Just say "no" to the broadband boondoggle

City-run broadband Internet is a bad idea that has not worked in the past and will not work in Bloomington. Both the city council and the next mayor should go to Reason.com and read their lengthy and well-researched article about city-run broadband and think very carefully before committing a huge sum of tax money to this project.

This is something that might have made sense fifteen years ago, when broadband Internet was less common. Today in Bloomington, we have AT&T, Smithville Telephone and Comcast cable internet all competing for subscribers among the business community and the wider population. Indiana University has a reliable and fast broadband network as well.

As Reason.com points out, the “success story” in Chattanooga took an infusion of $111 million from the federal government to get it done. Do the proponents of a broadband network in our city have a plan to get the federal government to “invest” in it so local taxpayers do not have to bear the entire burden themselves?

This plan is a corporate welfare scheme that should be abandoned before it is started. If there is a legitimate business need for a citywide fiber-optic network, then that need will and should be filled by the business community. It should not be the role of city government to tax everyone for the financial benefit of only a few. Indiana University students, especially, should not be forced to pay for a large investment for the private sector that will not benefit those students when they are gone in four years. Make no mistake: Students do pay property taxes through their rent.

This is not economic development – it is crony capitalism and corporate wefare. This is a project that would be better left as an unfulfilled campaign promise.

Indiana does not need a hate crime law

Note: I sent this to my local state legislators.

On September 21, 2011, white supremacist terrorist Lawrence Russell Brewer was put to death by the state of Texas for his role in the horrific torture-slaying of James Byrd. Another of the men who helped murder Byrd is awaiting execution while the third murderer is serving a life sentence. Texas does not have a hate crime law, and did not need one to bring justice in this case. Indiana does not need one either.

I encourage you to reject a proposal to make some citizens “more equal” than others, which is unconstitutional under a plain reading of the text of the Fourteenth Amendment. And we need to be clear here: Hate crime laws create a legal system under which some victims of crime are more valuable than others. When we punish identical crimes differently based on the motivation of the criminal and the victim’s minority status instead of punishing the act and the intent, we are setting up a two-tiered legal system that places a preferred class of citizens over everyone else.

This is simply wrong. If we want to discourage hate crimes, we should harshly punish all violent criminals. Someone who commits murder should be executed by the civil magistrate regardless of what his motivation for committing the murder may have been. The victim is every bit as dead in a “normal” crime as he is in a bias crime. The property damage done by an arsonist is just as real and just as expensive to fix whether the arsonist is a white supremacist or if he just enjoys destroying other people’s things.

The renewed interest in hate crime laws in Bloomington and Monroe County has been spurred by the despicable, depraved, perverted and cowardly actions of an enthusiastic Bernie Sanders supporter by the name of Triceten Bickford. But would Bickford’s actions have been any less severe if his motivation has been anything other than virulent anti-Muslim hatred? He violently attacked a woman in front of her young child. He should spend a very long time behind bars to protect our community, and he also needs treatment for a severe alcohol problem as seen by his .195 blood alcohol content at the time of his arrest.

We do not need new laws. The laws we have on the books right now are more than sufficient. What we need to do is enforce those laws and harshly punish all violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law, after they have been convicted by a jury of their peers in a fair trial that follows all due process protections mandated by the Constitution.

Donald Trump is wrong on immigration and September 11

Not only is Donald Trump repeating Democratic Party talking points in his attack on George W. Bush over the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he shows that he is a fundamentally unserious candidate who does not understand the legislative process and is therefore unfit to be President of these United States.

First of all, Trump is wrong on the facts. Several of the terrorists got here before George W. Bush was President, so if there is blame to be placed for letting them into the country that blame should also fall on President Bill Clinton. Taking Bush to task for 9/11 while not mentioning Clinton at all is not surprising, given Trump’s long and well-documented affiliation with the Clintons as well as his thousands of dollars of donations to Hillary Clinton’s campaigns.

Let’s say Americans has elected Trump in 2000. Even if Trump would have started pushing his 2015 immigration plan the moment he was sworn in, a major plan like that takes time to get passed – and that is assuming the Democrats were not able to completely block the plan in the U.S. Senate where Republicans only had a tiny sliver of a majority. Even if it had been passed, laws do not take effect immediately and then they have to be implemented. Trump’s immigration plan would not have stopped the 9/11 terrorists from entering or staying in the country.

There have been arguments about immigration and September 11, and serious people (a group that does not include Trump) have been debating it for fourteen years. Trump’s haphazard and sloppy way of inserting himself into the debate does nothing to actually address what could have been done differently. Trump, as usual, makes it all about his own ego with no actual grip on facts or how public policy works.

End the culture war against Christians in Bloomington

Thank you to everyone who is attending this event, and thank you for showing that there are many in this community that value human life and seek to protect innocent human life in the womb. Thank you for showing that there are many here that oppose the Bloomington City Council’s wasteful and politically-motivated votes to give corporate welfare to Planned Parenthood.

My name is Scott Tibbs and I am a write-in candidate for Bloomington City Council, at-large. If you live anywhere inside city limits, you can vote for me. I will not be on your ballot, so you will need to write in “Scott Tibbs” in the at-large portion of your ballot. But because I am an official candidate, those votes will count.

I stand before you today in response to horrific and shocking revelations about Planned Parenthood, and I am calling on the Bloomington City Council to stop funding an organization that corrupts our youth sexually, murders babies made in the image of God and sells their victims’ body parts for money.

Planned Parenthood corrupts our youth sexually by promoting sadomasochistic sex practices to teenagers, enabling sexual abuse and exploitation by giving birth control to teens under the age of consent, encouraging promiscuity and all manner of deviant sexual practices – all encouraged by your government at all levels. This must stop.

That Planned Parenthood murders babies made in the image of God is self-evident to anyone who has ever seen pictures of aborted babies. You can see the photographic evidence for yourself at CBRinfo.org/abortion-photos. While Planned Parenthood and their apologists try to deny the selling of body parts, let’s be real here. When you give something to someone and they give you money in exchange, you are selling that thing. No amount of spin about “donations” or “covering costs” will obscure this plain and simple truth.

City government’s repeated endorsements of Planned Parenthood must end. If the city council wants to give money to Planned Parenthood, they should do so from their own pockets. It is wrong to use the power of the state to forcibly confiscate our wealth to give it to an abortion mill. If the city council wants to make a public statement, they should do it as private citizens instead of forcing it on all of us by officially speaking as a legislative body.

If you want to oppose this, then write in “Scott Tibbs” for Bloomington City Council, at-large.

The City Council’s shameful endorsement of Planned Parenthood

Note: I delivered this speech at the Bloomington City Council meeting on October 21, 2015.

My name is Scott Tibbs and I am a write-in candidate for Bloomington City Council, at-large.

For the last thirteen years, I have been making the point that Planned Parenthood’s requests for a handout from this City Council do not have anything to do with need or providing reproductive health care but that those requests are instead a request for a political endorsement from city government. Tonight, by passing this resolution supporting Bloomington’s local abortion mill, you will prove that I have been right all along.

First, councilor Dorothy Granger is a clinic escort for Planned Parenthood. Because of her connection to PP, Councilor Granger needs to recuse herself from this vote. She should have recused herself from previous votes to fund Planned Parenthood. While there is no legal conflict of interest here, it nonetheless creates an appearance of impropriety for a Planned Parenthood clinic escort to sponsor and vote for a resolution supporting Planned Parenthood or to give the money entrusted to her by the voters to that organization.

You are endorsing Planned Parenthood despite a series of grisly and horrific videos that expose Planned Parenthood selling the body parts of aborted babies, and sifting through the mutilated corpses of those babies to find usable organs. Worse yet, you are endorsing Planned Parenthood despite the fact that an inspection by the Indiana State Department of Health revealed numerous serious and disturbing violations at the so-called “clinic” here in Bloomington. Would these disturbing practices still be going on had Planned Parenthood not been caught and reprimanded by the state?

If the nine Democrats on the City Council want to endorse Planned Parenthood, that would be wholly appropriate – if you did it as private citizens or as candidates for office. But speaking as a legislative body and speaking for the entire city is simply wrong, especially after the body parts selling scandal that erupted over the summer and outraged many all across the nation and in our community. I encourage you to table this resolution.

The city council’s Planned Parenthood resolution

The October 21 city council meeting went just as most of us expected it would – a closed minded Democratic majority unanimously voting to endorse Bloomington’s abortion mill. Nonetheless, it was good to see so many people show up to speak against this resolution even though the outcome was always a foregone conclusion.

When I got to the meeting, I could not get into council chambers because the pink shirt wearing Planned Parenthood activists had already filled the room. I haven’t seen that many people at a city council meeting in a very long time and I do not recall ever seeing rows of folding chairs set up outside the chamber.

A few comments on the meeting itself:

It took a little while to get through “reports from council” and “reports from the public” segments of the agenda, and then the Democrats and Planned Parenthood monopolized the meeting for about 30 minutes with a presentation in support of the ordinance. It was clearly designed to tilt the field in favor of the resolution, an overkill gesture for an ordinance that was always going to pass 9 to 0.

Dawn Johnsen spoke in support of Planned Parenthood, but there was no mention of the fact that her husband John Hamilton is running as the Democratic candidate for Mayor. Hamilton did not speak at the meeting, though he can be seen in the background wearing his pink “Stand with Planned Parenthood” shirt as folks at the lectern are speaking to the council. Johnsen compared the campaign against PP to McCarthyism.

Two different speakers called on Dorothy Granger to recuse herself from the vote. Granger is a Planned Parenthood clinic escort and sponsored the resolution. She also voted to give thousands of dollars to the abortion mill where she is a clinic escort. Granger will be elected to a second term representing District II because she is not opposed.

Isabel Piedmont, the unopposed Democratic nominee in District V, said in her comments “Please do not force your religious beliefs on me.” Piedmont apparently missed the part where there is no serious movement by city government to restrict abortion or ostracize Planned Parenthood in any way. This was a resolution in support of PP, after the council (with just two exceptions) has voted every year since 1999 to give thousands of dollars to the Planned Parenthood “clinic” on South College Avenue. The only ones forcing their views on others are the Democrats who dominate the city council, by forcing all citizens of Bloomington to donate to Planned Parenthood.

You can watch the meeting streaming on CATS at http://catstv.net/m.php?q=2718. You can also get a DVD of the meeting or a flash drive with a digital file of the meeting at CATS at the Monroe County Public Library for $10.