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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Shameful and disgusting

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

This is shameful and disgusting:

Man arrested while picking up his kids: "The problem is I'm black."

I hope he sues the city into bankruptcy.


Friday, August 29, 2014

No good can come by being belligerent with police

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

Last week, I shared an article on Google Plus from a police officer advising readers on how to deal with police when you are stopped. Basically, it comes down to this: Be polite, be cooperative, and do not be belligerent.

Even if you feel the stop is unjustified, no good is going to come by being belligerent. If you are dealing with a jerk, the situation can escalate quickly and it will be much more unpleasant than it would otherwise have been. Even when dealing with good cops, acting belligerent and combative can needlessly escalate a situation and lead to violence, when it could have been handled easily and with a minimum of confrontation. We saw this in action in a high-profile drunk-driving arrest in downtown Bloomington a number of years ago.

On the other end, no harm can come by being polite and cooperative. A good cop will appreciate a good attitude and the stop can be handled quickly and with minimal disruption for both parties. Being polite and cooperative might not help when dealing with an authoritarian jerk, but it certainly cannot cause any harm. If the officer misbehaves, file a complaint. If that does not work, make noise publicly, after the fact. Lobby the mayor or local legislative body. In some cases, pro bono legal help might be available, such as from the American Civil Liberties Union or a state affiliate.

Obviously, nothing excuses police brutality, the abuse of authority, or violations of civil rights. Police officers who behave in such ways should be disciplined or fired, and in some cases criminally prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. Police officers are human beings too, and are tempted by the same wickedness that lives in every human heart. We must aggressively hold abusive police accountable, and governments that employ such officers should face severe and draconian financial penalties as a deterrent. But a little politeness can go a long way.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

A note about editorial archives

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

Because I have moved around a few times (from Blogspot.com to WordPress and back, more than once) the blog archives from 2003-2009 (as well as editorials written between 1997 and 2002) are not on ConservaTibbs.com.

Here they are.

I have not as of yet found a good way to merge the website archives and the blog, while maintaining the functionality of the blog, including the ability to have comments.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Not even a drop in the bucket

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

ABC World News reported last night that corporations moving to another country can cost the federal government $19 billion in tax revenue over ten years. That sounds like a lot, but it is basically nothing. Compared to the size of the federal budget, that is not a drop in the bucket. That is a drop in the Pacific Ocean.


Thoughts on Facebook Messenger

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

Facebook's messaging app has generated quite a bit of controversy, though many of the concerns about it have been addressed. I had it installed, but I uninstalled it due to one very frustrating feature.

I resisted using Messenger at first because I was annoyed that Facebook is pushing people to use it by breaking the Facebook app. The Facebook app has handled messages for years with no problem, and the only reason to disable that feature of the app is to get people to use the new app. But even that was not enough to make me uninstall it.

No, the reason I uninstalled Messenger is because of the extremely obnoxious dialogue box that asks to turn on push notifications for the app. I generally do not like push notifications, so I do not allow them. With most apps, this is not a problem - the app requests the ability to do push notifications, I decline, and I never worry about it again.

Messenger is different. Every single time you go to the app - whether you are switching back and forth from Facebook or opening the app from the menu - the app asks for permission to use push notifications. It does this every single time. That is incredibly annoying, and makes it more trouble to use Messenger than it is worth.

So if I want to see private messages on my iPod Touch, I will use the mobile website via Safari. As far as I can tell, all of the features of the Facebook app are also available on FB mobile, and private messages actually work on the mobile website. For me personally, it is rapidly becoming more convenient to use the mobile website instead of app.

This was a bad marketing decision by Facebook. It will be interesting to see if they backtrack.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The danger of an unarmed attacker

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

Here is an informative article regarding how dangerous an unarmed attacker can be. I do not know whether the shooting of Mike Brown was justified or not, but let's dispense with the fallacy that someone cannot be a threat to life if he is not armed. Domestic violence statistics alone prove that to be false.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Mireille Miller-Young is a terrorist, plain and simple

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

Earlier this year, a so-called "professor" physically attacked a teenage girl and stole her property, because she did not like the political message on the girl's sign. It is inarguable that Mireille Miller-Young is a thug and a bully, but she is more than that - she is a terrorist. Let's review Merriam-Webster's definition of the word terrorism for more:

  • The use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal

The definition fits. She is obviously not morally equal to the ISIS terrorists cutting a bloody swath across Iraq, but there are always degrees of crime. Shoplifting a candy bar is not the same as embezzling ten million dollars, and is not punished the same way. But both actions are stealing, and both perpetrators are thieves. This so-called "professor" did not fly a plane into a building or set fire to someone's home, but she is still a terrorist.

Some would say that my logic is the same as the "logic" the so-called "professor" used to accuse the teenager of being a terrorist. That is an absurd false equivalency bordering on moral relativism.

The teenage victim engaged in no violence. Miller-Young used violence to censor political speech she disliked and intimidate a teenager and her companion into not engaging in political speech, simply because she is bigger and stronger - which she openly bragged about doing. Her actions were designed to intimidate and censor future protests. The message behind Miller-Young's thuggery was clear: "If you come on campus with unapproved speech, university 'professors' will physically attack you and steal your things."

Miller-Young's defenders have whined about the "angry black woman" portrayal, but this is not a racial issue. This is a criminal issue, as well as an issue of free speech and civility. Attempting to deflect the legitimate consequences for her criminal behavior is not only desperate race-baiting, it is racist itself.

As a free society, we must not tolerate this kind of behavior from thugs like Miller-Young. The real issue is that an employee of a state university violently suppressed the free speech of a teenage girl who was peacefully picketing on campus. If we value free speech, this thuggery must be harshly punished.


Friday, August 22, 2014

"We never should have gone into Iraq..."

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

With the unmitigated disaster currently unfolding in Iraq, we are naturally re-litigating the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 and force Saddam Hussein from power. But if we're going to have this debate again, the people arguing against the 2003 war need to be honest and take their argument to its logical conclusion. Specifically, people who argue that the 2003 invasion and regime change was a mistake should admit the following premise:

It would be better if Saddam Hussein was still in power.

I include myself in this group. I supported the war in 2003, and I wrote a number of articles defending the invasion and explaining why this was a good idea. I changed my position in 2008, because I realized I was wrong. But am I willing to do what I am asking of war opponents, from Barack Obama on down? Yes. As evil and antagonistic as he was, it would be better if Saddam Hussein was still in power.

This, of course, does not mean that Hussein was a good person. He richly deserved to be executed at the end of 2006, and he was a threat to U.S. national security. He brutally oppressed and murdered his own people. He committed war crimes against the Kurds, against Kuwait, and against the Iranians.

But by throwing Hussein out of power, we took a dictator who was mostly contained by our sanctions and military supervision and threw Iraq into chaos. We fought a years-long insurgency at the cost of thousands of lives. We knew that whenever we left Iraq, there was a risk that the country could degenerate into civil war. Now, we're seeing a dangerous scenario where the terrorist "army" ISIS has been blocked in its march to Baghdad but is mercilessly slaughtering people, including Christians.

The civil war in Iraq threatens to spread to other parts of the region, and ISIS is so brutal that we actually have a pseudo-ally in Iran also opposing them. Thankfully, this nation did not follow the advice of foolish warmongers like John McCain to help ISIS remove Bashir Assad from power and take over Syria. The thought of ISIS getting their hands on Assad's chemical weapons stockpile is truly frightening, and one shudders to think how much worse the current humanitarian crisis would be if that had happened.

But yes... it would have been better if Saddam Hussein was still in power. ISIS would not have been able to carve out a portion of Iraq for a caliphate, and we would be able to contain Hussein as we contained him for the dozen years before the invasion. It would not be an ideal situation by any means, but it would be better than what we have today.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

"If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me."

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


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Monroe County Democrats fund child abuse with tax money

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

The civil magistrate exists to protect people from violent criminals and predators. But what are we to do when the government uses public resources to enable violent crime? What are we to do when government is actually enabling violent crime against children in violation of the law?

Last week, Caroline Craddock wrote about a horrific story where a Colorado Planned Parenthood "clinic" allegedly helped a sexual predator continue to brutally rape his stepdaughter by aborting the 13-year-old girl's baby and then giving her birth control. That, of course, allowed the stepfather to continue to rape the young teenager without the need to worry about her getting pregnant.

Here in Monroe County, the local Democratic Party is joined at the hip with the Planned Parenthood "clinic" in downtown Bloomington. Democrats on the Bloomington City Council have given PP handouts nearly every year since 1999. (PP did not get funding in 2009 or 2012.) The Monroe County Council got into the act in 2009, and then gave handouts to PP in 2010, 2012 and 2013. The most shameful of the handouts was in 2010, when Planned Parenthood bragged in their application that they would be giving birth control to girls as young as 13 years old.

Now, why does a 13 year old girl need birth control? The age of consent in Indiana is 16. Any sexual contact with a child 13 years old or younger is a felony under Indiana law. There are some medical uses of birth control, but let's not fool ourselves here - the birth control being given to 13 year old girls is being used to prevent pregnancy. In other words, those drugs are being used to cover up felony sexual abuse, and the Monroe County Democratic Party is more than happy to use taxpayer money to cover up felonies.

City Council elections are next year, but county council elections are this November. The candidates in all four districts should answer this question: How can you justify spending tax money to give birth control to 13 year old girls? Are you so gullible or willfully ignorant that you do not see this will be used to enable the crimes of sexual predators, or do you simply not care? What if it were your own daughter?


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Judy Sharp should apologize for wasting tax money

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

Bloomington Herald-Times, August 19, 2014 (Comments)

The comments section for John Kirtland's July 24 letter is a sad reflection on the state of modern politics. Hyper-partisan defenders of Judy Sharp did everything they could to defend her irresponsible and wasteful decision to spend tax money so her employees could stay at a hotel in Brown County for a conference.

Keep in mind that many people commute that same distance to Monroe County to work every single day, including over 3500 from Lawrence County, over 2900 from Greene County and over 2200 from Owen County. See Geoff McKim's blog post at http://bit.ly/1qH77c7 for more.

According to Google Maps, the trip to Nashville takes about a half hour. See http://goo.gl/rfmtZG for more. Employees should be trained, but there was no need to stay in a hotel.

There is simply no way to justify this. Sharp should apologize for this abuse of her authority and reimburse county government for this waste of money.

Why was this revealed to Herald-Times readers in a letter to the editor instead of a news report? The Herald-Times' stubborn refusal to cover this scandal was a betrayal of this community's trust. The news media is supposed to hold government accountable, not cover up scandals.


Monday, August 18, 2014

"What about black on black crime, huh?"

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

In the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown, a number of conservatives have shown their ignorance of a basic premise of logical argumentation, in addition to at least appearing uncaring and callous about the violent death of a man made in the image of Almighty God. These nonsensical "arguments" about black on black crime need to stop.

Obviously, black on black crime is monstrous. The number of young black men murdered by other young black men is a national tragedy and we need to do more to oppose and fight against this bloodshed. The fact that black babies are aborted at a rate far above the black percentage of the population - and the fact that 60% of black babies in New York City are murdered by the abortion industry - is absolutely horrific.

But the conservative movement as a whole seems to only be worried about blacks killing blacks when it can be used as a distraction from discussions of police brutality, racial profiling, and the general relationship between law enforcement and blacks, especially in poor areas and the inner city. Too many conservatives smugly point to the black homicide rate and proclaim, "What about that, huh? Why don'cha talk about that, huh? Don't those victims matter to you? Why are you silent on this, huh?"

Grow up.

A discussion of police brutality and unjustified use of force is not the time for discussions of black on black crime. While those issues do deserve to be discussed, they are irrelevant to the question of whether the fatal shooting of Brown was justified. It is childish and callous to seek to derail a discussion of use of force by bringing up issues that have nothing to do with that use of force. Those issues should be dealt with separately.

We should not forget the unique position of the state in the use of force, if for no other reason than the firepower at the state's disposal. With police getting more and more military equipment, that firepower is growing by the month, and it is quite frankly more than a little frightening. We trust the civil magistrate to protect us, so use of force used by the civil magistrate needs to be very carefully monitored.

We should always remember that a government that does not abide by the rule of law is more dangerous to our liberty than any terrorist, foreign aggressor or common criminal could ever hope to be.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Obama's open rebellion against the Constitution

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 10:30 AM (#)

As students arrive at universities around the nation and an effort is made to prevent sexual assault, we need to guard civil liberties against the Obama regime's illegal, unconstitutional and anti-American effort to introduce a "preponderance of the evidence" standard over the accepted and just standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt." The Obama regime's open rebellion against the Constitution and the rule of law must be opposed.


Friday, August 15, 2014

A shooting and civil unrest in Ferguson

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

The shooting of an unarmed black man last weekend was certainly a tragic event, not only because of the potential that was snuffed out but (more importantly) because a precious life made in the image of God was violently destroyed. Details have been slow to come in this shooting, and there are wildly different accounts of what happened.

First, let's get this out of the way. Michael Brown was not a "child" and portrayals of him as such are wildly irresponsible. He was 18 years old and a legal adult. Saying he was a "teenager" is accurate but can be misleading due to his status as a legal adult. Saying Brown was a "child" is a flagrant and shameful lie designed to do nothing more than whip up outrage. Brown was a man, and should be described as such.

Dorian Johnson was with Brown in the moments leading up to the shooting, and his account of the events is absolutely horrific - portraying this as a cold-blooded execution of a nonviolent man. Because the account is so horrific, I have serious questions about its authenticity. If Johnson's story is true, this is clearly a crime worthy of the death penalty.

We do not know the full extent of what really happened here, so we should be careful about making a final judgment based on the limited facts we have now. That said, one claim that has not been disputed is that Brown was shot while he had his hands in the air and was surrendering. It is difficult to imagine how a shooting in that case could be justified, especially if (as Johnson claims) Brown had already been shot while he was fleeing from the police officer.

Much has been said about the nature of local government in Ferguson, and how it increases the frustration of a community with a huge black majority being governed by an almost entirely white local government. For example:

As black families moved into Ferguson, the whites fled. In 1980, the town was 85 percent white and 14 percent black; by 2010, it was 29 percent white and 69 percent black. But blacks did not gain political power as their numbers grew. The mayor and the police chief are white, as are five of the six City Council members. The school board consists of six white members and one Hispanic.

Source: New York Times, August 13, 2014

This leads to one very obvious question: Who elected these people? Clearly, no one can get elected in Ferguson without at least a significant portion of the black vote, and yet black voters continue to elect whites to represent them in local government. There is no legitimate room to complain about the racial makeup of local government, when the voters chose that government. If there is a problem, it is with the voters.

The frustration with the choices of black voters in Ferguson, the makeup of the police department, the alleged racial profiling by police, or this particular shooting cannot justify the people who are acting like mindless savages. Rioting, looting and setting fires is never a legitimate response, and only deepens the divide with police while making the rioters look like little more than thugs. This was about getting free stuff, not because people are legitimately angry.

Matt Walsh made a good point this week: Do not blame all police officers because of the actions of one man. It is true that there are bad police officers, there are corrupt police officers, and there are abusive police officers. This is because all of humanity is cursed by the Fall, and that all men are wicked and corrupt by nature. But we should not assume that every police officer is bad because of some bad actors - or that every black person in Ferguson is a thug because of the actions of some mindless savages who are desecrating Mike Brown's memory.

Also, conservatives need to stop spouting foolish and childish non sequiturs about black on black crime. That is a terrible tragedy, and it does need to be addressed, but this is not the time to address it. In addition to stirring anger by being callous about the real pain caused by this killing, these childish non sequiturs miss the point.

A killing by an agent of the state is a unique situation, because of the power wielded by the civil magistrate. Government is much more dangerous and can do much more harm than criminals, which is why we need to aggressively hold government and its agents accountable for crimes and misbehavior.

What we need to do here is let the process play out while closely monitoring the actions of Ferguson's government. The federal government's intervention is appropriate here to ensure justice is done, and to ensure this is not swept under the rug. However, we should also closely watch the federal government to make sure they do not overstep their authority and deny due process in a politically-motivated rush to judgment.

The best place to resolve this is the courts, not the streets.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Praying for the oppressed in Iraq

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


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The shooting of a black man in Ferguson

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

This is a really good perspective on the mess in Ferguson: "The Right's wrong reaction to the Missouri shooting."

Black-on-black crime has absolutely nothing to do with whether the shooting was justified or not, and it is childish to point to an unrelated issue.

Let's not rush to judgment on this shooting, and let's let the process play out - but we must be absolutely sure that if there was a crime committed the government must be held accountable.


Obama's anti-constitutional war on sermons

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

The Obama regime is at it again, illegally using the Internal Revenue Service to threaten and blackmail pastors into silence on moral and cultural issues from the pulpit if those sermons are politically inconvenient.

Christians have always been vocal on political issues when conscience and a clear commandment of Scripture is at stake. Christians rescued babies left to die by exposure by the pagans in the Roman Empire, and Christians were loud and frequent critics of slavery as practiced in these United States. (See Deuteronomy 24:7 and Exodus 21:16 for more.) Christianity has a long history of empowering women's rights, especially in pagan lands where women are subjected to being mutilated as part of cultural tradition. Today, Christians are the primary opponents of the horrific system of mass murder we call "reproductive choice."

But Christian witness against the slaughter of the unborn, the sexual libertinism that has so degraded and debased our culture (especially women) and the efforts to redefine the institution of marriage are all inconvenient for Obama's Democratic Party. Obama's illegal rebellion against the Constitution, therefore, is designed to silence people speaking Biblical truth when that truth in in conflict with his policies. Obama's rebellion is similar to King Herod having John the Baptist beheaded after John rebuked Herod for taking his brother's wife.

Christians need to stand up and say "no" to this illegal usurpation of power by the Obama regime. Pastors are obligated to disobey the Obama regime and preach as they are called - both because of Acts 5:29 and in submission to this nation's ultimate authority, the United States Constitution. If Obama persists in this illegal scheme to violate the First Amendment, he should be impeached.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

No matter how unjustifed a police shooting may be...

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



Do we have the moral high ground?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 6:59 AM (#)


Monday, August 11, 2014

Following up - No corporate welfare for Planned Parenthood

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

My most recent letter to the editor was printed in the Herald-Times a few weeks ago. I've been meaning to address some of the things said in the comments section but I am just now getting around to it. So here we go.

htuser posted at 10:57 am on Thu, Jul 17, 2014.

Scott - What makes your opinion the ONLY right opinion? Step back and take a deep breath. I have one (opinion that is) and it is quite different from yours.

That is true - we all have our own opinions. I am not the one forcing my opinion on anyone here. That is being done by the Bloomington City Council, which has for fifteen years forced anti-abortion taxpayers to subsidize Bloomington's abortion "clinic." That objection should be directed to the Bloomington City Council, not to me.

jimshackelford posted at 11:15 am on Thu, Jul 17, 2014.

I think your case is very weak, and therefore must rest on the implied myth that Planned Parenthood does 100 abortions per week, and is there to entrap vulnerable young women.

Where exactly is this response coming from? I did not say anything of the sort in my letter to the editor. (By the way, between 2007 and 2009, Planned Parenthood in Bloomington performed an average of 16.25, 16.44 and 15.73 abortions per week.) There are hundreds of abortions per year in Monroe County, of course. Between 2010 and 2013 there were 809, 731, 811, 753 abortions.

DRM posted at 12:22 pm on Thu, Jul 17, 2014.

The irony here is that Tibbs' constant inflamed rhetoric and contestable claims may provide our local Planned Parenthood's yearly request a comparative advantage in the council's decision making.

This, of course, is a perfect parallel to Councilor Spechler's admission that the decision to subsidize Planned Parenthood is a political decision. The council's job is to distribute a huge sum of money every summer based on what would most benefit the community, not on their perception of the people opposing certain grants.

Furthermore, if the council is actually deciding to fund Planned Parenthood based on their dislike for a loudmouth blogger with no real political influence, that is an incredibly childish and petulant decision-making process that is a real disservice to this community. DRM is Don Moore, husband of Bloomington City Clerk Regina Moore. Given his closeness to the nine Democrats on the City Council and Mayor Kruzan, one would hope he is simply trolling and not actually reflecting what Kruzan and the City Council are actually doing.

Bleeding Red posted at 8:31 am on Thu, Jul 17, 2014.

The vote to distribute funds to PP from the Jack Hopkins account was unanimous as it has been for years. If the local tea party patriots can't field and elect candidates who favor cutting off funds, it's just too freaking bad.

This is a typically petulant and childish response.

"We won the election, nyah nyah nyah!"

It speaks volumes of the arrogance of Leftists who refuse to debate the merits of subsidizing Planned Parenthood and instead gloat about winning the election.

The basis for this childish gloating is not even factually accurate. The vote was not unanimous in 2007, 2008, 2010 or 2011. Furthermore, with a 9-0 Democratic majority in 2012 (the year after the city election) Planned Parenthood's request for funding was denied - as it should have been every year since 1999.

MJE posted at 6:22 pm on Thu, Jul 17, 2014.

I respectfully disagree. His letter is designed to implement his religious values as public policy. That is known as Taliban politics.

Once again, I am not the one forcing my beliefs on anyone here. I am arguing that people who want to fund Planned Parenthood should do so by voluntarily donating their own money instead of forcibly confiscating money from the entire community to give to their favorite political cause. I am the one taking a truly pro-choice position, while the city council is forcing their views on everyone else.

There is simply no justification for continuing to subsidize Planned Parenthood through the city's social services fund - or the county's social services fund, for that matter. PP does not need the money, they are only seeking a political endorsement, and there are many truly local organizations that could use the money much more.

This annual farce needs to stop.


Friday, August 8, 2014

A commuter tax in Monroe County?

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

County Council member Geoff McKim wants Monroe County to consider a "commuter tax" on people who live in surrounding counties but drive into Monroe for work. McKim complains that Indiana's tax system is unfair to counties that import workers because the system "has all income tax collections going to the county in which an individual resides, regardless of where she or he works."

Whether a commuter tax is a good idea or not depends on what it is. A revenue-sharing agreement would be reasonable, but an added commuter tax would not be fair or reasonable. People should not be taxed extra simply because they commute into another county for work. Workers should not be punished for living in the "wrong" place.

As McKim points out, people who work in Monroe County but live elsewhere are using services and infrastructure provided by local government (city and county) but do not contribute to those services and infrastructure through their county option income tax (COIT) payments. All of that money goes to their home county. I actually agree that this is not equitable and the state legislature should consider what can be done to distribute the income taxes more fairly.

A better system would be revenue sharing, where counties like Monroe capture a portion of the existing COIT contributions from workers who live elsewhere. Since local government in both counties provide services and infrastructure to commuters, both should get a portion of the commuter's county option income tax payments. A commuter's home county should still get most of the COIT, of course, but it is reasonable to split that money.

Finally, we should acknowledge the elephant in the room. At least some of the complaining about Monroe County being a net importer of labor is resentment and bigotry by elitists (especially in academia) against "dirty foreigners." Elitists in Bloomington despise people who live in surrounding counties as being less educated, less "enlightened" and less cultured than the people of Bloomington. That same bigotry applies to people who live west of State Road 37, but is more intense toward people who do not live in Monroe County. Let's not pretend this is only an issue of equitable revenue sharing instead of bigotry and xenophobia.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

No one wins when pulpits aren't free

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

No one wins when pulpits aren't free.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The law, the world, and salvation

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

The Law can be a tricky subject for Christians. The following is my understanding of the Law and its application to the life of the Christian as well as how it applies universally.

There are three segments of the Law: The ceremonial law, the civil law for the theocratic nation of Israel and moral law. The ceremonial and civil laws were fulfilled by Jesus Christ, while the moral law reflects God's holiness and therefore predates creation. An example of the ceremonial law that was fulfilled is God's commandment to Apostle Peter in Acts 10:9-16. The Apostle Paul's statement on this in 1 Timothy 4 is even more striking, writing that those who would forbid eating of meats are advancing a doctrine of devils. This is why there is no logical basis for accusations of "hypocrisy" against Christians who do not follow things like the Old testament dietary laws.

Moral law is binding on all people at all time, regardless of whether or not they accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior or not. So when I refer to the Law from this point forward, I am referring to God's eternal and unchanging moral law.

While we are commanded by God to keep the moral law, keeping the law cannot save us. In fact, it is impossible to keep the Law. The Law is to show us our sin, our helpless state, our impending damnation and our need for the grace of Jesus Christ. But the fact that it is impossible to keep the Law does not negate our obligation to keep it, and a true Christian will strive to avoid sinning against God's Law.

Some would immediately be taken aback by this statement, saying that I am reverting to legalism. In answer to that, I ask a very simple question: Can Christians still sin? Obviously, the answer is yes. Christians fall into sin all the time. Jesus assumes that Christians will sin against each other, and provides a method for dealing with that sin in Matthew 18:16-22. We are all fallen men and women and sin will be committed, even in the church.

Not only is the Law binding on Christians, it is binding on all men and women. We are all creations of God and are subject to His divine authority. This is why Jesus Christ orders His disciples to go into the world and teach all of the nations "to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" after He declares that all authority has been given to Him both in Heaven and on Earth.

The Law is a good thing. It keeps the peace, protects the innocent and restrains the evil in men's hearts. We should treasure God's Law, while remaining thankful that our inability to keep it does not condemn us to His wrath.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Wisdom from Dr. Sowell

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


Monday, August 4, 2014

Pointless PC pandering by Marvel Comics

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

When Marvel Comics recently announced that they would be replacing Captain America with a black man, Marvel hoped this would get them credit for being trailblazers and bringing diversity to comics. What actually happened is that Marvel took the natural progression of a storyline and evolution of their characters and made it needlessly politically correct, actually making themselves look like they are decades behind the times.

It was more than thirty years ago, after all, that a black character (John Stewart) filled in for and temporarily replaced Hal Jordan as a Green Lantern. Eventually Stewart would become a Green Lantern full-time and was the primary Green Lantern in the DC Animated Universe more than a decade ago. Marvel is not exactly breaking new ground here.

What is really happening here is a natural progression of the Captain America mantle. Marvel had already temporarily replaced Steve Rogers in the 1980's with a character formerly known as the Super Patriot. Bucky Barnes, Captain America's sidekick in World War II, replaced Steve Rogers while he was temporarily dead following the events of Marvel's Civil War storyline. Dick Grayson (the former Robin who later became Nightwing) replaced Bruce Wayne as Batman while Wayne was temporarily dead following the events of Final Crisis.

The Falcon (Sam Wilson) has been Steve Rogers' crime fighting partner and close friend for decades. While Rogers is sidelined, it makes sense that Wilson would take the mantle of Captain America - not because he is black but because he is Rogers' close friend and is one of the few characters in the Marvel Universe who can fill the role of Captain America while Rogers is temporarily on the shelf.

By making this a politically correct gimmick instead of the natural progression of the story, Marvel Comics is actually diminishing the importance of Sam Wilson taking the mantle of Captain America. It would have been better to completely ignore Wilson's race and place him into the role his character would fit into naturally. Fans of Captain America are not going to take this seriously because it is being advanced as political correctness instead of a genuine (and worthwhile) elevation of the Sam Wilson character. That is a shame.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Two tenets

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

Atheism has two tenets:

1. There is no God.

2. I hate Him.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

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

Ten years ago today, we got a little puppy we named Nano.


Do nothing Congress?

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

According to the Rachel Maddow Show, the "Do-Nothing Congress" (2011-2012) passed 283 laws. Now, think about that for a second. 283 laws in 2 years. Did we really need that many new laws? Is the federal government not big enough already?


Friday, August 1, 2014

The last line of defense for unborn babies

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

One of the most controversial methods of opposing abortion and protecting the lives of innocent unborn babies is picketing abortion "clinics" and engaging in sidewalk counseling at those "clinics." (The two are often not the same thing.) When I became active in the pro-life movement in the fall of 1997, that was one of my primary means of activism. Christians who oppose abortion should do both far more than we do.

First, the difference between picketing and sidewalk counseling. Picketing is just that - standing in front of the abortion "clinic" with a sign, to alert the public to what is happening inside. Sidewalk counseling involves volunteers trying to speak directly to the women (and whoever is accompanying them) to convince them to give the baby a chance to live. Here in Bloomington, people doing sidewalk counseling generally do not carry signs - and holding a sign can make women arriving at Planned Parenthood for an abortion less willing to engage.

Both tactics serve the unborn and save lives. There are some women who will cancel or reschedule their appointments if there are people protesting the "clinic." Occasionally (though sadly this is very rare) some women will change their minds and not have an abortion after speaking with pro-life volunteers. This has happened a few times here in Bloomington.

But not surprisingly, this is both the most controversial tactic and the one pro-life activists are least drawn to. I would say that any pro-life person who dismisses picketing at Bloomington's abortion "clinic" out of hand should go at least once to see for himself/herself what really goes on and how people conduct themselves.

There are a lot of myths about what happens at Planned Parenthood in Bloomington- that people are screaming at and damning the women going inside, that people are intimidating women and are violent. None of that is true. Sidewalk counselors call out to and try to engage the women going inside to let them know there are other options. Because they know that any incidents will hurt the pro-life movement's credibility and make it harder to speak to women, picketers and sidewalk counselors will police each other's behavior.

Standing in front of Planned Parenthood on Thursdays is not a fun place to be. It can be intimidating and lonely, especially if you are the only one there. In inclement weather (heat, rain, snow and cold) it is often miserable. People look down on and scorn the volunteers sidewalk counseling and picketing. But it is arguably the most critical element of the pro-life movement. The pro-life movement works to elect candidates and pass laws, but since killing unborn babies is legal, picketing and sidewalk counseling is literally the last line of defense for the unborn babies scheduled to be murdered that day.

In 2007, 2008 and 2009, there were 845, 855 and 818 abortions in Monroe County. The Rally for Life, the booth at the county fair and Life Chain (all of which are valuable) can educate people about abortion. But those are all one-time events, and are far from the front lines of this cultural war. When those efforts are done and the decision is made to end a baby's life, the only people standing between the baby and the abortionist are the people in front of Planned Parenthood every Thursday. That courage is to be celebrated and encouraged.