Civil Discourse Now

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

April 2012 Blog Posts (25)

2012 elections: negative political ads in our so-called civil discourse.

   People purport to hate negative political ads on TV.  By "negative ads" I mean ads aimed mainly at trashing one candidate.  Polls that I have read consistently indicate over 60 percent (60%) of respondents do not like negative ads. Yet research and personal observation indicate negative political ads "work." They motivate some people to move, not so much "for" one candidate, but "against" the candidate at whom the ad is aimed (thereby helping the candidate in whose interest the ad was…


Added by Mark Small on April 30, 2012 at 6:08am — 1 Comment

Tips for how to do the Mini(r) next Saturday.

   Our schedule will change next week.

   Next Sunday will be Primary Predictions! "Civil Discourse Now" will features predictions of the outcomes of the May 8 primaries. Our new format, the past three weeks, has been live streaming on the internet, with a recorded version of The Show later that afternoon or the next morning.

   The following is not sponsored in any way by the people/corporations who organize or otherwise operate the event described. These are my…


Added by Mark Small on April 29, 2012 at 6:48am — No Comments

Today's Show, 4/28, at 11: The passage of Indy's smoking ban does not end public debate.

   "I think I’ll have a drink."—Elliott Ness’s alleged comment on being told Prohibition had ended.

   Is a discussion of Indy’s smoking ban, set to take effect on June 1, necessary? After all, as I was told by one person yesterday, any debate is "over because we won." Some would call such a claim hubris. Others, less polite, would characterize the claim as something else.

   The Volstead Act—the Nineteenth Amendment, Prohibition—banned sales of alcohol in the United States.…


Added by Mark Small on April 28, 2012 at 6:32am — No Comments

Responses to Kurt and Mr. Wheeler about 4/28 Show.

For some reason I cannot post a response to your posts except via new blog. Kurt: Yes this is an audience event. Come on out.

  Mr. Wheeler: Excellent question. That is a topic I shall try to raise to the panel during The Show.

Added by Mark Small on April 27, 2012 at 3:13pm — No Comments

Smoking bans increase drunk-driving deaths? 4/28's guests: Abdul. Smoke-free Indy's Lindsay Grace.

   John Locke described liberty as property. One owns certain liberties. That might explain why certain rights are inalienable—they cannot be bartered away.

   One aspect of the debate over the recent smoking ban enacted by the City-County Council has been concern over businesses—particularly the taverns at which the legislation was aimed—might lose money if patrons are not allowed to smoke.

   Studies from Minnesota and Michigan indicate some bars gain customers, some see no…


Added by Mark Small on April 27, 2012 at 6:25am — 1 Comment

Tobacco financed the Revolution. Saturday's Show: Indy's new ban on smoking.

   "Civil Discourse Now" streams "live" on the internet on Saturday mornings at 11.

   This week our guests will be Indianapolis blogger and media personality Abdul-Hakim Shabazz ( a cigar smoker) and Lindsay Grace, spokesperson for Smoke Free Indy. Paul Ogden and I will discuss Indy’s new smoking ban with them. We will shoot The Show at Indy Cigar Bar, 3357 East 86th Street. 

   As of 6 a.m. on June 1, 2012, Indianapolis’s smoking ban goes into effect. No longer…


Added by Mark Small on April 26, 2012 at 6:42am — No Comments

Ban smoking in bars? Why not use efficient exhaust systems if owners choose?

   "Everything gives you cancer." –Joe Jackson, 1982.

   As of 6 a.m. on June 1, 2012, smoking no longer will be allowed in bars or restaurants in Indianapolis. Smoking will be allowed in existing cigar bars and hookah shops. Also exempt are private clubs. The main issue has been smoking in bars.

   The first time I encountered a "no smoking" section in a restaurant was at Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha debate nationals in 1977 at Salt Lake City. Before, smoking was allowed…


Added by Mark Small on April 25, 2012 at 6:50am — No Comments

Saturday's Show: we discuss Indy's new smoking ban, with guests Abdul and Smoke Free Indy's Lindsay Grace.

   "Everything gives you cancer." –Joe Jackson, 1982.

   At the outset, I state: I smoke cigars. I smoked my first stogie when I was a delegate to Hoosier Boys State, held during the summer of 1972 at ISU in Terre Haute. I think I had a couple of blueberry tiparillos. I smoked cigarettes from second semester senior year of high school (Salem 100s) through second semester Sophomore year at DePauw (Vantage menthols). I quit smoking cigarettes because they were contraindicated with other…


Added by Mark Small on April 24, 2012 at 6:10am — No Comments

If Jack Lugar fudged on his record, it is a material consideration for the voters.

   Sometimes a person "pumps up" her or his resume in order to obtain employment. One way to pump up that resume, give it a little more juice, is to list jobs or achievements never held or won. An example of that was the resume of a person at DePauw who listed, amongst his prior jobs, "staff photographer for The Wall Street Journal." At the time, that publication had no photographs. At best, line drawings and graphs were placed on its pages. One representative of a potential employer…


Added by Mark Small on April 23, 2012 at 6:33am — No Comments

Is 5th Congressional District Republican candidate Jack Lugar the latest person to fudge his resume?

   Jack Lugar is a candidate for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District in the May 8 Republican primary. He is one of seven candidates listed who seeks the party’s nomination for the November election to replace long-time Congressman Dan Burton.

   On his website, one of the issues he lists is "Crime and punishment," in which he begins with:

"As a former attorney with the Appeals Division of the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, Jack made sure that violent criminals…


Added by Mark Small on April 22, 2012 at 7:11am — No Comments

Indiana's 5th: a view of the Democratic Party primary, April 21, 2012.

   Today’s Show has the promise of being really good. Our topic will be Indiana’s 5th District Congressional race. Our guests include Tony Long, a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for the general election in November. State Representative Scott Reske is Mr. Long’s opponent. Mr. Reske’s campaign manager, Lisa Carter, originally agreed to appear.

   One aspect of what I believe constitutes "civility" is to let guests know the topic for a program. The topic should…


Added by Mark Small on April 21, 2012 at 6:35am — No Comments

David McIntosh, may we see your driver's license and a copy of Virginia Code Ann. sec. 46.2-323.1?

   Is David McIntosh a resident of Indiana? Or did he give up his claim to Indiana residency when he moved to Virginia and obtained a Virginia driver’s license.

   McIntosh is a candidate in the Republican primary election to replace Dan Burton, who is retiring from Congress. McIntosh served three terms in Congress, from 1995 to 2001. He lost in his bid for Governor of Indiana in 2000, and moved to Virginia to do what so many do after losing a seat in Congress. He became a lobbyist.…


Added by Mark Small on April 20, 2012 at 6:22am — 1 Comment

Indiana's 5th Congressional District race: Saturday, April 21, at 11 a.m.

   Our guests on Saturday’s Show will be Democratic candidates for the 5th Congressional District. I will post their info tomorrow.

   On the Republican side, David McIntosh is a candidate who embraces some of the same stands as our most recent Republican president—George W. Bush. McIntosh would lower taxes and eliminate regulations. That approach did extremely well under George W. Bush—if you are a venture capitalist, manager of a hedge fund, or overseas investor. McIntosh…


Added by Mark Small on April 19, 2012 at 6:39am — No Comments

Saturday, April 21, Show: Indiana's 5th District Congressional race.

  As I wrote yesterday, the race for the Fifth Congressional District, where Dan Burton, a Republican, has held office since 1983, was re-configured. On January 31, he announced his retirement. That was rather a last-minute thing. Candidates’ signature filing deadline—by which a candidate had to have her/his application into the office of the Indiana Secretary of State along with 500 (I believe is the number) signatures in support—was February 24. The election boards have a nasty habit of…


Added by Mark Small on April 18, 2012 at 6:30am — No Comments

Saturday's Show: 5th Congressional District race.

   Congressman Dan Burton, a Republican, has held office in the United States House of Representatives since 1983. The Congressional District from which he has served has been re-configured a couple of times over those years. He has not enjoyed a fuzzy-warm relationship with his party’s leadership. That probably explains, in part, the re-configurations of the district he represents. Re-configuration implies an effort to unseat him. Leadership of the Democratic Party would like to "flip" the…


Added by Mark Small on April 17, 2012 at 6:00am — 1 Comment

Invitation to candidates for office.

   Saturday’s Show was a pleasure in which to participate. I hope that those who view it feel that it was informative.

   The May 8 primary election is only three weeks and two days from today. If any candidates for office are interested in appearing on The Show, I would encourage them to contact us.

Added by Mark Small on April 15, 2012 at 6:00am — No Comments

Today's topic is "toxic": how do we select judges (with some special attention to Marion County)?


   Are there topics we should be "afraid" to discuss on "Civil Discourse Now"? Two days ago I was told, by people whom I respect, that the topic for this week’s Show is "toxic."

   Thursday I attended a Continuing Legal Education Seminar (CLE) in Bloomington. (I did not attend undergrad there and so do not go "gaga" over memories of Kilroy’s, Zagreb’s, Nick’s, etc., although Wednesday evening I had a nice dinner at Malibu Grill as I…


Added by Mark Small on April 14, 2012 at 6:30am — No Comments

How do we choose judges in Marion County? Saturday, April 14's show at 11 a.m.

What is the proper means by which we select judges?

   This question embraces a topic many would considered "high-brow." That assessment by those many is: (1) false and (2) an expression of a prejudice against knowledge and intellect grown over the past few decades. A prejudice fostered, in part, by people who want the many to remain ignorant. If you believe the subject of judicial selection will bore you, I suggest the stakes in judicial selection are very…


Added by Mark Small on April 13, 2012 at 6:11am — 1 Comment

Will anyone defend current slating procedures for candidates for Marion County Superior Court Judges?

   This is an open invitation.  Will anyone accept this invitation to defend the system by which Marion County’s political parties—Democratic and Republican—choose candidates for Superior Court Judges?

   The Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, has described the system as corrupt. A recently retired Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, Justice Boehm, has described the system in similar terms.

   Candidates who wish to run for the office of Superior Court judge must pay a…


Added by Mark Small on April 12, 2012 at 9:00pm — No Comments

George Zimmerman's former lawyers' press conference was a travesty.

   Let me begin by saying: My position is George Zimmerman is innocent until charged, tried by a jury (or, if jury is waived, by a trial court), and found guilty.

   Two lawyers in Florida announced last week they represented George Zimmerman in regard to the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The press reported that the lawyers had not met face-to-face ( as opposed to some other manes by which one would "meet" another person) with Zimmerman.     Not having yet met one’s client is not an…


Added by Mark Small on April 11, 2012 at 6:11am — 1 Comment

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