On May 5, 2012, I shall walk in my fourteenth consecutive 500 Festival MiniMarathon®. We have a surprise for Civil Discourse Now with coverage of the Mini. I shall not miss a Mini. Last year I walked the 13.1 miles after having been diagnosed, the previous weekend, with pneumonia. After I completed my first Mini in 1999, I swore to myself I never would miss a Mini—unless I was dead or the MS finally had beaten me.
MS? Why the vehemence about the Mini? You need to know the…Continue
There are many problems in today’s world. People die. Despotism reigns. Chaos flourishes. In the Grand Scheme, athletic competitions seem trivial, at best a mere allegory for life: there is a start, a meaning (goal), and an end (death), unless the game is baseball and the contest, technically, never would end where the two teams could not break a tie in extra innings.
If we set aside for a moment the question of whether there is importance for sports in the Grand Scheme, next is…Continue
Yesterday, March 7, was quite warm for this time of year in Indiana. I wore a t-shirt outside part of the afternoon. The wind was brisk, but the sky was clear.
The weather of one day, taken alone, is not indicative of world climate change. The weather of one year, taken by itself, is not indicative of world climate change.
"Climate change" is short-hand, today, for the discussion about whether humans have caused, principally through their of fossil fuels, significant…Continue
Advertisers are in a rush to abandon Rush Limbaugh for Limbaugh’s on-air rant against the Georgetown Law Center student who had sought to testify at hearings on a Congressional hearing concerning contraceptives.
First, the dispute is not one over freedom of religion. If one wishes to advance a religious cause in this context, we should turn first to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. That precedes the Free Exercise Clause. If one wishes to advance his religious…Continue
Before the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1969, we were treated with interesting spots on the evening news. In 1969 the Cuyahoga River, in beautiful downtown Cleveland, burned. When one approached Gary on I-65, the sky was orange from the effluents of the steel mills.
Yesterday, in response to my blog about the environment, Mr. Wheeler claimed "you posit an extreme example from your childhood days as that somehow…Continue
Rick Santorum spoke a couple of weeks ago about President Obama’s attitude toward environmental matters. In dismissing concerns for the environment, Santorum said his god gave people this planet to use.
How can a person be so short-sighted and such a poor student of history? When Richard Nixon—yes, that Richard Nixon—signed into law environmental protection laws, there were a lot of problems with our environment.
On the west side of Kokomo was a steel mill. When I was…Continue
As a kid I watched Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," and inspiring movie about an honest, everyday guy who by happenchance is appointed to the United States Senate from an unnamed Midwestern state. The movie reaches its peak when Senator Jeff Smith filibusters to block a bill that is backed by the corrupt political bosses who seek to have him removed from the Senate.
Frank Capra’s film is a classic. Also, it explains how the filibuster is an important part of our…Continue
In Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut statute that not only prohibited the use of contraceptive devices, but made it a criminal offense for anyone to give out information of instruction on their use. The case is cited by many as having begun the concept of the right to privacy as a part of the U.S. Constitution. The concept goes back earlier in the Court’s history, though. In Oldstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438…Continue
When Europeans first came to the shores of this continent, Europe was in turmoil over religion. Between Luther’s 95 Theses to the Treaty of Westphalia over one hundred years of bloodshed passed. Some who came to the North American shores sought refuge from religious persecution. Others came for economic reasons. Some came through no choice—chained and sold, once they arrived here, as chattel. They were slaves.
Rick Santorum is an odd person to advocate rejection of the separation…Continue
On our March 3 Show we shall discuss the presidential primaries and look forward to SuperTuesday®. (I used the trademark thingy there because I was not sure if some opportunistic bastard already had taken it.) The two hotly-contested races in the ... I’ll back up. There are two political parties. Those parties have funneled the system into two channels. An eligible, registered person can vote either Republican or Democrat, as those parties represent both sides of all political…Continue
I went on a rant at the start of yesterday’s fifth segment.
Usually we do four, 14-minute segments of "Civil Discourse Now" on Saturday mornings. If we are having fun with a particular topic, or it is proving too difficult to cover in only four segments, we will go five segments.
Yesterday, our guests were Jeff Cox and Kurt Lorey. We discussed whether the United States is biased toward Israel. Co-host Paul Ogden, between segments, commented that the discussion of…Continue
I never understood why some Christians blame Jews for killing Jesus.
First, let me say I am an atheist. Some who read this blog will say I therefore have no right to comment, and no knowledge upon which to comment competently, on or about any matter related to Christianity. As to the former: when candidates for political office practically have to pass a religious test to be considered for office, then Christianity affects us all. As to the latter, I was raised as a Christian.…Continue
Added by Mark Small on February 25, 2012 at 7:12am — No Comments
Our guests on Saturday will be Jeff Cox and Kurt Lorie. We shoot at 11 at Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell in Broad Ripple.
All of us should be alarmed by Rick Santorum’s views. He is ignorant about history. For example, Thomas Jefferson argued for having the Feds in education during his 1806 State of the Union address. The public high school I attended took more of an interest in athletics than it did academics, but the skills I learned there enabled me to compete with others, and complete the degree requirements, at DePauw University.
Santorum chose to home-school his children. Home-schooling might…Continue
I first became aware of the modern state of Israel during the Six Days War in 1967. The images that played on the evening news were of an underdog country engaged in a battle for survival with bully opponents. I was unaware of the societal guilt built up over two millennia of Western persecution of the Jewish people. Nor was I aware of the manner in which Jewish settlers, desperate to escape persecution sharpened in the 1920s and made even more acute in Germany with Hitler’s ascendancy to…Continue
Two weeks in a row on the same topic?
Yes, we are doing that—but look at the topic: efficacy of third parties in American politics.
Today our guests will be Chris Spangle of the Libertarian Party and Timothy Platt, Executive Director of the Socialist Central Committee, Ltd.
Other local shows do not cover alternative parties. Most voters—look at the numbers in the elections—do not give alternative parties the benefit of thought enough to vote for a candidate…Continue
Added by Mark Small on February 18, 2012 at 7:21am — No Comments
This week we continue our discussion of the efficacy of third parties in American politics. Joining Paul Ogden and me on the panel will be Timothy Platt of the Socialist Central Committee, Ltd., and Chris Spangle of the Libertarian Party.
Saturday, February 18, "Civil Discourse Now" is the day and 11 a.m. is the time. As I said in regard to last week’s Show, certainly we shall discuss issues in the context of our guests’ respective parties’ platforms, but the focus of the…Continue
Added by Mark Small on February 16, 2012 at 7:44am — No Comments
Come on! We have a Show. We have civil discourse. Watch the past ashows. We soon will be "live." In the meantime, we will have an audience--right there. We broadcast on the seond floor of Big Hat Books 6510 Cornell Avenue in Broad Ripple. Do you want to enhance discourse? Get off your butts. Come out and shownup. There's no cover charges, unless the Batles appear. This week? Third pareties and thir efficacy in American Politics. Come on! Ask questions. Demand answers. If we do not do…Continue
Added by Mark Small on February 12, 2012 at 9:16pm — No Comments
Parties that have arisen as alternatives to the Democratic and Republican parties should not be called "third parties." First, that cedes ground to the two "major" parties and implies any new party merely is a stand-by. Second, as I previously have written on this blog, the two majors function as one party in significant respects. In each of the 46 states and four commonwealths, they have enacted legislation that limits access to ballots to "two" parties. They also derive monies from many…Continue
Added by Mark Small on February 11, 2012 at 7:18am — No Comments
In the United States, health care costs twice as much per capita as in the second-most expensive country for health care, according to the National Center for Health Studies. Yet we rank 37th in the World in health care quality and 42nd in adult mortality rates.
The people who profit from this system are the major shareholders in health insurance companies. In the meantime, the rest of us die sooner than we should. I pay nearly $1,000 per month for health…Continue