Civil Discourse Now

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

May 2012 Blog Posts (26)

Really, Paul? You have a problem with suggestions on how people can register in compliance with the law?

   Yesterday, my colleague and co-host of "Civil Discourse Now," Paul Ogden responded to my blog about means by which people can attempt to comply with Indiana’s restrictive Voter ID law.

   First, Paul is mistaken in his statement that I am a Democrat. I always have voted in the Democratic Party primary. Usually the candidates for whom I vote are Democrats. Amongst those candidates have been people whom I believe were the best for the particular office in question. In other…


Added by Mark Small on May 30, 2012 at 6:38am — 4 Comments

Meet---and beat---Indiana's law requiring Photo ID to vote head-on.

   There is a concerted effort to block people, legally entitled to vote, from exercising that right. One manifestation of that effort has been Voter ID laws. Indiana took the first dubious steps in enacting such statutes. A challenge of the statutes to the United States Supreme Court was unsuccessful.

   How, then, do we defeat the effort to disenfranchise so many voters? Mine is a proposal that would fight, at least to some degree, this effort.

The Problems:



Added by Mark Small on May 28, 2012 at 5:52am — 3 Comments

How do we create jobs for humans when jobs once performed by humans are now performed by machines

   The videos of robots on the Toyota assembly line are fascinating. Or switch over to the show "How Things Are Made" on cable or satellite. Huge mechanical arms pivot, drop, weld, swing, lift, pivot back, and wait for the next piece to come to it. One’s first thought, maybe, is: "That’s really cool!"

   Those tasks used to be performed by human beings. The piece of metal destined to be a fender on a Pontiac, Plymouth or Mercury (I chose those brands for a reason, obviously) would…


Added by Mark Small on May 27, 2012 at 8:43am — No Comments

Today's Show: The Economy, and that's not all!


   This morning, May 26, our guests will be James Nease and, according to James in an e-mail from last night, Dan Forrestal. The topic will be the economy. Perhaps I should say The Economy.

   We also shall premiere a new segment of The Show: "What’s Goin’ On?" Paul Ogden and I will discuss—in quick-time—five or six current topics. The first topic up will be the possible new round of largesse the City of Indianapolis seems ready…


Added by Mark Small on May 26, 2012 at 6:06am — No Comments

The Show for Saturday, May 26, at 11 a.m.: The Economy, from the Indy Cigar Bar.

   The economy either sucks or it does not or, if a person is sufficiently wealthy as to be insulated from its effects, the economy is a meaningless hum in the background as one enjoys life.

   For the rest of us, the economy is a daily—what? Is it a fact of our existence? Is it a constant struggle? Is it a quasi-mechanical entity that operates consistent with rules of what seem like physics? Can we tell "how" the economy is doing by any means? If so, what are those means? Why does…


Added by Mark Small on May 25, 2012 at 6:08am — No Comments

The Indy 500(r): growing up listening to it on the radio.

   Until 1983 I knew the Race—THE Race, the Indianapolis 500—only through radio. We lived on a farm a few miles west of Kokomo. The 500 was not broadcast "live" until 1986, according to one report I read on the internet, on network TV. It was available, on what was called "closed circuit TV" for a fee, across the country. Our area was "blacked out" for TV coverage even after the 500 went on TV. the air.

   My first recollection of a specific Indianapolis 500 was of the 1963 race.…


Added by Mark Small on May 24, 2012 at 5:50am — 2 Comments

"Jabberwocky" and how Indiana was bitten by the monster's jaws in the Indiana Toll Road lease.

   The image from the 1977 flick still is with me. The economic lesson of the cooper and his amputated feet is one that would have served as guidance a few years back when Indiana’s governor and legislature saw fit to lease—for seventy-five (75) years—the Indiana Toll Road. The notion, as one popular blogger has said, was to pay for Indiana’s backed-up road projects that were sorely in need of money.

   The problem with the solution—the 75-year lease of the Indiana Toll Road to a…


Added by Mark Small on May 22, 2012 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

Saturday, May 26: spend or cut? Keynes versus Austria in economics.

   The European economy has been in turmoil for months. Much has been made of the effects of economic systems there in which much of the expenditures are made for social programs, such as retirement and universal health care.

   Great Britain’s prime minister decided to launch austerity programs to avoid such chaos. Unfortunately, it would appear that austerity programs have caused more economic woes than the social programs they would cut.

   On next Saturday’s Show we shall…


Added by Mark Small on May 21, 2012 at 6:51am — No Comments

Today's Show: we discuss bullying "Live" from 10-01 in Broad Ripple at 11 a.m.; public invited.

When I read the story about the Arsenal Tech High School student, Darnell Young, who was expelled for carrying to school and firing into the air a Taser for self-defense, I wondered about what school officials knew before the incident in which he was surrounded and attacked. I also wondered how many of the students involved were jocks.

   I ran track (slowly) my freshman year of high school. At the start of that track season, I weight 98 pounds—seriously; the 98-pound weakling,…


Added by Mark Small on May 19, 2012 at 6:37am — No Comments

Why we podcast from local businesses, like we shall this Saturday at 11 a.m. from 10-01 in Broad Ripple.

   Saturday at 11 a.m. we will podcast from "10-01," a restaurant and pub located in Broad Ripple at the southeast corner of Broad Ripple Avenue and—those familiar with Broad Ripple will understand—what could be called Winthrop Avenue or Westfield Boulevard. Actually it is Winthrop, but Winthrop changes a block north to the better-known Westfield Boulevard. The address of the establishment is 1001 Broad Ripple Avenue, hence the name.

   Most weeks we have podcast "Civil Discourse Now"…


Added by Mark Small on May 18, 2012 at 6:32am — No Comments

Saturday's Show at "10-01," the Broad Ripple restaurant and pub: the topic is "bullying."

   I do not believe students (grade school, junior high, high school, or college) should carry firearms in classes, on campus, etc. There are some high school kids mature enough to handle the responsibilities of carrying a deadly weapon, but that is a time when hormones run high, education is not advanced, and tempers can flare. Of course, we allow kids to drive at age 16 (and the statistics—auto crashes form the leading cause of death for kids age 13-19; 16-year-olds have higher crash rates…


Added by Mark Small on May 17, 2012 at 6:28am — No Comments

Etch-A-Sketch(r) is far beyond Mitt Romney's skills.

   Much has been said about the Romney campaign worker who said something to the effect that his candidate could adapt to the general election, once nominated, and change from right-wing extremist to a more main-stream conservative, just like an "Etch-A--Sketch"®.

   For those of you too young to remember, Etch-A-Sketch® was a toy usually given when a kid was about 11 or 12 years old in the 1960s and into the 1970s. It was a lot like an iPad in shape, only thicker. It had a gray…


Added by Mark Small on May 16, 2012 at 6:32am — No Comments

Saturday, May 19 Show: Bullying as a societal problem.

   In 7th grade I weighed 68 pounds. I credit that, in part, to my mother’s cooking. When I reached DePauw, and everyone else complained about the food in the dorm (Freshman year I was in the dorm), I was happy. For the first time I was not plagued by stomach cramps.

   Of slight stature, on occasion I confronted a bully. The situation in our school maybe was different from what I read about bullying in school’s today. Usually the bullies in our high school dropped out, got…


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

Some tips to minimize getting "hacked."

   On Saturday morning, I received a "notification" from my internet service provider that someone had accessed at least one of my computers from a location inconsistent with my past user locations. I pulled up the info, found out that two ISPs—one in the Czech Republic and the other in Texas—were listed as having (1) taken over my browser and (2) accessed my mail.

   I have a security system on my computers. Also, having been "accessed" on a prior occasion, I had changed passwords on…


Added by Mark Small on May 14, 2012 at 5:45am — 4 Comments

If there is a heaven, do people have sex there?

   Weddings and funerals can be events of joy—a wedding is supposed to be a celebration of love and the beginning of a yellow brick road for two people skipping off to Oz; a funeral can be the celebration of a life of someone well-loved who brought happiness to others—mourning—a wedding can pair two people whose lives together can be foreseen by all assembled, on both sides of the aisle (real bipartisanship) as a train wreck; a funeral, especially of someone young or who died under horrible…


Added by Mark Small on May 13, 2012 at 6:52am — 1 Comment

Reasons against marriage equality (what many call "gay marriage") are not credible.

   I never understood why people oppose marriage by people who are of the same gender. I have heard several arguments posed:

   1) It complicates insurance coverage for dependents. I have a solution to that: single-payer; Medicare-for-All.

   2) Various religions do not recognize marriage between members of the same sex as valid. I have a response to that: the First Amendment Establishment Clause. This is not a "Christian" country. There is a separation of religion and…


Added by Mark Small on May 12, 2012 at 6:49am — No Comments

May 12 Show: Marriage Equality in the United States.

Tomorrow we shall discuss marriage equality. This issue has become prominent this week with President Obama's announcement of his support for equal rights of people to marry, despite their sexual preference. We live-stream at 11. And yay! The website is slowly returning. Thanks Marg!

Added by Mark Small on May 11, 2012 at 8:37pm — No Comments

Changes are coming.

  Change is constant---ah! That is ironic or self-contradictory or whatever.

   Senator Richard Lugar lost last night. Mitch Daniels only can serve two terms in office and probably will work for a "think" tank come January 2. Peyton Manning will suit up for the Denver Broncos this fall. Oh---and your Indiana Pacers are in the playoffs legitimately.

   This website will undergo reconstruction over the next couple of days. I erred in contracting someone to do the work on The Show…


Added by Mark Small on May 9, 2012 at 5:23am — No Comments

My somewhat different predictions for today's primary elections.

   Here are my own, somewhat different predictions for today’s primary elections:

   1) The race for the Republican Party nomination for United States Senate will not be very close. Senator Richard Lugar has distanced himself from this State and its people. State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. (as I prefer to pronounce it "Mor-dock" as in "Mordor; if you do not catch the allusion, read The Hobbit then the trilogy.) This will cause the Democratic National Committee to sit up and…


Added by Mark Small on May 8, 2012 at 6:34am — 1 Comment

Does anyone know how to convert/embed Ustream to YouTube?

   We had a great Show yesterday with Jon Easter and Karl Scharnberg about primary election predictions. The Show streamed live and shot well. Unfortunately, there is a glitch in uploading the recorded version of the Show. Please check back later today. And if anyone knows how to convert Ustream to YouTube, give me a call—PLEASE!  

Added by Mark Small on May 7, 2012 at 5:59am — No Comments

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