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Friday, January 31, 2014

House Bill 1351 needs to be defeated

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

My latest post at Hoosier Access, regarding reforming welfare benefits:

When I first saw the summary for House Bill 1351, I wondered if Michelle Obama had somehow taken control of the Republican caucus in the Indiana House of Representatives. Fortunately, that is not the case, but this is certainly something that Mrs. Obama would support.

Read more at Hoosier Access.

I posted the summary of the bill on Tumblr and Facebook.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Selling legal products legally is a "crime" now?

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

We have seen many abuses in the "War on Drugs," and now we see a new one: It is now a "crime" to sell a legal product legally, even when the person selling that legal product in a legal way calls the police with concerns that people are using it to make methamphetamine and asks for suggestions on what to do about it. When the store was raided, the obviously guilty store employee went to the store to provide whatever assistance he could to law enforcement.

For more information, see here and here and here.

At issue is Polar Pure, a product used to purify water. A critical ingredient is iodine. The product itself is legal, and was being sold legally. The "crime" committed by store employees in selling Polar Pure is that this product can be used to make methamphetamine - a truly horrible and destructive drug.

So here is the issue. The store was selling a legal product, legally, and the government decided they committed a "crime" and went after them. You can be assured there is greed at work too, because the Obama regime also wants the store to hand over nearly $270,000. The "War on Drugs" is often used to line the pockets of government, after all.

This is ridiculous. If a product being sold is that bad, then ban it. Make it illegal to manufacture, transport, possess and sell the product. That makes far more sense than inventing "crimes" after the fact. By the way, ex post facto laws are illegal under the Constitution - the very same Constitution that Obama swore to uphold and protect.

For the Obama regime to decide that selling a legal product legally is a "crime" is a bridge too far. It opens the floodgates for criminal liability and putting even more non-violent people in our already overcrowded and overburdened prison system, plus making it much more difficult for these people to be productive members of society.

The Obama regime has shown some much-needed sanity in pushing for reform of mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug crimes, but they are still drug warriors at heart. If Obama is serious about containing the abuses of the "War on Drugs," dropping cases like this would be a good place to start.

See previous articles on this issue here and here and here and here and here and here.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Alfred Kinsey is the personification of evil

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

It is amazing to me how many of the same people who justifiably condemn the Roman Catholic Church and Penn State so-called "University" for failing to protect children from sexual predators will aggressively defend the Kinsey Institute and Alfred Kinsey specifically.

When the Herald-Times reported on the Kinsey Institute getting access to some written material, I posted a simple comment: "Justice for the children of Table 34." This caused Leftists to become enraged. I was called names and personally attacked, but the facts are on my side.

Kinsey's crimes against humanity were documented in his own book and the facts have been well-established for decades now. The facts, provided by Alfred Kinsey himself, are as follows: Kinsey interviewed a demonic, evil monster known as "Mr. Green," who provided information on how the children he brutally tortured reacted to the horrific tortures committed against them.

Kinsey published this information in his book and never turned "Mr. Green" over to the civil magistrate so he could be punished and so other victims could be protected. Instead, Kinsey profited professionally from the information "Mr. Green" provided to him. All of this has been well-established and well-documented for decades. Because of his demonic behavior, Kinsey can easily be compared to Nazi maniac Josef Mengele.

While some would recoil at Nazi comparisons to anything, it is appropriate. The Nazis were certainly evil, but they are hardly unique to history. We need only look at the infamous Tuskegee experiment where treatment for syphilis was intentionally withheld from blacks to see this kind of evil in our own history. Of course, we also committed genocide against the various American Indian tribes.

So given Kinsey's evil, why does he have such a devoted cult of followers? The answer is simple: Kinsey is considered the father of the "sexual revolution" and sexual license. Militant homosexuals and militant abortion-rights advocates venerate him as if he is the prophet of a religion. But this makes no sense. One can argue that consenting adults should be able to engage in whatever sexual practice they see fit without defending a monster who profited from the savage and brutal rape of children as young as infants.

When Alfred Kinsey died, the world became a much better place. It is a terrible injustice, though, that he was never prosecuted for his crimes against humanity. But while Kinsey might have escaped man's judgment, he did not escape the judgment of Almighty God. Ever since the day he died, Kinsey has been suffering in horrible burning agony in Hell Fire, where he will continue to suffer in horrible burning agony for all eternity.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Random thoughts of the day

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

♣ - In news that surprises absolutely no one who has ever had a baby, new research has "discovered" that babies do "fake" cry in order to get attention.

♣ - I downloaded a "Chess" app for iOS and I set the difficulty to the highest grandmaster level. Because that's how I roll! I promptly got obliterated. I did not think it was even possible to get checkmated three moves into a match. (Just kidding, but that's not much of an exaggeration.)

♣ - To be fair to Chris Christie, I have seen no evidence of his involvement in New Jersey's bridge closing scandal. But if Christie is guilty of intentionally shutting down the bridge for childish political retribution, I absolutely will not vote for him in the 2016 general election. We do not need someone that dangerously corrupt anywhere near the White House. The power of the President is too vast for that, which is why this is a disqualification.

♣ - ClearNote Fellowship is having a church officers' conference next month, and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who serves a church. The audio from past conferences is very educational and encouraging. See audio from 2013, 2013, 2012, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009.

♣ - Facebook has just launched a new feature to show what is "trending" on the popular social networking site. Congratulations, Facebook! Now you are only five years behind Twitter and a couple years behind Google Plus.


Monday, January 27, 2014

A silly argument over texting leads to death

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

By now you have heard of the tragic shooting in the movie theater, where an 71-year-old man shot a 43-year-old man after an argument over the younger man texting his daughter. This is sad, simply because it should never have escalated into a physical confrontation and would not have if either man had been an adult.

The younger man should not have been texting, because it is not permitted by the theater. Simply respecting the rules of the theater would have avoided the confrontation entirely. If there is an emergency and you need to contact someone, step outside the theater and make a phone call. I did just that last summer - it was not an emergency but was important enough that I needed to make a call. So rather than disturbing anyone, I left and came back.

(That said, some of the rules are inane and needlessly authoritarian. One chain has a rule against "time checking." Seriously? You're telling me I may not check the time on my phone? What about my watch, with the light?)

Once it became clear that the person behind him was angry about the texting, the younger man should have either left the theater to finish it or moved to a different seat so as not to disturb the older man. Finally, the younger man threw a bag of popcorn at the older man. Who does that? There are well-behaved two year old boys who know better than to throw things at people. He did not deserve to die, but had he been punched in the face I would not have shed any tears.

The greatest fault, though, was the older man. The victim was not talking, he was texting - the latter being much less intrusive than the former. He was not streaming a YouTube video with the volume up. Just chill out and do not get angry over something so insignificant. If the texting is that distracting, ask him to stop and move to a different place if he refuses. Had the older man decided to be the bigger person, none of this would have happened.

As for the shooting itself, I hold the older man much more responsible than I would an average person, because the shooter is a former police officer. (Speaking of respecting the rules, the older man should not have brought a weapon where it was prohibited. He should have respected the private property rights of the theater.) As a former police officer, he has the training to know when he is truly in danger and when he is not. Based on the evidence thus far, there is no justification for the shooting. It is a sad case all around and it never should have happened.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Let’s be real about the marriage amendment

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

My latest post at Hoosier Access, regarding HJR-3:

We can debate whether or not this amendment is a good idea, but the debate over the marriage amendment should be grounded in reality, not in propaganda, fantasy or paranoia. Domestic partner benefits are not endangered by HJR-3.

Read more at Hoosier Access.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

An important reminder for the 2014 elections

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

As a reminder, negative campaigning is a good thing.

In many cases, candidates for office have a moral obligation to go negative.


Friday, January 24, 2014

If only we had a do-nothing bureaucracy

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

My latest post at Hoosier Access:

But the fact that the federal government is enacting this many regulations in one single year that have the force of law should be a concern to those of us who value individual liberty and limited government. Did we really need the federal government to pass so many regulations in 2013? What pressing problems were solved by these new regulations? Could we have gotten along without some of them?

Read more at Hoosier Access.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Figure skating in the Winter Olympics

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

It is time for the Winter Olympics again. That means it is time for my usual rant about figure skating.

I appreciate the athleticism of events like figure skating. There is no way I could do any of the moves these men and women do on the ice. I admire the physical strength, balance, coordination, conditioning and speed of these athletes. The natural talent it takes to compete in figure skating at the Olympics is amazing and the huge amount of time they spend in training is admirable.

However, figure skating at the Olympics is not a sport, because it is not truly a competition. It is far too politicized and corrupt to be considered a true sport. I have absolutely no respect for the so-called "judges" of those events. Too many scandals have gone by and too much corruption has been exposed. I only need to point to the corrupt French so-called "judges" selling their vote in 2002 as to the reason I do not respect these so-called "judges" or their authority.

The Olympics are far too political for the judged events to be taken seriously. The only events with any credibility at the Olympics are events where there is an objective standard of performance. I may enjoy the performance, but if the results are determined by so-called "judges" then I have no interest in who "wins" or "loses" the competition.

The sad reality is that professional wrestling has more credibility than figure skating in the Olympics. At least pro wrestling promoters admit the match results are predetermined. Professional wrestling promoters do not pretend that what happens between the athletes in the ring is a legitimate competition - that farce was abandoned decades ago. The Olympic games either needs to be honest and admit the results are predetermined or clean up the corruption so we have a legitimate competition.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Why I support corporal punishment

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

Note: I originally wrote this in June 2004.

The Washington Post reports on a practice known as "hot saucing", where a bit of hot sauce is applied to a child's tongue as a disciplinary measure. (Credit for the link goes to this blog.)

I do not have a problem with corporal punishment. I support a parent's right to apply discipline to their child as they see fit, within reasonable limits. However, I think this is over the line.

I don't think corporal punishment, when applied correctly, is indicative of a parent losing his or her temper. If the child is made to understand that he is being given a specific punishment for a specific reason, and the parent does it out of love and a desire to correct the child, corporal punishment can be very effective.

Corporal punishment need not be the only method of discipline. Time outs can be very effective. I remember being sat on the couch, no talking, no television, etc. There were times when I would have preferred a swat on the behind than sitting still for 15-30 minutes, because at least it would be over quickly. Taking away privileges can be effective too.

But corporal punishment should be an option for parents. Indeed, the Bible supports corporal punishment in Proverbs 13:24 and Proverbs 23:12-14.

My view is parents should only paddle within a strict set of procedures, and shouldn't use it as a first resort. But sometimes it may be needed. I would much rather a child be afraid of a swat on the behind than run out into a busy street. Childish curiosity is all well and good, but must be tempered. A child should not be so curious of a hot stove that they wind up with blisters on their hands.

Legal codes such as Canada's allow parents to use reasonable physical force in disciplining their children. That same system of laws would not allow a parent to do things that would be defined as child abuse. Children DO have "security of the person" to protect them from being abused, by parents or anyone else. It's just that there is more leeway for parents (or others entrusted with the care of the child, to some extent) to use corporal punishment on their own child than for someone else to use physical force on an adult.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Honor Martin Luther King Jr. by defending the defenseless

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

Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? -- Ezekiel 16:20-21

It is a sad irony that the national holiday to honor fallen civil rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. and the anniversary of the wicked Roe v. Wade decision fall so close to each other. The former was yesterday and the latter is tomorrow.

Much like the Pharisees who Jesus condemned in Matthew 23:29-33, we honor the work of Dr. King in defending the civil rights of blacks oppressed by the Jim Crow laws. Had we been around, we say, we would have stood with Dr. King and defended blacks against this oppression. We would have stood for the principle of all men being equal and treated with respect and dignity. When we do so, we are hypocrites.

We are hypocrites because we do not stand against the horrific bloodshed of abortion and defend the defenseless babies who are slaughtered in their mother's wombs by the likes of Planned Parenthood. The blacks oppressed by Jim Crow could at least speak for themselves, and now we have moved on to oppress a group with no voice of their own. They cannot rebuke this injustice or cry for mercy from their oppressors. It is all neat and sanitary.

It has been 41 years now since the Supreme Court declared that killing unborn babies is a "constitutional right" - a "right" they pulled out of thin air. Since then, we have killed over fifty million innocent unborn babies, sacrificing them to the gods of self-determination and reproductive choice. We need to repent of this evil and ask God to forgive us.


Monday, January 20, 2014

2014 Rally for Life draws over 220 to protest abortion

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

As we do every year, abortion opponents gathered on the Monroe County Courthouse square yesterday in below-freezing temperatures to protest the Supreme Court's 1973 decision to allow the murder of unborn babies.

Pastor Ray Salemink of Trinity Lutheran Church in Ellettsville opened his speech by saying that the thought of all of the victims of abortion makes us angry, as it should. But our anger should make us think about our own sins and how we are just as guilty as those who advocate for the "right" to kill the innocent and those who actually do the killing.

It is a good reminder. When we are fighting against a terrible evil, it is easy to see ourselves as vastly better than they are. That is especially true when Christians are fighting against an evil committed by pagans. But that is not the case at all. We are all sinners, and our hearts are desperately wicked, as Scripture teaches in Jeremiah 17:9.

After Pastor Salemink's speech, we walked down Walnut Street to Second Street, and back up College Avenue past Planned Parenthood. We had a few hecklers, including one person who kept screaming "it's a free country." While we do have a lot of freedom in these United States, we do not live in anarchy. We have laws that make it illegal to harm others, and there is no harm more serious than murdering someone.

Sadly, that does not apply to the unborn, though it should. May God take away this curse from our land.

See the Christian Citizens For Life website and follow CCFL on Facebook.

Pictures from the 2014 Rally for Life


Abortion opponents gather on the courthouse square.


Dewayne Pinkney speaks to the crowd.


Preparing to march through Bloomington, past Planned Parenthood.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Second Amendment rights: HB 1018 needs a hearing

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

My latest post at Hoosier Access:

Indiana is more conservative than most states, and Second Amendment rights are strongly supported here. It makes sense, then that the state legislature would be considering legislation to prohibit state agencies from banning the "possession or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories" on public land, including public universities.

That is what House Bill 1018 would do.

Read more at Hoosier Access.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

EkoBrew for Keurig

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 11:30 AM (#)

I just realized that my reusable stainless steel EkoBrew coffee pod has a couple plastic tabs on the side that don't get hot, so you can safely take it out of the Keurig coffee maker.

I very rarely make two cups of coffee in a row, so I did not realize this feature was there.

Very nice!

I highly recommend this product for any Keurig owner.

I figure we all do enough complaining, so when something is good it should be praised and commended.

See more at www.ekobrew.com.


Justice for Haiti

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

The United Nations' behavior in Haiti is utterly despicable, reprehensible and just plain evil.

The blue helmets carelessly dumped human waste into a critical water source, infecting people with disease and causing widespread death and horrific suffering.

Not only that, blue helmets have been accused in a number of violent rapes against the people of Haiti.

The United States is in a unique position to hold the United Nations responsible for their crimes, because they are guests on our sovereign soil. Let's make sure they do not get away with this.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Children are a blessing from the Lord...

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

Two years ago today, I became a daddy. It's hard to believe it's been two years already, and how much God has blessed me by bringing my son into my life.


The "Smokers Rights" law should be repealed

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

The Indiana state legislature is sure to generate controversy with a bill designed to repeal the "smokers bill of rights" law passed in the 1990's. House Bill 1029 would eliminate the ban on employers considering whether someone smokes when making employment decisions, allowing employers to not hire smokers or fire people for smoking.

I support this legislation.

In general, government should stay out of personnel decisions made by a private business. If a business decides that it does not want to risk the higher healthcare costs brought on by smoking, that business should be free to make abstaining from tobacco a condition of getting or keeping employment. On the other side, government should not penalize private businesses for hiring or retaining smokers.

Government, however, should not be allowed to discriminate against merit employees for using a legal product in private. Government should be more restricted than private business in making these personnel decisions.

The market should determine whether or not this is a good idea. Businesses who terminate or refuse to hire smokers may well miss out on the most qualified people for the position, lose those qualified employees to competitors, damage employee morale and risk a backlash (including boycotts) from customers who disagree with the policy. I would personally be less likely to patronize a business that discriminates against smokers. The legislature should not have gotten involved in these decisions in the 1990's and it would be wise to reverse this policy now.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Twenty years ago...

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

The attack on Nancy Kerrigan that overshadowed the 1994 Olympic Games has been 20 years ago now.

Wow. I cannot believe it has been that long.


The one exception to my opposition to term limits

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

Thomas E. Cronin had a very good editorial on January 3 about term limits. While I generally oppose term limits on the grounds that they take away choice from voters, the President is the one place where I make an exception to this principle and favor the two-term limit in the Constitution of these United States..

Why?

The power of the President is immense. That power was immense when the amendment was adopted in 1951, and has grown steadily ever since. The President is commander-in-chief of the most powerful military the world has ever known and commands a massive federal bureaucracy. Through executive orders, the President even has limited legislative powers that he can exercise by himself - though Presidents of both parties have arguably abused this power. I doubt the men who wrote the Constitution ever intended on the President having this kind of power.

Because of the incredible power that the President has, because executive power is likely to grow, and because the unique position the President has to create a cult of personality for himself using the bully pulpit, term limits for the President are a prudent check on government power, even if they do place a limit on voters' right to choose their leaders. Furthermore, Presidents do not need more than two terms to implement their agenda, and a president of the same party can always pick up where the last President left off.

There is no other office in these United States that has that kind of authority. Even without the threat of being thrown out of office in the next election, no President wants to see his party's nominee be defeated. That would be seen as a rejection of both the incumbent and his policies. Term limits for Presidents are not ideal, but as long as we have sinful men running our government, we will need some checks and balances to protect our liberty. Term limits for Presidents are a necessary check, and we should resist calls to change it.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The moral component of unemployment benefits

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

Here is a thought-provoking blog post by Pastor Tim Bayly on unemployment benefits.

Before even getting into the discussion of unemployment benefits themselves, it's important to point out that the federal government does not have the constitutional authority to have an unemployment benefits program. If we're going to have unemployment benefits, they should be managed and funded entirely by the states. This is one more area where our federal government has overstepped its enumerated powers in violation of the Tenth Amendment.

I do not have a problem with unemployment benefits themselves, but it is necessary to examine this from a Christian perspective and from a practical perspective. Offensive as some people may find this statement, paying people not to work does reduce the incentive to find work. Someone who has used up his benefits might need to take a job he does not want, but it is always better to be working than collecting money for not working. Furthermore, taking a job you feel is "beneath" you can be a rewarding experience and a way to shatter self-worship and pride.

From a Christian perspective, it is one thing to help people who genuinely need help and are unable to find a job. It is another to spend billions upon billions of dollars on a system that reduces the incentive to be a productive citizen. Note that the Apostle Paul says in II Thessalonians 3:10-13 that someone who will not work (someone who does not want to work and avoids work) should not be helped by the Church.

We can debate the economic impact of unemployment benefits, but the societal damage done by incentivizing sloth (not to mention the damage done to the human spirit by such policies) does not get enough discussion. Even with the Tea Party wave that brought many Republicans to Congress, there is virtually no discussion of the federal government's authority here. Both topics need to be discussed a lot more.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The New Jersey traffic scandal and 2016

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

My vote for President in 2016 may well hinge on what happens over the next few days, weeks and months as the New Jersey traffic scandal continues to develop. Specifically, I will not vote for Chris Christie for President if he was involved in the plans to destroy traffic flow on the George Washington Bridge and snarl traffic to a halt in the city of Fort Lee, New Jersey as part of some petty and childish political retribution scheme.

Of course, all of this depends on whether or not he is guilty, and I have seen no evidence that Christie is guilty.

If Christie simply had some rogue staff members who were acting independently of him, and if Christie was not involved in the scandal and had no prior knowledge of the plan, I will have no problem voting for him in 2016 should he be the GOP nominee for President. That said, Christie does need to make sure his staff knows they are on a short leash and this sort of nonsense will not be tolerated. He also needs to implement ethical reforms to ensure that this does not happen again.

But if Christie is guilty, this is a deal-breaker. I cannot in good conscience use my vote or my voice to help someone who is that dangerously corrupt become President of these United States.

This bridge scandal has massive implications for evaluating Christie's character and how he would behave as President. Someone who would snarl traffic on the bridge and snarl traffic in an entire city for political revenge - impeding emergency vehicles and putting lives at risk - should not be anywhere near the office of President.

The power of the President is too great and the potential for abuse is too frightening to allow a dangerously corrupt individual to become President. Someone who would put lives at risk with such a childish move is exactly the kind of person who would use the power of the President (including the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to name only two agencies) to illegally harass and punish political enemies.

Some would say that there is such a thing as losing on principle. But if Christie is guilty, it would not be a victory to see him elected. In that case, we lose whether we have Chris Christie or a Democrat as President.

As far as my office of Precinct Committeeman, Christie is not a candidate for any office right now and he certainly is not the Republican nominee for President. Therefore, I am not breaking party rules by conditionally opposing him. (Again, I have seen no evidence that he's guilty, and if he is innocent this is irrelevant.) If Christie does run, he can expect harsh criticism in the primary.

The question for me, if Christie is guilty, will come in January 2016 when the filing opens for precinct committeeman.

If Christie is guilty and has a strong chance of being the nominee, I will need to decide whether or not I will openly oppose him. If I decide I need to openly oppose him, I will not run for re-election as precinct committeeman in the 2016 primary election. It is inappropriate for a party officer to openly oppose Republican candidates in the general election.

The other option is for me to remain silent and not support him in any way, which is permissible and would allow me to serve as a PC if the voters of my precinct are gracious enough to elect me to a second term. I would help other Republicans, but would do absolutely nothing for Christie. Of course, that would be the case whether I am a PC or not - the question is whether I will need to openly oppose him.

The bottom line here is that principle must trump party, and on principle I cannot support any Republican who is corrupt. I am not a hyperpartisan, and I absolutely despise hyperpartisan hypocrisy. It is despicable and reprehensible for political hacks to defend corrupt politicians simply because that person is in the same political party. I am not a Republican because I want to blindly see anyone with an "R" beside his or her name get elected, even if that person is dangerously corrupt and prone to abuse his power. That is the behavior of someone in a cult, not someone who is serious about politics and good public policy.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Chris Christie and a politically motivated traffic disaster

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

Rachel Maddow was pounding the table about what was then a brewing scandal in New Jersey about a critical bridge being closed, snarling traffic and creating a life-threatening situation had emergency vehicles been needed in another part of the affected town. It was revealed last week that the shutdown was intentional political retribution after the Democratic mayor of that town did not endorse Christie for re-election.

Hats off to Maddow for bringing this story to national prominence two months before it broke wide open last week. Sure, she was driven by ideology and partisanship, but there are cases where that is necessary to bring scandals into the light. She did a public service to both the people of New Jersey and the people of the nation.

When I first saw that it was e-mails that provided the smoking gun, I was shocked that people would be so stupid as to use a public e-mail account to document abuse of power. That was not the case, as the two people at the center of the scandal used Yahoo and Gmail accounts. Perhaps they thought those accounts were safe, but discussing that over e-mail at all is still a stupid thing to do.

(Of course, no such abuse of power should ever be planned or implemented at all, no matter how it is discussed.)

This brings another issue to the table: Government business should only be discussed using official government communications. This is one of the things that got Sarah Palin in trouble back in 2008, when she was using a Yahoo account to conduct state business. The fact that Christie's aides were using private accounts to evade sunshine laws is an abuse of power in and of itself, even if they were not planning anything nefarious.

How does this affect Christie's presidential ambitions? It depends on whether he knew about this ahead of time or not. Someone prone to abusing power like that should not get anywhere near the office of President, because of the terrifying potential for violating people's rights that comes with the immense power of the Presidency. If Christie knew, he is (or at least should be) out of contention for 2016. He is going to have to take drastic measures to improve ethics in New Jersey government, in order to reassure voters he can be trusted with the office of President.


Chris Christie, the bridge scandal, and 2016

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

I will say it right now: If Chris Christie knew about the bridge shutdown in advance, I will not vote for him in 2016 if he's the GOP nominee. Someone who would do that should be nowhere near the office of President.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dwyane Wade gets away with a 7-step travel

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

I realize the NBA is very lenient on traveling calls, but this is ridiculous.

It's also absolutely hilarious. I laughed out loud.


Abortion: A spiritual question and grieving for little ones

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

A couple questions have been asked of me (one seriously, and one not) after my last letter to the editor. I will answer both of them here, in a serious way.

What happens to babies who die in the womb or in infancy?

I don't know.

I am not trying to be flippant here. Scripture is not clear on what happens to all children who die at a very young age. (Some Christians believe in an "age of accountability" but I do not see any evidence for that in Scripture.) We do know that King David had the hope that he would see his son again after the baby died, so Christians can hope that we will see our covenant children again in Heaven.

Do you have funerals after miscarriages?

I am going to call a spade a spade here. This is a troll "question" that is almost never serious or genuine. It is often "asked" repeatedly even after the troll has already gotten an answer, so it is little more than public masturbation. While I will answer it seriously for this blog, we should not forget what this "question" really is.

The premise behind this so-called "question" is it is a way to expose "hypocrisy" of abortion opponents if the answer is no. (Like I said, the so-called "question" is public masturbation.) The premise is believed only by the most dim-witted people who do not understand the meaning of the word hypocrisy. When someone publicly opposes abortion and then privately has an abortion, encourages an abortion or pays for an abortion, that is an example of hypocrisy. It is not "hypocrisy" for a family to choose how they want to grieve.

With that said, I support whatever a family wants to do in their grieving process. If they want to have a have a graveside service, or a full funeral, the family's wishes are paramount here. I do not judge any family for how they choose to grieve in a time of tragic loss. There is no Biblical requirement for anyone to grieve in a specific manner. We should respect the family's wishes and their privacy in a time of loss and leave politics out of it.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dustin Turner denied clemency

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 11:00 AM (#)

This is great news. His punishment was perfectly fair, and he does not deserve to be released.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Following up on my Rally for Life LTTE

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

   
Here are answers for some of the criticisms of my January 5, 2014 letter to the editor in the Herald-Times.

You are forcing your beliefs on others.

We force our beliefs on others all the time. That is the entire purpose of having a government - with environmental regulations, workplace safety laws, and laws against rape and theft. Unless you are an anarchist, you favor using the power of the state to force your beliefs on others.

Banning abortion enforces a particular religious code on others.

Again, we do that all the time. The Ten Commandments forbid murder and theft, and many other things (including environmental protections) are many times justified on the basis of moral beliefs. Many liberal Christians use God's commandment to care for the poor as a justification for compulsory charity enforced by the civil magistrate. None of that is unconstitutional in and of itself.

Using religious arguments will not convince anyone.

I used to believe arguments from Scripture were ineffective and that only secular arguments should be used - because I was clearly more intelligent and convincing than God. I am not. God's Word says it far better than humans can and it is silly for me to unilaterally disarm by not using my Sword.

What about Jesus' message of love and compassion?

First, the God of the Old and New Testaments are one and the same, so the prohibition against killing babies is as much a commandment of Jesus as it is a commandment of God the Father. Second, Jesus talks about judgment frequently in the Gospels. Third, love and compassion necessarily includes protecting the innocent from those who would oppress them - and there is no more obvious example of that than protecting the unborn from abortion.

Your argument is invalid unless you have personally adopted children.

The same thing could be said of people who oppose dog fighting but have not adopted a dog from the animal shelter - especially a breed commonly used in dog fighting. It is a silly and childish "argument." Abortion is either a violation of human rights or it is not. Whether someone has adopted a baby has no relevance to the logical merit of the argument.

"God aborts more babies than man ever thought about killing."

This "argument" is just plain childish. According to this "logic" we should decriminalize drive-by shootings, because God "kills" more people than have ever been killed by man. Cancer, AIDS, influenza, heart disease and old age are responsible for far more deaths than killing by man, after all. People making this "argument" do not even believe what they are saying, so I cannot respect them or their "argument."


Thursday, January 9, 2014

What makes a rivalry in the NBA?

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

There was an interesting discussion on ESPN's NBA Lockdown podcast about a week ago regarding the best rivalries in the NBA. This is interesting because it follows up on LeBron James' comments that there are no real rivalries in the NBA right now. Is James right? If not, what are the rivalries right now?

First, we need to establish the standards for what a rivalry is. In my opinion, that should start with matchups in the NBA Playoffs. This means that it's difficult for teams from opposite conferences to be rivals, because it's relatively rare to have the same teams come out of each conference. In the 1980's, the L.A. Celtics and Boston Lakers were certainly rivals. Normally, rivals are within a conference, where playoff matchups happen more frequently.

(NBA Playoff brackets: 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009.)

This is why it is premature to label teams "rivals" based on a chippy regular-season game when the teams have met in the playoffs. The rough play in a recent Warriors-Clippers matchup shows the potential for a rivalry should the two meet in the playoffs, but they are not rivals yet.

The teams also need to be on the same level. Miami and Boston met three consecutive years between 2010 and 2012 (including an Eastern Conference Finals that went to seven games) but Boston has fallen off after trading two stars in a rebuilding effort. They are not a serious threat to Miami in the playoffs.

So what are the rivalries right now? One of them has to be the Heat and Pacers. The two teams have met each of the last two seasons in the NBA Playoffs and (barring a serious injury or a playoff upset) they will almost certainly meet again this year. Miami even took a chance on former Indianapolis high school star Greg Oden because Pacers center Roy Hibbert caused so many problems for the Heat last year.

The LA Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies have met the last two years, taking turns knocking each other out. This also has an interesting power forward matchup. While neither team is likely to win an NBA title this year, having them meet a third time will certainly make for an interesting series.

This year's playoffs might bring more rivalries to the forefront, if we see some repeat matchups. It may not be the heyday of rivalries like we saw in the 1980's and 1990's (Especially the Knicks-Heat and Knicks-Pacers rivalries) but there are certainly some interesting series to look forward to watching this year.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Moving back to Blogspot comments

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

I am moving from Disqus back to Blogger's native comment system. I am trying to figure out how to import Disqus comments back into Blogger but that doesn't seem to be possible. Hopefully I won't lose the comments made in Disqus. The old Blogger comments (from July 2012 to May 2013) are still there, though. Here is an example.


Mandatory minimums are not outdated

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

My latest post at Hoosier Access:

It has been said that mandatory minimum sentences are outdated, but to say they were outdated implies that they were ever a good idea to begin with. Yes, there were problems with people bouncing in and out of prison as if there is a revolving door, and certainly people were victimized because of criminals falling through the cracks.

But mandatory minimums are the equivalent of smashing a spider with a twenty pound sledge hammer.

Read more at Hoosier Access.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lowering the standards for women in combat

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

Last year, when I blogged about President Obama's barbaric decision to place women in combat I pointed out the danger of reducing physical fitness standards for women in the armed forces. (See here and here and here.) Now it comes out that new physical fitness standards will be delayed because more than half of women cannot meet the standards for physical strength.

Officials felt there wasn’t a medical risk to putting the new standard into effect as planned across the service, but that the risk of losing recruits and hurting retention of women already in the service was unacceptably high, (Capt. Maureen Krebs) said.

It is shameful that Barack Obama, our commander-in-chief, has overseen this farce. If he was truly concerned about women in the military - to say nothing of military readiness - he would make it clear that no standards would be delayed, revised, lowered or otherwise gender-normed.

It does not help women to be held to lower standards so that they can get into combat jobs. Regardless of what radical feminists might feel, the military's job is not to be a laboratory for social experimentation. The military's job is to kill people and break things. Unqualified women who are put into combat jobs in the name of Political Correctness are a danger to their own physical safety and the safety of their comrades, in addition to being a drag on completing the mission.Our enemies are not going to go easy on us because we want to please NOW or the Feminist Majority.

Beyond physical fitness, there are many reasons to keep women out of combat. There is the moral dimension of it, and God's commandment for men to protect women. There are concerns about unit cohesion, and there is the unique vulnerability of women captured by a ruthless enemy - especially when that ruthless enemy is a Muslim terrorist group or Muslim-led rogue state like Iran. But even if we were to brush those aside, it is obvious that women should be required to meet the same physical fitness standards as men in order to serve in combat.

This decision is a disaster and the next Republican President needs to reverse it. Hopefully, the Republicans in Congress will muster the intestinal fortitude to vigorously oppose this anti-woman decision.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Come to the 2014 Rally for Life

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

Bloomington Herald-Times, January 05, 2014 (Comments)

To the Editor:

What does God think of America as he looks down to see that we kill 1.2 million unborn babies every single year, and that we have aborted over 55 million unborn babies in the last 41 years?

As God was bringing His people into the land of Israel, he warned them against adopting the evil practices of the Canaanites. Specifically, God forbade infant sacrifice in the strongest terms, saying that it profaned His name. (See Leviticus 18:21, Leviticus 20:1-5 and Deuteronomy 18:9-12.)

When the people broke this commandment, God was furious and judged them for this horror. (See Ezekiel 16:20-21, Jeremiah 32:35 and 2 Kings 17:17-18.)

How long will God's wrath be spared from this nation for the blood on our hands? How many of us fear the wrath of God when we drive by Planned Parenthood's facility on South College, knowing unborn babies die there every week?

On Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm at the Monroe County Courthouse we can witness against this wickedness and call our city and our nation to repentance. Please come to the 2014 Rally for Life and be a voice against those who shed the blood of innocent unborn babies.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Feeling appreciated

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

So in response to my letter to the editor today, some joker made a $25.00 donation to Planned Parenthood and provided my email address as the contact.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

"A glaring conflict of interest"

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

Michelle Malkin writes an excellent column about the bloodthirsty ghouls at Children's Hospital of Oakland. This is especially good:

As the mother of a 13-year-old girl, I would have done everything Jahi's mom has done to this point. Everything. Here's reality: Children's Hospital faces serious malpractice questions about its care of Jahi. Hospital execs have a glaring conflict of interest in wielding power over her life support. According to relatives, medical officials callously referred to Jahi as "dead, dead, dead" and dismissed the child as a "body."

The emphasis is mine.

Read more at Michelle Malkin's website.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Topless protests: This is a thing now? Really?

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

Twice in the last month, I have come across articles about topless "feminists" disrupting Catholic services, including getting topless in the middle of a Christmas service and having a screaming fit in front of the congregation. What exactly are these "feminists" trying to accomplish with these juvenile stunts?

If they are trying to advance the cause of abortion rights, they failed. No one is going to be convinced that abortion should be legal because a bunch of screeching harpies are exposing their breasts and making a nuisance of themselves. Many on their own side will be embarrassed by their behavior, and it will strengthen the resolve of people on the anti-abortion side. So what is the point of doing this?

The point is to be offensive. Basically, these "feminists" are live-action internet trolls. (At least I can admire the fact that they aren't hiding behind a pseudonym and a computer screen.) The point is to insult Catholics' faith and make them angry and offended. The harpies even bragged on their website that they ruined Christmas for people at the service where the woman had a topless tantrum. (It will take a lot more than that to ruin Christmas.)

This is ridiculous. If these harpies want to make a statement about abortion rights, they need to do it in an intelligent and civilized manner, instead of acting like children screaming in the store because their mommy won't buy them a toy. They are not worthy of being included in a serious debate about the legality of or restrictions on abortion.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

A legislative agenda for 2014

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

The U.S. House of Representatives has been criticized (especially by Rachel Maddow) for reaching "new levels of futility" by passing so little legislation in 2013. As of December 4, the Boston Globe reports that Congress had "only" passed 55 laws in 2013. But is that really a bad thing?

Did we really need fifty-five new laws? Did we really need fifty five new ways for the government to spend money, regulate our lives and businesses, or make more things illegal? Did we really need to add to the gargantuan federal code, not to mention all of the regulations that federal agencies will need to write to enforce these new laws?

As I pointed out on Twitter last month, the problem with full-time legislatures is when there is a problem the legislators feel the need to "do something" about it, even if that means passing laws against things that are already illegal.

Lost in all of the discussion about the number of laws passed is whether the laws that were passed were a good idea, or if they were ineffective or even counterproductive. The discussion advanced by the simpletons in the news media ignores the policy implications of these laws, and only addresses whether more laws were passed. It is a childish perspective that is unworthy of the public square.

What we really need is a moratorium on passing any new laws, and only focus on what laws are outdated, counterproductive or no longer useful. Those laws should then be repealed. That is most necessary at the federal level, but it should also be considered at the state level. Imagine a four-year period where Congress and all fifty state legislatures pass no new laws and only work to repeal bad ones.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The war on incandescent light bulbs

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

The Heritage Foundation says: "Time to stock up on incandescent bulbs before they go out permanently."

Via The Heritage Foundation on Tumblr