All posts by Tim J. Clark

Information Ecosystem – Rural Communities

The Center for Rural Engagement at Indiana University provided the funding for this exploratory research.  Additional guidance and support provided by Elaine Monaghan at the Media School.

About Kinzen.  Kinzen is a technology company that helps citizens engage with the publishers who inform, inspire and empower them. We’re building tools for individuals and publishers to access and present personalized news and information.

Jan 16, 2020. Understanding the Information Ecosystem in Rural Indiana, By Hannal Lennon.

Jan 15, 2020. The Challenges for Local Publishers in Indiana By Hannah Lennon —  Brown County Matters (BCM) Facebook Post of the article

Brown County – Input provided by community members at a meeting hosted by the Community Foundation

  • BC League of Women Voters – LWVBC Newsletter December 2019  Three Perspectives on the Media Discussion by IU Center for Rural Engagement (page 8-9.. Comments provided by members for the Brown County League of Women Voters – Pam Raider, Robyn Rosenberg-Bowman, and Tim Clark



Is America in The Midst of a Cold Civil War?

Definitions  – OneLook Dictionary

  • Civil War – A  war fought between different groups of people within the same country – McMillan
  • Cold War – a condition of rivalry, mistrust, and often open hostility short of violence

The polarity within the country involving political, economic, cultural and social issues symbolized by red states (conservative to right-leaning) and blue states (liberal to left-leaning) is commonly acknowledged. However, does this division as some commentators and scholars have concluded, represent a cold civil war with the potential of going hot?

One of the first steps in leading positive change is recognizing there might be a  problem.  The bigger the potential problem, the harder it may be to recognize and accept, and the easier to ignore. This situation is referred to as cognitive dissonance where the truth may be evident but fear of the implications prevents acknowledgment where ignorance is considered bliss.

Following is a selection of articles and presentations (video, audio) from a variety of sources that support an assessment that America is in a Cold Civil War.

How To Stop a Civil War, The Atlantic Monthy, Dec 2019.  (History: The Atlantic was established in 1857)

  • A Nation Coming Apart, The meaning of the American idea in 2019 By JEFFREY GOLDBERG

  • Counter position – Audio episode  – The Public Square, American Policy Roundtable, Jan 2020. Newsletter:  Four Minutes for America, Jan 4, 2020, Vol 36, Issue 1, How to Stop a Civil War.
    • The best way to stop a civil war? Don’t start one.
    • Woodrow Wilson (1913 – 1921) was the first U.S. President to attack the founding principles of America. The Progressives that follow him have continued the (civil) war ever since.
      • “The Atlantic has seen a thing or two, including the first Civil War. The longevity is quite respectable. It is sad, however, that their writers seemed to have missed the start of the second Civil War by at least 100 years.”
    • “Progressive insist we have outgrown the ancient myths. So it is now up to the government to define and grant all our rights and the task of the administrative state to make sure everything flows to a magical place called “Equality.”
    • “The American system of government was designed to be incredibly flexible. Our systems expand and contract largely upon the consent of the governed with checks and balances and separation of powers to protect the God-giv en rights of the individual.”

Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals, was  written by community activist Saul D. Alinsky and published in 1971.  “The methods Alinsky developed and applied were described in his book as a guide on future community organizing for the new generation of radicals emerging from the 1960s.”

  • Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins— or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer

America’s Cold Civil War, Heritage Foundation, Panel Interview – Video, Jun 17, 2019

  • Is America in a cold civil war? Many prominent commentators think so. And not without reason. As the culture wars of the past several decades have intensified, the country now finds itself deeply divided. Americans disagree not just about politics, but also about foundational questions regarding the meaning of equality and very the purpose of our nation. As Americans grow apart in our understanding on these fundamentals, we seem to be becoming two distinct nations living in the same country. What remains unclear is where these growing differences will lead, if they can be resolved, and what principle will unify us in the future. Please join us as our panelists share their analysis of America’s divisions.
    • Ends in three ways: (1) Victory – we win, you lose; (2) Permanent cease-fire – live and let live, and (3) succession – we go our way, they go theirs.

Jonathan Roth – Civil War Coming to America? Nov 18, 2018.  (About: Jonathan Roth). Roth does not believe a civil war is imminent

  • Questions for anyone saying there is going to be a civil war:
    • Who is going to lead this war?
    • What will the ultimate aims be?
    • What will the nature of the fighting be and who is going to do it?
      • Causes for Civil War are primarily economic and not grievance based
      • Media is an instigator  – “if it bleeds, it leads”
  • Rasmussen Poll (Jun 2018):  Is the United States about to engage in another civil war?  31% of likely voters said yes at some point within the next five years; almost 60% of all voters are concerned that those opposed to Trump’s policies will resort to violence
  • Pew Research Center – The Partisan Divide on Political Values Grows Even Wider
    • More voters are on either the left or the right and don’t mix
  • VICE Special Report: A House Divided Aug 14, 2017.  ‘VICE Special Report: A House Divided’ is nominated in the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special.


  • I began a conversation with Keith Mines about America’s turmoil. Mines has spent his career—in the U.S. Army Special Forces, the United Nations, and now the State Department—navigating civil wars in other countries, including Afghanistan, Colombia, El Salvador, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan. 
  • In March, Mines was one of several national-security experts whom Foreign Policy asked to evaluate the risks of a second civil war—with percentages. Mines concluded that the United States faces a sixty-per-cent chance of civil war over the next ten to fifteen years.
  • Mines’s definition of a civil war is large-scale violence that includes a rejection of traditional political authority and requires the National Guard to deal with it. 
  • Based on his experience in civil wars on three continents, Mines cited five conditions that support his prediction: entrenched national polarization, with no obvious meeting place for resolution; increasingly divisive press coverage and information flows; weakened institutions, notably Congress and the judiciary; a sellout or abandonment of responsibility by political leadership; and the legitimization of violence as the “in” way to either conduct discourse or solve disputes.
  • Eric Foner, the Columbia University historian, won the Pulitzer Prize, in 2011, for his book “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.”  “Obviously, we have some pretty deep divisions along multiple lines—racial, ideological, rural versus urban,” he told me. “Whether they will lead to civil war, I doubt.”
  • Foreign Policy Magazine – June 2017 – expert predicts 60% chance of civil war within America in the next 10 – 15 years

    • This Is Just the Beginning by Hamilton Nolan, 

    • What a new U.S. civil war might look like. Following an earlier 2017 survey, Foreign Policy’s Best Defense blog opened a poll about the likelihood of a second U.S. Civil War. BY  | 
    • What are the chances of a second American Civil War? (Foreign Policy, A Best Defense update) BY  | Last time out, in early March, when we discussed this, the consensus number for national security experts was at about 30 percent, with some outliers at 60 percent and even 95 percent.

    • Will we have a 2nd Civil War? You tell me. What are the chances of another civil war breaking out in this country in the next 10 to 15 years? BY  | 

      • I asked a group of smart national security thinkers that question the other day over my wild boar burger at Austin’s Dai Due. I was surprised that the range of answers ran from “five percent” to “95 percent.” I would say the consensus was about 35 percent.

America’s Cold Civil War, • Imprimis, Hillsdale College, Volume 47, Number 10

  • I fear America may be leaving the world of normal politics and entering the dangerous world of regime politics—a politics in which our political loyalties diverge more and more, as they did in the 1850s, between two contrary visions of the country.
    • One vision is based on the original Constitution as amended. This is the Constitution grounded in the natural rights of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution written in 1787 and ratified in 1788.
    • The other vision is based on what Progressives and liberals, for 100 years now, have called “the living Constitution.” This term implies that the original Constitution is dead …
  • If one thinks about how America’s cold civil war could be resolved, there seem to be only five possibilities. 
    • One would be to change the political subject.  ….  some jarring event intervenes—a major war or a huge natural calamity—it might reset our politics.
    • A second possibility, if we can’t change the subject, is that we could change our minds. Persuasion, or some combination of persuasion and moderation, might allow us to end or endure our great political division. 
    • … secession, which is a danger to any federal system—something about which James Madison wrote at great length in The Federalist Papers. With any federal system, there is the possibility that some states will try to leave it. 
    • So secession would be extremely difficult for many reasons, not the least of which is that it could lead, as we Americans know from experience, to the fifth and worst possibility: hot civil war. 

Quora – Is the United States in a cold civil war? Six answers – June – Nov 2018.

A Historian Explains How Close We Are to A Second Civil War Breaking Out in Trump’s America

  • Civil War, 2.0? Nah.  “Always try to separate the noise from the thing that makes the noise.”

The Origins of Our Second Civil War By July 31, 2018 6:30 AM

  • How, when, and why has the United States now arrived at the brink of a veritable civil war?
  • We are now nearing a point comparable to 1860, and perhaps past 1968. Left–Right factionalism is increasingly fueled by geography — always history’s force multiplier of civil strife. Red and blue states ensure that locale magnifies differences that were mostly manageable during the administrations of Ford, Carter, Reagan, the Bushes, and Clinton.

America’s Second Civil War, By Dennis Prager, Tue, Jan 24, 2017

  • It is time for our society to acknowledge a sad truth: America is currently fighting its second Civil War.

We are in a Cold Civil War – Carl Bernstein, Oct 26, 2017.  Former reporter, Washington Post, co-author “All the Presidents Mn.” Bio at Wikipedia

Looking Ahead — three scenarios:

  1. Best Case – Optimum.  Grassroots advocacy for new strategies that will result in outcomes where everyone benefits or at least, are not any worse off in the long-term.
  2. Status Quo – A Zero-Sum Game. Some will continue to win and some to lose. This scenario can result in short term gains while losers mobilize into an insurgency to continue the fight.
  3. Worse Case. The status quo leads to a second civil war. Everybody loses.


U.S. Modern Monetary Policy (MMT)

The “So What?” at the local level?   National policy effects state and county budgets.

How Can the US Keep a Trillion Dollar Debt?

  • “As a reminder, MMT argues that sovereign governments with their own currency can’t go broke and can spend until inflation becomes an issue.” (1)
  • To condense the argument: Taxes are not about raising revenue for the government. They’re to reduce spending power to avoid price inflation. (1)
  • “Consider the Atlanta Fed’s wage-growth tracker for prime-age U.S. workers, currently at 3.9%. It bottomed out at a record low 1.6% at the end of 2010, down from 4.2% before the recession began. It didn’t reach 3% for another four years and still hasn’t reached the levels seen from 1999 through 2001.” (1) 
  • The Peterson Foundation, one of the last voices calling for fiscal restraint, bemoaned the budget deal: “Another $400 billion in debt is the worst possible holiday gift for our children,” the group said. “We should be looking at ways to reduce our interest burden so that we can fund important national priorities.” (1)
  • Kelton points to Japan, which is running a debt-to-GDP ratio of about 238% with low inflation and interest rates locked near zero, as an example of failing conventional wisdom.  (1)
  • None other than Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, has said he sees MMT as “inevitable.” Policymakers, he says, have to figure out “how to get the economic machine to produce economic well-being for most people” when typical central-bank tools fail. He sees a coordination of fiscal and monetary policy as the only answer. (1)

(1) Dec 23, 2019. Bloomberg, America Turns From Tea Party to MMT in a Decade  The winds of economic thought have shifted drastically heading into the 2020s.  By  Brian Chappatta 

  • Since August 2011, the U.S. public debt has increased by almost $9 trillion, to $23 trillion, and virtually no one has batted an eye …
  • Randall Wray, a senior scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College and a leading thinker in Modern Monetary Theory. (MMT)   “We do not have to repay the debt — what we have to do is make the interest payments.”
  • None other than Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, has said he sees MMT as “inevitable.”

(2) The Federal Reserve Is Directly Monetizing US Debt In a very real way, MMT is already here  by Chris Martenson Friday, November 15, 2019

  • At a time, mind you, when US fiscal deficits are exploding and foreign buyers are heading for the exits.
  • It’s now clear that something spooked the Fed badly in September. … We still don’t know what exactly went on, but the Repo market blew up. While this was a clear sign that something big was amiss, the Fed has not yet explained what the cause was, who needed to be bailed out, or why.
  • Given all the secrecy, obfuscation and lies, the Fed is now in clear violation of the spirit of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
  • The debate over whether or not MMT (“Modern Monetary Theory” see here for background and discussion) should or should not happen is now moot. It’s already here.
  • This is a very serious and extremely important conversation to have. But it’s not being had at all.

Ray Dalio Warns A “New Paradigm” Is Coming (Old paradigm 1919-2019)

  • Identify the paradigm you’re in, examine if and how it is unsustainable, and visualize how the paradigm shift will transpire when that which is unsustainable stops. – Ray Dalio
  • Ray Dalio  – Articles  posted on LinkedIn  

Appointments made to boards, commissions for 2019

Feb 5, 2019. Brown County Democrat – Appointments

The following people have been appointed to serve on town and county boards and commissions for 2019 or beyond. The agency or person who appointed them or the agency or office they represent is in parentheses.

Election Board: Amy Kelso (D), Mark Williams (R).

Brown County Alcoholic Beverage Commission: Jim Hays (Nashville Town Council), Jeff Deckard (Brown County Council), Duane Parsons (Brown County Commissioners)

Brown County Animal Control Commission: Red Nastoff (town council); John Price (county council); Sue Ann Werling (Brown County Humane Society); Heidi Duncan, Patti Fleetwood, Richard Wood (commissioners)

Brown County Area Plan Commission: Jane Gore (town council); Carol Bowden (Brown County Schools Board of Trustees); Dave Harden, Russ Herndon, Deborah Bartes (commissioners); Randy Jones (county council); one open seat to be appointed by Purdue Extension Service

Brown County Board of Zoning Appeals: “Buzz” King (town council); Deborah Bartes, Darla Brown, John Dillberger (commissioners); Jane Gore (Brown County Area Plan Commission)

Brown County Community Corrections Advisory Board: Anna Hofstetter (town council); Bill Hamilton (county council); Mary Wertz (judge); Jacob Moore (public defender); John Dauterman (director of Office of Family and Children); Jennifer Acton (chief probation officer); Scott Southerland (sheriff); Ted Adams (prosecutor); Frank Nardi (magistrate); Christy Wrightsman (education administrator); Donald Lee Barriger Jr., Diana Biddle, Debbie Goodrich, Stephanie Yager (laypeople); Dean Henderson (ex-offender); Amanda Kinnaird (mental health administrator); Erin Kirchhofer (victim’s advocate)

Brown County Emergency Management Advisory Committee: Diana Biddle (commissioners); Glenda Stogsdill (county council); Brad Stogsdill (law enforcement); Chris Henderson (chair, EMS); Corey Frost (public health); Jennifer Heller, Joe Tenbarge (at-large members); Mike Magner (public works); Nick Kelp (fire); Laura Hammack (schools); Ben Seastrom (town council)

Brown County Solid Waste Management District Board: Nancy Crocker, Alisha Gredy (town council); Dave Anderson, Diana Biddle, Jerry Pittman (commissioners); Darren Byrd (county council); Jim Wray (Cordry-Sweetwater Conservancy District)

Local Emergency Planning Committee: Kim Robinson (community partner), Ben Seastrom (town council), Maria Carrasquillo (Red Cross), Chris Henderson (EMS), Corey Frost (chair, public health), Susan Armstrong (EMA), Diana Biddle (commissioner), county council appointment yet to be filled, Jennifer Heller (public health), Mike Magner (public works), Nick Kelp (fire)

Brown County Board of Health: Cathy Rountree, Dr. Michael Day, Linda Bauer, William Irvine, Jeff Cambridge, Thomi Elmore, Cynthia Rose Wolpert (commissioners)

Helmsburg Regional Sewer Board: Jenny Austin, Denise Broussard, Harrietta Weddle (commissioners)

Gnaw Bone Regional Sewer Board: Charley White, David Hess, Shawn Fosnight (commissioners)

Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA): Linda Bauer, Robyn Bowman (commissioners), Judy Wright Simpson (county council)

Brown County Redevelopment Commission: Jim Schultz, Jim Kemp (county council); Terry Foy, Justin Schwenk, Jerry Pittman (commissioners); Stephanie Kritzer (school board), non-voting member

Brown County Convention and Visitors Commission: Derek Clifford, Barry Herring (commissioners); Kevin Ault, Patty Frensemeier, Mike Patrick (county council)

Brown County Library Board: Tim Kelley, Robert Gustin (county council); Jan Greenlee, Kathleen Roberts (commissioners)

Brown County Regional Sewer District: Debbie Larsh, Mike Leggins, Clint Studabaker (county council); Phil Leblanc (commissioners); one open seat to be appointed by the county council

Brown County Parks and Recreation Board: Jim Hahn (commissioners); Jay Sichting, Linda Hobbs (judge); Richard Gist, Keith Baker (county council); one open seat for Purdue Extension educator

Hamblen Township Fire District Board: Tim Williams, Michael O’Neil, Roy Shea (commissioners)

Public Defender Board: Ruth Johnson (commissioners); Rick Kelley, Michael O’Neil (judge)

Maple Leaf Management Group: Darren Byrd (county council); Diana Biddle (commissioners); Kevin Ault, Barry Herring (CVC); Jim Schultz, Mike Lafferty (Maple Leaf Management); Bruce Gould (Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau)

Nashville Arts and Entertainment Commission: Jessica George, Jayme Hood, Melanie Voland, Chuck Wills (town council, through 2021) Jonathan Bolte, Anabel Hopkins, Cathy Martin, Heather Nicholson, Michele Wedel (town council, through 2019)

Nashville Development Review Commission: Bruce Gould (town clerk-treasurer); Jessica George, Welton Harris II, Alex Miller, Penny Scroggins (town council); David Martin (town council president); Greg Fox (Brown County Chamber of Commerce); Mike Patrick (CVB); one open seat to be appointed by Nashville Redevelopment Commission.

Nashville Metropolitan Police Merit Commission: Dave Derbyshire, Jim Hays, Ken Wendling (town council); Tom Crawford, Glenda Johnson (police department)

Nashville Parking and Public Facilities Corporation (“food and beverage commission”): David Chilcote, Gloria Dobbs, Matt Gray, Anders Jorgensen, Penny Scroggins (town council)

Nashville Redevelopment Commission: Jane Gore, Dan Snow (town council); Roger Kelso, Raymond Modglin, Torrie Rae Birkemeier (town council president); Carol Bowden (school board), non-voting member

Nashville Town Park Commission: Alisha Gredy, Anna Hofstetter, Alexis Peirce Caudell, Mark Shields, Melanie Voland (town council)

Nashville Tree Board: Bruce Gould, Cathy Paradise, Rick Patrick, Mark Shields, Allison Shoaf (town council)

Book: Declaration of Independents

Book: Declaration of Independents:  How We Can Break the Two-Party Stranglehold and Restore the American Dream by Greg Orman

In 2014, Greg Orman made headlines withhis historic Independent run for the U.S. Senate in Kansas. Voters gravitated to Orman’s campaign in unprecedented numbers, challenging the entrenched dominance of the two major parties over American politics.

Supporting Initiatives:


Bloomington, IN Farmers’ Market – Controversy – Summary

Bloomington, Indiana Farmers’ Market
Summary of Key Events
by Tim J. Clark

Background.  After nine years of participating in the Bloomington, Indiana Farmers Market, owners of Schooner Creek Farm (SCF) – a small family run business, are alleged to be white supremacists.  A petition was started to remove them from participating in the Market that is managed by the City of Bloomington, IN.  The controversy has received state and national media coverage.

Official Statement – Bloomington Farmers’ Market Market

The City’s response to the allegations:   “To our knowledge, this vendor has not shared these views at Market and has treated customers with respect,” said Marcia Veldman, program/facility coordinator for Bloomington’s Parks and Recreation Department.  The City is constitutionally prohibited from discriminating against someone because of their belief system, no matter how abhorrent those views may be. The City may only intercede if an individual’s actions violate the safety and human rights of others.”

 Allegations associated with the owners of Schooner Creek Farm

Aug 3, 2019. (Bloomington) Herald-Times  Commentary: Don’t forget the First Amendment, By Laura Lane

“The Herald-Times has published multiple articles on the farmers’ market developments. We have done our own research. We have reviewed court documents, emails, videos and recordings that so many claim is proof that the owners of Schooner Creek Farm are white supremacists. Direct evidence, it isn’t there.  … When a news organization publishes a false statement that damages a person’s reputation, that’s libel. I make sure, just about every day, to not libel anyone. Not just because I could be sued, but because it’s important that the information we report be accurate. We cannot and do not print accusations that can’t backed up with tangible stand-up-in-court proof. ”

Aug 2, 2019. WFIU – Noon Edition  – Panel Discussion. Steve Sanders – Associate Professor – IU Maurer School of Law, WFIU Noon Addition, Panel Discussion, Follow-up Comments

In response to owners of SCF’s association with Identity Evropa:  “My point was that affiliations and linkages can be ambiguous and that it is irresponsible to use them to imply the worst possible meaning in the absence of proof of exactly what someone believes or seeks to accomplish. I’m a Democrat, but that doesn’t mean I automatically embrace what every leader of the party stands for.  So in short, there is good evidence Sarah Dye has done things to affiliate herself with white supremacist groups, but the meaning of that affiliation for her, and the exact nature and contours of her own beliefs and agenda are what remains unknown.”  

Allegations – American Identity Movement (AIM

In March 2019, Identity Evropa was disbanded and the American Identity Movement (AIM) was established.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) claims  the American Identity Movement (AIM) is an alt-right white supremacist group. The Southern Poverty Law Center has made similar claims.

AIM disputes these allegations. “The American Identity Movement believes in effecting change peacefully and lawfully, and rejects political violence, extremism, and supremacism in all of its forms.”  Reference: AIM Website

Bloomington Winter Farmers Market – Dec 2019-March 2020

The Bloomington Winter Farmers Market is a project of the Center for Sustainable Living (CSL) a 501c3.  The Market leases a venue from the city and can choose to exclude (discriminate against) a vendor for their personal beliefs.  SCF has participated in the Winter Market for five years and is not allowed to participate in this years market.

  • The definition of bigotry is prejudice and the state of being intolerant. A bigot is a person who is prejudiced, or intolerant of those who are different. QUESTION: Does the Center for Sustainable Living consider bigotry to be sustainable?

Additional Information:  More detail on context, history, current events, media coverage, notes,  are available at the following post:   Wanted: Tolerance, Understanding, Collaboration, Progress