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Friday, February 28, 2014

Sexual assault, due process and protecting students

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

Last week BBC Radio ran a segment about sexual assault at American universities, and efforts to combat it. The lead was a personal story from a woman who was allegedly raped, who was traumatized by the university's requirement that the alleged rapist must be permitted to face her. What was not mentioned was the accused rapist's Sixth Amendment right to "be confronted with the witnesses against him."

Here is the obvious dilemma: Someone who has been the victim of a violent crime - especially rape - will understandably be traumatized by facing her accuser, but the right to face one's accuser is a critical part of due process that protects both the integrity of the system as well as the rights of the accused, whether innocent or guilty.

We do know that false accusations take place. The most famous false accusers of the last thirty years are Tawana Brawley and convicted murderer Crystal Gail Mangum, both of whom fabricated stories of "rape" out of whole cloth. Both were exposed as liars and frauds, but not before ruining the lives of the men falsely accused. Our criminal justice system presumes those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty, but in the case of sex crimes that is often ignored - and that has led to terrible injustice against innocent people.

But a more obvious question is this: Why is the university handling something like this, instead of handing it over to the civil magistrate? If a crime may have been committed, why not separate the alleged perpetrator and alleged victim while the case is adjudicated by the criminal justice system instead of a university's disciplinary system? The best a university can do is expel someone, but they do not have the authority to impose criminal punishment.

Finally, it was mentioned that conviction rates are "too low." This is not a game, where we are trying to improve a player's statistics. The goal should be justice. In some cases, that means a conviction. In some cases, it does not. It may well be that too many rapists are getting away with their crimes (and that is probably the case) but the goal should never be a specific result. That is the goal in totalitarian regimes that have no respect for civil liberties, but should not be the goal in a nation founded to protect people from an abusive government.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lying to your customers is not good business

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

If you make a business decision that will cause your customers an inconvenience, is it better to be forthright about why you made the decision (namely, that this is best for the company) or is it better to lie to your customers and claim that reducing services will improve customer service?

Last week, I went to a local business only to find out that the service I needed was no longer offered, but that it was offered at the other location on the opposite side of the city. (I am intentionally being vague because the point is more important than shaming the business.) The paper I was handed explained that the change was made to improve customer service. This was a flagrant and shameful lie.

I understand that the business may have needed to make the change in order to improve internal efficiency. I understand that having each location specialize in specific services is likely helpful to the operations at both locations. But to claim that completely eliminating an important service that thousands of people use annually was done to "improve customer service" is simply laughable in how obviously false it is.

While I am unhappy with the loss of service, I am far more unhappy with being treated like some sort of mindless sheep who will buy whatever spin the business throws my way. Honestly, how stupid do you think I am? Do you actually think I am so gullible as to believe your obviously dishonest reasoning for the change?

Sometimes changes need to be made, but it is never smart to lie to your customers.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

An illegal "law" on ballot access

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

My latest on Hoosier Access: A ballot requirement that is clearly and plainly illegal.

We need to stop defending "traditional marriage"

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

Advocates of same-sex marriage often ask those who defend "traditional" marriage if they support the tradition where the law treated women like they were less than human, or the tradition that did not allow people of different races to marry each other, or the tradition that allowed polygamy. These are legitimate questions and illustrate the fundamental problem with defending "traditional marriage"

We need to be honest here: Those of us who oppose same-sex marriage are not doing so to defend "tradition." We are defending God's model for marriage: A lifelong, monogamous union of one man and one woman. When we leave God's Law out of it, we lose ground because we exchange a rock-solid and eternal standard for a standard that flows like sand.

No we are not defending polygamy, because Jesus Christ said in Mark 10:6-9 that marriage is the union of a man and his wife, not three or more. We are not defending laws that banned interracial marriage because the anger of the Lord burned against Miriam and Aaron in Numbers 12 for their racist objection to Moses marrying a black woman. We are not defending marriage where the woman is treated as chattel because Scripture commands husbands to love their wives sacrificially in Ephesians 5:25-31.

Finally, if opponents of same-sex marriage are serious about protecting the sanctity of marriage as established by God, then we need to get serious about opposing divorce, especially the scourge of no-fault divorce that has devastated both the family and society, not to mention the lives of countless precious children.

Everyone knows that the reason we oppose same-sex marriage is because Scripture prohibits homosexuality, so Christians need to stop hiding behind the facade of "tradition" and start confessing our faith by admitting openly that we want to see marriage defined by the state as it was meant to be recognized by God.

We need to stop being cowed by the fabrication of "separation of church and state," recognizing that all law is based on morality and there is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits laws based on Christian morality. We need to call out as absurd that the text of the federal and state constitutions somehow mandate recognition of same-sex marriage when the men who actually wrote the documents would be horrified by the argument that what they wrote forces us to recognize homosexual marriage as a "constitutional right."

Basically, we need to present our arguments with honesty, integrity and bravery.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

No one is forcing anything on anyone with HJR-3

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

Bloomington Herald-Times, February 25, 2014

Here is a question worth answering: Given that the motivation for passing HJR-3 is primarily religious, why should people who do not believe as Christians do be subject to this law?

While we are not a "Christian nation," we do have a rich and well-documented history of roots in the Christian faith. Furthermore, all laws are based on morality of some sort. The constitutions of this state and nation do not prohibit laws from being passed on religious morality - they prohibit government from respecting an establishment of religion. Those are two very different things.

In addition, many of the same people who object to Christian sexual morality being the foundation for marriage policy have no objection to arguing that Scripture mandates government confiscating wealth to give to the poor. Not only is this argument hypocritical, but it would undo the welfare state if taken to its logical conclusion.

No one is forcing anything on anyone with HJR-3. This amendment will not ban sodomy (and there is no serious proposal for an anti-sodomy law on the table) and it will not ban homosexuals from living in a "committed relationship." What HJR-3 does is prevent state government from recognizing the union of two men or two women as a marriage, just as the state does not recognize a plethora of other unions (such as polygamous unions) as marriages.

What recognizing homosexual marriage would do is put state government in the position of placing a stamp of approval on sodomy. This truth is self-evident. Once the state recognizes the union of two men and two women as a "marriage," the state is declaring that sodomy is on the same moral footing as the procreative union of a man and a wife. Up until very recently, it has been universally understood in Christiandom that sodomy is a rebellion against the sexual order established by God.

The reason that a constitutional amendment is needed is to prevent a renegade judge from declaring that same-sex marriage is a "constitutional right" under the state constitution. That would be nearly impossible under state law if we pass the marriage-protection amendment.

It is true that this could well be decided federally, and I fully expect that eventually the Supreme Court will declare that it is "unconstitutional" to not recognize same-sex marriage. Nonetheless, it is absolutely absurd to suggest that the men who wrote the 14th Amendment intended to put "marriage equality" into the U.S. Constitution. Historical context matters.

So why push this amendment, if we are destined to lose this battle (absent a major spiritual revival) in the long run? The answer is simple: It is the right thing to do. It is the right thing because it is loving to refuse to approve of homosexual sin as a "marriage." It is the right thing to do because homosexual "marriage" represents a real threat to religious liberty and freedom of association. Finally, it is the right thing because it is an act of obedience to God's sexual order.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Affirmative action in the NBA

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

This is just plain absurd. Jason Collins is not a very good player. He has never been a very good player. He has always been below average at best, by NBA standards. Now he's old, and way past his prime.

He was signed only as a token, a mascot and a public relations gimmick. He might as well be "Token Black" on South Park. If Jason Collins was heterosexual, he would not have a job in the NBA. This is affirmative action, nothing more.

Hiding the blood on our hands through censorship

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

Printed in the Indiana Daily Student, February 19, 2014

To the Editor:

Sarah Kissel called for a "common-sense approach to defending decency" in response to the Center for BioEthical Reform's display at Florida Gulf Coast University. While Kissel may believe that the graphic photographs of aborted babies are indecent, the real indecency is that our legal system allows these innocent lives to be exterminated in the first place.

Kissel is both right and wrong to object to the Genocide Awareness Project's comparisons of abortion to the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity. She is wrong, in that the abortion industry has killed over 55 million unborn babies since 1973 in the United States alone. Whether done as part of some nefarious conspiracy or as 55 million individual choices, the death toll is still the same and deserves to be considered in the same light.

Kissel is right, though, that abortion is not the same as these other atrocities - because far more innocent lives have been extinguished by the abortion industry than were extinguished by the Nazis or the Soviets.

Turning the signs inward is an illegal, unconstitutional violation of free speech. Neither the government nor a state-supported institution are permitted to engage in content-based censorship of "offensive" speech. The sole purpose of the free speech protections in the First Amendment is to protect speech on divisive political and cultural issues. Turning the images inward amounts to a cover-up to protect the abortion industry and to protect supporters of abortion "rights" from inconvenient truths.

Kissel may have read about GAP display here at IU in the Fall of 2001. In the twelve years since, local pro-life activists have stood at the corner of Kirkwood and Indiana with signs purchased from CBR. I have seen minds changed and I have seen people shocked by the images of what really happens in an abortion.

I hope the day comes when the graphic images of aborted babies are never seen again, but as long as babies are being ripped limb from limb (including every Thursday right here in Bloomington) those images are needed to expose the truth about the reality of "reproductive choice."

Saturday, February 22, 2014

14 ways to improve HTO

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

Re-posting: Fourteen ways to improve HeraldTimesOnline.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The perils of social media: Don't feed the trolls

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

It is expected that candidates for elective office (even at the local level) will have social media profiles. Having at least a Facebook fan page and an official Twitter is considered as much of a "must" as a campaign website - and some candidates and elected officials branch out to Tumblr and Google Plus as well. But while these social media services present opportunities, they also present dangers.

Obviously, one such danger is being a Carlos Danger and disgracing yourself on a national stage like Anthony Weiner did. Other elected officials and candidates for office have posted outrageous things, if not as crass as what Weiner did. But even if you are civil and appropriate, social media presents unique dangers.

Social media allows a candidate to directly interact with voters, who can share updates with their own followers and friends. Social media also allows your content to spread quickly, as people share it with their own friends and followers. It can be used to get media attention and to stimulate people to action on legislation or issues generally. But the ability to interact directly with voters and followers can be a negative.

The first rule of social media for candidates and elected officials should be this: Do not feed the trolls. If you take a stand on a highly contentious issue (especially a social issue) you can expect your opponents to react in an emotional way, blasting away at you via comments or mentions. For every one person who responds rationally, you will get a dozen who respond incoherently and emotionally.

When a politician responds directly to trolls, he lowers himself to their level and magnifies the importance of his critics. When a mayor, a state senator or even a Congressman publicly responds to someone on social media, he highlights that person and increases that person's notoriety. It can make a politician look petty and thin-skinned when he engages directly, and it can harm that politician's reputation if he quotes obscene things that trolls say - especially when he quotes tweets from trolls that contain the "F word."

What you do not want to do is make a bunch of Internet cranks many times more important than they are. (And usually, they are not important at all, until they are elevated by a politician's public response.) Instead, it is better to use social media to spread controlled messages, point people to your website, or direct followers to take action. Getting into a back and forth with trolls and cranks gives your serious opponents ammunition to use against you. Worse yet, it almost never helps, except among the truest of true believers - and you do not need to court those people anyway.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Murdered by police in his own home

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

Here is something to get your blood boiling today: Teenager gunned down by cop for answering the door to his own home while holding a Nintendo Wii controller.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

ObamaCare and the Christian work ethic

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

With a new study that shows ObamaCare will discourage people from working, ObamaCare apologists are spinning this mess as a good thing because it will give people "freedom" to choose whether or not to work.

That's right. We actually have people seriously arguing it is a good thing that people are getting employment benefits without actually being employed. Instead of health insurance being provided by employers in exchange for labor, we will have the government provide what used to be an employment benefit so people do not have to work.

How far we have fallen in less than twenty years, when there was bipartisan agreement that there should be work requirements attached to government benefits. We have always been told that welfare is a hand up, not a hand out - a way to help people get on their feet as they go through a difficult time. Yes, there were some people who abused the system to live off the largesse of the state, but the purpose was to provide a bridge to help people become self-sufficient. That is no longer the case, apparently.

Does anyone doubt that this was intentional, from the beginning? Does anyone doubt that the purpose of ObamaCare was as a political tool to get more and more people on government benefits, thus empowering Democrats and helping them win elections? Once a benefit is in place, it is basically impossible to reverse it. No one seeking the Presidency would dare suggest dismantling Medicare or Social Security, and now we have extended this benefit far beyond seniors to the general population.

We should never encourage people to stop pulling the wagon and jump in to ride instead, as a means of "liberating" them from working. That is the kind of policy that expands government, diminishes real liberty, and crushes the human spirit by making people dependent on the good will of others to survive. If we are going to do this with health benefits, why not propose giving people a government salary for not working?

This is shameful. Obama, who claims to be a Christian, should refresh himself on what Holy Scripture has to say about this in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 - "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hunting, morality, and the animal kingdom

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

We often hear from the militant animal rights crowd that hunting specifically, and eating meat generally, is "immoral." They yell "meat is murder" in between taking hits on the bong. But one critical question is frequently ignored by animal rights extremists, because they now they cannot answer it:

Is it immoral for animals to hunt and kill each other for food?

The reason they do not want to answer this question (and will often personally attack the person who asks the question) is because they know that no matter how they answer, they will refute their own warped ideology. If they say it is not immoral for a lion (or any other carnivore) to hunt animals for food, then it is not immoral for humans to do the same. If they say it is immoral, they have proven themselves to be completely ignorant about science.

The only way it can be "immoral" for humans to eat meat while it is not immoral for animals to do the same is if humans are somehow above the animal kingdom. Christians, of course, know this to be the case because the Bible says we are made in the image of God - and Christian doctrine is incompatible with the view that eating meat is "immoral."

So where do they get this doctrine? From Gaia? Setting aside the fact that Gaia is a demon, where can we find a text that we can determine in some reliable way that it is a commandment of Gaia?

Some would argue humans do not need meat to survive (which is true) or that vegetarianism is healthier than a balanced diet that includes meat. (Which is debatable.) Neither of those, however, are not moral arguments. We all know instinctively that eating meat is normal and natural for human beings, and PETA 's ranting cannot change that.

Previous Editorials:

♣ - Humans are superior to animals

♣ - The ELF/ALF axis of evil must be destroyed

♣ - PETA vs. the NAACP

♣ - Jesus was not a vegetarian!

♣ - Meat is not murder.

♣ - Ingrid Newkirk's doctrines of devils

♣ - A blasphemous heresy and doctrine of devils

♣ - Eating meat is normal and natural

Monday, February 17, 2014

A foolish switch to an inferior platform

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

Bloomington Herald-Times, February 13, 2014

To the Editor:

I think virtually everyone who frequently uses Herald-Times Online will agree that HTO was far better before Schurz Communications foolishly forced the switch to the vastly inferior TownNews.com template.

In the comments for a January 25 letter to the editor, HTO user MJE criticizes the H-T's failure "to be enthusiastic about electronic publication" and criticizes the H-T for "treating the HTO as the black sheep that they reluctantly publish as a subset of the printed version" - two excellent points.

There are so many things that are worse about the new HTO that they will not fit into 200 words. The problems include new HTO being much slower than old HTO, the fact that the comments are not public (except in the mobile version) and the comment system is nowhere near as user-friendly as before.

One thing that is now obvious is that the website designed in-house by HTO staff was excellent from a technical standpoint.

Content and comment moderation decisions aside, old HTO was on par with (and arguably superior to) the websites of much larger and higher-profile newspapers in much larger cities. If anything, TownNews.com should be using the old HTO template for all of their sites.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Romans 1:20-21

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

For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Who crucified Jesus Christ?

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

It was the Jewish people, not just the Jewish leaders, who screamed for Jesus Christ to be crucified. All of the people were guilty.

The reason this is important is because each and every one of us sitting in church pews every Sunday would have been screaming for the murderer Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be nailed to the cross.

Who crucified Jesus Christ? The Jews did.

But more importantly, Scott Tibbs did.

Friday, February 14, 2014

CDBG grants and the Tenth Amendment

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

My latest post at Hoosier Access:

Why are the taxpayers of the other 49 states subsidizing local government and private charities in Bloomington, Indiana? If local government is going to be distributing money, shouldn’t it be from the local tax base?

Read more at Hoosier Access.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Don Bates is the best choice for Hoosier Republicans

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

I had the opportunity to listen to Don Bates speak on campus last week, and I have come to the conclusion that he is the best choice for the Republican Party to nominate at our convention. I cannot be a delegate this year due to a prior commitment, but if I was a delegate I would vote for Bates.

Bates has run for office twice before, once for U.S. Senate and once for U.S. House of Representatives. This is not the case of a perennial candidate, though. The Bates family was expecting twins, and people within the party started recruiting him to run for Treasurer. A family man first and foremost, Bates held off on the decision until his twins were born and healthy, and then decided to consider running.

We are fortunate he agreed. Bates has twenty years of experience in financial management, and is well-positioned to continue the policies that have led to Indiana's financial strength. The position of Treasurer is not a policy-making position; it is an administrative position. Because this is a "skill" position, we need to present voters with the candidate who has the best background and experience, and that is Bates.

This is not to disparage the other Republicans running for Treasurer, but nominating one of the others will be a missed opportunity because we would not have picked the best candidate.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Marijuana, alcohol, and Libertarians discrediting themselves

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

I came across an interesting graphic late last month comparing marijuana to alcohol, with the point being that a less dangerous substance is illegal with a more dangerous substance is legal. It is an interesting argument, but the problem is that it is not an apples to apples comparison. The graphic does not compare the effects of marijuana and the effects of alcohol, but instead compares marijuana to alcohol abuse.

Alcohol abuse is certainly a concern, and has impacts on public health, government spending and crime, but alcohol use and alcohol abuse are not the same thing. Having a drink with a meal or with friends is a long way from binge drinking or being an alcoholic. Moderate, reasonable and responsible use of alcohol noes not cost law enforcement anything, does not cause death via overdose, does not lead to drunk-driving deaths and does not increase crime.

Decriminalization advocates complain about marijuana being unfairly stigmatized, but images like that are not the best way to combat that stigmatization. In addition to being misleading about alcohol, some of the claims about marijuana are just plain false. Marijuana does not cure cancer, and with the War on Drugs it certainly does not save "billions" for law enforcement. Even if legalized, that would not be the case. Making absurd claims does not help your cause.

Speaking of absurd, I noticed a post on the Facebook page of a candidate for Indiana state treasurer. The question was about marijuana, even though the state treasurer has absolutely no authority over marijuana policy. Why ask that question of a candidate for state treasurer? Then I clicked on the profile. The questioner is a Libertarian candidate for state representative. The cover photo is... interesting, to say the least.

This is the problem too many Libertarians. Making marijuana legalization such a large focus marginalizes the Libertarian Party as the party of dope. That might play well with certain segments of the voter base, but that is not enough to win an election and does not make up for the voters who are turned off by what they see as (as Ann Coulter said) "a bunch of Trekkies living in their parents' basements." The Libertarian Party has a lot of good things going for it, but they will never be a major party until they stop (figuratively, if not literally) making a marijuana leaf the party's mascot.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Don Bates speaks to the IU College Republicans

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

Don Bates, candidate for Indiana state Treasurer, spoke to the IU College Republicans last week. I cannot make it to the GOP convention in June (and therefore I am not running for delegate this year) due to an prior commitment, but if I was a delegate I would vote for Mr. Bates.

Follow Mr. Bates on his website and on Facebook to keep up with the campaign.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Deranged Leftists erupt in anger... over snow removal!

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

Last week, the Herald-Times ran a story on Monroe County government sending snowplows over to Owen County to help with a recent severe snowstorm. I made the following comment:

"I don't have a problem with helping Owen County, but there are roads in Monroe County that the county consistently fails to plow. Focus on the ones paying your bills first, and then help out surrounding counties."

Note that nowhere in my comment did I say or even imply that Monroe County should not help Owen County at all. I made a statement about what I think is the proper allocation of resources for snow removal. After all, there are a couple county roads I drive on daily that are consistently not cleared after major storms. It is a statement that people can disagree with, certainly, but one would not think that it would make anyone angry or offended.

Boy, was I ever wrong!

Leftists erupted in furious anger, attacking me personally and attacking my faith, calling me the "worst Christian ever" and repeatedly calling me a "hypocrite." One Leftist said my "selfish ideology has to be crazy strong" and another called my arguments "consistently despicable." All of this over me expressing an opinion about the prioritization of resources for plowing roads in Monroe and Owen counties.

The most absurd accusation was that my post is opposed to the teachings of Jesus. Now, personally I think it is stupid to make plowing streets a theological matter. I was talking about public policy and allocation of resources. But if deranged Leftists want to go there, I can certainly provide Scripture to support my position, such as the following three passages below - including one quote from Jesus Christ:

2 Thessalonians 3:11-12

For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

And another one...

1 Timothy 5:8

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

And another one...

Mark 7:10-13

For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.

And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

The principle established in Scripture is clear: We are to take care of our own responsibilities before we insert ourselves into others' business. Given that there are roads in Monroe County that are consistently not cleared, the focus should be on plowing those roads before we help surrounding counties.

Now let me address a couple issues: I do appreciate the work that county highway workers do. It is an admirable thing for them to get up in the wee hours of the morning in brutally cold weather, and get the roads clear to the best of their ability so people can drive to work. Because they have a huge amount of ground to cover, I do not expect it to be perfect. My problem was helping Owen County before all of the work in Monroe County was done.

As to roads not being cleared, I have been repeatedly accused of "lying" about that. This is completely absurd and nonsensical. What possible motivation could I possibly have for "lying" about roads not being plowed? Seriously - what could my motivation possibly be? What do I have to gain by "lying" about it? This is literally insane. This accusation can only be made by people who are completely deranged.

This is just one more example of why why "bipartisanship" is a crock, because the extreme Left is so deranged and filled with hate. I expect to be personally attacked, lied about and called names in a thread over hot-button social issues like abortion and homosexual marriage. But to face this kind of vitriol over the prioritization of resources for plowing streets illustrates how completely deranged the extreme Left has become.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Russia using the Olympics to celebrate genocide

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

The hammer and sickle at the Olympics' opening ceremonies showed a complete and total lack of class. The Russians should be ashamed for celebrating a genocidal regime that brutally murdered tens of millions.

This is utterly disgusting, immoral, evil and depraved.

This is no different than Germany featuring a huge swastika if they hosted the Olympics.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Political correctness and the feminization of discourse

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

Note: This editorial was originally written on July 18, 2008

During the course of a discussion with a friend last weekend, I mentioned a simple biological reality: men are stronger, faster and more athletic than women. I prefaced this with a disclaimer meant to avoid giving offense, and my friend pointed out that I was bowing to political correctness in my own home while talking to someone who has no use for political correctness. This got me thinking about the feminization of discourse in society, how offending people even with simple statements of fact is to be avoided or at least accompanied by a disclaimer, and how we walk on eggshells when any topic has anything to do with race.

Even while writing this blog, I feel compelled to recognize that there are exceptions to the general statement of truth. For example, professional tennis player Maria Sharapova is certainly faster, stronger and more athletic than Indiana blogger Scott Tibbs. But that there are exceptions to a general statement of truth does not invalidate the general truth: it only points out that the general statement of truth does not apply in every instance. There are real-world implications of this general truth. We have all seen news stories that raise concerns about standards of physical performance being lowered for women who sought to be firefighters, for example.

Political correctness controls our language in other ways. When discussing the implications of the word nigger, we often "bleep" the term by saying or writing n-word instead. But is it logically consistent to become outraged (or fabricate "outrage" to score political points) when someone asks whether it is racist for a rapper such as Snoop Dog to use the word nigger? Is every use of nigger automatically racist when used by someone who is not black?

A cultural "ban" on nigger (except when used by blacks) is evidence of the feminization of discourse that excludes not only reasonable discussions of terminology, but even works of art that advance the moral standard of racial equality. As Ashley Herzog points out, 19th-century author Mark Twain in his writings "suggested that all men are created equal" and that "moral people are capable of transcending racial barriers." But Twain's famous novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is being increasingly censored because it contains the word nigger.

The censorship of Huckleberry Finn and the attempted censorship of a historical mural in Woodburn Hall on the Indiana University campus (see articles from February 25, 2002, November 19, 2003 and April 23, 2005) is evidence that our culture has become more concerned about feelings than logic and truth. This was evident in 2003 when Indiana University "student" Rahsaan Bartet asked how long IU would allow "groups and people to trample on the mental psyche" of students. So there we have it: if it hurts my feelings, it is bad. Whether I have a logical or factual reason to be offended is irrelevant: the only thing that matters is my feelings.

This was taken to an absolutely absurd extreme at a County Commissioner's meeting in Texas last week, when John Wiley Price objected to a colleague's use of the term "black hole" to describe the processing of parking tickets. Price feels that "black" is being used in a negative context. A black hole, of course, is a astronomical phenomenon that occurs when a star dies and collapses in on itself. The material of the dead star is so dense and the gravitational pull so strong that not even light can escape from it, which is why it is black.

Price is either a hyper-emotional crybaby or a race hustler who attempted to score cheap political points by throwing the "racist" smear at a colleague. In either case, he is not qualified to be an elected official. Hopefully, the fact that he is being mercilessly ridiculed nationally will shame him, but that is not likely.

The problem with the feminization of discourse on racial matters is that constant screeching about non-issues causes people to become desensitized to legitimate concerns. When the Herald-Times reported on a drug bust where police arrested seven white and six black suspects, the three suspects who were pictured on the front page were all black. Unfortunately, some folks wrongly associate dark skin pigmentation with criminal activity, and however unintentionally, the choice of which photographs to publish on the front page of the print edition plays into those stereotypes.

Some people immediately dismissed these concerns. Shameless race baiters like John Wiley Price and crybabies like the Woodburn mural critics can blame themselves for that. The story of the "boy who cried wolf" has become a cliché, but those who have unjustifiably cried "racism" over and over have only managed to make people cynical about racial issues. The ultimate irony is that race baiters and crybabies actually enable racists.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Nine years after Kelo, we have a vacant lot

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

Not only did the abominable Kelo decision rape the Constitution of these United States, the development was never built. The so-called "justices" who ruled to steal people's private property and give it to private developers should have been impeached.

Jahi McMath and an unexplained bloodlust

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

It is difficult to understand the bloodlust in the case of Jahi McMath. Why are so many people so determined to see this young woman murdered? Why is it that so many people ferociously advocate for the death of this teenage girl? It is a very strange case.

As I consider other cases we deal with in our death-obsessed culture, I can understand the motivation for wanting the option to end life to be legally available. It is understandable why people would want abortion to be legal, so that a baby would not change in their lifestyle - and there is nothing in this world that will force you outside of your selfish world than caring for a baby.

I can understand why people would want to be allowed to either take a loved one off life support or even outright murder that person. There can be life insurance benefits or a desire to be free of responsibility. I also understand not wanting a loved one to suffer and not wanting extraordinary measures.

But why the deranged bloodlust in Jahi's case? Why do so many people want her dead, and why do they viciously attack those who defend this precious little girl?

As the legal battle over whether to keep a "braindead" pregnant woman in Texas alive was winding down, I made a comment on Twitter that I wished little Jahi was being treated at that hospital, instead of the so-called "hospital" determined to murder her. Given the eruption of rage that followed, you would think I had called for another Nazi Holocaust. (See here and here and here and here.)

Again, I understand the arguments of those who argue for the right to die with dignity, for compassion's sake. No one wants to see a loved one suffer. No one wants to see extraordinary measures taken that only prolong suffering for a loved one. We want to have the choice to refuse extraordinary treatment, for ourselves or those in our care. If the hospital wanted to keep Jahi alive and the family wanted to end extraordinary treatment it would be a different story.

But in the case of Jahi, the family wanted to continue her care. It is the so-called "hospital" that was obsessed with murdering her. Is it not the entire purpose of ObamaCare that people would not be denied health care? (That is not the case, but let's pretend it is.) Why such hatred and rage over allowing the family to make health care decisions for their daughter? Where is the respect for parental rights? Why such insensitivity and outright hatred for the McMath family, referring to Jahi as "the corpse" or "the body" instead of as a little girl made in the image of Almighty God?

This case literally terrifies me, as the father of two sons. I do not want a "hospital" deciding that one of my sons needs to die if (God forbid) something terrible were to happen to one of them. That decision should be made by me and my wife - not a "hospital" and certainly not an ObamaCare bureaucrat. Have we slipped so far into the culture of death that we are literally cheering a so-called "hospital" in its efforts to murder a little girl over the family that is literally begging and pleading for her life?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

CVS no longer selling cigarettes...

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

CVS won't sell cigarettes because they "kill."

What courage! What integrity! What an admirable commitment to public health!

Never mind they sold them for decades, despite knowing the health dangers.

Spare me the public relations gimmick.

Looking back on "three strikes" moderation

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

Sometimes, technology itself can be useful in bringing civility to online discussions. In January of 2012, the Herald-Times implemented a new feature for its story comments - a "three strikes and you're out" rule. If you had three posts deleted over a fourteen day period, you would be automatically suspended for two weeks. This was an excellent feature that was very effective in maintaining civility on HTO.

Once you had a comment deleted, you knew that another deletion would bring you close to the penalty box. Once you had two comments deleted, you were on your best behavior - if you wanted to continue posting on HTO. Those who got the third strike got a two week cooling off period before they were allowed to comment again.

If the awful TownNews.com template allows this, HTO administrators should re-implement it. Since HTO admins are far too lax in banning people who truly do need to be banned, the "three strikes" feature regularly removed the worst trolls and forced them to calm down. Of course, at least three of the most aggressive Leftist trolls actually purchased second subscriptions to keep posting during their suspensions, and one even purchased two extra subscriptions!

While the feature was good, the implementation was problematic. For example, it was certainly abused - people would spam the "report" button when they knew a political opponent had a couple of strikes. When combined with poor and wildly inconsistent moderation decisions, it could (and did) result in people being suspended unjustly. Any tool can be misused, of course, and it was a very good tool overall.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Disagreement does not constitute a "lie"

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

Normally people stop saying things they disagree with are "lies" by second grade at the latest. Yet I am accused of "lying" every single day on HeraldTimesOnline by Leftists who simply disagree with me. You have to wonder if these people are capable of thinking logically, or if they simply respond by name-calling any time they see an argument they do not like or agree with.

I explained on HoosierAccess.com a couple weeks ago that HJR-3, before it was mutilated by the House of Representatives, would not have prohibited private corporations from offering domestic partner benefits to either unmarried heterosexual couples or to homosexual couples. I have repeatedly been called a "liar" by childish Leftists for making this argument. But, once again, let's go to the text.

Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.

As I pointed out before, the two key words in the allegedly odious and draconian second sentence are "legal status." A benefit from a private employer is not a legal status, and neither is a benefit from a state-supported institution such as a university. There is no danger that domestic partner benefits would be decriminalized if the marriage amendment had been passed by the house and approved by the voters in its original form.

We need to be real here. The only way domestic partner benefits would be challenged at all is if someone filed a Don Quixote lawsuit to get them banned. I cannot see a lawsuit like that being filed at all, and certainly not by anyone with meaningful financial resources to mount an effective legal challenge. Even if that happened, does anyone really believe that we are going to see a court ruling that domestic partner benefits are illegal under the proposed amendment?

Come on, now. That is not going to happen, and everyone knows it.

The real objective of changing the amendment is not to "fix" the allegedly "objectionable" language in HJR-3. The real objective is to run out the clock. If the amendment passes both houses with the second provision removed, the schedule starts over. It would have to be passed by the next general assembly in 2015 or 2016 in order to be on the 2016 ballot. Public opinion in these United States is rapidly moving toward acceptance of government recognizing same-sex marriage. Whether you like that or not, that is where we are moving. The goal is to hold the amendment off until public opinion in Indiana shifts enough that it will not pass.

That is the real strategery, so be honest about it. Please do not insult my intelligence with doomsday predictions about a scenario that is about as likely as Pee Wee Herman knocking out Mike Tyson in his prime.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Amanda Knox

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

If Barack Obama agrees to extradite Amanda Knox to Italy, he should be impeached. Bowing to Italy's unjust Triple Jeopardy "conviction" would be a betrayal of the liberties America holds dear, and a betrayal of our Constitution.

Those buffer zones around Massachusetts abortion "clinics"

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

The Maginot Line was considered a work of genius when it was constructed, but it was ultimately a very expensive military failure. Imagine if, instead of building a series of military fortifications, France had simply painted a bright yellow line along the length of its eastern border. That would have stopped the German Wehrmacht in its tracks, saving France from Nazi occupation. At least, the government of Massachusetts seems to believe that.

Several times now on her program Rachel Maddow has used the murder of two receptionists by anti-abortion terrorist John Salvi as a reason why the buffer zones are needed to protect clinic staff and women seeking abortions. Obviously, a bright yellow line would have stopped Salvi from walking into those clinics and committing murder. Salvi might have been willing to walk into a clinic and commit murder, but he would not have been willing to walk past the line.

It is laughable to argue that some yellow paint would have stopped Salvi from committing crimes worthy of death. Whatever other arguments can be made about why the buffer zones are necessary and are an allowable "time, place and manner" restriction on free speech, it is nonsensical to use the crimes of John Salvi as an argument for the buffer zones. People who do so cannot be taken seriously in the field of ideas.

As to the zones themselves, it will be interesting to see how this is decided. It is established legal doctrine that government may place "time, place and manner" restrictions on First Amendment rights. For example, the Constitution forbids government from restricting Bubba's right to petition government for redress of grievances, but Bubba may not stand outside a Congressman's bedroom window at 3:00 a.m. screaming into a bullhorn.

The buffer zone, though, raises legitimate free speech concerns. (Here is a helpful picture of what the buffer zone looks like at one abortion "clinic.") The problem here is that the buffer zone is entirely content-based. If you are walking down the street, you can enter and exit the buffer zone freely. If you are engaged in a protest against abortion, you may not enter the restricted area. Since the buffer is not equally enforced, it is at best constitutionally suspect.

Let's be honest here. The point of the buffer zone is not to prevent violence, and yellow paint on the sidewalk would do absolutely nothing to accomplish that objective. The point is to protect the money-making business of abortion. That is not acceptable, and the buffer zone should therefore be struck down.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Indiana Pacers set themselves back ten years

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

You often have to wonder what NBA executives are thinking. Are the Indiana Pacers so desperate that they would risk destroying the franchise for a slight increase in productivity? Have they not learned the lessons they should have learned after a series of bad actors crippled the franchise for years?

The 2004 NBA Playoffs were the beginning of the end for the Indiana Pacers. Ron Artest committed a stupid flagrant foul that contributed to the Detroit Pistons reaching the NBA Finals. Indiana had won 61 games and was considered the favorite to represent the Eastern Conference, before Artest's antics crippled the team.

It got far worse the next season, when Artest lost his temper and charged into the stands to attack a Pistons "fan" who threw a drink at him. While I vehemently disagreed with the way David Stern handled the case (and I am very glad to see him gone from the NBA) there is no question that Artest's thuggish behavior was unprofessional, childish, and unworthy of an NBA player. Things continued to get worse and worse for the next few years, with a series of bad behavior that made the Pacers the equivalent of the infamous "Portland Jail Blazers."

You would think the Pacers front office would have learned their lesson. Obviously, they have not, because they signed notorious thug Andrew Bynum, who is known for violently attacking other players on the court - including one particularly vicious attack that left an opposing player with a broken rib and a collapsed lung. The actions of Bynum and his L.A. Lakers teammates would have constituted felony assault if committed by someone who was not a multi-millionaire pro athlete. And people wonder why professional athletes think they are above the law.

Bynum is a special kind of thug, a spineless sniveling coward who violently attacks much smaller players. He belongs behind bars, not playing basketball in the NBA. By trading for Bynum, the Pacers proved they learned absolutely nothing from the trouble caused by the players they finally rid themselves of a few years ago. Without Bynum, the Pacers were already winning at a clip that could deliver a 63-win season. Why take the risk?

A professional basketball team's goal is to win championships, obviously. Perhaps Bynum can contribute to that - though after he single-handedly wrecked the Philadelphia 76ers 2012-2013 season and performed well below expectations for the Cleveland Cavaliers, that is by no means a sure thing. But teams also have a responsibility to set a good example. There are few teams that need to be more careful about their reputations than Indiana.

I was happy with the 2013-14 Indiana Pacers. They had assembled a good crew of both players and citizens. It is beyond me why they would risk throwing all of that away by signing a whining, moping, cowardly thug like Andrew Bynum. I refuse to root for the Pacers, and I fervently hope they lose every game they play from this point forward. They have shown they no longer deserve the success they have enjoyed this season.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

On the state of Google Plus

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

I wanted to highlight this post on my Google Plus profile.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Re-posting old editorials on ConservaTibbs.com

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

Because I have moved the blog to different hosting services a few times, most of what I wrote from 1997 to 2009 is not on ConservaTibbs.com. Therefore, from time to time I will post older articles from my archive on the blog. One of those is scheduled to go up on Wednesday morning. (The link to it won't work until then.) Obviously, you can read all of the old posts on the archive.