Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

All Blog Posts (1,166)

How we can be & have been harmed by erosion of separation of government & religion

Tonight at 8 p.m. on “Mouthwash,” a FB podcast: “Separation of Church and state.” Micah Beckwith and I shall debate. There are reasons religion and government have been kept separate in this country. The Reformation was on the Framers’ minds in 1787. Let’s address today.

If religion is to be a part of our government, since a majority of adults (Pew Research, January, 2021) profess to be Christians, one may infer that god would be in charge. (Mr Beckwith, et al, would insist.) Problems…

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Added by Mark Small on April 13, 2021 at 12:54pm — No Comments

Beckwith's car-video today re: Constitution & tomorrow's debate 2d form

Each of us should have a basic understanding of The Constitution. So should Micah Beckwith, who will debate me Tuesday, 8 p.m., on the Facebook podcast “Mouthwash.” Mr Beckwith is a minister north of Indianapolis and ran as a GOP candidate for INCD5 in 2020.

Mr Beckwith, on car-cam today, said the Constitution is a living document that changes with cultures. “We’ve seen amendments come and go. Like ah abolition. We got rid of alcohol then you see the 21st Amendment comes back and…

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Added by Mark Small on April 12, 2021 at 8:18pm — No Comments

Beckwith's car-video today re: Constitution & tomorrow's debate

Each of us should have a basic understanding of The Constitution. So should Micah Beckwith, who will debate me Tuesday, 8 p.m., on the Facebook podcast “Mouthwash.” Mr Beckwith is a minister north of Indianapolis and ran as a GOP candidate for INCD5 in 2020.

Mr Beckwith, on car-cam today, said the Constitution is a living document that changes with cultures. “We’ve seen amendments come and go. Like ah abolition. We got rid of alcohol then you see the 21st Amendment comes back and…

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Added by Mark Small on April 12, 2021 at 8:11pm — No Comments

Separation of church & State. History is a complex thing.

Tuesday at 8 p.m. on “Mouthwash,” a FB podcast, minister Micah Beckwith and I shall debate separation of church and State. Mr Beckwith claims to be a “constitutionalist” and seems to believe the original intent of the founders of this country was this country be Christian.

1) If we discuss The Constitution, the people who wrote it are called The Framers. This is not mere word play. The National Archives calls the 55 delegates “Framers,” as delegates referred to themselves as building…

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Added by Mark Small on April 12, 2021 at 3:23pm — No Comments

Fun debate Tuesday at 8: separation of church and State

Short-term it is easier to ignore people who hold abhorrent views than to engage with them. We like to remain in “bubbles.” I ask that people please watch the FB podcast “Mouthwash,” hosted by John Schmitz, Tuesday at 8 p.m., for a debate about separation of church and State.

My opponent will be Hamilton County minister Micah Beckwith. When Mr Beckwith ran for the 2020 GOP nomination for INCD5, his website noted his (1) “deep understanding” of U.S. history” and (2) how he wanted to…

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Added by Mark Small on April 11, 2021 at 3:37pm — No Comments

Tues, 8 p.m. on "Mouthwash": Micah Beckwith v Me.

On Tuesday, at 8 p.m., on “Mouthwash,” a podcast produced and hosted by John Schmitz, I shall debate separation of church and State with Micah Beckwith, a pastor at several churches in counties north of Indy. This should be fun and informative.

Mr Beckwith was a candidate in the 2020 GOP primary for INCD5. His campaign website notes his “deep understanding of American history....” and he’s “answering the call to take the fight to Washington to defend true CONSTITUTIONAL conservative…

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Added by Mark Small on April 10, 2021 at 9:34pm — No Comments

AMBER alerts place us on "high alert" but not be effective in protecting kids

Few things are scarier than a self-righteous mob bent on saving lives and keeping people safe, facts be damned. In the middle of the night my cell phone went off. I looked at the screen. An AMBER alert had been issued. Another went off a few minutes later.

Little kids should not be in jeopardy. However, despite news items of individual successes or articles published by those who advocate for the system itself, a peer-review study suggests the alerts are not so…

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Added by Mark Small on April 7, 2021 at 8:00pm — 2 Comments

Gov't bears the burden to prove why it has the power to make drugs illegal

All drugs should be legal. No experiences have altered my belief, held since the mid-1970s. The burden, in a land “that’s known as freedom,” should be on government to justify laws that jail people who possession a plant.

The default position should be that unless something is intrinsically wrong, e.g., outright murder of a human being, that thing should be legal. Reasons given for the “war on drugs” are based on a false notion that government should protect us against…

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Added by Mark Small on April 5, 2021 at 8:03pm — 1 Comment

AG Rokita's job is not to "strengthen economic ties"

Todd Rokita, Indiana’s AG, posted on Facebook on April 1: “Today, I was grateful to meet with Raju Chinthala, founder and president of the Indiana India Business Council. We value the important role this group plays in strengthening economic ties between Indiana and India.”

The AG’s “rights, powers, and duties” are created by statutes. (See I.C. § 4-6-1-6.) The statutes have been construed as giving the AG sole responsibility for the legal representation of the State. State ex rel…

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Added by Mark Small on April 2, 2021 at 3:37pm — No Comments

GA voting law: not just incredibly bad "optics"

Georgia’s new voting laws provide “bad optics.” An African-American female member of their legislature knocked on the office door to witness the governor, flanked by white males and seated under a painting of a plantation, sign the changes into law.

“Q” enthusiasts doubt reality and have no room to complain. Rep Park Cannon wanted to see the signing of the measure into law. “Q” people are feign to acknowledge down is up, trump lost or that a mass shooting is any more than a bad day.…

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Added by Mark Small on April 2, 2021 at 5:42am — No Comments

If some in GOP want theocracy, then say it,

Offensive is an item, in the Republican Newsletter, by Indiana’s State Party chair, Kyle Hupfer: “On Good Friday tomorrow please join us in remembering that Christ gave the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.” Mr Hupfer wrote this in his official capacity.

The Indiana Constitution protects Mr Hupfer’s rights to religious opinions and conscience (Art. I, sec. 3) and religion (Art. I, sec. 4.) Some in the GOP want a theocracy: “Government of a state by those who are believed to be or…

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Added by Mark Small on April 1, 2021 at 6:12pm — No Comments

Rokita's over-reach in Office of AG

All of Indiana AG’s “rights, powers, and duties” are created by statute. I.C. § 4-6-1-6. Office of AG was created by statutes, in 1889, construed as giving the AG sole responsibility for the legal representation of the State. State ex rel Sendak v Marion Sup. Ct, 268 Ind. 3, 8 (Ind. 1978).

The AG shall consult with and advise Indiana prosecuting attorneys, and when, in the AG's judgment, the interest of the public requires it, attend, and assist in, the trial of any party accused of…

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Added by Mark Small on March 31, 2021 at 8:50pm — 1 Comment

NCAA conducts tutorial in (not a) free market economy

Indianapolis! With the NCAA women’s (congrats to IU!) and men’s basketball tournaments at play, we can see how capitalism plays out: like a single-elimination tournament with no re-set for the next season. Businesses do not like competition.

Republicans do not define “socialism,” but Oxford Languages does: “a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a…

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Added by Mark Small on March 29, 2021 at 8:30pm — No Comments

We need comprehensive Fed approach to health crises, COVID and gun violence

Last evening on Facebook I pointed out, as I have consistently for the past couple of years, that we lack CDC-sponsored, peer-review studies on gun violence, particularly whether guns, overall, stop more violence than they cause.

A person posted a link to a CDC pamphlet- between 60K and 2+ million defensive gun usages (DGU) occur per year - and noted “CDC.” The person did not bother to look at the pamphlet. I did. The stats were from other sources, not CDC. More importantly?

We…

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Added by Mark Small on March 25, 2021 at 6:08pm — 1 Comment

Gun syllogisms: da!

If guns prevent violent crimes, and the USA has nearly twice as many firearms per 100 people (120.5) as second place (Falkland Islands, 62.1; Small Firearms Report, 2017), we should have virtually NO violent crime.

Maybe the problem is those pesky “gun-free zones” where peace-loving people, in disregard of the violence they cause, shilly-shally about. Some examples of “gun-free zones” are the NRA’s annual convention, CPAC, and my living room. Okay, well then...

Maybe the…

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Added by Mark Small on March 23, 2021 at 5:49pm — No Comments

STFU: Stop gun violence NOW

Gun nuts, those who value guns uber alles, have an odd habit, after a mass shooting. Gun nuts scorn those who question gun nuts’ odd interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. Implicit is the idea that gun violence only can be addressed in the absence of mass shootings.

Freedom of speech necessarily includes the right to call for gun control. To be clear, residents of Tombstone, Arizona, and Dodge City, Kansas, enacted strict laws and restricted guns. If guns prevent gun violence, the USA…

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Added by Mark Small on March 22, 2021 at 8:40pm — No Comments

An anger so deep...

We are stewards of the Earth, in our care for each other and for future generations. To protect the environment is not a silly amusement but a matter of our survival. If pollution is good, then why do owners of sources of toxins not live downwind from their creations?

The less-than-middle-class white people who still support trump are far (1) less likely to benefit from tax cuts he gave the billionaire class (of which he is not a member) and (2) more likely to die earlier from COVID…

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Added by Mark Small on March 21, 2021 at 11:33am — No Comments

Entities that can act but not suffer consequences: political parties

Two corporations write the laws to determine who writes the laws. Heywood Broun said media aren’t biased toward big business; the media are big business. The two major political parties go beyond bias toward corporatism. They are impenetrable corporations.

For a light read: Developments in the State Regulation of Major and Minor Political Parties, 82 Cornell LRev 109 (1996). “[P]olitical scientists have found that the Democrats and Republicans ‘have built themselves virtually…

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Added by Mark Small on March 18, 2021 at 8:14pm — No Comments

Last evening's "Mouthwash" podcast & Croddy's idiocy

John Schmitz, both a Client and a friend of mine, invited me, Chris Moore and Robert Croddy to be guests for last evening’s episode of Mr Schmitz’s podcast “Mouthwash.” Mr. Croddy was an early supporter of number 45 who was given the 86 by the American electorate.

Our topic was: “the fix is in, ‘fairness in elections.’” The context: the March 6 Marion County GOP caucus. All four participants are precinct committee people (PCs) and had attended the caucus, where Mr. Schmitz staged an…

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Added by Mark Small on March 17, 2021 at 6:00am — No Comments

Corporations actually control our gov'ts

Corporations are not evil. “A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law ... [I]t possesses only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it.” Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 17 U.S. 518, 536 (1819).

Problem 1: that second “only” can be dropped. Problem 2: shares of corporations can be owned by any person or corporation. Problem 3: after Citizens United Money can spend on elections without much…

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Added by Mark Small on March 15, 2021 at 8:35pm — 1 Comment

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