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Saturday, November 29, 2014

And now for something completely random

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

I like drinking tea, but every now and then I realize I am drinking water flavored with dried leaves.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

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

A few verses from God's holy Word for Thanksgiving:

  • Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. -- 1 Chronicles 16:8
  • Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. -- Psalm 18:49
  • Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. -- Psalm 30:4
  • Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. -- Psalm 75:1
  • Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. -- Psalm 106:1
  • But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. -- 1 Corinthians 15:57
  • Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. -- 2 Corinthians 2:14
  • Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. -- Philippians 4:6
  • And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. -- Colossians 3:17
  • In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. -- 1 Thessalonians 5:18

May God bless you as you enjoy this holiday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Children, the state, and reproductive "rights"

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

Our culture's attitude toward reproduction - both the "right" to terminate a pregnancy or the "right" to have children - both come from the same corrupted root. We do not view children as a blessing, or even as human beings. We view them as a commodity.

The fact that our culture does not see children as a blessing is seen in the judgmental attitude toward large families. When a family who already has "enough" children is expecting another one (or when they are just seen to have "too many" children) that family is asked the question "Uhhhh huh huh huh, Do you know what causes that? Huh huh huh." Large families are obviously ignorant hicks who do not know any better.

If you want a child, you should be able to pay to get one though various technologies. If you do not want a child, you should be able to pay to get rid of that child. Both viewpoints put the rights of the adults ahead of the rights of the children. That is obvious in the case of abortion, because the child is being killed by dismemberment. But that is also the case in the "right" to reproduce. Is this really the best for the child? Is it best for the little boy or girl to know their father was an anonymous sperm donor? Maybe, just maybe, could this be an opportunity to adopt a child that desperately needs a good home?

Children are not a commodity that can be bought and sold, nor are they disposable consumer items that we may discard at will. They are precious lives made in the image of Almighty God and should be treated with the same dignity and respect we would afford someone who is twenty years old. If we are going to effectively oppose the barbaric practice of abortion, we must first work to change our culture's warped view of children. Sadly, this work must start in the church, because our world view is as corrupt there as in the secular culture.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The real question

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

The biggest question in the scandal over the former Owen County Auditor's alleged misuse of funds is how it went undetected for five years and what financial controls are in place to prevent it from happening again.

Monday, November 24, 2014

1, 2, 3, 4 we don't need another war

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

"A healthy society should avoid war at all costs, except when immediately vital for its own self-defense." -- Andrew Napolitano, Fox News

After the Republican wave of 2014, former Congressman Ron Paul tweeted the following: "Republican control of the Senate = expanded neocon wars in Syria and Iraq. Boots on the ground are coming!" I said then that I hope he is wrong.

The primary problem with Paul's statement is that he is putting the focus in the wrong place. The Republican Congress cannot send us to war without the agreement of President Barack Obama. Our foreign policy, and especially our military policy, is directed by our commander-in-chief. That is not the Republican who leads the House or the Senate - that is Barack Obama. If we are going to have boots on the ground to fight the Islamic State in either Iraq or Syria, Barack Obama will be the one who puts them there. It is silly to pre-emptively blame the Republican Party for a decision made by a Democratic President, even if they support that decision.

With that said, we need to be very careful about what we decide to do in the coming weeks and months. Does ISIS represent a direct threat to national security? If they are now seeking to harm American interests, is it because they were always planning on doing that or is it because we have punched a hornet's nest by bombing them? I see no clear national security interest that would justify the drastic step of military action.

Congress should have demanded that Obama ask for Congressional approval before embarking on a military adventure against the Islamic State. This is true for Iraq, but is exponentially more so on Syria. One could make the argument that fighting in Iraq is a continuation of our mission there from 2003 onward, though that argument strains credibility. There is absolutely no Congressional authorization to attack anyone inside Syria and there should have been a vote.

Neither party wanted a vote for political reasons, and it is shameful and despicable that our elected "leaders" will happily allow our courageous soldiers to be put at risk of being maimed, tortured or killed while they are such sniveling, pathetic cowards that they cannot even bear to lose a few votes or even an election or two. Any "leader" or member of either party in either chamber who opposed a vote for political reasons should be run out of Washington on a rail and should never be elected to anything ever again.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Anal rape is not funny

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

Whenever a horrific crime happens, such as the horrific home invasion and brutal rapes in Bloomington earlier this month, it is natural for us to want to see the criminals punished. I am an enthusiastic supporter of the death penalty, for example. But we should never wish for prisoners to be raped in our custody, as a couple people wished for in an article about the home invasion on Herald-Times Online.

Rather than write another new post about it, here is what I have written previously:

Anal rape is not funny and we should not wish it on even the worst criminals.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A big loss for city government

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 7:16 AM (#)

Political differences aside, Regina Moore has done an admirable job as Bloomington City Clerk, especially in putting old documents on the city's website. The fact that she is not running again is a significant loss for city government. The next city clerk has a LOT to live up to.

"There’s Nothing Natural about Doctor-Aided Death"

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

From the Alliance Defending Freedom: "There’s Nothing Natural about Doctor-Aided Death"

Friday, November 21, 2014

I am a nerd!

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

I was born on October 28, 1973.

Today marks 15,000 days on Planet Earth for me.

Stop whining about student voters!

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

After this past election, some Republicans in Monroe County started whining about the student vote and how students should not be voting in local elections. This counterproductive whining is a waste of time and it needs to stop. Complaining about the student vote is like complaining about the weather - agree or not, that battle was decided forty years ago and the result is not going to change.

I understand the objection. Students know little about local government and local issues, and their votes are uninformed. I certainly knew very little about local government when I was an undergrad at Indiana University in the 1990's, yet I was voting in local elections anyway. But why not take the opportunity to educate those students about local government and how the decisions made by local government affect students? One local activist proposed explaining to students that the food and beverage tax is a tax on pizza and beer, for example.

There are exceptions, of course. The two IU students who ran for Bloomington Township Board this past year were interested in learning as much as they could about township government and what the issues are that the board considers.

Furthermore, there are plenty of people who are long-term residents of Bloomington and Monroe County who know very little about local government yet turn out and pull the lever for their party. I have to admit that I knew absolutely nothing about the MCCSC school board candidates until shortly before the election, and had to research before I voted. But how many people did not do that research and voted in school board races anyway? Why single out students?

If Republicans want to win local elections, we are going to have to find Republicans who are not registered to vote and get them registered and to the polls. We also cannot continue to cede the student vote to the Democrats. Back in the 1990's, Republicans did not cede the student vote. We registered voters and passed out literature at least a couple times a week in the line for dining halls and went door-to-door in student neighborhoods. We may not win a majority of students, but we can certainly reduce the margin of loss and put our candidates within striking distance.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Los Angeles vs. San Diego

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

Here is an excellent article by Radley Balko:

As Ferguson waits, some lessons from the Rodney King riots.

Just approve Obama's nominees, Republicans

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

As the Republican party takes over the Senate in the wake of the 2014 landslide, Republicans will be tempted to monkeywrench the Obama Administration by holding up the President's nominees for positions within his administration. The GOP needs to resist that temptation and allow Obama to nominate who he chooses, within reason. (Obviously Judicial Branch appointments are another matter entirely.)

The reason Republicans should allow Obama to have who he wants is that whoever Obama nominates is only going to be following Obama's orders. Whoever is the attorney general secretary of state and so forth turns out to be, that person for all intents and purposes is Obama. If we have a problem with the administration's policies, it is with the President himself, not the cabinet secretaries. We can change those policies by winning the next election.

The only time a nominee should be rejected is in the case of an obvious severe character flaw, incompetence or corruption. That is why the nominees should be examined and questioned. Those cases are going to be relatively rare, because the administration is going to be vetting its own nominees. (This is especially true in the age of the Internet, when problems with a nominee can spread like wildfire in hours.) No administration wants to be embarrassed by a nominee with an undiscovered scandal in his or her background.

There will be plenty of opportunities to oppose Obama and block his agenda in the next two years, but Obama's choices to fill his administration should not be used as such an opportunity. Being mature adults about this and working with the President can also be an opportunity to make things easier for the next Republican President, or at least provide a contrast when Democrats are blocking his choices to fill his administration.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

When "personhood" laws go off the rails

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

I have been active in the anti-abortion movement for nearly twenty years and I support the idea of protecting the unborn from the moment of fertilization. However, as the New York Times pointed out recently, "personhood" laws meant to protect unborn life can go dangerously off the rails and become a tyrannical nanny state. This must be opposed.

It is estimated that up to half of all pregnancies end in a natural spontaneous miscarriage. (Also, one hundred percent of babies born healthy will die eventually.) It is a tragic loss for families who suffer the loss of a pregnancy, and it is especially difficult when a baby unexpectedly dies in the womb and is stillborn. The last thing that a grieving mother needs when facing a miscarriage despite her best intentions and efforts is to be prosecuted (persecuted?) by an overzealous government.

Even worse is when prosecutors persecute women for medical decisions made in good faith. A doctor may think in some cases, for example, that the best option for the baby is to be delivered by a C-Section. The mother may disagree, and it is entirely possible the doctor could be wrong. It is evil and tyrannical for the state to force an invasive surgery on a mother who chooses vaginal delivery, or to seek to punish her after the fact for a private medical decision with no malicious intention.

I want to see unborn life protected, but there is a huge gulf between prohibiting the willful, intentional termination of an unborn baby's life and an oppressive, tyrannical Nanny State forcing its will on mothers or putting all pregnant women under suspicion simply because of a natural biological process. Abortion opponents must be emphatic and uncompromising in opposing such abuses by the government.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Burial vs. Cremation in the Christian faith

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

When there is not a clear commandment from Scripture, we Christians should not judge each other for our choices and we certainly should not divide over those choices. One such area is the debate over cremation and whether or not it is proper for Christians to incinerate the bodies of dead loved ones. I see this debate pop up from time to time, and while it is an interesting discussion it should not go beyond being a discussion.

Being faithful to Scripture means submitting to the text, but it also means not adding to the text. We should not place our traditions and/or personal convictions on the same level as Almighty God's direct revelation to us, provided in the Bible. Adding to Scripture is the height of arrogance and borders on blasphemy.

Some would argue that Christians confess our faith and our hope in the resurrection of the dead by burying rather than cremating our dead. But as I asked on Twitter a couple weeks ago, is our omnipotent God so weak that He cannot reform a cremated body? Remember that God formed Adam from the dust of the ground and formed Eve from Adam's rib. Even the biological process of childbirth is a miracle, as the baby goes from a single cell to a fully formed baby.

In the case of cremation and burial, there is not an explicit commandment from Scripture on the matter. Christians have traditionally buried rather than cremated their dead, but tradition should never be given the same weight as Scripture. That is a personal preference, or a cultural preference, not an obligation before God. If someone can show me from Scripture where burial is commanded and/or cremation is forbidden, I will change my position. Until then we should respect the choices of our brothers and sisters in how they deal with the bodies of dead loved ones, and not judge them because our personal opinion is different from theirs.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Following up on "marriage equality" vs. religious liberty

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

Critics of my guest editorial on religious liberty have taken the principle of freedom of association and expanded it far beyond the real issue we are facing regarding "marriage equality."

The issue is not whether Christian business owners should refuse service to all homosexuals, or whether businesses in general should be able to refuse service to specific groups of people. Selling gasoline or potato chips to a homosexual (or anyone engaged in any sin) presents no moral quandary for a Christian. The issue is whether the civil magistrate should force Christians to endorse homosexual behavior.

Should a Christian business owner be forced to participate in homosexual weddings by providing photography, flowers or a wedding cake? Should Christian business owners should be forced to provide space for homosexual activity by renting a room in a bed and breakfast to a same-sex couple? Should our society expect anyone to endorse behavior their faith deems unacceptable, and be punished by the state if they do not?

In a response to me, another guest columnist asked regarding a bed and breakfast if "different-sex couples registering for rooms required to provide a copy of their marriage license in order to rent a room." The answer - of course. A Christian bed and breakfast owner should be allowed to refuse to rent a room to an unmarried heterosexual couple.

The common refrain is that a church should be allowed to refuse service, but a private business in the public domain should not. But the obvious question is this: Why should Christians who own a for-profit business have fewer rights under our Constitution than Christians in a ministerial position? More importantly, once the precedent is established, does anyone really think the exception for ministries will last very long?

The solution should be simple: Take your business elsewhere. There are plenty of business owners who will rent a room to a homosexual couple (or an unmarried heterosexual couple) or who will sell a wedding cake to anyone. No one's rights are being violated by respecting freedom of conscience. But it is not and has never been about tolerance. It is and has always been about mandatory acceptance of homosexuality, now enforced by the state.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Feeding the homeless

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

After I sent an email to the Fort Lauderdale Mayor's Office expressing my displeasure at the new regulations on distributing food to the homeless, I got this in response. I am posting this in the interest of equal time.

From: Jack Seiler [mailto:Jack.Seiler@Fortlauderdale.Gov]
Sent: Friday, November 14, 2014 7:56 PM
To: Scott Tibbs [mailto:tibbs1973@yahoo.com] Subject: RE: Feeding The Homeless


I appreciate the opportunity to clarify much of the misinformation that has been prevalent in the media recently regarding the homeless.

Contrary to reports, the City of Fort Lauderdale is not banning groups from feeding the homeless. We have established an outdoor food distribution ordinance to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our community. The ordinance does not prohibit feeding the homeless; it regulates the activity in order to ensure it is carried out in an appropriate, organized, clean and healthy manner.

While the ordinance regulates outdoor food distribution, it permits indoor food distribution to take place at houses of worship throughout the City. By allowing houses of worship to conduct this activity, the City is actually increasing the number of locations where the homeless can properly receive this service.

At two recent outdoor food distributions, citations were rightly issued for non-compliance with the process enacted to ensure public health and safety. Contrary to what was reported in the media, no one was taken into custody. Had these activities taken place indoors, at a house of worship, they would have been in full compliance with the ordinance.

Experts agree, however, that homeless individuals need more than just food. The homeless need shelter, clothing, and comprehensive medical and social services in order to help them get back on their feet.

To set the record straight, few cities have done more for the homeless than Fort Lauderdale. We are taking a comprehensive approach by working with numerous agencies, non-profit, charitable and faith-based organizations that, like us, are dedicated to effectively addressing this complex and important issue. Our overarching goal is to provide a long-term comprehensive solution for the homeless population. While aiming for that goal, we are concurrently working to protect public safety and maintain quality of life for our neighbors, businesses and visitors.

Our efforts include:

  • Fort Lauderdale was the first City in South Florida to establish a dedicated Homeless Assistance Unit as part of its Police Department. This Unit makes approximately 8,000 referrals a year working with the homeless to provide them with access to housing, critical medical care and social services. The award-winning initiative stands as a model that has been replicated by local, state, and national police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country.
  • Fort Lauderdale is home to the only full service comprehensive Homeless Assistance Center in Broward County. The Center has been operating here since 1999. Recently, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission unanimously passed an ordinance allowing the Homeless Assistance Center to expand its size and scope of operations to accommodate more beds and serve more homeless.
  • The City maintains an active partnership with Mission United, an organization dedicated to providing housing and social services to homeless Veterans.
  • In addition to Mission United, the City maintains partnerships, provides resources and support to Broward County, the Broward Partnership for the Homeless, Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale, Salvation Army of Broward County, United Way of Broward County, Hope South Florida, and the Task Force for Ending Homelessness. These partnerships represent an outstanding example of how homelessness needs to be addressed – by bringing together a variety of agencies and organizations to collaborate, share resources, and leverage strengths in a unified effort to comprehensively impact homelessness through the coordination and delivery of essential programs and services.
  • Fort Lauderdale is the only city in South Florida and one of 235 communities in the United States taking part in the 100,000 Homes Campaign, a national effort to move disabled, chronically homeless people from the street to a place of their own. Using the motto "Housing First," the campaign reverses the traditional approach that required the homeless to go through addiction counseling and job training before earning a roof over their heads.
  • Through the Housing First program, Fort Lauderdale is providing the most vulnerable homeless individuals with housing, medical, and social services. The program is funded by a $441,000 federal grant that the City of Fort Lauderdale secured from HUD. It is currently providing permanent supportive housing for 22 chronically homeless people.
  • The City is proud to report that our initiative was recently re-funded by HUD. During the current year, we will have an additional $455,000 to continue to operate and expand this effort to serve even more chronic and vulnerable homeless in our City.

As part of our comprehensive strategy, the City has passed new ordinances that aim to reduce the public safety hazards and inappropriate nuisance activities that are negatively impacting our community. As a City, we have a responsibility to ensure that all of our public spaces are accessible and can be safely enjoyed by everyone – families, children, residents and visitors.

Our quality of life in Fort Lauderdale and our economic viability are directly linked to our stewardship of public spaces. The City continues to provide leadership in the implementation of innovative ideas to protect our quality of life while ensuring continued funding for programs and initiatives that address humanitarian needs.

The City, our neighbors, and our businesses have a long and distinguished history of compassion toward those in need.

If you would like to make a contribution to local non-profit agencies that help fund homeless assistance, substance abuse, and community support services in Fort Lauderdale, please visit: www.fortlauderdale.gov/give

Again, thank you for your interest in this important humanitarian issue.

John P. "Jack" Seiler
City of Fort Lauderdale

Saturday, November 15, 2014

100% pure evil

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

Cases like this are why I enthusiastically support the death penalty.

Some people are truly evil and need to die.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Republicans do not have a mandate from the 2014 election

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

Twenty years ago, when the Republican Party won the House of Representatives for the first time in forty years, they had a positive mandate from the voters to pursue a legislative agenda. The 2014 mid-term elections might be a stinging rebuke to President Obama, but they are not a mandate for a Republican agenda.

The reason Republicans had a mandate after their 1994 victory was that they campaigned on a national agenda, the Contract with America. The Republican Party set forth a specific set of proposals and promised a vote on each of them. Republican candidates for Congress signed the Contract and promised to help implement it. There was no such national agenda for the 2014 mid-term elections from the Republican Party.

This is why Senator Ted Cruz was wrong when he said now is the time for tax reform and regulatory reform. He is right from a policy standpoint, but there is no mandate from the voters to do that. There is no mandate from the voters because Republicans did not run on a policy agenda. There is a clear mandate to stop Obama's agenda, but not a mandate to advance any specific Republican agenda.

What Republicans need to realize is they did not win the 2014 mid-term election. Democrats lost the election. There is a big difference between the two, and this is the consequences of not setting a national legislative agenda for voters to affirmatively vote for. Republicans need to be careful not to overreach and create a backlash that will hurt the party's chances of capturing the White House in 2016.

Whether not setting a national agenda was a good political strategery or not, the election is over and the strategery was chosen and implemented. If Republicans are to have a national legislative agenda, it will be after the 2016 elections, where the party platform and the nominee's agenda will be debated. If Republicans win that election, they will have a mandate. Right now, there is no mandate other than "stop Obama."

Thursday, November 13, 2014

This is true, and that is terribly sad.

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Idiotic censorship in Arizona

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

I criticize the Left quite often on this blog, but there are some really loopy things done by the Right as well. Case in point is a biology textbook that was redacted because it mentioned that abortion exists. It did not take a position favorable to abortion. If anything, it takes an anti-abortion position. But allowing high school students to learn about medical science was apparently a bridge too far. (See the scanned image on Facebook or Twitter or PhotoBucket.)

This is absurd. This is the kind of thing that makes Christians generally and abortion opponents specifically look bad. The redacted page does not tell teenagers where to get an abortion or where to get birth control. In fact, the page opens by explaining abstinence "is the only totally effective method of birth control," and the book points out that the "morning after pill" can prevent implantation of the embryo.

I am a father of two, and I am an uncle and great uncle many times over. I understand the desire to protect teens, both from making dangerous and immoral choices and from being abused and exploited. I certainly do not want the government school system giving condoms or birth control to teens without parental consent. I certainly do not want the government school system sending perverted "sex surveys" to children without parental consent. (See here and here and here and here and here for more about that controversy from 2005.)

None of that is at issue here. What we have here is a biology textbook recognizing that birth control and chemical abortion are things that exist, and then explains how those things work biologically. Censorship of that information, by literally ripping a page out of a textbook, is a hysterical overreaction that only serves to make the page-rippers look like complete ninnies. This kind of nonsense needs to stop.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

March for Life should not be forced to pay for abortion pills

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

Full Size Image.

3 reasons March for Life should not be forced to pay for abortion pills (Besides the Obvious)

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Republican wave of 2002 seems so far away now...

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

Monroe County Republicans waged a hard campaign, and raised important issues in local elections. But other than Judge Ken Todd, we did not win a single contested race. Our fortunes have turned dramatically since 2002, where we unseated an incumbent county commissioner, won two more district seats for a 5-2 majority on the county council, and won the secretary of state contest countywide despite having the mayor of Bloomington as the Democratic candidate.

Other than Todd, Jeff Ellington did the best, coming very close to keeping his job as county recorder. William Ellis arguably campaigned harder than anyone and busted his tail earning Level 3 certification as an assessor. But despite all of that work, Republicans came up short by a lot in every race other than Recorder and Judge. So what happened, and where do we go from here? Is Monroe County a lost cause?

Part of the problem is Democratic votes have increased over the last fourteen years while Republican votes have stayed relatively flat. Bush, McCain and Romney were all within arm's reach of each other, but the votes for Democrats have been steadily increasing, peaking in 2008. There was a significant dropoff in Obama's numbers from 2008 to 2012, but not nearly enough to prevent Romney from getting steamrolled in Monroe County.

Monroe County, Presidential Vote Totals, 2000

  • Bush - 19,147
  • Gore - 17,523

Monroe County, Presidential Vote Totals, 2004

  • Bush - 22,834
  • Kerry - 26,965

Monroe County, Presidential Vote Totals, 2008

  • Obama - 41,450
  • McCain - 21,118

Monroe County, Presidential Vote Totals, 2012

  • Obama - 33,436
  • Romney - 22,481

It did not help that we saw a drop in Republican turnout from two years ago to now. As I pointed out last week, Richard Mourdock got 17,633 votes in Monroe County in 2012, below Romney's numbers by about 5,000 votes. If we just turned those Mourdock voters out against the 2014 Democratic turnout, we would have won every single contested race. But after a Herculean effort by local candidates who were pounding the pavement every day, how can we motivate those people to come out and vote? It looks like our biggest enemy in 2014 was apathetic Republican voters.

I do not believe Monroe County is a lost cause - not in deep red Indiana and not with only twelve years removed from a landslide win. But the fact of the matter is that Democrats have done a tremendous job registering new voters and getting those voters to the polls, while Republicans have been stagnant. We had the better candidates this year by a wide margin, but we will never win as long as they keep dropping this demographic bomb on us.

Our realistic focus should be on taking the county back in the 2026 mid-term elections. In order to do this, we will need a non-stop effort and a strong campaign every single election between now and then. Token opposition will only cause the Democrats to widen their lead and make it even more difficult to win elections. We have to somehow break the apathy and/or defeatism of Republican voters and get them to the polls every election. Most importantly, we have to register more voters to expand our base. If we do not do that, everything else we do will be a waste of time.

I am not giving up. I am going to keep fighting for what I believe in regardless of the election results. I hope my fellow Republicans will join me in this battle.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Verse of the day

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:00 AM (#)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. -- Hebrews 11:1-3

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fact of the day

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

Brand new shoes are literally a magnet for dog poop.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Election Day or Election Month?

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

We hear a lot about Election Day, including during the run up to this past election. But we do not really have an election day any more. We have an election month, or even longer, because early voting has become so common and so widely used. Is it time to reconsider early voting?

The problem with early voting is that many people are voting before a significant amount of the information about the candidates is sent to the general public, via direct mail, commercials, newspaper and television coverage and so forth. Something that happens or new information that is revealed in the last two weeks before Election Day might have swayed the results twenty years ago, but that same event or information would not have nearly the impact today.

The thought of a single Election Day where "Americans come together as a nation to perform a collective civic duty" is a romantic notion but not an entirely realistic one in today's society. So many people have gotten used to early voting that going back to a single Election Day is not realistic - especially if we want to expand turnout.

Perhaps the answer is an election weekend - polls would be open from 6 am to 8 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday with all of the votes counted on Monday. This should give people plenty of opportunity to vote while reaching the goal of having a more informed electorate and making the last weeks of the campaign more meaningful. It would be important to have enough polling places, voting machines and election staff in place to cover those three days. But we should definitely work toward condensing voting into a much shorter time frame than we have now.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Republicans: Do not stay home in the mid-terms!

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

In 2012, Richard Mourdock got 17,633 votes in Monroe County, below Romney's numbers by about 5,000 votes. If we just turned those Republicans out, we would have won every single contested race. Monroe County Republicans have to do a better job of turning out our voters in mid-term elections.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ebola, facts, fearmongering and smears

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

----Original Message Follows----
From: Scott Tibbs [mailto:tibbs1973@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 6:45 PM
To: ElRushbo@EIBnet.com
Subject: Ebola, facts, fearmongering and smears

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. -- John 15:13

Mr. Limbaugh,

I've been listening to your program for twenty two years now, and while I am a fan of your show (and a Rush 24/7 subscriber for the last five years) I believe your comments about Ebola have been uninformed, ignorant, and far too judgmental without just cause.

You wonder why people who work with Ebola patients in Africa are not willing to be subject to a forced quarantine, but that question comes from an assumption that it is "all or nothing." As you know, Ebola cannot be spread unless a person is actually showing symptoms.

Medical workers have been tracking their temperature and have alerted the authorities if they become symptomatic. This is both to protect the public if they are indeed shedding the virus and to protect their own lives and health. No doctor or nurse is so stupid as to not go to the hospital if they believe they could be infected with Ebola. It would be faster, easier and much less painful to put a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger than to not seek medical help with a horrific virus that kills between 50% and 80% of infected people.

The theory you postulated that these volunteers are going to Africa because they are Leftists who want to show they are "good people" is uninformed, cynical and frankly idiotic. Medical professionals have been risking a horrific death by going to Africa for several months now, with no recognition or public thanks, before this epidemic ever became a daily news story. To assume this is some sort of ego-building measure or publicity stunt assumes the worst about these doctors - most of whom are Christians who are following Jesus' example of self-sacrifice.

There are many good reasons to oppose a government-mandated quarantine of three weeks for health care workers who are not sick. First, it is medically and scientifically unnecessary. It restricts the liberty of private citizens who are not a threat to the public, when self-monitoring has been working fine. Second, it is a dangerous expansion of government power. We should always worry when government seeks to expand power and restrict liberty in the name of "public safety," because that is the precedent for further expansion of power that will (not may, will) eventually be abused.

By spewing these kinds of ignorant judgments about the character of Christian medical volunteers (who are, for the most part, completely anonymous even now) you are making yourself look like a fool and a clown. You are alienating and angering people who have been fans and supporters for decades. You need to educate yourself about this situation before you damage your credibility even further. Most importantly, you need to retract your smears against these volunteers and apologize for your shameful attacks on them.

Thank you for your time.

Scott Tibbs

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What is freedom, really?

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

A letter to the editor last week took issue with a "For Freedom! Vote Republican" yard sign, similar to the "Had Enough?" yard signs and billboards from two years ago. The author raised the following complaints:

  • Freedom to live in poverty is what they advocate by voting repeatedly to block raising the minimum wage,
  • Republicans are for the freedom to be hungry by cutting food stamps (SNAP)
  • Republicans are for the freedom to be denied health care by trying to repeal the ACA and cut Medicaid.

Before I go further, let me be clear: I not am saying there should be no taxation or that all taxation is theft. I am not saying that and I have never said that. I am a (small L) libertarian, not an anarchist.

With that established, what we have here is a fundamental misunderstanding of what freedom is. Freedom does not mean forcibly confiscating the property of another in order to give to someone else. Whatever one might say about the public policy benefits of government welfare programs, it is not a policy that advances "freedom," because it uses force on some citizens to provide benefits to others. If you refuse to pay taxes, you go to prison.

Freedom is the ability to live your life without government interference. (Obviously, freedom is limited - you cannot do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it. You may not drive 80 mph on a street with a 30mph speed limit, for example.) Freedom is not access to services or material goods provided by someone else, or provided by government with money confiscated by force from someone else.

But in our entitlement society, many people confuse "freedom" with "I want this." In order to have the "freedom" to avoid pregnancy, an employer must provide and pay for birth control. In order to have the "freedom" to earn a "living wage," an employer must be forced to pay an above-market hourly rate for your labor. In order to have the "freedom" to eat, government must confiscate someone else's property to give you food stamps. And so it goes. But using government to force someone else to do something takes away freedom from that other person.

Now, we could literally spend decades arguing about other programs, in addition to employer mandates, the minimum wage and government wealth transfer programs. We could do that because we have done that. Whether it be military spending, roads and highways, jails and prisons, grants to research universities, the government school system, the War on Drugs, the post 9/11 security apparatus or a whole host of other things, we could debate whether people should be forced to fund this program or that through taxation.

But all of those other matters are far too complicated to address in detail in a post like this one, and would need (and have gotten, here and elsewhere) much more detailed treatment in a more specific way. Addressing all of those things is not the point of this post. The point of this post is to clarify the meaning of "freedom" for those who are confused.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Shameful corporate welfare to Planned Parenthood

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

Bloomington Herald-Times, October 29, 2014 (Comments)

To the Editor:

It is shameful that the Monroe County Council voted once again (on October 14) to give corporate welfare to Planned Parenthood. Despite the fact that $75,000 in requests were denied by the council, the Democrats decided it was necessary to give $4,500 to the local abortion "clinic."

Planned Parenthood does not need this money. The national organization reported a budget surplus of $11,700,000 in its most recent fiscal report. The national organization plus all state affiliates reported over $1,200,000,000 in revenue during that same period. Meanwhile, truly local organizations are being left out in the cold so the Democrats on the county council can abuse the community service grant process to make a political statement.

Even though this money does not go to abortion "services," pro-life taxpayers object to being forced to subsidize an organization we consider to be morally abhorrent. If the Democrats want to fund PP, they should be pro-choice and do so from their own pockets.

Thank you to Marty Hawk and Ryan Langley for voting against this handout, which passed 5-2. Two of the councilors who voted for this handout, Shelli Yoder and Rick Dietz, are up for re-election on November 4. Both should be defeated.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

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

A serious question:

Do people really not understand why dressing in blackface for ‪Halloween‬ is wrong?


How do you not get this?

Also, domestic abuse is not funny.

Voter Fraud

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

With the 2014 mid-term elections just two days away, here is an informative editorial about the problem of voter fraud.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Just fill out the form!

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

There is no good reason for the county assessor (a Democrat) not to fill out a conflict of interest form here. None. Even if you believe it is not needed, there is absolutely no harm in doing so. Just for the sake of 100% full transparency.