The election of Barack Obama was supposed to mark a major step forward in race relations, but Rush Limbaugh was right when he predicted it would do no such thing. It has made things worse, and that should be no surprise.
Enter the latest hand-wringing about racism and the "racist backlash" against the election of Barack Obama, courtesy of the New York Times. Racism is worse than ever, Leftists would have us believe.
Well, race baiting is worse than ever, that's for sure - and this could have easily been predicted. For five years, we have heard the constant drumbeat of claims that opposition to Obama's policies are due to the fact that conservatives cannot stand the fact that a black man is in the White House. It's all nonsense.
Does anyone really believe that if Hillary Clinton or John Edwards had been elected President in 2008 and proposed legislation identical to the "Affordable Care Act" that Republicans would not have opposed ClintonCare or EdwardsCare just as aggressively as they opposed ObamaCare?
Far from being an answer to racism or an improvement to race relations, Obama's election has made things worse because Obama's race has been used as a cudgel against any criticisms of Obama. If you disagree with Obama, it cannot be because you have legitimate philosophical objections to Obama's policies. No, it is because you are racist.
If Obama was serious about improving race relations and opposing racism, he could put a stop to this by denouncing the shameless race-baiting that happens within his own party. He would tell his supporters privately to cut it out and admonish them publicly when they do not. The fact that he does not illustrates that he supports such irresponsible tactics, and that is just as guilty of race-baiting as his worst supporters.
If anything, all this hand-wringing about "racism" and all of the shameless race baiting that has followed the election of Obama has enabled real racism to flourish. By overusing the accusation of racism, Obama apologists weaken the charge and enable real racists to squeak by as a weary public starts ignoring the accusations. This does not help anyone, and Obama is more to blame for this situation than anyone.
When former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, it was something that I believe he richly deserved. Despite my philosophical differences with Lugar, his accomplishments as a senator - especially in the area of foreign policy - are worthy of praise and adoration. It's too bad that the Herald-Times could not honor Lugar without being childish and petty.
The H-T editorial board whined that Lugar was well respected by both Republicans and Democrats, "with the exception of the tea party wing of his own party who beat him in a primary election." It was not only petty, it is not true. Many of the people who worked against Lugar in that primary - including the candidate who defeated him - have a great deal of respect for his accomplishments.
Couldn't the Herald-Times use the space they used to whine about Lugar's 2012 loss to tout Lugar's efforts on nuclear nonproliferation? Even more importantly, Lugar's efforts to secure the nuclear weapons of the former Soviet Union were a huge benefit to world security and likely kept those weapons out of the hands of terrorists. They just could not do that, and that speaks volumes about the maturity of the H-T editorial board.
The fact of the matter is that Lugar lost an election. The voters of Indiana chose Lugar's opponent by a margin of 400,321 to 261,285 - an astonishingly firm rejection of an incumbent Senator who had been in office since 1977. There had been an undercurrent of frustration with Lugar among the conservative base that preceded the Tea Party movement by fifteen years to the 1990's, when Lugar voted for the assault weapons ban and the Brady Law in addition to President Clinton's far-Left nominees for the Supreme Court.
It's long past time for Lugar supporters to get over it and move on.
The following was submitted to the Indianapolis Star as a letter to the editor.
The institution of marriage is discriminatory by its very nature. State government does not recognize polygamy, marriage between close relatives or marriages between adults and children. While we have been told that discrimination is inherently bad, that is not always the case, and those examples illustrate where discrimination is a positive thing.
The question that the legislature is considering with HJR-6 is not whether to discriminate, but to what extent state government will discriminate in how marriage is recognized by government.
Marriage was created by God. Man does not have the right to redefine what God has defined for us. Jesus reinforced His Father's plan for marriage in Matthew 19:5 when He said "for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh."
If we abandon the traditional Christian definition of marriage, what rational basis is there for not further expanding marriage?
Homosexual marriage threatens freedom of religion and association. We have already seen government punish private business owners in Colorado and New Mexico for refusing to participate in homosexual weddings. Recognizing homosexual marriage is about mandatory acceptance, not tolerance.
Political correctness is a silly philosophy, especially when it places feelings above reason, logic, facts and history. This is common on university campuses, which is precisely where it should never happen. Such is the case with the most recent complaint about swastikas in the Wildermuth Intramural Center, formerly known as the HPER building.
Ironically, the IDS columnist calling for the removal of the symbols refutes the primary point in the editorial: The Wildermuth pre-dates Nazi Germany and the swastika (which is visually different from the Nazi symbol) was a positive symbol in the Hindu religion. While the sight of the swastika might be a bit jarring, it is inoffensive (or at least should be) once one learns the history of the symbol and why it is there.
That is, after all, the purpose of a university - to educate people about history and culture. A university should not be covering up history because people find it offensive. Instead, a university should be seeking to expand knowledge wherever possible. Students are here in Bloomington for the sole purpose of expanding their knowledge through the classes they take here, so they should be the first to defend the swastikas.
It has been said that the answer to hate speech is more speech, not censorship. That is the case in spades here, because the symbols in Wildermuth are not symbols of hate. The answer to people misunderstanding shat the symbols means is not to hide it, but to educate them about it. The university should never cover up history to protect the fragile feelings of immature "students" who are actively opposing education.
With several prospects for the 2014 NBA draft that could potentially be franchise players, the debate about "tanking" has come to the forefront again. Michael Rosenberg makes a distinction between patience and tanking his his recent editorial, and it's an important (if subtle) distinction to make. His proposed solution to a lottery that encourages lottery teams to be intentionally bad certainly merits consideration.
There is one aspect to this issue that no one is considering: The NBA has too many teams. The league has expanded several times since the late 1980's, and every time you add another team you dilute the talent pool by adding twelve players who would not otherwise be talented or skilled enough to play at the highest level.
Because there are seven more teams in the NBA than there were in the 1987-88 season, there are 84 players who would not be in the NBA if the league looked like it did then. This means the worst teams are much worse than they would be without expansion. Reducing the number of teams would improve the quality of the game.
Of course, contraction is not realistic and (barring a major financial crisis for pro basketball) is not going to happen. So what can be done to discourage teams from intentionally being as bad as possible?
Rosenberg's proposal merits attention. Relegating teams to a lower division (as is done in European soccer) sounds interesting, because that would give the worst teams a strong motivation at the end of the season and would make their games much more interesting. That would also make the regular season mean much more. That is not a realistic solution for the NBA, though, because of the difference in facilities, fan base, television market and so forth between the NBA and the NBA Development League. The biggest factor, of course, is arena size.
Whatever the NBA comes up with, this issue needs to be addressed. It is an embarrassment to the league to see teams intentionally putting together bad rosters to secure a high draft pick, and the current weighted lottery is too strong of an incentive to be intentionally be bad. This is a broken system and it needs to change soon.
The institution of marriage is inherently discriminatory. The question on the table is not whether government should discriminate in what unions it recognizes as marriages, but how discriminatory it should be.
A death penalty case in Ohio makes a mockery of capital punishment and places the Republican governor in direct rebellion against the clear commandment of Almighty God.
Twenty years ago, Ronald Phillips committed a horrific and unimaginable crime for which he was sentenced to death. He is forty years old now, and has spent half of his life behind bars. Now, Gov. John Kasich has delayed this evil man's long-overdue execution to see if the condemned man can donate a kidney to his mother.
The fact that this man is literally twice as old now as he was when he committed crimes worthy of death shows that the death penalty is a complete joke. The death penalty is meaningless when it is applied in such a manner. This man should have been put to death by the civil magistrate many years ago.
Almighty God makes it very clear in Scripture what He thinks of child murder and what He expects to happen to child murderers. God warns the nation of Israel in Leviticus 20:1-5 that those who sacrifice their children to the demon Molech are to be put to death, and that He will set His face against the Israelites if they do not execute those who commit this abomination. God further says in Jeremiah 7:31 and Jeremiah 32:35 that this crime is so horrible that it never even entered into His mind that men would do this.
It is good that Gov. Kasich has compassion on the condemned man's mother. But as my high school principal would say, "it is never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right." Delaying this man's execution cannot be excused or justified. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 13:1-4 that God has given the sword to the civil magistrate to be the agent of God's wrath upon the wicked. Kasich should repent of his rebellion against God and use that sword.
But what of the condemned man's mother? Is the omnipotent Creator of the universe so weak and helpless that He cannot provide another donor to save this woman's life? Of course not. Kasich, who claims to be a Christian, should trust in God's power to provide what this woman needs and follow through on his obligations through faith.
I almost never agree with the New York Times when they editorialize about campaign finance reform, because their position leans toward more restrictions on free speech. However, their concern about "dark money" and their call for stronger reporting requirements is one area where I agree with them wholeheartedly.
It is the public's interest to have all campaign donations and expenditures be part of the public record. There is no more effective weapon against corruption than sunshine, and when campaign finances are fully disclosed we can see who our elected officials may be beholden to - and what interest groups may influence candidates who are seeking office.
While some may have privacy concerns about making such things public, those concerns are overshadowed by the compelling state interest of preventing corruption as well as the public's interest in making a fully informed decision when they vote for candidates for elective office. Because of the power government officials hold, full disclosure of who is spending money is very important.
This is one area where we should have bipartisan agreement. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives should quickly move on legislation requiring full disclosure of all campaign contributions and expenditures - from political action committees, so-called "527" groups, political parties, candidates for office and even private individuals. If they do not like the "Disclose" act, they should come up with an alternative in time for the 2014 elections.
The case of Bond vs. the United States further demonstrates Barack Obama's disturbing authoritarian streak and the ongoing effort to move more and more power to the federal government at the expense of the states and individual liberty. The Supreme Court needs to slap Obama down and restore the balance of power.
The legal arguments are pretty straightforward. Does the federal government have the authority to make local crimes into federal crimes under an international treaty? Jilted wife Carol Bond attempted to poison the woman who was pregnant by Bond's husband, resulting in a burn on the mistress' hand. This will have far-reaching implications for federal power, state power, civil liberties and the War on Crime.
Buy beyond all of the legal arguments, this case is about common sense. Carol Bond is not a terrorist. She is not an operative of Iran or al-Qaeda. She is a private citizen who sought revenge on a romantic rival though assault. That is a purely local matter and does not require federal involvement.
The fact that a federal prosecutor pressed absurdly over-the-top charges against Bond should have been a reason for Obama to fire the prosecutor for gross abuse of power and wasteful use of federal resources. But instead of sending the prosecutor to the unemployment line where he belongs, Obama is defending these absurd charges.
This would be laughable if it were not so serious. If Obama had even an ounce of common sense, he would have recognized how ridiculous this case is and put a stop to it. The fact that he is defending this abuse of power shows how authoritarian he really is, and why we should be very worried about him.
In a vote that was disappointing and not surprising at all, the Monroe County Council voted along party lines to give a $2,400 handout to Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that PP admitted in their request for funding that they have taken in over $169,000 more than they have spent so far in their fiscal year.
One good thing that happened is that Ryan Langley moved to split the PP grant from the rest of the grants, so that it would be possible to vote against corporate welfare for PP without voting against grants to other social service agencies. That measure was approved, and the handout for Planned Parenthood was then passed on a party-line vote with Langley and Marty Hawk voting against it.
One of the dishonest things local Democrats have done over the last fourteen years as PP has been funded by the city and county is whine that the funding was one big package and that voting against it would mean voting against the entire thing. The November 12 meeting proved that argument to be false. Democrats also whine that there is not opposition to funding PP early in the process, but that is factually incorrect - and they know it.
This was a shameful vote and an insult to all of the agencies that were denied funding. Once again, the Democrats on the county council has decided that making a pro-abortion political endorsement is more important than helping social service agencies that actually need financial assistance. Once again, the Democrats have made a mockery of the social services finding process. Once again, the Democrats have proven that they are anything but "pro-choice."
Perhaps the most despicable thing about the depraved culture we live in today is the condemnation of conflict itself as bad, with no effort made to discern right and wrong in the conflict, much less verifiable facts.
Those who think rightly know that there must be conflict in this world. Conflict is a good thing, because evil must be opposed and exposed. All true Christians should love and embrace conflict, because that is what each and every one of our heroes in the faith did in Scripture. Who can forget our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, personally using a whip to violently drive the money changers out of the Temple?
Following is an email I got from the Herald-Times digital editor on Monday:
We've taken down a number of comments this weekend that either you posted or reported. You and another poster have been going back-and-forth long enough with nasty comments. Please cut it out and do not engage this person on the comment board; if it continues we'll revoke your commenting privileges.
Below is my response:
I find it unfortunate that you have cast this conflict as a matter of two posters going "back and forth" with no judgment on what the facts of the case are.
The fact of the matter is that "EvenKeel" posted a despicable fantasy about me being anally raped as a child, and suggested that had I been anally raped as a child I would have "asked for it."
He should have been banned for that despicable and depraved comment. Others have been banned for far less.
Furthermore, I posted the truth about what "EvenKeel" posted in response to a direct unprovoked criticism of me in which he described me as a "fool," after I posted an opinion on public policy.
I do not believe I am the one who should be scolded here. I am the victim of a violent personal attack and I have exposed the truth about that attack.
Finally, I find it offensive that you would protect "EvenKeel" from having his comments exposed. Journalists should not be in the business of hiding and covering up such things.
If this is the rule for HTO comments, and if I am not permitted to expose this sort of evil in the comments, fine.
Your rules are your rules, nonsensical as they may be. If you want to engage in a cover-up, that is your business.
I will simply expose his evil behavior elsewhere, as I did this morning on my blog and social media, and I will continue to openly and publicly question why HTO administration will not revoke the commenting privileges of people who post such violent and evil things.
Think about this number for a minute: $169,000.00.That is how much more Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky took in over what they spent thus far into their fiscal year, according to the report they presented to the Monroe County Council requesting a handout from the county council’s community service grants.
Should people who post fantasies about children being anally raped in HeraldTimesOnline comments be banned from posting on the site? Or is the real problem people who stand against such evil and condemn it? This is a rhetorical question, of course, but the moderators on HeraldTimesOnline.com apparently do not know the answer.
Back on October 21, I posted an opinion on a matter of public policy with social and religious implications. In response, anonymous HTO user "evenkeel" posted a despicable, reprehensible and viciously nasty personal attack against me. This attack was completely unprovoked, in response to an opinion he did not like.
"Scott… were you sodomized as a child? It's okay… you can tell us. We'll do our best not to say you asked for it."
This is an incredibly evil thing to say. To suggest that a child could "ask" to be violently anally raped shows that this person has a depraved and diseased mind. Imagine if "evenkeel" had said that to someone who had been sexually abused as a child, and the pain it would cause.
This is why allowing people to hide behind fake names in HTO comments is a terrible and destructive policy. "Evenkeel" would never dare post such a wickedly evil thing if his name and reputation were attached to it. The Herald-Times could immediately clean up much of the filth in HTO comments and restore the civility that Herald-Times editor Bob Zaltsberg claims to want by eliminating anonymity and requiring that every username be publicly attached to the user's real first and last name - just as is already the case for letters to the editor.
This past weekend, "evenkeel" said I looked like a "fool" for a phrase I used questioning Barack Obama's record on national security and privacy. I pointed out that he has no credibility to decide that, after the evil he had posted a few weeks earlier. The Herald-Times moderators responded by deleting several of my posts in that thread for accurately reporting what had been posted in their own comments section - with a link to a screenshot of the post.
My posts were not harassing, because I was responding to an unprovoked insult against me. My posts were not libelous, because I accurately described what "evenkeel" posted. Truth cannot be libelous. My posts were offensive, and they should be. What "evenkeel" posted about me was despicable, perverted and evil.
But I am the victim here.
I am the one who has been subjected to perverted fantasies about me being violently anally raped as a child. Yet according to HTO moderators, I am the one who is the bad guy for exposing evil. What is wrong with this picture?
A quote from IU athletic director Fred Glass, in the Herald-Times last Saturday:
"We'll have 5,000 red and white balloons released. And I would add they're biodegradable. Those cost twice as much as the choking-the-turtle balloons, but we're trying to be the most green-friendly athletic department around."
If IU was trying to run "the most green-friendly athletic department around" they would not be releasing the balloons at all. It is still wasteful and they still make a mess.
I do not necessarily have a problem with releasing five thousand balloons as part of the homecoming festivities. This is something that is a tradition, and something that many students, staff and alumni want to see. What I have a problem with is the pretentious nonsense about being a "green" athletic department when you are releasing five thousand balloons that will eventually fall to earth in streams, fields, forests and back yards.
Should IU be commended for spending more money on balloons that are less harmful to the environment than the traditional latex balloons? Sure. I have no problem with that, and if they are going to release balloons at homecoming then this is a more responsible way to do it.
But the fact of the matter is that words mean things. The word green has a specific meaning, that what you are doing is environmentally friendly. Releasing five thousand balloons is not a "green" action. If the athletic department had simply been honest and said that they were trying to mitigate the harm caused by the Homecoming tradition, then I would not have given it a second thought. They should not get credit for being "green" when they are just being less brown.
In order for free speech to exist, those in authority must not be allowed to engage in content-based censorship. But that is not the only important element to maintaining the free exchange of ideas. Those in authority should not allow censorship by mob rule. Even when universities are not trampling free speech with abominations such as "speech codes" they too often allow free speech to be snuffed out with a "heckler's veto."
Mona Charen shares an example of this, with an unruly mob shouting down New York City's police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, during a lecture at Brown University. Authorities at Brown pleaded with the mob to contain themselves, but did not do what was necessary for free speech to take place.
The episode is shameful. It makes the administration look weak and pathetic, unable to contain an angry mob. By not enforcing order, the administration is just as guilty of censorship as the unruly mob who showed great disrespect to Mr. Kelly and law enforcement. It should have been stopped.
Locally, Indiana University has done a much better job at maintaining order. The police removed disruptive audience members at Ann Coulter's speech in February 2006, though campus authorities could have been more aggressive in maintaining order. The response was much improved a half-dozen years later at Doug Wilson's speech in Ballentine Hall, with campus police quickly removing disruptive students.
I strongly disagree with the "stop and frisk" policy by New York City's Nanny-In-Chief, Michael Bloomberg. It unnecessarily targets law-abiding black men for what can only be described as harassment. It is just one more example of the authoritarian streak that Bloomberg has demonstrated time and time again in office. But if we want to oppose this wrong-headed policy, we need to do so in a civil and intellectual manner, not by shouting down opponents. The unruly mob at Brown did no favors for the cause.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: No corporate welfare for Planned Parenthood
From: Scott Tibbs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, November 05, 2013 9:14 pm
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
I attended the meeting of the social services funding committee and I have a question about the program as a whole. What is the purpose of the social services funding program? Is the purpose to give money to organizations that could use a helping hand, so that they can supply the needs of the less fortunate in Monroe County?
If this is legitimately the case, I have to wonder why you are considering funding Planned Parenthood. You have been presented with $192,109.00 in requests for funding - almost twice as much as you will be distributing when you cast your votes at your November 12 regular meeting. Given the large need demonstrated by the difference between requests and resources available, why would you give a $5,000 grant to an organization that has taken in over $169,000 more than it has spent thus far in its fiscal year?
Councilors, you know by now that Planned Parenthood's request for yet another handout - just five months after a similar handout from city government - has nothing to do with need or serving people who need health care. Part of PP's excuse for requesting this handout is testing for sexually transmitted diseases - something county government's health department already does through the Futures Family Planning Clinic.
So why is Planned Parenthood coming before county taxpayers and asking for yet another handout? The reason is they want a political endorsement, nothing more. This is a shameful and cynical abuse of the process, one that the council has been too willing to support three of the last four years. It is completely inappropriate to give this organization money it does not need simply to hand it a symbolic political victory.
Financially, it makes no sense to fund Planned Parenthood and it is an insult to the organizations that will be denied funding if you choose this irresponsible path again. But beyond the fiscal realities, there is another reason PP should be denied funding - Planned Parenthood performs abortions every Thursday at its facility on South College Avenue.
PP claims the money they are requesting does not go to its "abortion services." Even so, many of your constituents find the practice of abortion to be a moral abomination, a violation of basic human rights and an offense against the God who made us in His image. You should not be forcing your constituents to contribute to an organization we find morally abominable. The truly "pro-choice" vote here would be to deny funding to Planned Parenthood.
If you want to support Planned Parenthood, write them a check. Please do not force everyone else to do it.
On his way out the door, Nanny Bloomberg strikes again: New York City is on the cusp of banning anyone under 21 from buying cigarettes or e-cigarettes.
There's no doubt smoking is unhealthy (although reflect for a moment on the fact that New York teens too young to smoke can legally obtain an abortion, without parental consent). But it's no sure thing that the new ban will be effective.
Imagine university sophomore Bubba is an active Republican. He volunteers at phone banks, goes door-to-door for Republican candidates, helps organize rallies for Republicans running for office and writes letters to the editor endorsing Republican and criticizing Democrats. Should the College Democrats be required to accept Bubba as a member?
That leads me to this little tidbit in the Washington Post attacking Mark Obenshain:
This year, he was chief patron of a bill that allows college clubs to restrict group membership to like-minded participants. That obnoxious bill, narrowly enacted thanks to Republican support, would allow campus religious groups to ban homosexuals.
The legislation in question is SB 1074, and it applies much more broadly than allowing religious groups to not accept homosexuals as members, something you would not know just by reading the article.
Freedom of association is a right the founders viewed as essential, which is why they banned government from interfering with it in the First Amendment to the Constitution. But a critical component of freedom of association is the freedom not to associate. If the College Democrats are required to accept Republicans as members, it waters down what it means to be a College Democrat.
This is especially important when it comes to religious organizations, because you are dealing with both freedom of association and religious freedom. A Catholic student group should not be forced to admit a Protestant who openly opposes Catholic doctrine. If any religious organization at a public university - Christian, Muslim, or Hindu - is forced to accept members who oppose them on specific articles of faith that organization holds as essential it is a clear violation of that organization's rights under the Constitution.
Obenshain should be praised for his legislation, not condemned for it. He is taking a classic libertarian position.
County government should "print" documents posted to the county website (such as the budget) to PDF instead of scanning it in and uploading it. Posting a "printed" PDF allows people to do a text search of the budget to find things more easily. It will also be much more readable than some of the poor-quality scans they have posted. If the county does not want to spend the money on the full version of Adobe Acrobat, there are free programs that will "print" to PDF such as CutePDF.
The party is, he says, in danger of becoming "a one-legged stool." The "Eastern establishment types" want to saw off the cultural conservatism leg, concentrating on economic issues. The rising libertarian faction, exemplified by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, wants to saw off the strong foreign policy leg.
I agree with Santorum that there is a danger of moderates sawing off the social conservative leg of conservatism, but I do not agree with him on the third leg. Traditionally, the third leg has been a strong national defense, which is not the same as Santorum's vision of a strong foreign policy. Santorum's vision is for an interventionist foreign policy.
We can certainly maintain a strong national defense without having an interventionist policy. We do not need to send troops to intervene in the civil wars in Syria or Libya to maintain a strong national defense, any more than we needed to intervene in Yugoslavia or Somalia twenty years ago to adequately protect our national security interests.
The debate between the libertarian and neoconservative wings of the Republican Party is not a debate about whether we should have a strong national defense. We are not having the debate that took place between Republicans and Democrats during President Reagan's military buildup in the 1980's. The debate is, with a strong national defense as a given, how much do we need to use our military in areas where our national security is not directly threatened?
I fall in line with the libertarian wing. I believe in a strong national defense (limited, of course, by constitutional authority and civil rights protections) but I am opposed to engaging militarily unless there is a clear and direct threat to our security. With Afghanistan, that threat was obvious. With Syria, Libya, Bosnia and Somalia, that was not the case. I am not willing to tell people they have to lose their husbands, sons and fathers in battle unless there is no other option.