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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Michelle Malkin: "We need gang control, not gun control."

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

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Revisiting the switchblade ban's repeal

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

If you are going to respond to a letter to the editor, you need to respond to what the author actually wrote. Setting up a straw man and knocking it over accomplishes nothing.

On August 12, I had a letter to the editor published in the Herald-Times disagreeing with a staff editorial that bemoaned the repeal of the ban on switchblade knives. A week later, a letter to the editor appeared challenging my reasoning, specifically my claim that "the Constitution requires that a switchblade ban serves a 'compelling state interest.'"

There is a major problem with this rebuttal: I never said that. In fact, the word "constitution" does not even appear in my letter. I was making a philosophical argument about the limits of government power and where it is appropriate for government to step in and regulate something. Since I didn't make a legal or constitutional argument about the switchblade ban, the alleged constitutional standard about "suspect classes" is completely irrelevant to the point of my letter.

As with the comments under my letter, the author asks what I think about vaginal ultrasounds or regulations that clinics that prescribe abortion pills be held to higher standards. Honestly, I do not have an opinion on either question. The compelling state interest in regulating (and ideally, criminalizing) abortion is to protect the life of the unborn baby. That is a classic libertarian position - you can swing your fist until it touches my nose. In this case, the nose touched is that of the unborn baby as he or she is killed by dismemberment for profit.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Was an innocent man sent to prison by lies?

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

It was a shocking accusation - a nine year old girl claimed she was raped and sodomized by her father. He was arrested, tried, convicted and sent to prison, where he has been for fifteen years. After he had been in prison for six months, she recanted her story and said she made the accusations under duress, fearful of beatings by her mother who, for some reason, wanted her to accuse her father.

This all started in 1997. Now, in 2013, the girl is still campaigning to have her father's name cleared. Her story has been consistent for fifteen years - she says the abuse never happened and she lied because of fear. Despite a lack of physical evidence, the jury convicted Daryl Kelly based on Chaneya Kelly's graphic testimony. But should fifteen years of denials by a woman who is now twenty three years old hold some weight?

The prosecutors in the case are standing by their conviction, even though all indications are that a tragic mistake was made here. While abuse of power by prosecutors is frighteningly common, for the sake of argument let's assume that the prosecutors were motivated only by a desire to protect this girl and they genuinely believed Mr. Kelly was guilty. Sometimes, mistakes happen - even with the best of intentions.

Making a mistake is forgivable. None of us are perfect and we are often wrong. Refusing to admit that mistake - and fighting tooth and nail to prevent the mistake from being corrected - is not. Is it possible that Ms. Kelly told the truth at the trial and has been lying for fifteen years? Perhaps, but it is not likely. The prosecutors are not interested in justice. They are interested in their pride. They are interested in having an unblemished record - justice be damned. That is unforgivable. That is evil.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Looking in the mirror at our own sin

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

Can someone please explain to me why a near-pornographic "dance" on a MTV "awards" show is shocking? Is this any different from what Britney Spears was doing ten years ago? Is this any different from what Madonna was doing twenty-five years ago?

Folks, we live in a culture that has been rotten since the "free love" era of the 1960's. People who are up in arms about a twenty year old woman dancing in a sexually explicit manner on cable TV are upset about three drops of water on the kitchen floor while the whole city is under four feet of water.

Our twenty-something sons and daughters are regularly and frequently "hooking up" with strangers they have never met before and will probably never meet again. For those over 30 who may think that means getting together to shoot the breeze, "hooking up" is what we used to call a "one night stand."

Hardcore pornography on the Internet is available through the click of a mouse, where the most obscene perversions you can imagine (and a lot you have never imagined) can be found within seconds.

Our culture needs a revival, and that revival has to start in the church. We wag our fingers at a naughty pop singer all day long but we refuse to do a thing about the rampant sexual immorality in our church pews. We are saturated with sexual immorality. All that pop singer did was make us look in the mirror.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Explaining my position or wasting my time?

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

Are Leftists illiterate, or are they just liars? Is there a limit to how many times Leftists will ask a "question" and pretend it has not been answered previously?

When my most recent letter to the editor was published on August 12, the first comment was this:

"Maybe Scott Tibbs will someday tell us what is the good reason for the government to ban gay marriage?"

Of course, that had absolutely nothing to do with the topic of my letter, which was about the state legislature reversing the ban on switchblades. When another individual responded to my letter with a letter of her own, the same HTO user made the following comment:

But Scott also argues that same sex marriage should be illegal but steadfastly refuses, despite multiple requests, just refuses to explain why. The reason he won’t answer is the answer would expose him and others like him to the charge of being a Christian Taliban.

This is a flagrant lie. I have explained my position many times. I have explained my position multiple times in the old HTO comment system, though all of those have been erased since HTO moved to a new system in July. I posted an explanation of my position on July 12. The kicker here is that the very same person who now falsely accuses me of never explaining my position responded to my post.

I also explained my position in letters to the editor in 2008 and 2009, as well as a guest editorial in 2006. I have explained my position many times on my blog over the years, though I do not expect him to have read those posts.

I was going to respond to the dishonest "question" about my position on same-sex marriage, but I decided it was a waste of time. When the "question" includes an accusation that I have refused to answer the "question" in the past despite having done so many times over the years, why should I bother answering it? After all, when I answer the "question," my critics will simply claim that I have refused to answer the "question" the next day or the next week.

You see, this "question" is not a question. Leftists who are "asking" me a "question" do not want and answer to their "question" - and they never have been interested in an answer. This is a propaganda tool designed to attack me, nothing more. Leftists ask "questions" over and over despite the fact that I have answered their "questions" many times, and then pretend that I have refused to answer them. It is a dishonest smear tactic and those using it do not deserve the respect of a legitimate answer. They do, however, deserve to be called out for their brazen and shameful lies.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Banning abortion at 20 weeks - The real issue

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

Who are the real extremists in the debate over banning abortion at 20 weeks?

Click here for my post at Hoosier Access or click the image below.

Heroic Media: Ban abortion at 20 weeks.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chemical weapons in Syria?

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

We know that al-Qaeda is part of the revolution against Bashir Assad. Is it unthinkable that they would gas civilians themselves in order to get Western nations to help them?

There's no doubt that Assad is an evil tyrant. But we need to be VERY careful about what we do here. There are no good guys in this conflict.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Twenty years in Bloomington...

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

Twenty years ago today, I moved to Bloomington to start my freshman year at Indiana University. I certainly didn't think I would still be here in 2013, but God had a better plan for my life than I did. These days there is less hair on my head and a lot more gray in my beard, but I have been very blessed in my life.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Of course newsworthy stories should be covered...

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

Last week, three men were arrested after they allegedly jumped a 19-year-old on his front porch and beat him up. He suffered significant injuries in the beating. What made this of particular interest is that two of the three men who allegedly committed the crime are John Mellencamp's adult sons, Speck and Hud.

You may have noticed that I underlined "men" and "adult" earlier. That's because, while the three two alleged attackers are technically teenagers, they are also legal adults and will be tried as such. One of the things that really annoys me in crime stories is when adults are described as "teenagers," because that paints a very misleading picture about the suspects. It may be technically accurate to call them "teenagers" but it would be exponentially more truthful to call them what they are - adult men.

With that out of the way, Bob Zaltsberg offered a defense of the Herald-Times' coverage of the story, explaining that there are other noteworthy things about the suspects that makes it worthy of the front page of the newspaper. (See those stories here and here and here.)

Come on. If two of the three men accused of a vicious three-on-one beat down were not the sons of a world-famous musician who is a Bloomington native, would this story have been covered as prominently as it was? Do I really need to ask that question?

Look. What makes this story newsworthy is two of the three men are Mellencamp's adult sons. The Herald-Times is in the business of covering local news and providing customers with the news they want to read about. There is nothing wrong with that - but the H-T needs to be honest about why this is being covered. This is about the Mellencamp name, which sells newspapers and brings more visitors to the H-T website to see the obnoxious popover ads. It insults the intelligence of the readers to pretend it is anything other than what we all know it to be.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

A terribly wicked letter and a mirror into our own hearts

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

And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. -- Jeremiah 32:35

When the utterly disgusting scan of a letter anonymously delivered to the mother of an autistic child went viral, people were shocked at the inhumanity of the woman who would write such terrible things about a child. Unfortunately, none of us were able to see our own shame in the words of the letter and how it reflects on us.

It should be no surprise that the cowardly "mother" refused to sign her letter. When something is done anonymously, it is almost always done to hide shameful and despicable behavior. This is why discourse on the Internet is often so filled with hatred and venom, because people writing those things do not have to attach their names and reputations to what they are saying.

But we should not be surprised or shocked by the inhumanity of the letter, even by the suggestion that the child be murdered so that his organs can be harvested for others in need. As ghoulish as that suggestion is, the author is simply following along with the culture of death created by an unlimited "right" to abortion. After all, 90% of babies with Down Syndrome are aborted.

What this woman wrote is evil, yes, but she is only repeating what our culture tells us every day. Down Syndrome babies, autistic babies or babies with other defects should be aborted because they will not have a good "quality of life" - when the real reason is that the parents do not want to deal with the challenges of caring for a special needs child. We hear that the elderly or the terminally ill have the right to "die with dignity" when the real reasoning is that they have a "duty" to die so they are not a "burden" to their families or to society .

Right here in Bloomington, a newborn baby was murdered 30 years ago. Baby Doe was born with a defect, where his esophagus did not connect to his stomach. He could have been saved with an operation but his parents refused because he had Down Syndrome. Offers to adopt the baby so he could live were rejected - the bloodlust had to be quenched. Baby Doe suffered horribly and died of starvation and dehydration.

It is easy for us to look down on the woman who wrote that terribly wicked letter and think she is a sub-human puddle of slime and filth. But what she is really doing is forcing each and every one of us to look in the mirror and we do not like what we see. Condemn her, yes - but we need to condemn ourselves too. We are all guilty. All of us. We all have blood on our hands.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pointing fingers does not solve problems!

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

In his August 12 column, Mark Russell takes a black CNN anchor to task for saying blacks should stop "wearing baggy/sagging pants, littering, using the N-word, having children out of wedlock and dropping out of school." Russell affirmatively quotes blogger Tracy Clayto, who said "It is not the job of people of color to prove their decency to whites in hopes of being treated humanely."

Let's take the use of "the N-word" and baggy pants out of it and focus on the two big behavior modifications mentioned - dropping out of school and having illegitimate children. Study after study has demonstrated the destructive effects of illegitimacy, both for the mother and her children. Children who grow up without a father (and their mothers) are more likely to be poor and to continue the cycle of poverty. Teens who drop out of school deny themselves many employment opportunities to better their lives, leaving crime as the back-up option for many - and that leads to prison.

If you do not want to be poor and you do not want your children to be poor, get your high school diploma and do not have children before you are married. Once married, stay married to the same person for life. Setting aside sexual morality, those two things - education and marriage - are the two most effective anti-poverty programs we have in this nation. (Not to mention the civilizing effect a wife and children have on men by forcing them to grow up and be responsible.) No government assistance program can repair the damage done by ignoring those two things.

That is not just a black problem. The bad choices that lead to generational poverty are not confined to one skin pigmentation.

Nothing excuses white racism. Nothing excuses treating blacks as inferiors. But if we want to make real progress toward improving the lives of blacks, especially in the inner city, we have to be serious about the kinds of behaviors that are both self destructive and harmful to future generations. Pointing the finger at others like a whining child does absolutely nothing to solve those very serious problems.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Planned Parenthood and killing babies born alive

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

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Monday, August 19, 2013

The Bob Filner scandal is a Democratic Party scandal

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

Republicans had won the elections for the mayor's office since 1992, so Filner's victory was something that excited Democrats. For the last several weeks, many Democrats have rushed to condemn San Diego Mayor Bob Filner after multiple women accused him of sexually harassing them. This is a good thing - a number of the things Filner has been accused of doing are a lot closer to sexual assault than sexual harassment.

But where were they before the scandal broke earlier this year? What did the Democratic Party know about Filner's despicable behavior, and when did they know it? We now know that Filner was engaging in this behavior when he was a Congressman. We know that he has engaged in this behavior "goes back years -- and possibly decades."

So, again, what did the Democratic Party know and when did they know it?

Given how this man had been abusing women for many years before he ever ran for mayor (one signature move was called the "Filner Headlock") why did the Democratic Party get behind this man and push him into the highest elected office in the city of San Diego? Are we really supposed to believe that Bob Filner's behavior was unknown to the Democratic Party establishment, Democratic elected officials, donors and high-profile activists?

Or were they willing to look past a pattern of sexually assaulting women in hopes that Filner could propel the Democratic Party to win an election for Mayor for the first time in more than twenty years?

One of the most appalling things about the Penn State "University" rape scandal was how "university" officials looked the other way for years. I find it hard to believe that a significant portion of the Democratic Party establishment in San Diego did not know exactly what Bob Filner was and what he had been doing over the years. It is easy to condemn Filner for what he did (and he deserves it) but there is almost certainly wrongdoing that goes beyond Filner's antics.

Here's hoping that gets exposed - no pun intended.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Theological reality check

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 11:45 PM (#)

Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God. Muslims explicitly deny the divinity of Jesus Christ, meaning they think He's either a liar or a lunatic. Those are the only two options available if He is not Lord.

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Zoeller is right to seek clarity on prayer

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

In my newest post on Hoosier Access, I explain that in filing friend of the court briefs, Greg Zoeller is doing his job as attorney general and representing the interests of the state on matters that will eventually impact Indiana, depending on how the cases are decided.

Read more at Hoosier Access.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

A wicked king and his righteous servant, Part II

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

When King Saul disobeyed God and was told the kingdom of Israel would be taken away from him, he became increasingly paranoid and attempted to murder David. Despite Saul's wickedness and repeated attempts to murder him, David refused to raise his hand against the Lord's anointed king.

David's devotion to Saul and his devotion to God was demonstrated again in II Samuel chapter 1. In the last chapter of I Samuel, Saul killed himself by falling on his sword rather than be captured by the Philistines, who would likely torture him. After the battle, an Amalekite stole Saul's crown and bracelet and presented it to David. The Amalekite lied and said he had killed Saul to prevent him from being tortured.

He thought David would reward him for killing David's enemy. He could not have been more wrong.

David (who had no way to know whether what the man was saying was true or not) ordered his men to execute the Amalekite for killing the Lord's anointed king - he had condemned himself by his own mouth and the fact that he had physical evidence gave his story credibility. David tore his clothes and loudly mourned for King Saul, composing a psalm to remember the fallen king as a great man.

Keep in mind that Saul had spent many years trying to murder David, had given David's wife to another man and dealt treacherously with David. Saul even tried to murder his own son, Jonathan, for helping David. There was nothing positive about the way the wicked king had dealt with his righteous servant. There was no earthly reason for David to do anything other than celebrate the death of the wicked king and be relieved that his tormentor was dead.

That is not how this righteous man reacted. He loved God and he loved God's law. He mourned the passing of the Lord's anointed king, but it was not simply respect for God's anointing of Saul as king that drove David to execute the man who appeared to have murdered Saul. David clearly loved Saul even though Saul had treated him so badly. David's humble and forgiving spirit serve as an example to all of us to follow.

Previously:

A wicked king and his righteous servant, Part I

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

The case for evening meetings

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

Doug Masson's response to my editorial at HoosierAccess.com brings up familiar arguments, but the case for having "public" meetings when the public can actually attend remains strong.

It may well be that evening meetings do not significantly increase attendance, but that is not a reason to have meetings during the work day. The vast majority of the public will not access public records, but that does not mean we should repeal or significantly restrict access to public records. The point is that the public should be able to attend public meetings, not that they will attend those meetings in greater numbers. There are some people who cannot attend meetings who would if they were held at an accessible time.

As far as increased cost to government, overtime costs can be reduced by using flex time or shifting work schedules. Employees who are classified as "exempt" under FLSA do not get paid overtime, and employees who would be paid overtime can take other time off during the week, either before or after the public meeting in question. People who work in retail have been used to having wildly different hours for decades in order to make sure stores are staffed at all times, so there is no reason flex time or staggered schedules cannot be implemented by government.

As to this statement:

Finally, I tend to oppose the State telling local government how to run its business.

State government already has a number of controls on local government. Local government is audited by the state to ensure compliance with financial regulations and local government must comply with open-records rules. In fairness, Masson obviously knows this. The legitimate point he raises is how much control state government should have over the operation of local government and what should instead be decided under the banner of home rule. This is one area where more state control over local government would be justified.

Previous editorials:

Government meeting times need to change.

Commissioners' meeting times need to change, Part II.

Commissioners' meeting times need to change, Part III.

Commissioners' meeting times need to change, Part IV.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The terrorist watch list and buying guns

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

The problem with banning people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns is that the terrorist watch list has been known to be wrong. So people who have committed no crime and are no threat to anyone will have their Constitutional rights taken away because of an error by government bureaucrats. Furthermore, this ban also violates due process.

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Was Dustin Turner's punishment unfair?

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

There is a lot of chatter in Bloomington about the "unfair" punishment of native son Dustin Turner, who was sentenced to 82 years in prison for the murder of a young woman. His buddy, Billy Brown, was given 72 years in prison. Brown has since recanted his testimony during the trial, admitting that he alone murdered Jennifer Evans, and Turner tried to stop him.

So if the punishments were handed down "appropriately" then Turner would have gotten 72 years in prison.

Here is the important thing. Turner and Brown abducted Evans with the intention of raping her. (See Herald-Times articles from August 2010, May 2008, May 2008, May 2003, June 1998, June 1996 and June 1996.) According to the law, the fact that Evans got into the vehicle because Turner and Brown deceived her is enough for the abduction charge.

The most infuriating aspect of this case is the excuse that Turner was following the military's code of honor of not leaving a buddy behind when he helped Brown hide the body and cover up the crime. This blood libel against our military is disgusting and despicable. The people shamefully spreading this blood libel should stop and apologize to every current and former member of the military for smearing them in such a sleazy manner. Not leaving a buddy behind does not include helping him cover up a horrific crime.

Turner is no innocent. He fully intended on violently assaulting Evans with his buddy's help. The murder may have never been part of Turner's plan, and he may well have tried to stop it, but the fact that a murder was committed in the process of Turner committing a felony makes him guilty of her murder. He absolutely should not be released from prison - both because it would be an injustice to Evans and because it would be an injustice to anyone who becomes a victim of Evans if he is released.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Reversing the ban on switchblades in Indiana

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

Bloomington Herald-Times, August 12, 2013

The Herald-Times' headline was correct that switchblade legislation fixed a nonexistent problem, but the nonexistent problem was "fixed" in 1957 when switchblades were banned in the first place.

It never made any sense to me that Hoosiers can carry concealed handguns but switchblades were illegal. Furthermore, spring-assisted knives were already legal before switchblades were decriminalized, and many people can open those just as quickly as a switchblade.

The H-T asks if any Hoosiers were harmed or inconvenienced by the switchblade ban. I respectfully submit that is the wrong question. The right question is whether there is a compelling state interest in banning switchblades.

If government is going to restrict our liberty by banning something, then government needs to show a good reason why the ban is necessary. Simply saying "it does not harm you" is not a good enough reason to restrict our liberty by banning a product.

There was never a good reason to ban switchblades specifically, as long as other knives are legal. It is just as easy to commit a crime with another kind of weapon. Unfortunately, sometimes paranoia gets the better of our elected leaders and rash decisions are made. Thankfully, this one was reversed.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

A horrific school bus beating and racial politics

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

The video was shocking: Three fifteen year old boys attacked a thirteen year old classmate on a school bus. The thugs rained down punches on him, stomping on him as he tried to hide under the seat. No one intervened - not even the school bus driver - to a savage attack that left the boy with a broken arm and two black eyes.

He could have been killed.

There are a lot of things that we can say about this attack and what it says about our culture, but do we really need to turn it into an example of racial violence and use it as an example of racial politics? Despite the fact that it was three black teens beating a white teen, the answer is no. From all indications, this was not a racially-motivated crime.

The three perpetrators attacked the younger boy for telling school officials that one of them had tried to sell him marijuana in the school's bathroom. They were attacking him for being a "snitch." They were not attacking him because he was white - he just happened to be white. Even if race had been the motivation, would a barbaric attack somehow be worse than three criminals attacking someone who did not want to buy drugs?

Racial tensions are very high right now. There is no reason to make this into some sort of racial issue when it is not a racial issue. There is no need to "call out" Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton for not speaking out on this crime. Yes, these two (especially Sharpton) have a long history of shameful race baiting, but this is not the case to use to criticize them. If conservatives are legitimately unhappy with race hustlers, the answer is not to become race hustlers ourselves.

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

My bovine feces alarm is broken

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

OK, let me get this straight. A former KGB apparatchik - who worked for an explicitly atheist regime known for brutally persecuting Christians - is now calling for us to unite against anti-Christian persecution.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

My bovine feces alarm went off so loud for so long that I need a new one. It is worn out.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Suicide by train and extreme selfishness

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

Suicide is a terrible thing, but this was particularly awful. If someone is determined to kill himself, that is one thing, but involving someone else without his consent is just plain wrong. The train engineer will have to deal with the fact that he was driving the train that killed these two. Their lack of concern for his mental and emotional well-being is shameful.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Invasion of privacy isn't the answer to teen pregnancy

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

Mississippi has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the nation, and the state has several good reasons for wanting to address this problem - especially when the girl is underage and the father is an adult man. In addition to protecting teenage girls from statutory rape and sexual exploitation, the state has a financial interest in finding the father so that he can contribute financially to the cost of caring for the child so not all of the cost is passed onto taxpayers.

While all of this is good, violating Constitutional rights through invasive demands by government is not the answer. It is one thing to require testing of umbilical cord blood for public health reasons, but to do so for the purposes of a criminal investigation (especially without the consent of the mother) raises civil liberties concerns. Furthermore, a warrant would be necessary to get blood from the alleged father.

Furthermore, once the DNA test is taken, how long will the DNA be kept on file? Does the state have carte blanche to test the DNA against DNA found with other crimes whenever they want, whether or not there is reasonable suspicion (or a search warrant) that the alleged father has committed a crime?

One of the most disturbing aspects of the law is that it declares it is reasonable to suspect a sex crime has been committed if (among other things) "the identified father disputes paternity." What if the identified father never had sex with the girl and she is pointing the finger at him to "protect" the real culprit? Is a denial of guilt when accused of a crime now reasonable suspicion that someone has actually committed a crime?

Men who sexually exploit underage teenage girls need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law for their crimes, and they must be required to financially support the offspring they created in the commission of the crime of statutory rape - and they should have no right to visitation or custody unless the mother and her parents approve. But as important as it is to hold these men accountable, we must do so in a way that protects civil liberties and does not present the opportunity for abuse of power by government.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

CCFL booth at the 2013 Monroe County Fair

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

More pictures here.

CCFL on Facebook.

CCFL Web site.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mercy cannot exist without wrath

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

The image of Jesus hanging on the cross dying for our sins, after being beaten, humiliated and tortured by the Roman authorities, is indeed a picture of how much God loves us. But it is also a picture of how much God hates our sin and how it is impossible for us to be reconciled to God by our own righteousness (see Romans 3:10-12) and how only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ (see John 14:6 and Acts 4:12) can we be redeemed from the bondage of sin and the debt our sin has created.

In fact, mercy cannot exist without wrath. If God's wrath and eventual judgment for our sin was not hanging over us, there would have been no need for Jesus to sacrifice Himself as a one-time atonement for all of the sins of man. In fact Jesus warned many times in His ministry about the eternal damnation of Hell - see Matthew 10:28, Mark 9:43-44, Matthew 25:44-46 and Luke 16:19-31.

Jesus was not the effeminate wimp that America has fabricated, soft and weak. He was a man who violently drove the money changers out of the temple with a whip! He was loving and compassionate, to be sure - see the example of how gentle He was with the woman who washed His feet with her tears in Luke 7:36-50. But we should never forget that he confronted and condemned those who needed to be confronted and condemned.

The entire point of God being merciful is that we deserve to be punished by a holy God for our sins, but He takes pity on us. Not only does He have mercy on us, but He sends His Son to be punished in our place. Why? Because we richly deserve eternal damnation in Hell fire for our crimes against Him. We must never lose sight of our sin.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Young’s bill restores the balance of power in Washington

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

My latest post at Hoosier Access:

It is good news for those who cherish the rule of law, then, that Indiana's own Todd Young introduced legislation that would require "major rules" to be approved by Congress before they go into effect. People on the left, right and center have expressed concerns for decades now about the "imperial presidency" - the continual flow of power from Congress to the President that has continued under Presidents of both political parties.

Read more at Hoosier Access.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Response to condemnation of murder - "That's not very loving"

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

When people condemn Ariel Castro for kidnapping several young women and then brutally abusing and raping them for years, are the people condemning him challenged because what they are saying is "not very loving?" No, because condemning evil actions and victimization of these women shows love for these women and a desire that this should never happen to another woman. When we as a society condemn murder, rape, child abuse and torture, we do so because of love for the victims.

On the July 31 edition of Nightline, ABC sent a reporter to examine the possibility that the last remaining abortion "clinic" in Mississippi would close due to new regulations the "clinic" could not meet. As an abortion opponent said that babies are being murdered by dismemberment in the clinic, the reporter said that statement "is not very loving." The fact that it did not dawn on her that protecting the innocent from harm is the essence of loving your neighbor.

The objection to that is obvious. "A fetus is not a person and it is illogical to equate a fetus with people who have actually been born." Well, that's the central point of the debate, is it not? It is a silly distraction to debate whether condemnation of abortion is "loving" because that ignores the primary question - is the entity growing in the womb a human being or not?

I have been repeating this same point over and over for fifteen years, and frankly I am getting bored with it. Even so, I think it is necessary to repeat this point because there are so many people easily deceived and distracted by stupid arguments about whether something is "loving" or not. Because people are too easily led astray by their emotions when abortion comes up, it is necessary to bring logic back into the discussion.

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

A random observation

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 11:22 PM (#)

The difference between the election results in Zimbabwe and a professional wrestling match is that pro wrestling promoters admit their results are predetermined.

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

812 Area Code gets an overlay

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

Some are complaining about the decision to do an "overlay" for the 812 area code, instead of splitting it geographically. With the advent of web calling by Skype and Gmail, many people already ten-digit dial. Plus, many people keep their cell phone number when they move into a different area code. I don't think this is a huge inconvenience. It would be a bigger inconvenience to force people to change their phone number.

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Friday, August 2, 2013

NSA snooping and the shadow of 9/11

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

After Pearl Harbor, we were justifiably concerned about national security and what Imperial Japan would do next. As part as our efforts to make our nation safe, we rounded up Americans of Japanese descent - including women and children - and herded them into concentration camps. No doubt those who objected to this despicable (not to mention illegal) violation of human rights were scolded as being blind to the very real threat to our national security.

One could make the argument that we have more to fear from our own government than foreign terrorists. The men, women and children forced into concentration camps in World War II may agree. The Native Americans who were massacred as we pushed westward would probably agree as well - but they cannot answer because they are all dead. One of the most despicable actions in that campaign was the Sand Creek Massacre, when U.S. troops attacked a Cheyenne village while the men were away and savagely massacred women and children.

No doubt some thought the Sand Creek Massacre was necessary to eliminate a "threat" to our security.

This brings us to the scandal broken by Edward Snowden regarding the massive data-collection by the National Security Agency of phone records and Internet traffic of virtually every American, the vast majority of whom are not suspected of or tied to terrorism of any kind. Surely our federal government is only collecting these records for our safety and there is no need to worry about the data being abused. According to folks like Chris Christie, those objecting to this program are dangerously naïve.

Here's the deal. No serious person objects to the government having the power to conduct wiretaps, collect phone records or monitor Internet use - provided that there is a warrant and a reasonable suspicion of illegal or dangerous activity. Even the most ardent libertarian would not have a problem with this. The problem is the massive collection of data on three hundred million innocent people, and the potential for abuse.

There is not (or should not be) a conflict between national security and civil liberties. What we need to do as a nation is get beyond the fear mongering tactics of people like Christie who yell "September 11" to shame or silence people with legitimate concerns about government overreach and the potential for abuse of power.

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Criminal defense attorneys are critical for due process

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

Why would an attorney defend someone like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or Ariel Castro? Due process is critical, even for the worst of the worst. That's why I recommend this editorial by Abbe Smith in the Washington Post last week.

My main problem with the editorial is including George Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense after Martin attacked him and slammed his head into the sidewalk. But if you can look past that, it is a good read.

Criminal defense attorneys are a critical part of our justice system, and they are needed to ensure justice is done. Far too often, innocent people (like the Central Park Five) are convicted of crimes they did not commit, which is a double injustice - both for the innocent person unjustly punished and for the victim, because the guilty person is not punished.

It is easy for us to look down on attorneys who defend Tsarnaev and Castro. It is even easier to damn shysters like Walter Bansley, who defended savage barbarian Joshua Komisarjevsky after he committed a brutal home invasion in Connecticut along with Steven Hayes. Komisarjevsky and Hayes sadistically beat a man and tied him up, and then proceeded to rape and murder his wife and daughters.

Even so, criminal defense attorneys should represent their clients in a moral and ethical manner. Walter Bansley, the thoroughly corrupt shyster who represented Komisarjevsky, is a dirty black stain on all attorneys. Bansley blamed the rape/murder victims and the survivor for the crimes committed by his evil client. How much of a sick, depraved pervert do you have to be to blame the victims in a horrific home invasion and multiple murder?

With his disgusting antics at the trial, Bansley proved he is every bit as evil as Komisarjevsky and Hayes, and is perhaps even more evil than those men. He should have been disbarred.

But even that should not cause us to take our eye off the ball when it comes to protecting the constitutional rights of even obviously guilty criminals like Komisarjevsky, Hayes, Castro and Tsarnaev. It is important for them to have representation - not because they deserve it but because we as a society deserve it.

We need to have due process rights protected even in the most extreme cases, because that is where our commitment to the rule of law is most seriously tested. Once the precedent is established that anyone's constitutional rights can be violated, we can be assured that government will expand that precedent to violate the rights of more and more people, including those who have committed no crime.

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