Sheila Kennedy is a former high school English teacher, former lawyer, former Republican, former Executive Director of Indiana’s ACLU, former columnist for the Indianapolis Star, and former young person. She is currently an (increasingly cranky) old person, a Professor of Law and Public Policy at Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis, and Director of IUPUI’s Center for Civic Literacy. She writes for the Indianapolis Business Journal, PA Times, and the Indiana Word, and blogs at For those who are interested in more detail, links to an abbreviated CV and academic publications can be found on her blog, along with links to her books..

Philosophy? Or Fear?

What does fear have to do with political philosophy? According to a fascinating article in Business Insider, a lot. Academicians who study such things tell us that, in the wake of 9/11, many people who were politically liberal became less so–scientists documented a “very strong conservative shift” in the US after the attacks, with more liberals supporting George W. Bush and favoring increased […]

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If It’s Mental Illness: Trump, Mass Shootings & Gun Availability

The AR 15 - weapon of choice in mass shootings

I always hesitate before blogging about guns, knowing that posting any opinion other than “yes, you have a constitutional right to pack heat whenever or wherever you want, and it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve beaten your wife” will generate howls of opprobrium and hysterical accusations that I want to disarm everyone. But still. The Orange Menace in the […]

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Meanwhile, At The FCC: Media Ownership & Net Neutrality

net neutrality

Unlike many–most?–of Trump’s appointees, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai appears to know what he’s doing and how to do it. And that’s a big problem. He’s already rolled back what The Street calls a “pillar of U.S. media ownership restrictions.” “Owners of local television stations will be permitted to buy a local radio station or newspaper in the same market after the Federal Communications Commissions […]

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#MeToo: A (Sort Of) Defense Of Jerks


The public reaction to allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K. and so many others is welcome and long overdue. The public revulsion to the disclosures, the almost daily revelations about other prominent figures, and especially the #metoo movement that encouraged women to add their own experiences of harassment to the public discourse have caused a lot of men to review […]

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School Privatization & Vouchers Aren’t Educational Reform

voucher programs and privatization harm public schools

Not every policy change is a reform, and I’m getting more than a little annoyed by efforts to paint things like tax cuts and voucher programs as “reforms.” I’ve explained in previous posts why the abominable tax bill currently being rushed through Congress isn’t “reform.”  In several states, including Indiana, theocrats intent upon taking tax dollars from public school systems […]

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Easy To Destroy; How Long To Repair?

Scott Walker and Wisconsin education

A friend who lives in Wisconsin occasionally sends me items from newspapers in that state that he thinks will interest me. Most have obvious implications for other states–and since Scott Walker became Governor, those implications have tended to range from worrisome to terrifying. The most recent news from what I’ve come to call “the frontier of shooting yourself in the […]

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Going Courting:Trump’s Deeply Unqualified Federal Judicial Nominees

judicial appointments for federal courts

I know there’s a fierce competition for the title of “most harmful consequence” of the Trump Administration. There’s so much to choose from: sabotaging the Affordable Care Act, waging war on public education, reviving the racist and ineffective drug war,  ensuring that new environmental regulations aren’t informed by science (and older ones aren’t enforced), drastically diminishing America’s role in world […]

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Corporations Will NOT Use Their Windfalls To Create Jobs

Part of the mantra obediently recited by advocates of the mis-named “tax reform” bill is their touching (or feigned) belief that corporations will use the funds being repatriated and/or saved from the tax collector to create jobs. Brings to mind the old adage about the triumph of hope over experience. Ed Brayton relays the recent, eye-opening response by corporate CEOs to […]

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