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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sexually degrading slurs in the Herald-Times

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Back in 2011, after two years of lobbying by Tea Party supporters and others, the Herald-Times finally agreed to stop publishing a sexually degrading term for the Tea Party movement. That term (teabag or teabagger) refers to a man putting his testicles in another person's face or mouth. At the time, Herald-Times editor Bob Zaltsberg said this:

  • "A few online commenters and letter-to-the-editor writers have been known to use a vulgar term to describe members of the Tea Party. We make every effort to remove comments from HeraldTimesOnline.com that use the term, and to edit it from letters sent by readers."

It was a great disappointment, then, to see a letter to the editor using this sexually degrading slur to refer to Republicans. It was even more egregious last fall, when an "instant message" response published in the newspaper referred to the governor of Indiana with the sexually degrading slur "teabagger."

This is well below the standards one would expect of a newspaper in a university community, much less one that presents itself as a leader in the field of local journalism. Referring to the governor as a "teabagger" is especially egregious and beyond the pale, and that slur should never have been published.

What's done is done. The Herald-Times cannot un-publish the sexually degrading slurs it published last week, or the even worse sexually degrading slur it published last fall. What the H-T can do, however, is apologize for their lack of oversight and extremely unprofessional behavior, as well as deleting every single use of the word "teabag" or any variation of it in the comments when that word is used as a sexually degrading slur.

The Bloomington community deserves better than this.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"An official write-in candidate..."

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

So what does it mean to be "an official write-in candidate" for elective office in the state of Indiana? How exactly does that work, and how are the votes counted?

You hear every election about people writing in a name, even for a fictional character like Bugs Bunny. But under Indiana law, those votes are not counted. Even votes for a real person who is qualified to serve in the office are not counted. The only time write-in votes are not counted is if that person has filed to be an official write-in candidate for that office. I filed my paperwork to be a write-in candidate on June 19, along with a form organizing my campaign fundraising committee. Later, I will be required to submit a report on campaign contributions and expenses.

Basically, if a voter writes my name in for city council at-large, the vote will be counted. If a voter writes my name in for mayor or city clerk, the vote will not be counted.

The most famous write-in candidate in recent memory is Lisa Murkowski, who lost a Republican primary for U.S. Senate in 2010. Alaska (unlike Indiana) does not have a "sore loser" law, so she was able to run as a write in candidate. She won re-election in a three-way race with less than 40% of the vote. She had a number of advantages that I obviously do not have, so my situation and hers are not comparable. It will be interesting to see what happens in this fall's election, though, and how many votes I get.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Perspective is desperately needed on Cecil the lion

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

The unhinged outrage over the killing of "Cecil the lion" reached a fever pitch over the last couple weeks on social media, not just with rabid denouncements over the American who killed him but also with death threats and calls for his execution. As I have seen this trend, I cannot help but think of God's judgment on us in His holy Word:

Romans 1:21-25

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

If the killing was illegal, then the hunter should be prosecuted for it and face the appropriate punishment. (Hint: That punishment is nowhere as severe as what the social media lynch mob wants to see, especially not the death penalty.) But let's keep this in perspective: Killing a lion is not in itself fundamentally immoral. We know this from Scripture.

But this guy was not a serial killer of human beings made in the image of God. He is not John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. The outrage - and especially the death threats - is wildly disproportionate to the man's alleged crime. And I am not naming him for a reason. He has gotten enough publicity out of this.

I am not saying we should not be unsettled or even angry about things like poaching. We have laws preserving natural resources for a reason, and people should obey those laws. But the Creator of the universe gave man, the pinnacle of His creation, dominion over all of creation in Genesis 1:28. Shrieking for a man's blood because he killed a lion completely flips God's creation order on its head and is a rebellion against God Himself.

The unhinged outrage over Cecil the lion is not compassion for animals, nor is it legitimate conservationism. It is idolatry and rebellion against God, especially when the social media lynch mob is calling for the murder of a man made in the image of Almighty God. Repent of this wickedness and worship of the one true God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Campaign picture

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 11:30 AM

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Judges 3:16-22

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:15 AM

But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh. And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man. And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present.

But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him. And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.

And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly: And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Donald Trump is not qualified to be President

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

What Donald Trump said about John McCain - smearing McCain's war record because he was captured, despite McCain's well documented heroism in captivity - is completely inexcusable and morally repugnant. I call on all decent Republicans (especially Republicans seeking the 2016 Republican nomination for President) to condemn and denounce Trump's despicable smear on John McCain.

And this is about much more than John McCain. Trump smeared all veterans by extension, not just McCain. Trump said "He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured." That is a statement that applies to McCain, but is a statement of general principle too. The words trump willingly chose - in the heat of the moment or not - are a smear on all Americans who have ever been prisoners of war.

Plus, why should Trump's statement not be applied to war dead? Trump could have said "They're war heroes because they died for their country. I like people who weren't killed by the enemy." That could also apply to severely injured veterans, like the many who came home from Iraq and Afghanistan maimed. After all, according to Trump's "logic," shouldn't we honor those who were not injured over those who were?

And yes, obviously Trump has free speech rights. I cannot believe I actually saw that argument in his defense. There are consequences for smearing veterans, though, and one of those should be loss of political support from all decent Republicans who actually respect our veterans. I also have free speech to point out that Donald Trump is a morally repugnant clown who will never get my vote under any circumstances.

Yes, Republicans are longing for someone to be as aggressive as Trump has been, willing to take it to the Democrats and not back down when attacked. I addressed that issue earlier this month. It is too bad that so many Republicans have been blinded by his celebrity status and his willingness to say things that are "politically incorrect" that they see that need filled by a pro-abortion, gun grabbing, racist hate monger, liar, thug and thief.

Wake up, Republicans! Donald Trump is not a conservative. He has a long and well documented record of taking Leftist positions and supporting Democratic politicians. He's only saying the "right" things now because he knows he cannot get out of the Republican primary if he says what he truly believes. He is a shyster and a fraud of the highest order. In fact, I do not believe Trump has any principles at all, other than his own ego. At least Barack Obama believes in something. I do not agree with Obama's beliefs, but at least he has beliefs.

If Donald Trump is the Republican nominee in 2016, I will vote for the Libertarian candidate for President.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Accidental Garden

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

The summer of 2008: We had sunflower seeds in the bird feeder. When some of them dropped to the ground as the birds ate, the seeds sprouted into big sunflowers. This was quite a surprise, and very cool.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sandra Bland presents a teachable moment

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

The sad, tragic Sandra Bland situation represents a teachable moment in an age where we hate legitimate authority.

It may well be that the police officer who arrested Bland was on a power trip. It may be argued that he was a jerk. However, he issued a lawful order when he told Bland to get out of her vehicle and she should have complied. Police have this authority for a reason, and there is no legitimate reason not to exit the vehicle. If a police officer tells you to get out of your car, just get out of your car. This is not rocket science.

Obviously, a police officer's authority is not unlimited. But there is no reason to be confrontational, even if the cop is acting like a jerk. Simply comply with lawful orders, be polite and courteous, and be on your way without incident. If Bland felt the officer was acting in an egregious or unprofessional manner, she can always file a complaint later - and take her complaints public if she is not satisfied with how her complaint was handled. I filed a complaint against a Monroe County Sheriff's deputy a few years ago when I thought he was behaving in an unprofessional way.

This does not excuse the behavior of the officer, who could have and should have de-escalated the situation. From what I have seen, this is far from an example of stellar police work. This does not excuse the jail staff not checking on her to make sure she had not harmed herself. But had Bland simply cooperated with the officer's order and submitted to his lawful authority, a horrible end could have been avoided and a family would not have lost their daughter.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It is long past time to de-fund Planned Parenthood

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 12:30 PM

Note: This is the speech I delivered at the rally to de-fund Planned Parenthood on July 28, 2015

I stand here before you today, as a citizen of Bloomington and an official write-in candidate for Bloomington City Council, calling for the end of city and county funding of this deplorable organization. The videos showing that Planned Parenthood was selling the body parts of aborted babies shocked the conscience and reminded many who would rather ignore the reality of abortion just how brutal and barbaric this procedure is.

When I announced my candidacy for Bloomington City Council, I said I was opposed to city funding of Planned Parenthood, though I did not expect the issue to become as prominent as it has been the last two weeks. Yet here we are, in response to some truly gruesome revelations.

But the fact that Planned Parenthood has been selling the body parts of aborted babies is far less serious and far less abominable than the fact that they are killing little human beings made in the image of God. And because of the city council and county council's actions, we have all been forced to subsidize this organization that exterminates human lives and corrupts our youth sexually. What does God think of this?

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

The baby parts selling scandal comes on the heels of this clinic, right here in Bloomington, being written up for severe and disturbing violations by the Indiana health department. The lack of concern for women's health detailed in the citations is just as disturbing as the videos that have caused a nationwide firestorm, and should be more so for those of us gathered here because this is happening in our own community.

How much more evidence do we need that this organization does not deserve funding from our local tax dollars? If Planned Parenthood applies for a grant from the county council's social services fund, that application should be rejected. And city councilor Dorothy Granger, who works as a clinic escort at Bloomington's Planned Parenthood facility, should have disclosed that fact and recused herself from the vote this past June.

No more corporate welfare for Planned Parenthood!

Sadly, not a surprise.

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 10:00 AM

Sadly, this is not a surprise:

The rationale for a SWAT raid that left a baby with horrific burns was completely fabricated.

The War on Drugs is more of a threat to our liberty than Muslim terrorists.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A plea for unity

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

There has been a lot of bickering in the Monroe County Republican Party lately, and if we want to be a viable alternative to the Democrats people need to cool down and learn to work together. Whether we should have had this or should have done that is irrelevant and not worth worrying about. You have to play the hand you are dealt, not the hand you wish you had. Republicans need to push ahead and keep our eye on the goal.

And we learn from how things were done this year and in past years so we can think about how we can improve it in the future. This is positive, rather than negative criticism.

Republicans have been in a major drought in city elections for sixteen years. A lot of people do not think there is a point to being active in the GOP at the city level. Many qualified candidates are especially reluctant to run for office, as it can make one a target without having any election results to show for it. When Republicans are fighting amongst ourselves, that makes it even more difficult while not accomplishing anything.

I, for one, do not buy that Monroe County is totally, unredeemably blue. The Republican Party was within about 200 votes of a 5-4 majority on the city council in 1999. Yes, the city council. If we had approximately one hundred more votes in District 6, and about another hundred in District 4 would have won both of those districts and would have put one of the at-large candidates on the council. (The top Republican finished 100 votes behind the third-place Democrat.) Then Republicans ran the table here in 2002 - only thirteen years ago.

We have to register more voters and turn out the Republicans who have stayed home. We have to get more young people involved - people in their 20's and 30's. But if we are going to fight amongst ourselves, we are never going to win anything because we cannot win with a splintered coalition. And infighting is going to drive people away.

We are always going to have disagreements - sometimes strenuous and heated disagreements - on issues, policy and ideology. That's to be expected, and it is healthy for a Big Tent party to have these disagreements. But the personal bickering that has gone on, especially for the last couple years, needs to stop.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Ferguson Effect

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:30 AM

In what should be a surprise to no one, the "Ferguson Effect" is a myth.

A quick common sense reminder

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 9:00 AM

Never post anything on Facebook (or any social media website) that you would be horrified to see on the front page of the newspaper, the lead story on the nightly news, or as the lead headline on your favorite news website.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Third Party?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

ABC World News reported last night that Donald Trump is considering running for President as a third party candidate - guaranteeing that Hillary Clinton will be our next President.

(Remember, Trump has donated thousands upon thousands of dollars to Mrs. Clinton.)

So, Republicans: Still think Donald Trump is a genuine conservative?

He's not.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Planned Parenthood's body parts selling racket

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM

Last week, my news feeds on Facebook and Twitter have exploded with the news that Planned Parenthood was caught in an undercover video arranging to sell the body parts of aborted babies. This is awful and this is horrible, but this is not a surprise. Planned Parenthood traffics in the extermination of innocent human life. That they would be caught on video selling the mutilated corpses of their victims is a lesser evil.

Planned Parenthood is corrupt all the way to the core. This is why the Bloomington City Council should commit to never giving this organization even one penny of the money city government forcibly confiscates from taxpayers.

While the selling of mutilated body parts is horrifying, it is far less horrifying than abortion itself - the willful, intentional termination of a human being made in the image of God. We have seen over fifty million babies slaughtered in our abortion clinics. Every week, our own Planned Parenthood "clinic" kills innocent unborn babies, and that "clinic" is supported by the Democratic supermajority on the Bloomington City Council.

We are all under the authority of Almighty God, who in His Word speaks of those who kill children and babies:

  • Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto Me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, That thou hast slain My children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? -- Ezekiel 16:20-21
  • And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. -- Jeremiah 32:35

City government does not have the authority under our legal system to close the abortion "clinic" on South College Avenue, as much as I wish we did. But what we can do is never give another penny to an organization that corrupts our youth sexually, kills babies made in the image of God and then sells their body parts for money. This abominable abuse of the tax money entrusted to the city council needs to stop.