The history of corporate welfare to Planned Parenthood

Following is a history of the funds granted to Planned Parenthood by the Bloomington City Council over the last fifteen years through the Jack Hopkins social services funding program.

YEAR PURPOSE AMOUNT
1999 Medical exam table $5,000.00
2000 Teen education (Community Development Block Grants) $2,000.00
2001 Equipment to test for anemia $1,394.00
2002 Autoclave for sterilizing instruments $1,495.00
2003 Purchase four computers $3,600.00
2004 Six sets of cervical biopsy equipment $2,923.00
2005 Security cameras and equipment $1,500.00
2006 Cabinetry, files and furniture for the front desk renovation $2,440.00
2007 Wellness exams for the Friend to Friend Patient Pass program $5,000.00
2008 Colposcopies for women with abnormal Pap testresults $2,500.00
2009 No funding granted $0.00
2010 Recession Rx program $5,000.00
2011 HIV test kits. $4,200.00
2012 No funding granted $0.00
2013 Office visits, STD tests, HIV testing, pregnancy testing, pap smears, colposcopies and biopsies $4,930.00

Here is the archive of my articles about this scandal.

My articles about the most recent request for corporate welfare are here and here.

Evaluating emotions instead of logic

Here is an excellent observation by Mike Adams on the state of modern political discourse:

First, there is the tendency to respond to the tone rather than the substance of an argument. Second, there is the tendency to project motives of anger and fear onto others simply because they hold a different opinion. Gone are the days when we evaluated arguments. Today we evaluate emotions.

This is a perfect description of how public discourse has devolved, especially on the internet. It also perfectly describes how a number of Leftists respond to the arguments I make – not by attacking my argument but by psychoanalyzing me as a person. A sampling of what’s been said about me in Herald-Times comments:

Look how often he employs “shame.” That tells us much him as a person and his world. It informs us how he was coerced from stage 1 to stage 2. This is obviously an extreme and seemingly permanent form of stage 2 spiritual development.

And…

I really worry about people who obsess about things that don’t affect them at all personally. While so many other things that do affect them personally seem to go unnoticed… You seem to be a very unhappy and bitter man.

And…

Fundemental Peck stage 2 compliance from Tibbs. The tragedy, of course, is that he can never experience God from that level. Stage 2 is submission.

It is very amusing that people who have never met me can make these observations from behind a computer screen.

Analyzing someone’s psychological profile is a quick, cheap and easy way to distract from the argument. It is not exactly new – I have been called hateful and bitter for the better part of two decades by people who do not want to (or are unable to) engage my arguments on a rational basis. It’s the same ad hominem attack on the lines of “racist, sexist, bigot, homophobic” – designed to put someone on the defensive and make them defend themselves personally so the accuser does not have to deal with an uncomfortable argument or set of facts.

A large portion of our society has lost the ability to think critically and to evaluate arguments using logic. Because of that, people often react emotionally to something they dislike – they take disagreement with their beliefs as a personal affront to them. It should not be surprising, then, that they react to disagreement by directly attacking the person making the “offensive” argument instead of dealing with the argument itself. They certainly are not going to think critically about their own arguments and whether they actually are correct.

So how do we deal with this? There is not much that can be done to convince people who refuse to argue with logic instead of emotion. The way to deal with them is not to be distracted by their efforts to send the discussion down a rabbit trail and instead pound away with the argument and/or facts they refuse to address.

For the future, we should demand that our government school system teach critical thinking skills and (more importantly) teach those skills to our own children. There are few things more rewarding to a parent than a child pointing out where the parent is wrong – it shows that we have trained them well.

Observations about role-playing games

Here are some notes about things that I find interesting in computer role-playing games. (I have very little experience with RPGs after the year 2000. These observations are about games in the 16-bit era in the 1990’s.)

First, your character or party can march right into the castle and walk up to the king. In any realistic medieval setting, you would probably not get into the castle at all, much less get anywhere near the king. You would probably spend some time in the dungeon if you were not executed on the spot for being so brazen.

You can also walk into people’s houses uninvited, and there is rarely (if ever) any objection from the people in the house at this random group of adventurers barging into their home. Then you can look through their drawers and cabinets for items and gold, again with no objection. One notable exception to this was one of the Phantasy Star games for the Sega Genesis (later remade for other platforms) where another party member scolds the main character for trying to steal – and you are not allowed to steal anything. It was an amusing exception to the rule.

Beyond the concept of fighting battles to gain experience points to level up your party (which you just have to roll with) it is also amusing that monsters carry gold. While it makes sense that bandits or any sort of intelligent creature would carry gold, it does not make sense that wolves, bats and other animals would be carrying gold that you can just pick up and use to buy things. Again, for purposes of grinding for gold or experience, you need to suspend disbelief and just play the game – but it is not exactly logical.

Finally, all RPGs should have a “new game plus.” This option (which is not always called that) allows the player to start a new game with the end-game party once the final boss has been killed. Chrono Trigger pioneered this way back in 1995, though you had to do more than simply kill the final boss. You had to go through another floating fortress in order to have that option. But there are few things in video games that are more satisfying than fighting that boss that caused so much frustration in the first play through only to completely annihilate him with an overpowered party.

Google Plus and MySpace

A friend of mine once compared Google Plus to MySpace – but that’s unfair to MySpace. After all, MySpace was a big deal in 2005-2006, and even into 2007 before Facebook crushed it. Google Plus is more like Friendster – a social network that never even got off the ground.

Using weakness to oppress others

I said on Monday that “it is common in our culture for people to use their suffering to oppress others.” This was underlined last week in a whining screed by a recovering alcoholic. Starbucks should not serve alcohol, he says, because it will be a temptation to people recovering from alcoholism.

So because some recovering alcoholics find it difficult to be around alcohol, everyone who could potentially enjoy a glass of wine or a high-quality beer at Starbucks must be denied the opportunity to enjoy an alcoholic beverage. It is the same mentality that has led government to require that everyone buying certain cold medicines to “show their papers” because some people use it as the primary ingredient to manufacture meth.

At least the government is not prohibiting Starbucks from serving alcohol – not yet, anyway.

I understand that alcoholism is a physical addiction as well as a social and psychological addiction, but many recovering alcoholics are capable of being in a place where alcohol is served without relapsing. It is easier to avoid the temptation completely, sure – but part of being an adult is exercising self-control (even when that is extremely difficult) instead of denying other people the opportunity to enjoy something you cannot.

It is good that we as a society are sensitive to those who are hurting or those who face unique challenges, but we have become so perverse that weakness and victimhood are now weapons to oppress others. We have gone too far in the direction of sensitivity, and we should not allow ourselves to be defined by our “victim identity.”

Like it or not, Donald Sterling has a point

Let’s get this out of the way, before we do anything else. For Donald Sterling to criticize Magic Johnson’s sexual history in the 1980’s while he commits adultery with a mistress young enough to be his granddaughter is the height of hypocrisy. That said, Sterling does make a legitimate point about Johnson as a role model, given his history.

Johnson admitted to having sex with between 300 and 500 women a year. That is a shameful and wicked lifestyle. For his own selfish pleasure, Johnson had sex with hundreds and hundreds of women, many of which he would never see again. It is likely that there are a number of children out there who will never know their biological father, a basketball star who had drive-by sex and was never seen again.

For all of the whining about Sterling’s comment being “despicable,” it shows even pagans like Sterling can recognize Biblical truth now and again. After all, there is a reason the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:18 that those who commit sexual sin are sinning against their own body. Can anyone honestly deny that being infected with the virus that causes AIDS was a direct result of Johnson’s wickedness?

We should also not forget the inherent misogyny in Johnson’s deathstyle in the 1980’s. Women were not human beings to be cared for, in Johnson’s world. They were pieces of meat to be exploited sexually and then discarded and forgotten. Many of the same people who are outraged by Sterling’s remarks would consider themselves feminists. I honestly cannot understand how one can embrace feminism and still defend this level of misogyny.

Magic Johnson has done much good over the last twenty years with his charitable endeavors. He says he is a Christian, and if so he is forgiven of his wicked and woman-hating ways. But if Johnson is truly a Christian, he should be recognizing that what he did was sinful rebellion against the God he claims to serve, rather than attacking someone who points out that what he did was wicked. Our culture hates shame and we hate any restriction on our libido, so it is more important than ever for Christians to say “no” when our culture is embracing even the worst sexual excesses.