Civil Discourse Now

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

Mark Small's Blog (1,222)

Georgia vote audit: reasons for secret ballots

We have a right to vote. We also have a right not to be persecuted or attacked for how we cast our votes. In Indiana a person cannot be compelled to disclose how she or he voted. In Georgia a court has ordered that absentee ballots in Fulton County be turned over for an “audit.”

To be clear: GOP election officials in Georgia have said there were no improprieties in the 2020 election in Georgia. What should concern anyone with brains or a conscience is the prospect of advocates for a…


Added by Mark Small on May 24, 2021 at 4:55pm — No Comments

"Irrefutable scientific fact" human life begins at conception, as Rep Jacob asserts? No, no and no.

5/18 (tomorrow), 9 pm: “Mouthwash,” John Schmitz’s FB podcast, features a debate between me and Indiana State Rep John Jacob on women’s reproductive rights. Among inflammatory bits on Rep Jacob’s campaign website is something meant to lay all doubt to rest.

Rep Jacob says: “It is an irrefutable scientific fact that human life begins at conception.” We need to define key words. 1) “conception”: “The union of the sperm and the ovum. Synonymous with fertilization.” Medinet; 2)…


Added by Mark Small on May 17, 2021 at 6:25pm — 1 Comment

Tuesday debate w/Rep John Jacob: abortion

On Tuesday, May 18, at 9 pm I’ll “discuss” (debate) women’s reproductive rights (or, as right-wing people are programmed to say, the murder of millions of beautiful little lives that an all-loving deity can’t save from surgical procedures) on “Mouthwash”, John Schmitz’s FB podcast.

My opponent will be State Rep. John Jacob, whose views are entrenched. My view is that I am not a woman, cannot get pregnant, and so should not tell women what to do with their lives. (So why are two males…


Added by Mark Small on May 16, 2021 at 5:59am — No Comments

"Sniff the Glove": Prosecutors' demands for a party that seeks discoivery

Justice requires open Courts and public trials. (U.S. Const. Amend. VI; Ind. Const. Art. I, § 12.) In the name of efficiency Courts substitute computers for people. Courts invoke privacy and a person’s security as they shut out public scrutiny.

Whether brought by the Government, the State, the People or Commonwealth, the prosecution has great advantages. First, it chooses the charges and when to file. Second, it has assets such as police and labs. At the very least the Accused has a…


Added by Mark Small on May 13, 2021 at 9:10pm — No Comments

GOP in Virginia: reverting to selection of candidates by a very few

If you want to see how corporations would run elections so as to be free of human interference, look at the Commonwealth of Virginia and how the two “major” political parties have opted for two different ways to nominate candidates for Governor, Lieutenant and Attorney General.

Democratic Party candidates are on primary ballots. Voting started April 23 and on June 8 is in-person voting. A voter is not required to show proof of, or declare loyalty to, a political party to vote in that…


Added by Mark Small on May 11, 2021 at 6:35pm — No Comments

Vowels cost $50: FB podcast "Mouthwash", 5/11 at 9 pm

Every important governmental decision on which you have an opinion - women’s reproductive rights, military budgets, voting rights, U.S. military invasions, poverty, military budgets, private prisons, rights of indigenous peoples, military budgets, discrimination, anything military...

Your opinion, as an American citizen and voter, ultimately, means nothing. ***t! ***k! ***k ***k**! (care to buy a vowel?) Expletives cannot draw attention sufficient to a fact: there is little chance to…


Added by Mark Small on May 10, 2021 at 9:00pm — No Comments

"Mouthwash" 5/11 on FB at 9: 2-party Hangover

On Tuesday, May 11 at 9 p.m. John Schmitz hosts a discussion of “The 2-Party Hangover” on “Mouthwash,” his podcast on Facebook. John Schmitz invited me and Andrew Horning, who has run for U.S. House and U.S. Senate as a candidate in the Libertarian Party.

Political parties are odd as corporations. The most American of acts is to contract, protected by the original Constitution (Art. I, § 10) before any Rights were enshrined by the Bill of that name.

Only individuals, partnerships…


Added by Mark Small on May 9, 2021 at 9:29pm — No Comments

Armageddon, abortion & absence of nuclear morality

Few stories end with all (ALL) the “bad guys” killed. The Book of Revelations, the last book of the New Testament, ends with the battle of Armageddon where good fights evil and the “righteous” walk away for a nifty eternity. Morality isn’t all about abortion.

God did not write any of the books of either of the testaments, but people who believe he did include the book of Revelations as divinely written. If pressed for proof their fall-back position is to say the books are divinely…


Added by Mark Small on May 7, 2021 at 6:23pm — No Comments

Evangelicals and word play on abortion

Christians’ lines between “us” and “them” have been many and varied over centuries. Romans saw believers as a sect of Judaism until their Emperor converted. Rendering unto Caesar became kosher. The Reformation was 100 years of bloody war, Rome vs Protestants.

In the 1970s and ‘80s a belief that became more widely spread was fundamentalism, a belief the bible is the literal word of god. Evangelicals hold that belief, perhaps because simplicity holds so much appeal. A “strict…


Added by Mark Small on May 6, 2021 at 7:44pm — No Comments

Evangelicals: do they have the capacity to be moral?

There is a difference between an individual relying on a particular belief as a basis for her or his morality, and believers of a particular sect of a religion imposing their religion on others in the form of a theocracy. In the latter instance, advocates must prove their deity’s existence.

For example: a person has the right to believe in Zeus and the other Greek gods. Few people today believe those deities exist or existed. If someone seeks to dictate to us based on tenets of a…


Added by Mark Small on May 4, 2021 at 2:01pm — 2 Comments

Abortion, theocracy & existence of supreme deity

There are basic truths about abortion. If you believe there should be fewer abortions, you favor free and ready availability of contraceptives and sex education, as studies show that is the best approach to avoid unwanted pregnancies. After all, people will have sex.

If leaders of your specific sect of religion say (1) contraceptives & sex education violate laws of the god you worship and (2) our government must obey that god’s laws, then you must prove: (a) our government is a…


Added by Mark Small on May 2, 2021 at 8:38pm — 1 Comment

GOP Indiana chair Hupfer's weekly email & its absurdities

Titled “Stark Contrasts,” Indiana GOP chair Kyle Hupfer’s weekly email says President Biden’s speech was “another stark reminder of the differences between Indiana and Washington DC.” He did not mean that Hoosiers have full representation in Congress unlike citizens in D.C.

First absurdity: economics. Mr Hupfer is alarmed by “reckless spending” by President Biden and “his handlers.” A person who supported the immediate past administration and its absurd economic “policies” is not in a…


Added by Mark Small on April 30, 2021 at 6:30pm — 1 Comment


Roots of Economics and Political Science. Value is “stuff”: land, natural resources, knowledge, labor, buildings, and other things like services, manufactured products and information. Political power has a lot to do with how stuff is controlled, by whom and how they are selected.

Control exists on a continuum, neither end of which works. A “free market” does not work as the USA learned in the late 1800s: e.g., factories dump poison in water and air without controls. Total control…


Added by Mark Small on April 29, 2021 at 6:33pm — No Comments

"Santorum" is frothy & ignorant about our history

Rick Santorum is ignorant about many things. We can include pre-Columbian history. His April 23 assertion to a right wing youth group that “We came here and created a blank slate, we birthed a nation from nothing” is not true. I doubt he has read “1491” by Charles C. Mann.

Mann describes the extent and history of civilization in “The New World.” By 1621 “Europeans had been visiting New England for at least a century.” (p. 35.) Indigenous peoples saw Europeans as “often unbearably…


Added by Mark Small on April 27, 2021 at 6:32pm — 1 Comment

Right to remain silent? Not if DCS is involved

The State is the State. Becker v State, 992 N.E.2d 697, 701-02 (Ind. 2013). Whether the police,

Department of Correction (DOC), a county prosecutor or Department of Child Services (DCS). If you have children, you should be scared for them.

There’s one letter difference between “DOC”, the arm of Indiana government in charge of prisons, and DCS, the arm that terminates parents’ rights to, and relations with, their children. Our State and Federal Constitutions protect us in criminal…


Added by Mark Small on April 25, 2021 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Militarized societies are violent - as we are

The “elephant in the room,” a major problem everyone chooses to ignore, is not the GOP. The far- far-right elements of the GOP have been raucous (and made the far-right elements of the party look sane). The military is the pachyderm in our parlor.

Members of Congress, “D” or “R,” lack the guts to question the “defense budget.” In years past, Congress has dumped more cash on the Pentagon than the bottom-line number on its wish list. A common line of “conservatives” is that money…


Added by Mark Small on April 23, 2021 at 7:48pm — No Comments


Jamil Abdullah al-Amin’s statement that “Violence is as American as cherry pie” is difficult to dispute. Since “the shot heard ‘round the World” at Lexington & Concord on 4/19/1775, our history has been one of warfare, battles and violence.

Some of the warfare (e.g., WWII) and battles (e.g., by Union forces in the Civil War) were for values, freedom and justice, for which our nation long has expressed pride. Other warfare and many battles were wrong. Violence undergirded it…


Added by Mark Small on April 20, 2021 at 7:18pm — 1 Comment

Guns kill people ... Guns kill people ... Guns kill people...

We need doses of truth, especially today. [A friend said, if we did not get the message after a bunch of 6-year-olds got murdered, we never will change laws about firearms.] A notion of “freedom” is hand-in-shoe with some people and the 2nd Amendment.

Each day I drive past a gun store/shooting range on the way to the post office. [It’s easier to buy a gun, in some places, than it is to register to vote so racists exercise their franchise via the 2nd Amendment. Huh.] On weekends the…


Added by Mark Small on April 18, 2021 at 7:47pm — No Comments

Despite Beckwith's vehemence, Washington was a deist

This past Tuesday, during my debate with Micah Beckwith, a minister of churches north of Indy, on the topic “separation of church and State, Mr Beckwith insisted the “founders” of this country were (1) Christian and (2) intended there be no “wall” between church and state.

Mr Beckwith was vehement that Washington was not “just,” but a devout Christian. That point is important because: (1) Washington chaired The Constitutional Convention and was first President and (2) It illustrates…


Added by Mark Small on April 18, 2021 at 5:42am — 1 Comment

Ban the "Gun & Knife Show" from the State Fairgrounds

Last night a mass shooting occurred at Indy’s FedEx facility. This weekend is the Indy Gun & Knife Show “Show”). Hypocrisy: “act of pretending to have a character or beliefs, principles, etc., that one does not possess.” Exhibitors can’t “carry” & live rounds are banned at the Show.

A radio ad for the Show used to feature voice caricatures of Harvey (7-foot tall pookah rabbit) or Barney Fife. The ad for this Show had no such voices. Announcer simply stated dates, times and…


Added by Mark Small on April 16, 2021 at 6:33am — 1 Comment

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