Civil Discourse Now

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

All Blog Posts (1,050)

Scott Walker: Over a million signatures to recall him.

   I lived in Wisconsin for three-and-a-half weeks. In April, 1979, I was recently graduated from college and unemployed. I had dubbed the place in which I lived, on Home Avenue in Kokomo, "The Slum." If the movie "Stripes" had been out, maybe I would have enlisted. Instead, I decided to go to Madison, Wisconsin. A fraternity brother and his future wife had transferred to the University of Wisconsin. I had visited once, and the place seemed ultra-cool.

   Unfortunately, a lot of other…


Added by Mark Small on January 18, 2012 at 7:23am — No Comments

They booed Ron Paul for espousing the utilitarian "Golden Rule."

   Bob Dylan sang, "You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." The Weathermen, later changed to Weather Underground, named themselves after that lyric. The on-line forecast for tday shows: (1) a predicted high temperature of 56 degrees, (2) a current temperature of 57, (3) a seventy percent (70%) chance of rain, (4) current conditions include rain, and (5) I hear rain beating against the walls of the house.

   This disconnect (current popular word) was played out…


Added by Mark Small on January 17, 2012 at 7:44am — 3 Comments

So-called Right to Work legislation should go to referendum.

   The Indiana General Assembly is comprised of he House of Representatives (100 members) and the Senate (50 members). Members of the House serve two-year terms. Members of the Senate serve four-year terms. Every two years all of the seats of the House and half of the seats of the Senate are on the ballot.

   That means all of the current members of the House and half of the members of the Senate (absent a member here or there who resigned because of scandal; such is politics) ran for…


Added by Mark Small on January 16, 2012 at 7:20am — No Comments

Value our locally-owned bookstores.

   Until the mid-1960s, as I recall from growing up, there only were two bookstores in Kokomo. One was on the town square. The place was closed-in, shelves floor-to-ceiling, with the feel of a book shoppe in a 1930s movie about London. I only went into the place once or twice. As was frequently the case, the old man had a grudge against the owner or one of the counter people for a slight, real or imagined, from long before. Only after I had graduated from college and stopped there on a whim…


Added by Mark Small on January 15, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments

Will no one come forward to defend RTW?

   The latest word is Democratic members of Indiana’s General Assembly want to issue of Right to Work ("RTW") placed on the ballot as a referendum on the November ballot. House Speaker Brian Bosma has said the idea is reasonable and he will listen to debate on the matter. Former Speaker, Rep. Patrick Bauer of South Bend makes a good point when he says since RTW was not debated in the last election, the matter should be placed before the people of Indiana.

   That is an excellent…


Added by Mark Small on January 14, 2012 at 7:40am — No Comments

Right to Work at wages being lowered to those of workers in Vietnam.

   Here are few things to know about the Right to Work ("RTW") legislation, the vote in the Indiana General Assembly for which has been held off for several days (before the inevitable, it would seem, passage):

   1) Compulsory union membership is not an issue.

   NLRB v. GM, 373 U.S. 734 (1963) held that people cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of employment. However, employees can be compelled to pay toward the costs of negotiations on wages and benefits.…


Added by Mark Small on January 12, 2012 at 7:13am — 7 Comments

RTW: Vietnam really won the war.

   We were taught in Civics, freshman year of high school, that the Constitution created an experiment, in which individual States could experiment with variations of law. Out of all the experimentation would come improvements, along with some failures.

   One dynamic of the Constitutional Convention that was overlooked was the competition between the States. After all, that was a significant reason for Hamilton’s, Madison’s, and the other delegates’ departure from the charter they…


Added by Mark Small on January 11, 2012 at 7:39am — 4 Comments

RTW is backed by the same people who love "employment at-will"---go figure.

   Once more, we go to the Orwellian aspects of the legislation called  "Right to Work" ("RTW"). Who would be so left-wing in their radicalism as to assert that a human eing has a right to work in her/his job? Oh, that’s right—the same folks who are so protective of Indiana’s status as an at-will employment State. "At-will" means an employer can fire a worker—and Mitt Romney has said he loves firing people—for anything, except, generally, reasons based on race, gender, religion,…


Added by Mark Small on January 10, 2012 at 7:09am — No Comments

"Right to Work": what does such a law mean and who wrote it?

  "Right to Work" ("RTW") sounds like a great idea. Why should anyone be deterred fro a "right to work"? If something is a "right," it should be protected by law.

  The wording of HB 1028 is similar to the other two bills pending before our General Assembly:

"Makes it a Class A misdemeanor to require an individual to: (1) become or remain a               member of a labor organization; (2) pay dues, fees, or other charges to a labor               organization; or (3) pay to a…


Added by Mark Small on January 9, 2012 at 7:22am — 2 Comments

"Right to Work" in Indiana: next week's Show.

   George Orwell’s fame is derived from two books: Animal Farm and 1984. From the latter came the linguistic Newspeak, the language promoted by the State. Today, when one speaks of something as "Orwellian," usually it is in the context of a "good" label applied to something most would consider bad.

   Presently before the Indiana General Assembly are two bills in the House of Representatives (HB 1028 and 1043) and one in the Senate (SB 0395) that are considered "right to…


Added by Mark Small on January 8, 2012 at 7:37am — No Comments

How did I get that name wrong?

   During yesterday's Show, I referred to W.A. Clark, a Montana business tycoon/minerals baron of the turns of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, as C.W. Morgan. I got the name wrong, but all the other matters about the man that I cited were correct. I had the name right in my blog from a couple of days ago---and a print-out of the blog in a 3-ring binder right in front of me. So mea culpa.   

Added by Mark Small on January 8, 2012 at 6:55am — No Comments

TODAY'S SHOW: It will be fun and informative, "Citizens United" and what has followed.

"Civil Discourse Now" welcomes back panelist Jeff Cox. Also wwelcome goes to Nicolas Martin, in his first apearance on the Show. Nicolas is a long-time libertarian, a faithful serf to his nine-year-old daughter, and a funeral photographer whose website link is at the end of yesterday's blog & will be repeated on the Show today. Those interested in watching live, we shoot at 11 a.m. at Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell in Broad Ripple. We will be on-line no later than 11 am Sunday.

Added by Mark Small on January 7, 2012 at 7:33am — No Comments

Montana slams "Citizens United," part 3: will the case withstand U.S. Supreme Court scrutiny?

   Odds are very good that Western Partnership will be taken up on a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. Whether the Montana Supreme Court’s holding will survive there is a bit like speculating whether, once in the NCAA tournament, Indiana University will fare well.

   The justices of the Montana Supreme Court are aware of the possibilities of course. Chief Justice McGrath wrote for the Montana Court fully aware of the possibilities. That is why…


Added by Mark Small on January 6, 2012 at 7:41am — No Comments

Montana slams, part, plus: if corporations are treated like humans, do we humans receive the benefits of treatment as corporations?

  So, let’s pick up from yesterday. The Montana Supreme Court, on December 30, handed down a decision in Western Tradition Partnership, Inc. Attorney General, 2011 WL 6888567, ("WTP" for short) that, seemingly in the face of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 130 S.Ct. 876 (2011),  has upheld Montana’s ban on corporate donations to a "a candidate or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political…


Added by Mark Small on January 5, 2012 at 7:20am — No Comments

Montana Supreme Court slams "Citizens United."

   A decision handed down on December 30, 2011, the Supreme Court of Montana, in Western Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Attorney General of State, 2011 WL 6888567, ("WTP") might rock the foundation of the Super PACs created by the Citizens United case.   

   Generally the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, Art. III, §2,  means a decision of the United States Supreme Court trumps the highest court of one of the 50 states (or 46 states and four…


Added by Mark Small on January 4, 2012 at 7:32am — 3 Comments

A dialogue with Socrates.

  I, this weird dream last night, I ran into Socrates. As my dreams go, we were on the concourse of a ballpark. I knew it had to be a dream, and not death. After all, as an atheist, I do not believe in an after-life. If I did, this was not heaven, as it was a weird compilation of ballparks related to the Reds. I am a Cubs fan. On the other hand, it wasn’t hell, because I saw no indication I was in the Bronx.

   But I had a beer in my hand (not Hudepohl, or else I would have had second…


Added by Mark Small on January 3, 2012 at 7:09am — 2 Comments

   The City of Indianapolis, through its Department of Code Enforcement,  has been kind enough to post an information for "Super Celebration Sites" for the time leading up to, and following, the Supe…

   The City of Indianapolis, through its Department of Code Enforcement,  has been kind enough to post an information for "Super Celebration Sites" for the time leading up to, and following, the Super Bowl.

   Contexts of Orwellian twists on the English language are interesting. To see these phenomena in regard to a sports event staged by a mono(lith)poly would add an element of amusement, were it not for a couple of factors. First, we—taxpayers and citizens of Indianapolis and…


Added by Mark Small on January 2, 2012 at 7:58am — No Comments

Public intoxication should not be a crime.

   Last night I thought about a deposition I took this week.

   Folks met up yesterday at the Broad Ripple Tavern (BRT) at 2:00—p.m., not a.m.—to do what has become ritual New Year’s Eve: talk, have a few laughs, discuss political and social issues, and drink. My beverage of choice is beer. Joe, a fraternity brother from DePauw days, does not imbibe. Bright-line rules have their merits. Mine: do not drink if one knows one has to get behind the wheel of a car and do not drive if one…


Added by Mark Small on January 1, 2012 at 7:19am — No Comments

WANTED: Stats wonk

  -In grade school did you acquire a bizarre fascination with columns of numbers?

  -During the 2008 presidential election, about 7:00 p.m. did you say something like, "Obama took Fulton County 75/25? That's a Republican area. That's a major indicator---he's won"?

  -If you are into & have some knowledge of political polling, and would like to be on Saturday's show, e-mail me at 

Added by Mark Small on December 30, 2011 at 7:59am — No Comments

New Year's Eve Show will be good!

   This will be a different kind of New Year's Eve show. For one thing, we will shoot it at 11 a.m. That is as in it is still light out (here in Indiana, barring an unscheduled complete solar eclipse). For another, we will discuss the year to come in politics, and from a bit of a different angle. We will give overviews of the nine Congressional races, as well as the races for Governor of our fair State and the office of United States Senator. And (of course) we shall discuss the presidential…


Added by Mark Small on December 28, 2011 at 6:27am — No Comments

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