Civil Discourse Now

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

April 2021 Blog Posts (20)

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…

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

Socialism?

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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

Violence

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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

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

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