Civil Discourse Now

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

October 2011 Blog Posts (20)

Rick Perry gives a good speech when drunk.

   I am not fond of Governor Rick Perry of Texas. I have yet to perceive intelligence in any statements he had made. He lacks insight in the area of economics. His response to crime is to execute as many people as possible. But I will give him credit for one skill.

   He gave a campaign speech in New Hampshire on Friday night. His numbers have tanked, from mid-20 percent to under five, when last I looked. Pinnochio would poll better. And with Pinnochio, we at least could tell when he…


Added by Mark Small on October 30, 2011 at 6:08am — No Comments

Anti-Obama sentiment from---Michael Moore?

   On Keither Olberman Olbermann's show on Current TV, Michael Moore made an excellent point. To paraphrase, if the Republican Party is the party of the rich, why has it produced only clowns as possible candidates for the office of POTUS? (Use of that acronym implies deeper knowledge of the subject.) Would they not want "their" guy in office? Unless, of course, their guy already is in the White House.

   Count me as amongst people on the Left who have been disappointed---deeply…


Added by Mark Small on October 29, 2011 at 6:40am — No Comments

Newspapers are passe, and David Brooks says thank you.

   Whenever I travel, I like to read the local newspapers. In 1990 I read The Baltimore Sun and was astounded by the writing. In Florida last spring I wondered why the St. Petersburg and Tampa newspapers were so good. The dailies were like The Indianapolis Star of old. They were thick, and not with ads, although obviously they carried ads. There was coverage of local news. Even national and international stories seemed to have local writers. Indiana is in the same country. Why was there such…


Added by Mark Small on October 28, 2011 at 5:58am — No Comments

Peter Heck and the Kokomo Tribune

   I was born in Kokomo. My parents’ farm was a mile from West Middleton, where civilization existed in the form of Chapman’s gas station and its soda pop (can’t write "coke" without the ®) machine and Spike Crail’s garage with an ancient soda pop dispenser that consisted of a well of cold water from which the necks of bottles of soft drinks stuck up. We paid with money we had made baling hay, our arms still on the mend from scratches and punctures. The ride on my three-speed Murray (read:…


Added by Mark Small on October 27, 2011 at 6:54am — No Comments

Is anyone paying attention to Bank of America latest rip-off?

   There are rumblings that Bank of America ("BoA") is in danger of failing. But wait---I thought we were inculcated with the notion it was too big to fail? Anyway, check the various websites. Whatever the number---and I have read as high as $75 trillion, as in take one billion and multiply it by 1,000----BoA has transferred so-called toxic assets it had acquired from other banks and transferred them to a federally-insured fund. In other words, the same folks who screamed they needed a…


Added by Mark Small on October 25, 2011 at 6:13am — No Comments

Has Peyton Manning played his last game?

   I did not bother to stay up and watch the Colts-Saints debacle last night. I have had to wonder, the last couple of weeks, several things about the Colts' quarterback situation.

   One thing to get out of the way. This is not simply a sports matter. The taxpayers have ponied up mucho dollars for the Colts. We paid for them to move here. We built them not one, but two stadia. When we built the second we paid them damages for having terminated the lease early on the Hoosier Dome…


Added by Mark Small on October 24, 2011 at 6:32am — No Comments

What is civil discourse?

   October 22 we were privileged to have three candidates for local office---Matt Stone and Bill Levin, Libertarian candidates for City-County Council, and Conrad Cortellini, write-in candidate for mayor. Mr. Levin expressed himself in a fashion familiar to me. He twice used forms of a four-letter word. In various forms and contexts, the word can be a noun, an adjective, or a gerund. Usually it is a transitive verb. It shares with the word "firetruck" the same letters: the first and the last…


Added by Mark Small on October 23, 2011 at 6:57am — No Comments

There are no new jobs, except in China.

   Our jobs are overseas. China has obtain them. The Chinese are a noble people. Their government is not.  The OWS demonstrations, or movements, or whatever. Our focus, as a people should  consist of more than just bitching. We need jobs here. But machine have taken the place of people. We need to rise to the occasion. We need to recgnise that we have far more people than we have jobs. people need to resist the flow of jobs overseas.

   OWS's adherents call for more regulation of…


Added by Mark Small on October 19, 2011 at 8:47pm — No Comments

Mr. Haney from "Green Acres," and a hypothetical about the Fair Tax

   Let's say the so-called Fair Tax is enacted. As I understand the Fair Tax, new goods are subject to taxation. Used goods are not.

   What constitutes a "new good"? Let's look at automobiles. One new tire on a used car does not a new car make. On the other extreme, one used tire on a car fresh off the assembly line, I think most people would agree, does not make the car "used." What about "refurbished" cars? The State---and I use the word in the general sense of sovereign---would…


Added by Mark Small on October 19, 2011 at 6:05am — No Comments

Ryan Vaughn, City-County Council president, has not really ridden the bus.

   Ryan Vaughn, the president of the City-County Council, was one of our guests on Saturday's show.  To his credit, he could have lied and no one (except him) would have realized it.

   One issue that we discussed was mass transit in Indy. I explained I lived in Chicago for a couple of years where we didn't have to schedule our lives around arrival times of the bus at the corner. Especially during morning and evening rush hours, on most routes, a bus came by every five or ten minutes.…


Added by Mark Small on October 17, 2011 at 6:03am — No Comments

Guests galore on today's show.

City-County Council candidates will be guests today. The show will be up on the net tomorrow by 11.

Added by Mark Small on October 15, 2011 at 6:42am — No Comments

Invite to the October 15 show.

   Paul Ogden and I co-host "Civil Discourse Now" and film on Saturdays, usually at 1 p.m., at Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell in Broad Ripple. If you turn east onto 65th Street off of College, Cornell is the street immediately before the Monon Trail. Big Hat Books is the second building north of 65th on the left (west) side of Cornell. This week we shall discuss local campaign issues with candidates for City-County Council. 

   On October 22 we shall discuss the legalization of all…


Added by Mark Small on October 12, 2011 at 6:04am — No Comments

Occupy Some Street

   There are two populist movements emergent in the United States today. My friend and colleague Paul Ogden perhaps disagree on basic political philosophies. I agree with his position that the Occupy Wall Street people and the tea baggers are both populist movements. Did you notice that Occupy Wall Street did not adopt a name that had a meaning of which its participants were unaware? The OWS people have college degrees, from what I understand. A great many of them are angry over having…


Added by Mark Small on October 10, 2011 at 6:06am — No Comments

Local politics discussed rationally in the coming weeks.

   Words and phrases oftentimes are misleading. One can ask whether "local politics"---or politics of any kind, can be discussed rationally. One could qualify the topic by particular place---Marion County, Indiana---and time---the  second decade of the Twenty-First, what historians in all likelihood will call the Chinese Century or the Indian Century but in no event Another American Century. As economic policies begun under the nominal presidency of the man who almost was cast as Rick Blaine…


Added by Mark Small on October 8, 2011 at 5:46am — No Comments

The Fair Tax and the Federal Reserve this week's topics.

   There are advocates for the Fair Tax as a substitute for the Federal Income Tax. There also are advocates of no taxes at all. This Saturday, "Civil Discourse Now" will have, as our two topics, the Fair Tax---and that is not a tax levied to fund the State Fair ("Our state fair is a very good fair!") or the various county fairs, although it could be---and the Federal Reserve. We start at 1 p.m. at Big Hat Books.

   I must apologize to a person who took the time and the interest to…


Added by Mark Small on October 7, 2011 at 5:49am — No Comments

Occupy Wall Street and student demonstrations of times past.

   In grade school, junior high and high school, we watched the news each evening. At least those of later to be called geeks watched the news. A chief feature of the reports of Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley (after his partner Chet Huntley succumbed to cigarette-related cancer), and whomever the anchor-of-the-month was featured on ABC was the latest in student demonstrations. Civil rights demonstrations were on as well, but as a white kid raised in rural Indiana, I identified more with the…


Added by Mark Small on October 6, 2011 at 6:02am — No Comments

Nazification of discourse is trite.

   Ann Coulter must have spiked the LSAT. How else could she have obtained admission into the University of Michigan School of Law? She only says things to attract attention and sell books, one might say. If she were a Hollywood gossip person, matters might be different. I do not mean to downplay the harm that harsh, false words can have to a person who is the target of an item from a Hollywood gossip person. I do not say "columnist" because, here in 2011, I think  that term is obsolete. …


Added by Mark Small on October 5, 2011 at 6:04am — 2 Comments

October 8's show: topics are Fair tax and the Federal Reserve

   On Saturday, October 8, on "Civil Discourse Now," Paul Ogden and I will discuss the so-called fair tax and also the Federal Reserve.

   We did not shoot the show last week and that was my fault. I was sick on Thursday and was out-of-sorts through the weekend. I feel particularly guilty because one person showed up at Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell Avenue, where we do the show at 1:00 p.m. I would encourage anyone who wishes to do so to come to the show.

   I think  the fair tax…


Added by Mark Small on October 4, 2011 at 5:56am — No Comments

Does the Constitution mention professional sports?

   This is the year the Colts can use to draft a replacement for Peyton Manning, when Manning retires in 2019 or 2020. The record of our boys in blue should be dismal. If the Colts are as ineffective as they looked against the Browns, we should see the Number One pick---please don't tell me it's been traded away---firmly in Bill Polian's clutches. I do not know if there is a quarterback of Peyton Manning's odd combination of talents---physical ability, football genius, and a geekish love of…


Added by Mark Small on October 3, 2011 at 5:54am — No Comments

Nov. 12 Monon Bell panel discussion, with drink specials.

PLACE: Broad Ripple Tavern

   On November 12, 2011, DePauw University will play its rival to the north, Wabash College. Former Republican candidate for United States Congress---and alum of the school in Crawfordsvile---Carlos May has agreed to join me in a discussion, or more likely debate, agreement on the exact wording of which we have yet to reach. It will encompass whether single-gender, post-secondary educational institutions are of any positive value. We should start at about…


Added by Mark Small on October 1, 2011 at 6:09am — No Comments

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