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:00 AM (#)

It is a good thing that Planned Parenthood was not included in the $95,000 that the Monroe County Council distributed on November 9, but the shameful incompetence in advertising the meeting was unacceptable. The public deserves better.

I have been watching the county's social services funding process for the last three years, since the greedy folks at Planned Parenthood decided they "need" money from the county's social services funding program in addition to the corporate welfare they have gotten from the city every year (with one exception) since 1999.

The Monroe County Council's website advertised for several weeks that the council would be voting on the social service funding package on November 22. They actually voted on November 9. This is not acceptable and it should be illegal for the council to cast a vote on a date other than the one advertised on the county website. The public deserves better than this shameful incompetence because this is an affront to open government.

The legal requirement for advertising the meeting is that it be advertised in the newspaper. As far as I know, the meeting was technically "legally advertised" so there is not an issue with legality. (But there should be.) But once information is published on an official county website, and the wrong information is not changed for weeks, why would anyone check to make sure the posted information is not in error? Why would we not assume the posted date is correct?

The Indiana Code needs to change to match the reality of the digital age. This would include advertising meetings on the county website, and a requirement that all posted information on meeting times, dates and schedules votes be accurate. If this is not the case, the votes should be illegal.

I understand that mistakes happen. Posting the wrong date is one thing. Posting the wrong date and leaving the wrong date on the website for weeks, misleading the public and thereby depriving people of the opportunity to attend the meeting in person is unacceptable. This was a failure not only of the staff, but of each and every member of the county council for not checking the site.

A mistake is forgivable. Not correcting the mistake is not. Honestly, how difficult is it to check the website and make sure it is right, and correct the error it if not? This was a major failure. The Democrats (who have complete control over county government) need to answer for this in 2012. We'll see if the Republicans have the intelligence and/or courage to attack them on this issue in 2012. My bet is they will not.

Friday, November 18, 2011

2011 election disaster demonstrates need for reform

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:00 AM (#)

Last week, the Bloomington city election was an unmitigated disaster. For the 2012 election, we can cross our fingers and hope that it works better, and the public will need to provide oversight to ensure that this mess does not happen again. But going forward, this demonstrates that we need to fundamentally reform county government in Indiana.

What we need to do is amend the Indiana constitution to change several elected positions into appointed positions. Maybe it made sense in 1816 to have positions like coroner, clerk, auditor, treasurer, assessor, recorder elected by the voters. This does not make sense in 2011, and has not made sense for several decades. It is time to professionalize county government by having these administrative positions be appointed.

Right now, county government is divided into political fiefdoms run by multiple elected officials. City government, meanwhile, has a single elected administrator who appoints department heads. County government should be structured along the same lines as city government, with formerly elected positions appointed by the county commissioners.

This would help reduce the influence of politics and the patronage that goes along with it. City government is not immune to patronage, of course. There will always be patronage in government, especially in local government. But if administrative positions become appointed department heads, that would move it one level away from the winds of local politics, and county employees would also be a little more insulated from political tides.

We have seen the results of having administrative positions filled by electoral politics instead of hired based on merit. When a Democratic tide swept Monroe County in 2004, Sandy Newman was elected county auditor, and her tenure was such a disaster that she lost in a landslide in the 2008 Democratic primary - after several Democratic elected officials had called on her to resign a year earlier. County clerk Linda Robbins was also elected because she had a (D) next to her name, and we saw last week how that turned out.

It would not be fair to lump all of the elected administrators together. While there are bad administrators, there are elected officials all over the state who have served for decades in various administrative positions with distinction, and would be the most logical person to hire if their position flipped from elected to appointed. However, it remains true that the best way to attract the best people for a skill position is not to have the voters decide every fourth November.

There are downsides. If we are going to professionalize county government, it will probably become more expensive to hire skilled and experienced administrators. For example, the Monroe County auditor makes $53,778 per year, while the Bloomington city controller makes $75,725. If the county expects to attract a qualified professional auditor, the auditor's salary is going to have to be closer to the controller's salary. County government already struggles with how to pay for everything, so this will require some tough choices when budgets are written and passed.

The reality is we are living with a system that is several decades out of date. The people of Indiana need to know that their government works and that we have competent people in positions of authority. Elitist as this may sound, voters are not qualified to make those decisions, any more than they are qualified to decide who is hired as a plant manager at a Ford factory. This needs to be one of the biggest issues for candidates for state legislature and governor in 2012. Those candidates should be expected to take a position on reforming local government.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Republicans and Democrats in Bloomington

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:00 AM (#)

Think about this for a minute. David Sabbagh got 3,826 votes in 2007. Mark Kruzan got 3,936 in 2011.

5,860 voters turned out in 2011.

10,364 voters turned out in 2007.

With the total number of votes cast only 56.5% of what it was 4 years ago, Kruzan's 2011 total is still higher than Sabbagh's 2007 total.

That's amazing.

Herald-Times articles: 11/7/2007 & 11/12/2011.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

No reason for the condom picture on the front page

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:00 AM (#)

Note: I sent this letter to the editor last Monday.

Why did the Indiana Daily Student feel it necessary to put a large picture of a used condom on the front page of the November 4 print edition? What purpose did it serve? Was it informative to the reader? Did it help the reader understand the story? Or was the condom simply there for shock value? I think we all know the answer to that question.

The IDS is consistently seen as one of the best student newspapers in the country. The IDS often covers issues faster and more thoroughly than the main newspaper for the area, the Herald-Times. The IDS is usually more balanced than the H-T. There are a lot of professional newspapers that could learn from the IDS.

But putting a large picture of a used condom on the front page of the newspaper is an example of a bad habit at the IDS: The propensity to be offensive for no good journalistic purpose. The "F Word" was used eight times in a six month period in 2010. This is not new: the IDS published a how-to guide for anal sex on the opinion page in 1997.

This is a newspaper that is not confined to the IU campus. There are multiple newspaper boxes throughout downtown as well as stacks of newspapers distributed at stores around Bloomington. Did you think of the embarrassed parents who were asked by their children what the bright pink item on the front page of the newspaper was? This picture was not only on the front page, but prominently featured above the fold.

I've said this before, but it is worth repeating. Writers for the IDS (for the most part) are looking for a career in journalism. If a human resources manager at a newspaper sees that the person designing the front page of one of the most prominent college papers in the country placed a picture of a used condom in a prominent position on the front page, how do you think that will impact your chances of getting a job? This indicates a lack of maturity and will not help.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Utah Hospitality Association attacks the Constitution

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 5:00 AM (#)

I am a recovering teetotaler. I used to believe the heresy that drinking alcohol is sinful. (Which it isn't. Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine, and the context of John 2:9-10 makes it clear that it was alcoholic wine.) But the Utah Hospitality Association's attack on the First Amendment right to petition government for redress of grievances makes me long for the days of Prohibition for a few fleeting seconds.

At issue is a new nanny-state law passed by the Utah state legislature restricting the practices of the alcohol industry, including banning daily drink specials and limiting the number of liquor licenses not only to population, but to how many police officers are employed by the state. The UHA's objection to the law is perfectly legitimate. I have often railed against the nanny state (see here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here) and this law is just as onerous and unnecessary as the ones before it.

But the UHA's brazen attack on liberty is far worse than any of these nanny state laws. As much as I may disagree with the Mormon cult's position on alcohol, they have the same right to petition government for redress of grievances as the UHA does. That right is protected by the First Amendment and the UHA is acting in an immoral and anti-American manner by attempting to get the courts to censor the Mormons.

In addition to being immoral, the UHA is being politically stupid. People who would come to UHA's defense against the nanny state ninnies will instead oppose the UHA because of their attempt to undermine the rights protected by the Constitution. It is never smart to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by turning allies into enemies.

You cannot defend a liberty you value by killing a liberty you find inconvenient. A government that has the power to eliminate dissent certainly has the power to place even more restrictions on the alcohol industry. The UHA would be smart to back down from this lawsuit and instead advocate that all government be smaller and less powerful.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Election night 2011: An unmitigated disaster

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 6:00 AM (#)

Monroe County Republican Party chairman Steve Hogan should remove Judy Smith-Ille from the Monroe County election board, and Linda Robbins (a Democrat) should resign from her position as Monroe County Clerk. The unmitigated disaster that was the 2011 election requires that neither woman have authority over our elections.

Here is how it went down. Indiana law requires that paper ballots be hand-counted at the polling place after the election, not at the clerk's office. Robbins, who was elected in 2010, did not know the law despite having been in office for ten months.When informed that the plans for counting votes was illegal, Robbins had to scramble to retrain election workers and restructure the election process. On short notice, she failed in doing so and results for a very low-turnout election were delayed to an absurd extreme.

There is simply no excuse for this level of incompetence. Robbins should have been well-versed in the law starting in May 2010, when she won the primary and was the Democratic nominee for county clerk. As the county clerk, the buck ultimately stops with her. This is her responsibility.

But this was a bipartisan disaster. Republican election board member Smith-Ille admitted that she knew months earlier that Robbins' plan was illegal, but did not tell them until two days before the election. She said "They don't listen to me. ... I speak up all the time. It goes in one ear, out the other. I didn't want to be responsible for a Class D felony."

As I said on November 9, for Smith-Ille not to tell the clerk about these process-breaking rules until it was far too late to stop this from becoming a disaster is irresponsible and reeks of sabotage. This spiteful, petty and childish behavior is more than enough reason to remove her from the election board.

Perhaps Robbins and Democratic appointee Jan Ellis would have ignored Smith-Ille. Then the election night disaster is completely on them. But Smith-Ille has a responsibility to the voters of Monroe County and to the Republican Party to provide the necessary information in a timely manner. If the clerk will not listen, she should have gone to the newspapers (the Herald-Times and the Indiana Daily Student) along with AM 1370, WTIU, WFHB and WFIU. She could have posted in the comments on the newspaper's website.

She didn't, because her feelings were hurt. Smith-Ille knew months in advance that the election process was going off a cliff and she let it happen. She's managed to smear the entire Republican Party with her childish behavior. Robbins' role in this fiasco was the result of incompetence. Smith-Ille's role is the result of malice.

Politically, Smith-Ille's inexcusable behavior amounts to Republicans snatching defeat from the jaws of a public relations victory. Had she been diligent about her responsibility, the Republicans could have laid this at the feet of the Democratic county clerk, and this could have been an election issue not only in 2014, but also in 2012. This could have been a reason to argue against voting straight ticket simply to support Barack Obama. It still can be, but the case for it weaker now. Hogan can make the case stronger by removing Smith-Ille from the election board.

It is times like this when elected officials need to take responsibility for their mistakes like adults. That is not what Robbins did. She whined in HTO comments that "Judy Smith-Ille either failed to attend and/or did not bother to mention that we were on the wrong path."

This unacceptable buck-passing by Robbins demonstrates a lack of leadership and a lack of character. Robbins is the county clerk. There is no reason for her not to know the law. She could have walked a couple blocks and asked the county attorneys if the planned vote-counting process was legal, or she could have e-mailed them. In fact, the entire Indiana Code is online and she could have looked it up herself. Instead of taking full responsibility, she decided to point fingers like a child."Waah! Waah! No one told me it was wrong! Waah!" Grow up!

This is a very bad sign for the 2012 election. If Robbins, Ellis and Smith-Ille remain in their positions of authority (and sadly, I cannot imagine they will resign or be removed) they need to get their act together before the 2012 election. The 2011 election was a low-turnout election where the majority of seats were not even contested. How are we going to handle this in 2012? I shudder to think what a mess that will be.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A bipartisan election night disaster

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 8:10 AM (#)

Last night, the ballot-counting process for Bloomington city elections was stopped and will continue later today. Therefore, we do not have final results for the city council races and will not have results until later today.

From the Herald-Times:

Those paper ballots were digitally scanned. The law is different for hand-counting, and apparently only one person on the election board was aware of it.

"I found out months ago," Smith-Ille said Tuesday night.

Asked why she didn’t inform her fellow election board members, she said, "They don't listen to me. ... I speak up all the time. It goes in one ear, out the other. I didn't want to be responsible for a Class D felony." So she spoke up, but not until two days before the election.


Just... wow.

First, the clerk should have known about the law. There's no excuse for her not knowing and this is enough reason to throw her out of office in 2014.

However, for Judy Smith-Ille not to tell the clerk about these process-breaking rules is irresponsible and reeks of sabotage. Unacceptable. It's time for her to be removed from the election board.

The great failures of the faith

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 8:05 AM (#)

Hebrews Chapter 11 is the Bible's great chapter of faith. At a time when there were battles between those who believed new Christians had to follow the ceremonial laws and those (like the Apostle Paul) who argued that salvation is by grace through faith, the writer of Hebrews uses the heroes of the Old Testament to argue that it has always been about faith rather than works. But how heroic are these heroes of faith?

After the Flood ended, Noah immediately got drunk and was naked in his tent. Abraham passed his wife off as his sister and gave her over to the king to be his wife, leading to God intervening directly to protect Sarah. His lack of faith in God's promise led to him taking Sarah's handmaiden as a concubine. Jacob was a devious liar who cheated his brother out of his rightful inheritance. Joseph was an arrogant little brat who lorded his favored status over his brothers.

It doesn't end there. Moses murdered an Egyptian in cold blood and then had the audacity to directly contradict the call of God. King David had sex with his friend Uriah's wife and then murdered Uriah to cover it up. Samson took a wife from another nation in rebellion against God's command, which was his downfall.

There is no disputing the great things these men of faith did. But they were also deeply flawed sinners, who sometimes engaged in deplorable wickedness. They serve as both a positive and negative example.

I've always taken the fact that the Bible records the terrible failures of the heroes of faith as evidence that the Bible is true. If men were writing this of their own imaginations, why would they record the failures of the heroes of faith in such detail? I've also wondered why things turned out as they did - that the line of Christ went through Judah instead of righteous Joseph and that why the line of Christ went through David's union with Bathsheba.

What is the point? The point is that we have no righteousness of our own. Our righteousness is as filthy rags before God, because there is no one who is righteous. (Romans 3:10-12.) Every blessing we have, including our faith, is a gift from God. Without His grace, we not only will not do good, we cannot do good. As someone who constantly fails (and often fails the same way repeatedly) this is a great comfort.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

More on the Community Reinvestment Act and the housing bubble

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 7:45 AM (#)

Here's a hard-hitting, must-read article about the 2008 financial crisis.

"You're seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on the abusive practices that got us into this in the first place," (Obama) complained earlier this month.

But what if government encouraged, even invented, those "abusive practices"?

Rewind to 1994. That year, the federal government declared war on an enemy — the racist lender — who officials claimed was to blame for differences in homeownership rate, and launched what would prove the costliest social crusade in U.S. history.

At President Clinton's direction, no fewer than 10 federal agencies issued a chilling ultimatum to banks and mortgage lenders to ease credit for lower-income minorities or face investigations for lending discrimination and suffer the related adverse publicity. They also were threatened with denial of access to the all-important secondary mortgage market and stiff fines, along with other penalties.

Source: Investor's Business Daily.

See previous articles from October 25, 2010 and December 18, 2010

Monday, November 7, 2011

Argumentation by anecdote is fundamentally flawed

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

This was submitted to the Washington Post on 10/29/2011

To the Editor:

Jessica Valenti's piece on October 28 is powerful, but not entirely convincing. This is because argumentation by anecdote is fundamentally flawed.

Our postmodern society loves to sacrifice the normal on the altar of the abnormal, but the reality is that abortion is almost never necessary to save the life of the mother. This is why abortion-rights advocates try to dishonestly cloud the issue with the "health" exception – a loophole so large it can justify virtually any abortion.

Furthermore, bringing up pregnancies caused by rape is a typical "gotcha" tactic that is meant to stir emotions rather than logic. Planned Parenthood's own research firm, the Guttmacher Institute, reports that one percent of all abortions take place after a rape.

It is refreshing, however, to see abortion-rights advocates finally admitting that chemical birth control can act as abortifacient. Planned Parenthood and others have danced around that fact for years, and PP has repeatedly scrubbed it from several websites for both national and state affiliates. Now, with the Mississippi personhood amendment, they're not hiding it anymore.

We should ensure that a mother's health is protected, those crafting legislation should carefully consider that. But abortion is a terribly evil that must be eradicated.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The GOP establishment on abortion: They just don't get it.

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

The Republican establishment just doesn't get it on the issue of abortion. This editorial by David Frum (who served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush and a senior foreign policy adviser to Rudy Giuliani's failed campaign for President) puts that fact in boldface.

Frum compares abortion to the political wars on alcohol, which became shooting wars between organized crime syndicates when the Prohibitionists got their way and got it banned. But with this comparison, he demonstrates why he does not understand why the pro-life movement is not going anywhere and why we are motivated to end it.

In and of itself, alcohol is harmless. After all, Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine. (The context of John 2:10 makes it clear that this was alcoholic wine.) The problem that comes with alcohol is when people abuse it. The economic, personal, family and societal consequences of alcohol abuse are well documented.

But while alcohol itself is harmless, abortion is never harmless. Abortion is the willful, intentional killing of a human being. Over fifty million children have been legally killed in America's abortion clinics since 1973. We oppose abortion for the same reason we oppose killing babies after they are born.

The political battles over abortion simply are not going to go away, because those of us who recognize the reality of abortion are not going to stop making it an issue. Abortion is an affront to human dignity and a severe violation of human rights. Drinking alcohol is neither of those things.

A more accurate historical comparison is not to Prohibition, but to slavery. Like abortion, slavery divided the political parties and was the subject of intense and fierce political debates. The abolitionists did not stop fighting slavery until it was eliminated, because they recognized we cannot be a free nation while one man is allowed to own another as property. Similarly, we cannot truly be free when it is legal to kill people for convenience.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cute video of the day

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 6:30 AM (#)

Hat Tip: Etiquette Hell

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Alveda King: abortion is a civil rights issue

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

"I have a dream. It's in my genes." That's how Dr. Alveda King opened her October 25 speech in Bloomington carrying on her uncle's legacy of fighting for civil rights. While we've made progress against racial discrimination, unborn babies have no legal rights in America. King quoted her uncle, Martin Luther King Jr., when she said "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" - a reason to oppose the injustice of abortion.

"We who fight for life are the abolitionists of the 21st Century," she said.

King had two abortions before becoming pro-life. Before telling her story, she answered a common question about whether it is appropriate to talk about such things in public: "I like to tell the truth and shame the Devil." She said her goal is to spread the standard of the lord and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

King's story nearly ended before it started. Her mother got pregnant in high school and realized it when she was in college. The Birth Control League was handing out pamphlets on campus to "help" women with unintended pregnancies. They claimed that what was growing inside King's mother was just a lump of flesh. She went to her pastor, Martin Luther King Senior. His response was that abortion was wrong: "No, that's not a lump of flesh, that's my granddaughter." That would be repeated later as a turning point in Alveda King's life.

King's first abortion was what she called an "involuntary D&C" in her doctor's office. When he realized she was pregnant, he said he would "help" her. Without telling her what he was doing, the "doctor" performed a painful surgical procedure. What he was doing was murdering her baby without her knowledge or consent. This is not uncommon, King said to the packed Whittenberger Auditorium.

King said that the abortion rights struggle is the same struggle as the fight against slavery and the civil rights movement. Dred Scott was told he was only ⅗ of a person. "A little baby in the womb is told, you're not a person. We can't see you," King said. "Who is going to stand up for that little baby?"

In the mid 1970's, King was pregnant again after her birth control failed. Her husband urged her not to get an abortion, and she went to her pastor again. Martin Luther King Sr. gave her the same advice he gave to her mother decades earlier. "They're lying to you. That's not a lump of flesh, that's my great grandchild."

It was at that point her views on abortion began to evolve. At first, she decided she "wouldn't abort a baby again, but I can't tell anybody else not to do it." Then, she became pro-life and began to actively work to oppose abortion. While a woman has the right to choose what she does with her body, King said, "The baby is not her body."

Addressing the subsidies that both city and county government give to Planned Parenthood each year, King said that people in Monroe County need to elect different people. "We talk about separation of church and state. Well, the church is going to separate you from the state," she said.

More on Dr. Alveda King:

Alveda King's website: http://www.KingForAmerica.com

Alveda King on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dralvedaking

Alveda King on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AlvedaKing

Previous Editorials:

Barack Obama's missed opportunity on civil rights -- February 2, 2011

Abortion, racism and civil rights -- February 18, 2010

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mourdock picks up a major endorsement

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

Richard Mourdock picked up a big endorsement when FreedomWorks For America announced that they would endorse him over incumbent Senator Richard Lugar. Here is a good post about the endorsement from FWFA and a devastating list of all of Lugar's anti-conservative votes going back to 1977.

With FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Express backing Mourdock, the momentum to replace Lugar is growing. Republicans are growing increasingly tired of Lugar's voting record, from voting for the assault weapons ban (which has since expired) and the Brady Law to confirming both of Barack Obama's nominees to the Supreme Court.

It is that aspect of Lugar's record that deserves more examination. Some people (including some conservatives) would argue that the President should be able to choose who he wants, absent incompetence or corruption. For posts within the administration, that is a good policy. After all, when Obama leaves the White House, his cabinet will also leave. The Senate should have oversight, but should defer to the President's judgment and electoral mandate.

Lifetime judicial appointments - especially to the Supreme Court - are another matter entirely. Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan will continue to serve on SCOTUS for decades after Obama leaves office, and their warped "interpretations" of the Constitution will continue to do great harm. We have seen how Ruth Bader Ginsburg has worked against liberty for the last 18 years, and how her votes (especially on campaign finance "reform") have been in direct conflict with the literal, word-for-word text of the First Amendment.

It is the duty of the U.S. Senate to ensure that we are not appointing judges who substitute their own political agenda for the law. While it is true that elections have consequences, the President is not the only elected official in Washington. Elections for U.S. Senators should also have consequences, and one of those consequences should be stopping extreme-Left nominees. That is why this is arguably Lugar's worst transgression against conservatism.