Stop publishing lies and smears about Seven Oaks!

This is an open letter to Herald-Times editor Bob Zaltsberg.

—– Original Message —–

From: Scott Tibbs <tibbs1973@yahoo.com>

To: “rzaltsberg@heraldt.com”

Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2016 6:40 PM

Subject: Stop publishing lies and smears about Seven Oaks!

Mr. Zaltsberg,

I am profoundly disappointed (yet sadly not at all surprised) that you choose to publish a shamefully dishonest smear against Seven Oaks Classical School. You once again violated the very standards you have claimed to uphold in your editorials about negative claims in letters.

As I said in my guest editorial last November, “there is not and has never been one single shred of evidence that Seven Oaks Classical School will teach creationism.” Seven Oaks is not a religious school. Seven Oaks is a fully public school and is therefore bound by Indiana law. This has been well-documented on many occasions and there is not one single informed person who has any question about that. There are plenty of liars who claim otherwise, though.

Yet the letter writer, knowing full well the answers to his so-called “questions,” asks if Seven Oaks will be teaching creationism in its science classes. Then the writer asks two more incredibly dishonest so-called “questions,” asking if Seven Oaks will “be nudging students toward a theocratic vision of America” and if they will “be teaching biblical inerrancy and Christian triumphalism.”

Once again, as both you and the letter writer know, Seven Oaks is a fully public school and is not allowed to teach creationism. Claims to the contrary are blatant, brazen, bold-faced lies – and you know it!

As both you and the letter writer know, Seven Oaks is a fully public school and is not allowed to teach students Christian theology. Claims to the contrary are blatant, brazen, bold-faced lies – and you know it!

The so-called “questions” in this letter are a defamatory smear against the school, the school’s board and (eventually) the teachers. Those so-called “questions” are meant to smear and demean the children who eventually attend Seven Oaks as having an inferior education. These so-called “questions” are meant to falsely imply that the Seven Oaks board and teachers are fully prepared and intend to break the law.

These so-called “questions” are not and were never intended to be legitimate questions. Those so-called “questions” are meant to propagandize lies and fabrications about people dedicated to providing the best education they can provide, free of charge, to the children of Monroe County. It is utterly shameful that a so-called “newspaper” would publish these defamatory lies and fabrications while hypocritically pretending to “strive for accuracy.”

If you have any journalistic integrity, you will apologize to the Seven Oaks board, teachers, students and the community at large for publishing these lies. You need to apologize to your readership for printing these lies and smears. Most importantly, you need to resolve to never print lies and smears like this in your so-called “newspaper” ever again.

Does HeraldTimesOnline actually have comment guidelines?

Does the Herald-Times actually have guidelines for comments, or is moderation based entirely on the whims of the moderators? Once again, the H-T has demonstrated it is the latter, not the former. Yesterday, I posted the following comment under the horrific story of a one year old girl who was raped and murdered:

This is why child molestation is so evil.

Assuming initial reports are true and Kyle Parker is the murderer, he was almost certainly molested as a child. Whoever abused Parker is every bit as guilty for this crime as Parker himself. Children who are abused are traumatized and often go on to become abusers themselves.

That doesn’t minimize Parker’s guilt. He is 100% responsible for this crime and if convicted by a jury of his peers after a fair trial should be put to death.

And let’s not forget that, under the law, he is innocent until proven guilty. We must be absolutely uncompromising on that.

My comment was promptly deleted. Naturally, I asked what rule I broke. The Herald-Times has the following blurb at the bottom of every story with comments:

We do not permit obscene, libelous, harassing, racist, hateful, offensive or violent language or images. Further, we will not allow personal attacks on news sources, other commenters or our staff.

I explained to HTO staff in an email that I could not have possibly libeled anyone, because I did not name anyone as Parker’s abuser. What I said was not obscene, harassing, racist, hateful, or violent. I did not personally attack a news source, another commenter or HTO staff. My comment could be considered “offensive” but there’s never been one single comment in the history of HeraldTimesOnline that could not be deemed “offensive” by someone because that’s an incredibly subjective standard.

I further explained that it is a well-known and well-documented phenomenon that abused children become abusers themselves. My comment is therefore a perfectly reasonable and logical analysis of his behavior, especially given the horribly depraved nature of this particular crime.

The response was profoundly disappointing, yet sadly not surprising at all. This is the pathetic non-answer I got:

And as you stated in one of your comments minutes after this comment, perhaps we should close down “Comments on stories like this should probably be closed, as it invites wild speculation and accusations.”

Wow.

Instead of explaining exactly what rule I broke or how my post violates written HTO comment guidelines, Herald-Times staff decided to play a childish game of “gotcha.”

The Herald-Times completely ignored my explanation for why my comment was “a perfectly reasonable and logical analysis of his behavior” especially considering I sent hyperlinks to stories on their own website that document this phenomenon. Exactly where in HTO comment guidelines is my observation and analysis not permitted?

Here’s a hint: My comment in no way violates HTO comment guidelines.

This is sad and pathetic. Worse yet, this is completely unprofessional. Obviously, the Herald-Times can allow or not allow whatever it wants, but if the H-T wants users to follow the rules, then we need to know what the rules are. If the “rules” are simply what the whims of the moderators are that day (and that is the way things are run, whether the H-T wants to admit it or not) then they should be honest with that standard.

Genesis 1:27-28

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Movie Review: Jurassic World

The entire premise of Jurassic World is absurd. After this went very badly the last three times, they would NEVER be allowed to operate another park. The U.S. government would be like this:

“No. You had a Tyrannosaurus Rex go on a rampage through San Diego. You are NOT going to create more dinosaurs, especially genetically engineered dinosaurs that are bigger and more powerful than the others. We are going to nuke the island and incinerate everything on it.”

Even if the park was somehow allowed to operate, no tourist would ever go there. You certainly could not fill up the park with people after multiple disasters and all of the people that were killed and eaten. Tourists would never be clamoring for bigger, more powerful and more dangerous genetically engineered dinosaurs that will create havoc and massacre people like they did the last three times.

Beyond the absurd premise, we get an overused movie trope. Twenty minutes in we already have some military guy wanting to use the velociraptors as bio-weapons. I am sure this will end well. Of course it does not end well.

I understand Jurassic World does not necessarily take place in the same world as other movies where this very sort of thing backfired, but one would think that in this universe they have movies and books and video games where we create bio-weapons that turn on us. As soon as the stereotypical “military industrial complex” guy started blabbing about using the raptors as weapons I knew the raptors would turn on the humans. Just how stupid are these people?

Better yet, just how lazy are these writers?

I can suspend disbelief for the idea of cloning dinosaurs, but you need to have people behave like normal people would behave in that world. The most important question to ask yourself when writing characters for a movie is this: “If this were real, would these characters be behaving this way? Would I behave this way?” Characters are not believable when they act in ways that only an evil, stupid or certifiably insane person would behave. This is just lazy.

Normally, I do not like reboots but this is one case where a reboot would have been far better than a sequel. That way, you are not carrying the baggage of three dinosaur rampages that would doom any chance for this park to even exist, much less draw more than a handful of insane and suicidal tourists.

As stupid and nonsensical as the movie was, it was entertaining. The writers know what this is and they went straight to the main attraction: A dinosaur rampage. It is too bad that the path to getting to that rampage was so poorly written that it would be better as a parody than as an action movie.

Final Grade: C+

A troublesome anti-abortion bill

Abortion is a terrible thing and a stain on our nation. I welcome and support legislative efforts to restrict the practice, but the most recent effort in the Indiana legislature is troubling because it compromises a core conservative/libertarian principle of equal protection under the law.

From the legislative synopsis of House Bill 1337:

Prohibits a person from performing an abortion if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because of: (1) the race, color, national origin, ancestry, or sex of the fetus; or (2) a diagnosis or potential diagnosis of the fetus having Down syndrome or any other disability.

It’s one thing to ban abortions after a certain gestational age (such as 20 weeks) or to ban certain abortion procedures such as the hideous barbarity known as “partial-birth abortion.” Some abortion opponents bristle at limited bans because they explicitly make it legal to murder millions of babies while only protecting a few, but this is part of a legislative strategery to chip away at abortion rights with the end goal of making it completely illegal.

But this ban is not like like other bans that protect all babies from “partial birth abortion” or bans that protect all babies after a certain age. This specifically singles out abortions done for specific reasons. If you want to kill your baby because you cannot afford another child or because you just feel like getting an abortion that day, you are free to do so. If you want to kill your baby because you do not want a little girl, then that is prohibited.

This sounds like “hate crime” laws I have railed against for years, punishing an action more harshly not because the act itself is abominable but because you do not like the beliefs of the person committing the crime. The reason hate crime laws are bad is because they make some victims of identical crimes “more equal” than others, and they start down the dangerous road of punishing beliefs we dislike instead of the actual crimes committed. This is a dangerous road for the anti-abortion movement to travel.

Granted, the comparison to “hate crime” laws is not perfect because no babies are is protected under current law, while HB1337 will single out some for protection.

If I were in the state legislature, I am not sure how I would have voted on this bill. Anything we can do legislatively to save lives is a good thing, and on the off chance that this bill is upheld and enforced it will save lives. Rather than leaving all babies completely unprotected from abortion, this will protect some. The civil magistrate has a responsibility to the God who gave them their authority to protect the helpless from being abused and murdered, and HB 1337 accomplishes that goal – although it does so in a very flawed way.

But the bill is also basically unenforceable and will almost certainly be struck down by the courts. Is it really a good idea to advance the destructive ideas behind “hate crime” laws to pass a bill that will never be implemented? The chance of this legislation saving any lives at all before it is struck down is minuscule, but the damage we are doing by advancing the Left’s agenda on “hate crime” laws is real. Plus, it opens Republicans who voted against “hate crime” legislation to charges of hypocrisy – charges that are completely fair.

The strategery of passing incremental restrictions on abortion is a good one, and has been effective for decades now. The so-called TRAP laws have saved lives by shutting down abortion clinics. That should continue. But legislation like HB 1337 advances the Left’s agenda while doing very little (if anything) to actually save babies from being murdered by abortion. This is a bad law that should never have been proposed.

The Duke lacrosse team "rape" case, ten years later

It is easy to buy into the narrative of “good guys vs bad guys” when reading about crime stories. In my younger days, I certainly bought into it. And while most police and prosecutors are good people, there is no doubt that there are not only bad apples but openly evil people serving as both. Ten years ago my journey began in becoming much more skeptical of law enforcement and much more uncompromising on civil rights and due process.

March 13 was ten years since the fateful party that led to convicted murderer Crystal Gail Mangum fabricating charges of “rape” against the Duke “University” lacrosse team, and thoroughly corrupt prosecutor Mike Nifong pursuing a conviction despite knowing the charges were false and withholding evidence that proved the players were innocent in order to frame them for the fabricated “rape” that never happened.

Ann Coulter had some excellent observations shortly after the story broke. Here is one of the best:

You can severely reduce your chances of having a false accusation of rape leveled against you if you don’t hire strange women to come to your house and take their clothes off for money.

Obviously, no one deserves to be falsely accused of rape, and no one deserves to have a thoroughly corrupt prosecutor try to frame them for a “crime” that they not only did not commit, but never even happened. But if the Duke lacrosse team were respectable young men who did not hire women to take their clothes off for money, convicted murderer Crystal Gail Mangum would have never had the opportunity to fabricate allegations of “rape” against them.

But that is not the real story here. No, that would be the criminal actions Mike Nifong, especially intentionally hiding evidence that proved his victims were innocent. Nifong attempted to frame innocent men in order to advance his political career. He was disbarred, but served a pathetic one day in jail for his crimes against the Constitution.

Nifong is the worst actor, but not the only guilty party. The faculty of Duke so-called “University” openly went after innocent men for a “rape” that was fabricated out of thin air, and the administration (particularly Richard Brodhead) trampled over due process and civil rights by banning the men from campus. This was one of the most shameful debacles in the history of higher education.

The fabricated “rape” in 2006 serves as a reminder why we must never compromise on civil rights and due process, and how we must root out and expose corruption in the criminal justice system.

Previous Articles:

Nineteen years ago today: The best day of my life.

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. — James 4:14

Nineteen years ago today, I walked into Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne to have my left testicle removed in a procedure known as an inguinal orchiectomy. (Click here for the guest editorial I wrote in 1997, including the warning signs for testicular cancer.) It may sound very strange to hear this, but that was the best day of my life.

At 23 years old, I was a nominal Christian. I had graduated from a Christian high school, and I had attended church through elementary school, but from junior high onward I had little interest in going to church. Outside of mandatory academic work, I never read or studied the Bible. But in the days before Spring Break and the week of the break, I came face-to-face with my own mortality. I was at the beginning of my adult life and finally getting active in politics, which had been my dream for a while. Now in the prime of my life I had to deal with something that could kill me.

But while facing my own mortality was enough to call me back to God, I was still not serious about following Him. I am convinced that the additional suffering I endured over the next decade (especially a great deal of physical suffering) was a gift of God to call me to faith. Facing death and physical suffering is a reminder that our time is borrowed from God, and can be taken from us at any moment. I have no idea what my life would be like today if I never had cancer, but I am sure it would not be nearly as good as it is.

I still have a long way to go and it is often frustrating to see how peers my age have progressed spiritually when I spent so many years stagnant – a Believer, but not growing and falling back into sin. I will always struggle with sin and my old nature. All Christians do. But I thank God for Christian friends and a church that won’t let me go back to what I was twenty years ago. I also thank God for the heavy responsibility He has placed on me in being a father.

My advice to young Christian men is this: Get married and have children. There is nothing more sanctifying than taking care of a little one who depends on you for everything. You have not really lived until you have stumbled into work bleary-eyed and half awake on three total hours of often-interrupted sleep because your baby will not sleep unless he is being held. But the Bible is true when it says children are a blessing from the Lord, while our culture is built on lies.