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Thursday, January 31, 2013

A pastoral word on killing the unborn

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

Pastor Tim Bayly delivered an excellent sermon on abortion this past Sunday. Read the text of the sermon at BaylyBlog.com or download and listen to the sermon at the ClearNote Church website.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It makes a big difference, Mrs. Clinton.

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

When Senator Ron Johnson asked Hillary Clinton about the Obama regime's intentionally misleading statements about the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, her response was petulant and insolent: "Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?"

It makes a big difference, Mrs. Clinton. It makes a big difference because the President of the United States, instead of vigorously defending American principles and the freedoms protected by our Constitution, sided with the terrorists and condemned a silly anti-Muslim video for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It makes a big difference because President Obama knew that this was a pre-planned terrorist attack and lied to the American people about it, blaming a silly video that had absolutely nothing to do with it.

(See previous editorials from September 14, September 19, September 25, September 28 and November 27 of 2012.)

Why did Barack Obama feel the need to blame America and apologize for our liberty instead of placing sole responsibility for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the mindless savages who raped and murdered our ambassador? This reveals a deeply anti-American ideology in the White House, one inclined to "blame America first" and assume we have somehow brought these war crimes on ourselves. That makes a big difference, especially if Mrs. Clinton wants to be elected President in 2016. Does she share Obama's views or not?

The other reason it makes a big difference is because Barack Obama lied about the terrorist attack. Why did he lie? Why did he blame the video when he knew the video had nothing to do with it? What purpose did that lie serve? What was Obama trying to accomplish? What was the agenda behind those lies? The answers to those questions makes a big difference, especially since we are stuck with this man for the next four years. Clinton's response was shameful. There are many reasons why she is not qualified to be President, and this outburst by itself should disqualify her.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Thoughts on women in combat

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

It was not surprising when President Obama decided to lift the ban on women in combat last week, but it was nonetheless disappointing. This will reduce the combat effectiveness of our military and lead to more abuse of women, including rape and sexual violence. The military's purpose is not to be a playground for politically correct social engineering. The military's purpose is to kill people and break things.

First, let's go to the most obvious problem: Women are uniquely vulnerable to being abused in captivity, and many of the enemies we fight (especially Muslim terrorists) will enthusiastically take advantage of them when captured. For example, Rhonda Cornum was raped by one of her Iraqi captors in the 1991 Gulf War. Rape was used as a weapon of war in the Yugoslavian civil war, and continues to be epidemic in conflicts around the world.

War is horrible enough as it is. Do we really need to subject American women to this?

Unfortunately, we also have a serious problem with rape within our armed forces. Is it really wise to place women on the front lines and place them in danger of being assaulted by their own fellow soldiers? Placing women in combat will make this worse, not better.

It is a reality that men will seek to protect women in battle. This is how men are wired, and men who are worried about the danger faced by their female comrades will be less effective in battle. Feminists can dismiss this as much as they want, but the nature of the sexes is what it is and cannot be fundamentally altered.

This is because we were created by a loving God who explicitly commanded men to protect women. Specifically, the Apostle Paul commands husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church in Ephesians 5:25. How did Christ love the church? By shedding His blood for her, not by asking her to bleed and die for Him. Women already bear the sickness, vomiting, backaches and other complications of pregnancy in addition to the bloodshed of childbirth. Are we to expect them to fight our wars for us as well so we can stay behind and play video games?

Here is something else: Men are stronger than women. Men are more physically capable of being warriors than women. The Obama administration said that standards would not be lowered, but is that really the case? Physical fitness standards are already gender-normed:

In the Army's physical fitness testing, women earn top points for running two miles in 15:36 minutes, for example, while men must run that distance two minutes faster. Women score tops by doing 42 push-ups; men must grunt through 71.

But those are fitness standards, not job requirements, right? Surely women will need to meet the same standards as men. "Those requirements will be examined closely to see if they really make sense," the Huffington Post reports about certain job requirements. Now, surely allowing more women into those positions will not be a factor in considering whether those requirements are actually needed, like it has been in the United Kingdom?

Women soldiers are common in fiction. From G.I. Joe to Red Sonja and various female superheroes in comics, women in fiction are just as tough and capable as the men... but that is fiction. Reality is another matter. This is a bad decision, made for the purpose of appeasing radical feminists who supported Obama's re-election. Unfortunately, now that this policy is in place, it will probably not be reversed. Stopping a bad policy from being implemented is far easier than reversing a bad policy once it is in place.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Militant homosexuals continue their war on science

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

There is no legitimate reason to reverse the FDA policy prohibiting blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM) and reversing the policy will risk lives for the sake of political correctness. Blood donation policy should be based on sound science and statistical analysis, not on the political agenda of the homosexual-rights movement.

The statistics are striking. According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control, male-to-male sexual contact accounted for 23,846 of 41,845 HIV infections in 2009. This is 57% of all infections. That does not include "male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use," which is also significant.

It is important to remember that homosexuals are about 2% of the population. MSM are clearly dramatically more likely to contract HIV/AIDS than the general population, meaning their blood is significantly more risky than blood donations from anyone else.

The 2009 numbers reflect a long trend. The CDC reports that 529,908 of 1,099,161 "cumulative estimated number of AIDS diagnoses" through 2009 were the result of male-to-male sexual contact - or 48.2% of all AIDS diagnoses. Another 77,213 of all AIDS diagnoses (7% of the total) were the result of male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use.

There are plenty of donors available without taking the risk that blood donations from MSM will be tainted. So why are we even having this discussion?

The answer is simple. This is not about helping those who need blood donations. This is about the political agenda of the homosexual rights movement. Militant homosexuals demand acceptance, not just tolerance. Therefore, even reasonable science-based policy must be abolished if it is seen as "heterosexist."

But blood donation is not about the people who want to donate. The focus should be on the people who need blood donations. Those who demand the "right" to donate blood are inserting their selfish agenda into what should be a selfless and sacrificial act. My message to these people is very simple: It is not about you!

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

15 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:00 AM (#)

From the Standard-Examiner in Utah:

Peterson served the full 15 years of a one- to 15-year prison term for child molestation because he refused to admit guilt to the state Board of Pardons.

And:

Peterson’s lawsuit includes sworn affidavits from his two children, who say they were coerced by their mother and stepfather to tell authorities their father sexually molested them. The son and daughter were 11 and 9 at the time.

Source: Standard-Examiner, January 21, 2013.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Christians witness against abortion in Bloomington

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

About 240 people showed up at the Monroe County Courthouse for the 2013 Rally for Life, sponsored by Christian Citizens for Life. You can see pictures from the rally on the CCFL Facebook page.

Speeches from the rally are below:

A lot of people put a great deal of effort into planning and organizing the Rally for Life, which marked the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that fabricated a "right" to abortion that exists nowhere in the Constitution. With this evil decision, laws against abortion in all 50 states were thrown out.

Last year, we got some opposition from the Occupy Bloomington movement, which also showed up a few days later to physically attack peaceful pro-life protesters at Planned Parenthood. This year, the only opposition we had (other than the usual few people screaming at us from their cars) was a woman who stopped at Planned Parenthood to preach the gospel of death to people marching by the "clinic."

The woman offered this gem of a comment to the Herald-Times: "I just think people come from different backgrounds and you can’t tell a person to do one thing or another. You can try to push them in one direction."

Somehow, I think if someone drove off with her automobile to use as his own that this woman would not feel that you cannot tell him to do one thing or another. She would probably fill out a police report and try to get her vehicle back. Even those who spout moral relativism usually break with their own views when it is something they do not like.

We have been wandering in the wilderness of legalized abortion for 40 years. One can only hope that God will have mercy on us and take away this bloodshed from our land.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Movie Review: Texas Chainsaw 3D

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

Note: There are spoilers in this review.

The formula for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies is fairly simple. A bunch of teenagers or twentysomethings are driving through Texas, stop at an old farmhouse and get killed by Leatherface and his crazy family. You have to work at it to mess that up. Lionsgate worked at it and successfully messed it up.

The story starts off well enough. Leatherface has killed a bunch of people and the local sheriff shows up to arrest him. A bunch of people in town (call them the Redneck Brigade) show up with guns with intention of lynching Leatherface and "helping" Sheriff Hooper.

Things quickly escalate out of control when one of the rednecks hurls a Molotov cocktail into the house. After a firefight, the house burns to the ground. There are two survivors: Leatherface (who everyone assumes is dead) and a baby girl who is raised by one of the couples from the town, who move to another state.

Flash forward 20 years. The baby girl (Heather) is all grown up, and she and her friends are driving through Texas to claim the mansion she has inherited from her recently deceased grandmother. The problem: Leatherface is living in the basement, having been cared for by the crazy old bat for the last two decades. He brutally murders Heather's three friends and a hitchiker they picked up along the way, and tries to kill her.

Heather barely escapes, and while she is in the police station she finds out about the massacre of her family when she was a baby. This causes her to turn heel. She joins forces with Leatherface to get revenge on the people who killed her family when she was a baby and then goes back to the mansion with Leatherface to care for him.

At no time does Heather show any anger or bitterness over the fact that her cousin Leatherface butchered two of her friends and her boyfriend. That heel turn makes absolutely no sense.

Lionsgate could have foreshadowed the heel turn by inserting flashbacks of Heather's childhood where she displayed aggressive, violent and psychotic behavior (with the explanation that mental illness runs in the family) but there was nothing in this movie that would make any normal person join forces with a deranged serial killer who has just butchered her friends!

It gets worse. Sheriff Hooper, the very same sheriff who tried to arrest Leatherface after he slaughtered several other people some 20 years earlier, witnesses Leatherface and Heather murder two members of the Redneck Brigade who murdered Leatherface's family.

Hooper knows Leatherface's history of murdering innocent people and the danger he presents to the community and anyone visiting the town. He simply allows Heather and Leatherface to go back to their mansion, making absolutely no attempt to stop them or apprehend Leatherface. No normal person would behave this way, especially a law enforcement officer.

I understand that Lionsgate wanted to end the movie in such a way that a sequel is possible in a year or two. There are many ways to do this other than the stupid and nonsensical way that this movie ended.

Once again, the 3-D effect is absolutely terrible. I have yet to see a 3-D movie that actually looks good in 3-D. Perhaps one third of the movie was in 3-D as it is, and the 3-D effect literally looks like transparencies on top of each other. It looks really fake, and winds up looking much worse than it would if it was simply in 2-D. Charging an extra $3 for that was a ripoff.

Final Grade: F

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A tax on "violent" video games?

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

Over the course of the last 25 years, total revenue generated by the video game industry has increased dramatically. In fact, revenue based on in-store sales underestimates the real sales, because they do not include downloadable games from platforms such as Direct2Drive and Steam, or Apple's App Store for their various devices. In that same time, the murder rate has dropped since the 1990's even as our population has grown - meaning our murder rate has dropped along with the total number of murders.

But for simple-minded legislators - many of whom have never even picked up a controller, much less played for any length of time - video games are the cause of our social problems. Because games are still a fairly new form of entertainment, people who grew up on games have not yet percolated into our state and federal legislatures, though that will change over the next couple decades. So since you have people who came of age before video games were popular, they do not understand the industry and they fear it.

This is not new. When comic books were still a relatively new entertainment medium in 1954, the book Seduction of the Innocent prompted Congressional hearings on the great damage comic books were allegedly causing to the youth of America, encouraging juvenile delinquency. As that died down, the focus came on rock music and other things. Legislators - whether it be through their own ignorance or for shameless political opportunism - always love to jump on the newest thing as a boogeyman.

Of course, they often show their ignorance in doing so. Proposed legislation aimed at "violent" games targets games that get a rating of "T" or above - even though there are a number of games in that category that are not violent at all. This is to say nothing of the constitutional questions raised by legislation that singles out a specific kind of content for special taxation while leaving other content alone. Not only does it tax some games and not others based on content, the legislation does not target violent movies (in theaters or on DVD) or music with explicit lyrics.

I have been a gamer for 30 years. In the last 20 years, I have seen one hysterical attack on the game industry after another. The industry has managed to avoid the heavy hand of government regulation so far, and as people who grew up as gamers enter into leadership, the excitement over legislation restricting games will likely wane. What we have here is another attempt to find a scapegoat for the very real societal problems (especially the breakdown of the family) that lead to violence instead of actually addressing cultural rot.

Video games are not the problem, and legislating against them will not solve anything.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

40 years of slaughter - an anniversary of shame

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

Forty years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that women had a "constitutional right" to have their unborn children murdered via abortion. Since that decision, over 54 million unborn children have been murdered in the womb under the protection of the U.S. government. After 40 years of this darkness, will God finally show mercy on us and free us from this continued bloodshed?

The number 40 is significant in Scripture. Of course, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because of their disobedience. The giant Goliath taunted Israel for 40 days, and the prophet Jonah warned the city of Ninevah that God would destroy the city in 40 days, then relented when the king and the people repented. After forty years of this wickedness, will God send His Spirit into our hearts to make us repent of this great and terrible evil?

We have about 1.2 million children murdered by abortion every year in this nation - an average of 3,287 babies killed each and every day. There were 12,664 murders of born persons in 2011, according to FBI statistics. In response to the fact that 323 of those murders were committed with rifles, the nation is consumed with the need to "do something" about gun violence, especially with so-called "assault weapons." But we protect the right to kill 3,287 babies every day as a "constitutional right."

We strain at a gnat while we swallow a camel whole.

In the face if this unprecedented slaughter, we hear from the Republican establishment that we do not want to discuss "divisive social issues" because we need to focus on jobs and the economy. But even with the pain that our economic morass has caused, how can it compare to millions of murder victims who we have decided we will not protect from those who would do them harm? Has it occurred to anyone that the inevitable financial collapse that our deficit spending will bring could be a judgment from God for our wicked slaughter of unborn babies created in His image?

Abortion is not just the most important of the ten most pressing issues we face - it is #1 through #9 with #10 lagging miles behind. It is time for our nation - starting with President Obama - to repent and plead for mercy from Almighty God, and hope He spares us from the judgment that we deserve.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Lots of words to say absolutely nothing

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:00 AM (#)

In listening to some folks from the "No Labels" crowd address gun control on ABC This Week, it is amazing how people can speak a lot of words and then say absolutely nothing of substance.

What is the ultimate goal of "No Labels" in dealing with gun control and public safety? "You've got to get problem solvers around the table." We have to have a discussion where everything is on the table. Right. And then what are we going to do? Who are the problem solvers? What differing perspectives will they bring to the table for the discussion?

Even when you bring people to the table, you are not going to solve the basic impasse - that there are people who believe that we should ban "assault weapons" while others believe it would be a violation of our natural and legal rights to ban those weapons. Simply bringing people to the table is not going to bring a solution that both sides will be happy with, because the two sides have fundamentally different views. This is to say nothing about the concerns the video game industry has about being scapegoated by an institution that knows nothing about gaming.

This is the problem with the simple-minded discussion of controversial public policy issues in the news media, and, frankly, by former elected officials and candidates for elective office who really ought to know better. In fact, they do know better. This business of bringing people to the table is meaningless nonsense, meant to make the person proposing the discussion look wise and prudent while accomplishing nothing.

What was the one concrete solution proposed? Legislation "which basically puts a commission about mass violence together." Well whoop de diddly do. Another commission. Yay! Not concrete solutions or specific proposals for lessening gun violence, protecting innocent people, or dealing with the cultural factors that lead to the devaluation of human life. No, we're going to talk about it. Have we not been talking about these issues for generations? What exactly is another commission going to accomplish?

In this debate, there is going to be a winner and a loser - as it should be. My hope is that the gun-rights argument wins the day. Perhaps it will, and perhaps it will not. Let's lay the policy discussion on the table and debate the merits of the proposed solution. In doing so, we need to recognize that doing nothing is and should be an option. After all, doing nothing is better than doing something ineffective, counterproductive or destructive. We should not rush to get a bill passed simply so say we have done something.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Barack Obama oppresses black people

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 12:15 PM (#)

As I write this post, Barack Obama has taken the oath of office to begin his second term as President. The ceremonies tomorrow will coincide with Martin Luther King Day - something that will be endlessly and breathlessly pointed out by the mainstream media. But Obama's second term is by no means a gift to black people. Previous posts:

♣ - Barack Obama oppresses black people -- February 15, 2012

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

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

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Nanny state ninnies at it again

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 3:51 PM (#)

Apparently they have nothing better to do in Chicago - like bringing down the astronomical murder rate. That's why they have time to ban energy drinks. Buncha nanny state ninnies.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

The Second Amendment - It's not about hunting

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

"You don't need a 30-round magazine to take out a deer."

If you listen to gun-control advocates talk about their desire to ban "assault weapons" or large-capacity magazines, they always talk about hunting. Occasionally they will mention target shooting. In doing so, they show that they miss the point of the Second Amendment - the natural human right to defend yourself from those who would harm you and your family. While the men who wrote the Constitution had no problem with hunting that was not the primary purpose of the Second Amendment.

Just reading the text of the Second Amendment made that clear. Before the key phrase of the amendment (the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed) the justification for that is laid out: A well-regulated militia is "necessary to the security of a free state." The purpose of a militia is not to hunt for food, but to provide security.

Keep in mind that when the founders wrote the Constitution, they had also just gone through a war with the world's most powerful empire, where they were able to secede and form their own nation. It was far from unthinkable that they would need to replace the government they were setting up with the Constitution - perhaps through armed rebellion. That is one of the reasons the Second Amendment is in place.

As Thomas Jefferson said, "When governments fear the people, there is liberty…when the people fear the government, there is tyranny." That is seen as radical today, but is it really unthinkable that this could be necessary at some point in the future? As long as we are ruled by sinful men, we could see our system of government devolve into tyranny. And no, I am not advocating the violent overthrow of or violent resistance to the government.

It would have been unthinkable to the founders that it would be illegal for free people to not have weapons for the purpose of self-defense, specifically designed to deter, repel or neutralize threats against our lives or property. Do not buy fall for the arguments of the Left that they respect the right to hunt or the right to practice at a shooting range, because the Second Amendment is about much more than that.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lance Armstrong admits doping

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

My faith in Lance Armstrong was misplaced, as he has admitted doping. Therefore, I retract this post and apologize to the World Anti-Doping Agency and others who had pursued Armstrong.

Armstrong betrayed his millions of fans around the world with his lies and his cheating. While his personal battle with cancer remains an inspiration, his athletic accomplishments are forever tainted.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Abortions in Monroe County, 2001-2011

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

Between 2001 and 2011, there were 8,638 murders in Monroe County. Those murders are not counted in the official crime statistics, because they are protected by law and the "constitutional right to choose." But the deaths are still very real, and the babies killed were still made in the image of God. A breakdown of the numbers by year, provided by the state of Indiana:

2011 - 731 abortions.

2010 - 809 abortions.

2009 - 818 abortions.

2008 - 855 abortions.

2007 - 845 abortions.

2006 - 767 abortions.

2005 - 676 abortions.

2004 - 775 abortions.

2003 - 784 abortions.

2002 - 753 abortions.

2001 - 825 abortions.

So where exactly are the Christians in Monroe County? Why have they not stood forcefully against this killing? Why are there only a few people standing outside of Planned Parenthood on Thursdays witnessing against the killing that goes on inside? Why is it that city and county government give handouts to the local abortion clinic year after year with little more than token opposition from local Christians? Do we believe that abortion is the taking of innocent human life? If the answer to that question is yes, why is there not more vocal opposition to this evil?

We cannot simply blame our increasingly pagan culture for the bloodshed at our abortion clinic when most of our churches rarely (if ever) preach about abortion. When our churches fail to even teach their congregations about the evil of abortion, how can we expect to influence the wider culture? Indeed, as the Huffington Post points out, "almost a third of evangelicals' unplanned pregnancies end in abortion." We're not even teaching our own church members not to kill their unborn children, and we're certainly not calling them to repentance when they do.

The reason babies are dying at such an alarming rate - and have been for 40 years now - is not because of the feminists, or the liberals, or atheists, or even liberal churches that are permissive on abortion and sexual morality. The reason that abortion (and other forms of cultural rot) is so prominent is because Bible-believing conservative Christians who claim to be "pro-life" tolerate it and often do their best to stifle opposition to it because of our own blood guilt. Christians need to repent of our wicked apathy and stand against the slaughter of God's little ones.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Justice for one baby - but no justice for 5,676.

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

The case of Bei Bei Shuai does present some legitimate concerns regarding how pregnant women are treated under the law, but also represents how double-minded we are on protecting life in the womb.

The possible precedents set by this case are insignificant next to the real elephant in the room - the fact that 5,676 babies were aborted in 2011 in Marion County alone. Where is the concern for these lives?

As for the precedents this case sets, it is legitimate to be concerned about the state's view of pregnant women. Professor Jessica Waters worried whether any action by a pregnant woman that could potentially harm a fetus could be a case of criminal prosecution.

Shuai had been abandoned by her boyfriend and decided to kill herself, so she ate rat poison to accomplish it. She survived, but the baby she was carrying did not. The Marion County prosecutor charged her with murder and feticide, prompting accusations that the charges were an attack on women's reproductive rights.

As for the precedents this case sets, it is legitimate to be concerned about the state's view of pregnant women. Professor Jessica Waters worried whether any action by a pregnant woman that could potentially harm a fetus could be a case of criminal prosecution. Will women's diet and exercise be scrutinized? While our nanny-state mentality does make this a concern, is this case really all that complicated?

This was not a case of bad decisions or negligence. Shuai clearly intended to do harm and took actions to cause harm. She clearly intended on killing herself and her baby and took actions to accomplish that goal. It seems logical that we can separate willful, intentional harm from simple negligence, bad health choices or other actions that could harm an unborn baby. We do not need to be a police state in order to say that something like this is illegal and will be prosecuted.

Nonetheless, the legal hypocrisy is striking. Had Shuai went to an abortion clinic where her pregnancy could be legally terminated, we would have never heard about this case. It would have been yet another "clean" late-term abortion, protected under the law as a "constitutional right."

But because of the unconventional method by which the baby died, she ran afoul of the law and could face decades in prison. If Shuai is convicted and punished, we can feel good that we have justice for the baby, as if that will hide our blood guilt for the 5,676 babies we have allowed to be killed last year. We strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, and that blood cannot be washed off our hands so easily.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Leonard fails again to do basic journalism

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

When you are writing a news article, you should get both sides of the story. Ideally, you should get a statement from the primary person on both sides - especially a state senator who has proposed controversial legislation. Why is this so difficult for the Bloomington Herald-Times to understand? Or is it more likely that the H-T simply does not care about getting both sides of the story and would prefer to publish agenda pieces?

When state senator Jim Banks introduced Senate Bill 97 to allow students to allow students to carry firearms on campus, it was expected that university administrators would oppose the bill. So it was reasonable for a reporter for Indiana University's hometown newspaper to contact an IU spokesman for the university's views on the issue. H-T "reporter" Mike Leonard did that for his article on the bill, but Sen. Banks confirmed via e-mail on January 11 that Leonard did not contact him about the issue.

Why?

Here is some important context. Sen. Banks is an Indiana University alumnus with a B.A. in political science. He is a former president of the IU College Republicans and lived in Bloomington in the early 2000's -so he has a local connection to Bloomington. He has his phone number on his campaign website and there is more contact information on his state legislative website. So what exactly was so difficult about contacting Sen. Banks to get a statement from him on the issue?

The answer is very simple. Mike Leonard had no interest in presenting a balanced article or getting Sen. Banks' perspective.

This is not new. Last April, Leonard published a front-page smear article on Christian pastor Doug Wilson and the outrage over the fact that he was coming to campus to speak to ClearNote Campus Fellowship. Leonard smeared Wilson as a white supremacist advocate of slavery, but did not bother doing the one thing that a reporter at any reputable newspaper would do - actually contact Pastor Wilson to get a statement from him on his views, his writings and his upcoming speech.

Race-baiting, of course, is par for the course for Leonard. Back in 2010, he spewed a vile smear that 20-something members of Young Americans for Liberty were "the same people who opposed civil rights in the 1960s" (which is mathematically impossible) and said they were mice "trying to become rats." He fabricated a vote that never took place in 2006 to smear Congressman Mike Sodrel and loved to call Congressman John Hostettler a "Dim Bulb."

So the question is obvious - with Leonard's long history of questionable ethics and shameless political bias, why is he permitted to write straight news articles about politically controversial legislation, especially as gun control is a highly partisan issue right now? There is not a reputable newspaper in the country that would allow this to be printed on their front page from such a highly biased and agenda-driven so-called "reporter." But the Herald-Times is not a "newspaper" at all. It is a partisan political newsletter.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Extrajudicial assassinations of American citizens

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

As the debate over the extrajudicial assassination of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki continues, Fox News reports that he may have purchased the plane tickets for the 9/11 hijackers, something the FBI disputed in its own timeline of events. So the question remains: What exactly was al-Awlaki's crime that justified assassination?

Other than very vague claims, we may never know. This is because, after campaigning on a platform of increased respect for civil liberties, Barack Obama has decided to keep the legal justification for the assassination a secret. Despite a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union, the Obama administration has won the right to keep that legal justification a secret.

Yes, that's right. Not only did Barack Obama target an American citizen for an extrajudicial assassination, not only did Barack Obama assassinate that man's 16-year-old son (who was born in the United States) in a separate drone strike, but he will now not even reveal why he was permitted to do that under U.S. law. The legal documents must be kept a secret, Obama says - and the courts agreed with him.

The fact that Obama is so opposed to open government that he would hide the legal justification for the extrajudicial assassination of an American citizen and his American-born teenage son is the most frustrating part of this situation. How can we be a nation of laws when we are not even allowed to know why the extrajudicial use of lethal force - the ultimate extension of the state's authority - is legal?

It bears repeating that Obama campaigned on respecting civil liberties after the Bush administration had seen a great deal of scrutiny over its record in the War on Terror, from the "Patriot Act" to harsh interrogations of captured terrorists. Obama's betrayal of his promises is brazen enough that one would expect much more outrage from Leftists, but civil libertarians have been either silent or muted.

That is unfortunate. We need a much more vigorous debate on this and more scrutiny of Obama's policies, and the Obama administration needs to be open about why this program is legal.

Previous articles:

Extrajudicial assassinations of U.S. citizens: simply wrong -- October 15, 2010

Paul and Kucinich are right: Targeted assassinations are wrong -- October 10, 2011

ABC "News" shamelessly lies about Ron Paul -- October 11, 2011

Barack Obama is to blame for his own policies. Period. -- January 3, 2013

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

There are no tax cuts in the fiscal cliff deal!

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

Our new US Senator, Joe Donnelly, said that we must now focus on cutting spending now that we have cut taxes for 98% of Americans. That is an interesting interpretation of the deal to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff" that Congress signed at the last minute. It is interesting because it is completely counterfactual.

The fact of the matter is that there are no tax cuts in this deal. What Congress decided to do was keep the tax rates that were signed into law by George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003. No one will see the amount of money deducted from their paycheck actually go down. Only in Washington doublespeak is not increasing taxes called a "tax cut." Shame on the Republicans for allowing Democrats to get away with this nonsense.

Instead, the "fiscal cliff" deal was a tax increase on upper-income earners, in addition to the expiration of the payroll tax holiday for Social Security taxes. In the name of "compromise," Republicans in the House and Senate broke the defining principle of the Republican Party for the last 20 years when they agreed to increase tax rates on the rich.

This is significant. As Rush Limbaugh has been pointing out for weeks, Barack Obama has been determined to get Republicans to agree to a tax increase on upper-income earners. It wasn't enough to go over the cliff and then pass rate reductions on the middle class. No, Obama needed to get Republicans to fold on tax increases for the rich, as an admission of guilt for the economic mess. The political impact of this confession is and will be significant, especially the next time a Republican runs for President on a platform of lower taxes.

Obama claims to want a "balanced" deal, but this is anything but balanced. As both Breitbart.com and Michelle Malkin have pointed out, there are $41 in tax increases for every $1 of spending cuts in this deal. If you are looking for "balance," this is not it.

This is assuming the spending cuts ever come, which will not happen. Even if the cuts do happen, they will be too small to make a difference. It sounds great to cut $1 trillion from the budget over ten years, but that is only $100 billion a year. When our annual budget deficit is well over $1 trillion - every single year - then cutting less than 10% of that will not get the job done. So we keep careening toward financial collapse, with no one in Washington making any serious effort to stop it. This does not bode well for the future.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A wicked king and his righteous servant

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

I Samuel chapters 23 and 24 provide a fascinating look at wicked King Saul and his righteous servant David, who would eventually be king of Israel - something that provides lessons for us.

First, David hears that the Philistines are attacking the Israelite city of Keilah, and he goes to the rescue, routing the Philistine army and inflicting heavy losses. David is on the run from King Saul (who is unjustly seeking David's life) and is under no obligation to do this, but he loves God's people and does it anyway.

The one who should be doing this is King Saul, who is charged with protecting Israel against her enemies. Not only does Saul not fulfill his duty as king, he only goes to Keilah when he hears that David is there, to murder him. David discovers Saul is coming and it is revealed to him that the men of the city will hand him over to Saul - even though he had just saved the city from the Philistines.

In rescuing Keilah and in the aftermath, David shows great faith. First, he trusts that God will deliver the victory to him. Then, even though he is about to be betrayed, he simply leaves the city rather than expose them to a siege by the wicked king. He refuses to take his vengeance on the men of Keilah. This is in stark contrast to the paranoid Saul, who mercilessly slaughtered an entire city in the previous chapter because they had assisted David.

It is this backstory that makes David's actions in chapter 24 so striking. King Saul has murdered an entire city in his paranoia, did not come to the aid of another city being attacked by Israel's enemies, and instead marched on that city to get at David. Saul has been seeking to murder David for some time. David, though, refuses to kill Saul when Saul is within his grasp, because for all of Saul's wickedness he is still the Lord's anointed.

In doing this, David provides a lesson for us in dealing with authority when that authority is acting like a tyrant. David does not blindly submit to Saul's unjust pursuit of him and allow Saul to kill him, but he will not raise his hand against Saul. David resisted the unjust orders of a bad king while still respecting his position as king. As Christians, we are not to blindly follow a civil authority when that authority is unjust, but we are to respect that authority.

David trusted God's promise that he would eventually be king, and refused to grab the power for himself. Eventually, David was rewarded for his faith, as he became king of Israel. David, of course, was a flawed man, as he showed by committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband to cover it up. But his life shows us many things that we can emulate in our own lives.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Don't water down the March for Life

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 3:00 AM (#)

An excellent blog post:

No other human genocide throughout human history – or plague, or war, or hurricane, or tsunami – can possibly compare to what we are seeing right now via abortion.

Abortion is the greatest human atrocity committed – ever.

Source: JillStanek.com.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Come to the 2013 Rally for Life

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

Bloomington Herald-Times, January 6, 2013 (Comments)

To the Editor:

January 22 will be forty years since the Roe v. Wade decision, where the Supreme Court fabricated the "right" to abortion that exists nowhere in the Constitution, throwing out laws against abortion in all fifty states.

This opened the floodgates to a slaughter which is unprecedented in human history. Fifty million unborn children have been killed since then, many times more than the Nazi Holocaust.

How can someone be so warped as to murder 20 children in Newtown Connecticut? Some have blamed violent video games (even though violent crime has gone down in the last 20 years as the video game industry has boomed) and others blame the wide availability of so-called "assault weapons."

There is one answer no one wants to look at. I do not believe you can have 50 million abortions - over three thousand babies legally killed every single day of every single year - without drastically reducing the respect for life. When we terminate life so easily, we send the message that life is not sacred.

The Rally for Life will be at 2:00 pm on January 20, 2013 at the Monroe County Courthouse square. Come and tell our community that the violence must end.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

The technology of "Prometheus"

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:30 PM (#)

"Prometheus" is supposed to be a prequel to the "Alien" movies, but the technology is all wrong. Touch screens, holograms, futuristic looking computers... something must have happened to devolve computer technology to the DOS-based text-only screens of the 1979 movie. You should not make a prequel with technology that is much more advanced than the movie that is supposed to follow it. Continuity matters.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Vladimir Putin sacrifices children to score political points

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

I've been on a slow burn for the last couple weeks regarding a truly evil piece of legislation passed by the depraved perverts in the Russian legislature with the support of Vladimir Putin. The U.S. had recently passed legislation placing restrictions on Russians who have been found to violate human rights and Russia feels like it is being picked on.

Now, for the sake of argument, let's assume that Russia is being treated in an unfair and unjust manner by the U.S. The solution to this should not be to punish Russian children and damn them to grow up in horrible Russian orphanages when they could be adopted into a stable, loving home in the United States. In order to take a political shot at the United States, Putin is literally sacrificing Russian children.

The Washington Post pointed out another angle to this story: American adoptions have been the subject of urban myths in Russia regarding those children being abused, including some absolutely absurd tales that adopted Russian children are used to harvest organs for transplant. The Post argues this is the "real reason" for the legislation.

It is more than likely a little bit of both. Putin is taking a potshot at the U.S. and he is catering to the ignorance of poor and uneducated rural Russians to shore up nationalist political support. It is a sick and depraved thing to do regardless. It is not just irresponsible to condemn Russian children to live horrible lives in these orphanages to gain some political traction - it is an evil action. It is 100% pure evil.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Barack Obama is to blame for his own policies. Period.

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

Barack Obama is responsible for the policies he implements. George W. Bush is not responsible for the policies Obama has chosen to implement. Why is this so difficult to understand? Why is it so difficult for Leftists to assign blame to Obama for Obama's own policies?

A December 30 letter to the editor criticizes George Will for supporting drone strikes against terrorists, condemning him for embracing John Yoo's theory on how to combat terrorism. "Yoo is author of the document for George W. Bush justifying torture," the author explains. Absolutely nowhere in the LTTE is Barack Obama mentioned, much less blamed for this policy - even though by September of 2012 Obama had already authorized six times more drone strikes than Bush did during his entire eight years in office.

Folks, this is absolutely ridiculous. George W. Bush is not President and has not been President since January 20, 2009. The fact that Obama has drastically increased the number of drone strikes is due to one person and one person only: Barack Obama. Why was there no mention of Obama in the LTTE?

Obama is the one who implemented the increased number of drone strikes. Obama is the one who ordered the extrajudicial assassination of an American citizen who had note even been charged with (much less convicted of) a crime. Barack Obama is the one who ordered another drone strike that terminated that American citizen's 16-year-old son. How is it possible in any sane world that George W. Bush is to blame for an action that Barack Obama took over two and a half years after Bush left office?

On a side note, it would be really nice if some Republicans (other than Ron Paul) would take a stand against the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens specifically, as well as express concern for the increased use of drone strikes generally. This does raise legitimate concerns with people on both the right and the left, and more discussion needs to take place on this issue. Obama should not be able to do this with no serious public scrutiny.

If we are really interested in bipartisanship, and if we are really interested in seeing Democrats and Republicans work together to find solutions that both sides can agree on, then we need to stop this kind of hyperpartisan bovine feces. Democrats need to put on their big boy pants and deal with Obama's record honestly rather than childishly pointing fingers at Bush for decisions he had absolutely nothing to do with.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Monroe County Council gives money to Planned Parenthood under cover of darkness

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

In its most recent fiscal report, Planned Parenthood of Indiana reported that they took in over $900,000 more than they spent. Yet the Monroe County Council decided that PP "deserves" $2,564 forcibly confiscated from Monroe County taxpayers. Since there is a limited amount of money to be distributed, legitimate local charities that do not have the backing of a state or national organization (much less a nearly seven-figure profit margin) were denied help.

If the County Council is going to have a social services funding program, it should not be handled like this.

But that is not the story this year. The story this year is the underhanded, unethical and sneaky way the County Council passed this grant, in a way that they knew would attract as little attention as possible. The council voted to give PP a grant two days after Christmas and the day after a snow emergency that had many people still digging out of their own driveways. They did it when they knew many people would be out of town or otherwise occupied. It was a truly shameful and cowardly move.

This process started in late September with a press release and there was an advisory meeting on October 8. Are we expected to believe that it took three months to have the meeting and award the grants, during Christmas week and right after a snow emergency? Why did the process take so long? Why could this have not been completed in early December, before the Christmas holiday? The answer is simple: The Democrats on the Monroe County Council did not want public input and this was done to ensure there would be no opposition.

Furthermore, the website for the community services grants had not been updated until December. Before that, it had the information for the 2011 grants. The council had a hastily-scheduled meeting to hear applications from social service organizations on December 13, then slipped through the grant during Christmas week, and right after a weather emergency. What are they afraid of? Why pass this at a special meeting, instead of the regularly scheduled monthly council meeting?

There is no defending this action. I am sure the council followed the letter of the law. But the fact of the matter is the scheduling of this "public meeting" effectively hid this vote from the public and intentionally stunted any opportunity for public comment. Why? What are the Democrats afraid of? That one or two people might show up and rebuke them for this vote? There is no honor in this behavior and all of the Democrats should be ashamed of themselves.

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