Civil Discourse Now

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



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Sycamores on the levee chopped down---for what?

Posted by Mark Small on March 13, 2017 at 9:04pm 0 Comments

   In the pasture, when I was a kid, a Sycamore tree—I will capitalize the name of this great type of tree—stood alone and apart from everything. The tree was old, the darkened bark long before fallen away on parts of the trunk and branches.  The white and gray were exposed.  The huge leaves covered the ground in the fall, but it was pasture land and eventually mulched.  The tree was older than I was (obviously), and I have no clue how old.  The tree was gigantic—as mature Sycamores tend to…


Robo-calls and simple math

Posted by Mark Small on January 5, 2017 at 7:00am 0 Comments

  Robo-calls annoy me, but amuse me at rare times.

  One aspect of robo-calls is the development of computers that speak in complete phrases and answer questions.

  The past few months, after the feel came that “HAL” (see “2001: A Space Odyssey”) was on the other end of the line, I have asked, “Are you a computer?”  At first the calls simply ended. The programmers must have adapted, and other people asked questions similar to mine, because the computers began to say something to the…


Electors should do their duty---and then we should abandon the electoral college.

Posted by Mark Small on December 13, 2016 at 7:07am 0 Comments

   If one wishes to find weaknesses in the position of “originalists”—those who believe we should follow strictly the intentions of those men who drafted the Constitution of the United States in the summer of 1787—the process by which the President is selected is a good place to start.

   There were general premises upon which the Framers seem to have based the principles that guided their construction of the government the Constitution created.  A basic premise was distrust of, and the…


Trump was right---the election was rigged, but not in the way Trump said.

Posted by Mark Small on November 9, 2016 at 7:39am 0 Comments

   The election is past. The Democratic Party offered, as a candidate for President of the United States, a person who already had staked out a claim to the nomination, through use of long-time connections within the party. The Republican Party “regulars” were reluctant to endorse the individual who won the primary/caucus process as he extolled many views people find abhorrent.

   Both candidates were reported as having the highest “unfavorable” ratings of any two candidates for the…


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