Civil Discourse Now

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

March 2013 Blog Posts (21)

Today's Show: from Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport---baseball and other delights.

   We will stream "live" from Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport, the Tom O'Brien hangar, at 11 a.m. to discuss baseball with panelists George Wilson and Pat McCarthy. Paul Ogden will be there, if he can figure out how to use a map; rather, if the map by which he views the world includes such features as said airport, Marion County, or even the State of Indiana.

Added by Mark Small on March 30, 2013 at 6:44am — No Comments

Happy Nomad Girl---our phoned-on, on the road contributor.

   For the past several weeks we have received a call on The Show from a young woman who travels around the country. First she traveled by van. Her van broke down. Since then she has traveled by thumb a/k/a hitch hiked. "Happy Nomad Girl" is on Facebook. She relates her adventures and experiences mid-way through the program. So far she has called in from San Francisco, Chicago, and I-57 on the way to Mississippi. Tomorrow we will find out where next she has reached on her journey.



Added by Mark Small on March 29, 2013 at 5:36am — No Comments

Paul Ogden is misguided on the topic of global climate change.

   Our first day of orientation of law school, in August, 1986, Paul Ogden, who was the president of the Student Bar Association, spoke to our class and welcomed us to the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. He seemed like a nice enough person.

   Later in the year, Paul talked me into taking the job of editor of the school's newspaper, "Dictum." Whatever ulterior motives he had in that move never were revealed. The hours I spent on the journalistic endeavor played a part,…


Added by Mark Small on March 25, 2013 at 6:03am — No Comments

Today's Show: America's societal anger.

   "Civil Discourse Now" will stream "live" today at 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Our guest panelists are Marilene Isaacs (who also has been gracious enough to allow us to stream The Show from her house), Bryan Lilienkamp, who is a progressive political activist and volunteer who also is a Democratic precinct committeeperson and holds a bachelors degree in IT from Excelsior College, and Len Farber who is a contributing editor to the blog Indy Vanguard. Len also is a Democratic Party Ward Chair, Vice…


Added by Mark Small on March 23, 2013 at 6:20am — No Comments

People are pissed off---not a new phenomenon, but recently more venomous: Saturday's Show.

   A person who frequently posts to this blog, and who has been a guest on "Civil Discourse Now," Nicolas Martin, noted yesterday something to the effect that negative responses to politicians is nothing new. Nic quoted H.L. Mencken on the point. I would add another, poet e.e. Cummings, whose poem read: "A politician/is an arse upon which/everything has sat except a man." I think I got that right. Seriously, it was off the top of my head.

   The anger to which I referred yesterday is…


Added by Mark Small on March 22, 2013 at 6:04am — No Comments

"I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Is this still the American mood? Saturday's Show.

   On an evening during mid-terms at DePauw, shortly after the movie "Network" premiered, someone got the idea to throw open a window and shout what became fictional newsman Howard Beale's famous rant. "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" People around campus threw open their windows, much as New York City dwellers were depicted in the movie, and joined the rant. That all was quite humorous for college students.

   We are 37 years past that time. People seem even…


Added by Mark Small on March 21, 2013 at 6:05am — 1 Comment

World of algorythmic trades: simultaneous creation of a market "crash" by the same player that sells "short."

   A "short" sale occurs when someone bets a specific stock or generally the market will drop in value. Perhaps the most famous practitioner of the short sale was Jesse Livermore. When the market crashed in 1929, he had sold short. He made millions, while other, less-inspired traders, leapt to their deaths from office windows overlooking Wall Street.

   At the end of the afternoon, when various news programs report the day's trading, rare is a camera shot of the trading floors. In…


Added by Mark Small on March 20, 2013 at 6:00am — 1 Comment

Will Democratic members of Congress now stop sucking up to the NRA?

   The president of the National Rifle Association yesterday stated the NRA has chosen the vehicle by which it will advance its political agenda. That "vehicle" is the Republican Party.

   For years members of each party have crawled over each other to seek NRA support. NRA support means money, as in $$$$. Members of the House of Representatives, who are in a constant fund-raising mode (one estimate is that 25% of a member's time is spent in fund-raising endeavors), take money when…


Added by Mark Small on March 19, 2013 at 5:34am — 2 Comments

Do members of Congress who criticize "entitlements" turn down their health insurance and retirement packages?

   We do not have a "two-party" system of government in the United States. We have a system in which powerful interests front their actions by and through office holders who claim membership in one of two organizations. Usually one of those organizations---or "parties"---is characterized as dysfunctional and near its expiration date. Today the Republicans bear those characterizations. A few years ago, the Democratic Party was on life support. When a supposedly left-of-center president pushes…


Added by Mark Small on March 18, 2013 at 6:10am — No Comments

Today's Show: Broad Ripple Tavern at 11 a.m.---how to avoid arrest for alcohol related offenses in Indiana on St. Patrick's Day.

   Today we shall "live" stream from Broad Ripple Tavern, 735 Broad Ripple Avenue, Indianapolis, at 11 a.m. You can see The Show there , watch it on UStream, or listen to is on Indiana Talks at Indiana Talks dot com. Our guests will be Indianapolis attorneys Ginny Maxwell and Adam Lenkowsy.

   The "wearing of the green" is a national event. There is a note of levity to descriptions of St. Patrick's Day festivities. One dominant aspect of the celebration of the patron saint of Ireland…


Added by Mark Small on March 16, 2013 at 7:12am — No Comments

Remember: March 16 at 11 a.m. from Broad Ripple Tavern...

   We will live-stream from BRT, 735 Broad Ripple Avenue, with the focus of The Show being alcohol-related offenses.

Added by Mark Small on March 15, 2013 at 6:10am — No Comments

"Proud" to be a Hoosier: the General Assembly protects the privacy of corporate farms but women? Not so much.

   The "news" is awash with stories about the Indiana Lottery, Indiana's casino industry, and efforts by our State's lawmakers to enact measures  the only substantive effects of which would be to further the "war on drugs." 

   I guess our lawmakers did not watch "The Godfather" (or, as Tony Soprano and associates called it, "GF1). The "numbers racket"---i.e., lotteries---were low-capital/high profit endeavors run by Vito and his buddies. Once States started to legalize lotteries, the…


Added by Mark Small on March 14, 2013 at 5:52am — No Comments

St. Patrick's Day preview Show: 3/16 at the Broad Ripple Tavern, 11 a.m.

   The 17th of March is upon us again. The day before, this week's Show will stream from The Broad Ripple Tavern, 735 Broad Ripple Avenue, from 11 a.m. Of course, since it falls on a Sunday, and "Civil Discourse Now" shoots on a Saturday, we only can preview the following day. Is "preview" the right word?

   I will re-phrase my comment. On The Show this week we shall discuss political topics (of course) but have a special focus on how to avoid alcohol-related arrests in Indiana on St.…


Added by Mark Small on March 13, 2013 at 6:14am — No Comments

Are Indiana taxpayers going to pay to prep the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for sale?

   Taxpayers should not pay for improvements to a sports facility to increase its "curb appeal" for buyers.

   I am opposed to governmental subsidies for sports. I am a fan of several sports. I love Major League Baseball(r) (Chicago Cubs) and college basketball. Given recent reports of brain trauma to players, I have to reconsider my interest in football at the professional and college levels. As a native-born Hoosier, a part of my DNA predisposes me to follow hoops. At least I follow…


Added by Mark Small on March 11, 2013 at 5:54am — 1 Comment

Next week: How to avoid arrest for an alcohol-related offense in Indiana on St. Patrick's Day.

   March 17 only is a week away. I did not appreciate that holiday until I reached the legal age to consume alcohol and had moved to the City of Chicago.  By the time I moved to Indianapolis, I looked forward to March 17 as a day to party. I also discovered Conner's Pub, a few blocks from my apartment.

   Nowadays Conner's has become too crowded on March 17. A tent is rented to accommodate the overflow of the crowds. I do not like to feel like a sardine when I have a beer.



Added by Mark Small on March 10, 2013 at 8:15am — No Comments

America is not the "land of the free."

   A phrase can be used by political cheerleaders. We are "The Land of the Free"! Alternate that with a chant of "U--S--A!" and see how many people stand up to question the validity of the former.

   1) Prisons. We have 25% of the world's inmate population, but only five percent of the World's total population. The War on Drugs---a "war" that has cost tens of billions of dollars, ruined many lives with felony convictions, and resulted in a loss on that weird battlefield---has engorged…


Added by Mark Small on March 9, 2013 at 7:10am — No Comments

How free is America? Not so much. Tomorrow's Show.

   At 11 a.m Saturday: How free is America? Guest panelist and Indianapolis attorney Ginny Maxwell will join us.

   My answer to the question: not very. We have 25% of the World's prison inmate population, yet we have only five percent of the World's population. That's one statistic with which I will support my position.

   We can speak freely about our government. Of course, the government keeps lists of people to "watch"---on the basis of what people say, write, blog---hello…


Added by Mark Small on March 8, 2013 at 6:50am — No Comments

How could someone on the "Left" oppose a ban on owners of private bars to allow persons 21 years of age and older to smoke inside those bars' premises?

   Yesterday afternoon the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana-Indianapolis Division ruled against the plaintiffs in Goodpaster. et al v. City of Indianapolis, a lawsuit brought by bar 11 owners and a customer against the City over the ordinance, effective June 1, 2012, that bans smoking in most bars in Marion County. As many of you know, I am co-counsel for the plaintiffs in that lawsuit. At a later time I will write about the substantive issues of the case.…


Added by Mark Small on March 7, 2013 at 7:10am — 1 Comment

Use of drones on U.S. soil deemed constitutional by Attorney General Holder.

   In response to a question posed in letter from United States Senator Rand Paul, United States Attorney General Eric Holder replied that President Obama is authorized by the Constitution to use drones to attack United States citizens on United States soil.

   That concept, at first, shocked me. Then I read the full statement.

   A.G. Holder explained that in a narrow set of extreme circumstances---such as a Pearl Harbor-style (does that mean a carrier-launched…


Added by Mark Small on March 6, 2013 at 7:06am — No Comments

Media coverage of THE Constitutional Convention!

   Last Wednesday I wrote about two bills before the Indiana Senate that address the selection of delegates to a constitutional convention, were one to be convened under provisions of Article V of the United States Constitution. Imagine the media frenzy that could ensue if such an event took place ...

 CNN:  This is Wolf Blitzer from the Situation Room where you have The Best Coverage of the Constitutional Convention. Later this hour we will have interviews of the chairs of several of…


Added by Mark Small on March 4, 2013 at 6:50am — No Comments

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