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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In five of the last six national elections...

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

Much has been said since 2012 about the Republican candidate losing the popular vote in five of the last six elections for President and what it means for 2016, but it's important to have some perspective on this number. It is actually not as bad as it appears at first glance, especially when that number is compared to the Democrats' results in the popular vote since Jimmy Carter was elected.

Ronald Reagan, of course, won the popular vote in 1980 and 1984. George H. W. Bush won the popular vote in 1998. But while Bush lost the popular vote in 1992, Bill Clinton did not exactly "win" it. In afct, he was elected President despite winning only 43% of the vote. Clinton then got only 49% of the vote in 1996, meaning that 51% of voters wanted to replace the incumbent Democratic President. Four years after that, Al Gore got more votes than George W. Bush, but again failed to win a majority of the popular vote.

Prior to Barack Obama winning the White House in 2008, Democrats had failed to win a majority of the popular vote in seven consecutive elections.When Obama won a majority in 2008, it was the first time a Democratic candidate for President had won the popular vote in thirty-two years. That victory by the Democratic candidate was a historic event, because of the consistent failure to win a popular vote majority, and would have been regardless of Obama's skin pigmentation.

So, yes, Republicans have been in a popular vote drought since 1988, with 2004 being the lone exception. But does anyone remember the talk about a "permanent Republican majority" after the 2004 election? That lasted all of two years, when Democrats captured the House and Senate in 2006. Obama would win the Presidency two years after that, but talk of a permanent shift in our politics was ended by a Republican landslide in 2010.

The bottom line is politics is a very shaky business, and talk of any sort of permanence is foolish.

(2 Comments)


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Learn to drive or get off the road!

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

Note: I originally wrote this in February of 2009.

For several years now, I have been confounded by one of life's great mysteries. Why is it that when the light turns green, so many people are not prepared to move and thus obstruct traffic? I simply cannot figure it out. Why is this so hard? All one has to do is watch the other street's light, and when it turns yellow you know your light will be changing within seconds. You can then be prepared to move.

Also, if you are sitting at a red light, do not leave a large amount of space between you and the next vehicle. You do not need to be on someone's bumper, but when there is several feet of space and multiple cars waiting, that "dead space" can prevent someone from turning from a parking lot into the lane when there is no oncoming traffic.

I'm also amazed that some people feel compelled to get out of their vehicle while stopped at a red light. Thankfully, this is rare, but I observed a near-accident on the bypass when some fool opened up his driver's side door and the person passing him in the left turn lane had to swerve to avoid taking out the idiot's door. What could this person have possibly been thinking when he did that, in the middle of morning rush hour traffic?

The worst behavior I've seen, though, is from people who are so self-centered that they feel they are above deferring to an ambulance or other emergency vehicle. When an emergency vehicle is coming, you pull over as much as possible and stop. No debate, no exceptions, end of discussion. There are few things that infuriate me more than fools who honk at me or whip around me because I am doing the proper thing by giving the ambulance as much room as possible.

Think about it for a second. If you were seriously injured or suffering a heart attack, what would you think of someone who delayed the ambulance getting to you because they wanted to get to the grocery a few seconds faster? In an emergency where seconds matter, what if you caused a family member to die by selfishly refusing to yield to an emergency vehicle as required by law?

There is a Biblical principle here too. God's Word commands us to obey the authority God has placed over us. When someone breaks the law by refusing to yield to an emergency vehicle, he not only defies the civil authority. He is in rebellion against God Himself, and those who behave in such a manner "shall receive to themselves damnation." (Romans 13:1-2) Stop for that ambulance and yield as much room as possible. The few seconds you save are simply not worth it.

(2 Comments)


Monday, April 28, 2014

The hypocrisy of opposing intolerance by being intolerant

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

Indiana Daily Student columnist Evan Stahr demonstrated last week that he does not understand the nature of tolerance, much less freedom of speech or academic freedom. As an example, take these three statements from his editorial in the IDS.

  • It is up to the community of IU students to keep bigots off campus.
  • Every time I see an advertisement for hate, it is taken down or painted over within a day.
  • They need to be sent a strong, unmistakable message — you are not welcome here.

The group Stahr wants to force off campus is one that will get no support or sympathy from many (if any) outside that small student group - that student group claims to be a "white nationalist" group and has ties to the Ku Klux Klan. (Yes, those people are still around in 2014, and in Bloomington.) Opposition to this wicked ideology is universal across the political spectrum, from Republicans, Democrats and independents.

But here is the problem: It is not up to would-be vigilantes like Stahr, or even the IU administration, to decide that the "traditional youth" movement or the students who support that movement do not belong on the campus of a public university. As long as the self-described white nationalists are obeying the law and not breaking university rules of conduct, they have every right to be on campus spreading their message, no matter how sinful that message is. Such is the nature of free speech.

Censorship does nothing but elevate the white nationalists and makes the censors look like they do not have the intellectual capacity or emotional stability needed to refute easily refutable arguments. Violence against the white nationalists - which has happened - is even more counterproductive because it is not only immoral and illegal, but it completely discredits the people engaged in it. No one is going to respect your argument or you as a person if your first reaction is censorship, or worse, violence.

But this sort of attitude has implications far beyond some unsavory white nationalists. Extreme Leftists who engage in censorship by mob rule as a matter of normal behavior will not stop once the white nationalists are gone. Instead, they will turn to others. It could be anti-abortion students, Christian students openly advocating Biblical sexual morality, or opponents of affirmative action. This has dangerous implications for free speech, free thought and academic freedom. The university administration needs to step up and say that all views - no matter how abhorrent - are welcome at Indiana University.

(3 Comments)


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Common sense on E-Cigarettes

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

I am not saying that e-cigarettes carry no health risks, but treating them the same as traditional cigarettes is completely absurd.

(0 Comments)


Friday, April 25, 2014

Thoughts on the "Slut Walk" and effective protest

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

Is the "Slut Walk" really the best way to attack rape culture, or does the silliness of the event distract from the important message that the protesters are trying to promote - that victims of rape are not responsible for the violent acts committed against them? I think the answer is obvious: This is a silly sideshow that does not advance the cause of victims' rights. Circuses rarely do.

This is not to say there is not a legitimate point to be made. The event originated when a Toronto police officer said that women could avoid getting raped if they did not dress like "sluts." This is a deplorable statement, obviously - no victim of violent crime consents to being victimized. The only person responsible for a rape is the rapist himself. Too many people still think that rape victims are "asking for it" somehow, and that attitude needs to be changed - but this is not the way to change it.

But when feminists are walking around campus wearing nothing but a bra from the waist up or "wearing opened button-down shirts with tape covering their nipples," they are not treating a sensitive issue with the intellectual seriousness it demands. Take Back the Night already spreads that message in various ways, including the chant "whatever I wear, wherever I go, yes means yes and no means no." Dressing in an indecent manner does not convince anyone of your argument. You might as well be putting on a clown nose and wig.

The "Slut Walk" did get some unsavory opposition, when a "white nationalist" group showed up to counter-protest. Feminists responded by using bed sheets to cover the group's signs. I often wonder where feminists come bed linens so quickly, so they can use them to censor speech they do not like.

You will thankfully not find much support for a "white nationalist" group in Bloomington, but the reaction was exactly the wrong thing to do. By covering up, stealing or destroying their signs (and worse, physically assaulting them) "Slut Walk" activists did nothing but elevate the Trad Youth movement. Feminists also make themselves look dangerously emotionally unstable and mentally unhinged. If Trad Youth's message is so offensive, let that message be discredited in the marketplace of ideas. Censorship by violent mob rule only serves to discredit the mob and bring sympathy on the group being censored.

At the end of the day, an event that was guaranteed to be a farce became an even bigger farce than anticipated. I have attended and supported Take Back the Night in the past (and I hope to do that again this Fall) but I would never attend a "Slut Walk" or support such an event. There are better ways of spreading an anti-crime message, and violence is never under any circumstances the answer to offensive speech.

(2 Comments)


Thursday, April 24, 2014

"Beethoven" mini-review

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 7:30 AM (#)

I watched Beethoven for the first time last weekend. It is a good movie - very entertaining - but it is really dark. Much darker than I expected, especially for a Disney movie. The Mafia is testing new ammunition so a Mafia veterinarian is providing dogs to be shot in the head? Very dark. Then two Mafia thugs get mauled to death by Doberman Pinschers at the end, off-screen.

(2 Comments)


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

An offensive glurge about the "world's toughest job"

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

I roll my eyes and sigh at a lot of the stupid memes that travel around the Internet, and with the advent of social media I am seeing a lot more glurge than I did ten years ago. The world's toughest job video is especially offensive.

First, no matter what the "point" the video's makers were trying to make, the tactics used are cruel, hateful, unethical and mean-spirited. In this depressed economy, with tens of millions out of work, giving people a false hope in order to prank them and put it on YouTube is sick and depraved. Even if the message was a good one, I have no interest in hearing what these people have to say. It is disgusting. I am sure they got a few people who told them what they could do with their prank using very colorful language.

Second, what are the fathers doing while the mothers are doing the "world's toughest job?" I guess we must all be drinking beer, farting and burping. That's all we're good for, apparently. Obviously, the fathers don't rock the baby or give him a bottle at 3:00 am so mommy can sleep. Definitely not. We need to make sure we get plenty of sleep so we can burp and fart and drink beer tomorrow. That is some important work that simply cannot be done if we are helping the women folk with the "world's toughest job."

I am the father of a two-year old and a newborn, so I certainly do not deny that motherhood is difficult. So is fatherhood, and both are difficult in different ways. It is counterproductive, yet typical of our victim culture that we have to elevate our own hardships to being so terrible no one else could bear them, and exaggerate how severe those hardships are. After all, I used to walk four miles to school, barefoot, in 18 inches of snow, uphill both ways. And I had to carry 100 pounds of books on my back after not getting enough to eat that morning.

Finally, this video represents our culture's hatred of children. Motherhood is portrayed as the most grueling and demanding work possible. Children are not a joy, they are a heavy burden. (If you are training them properly, that burden will not only lessen over time, they will start to help.) If people actually believe the nonsense spouted by this video, is it any surprise that many do not want children at all?

(2 Comments)


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The United States of SWAT

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

From an excellent article at National Review Online:

Take the case of Kenneth Wright of Stockton, Calif., who was "visited" by a SWAT team from the U.S. Department of Education in June 2011. Agents battered down the door of his home at 6 a.m., dragged him outside in his boxer shorts, and handcuffed him as they put his three children (ages 3, 7, and 11) in a police car for two hours while they searched his home. The raid was allegedly intended to uncover information on Wright's estranged wife, Michelle, who hadn't been living with him and was suspected of college financial-aid fraud.

Read more at National Review Online.

Why does the Department of Education need a SWAT team?

(2 Comments)


Monday, April 21, 2014

Kruzan's secrecy is not acceptable

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

The scandal surrounding the Bloomington city employee who allegedly conspired to defraud city government out of $800,000 has brought forth some really weak defenses for the actions of Mayor Kruzan's administration, as well as attempts to dodge legitimate criticism entirely.

Kruzan's defenders whined that I was "politicizing" the scandal in my letter to the editor last week. This is a typical tactic used when a politician is revealed to be incompetent or has committed some sort of malfeasance. Instead of addressing the arguments made, Kruzan's defenders whine, "Oh the criticism is political." But that does not address why the employee was able to get away with the fraud for over two years. Why did the city's accounting team not catch these fraudulent invoices? Why were the auditing procedures not sufficient to catch this sooner? These questions remain, and whining about the criticism of Kruzan being "political" is a pathetic non-dodge.

Now, let's be real. Of course this is political. When you are dealing with the performance of elected officials and government agencies, such matters are inherently political. You better believe that if a Republican were Mayor, he would be facing criticisms from the Left, just as Republican officials in county government have faced harsh criticisms when they have made errors in the past. Let's drop the hypocritical whining about the political aspects of this scandal.

I have been accused of "blaming" Mayor Kruzan for this scandal. I did no such thing. The only person to "blame" for the theft is the city employee himself. That said, the obviously insufficient internal financial controls that allowed this fraud to continue are legitimate areas of concern and ultimately Kruzan is responsible here. Kruzan is the Mayor and is the top authority over city employees. Like it or not, the buck stops with him.

Furthermore, Kruzan deserves 100% of the blame for his administration's actions surrounding this scandal. The idea that such secrecy is needed is absolutely absurd, as I demonstrated in my post on April 11. The nature of financial records that are open to the public does not change simply because there is a criminal investigation. The question remains: What is Kruzan trying to hide? What sort of political embarrassment will come from releasing the records that he is morally, legally and ethically obligated to release?

This is why Mark Kruzan needs to be challenged in 2015. If the Republican Party cannot find someone who is willing to provide voters a choice, someone needs to file as a write-in candidate. Kruzan should not go into the general election with no option for voters to choose someone else. While the odds of electing a Republican as Mayor are virtually zero (and the odds of a write-in candidate winning are even less) the voters deserve an opportunity to make that choice.

(0 Comments)


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Never forget the massacre in Waco!

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

Twenty-one years ago today, the Branch Davidian cult was massacred in Waco, Texas. Never forget this crime.

Twenty years ago today: Never forget Waco! -- April 19, 2013

The botched raid in Waco - 20 years ago today -- February 28, 2013

Lessons from Waco, 19 years later -- April 19, 2012

The Waco massacre, 15 years later: Never again! -- April 18, 2008

There must never be another Waco -- April 26, 2006

(4 Comments)


Friday, April 18, 2014

Conference dominance and restructuring the NBA Playoffs

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

There have been a number of NBA seasons where one conference has been stronger than the other, but the disparity between conferences is especially pronounced this year, to the point that there is talk about the wholesale restructuring of the playoffs. But is that the best answer, or is there another solution?

Divisions in the NBA are pretty much meaningless at this point, due in large part to having a half-dozen division champions instead of just four. When you increase the number of champions, the value of each championship means less, especially when the advantages that the division champions get in the NBA Playoffs are eliminated due to the fact that they made absolutely no sense.

Should we make conference championships meaningless too? That is what would happen if the top 16 teams qualified for the playoffs regardless of division. At that point, it makes no sense to have conferences at all. Having the top eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs and then seeding all 16 teams by record does less damage to conferences, but that does not solve the primary problem presented by the fact that weaker teams get to the playoffs while clearly better teams do not. It is a half-measure that is the worst of all worlds.

A better option would be to split the NBA into two nationwide conferences, as is the case with Major League Baseball and the National Football League. That way, the strongest teams in the West and the weakest teams in the East could be split into the National and American conferences, respectively. While the league is being restructured, each conference could be split into two divisions, instead of the current three. This would solve the balance problem as well as making the NBA more lively by creating new rivalries.

(0 Comments)


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Can we be good without God?

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

Note: I originally wrote this on April 27, 2009. See a follow-up post from 2011.

The Indiana Atheist Bus campaign is looking to raise money to put advertisements on city buses, making the point that "you can be good without God." I find it interesting that a group would basically be proselytizing non-belief, but I will get into that later. Is the main point of the campaign valid?

It is certainly true that individuals can have personal morals/ethics without religion, and that societies can come up with a set of morals that are enforced by law. However, there can be no universal standard of morality without a Primary Source for that morality. If there is no supernatural force that governs all of nature and therefore has authority to set a universal standard of morality, an abomination like the Holocaust was not and cannot be fundamentally immoral because there is no absolute standard of morality to judge it against. Instead, each individual (or society) will decide for himself/herself/itself whether genocide is good or evil. In this moral anarchy, morality is decided by majority rule and subject to the whim of the crowd.

If there is no Primary Source of morality (be it God, any number of pagan pantheons, Allah, or even something silly like the Flying Spaghetti Monster) how can we judge that the Holocaust or child sacrifice is fundamentally immoral? After all, we may consider our morality to be superior to Nazi Germany, but how can we know for sure unless we can compare those moral standards to a higher source that sits above humanity? The simple answer is we cannot. Because there is a God, we know that things like the Holocaust and child sacrifice are not only fundamentally immoral, but evil and condemned by the Creator of the universe.

For those of us who believe and submit to God's Word, we know that we cannot be good without God and that any righteousness we have is not because we are good people, but because God has chosen to show mercy on us. As Romans 3:10-12 teaches us, "there is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Paul refers to Christ being our righteousness when he writes that "by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." (Romans 5:19) The Word further informs us that "by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

What a blessed assurance this is for us. While we were sinners and enemies of God, He nonetheless sent His Son to be sacrificed on the cross for our sin. (Romans 5:8) Because Christ was made sin for us, "we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (II Corinthians 5:21) We do not have our own righteousness through our own good works, "but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." (Philippians 3:9) No matter how "good" we are on this earth, our only justification and escape from His wrath is through Christ's sacrifice. Because all of the work is done by Christ, all of the glory is His and His alone.

As I said above, I find it fascinating that atheists are basically proselytizing non-belief. Some of the other atheist displays have been downright hostile to religion. If you do not believe in anything, what need is there to convert people away from their beliefs? Why do you feel a need to "prove" that your beliefs are good and moral too? The answer is something that even these atheists refuse to admit to themselves. They know that there is a Creator who is holy and righteous and they are rebelling against Him. They are trying to justify themselves as they are convicted by their Creator.

Can one be good without God? If you are a Christian and you submit to Scripture, and answer must be a resounding NO. Some people will be marginally less evil than others and may even do some good, noble and charitable things, but we are all condemned by our Creator. Our only hope for salvation is the blood which our Creator shed on our behalf to atone for His creation's sins.

(3 Comments)


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Posse Comitatus and police militarization

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

Why does a rural sheriff's department in Wisconsin need a Mine Resistant Ambush Protection Vehicle (MRAP) designed to protect soldiers in a war zone from land mines, improvised explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades? Are shoplifters and methamphetamine addicts carrying military-grade equipment procured from terrorist organizations? For that matter, why does West Lafayette need a MRAP? Exactly how militant are those engineering students at Purdue? Do college parties get that much out of hand?

Congress passed the Posse Comitatus act in 1878 to strictly restrict the use of the military for domestic law enforcement. While giving armored military vehicles to police is not technically the use of the military for law enforcement, making law enforcement into a pseudo-military organization certainly breaks the spirit of the law and should be a real concern for Americans who value their civil liberties. This is an overreaction to our culture's paranoia about crime, despite the fact that violent crime has been falling for twenty years.

The problem with blurring the lines between military and police is that the two have very different missions. The police are to arrest criminals, yes, but also to protect and serve the community in various other ways. The military's job is to fight wars: They are to kill people and break things. Therefore, the category of people the military is designed to interact with - enemy soldiers - are entirely different from the civilian population that the police interact with.

This is why mixing military and police is dangerous. Police should not see the citizens they are supposed to protect and serve in the same way that the military sees foreign soldiers and/or terrorists. Militarizing the police creates a natural tendency to see citizens as the military sees enemy soldiers - and that is very dangerous for civil liberties. We need to only look at the disaster in Waco twenty-one years ago this Sunday for why this is a frightening thing.

(2 Comments)


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kruzan's secrecy is troublesome

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

Bloomington Herald-Times, April 14, 2014

To the Editor:

The big concern with the theft of $800,000 from city government is not that there was a corrupt city employee. After all, we know from Romans 3:10-12 that there is none righteous, and Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that the heart of man is desperately wicked.

No, the big concern is the apparent lack of internal financial controls that made the theft possible. Why did accounts payable not notice that invoices were being paid for work that was not done? Where is the flaw in the process of auditing claims? The Kruzan administration has serious questions to answer about the city's financial processes.

The secretive nature of the Kruzan administration regarding the investigation is worrisome. The Kruzan administration's suggestion that financial records must be sealed because of an investigation is absurd. What if the newspaper had gotten the records in December, well before the scandal broke? The nature of the financial records does not change simply because there is official misconduct.

If anything, this scandal should make the Kruzan administration more open about city finances, not less. What is the Kruzan administration trying to hide? We need to remember this in 2015, and Kruzan needs a challenge in the next election.

(0 Comments)


Monday, April 14, 2014

Modesty standards are not oppressive

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

When I was in high school, several students were told to remove the neon shoelaces they had purchased for their basketball shoes back to the laces that came with the shoes. We were not to draw attention to ourselves, and the neon laces were meant to attract attention. Coming from this background, I find the "controversy" about telling middle school girls not to wear leggings as pants to be absolutely absurd.

One set of "parents" even sent a letter to the school saying the ban contributes to "rape culture." This kind of absurd hysteria borders on child abuse. No one is saying that girls who wear leggings as pants "deserve" to be violently attacked, or that criminals are somehow less responsible for their actions. Furthermore, we are talking about middle school boys here. Feminists are only discrediting themselves by using rhetoric that portrays children as sexual monsters because they are distracted by inappropriate clothing.

The issue is not oppression of girls and it certainly is not "rape culture." The issue is basic modesty standards and not creating a distracting environment for students. The issue is having children attend school dressed in a way that they are prepared to learn and not prevent others from learning. This is not oppressive to either boys or girls. It is the same as telling students they may not wear green Mohawks.

The problem here is a small example of the overall problem created by our culture's hatred of authority and irresponsible "parents" more interested in being their child's friend than being mothers and fathers. It is pathetic and irresponsible.

(2 Comments)


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Scripture: Matthew 18:15-22

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

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

(0 Comments)


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Come to ClearNote Church for Easter

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

Find out more at ClearNoteBloomington.com.

(1 Comments)


Friday, April 11, 2014

What is the Kruzan administration trying to hide?

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

How can it be that financial records that were open to the public by force of state law just three months ago suddenly be closed to the public and the media because they are critical for an investigation by law enforcement? The Herald-Times is in a dispute with the Kruzan administration over a records request related to alleged crimes by a city employee:

Those records include emails as well as the bids, contracts and invoices involving concrete projects under the direction of Justin Wykoff, the city employee who was charged early this month in connection with the embezzlement of $800,000. As noted in an earlier column, the city legal department told The H-T it would not release some of the records because they are "investigatory records" exempted from the Access to Public Records Act.

Here are a few questions that demonstrates the absurdity of the Kruzan administration's argument that the records should be sealed: What if the Herald-Times or even an enterprising blogger had requested and gotten the records three months ago? What if the newspaper (or that blogger) had scanned and saved the documents to PDF and posted them online? Would those records be seized by law enforcement? Would the Kruzan administration's legal department file a lawsuit to take down the records?

The Kruzan administration's argument is weaker than a wall made of tissue paper. It is absolutely absurd that the nature of the city's financial records would change simply because law enforcement is examining them. Would the Kruzan administration argue that city financial records should be sealed during an audit by the State Board of Accounts?

The voters need to remember this in 2015.

(1 Comments)


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Barack Obama's White House: A hate-filled zone

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

According to Leftists like George Takei, White House employees did not have the opportunity to work in a "hate-free zone" for more than three-fourths of Barack Obama's first term as President. Yet neither Takei nor the vast majority of other supporters of "marriage equality" condemned Obama for his stance against homosexual marriage or called for him to resign or be impeached for a stance rooted in his religion. They certainly did not campaign against Obama in 2008, despite (according to Leftist "logic") Obama's hatred of homosexuals.

The hyper-partisan hypocrisy of the Left underlines the absurdity of Mozilla's decision to terminate its CEO because he gave a donation to the campaign to pass Proposition 8 six years ago - an amendment to the state constitution that was approved by 70% of black voters in California. Are Takei and other advocates of homosexual marriage now saying that 70% of blacks in California "hate" homosexuals - or at least did just six years ago?

Obviously, as a private entity, Mozilla can make decisions as it pleases regarding employment policy, but forcing out a CEO because of a donation made six years ago is a silly bow to politically correct hysteria. It also demonstrates the militant intolerance of the Left. If you simply disagree with homosexual marriage you are guilty of "hatred" and you must be personally and professionally destroyed. It is a common error of our society that disagreement is the same as "hatred" - a position that not only reveals emotional and intellectual immaturity but also reveals a deep and intense intolerance of the people who hold that utterly absurd viewpoint.

No, what is really happening here is that the militant homosexual-rights movement is determined to silence Christians who publicly speak what God says about homosexual sin. The militant homosexual movement has never been about "tolerance." It is and has always been about mandatory acceptance. Just as the Pharisees who murdered Stephen in the book of Acts, they will do what is necessary to silence anyone who dares afflict their consciences.

(2 Comments)


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Old man Tibbs?

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

I went to Office Depot earlier this week, and showed the clerk a picture of my newborn son Rob while I was paying for my item.

"Is that your grandson?"

Well, I guess technically I am old enough to be Rob's grandfather, since there are 40 years between us.

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Using financial terrorism to to protect the innocent

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

If we are serious about protecting victims of crime (specifically victims of rape and sexual assault) then we need to engage in financial terrorism as a matter of public policy. The only way government agencies will be spurred into action to protect the innocent is if their funding is slashed.

As a case in point, consider this horrific story from Muncie, Indiana. A teenage girl was attacked and brutally raped in the bathroom of her own high school and the thoroughly corrupt principal did absolutely nothing about it, either to protect the victim or bring justice to the perpetrator. It is both his job and his moral responsibility - as an agent off the taxpayers and as a civil magistrate given authority by Almighty God - to protect the innocent and bring justice to the guilty. He failed in his responsibility to both man and God.

Obviously, this man should face severe criminal penalties including many years behind bars. It is a terrible tragedy and a miscarriage of justice that he will not. But that is only the beginning of the punishments that should be enacted, and those punishments should go farther than the criminal principal. The school should be punished as well.

Those punishments should take the form of severe and draconian budget cuts, enforced by state government. That will serve as a warning to other schools, effectively terrorizing them into making sure policies and procedures are in place to ensure something like this will not happen at their school, and that no victim of violent crime is abandoned.

This is why I was advocating that Penn State so-called "University" be thrown out of the NCAA, to make an example out of them and terrorize other universities into making sure this is not allowed to happen on their campuses.

If we really want to protect crime victims and force those with authority to do their job, there is no more effective way to terrorize the organizations in question - especially schools and universities - than to threaten their revenue streams. It shameful that such moves would be necessary, instead of the fear of an Almighty God who will judge those who allow children and teens to be abused. But in a godless society we need to take drastic steps to protect the innocent.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cosa Nostra turf protection

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

The MCCSC school board passed a resolution against a proposed charter school in Monroe County.

If MCCSC is providing a quality education, they should not need to worry about losing students to competition from a charter school. They should be more worried about providing the education these children need than taking away choice.

This sounds a lot like Cosa Nostra turf protection.

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How to cripple the illegal drug trade:

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

A very interesting aside in a story about the expanding problem of heroin abuse:

Farmers in the storied "Golden Triangle" region of Mexico's Sinaloa state, which has produced the country's most notorious gangsters and biggest marijuana harvests, say they are no longer planting the crop. Its wholesale price has collapsed in the past five years, from $100 per kilogram to less than $25.

"It's not worth it anymore," said Rodrigo Silla, 50, a lifelong cannabis farmer who said he couldn't remember the last time his family and others in their tiny hamlet gave up growing mota. "I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization."

Read more on WashingtonPost.com.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Triple threat from redneck road rage

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 10:00 AM (#)

I am admittedly late getting to the viral video of a woman dealing with a tailgater, but this represents a perfect example of what not to do, and both of these individuals should have their drivers licenses permanently revoked. They were both in the wrong from the beginning.

Obviously, the pickup truck driver should not have been tailgating. The woman should not have been in the passing lane if she is not willing to go with traffic and will not let people around her. If someone wants to pass, you get over and let them pass - you do not block traffic like a jerk. The man passed her on the right, which is illegal, but where it got dangerous is when the woman sped up and cut him off rather than letting him pass. He made an obscene gesture and crashed.

The woman was clearly worse, because she made a dangerously aggressive move and created a traffic hazard. She was as much at fault for causing the accident by spitefully cutting him off as he was by being a jerk. But that is not the worst part of the scenario. What if an innocent person had been in an accident and was seriously injured because these two were in a childish ego-measuring contest? What if a child had been killed because these two were so busy trying to one up each other that they involved an innocent party?

The truck crossed over the center line and could have easily hit an oncoming vehicle head on. An innocent person - perhaps even an entire family - could have been killed because these two were using their vehicles as weapons. The actions of these two were more than irresponsible and more than dangerous - those actions were just plain evil.

Neither of them have any business being allowed to drive on public streets. Both should be aggressively prosecuted for reckless driving and any other applicable crimes to the fullest extent of the law and and both of them should permanently lose their drivers licenses.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Scripture -- I Thessalonians 4:1-7

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

Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Children are a blessing from the Lord...

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

Rob Jeremiah Tibbs, born April 2, 2014.

He weighed 8 pounds and seven ounces and was 21.5 inches long.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Pence stands up for civil liberties

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 10:00 AM (#)

Governor Mike Pence stepped up to protect civil liberties last week by signing a law prohibiting law enforcement from electronically spying on Hoosiers. At a time when we are increasingly concerned about the federal government's wide net in collecting electronic information on Americans, this is a welcome step to limit the reach of government.

The Fourth Amendment makes it illegal for government to conduct an unreasonable search of persons, houses, papers, and effects, and requires that warrants be based on probable cause. At the time, the men who wrote the Bill of Rights could not have conceived of a computer, much less a handheld computer as powerful as a smartphone. They could not have conceived of a telephone, for that matter.

It should be obvious, though, that the founding fathers would place smartphones, laptops and desktop computers in the same category as papers and effects. (E-mail hosted on a remote server, such as Gmail, would also come under that umbrella.) After all, our mobile devices carry a great deal of private and personal information, as well as sensitive financial information and family photographs. One of the things that made the colonists so angry with the British Empire was the practice of using general warrants, which is strikingly similar to government electronic surveillance today.

This legislation will not protect us from federal abuses, but it does provide another layer of protection and privacy against rogue law enforcement agents at the state and local level. But the sad thing is that in a sane world this law is redundant and unnecessary. The Constitution itself provides more than enough protection from wireless spying on people, whether by local, state or federal officials.

While Pence does deserve praise for this legislation (and it is a nice addition to his resume should he run for President in 2016 or 2020) it is worrisome that legislation was needed at all to protect our basic Constitutional rights.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Prescriptions for pseudoephedrine won't stop meth

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 10:00 AM (#)

This was printed in 2011. I didn't realize I never put it on the blog, though it is in the archives.

Related: Meddling legislators need to stay out of my life!

Printed in the Herald-Times, April 1, 2011

To the editor:

Some state legislators urge making pseudoephedrine prescription-only to reduce methamphetamine use.

The problem here is that stupid people will always find stupid and dangerous ways to get high. Some people get high on compressed air used to clean electronics, some people get high by snorting bath salts of all things, and some people "cook" pseudoephedrine along with other highly toxic ingredients and use that to get high - assuming the idiots do not blow themselves up while making it.

In and of itself, pseudoephedrine is a perfectly safe and effective means of suppressing cold symptoms so that people can function until their bodies naturally fight it off.

Unfortunately, because some fools are misusing the product, nanny state ninnies are seeking to restrict everyone's liberty and our health care choices. They propose we clutter doctors' offices with unnecessary visits to get a product we should be able to buy off the shelf.

Consider that "Indiana State Police estimate that 80 percent of the illegal meth in Indiana comes from Mexico." (Herald-Times, 12/12/2010.) Making pseudoephedrine prescription-only will not solve the problem!

It is offensive that a "Republican" (Rep. Rebecca Kubacki) is leading this effort. Republicans are supposed to be for limited government.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Low-barrier shelters and intellectual honesty

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 10:00 AM (#)

Last week a letter to the editor made the following claim:

When the Interfaith Winter Shelter closes on March 31, around 60 members of our community will be left without a safe, legal place to sleep. Neither the city nor any private organization has stepped up to provide an immediate or lasting solution to this problem.

That is simply not true. It is shamefully dishonest.

The Interfaith Winter Shelter is a low-barrier shelter, meaning that substance abuse does not disqualify people from staying there during the winter months. Bloomington also has several other shelters for the homeless, including New Hope, Backstreet Missions and Martha's House, as well as an emergency shelter run by Bloomington Township government. The claim that no one from the public or private sector has "stepped up" is plainly and clearly false.

There have been marches and rallies to protest the lack of a low-barrier shelter in the summer months, but the question for the people protesting is obvious: Instead of holding a sign, marching and chanting slogans, why don't you pool your money together and ask others to contribute to the establishment of another low-barrier homeless shelter? And no, working to provide shelter does not include gathering activists to "Occupy" a city parking garage.

Simply complaining about the lack of a "low barrier" shelter without actually trying to solve the problem accomplishes nothing. Furthermore, it shows a great deal of disrespect for the many people at the various homeless shelters who have dedicated their lives to helping people in need. One can argue for the need for a "low barrier" shelter outside of the winter months without denigrating the work these organizations do by pretending they are doing nothing.

There are plenty of good reasons for why other organizations operate "high barrier" shelters. Intoxicated people can not only be a danger to themselves, they can be a danger to other people seeking shelter as well as staff and volunteers of the shelter. I am sure there are also liability issues inherent with a "low barrier" shelter. Simply demanding private organizations or government "do something" is myopic in that it ignores these real concerns.

There is more that can be done to address homelessness in Bloomington, but this kind of political activism is not it.

See previous articles here and here and here.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I never criticize Republicans!

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

I am a true hyperpartisan. I consistently criticize Democrats, but I never criticize Republicans, even when they deserve it. Well, except for the following places where I criticized Republicans:

But other than that, I never criticize Republicans!

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