Civil Discourse Now

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

All Blog Posts (1,166)

Termination of parental rights

Many people are unaware that States can take a child away from parents, despite SCOTUS holding a parent’s interest in upbringing of her child is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by the courts. Traxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000).

Indiana has two procedures, that work in tandem. First is to ask a juvenile court to find a Child in Need of Services (“ChINS”). Second, after a child has been out of a parent’s custody for 15 of the most recent 22…


Added by Mark Small on January 19, 2021 at 9:32am — No Comments

trump only should receive the right kind of fanfare as he leaves

Mega-stress ages Presidents more rapidly. “Before” photos have fewer wrinkles and gray hair. James Buchanan, until January 20, 2017, was considered by many to have been the worst POTUS, He told his successor how he felt.

As they rode together by carriage to Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration, Buchanan said: “My dear sir, if you are as happy in entering the White House as I shall feel on returning to Wheatland, you are a happy man indeed.” Klein, “James Buchanan: A Biography,” 1962, p.…


Added by Mark Small on January 17, 2021 at 2:41pm — 1 Comment

History: guns in Congress very bad idea

History tells us why members of Congress should not be armed in the chambers of either the House or the Senate. On May 22, 1856, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, a Republican, delivered a speech that denounced slavery. Preston Brooks took issue.

Brooks, Democratic Party member of the South Carolina delegation to the U.S. House, was furious. He went to the Senate and beat Sumner “into unconsciousness with a heavy rubber cane.” Klein, President James Buchanan: A Biography, 1962, p.…


Added by Mark Small on January 16, 2021 at 7:38am — No Comments

To Indiana's GOP U.S. House Reps: where's trump?

To GOP U.S. Reps from Indiana: You have a lot of gall to criticize the Democratic Party as its Reps voted to impeach your “Fearless Leader” a/k/a Person # 1, the current occupant of the Oval Office. As our nation faces multiple crises, where is trump?

President-elect Biden took to the airwaves on January 14. He announced specific steps he would take to address COVID and our many economic crises. Part of a President’s job is to reassure and give comfort to the American people. Biden…


Added by Mark Small on January 15, 2021 at 8:49am — No Comments

GOP wants unity? Gosh, let's barf

After all 7 GOP U.S. Reps from Indiana voted against impeachment of the current occupant of the Oval Office, a common theme developed. As Rep Jim Banks said: “The Democrat party is dividing America when we should be doing everything we can to unite the country.”

Of several definitions for the verb “unite,” none seems appropriate in this context. A genuine desire to “unite” does not start with an insult. The Democratic Party has two letters more than Rep Banks’s range. The shortened…


Added by Mark Small on January 14, 2021 at 5:14pm — 1 Comment

Problems aren't caused by the "left"

What got you so mad? The left?

You voted for people who gave tax cuts to billionaires

who used the tax cuts to ship factory jobs overseas.

What got you so mad? The left?

We are pacifists, but you still live in the USA

with the largest military in history & killing people


What got you so mad? The left?

You cheered on the law & order crowd,

& it’s made damn sure to push private prisons

& tried to keep them…


Added by Mark Small on January 12, 2021 at 6:17pm — No Comments

Minority of hatred has no right to control 1 of the 2 major parties

A reply to a post of mine today: “The Tea Party ... did not take over the GOP but excreted from the GOP what we all call RINOS.” This equated non-tea baggers to manure, displayed ignorance of the GOP’s history and, inadvertently, made a point.

The GOP progressive roots were pro-abolition, grew by “busting trusts” in the 1890s and saw greater percentages of Congressional Republicans vote for civil rights legislation. President Nixon signed into law legislation to protect the…


Added by Mark Small on January 10, 2021 at 8:39pm — No Comments

trump only part of the threat to USA & World

History is our past, sets groundwork for our present and can indicate our future. trump poses a threat to a free society and to World peace. Greater threats to what we value include forces trump symbolizes - ignorance and hatred.

Racism was on display when white idiots sashayed into The Capitol on January 6. Their anger has its roots in slavery, an institution that was legal (1620-1865) longer than it has been banned in our history. Its effects are felt today.

If the U.S.…


Added by Mark Small on January 9, 2021 at 9:45am — 1 Comment

Take steps to dissolve corporation known as Indiana GOP

The Indiana Republican Party (“GOP”) is a not-for-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Indiana. That corporate status can be revoked. If the corporation abuses its status (I.C. 23-17-24-1, et seq) the Indiana Attorney General can initiate actions.

Under Indiana’s RICO law (IC 35-45-6-2 and 34-24-2-1), if a corporation acts as a racketeer influenced corrupt organization, the prosecuting attorney in the county where such acts occurs can initiate the…


Added by Mark Small on January 7, 2021 at 9:37am — No Comments

Malcolm X was right & this violence has historic roots

Wednesday afternoon, President-elect Joe Biden spoke to calm the nation. Two points: 1) this was a job the lame duck should have performed, so I hope Joe is on the clock; 2) he said the mob takeover of The Capitol was not America.

The reason I disagree with the President-elect on the second point is that if we ignore history, we shall repeat that history. Hatred and violence were part of the founding of the USA. 1789-1865: Slavery is not a benevolent system.

Running in parallel…


Added by Mark Small on January 6, 2021 at 8:04pm — No Comments

Coup attempt warrants trump removal

Today, in a speech to the equivalent of Hitler’s brown shorts, trump vowed he’d never concede and incited a mob. The mob then moved to and into The Capitol. trump later tweeted that protestors should be “peaceful.”

The President is supposed to enforce the law.

Mob invasion of The Capitol violates the law. trump should have told the protestors to withdraw - but that was not his goal. trump has now put us on a level of countries controlled by dictators.

If the Vice President…


Added by Mark Small on January 6, 2021 at 4:12pm — No Comments

Emetic effects of Hannity

FOX entertainment division - a/k/a “news” - has an emetic effect and rarely is on my TV. An exception is when I want to see hear what the enemy has to say. In a few moments, Sean Hannity warned the danger the USA faces if the two Georgia Senate seats go blue.

Hannity needs to go back to frame carpentry. The “danger” to this country comes from people he has backed. His pal in the Oval Office acted in callous disregard of people’s lives at the start of the pandemic.

If blood were…


Added by Mark Small on January 3, 2021 at 4:28pm — 1 Comment

Indiana COVID vaccine: outdated lists & vials sitting on shelves

“The Far Side” once had a female & male couple in a fall-out shelter, nuclear war having ravaged the Earth above them. They’re surrounded by canned goods stacked floor-to-ceiling. The caption is one saying to the other: “I told you to pack a can opener!”

Planning has been absent during the pandemic. Federal level: the soon-to-be-former occupant of the Oval Office has cheated at golf while over 300K have died. Indiana: planning has not been much better.

First responders are…


Added by Mark Small on January 2, 2021 at 10:15am — No Comments

Original intent: don't look to the State conventions

Justice Scalia made “original intent” (what the white male landowners who wrote or who wrote and ratified The Constitution meant) a popular way to construe provisions of The Constitution. Today I want to discuss the state conventions. (I’ll use abbreviations for each State.)

The main Convention was held in Philadelphia from May to September, 1787. Twelve of the 13 States sent delegates to The Convention. RI sent none. Some people believe we should look to the State conventions to…


Added by Mark Small on December 31, 2020 at 9:22am — 1 Comment

Time to reduce numbers of guns

Language itself is an issue when the topic is “guns,” and those who call themselves “gun rights advocates” go apoplectic and justify others calling them “gun nuts.” If people are scared to talk about gun violence, all of us lose.

At suggestions limits be placed on sale of “assault rifles,” I’ve heard people who love guns almost sneer and correct the speaker, and say there are no such weapons. (Hint: doesn’t matter the term you use, you’ll be called out if you favor limits.)



Added by Mark Small on December 26, 2020 at 1:45pm — 1 Comment

Money can be obtained for real $timulu$

COVID has devastated this country. Over 300K are dead and tens of millions of people thrown into economic chaos because there was no leadership from the Federal government. People need far more than $600 to exist.

There are several ways to obtain money for people in need. One: we need to slash a defense budget that has been absurdly high for decades. We will be more secure when we kill fewer people. We need factories, not aircraft carriers.

After all, access to our defense…


Added by Mark Small on December 23, 2020 at 10:36am — No Comments

Lou Dobbs might be an ass, but ...

Lou Dobbs is an ass. I can say that because he’s 1) a public figure 2) engaged in political speech and 3) such expression has the greatest protection in this country. Oh - and truth’s a defense against a claim of defamation.

The last few days Lou and his pals at Fox have backtracked claims they made about two corporations - I won’t name them - involved in voting machines and software. Rudy Guiliani described one of these companies as a “front” and hinted they rigged the 2020…


Added by Mark Small on December 21, 2020 at 9:03pm — No Comments

Ban TIFs: the "other" pandemic that rages

Local tax policies do not lend themselves to sexy treatment in the media. Constitutional crises, after all, only pop up every few generations. However, two pandemics rage across the USA. One is COVID-19. The other is TIFs. We need to keep our eyes on both.

TIFs are a favorite tool of ruthless advocates of socialism: “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…


Added by Mark Small on December 19, 2020 at 9:00am — No Comments

Rich people have soaked us long enough: bring back estate taxes

On January 20 the man who has brought this country to its financial knees will cede the control he has held for four years. On that day Vladimir Putin will see the stooge he placed in The Oval Office leave for parts unknown.

To recover financially, this country has to adopt traditional GOP positions. Since so many people - 300K at last count - are dying as a result of trump ineptitude, this seems as good of a time as any to resuscitate the estate tax.

Rich bastards conned…


Added by Mark Small on December 16, 2020 at 4:41pm — 1 Comment

Letter to the GOP's State Chair

December 15 e-mail from Indiana GOP state chair Kyle Hupfer: “Chuck Schumer is determined to win [Georgia’s Senate] seats and erase our GOP majority in the Senate, and we can’t let that happen. The Senate might be our last line of defense ...

...against the radical left and their progressive policies! Please join in helping us defend our Republican majority in the Senate by supporting Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in Georgia.” I could not let this “funder” go by without…


Added by Mark Small on December 16, 2020 at 8:11am — No Comments

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