Civil Discourse Now

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

February 2014 Blog Posts (17)

March 1 Show: hunger in the country, Big Banks and we'll be at Big Poppa's, 9045 Crawfordsville Road.

   Saturday will be St. David's Day, a national holiday in Wales.

   Since childhood, my father led me to believe I was of Scottish descent. In 2008, on a trip to Kansas City and a detour to an Irish heritage museum, a guide ran a computer search of family trees. When she asked if I wanted mine run, I blew her off and said there was no need to do a search on me. She said perhaps I would be surprised. She ran the search, called over a co-worker, and pointed at the screen. She uttered…


Added by Mark Small on February 28, 2014 at 7:34am — No Comments

People prefer to work, not to simply draw a thin check for unemployment.

   Yesterday's blog drew interesting responses. One observed "nothing is more convincing than a good personal anecdote," and provided a link to the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. I followed the link. I expected to read a recent entry about unemployment benefits and a summary of peer-reviewed studies of the effects of unemployment benefits. Instead, I read an article written in 1992. We are on our third President since the article was written. The internet was developed. NAFTA was signed.…


Added by Mark Small on February 26, 2014 at 7:40am — No Comments

An unemployment benefits check is not incentive to remain unemployed.

   After I graduated from DePauw, I worked for my father's construction company for about eight months, until he retired and closed the business. I went on unemployment. The first week I walked the ten blocks up Washington Street to the office of the unemployment folks on Sycamore Street. After I filled out the forms, I was told my pay would be skipped one week to process my account.

   I was fortunate because the place in which I lived---a basement apartment in a building my parents…


Added by Mark Small on February 25, 2014 at 7:15am — No Comments

Today's Show is rom The Varsity Lounge. Question: if hosts of Olympic Games(r) experience financial disaster, why hasn't Mayor Ballard put in a bid for Indy to play host?

   Any red-blooded---as opposed to a green-blooded, perhaps someone related to a Vulcan---American citizen was raised to believe in the Olympics(r). Every four years, we were treated to the thrill of victory and the agony of competition in two sets of Olympics, summer and winter. In the 1990s, the Winter Olympics(r) were moved to the other set of even-numbered years instead of being staged, along with the Summer Games(r) every Leap Year. Perhaps the motive there were to give the viewers and…


Added by Mark Small on February 22, 2014 at 7:28am — No Comments

South Carolina seeks to unseat Mississippi in others' lists of thanks; and tomorrow's Show is at The Varsity Lounge.

   In Panama City Beach, Florida, years ago, a waitress who served a nearby table said, "Our State motto is, 'At Least We Ain't Mississippi.'" Mississippi seems to be 49th or 50th---or, if "worst" is the gauge---1st or 2nd of our 46 commonwealths and four States in various categories that relate to quality of life.

   Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina seems bent on grabbing the Palmetto State in a plunge to the bottom. Her efforts may result in South Carolina---where political…


Added by Mark Small on February 21, 2014 at 7:41am — No Comments

Live from The Varsity Lounge, Saturday, February 22: how many decided to boycott coverage of the Sochi Olympics?

   A boycott is a "concerted refusal to do business with a party in order to express disapproval of that party's practices." "Black's Law Dictionary/New Pocket Edition," 1996 ed., p. 73.

   The original Olympic Games were held in Greece a couple of thousand years ago. The games were not called "summer" games. The Olympics did not have "winter" events as counterpoints to running, equestrian events and the throwing of objects that made up the games of the time. Winter sports were…


Added by Mark Small on February 20, 2014 at 7:12am — 1 Comment

Governor Pence should make up the difference, out of his own pocket, for his decision to "pass" on Medicaid expansion.

   Forty-six States and four Commonwealths (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kentucky) make up the United States. Federal taxes are paid by citizens and residents of each of these entities. Money then is dispersed from Washington, D.C. 

   Years ago, a State Representative from Howard County campaigned, in part, on the notion Indiana should try at least to get back the same amount of money in benefits from the Federal government as its people pay into the Fed. The rankings…


Added by Mark Small on February 19, 2014 at 7:10am — No Comments

Justin Antonin Scalia becomes odd authority for citation in Federal cases that overturn State provisions against marriage equality.

   Justice Antonin Scalia perhaps has the highest public profile of any sitting Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Although educated at Georgetown and Harvard, as a member of the faculty at the University of Chicago School of Law, he became identified with that law school's cant toward what has been deemed a more conservative view of the law. Judge Richard Posner, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, also was faculty at UC and has led the move toward an…


Added by Mark Small on February 16, 2014 at 8:37am — No Comments

Weather moves The Show and---Paul Ogden is wrong, again.

   "Civil Discourse Now" was scheduled to stream live this morning from the Athanaeum, downtown. Unfortunately, weather forecasters overlooked a storm front. A lot more snow was dropped on Indianapolis than predicted, and the folks at the Athenaeum will not open until later in the day. Consequently, we will stream live from our good old "undisclosed" location, from 11 am to 1 pm. Gary Welsh will be our guest panelist, if he can manage to navigate his Bradley Armored Personnel Carrier through…


Added by Mark Small on February 15, 2014 at 7:26am — 1 Comment

Saturday's Show will shoot at Karneval! at the Athenaeum.

   On Saturday, February 15, we shall stream "Civil Discourse Now" live from the Athenaeum where Karnival! is being held, 401 East Michigan Street in the Grand Kellersaal, from 6 pm to 11 pm. Karnival! features dance music by Polkamotion, a costume contest (for best famous couple, past or present), awesome door prizes, with food and German beer available for purchase. Tickets can be ordered at and more information is there..

Added by Mark Small on February 14, 2014 at 9:25am — No Comments

Ballard's planning "skills": sweet deals for pals carefully planned for years, but prep for snow not given much thought.

   Snow storms happen in Indiana. People whom we elect to political offices, such as mayors whose duties (unlike legislators' jobs) include hands-on response to such events, should be prepared to respond. Mayor Hudnut was there in the 1978 blizzard. In the 1970s, Chicago Mayor Michael Bilandic lost office largely due to his inept response to inclement winter weather. 

   The response of Indianapolis city government to the snow with which we were hit over a month ago was poor. Streets…


Added by Mark Small on February 13, 2014 at 7:28am — No Comments

What other red ink was omitted from the City's costs for its role as host of the 2012 Super Bowl(r)?

   A metaphor I learned at a young age was imparted by Wiley Coyote's purchase of the Acme Company's Rocket-propelled Darts. At the start of that cartoon, Coyote let loose a string of the rocket-propelled projectiles in his quest to dine on Road Runner. The darts missed their target. Throughout the rest of the cartoon, at some of the most inconvenient moments for Coyote, a dart would flutter down from the sky, its rocket fuel spent, jab Coyote in the butt and blow up. The metaphor was about…


Added by Mark Small on February 11, 2014 at 7:16am — No Comments

Democratic Party needs a candidate not beholden to the same moneyed interests to step up and run for Mayor.

   On the blog Indy Vanguard this weekend, Christian Mosburg, City-County Councilor Zach Adamson's spouse, wrote that the candidacy of a Democrat for the Office of Mayor of Indianapolis is long overdue. Over at Ogden on Politics, Paul Ogden suggested Zach Adamson be that candidate. Both Mosburg's and Ogden's pieces deserve a read. Once in a while my friend Paul comes up with a decent idea. I think Zach would make an excellent Mayor.

   Jon Easter responded to Ogden on Politics to note…


Added by Mark Small on February 10, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

Today's Show: from J.T.'s Grille and Bar, 2210 East 54th Street, issues at the General Assembly and in Marion County with Louis Mahern.

   Once again the folks at JT's Grille and Bar have been nice enough to allow us to stream live from their establishment. I really need a good breakfast today.

   Our guest panelist will be Louis Mahern, former Indiana Senator and candidate for Indianapolis Mayor. Remember you can call in to The Show at 317.489.9219 from 11 am to 1 pm. Amongst other topics will be the effort to repeal the business inventory property tax.

Added by Mark Small on February 8, 2014 at 8:16am — No Comments

Bill Groth: legalize, don't simply decriminalize---a counterpoint to his counterpoint to Matt Tully..

   Indianapolis attorney Bill Groth is excellent in his profession. He has been a guest on "Civil Discourse Now." I respect his opinions. I wish I had socialized with him enough to fairly say he is a friend.

   Bill posted on IndyVanguard a piece critical of the position taken by a writer for The Indianapolis Star. Bill said Matt Tully should not be ambivalent about decriminalization of pot.

   To de-criminalize marijuana would mean pot---Mary Jane, reefer, hooter---still would…


Added by Mark Small on February 6, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments

Help Wanted: read for details and you might end up like David Letterman.

   Attention weather people! (And I do not mean former members of the Weather Underground a/k/a Weathermen, who derived their name from a Bob Dylan lyric: "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.")

   On February 15, Civil Discourse Now will launch a new format and expand its function to provide information to listeners---and, eventually, viewers once again---on matters beyond the topic or topics of a given week and in the informal format of panel discussion to…


Added by Mark Small on February 2, 2014 at 7:15am — No Comments

Today's Show: from J.T.'s Grille and Bar, 2210 East 54th Street, discussion of dead pools and mortality.

   The folks at J.T.'s Grille and Bar have been gracious enough to allow us back to do this week's Show at their establishment. We shall pick dead pools and discuss mortality.

Added by Mark Small on February 1, 2014 at 7:09am — No Comments

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