Civil Discourse Now

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

December 2012 Blog Posts (19)

New Year's Eve: how to abate the effects of a hangover.

   Another amateur’s night is upon us. People who otherwise would be at home, watch TV, and retire for the evening by 10 feel the need to go out, get plastered, and stay up until midnight.

   Here are some practical tips for a pleasant New Year’s Eve; they are not authoritative and, if you have any questions or allergies, consult a physician:

   1) Do not drive. If you live within walking distance of your favorite local bar—there you go. Try to walk home in the company of…


Added by Mark Small on December 31, 2012 at 5:46am — 1 Comment

Today's Show: the Greatest Hits of 2012!

   On today’s Show, guest panelists Jeff Cox and Matt Stone will discuss with Paul Ogden and me: (1) the year’s highlights (2) how much money Indianapolis lost on the Super Bowl® (3) the dead pool for 2012 and (4) how 2010's gerrymandering bore fruit this year.

   Next week we start "live" podcasts on Indiana Talks at 11 on Saturdays.

Added by Mark Small on December 29, 2012 at 7:07am — No Comments

New York newspaper's printing of names and addresses of gun permit holders; irresponsible, but protected by the First Amendment.

   The Westchester Journal and News, a newspaper in New York, this week printed the names and addresses of gun permits holders in the county in which it is located and a neighboring county. This was an irresponsible act protected by the First Amendment that was meant purely for the attention it received.

   1) If the intent was to alert area residents of the proximity, to a reader’s home or business, of people who own guns—excuse me, but Wiiliams Tire Foundation (WTF)!? The…


Added by Mark Small on December 29, 2012 at 6:50am — No Comments

Under Indiana's Appellate Rules yesterday should have been a "non-business day" for purposes of deadlines.

   According to The Indiana Law Blog, yesterday both Chief Justice Dickson of the Indiana Supreme Court and Chief Judge Margaret Robb of the Indiana Court of Appeals declared the State’s courts closed due to the snow emergency. For those of you who had appellate briefs due yesterday, that should mean your due date is moved back. (WARNING: This only is an interpretation of the rules. The official word comes from the Court in question.)

   App.R. 25(A) provides that a…


Added by Mark Small on December 27, 2012 at 7:00am — No Comments

The Blizzard of 1978: Snowed into a Greencastle bar.

   With a blizzard imminent—the first flakes of a projected 12 inches have just begun at 5:25 a.m., and the wind gusts—I want to relate my experiences during the infamous Blizzard of 1978.

   During January, DePauw University stages Winter Term, a month during which students take one course to have fun with knowledge. I had opted for a fifth year at DPU and had completed the four required WTs (two years of "varsity debate, attending the tournaments I would have attended had there been…


Added by Mark Small on December 26, 2012 at 7:07am — No Comments

David Gregory lets NRA Prez off the hook on "Meet the Press."

   David Gregory hosts "Meet the Press," the Sunday news show that has been aired on NBC for 65 years. On December 23, Wayne LaPierre, head of the NRA, appeared on the show. LaPierre’s appearance, ostensibly, was to defend the NRA’s proposal—as its "contribution" to the problems highlighted by the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut on December 14.

   To Gregory’s credit, he had come prepared with props. To illustrate his questions about whether legislation to ban…


Added by Mark Small on December 24, 2012 at 7:20am — No Comments

Armed guards did not work at Columbine or (good grief!) Fort Hood!

   This country seems to be held hostage by ourselves. The NRA—as some alternative to gun control—advocates armed guards in our nation’s schools.

   Armed security was on staff at Columbine. The 2009 shootings at Fort Hood took place on an Army post—in the middle of a lot of people armed with firearms who were trained in use of firearms. Armed guards apparently are not as effective as the NRA would have us believe. An alternative would be to have armed guards in every hallway and in…


Added by Mark Small on December 23, 2012 at 6:51am — No Comments

Happy Holidays! (All of them.)

   The World did not end. Now a lot of people will have to deal with the unexpected—how to address the issues of credit card balances run up and bad checks written with the Mayan calendar’s doomsday prediction as the only defense.

   There were no "takers" on the invitation to discuss Christmas on today’s Show. Therefore, in light of the holidays—yesterday’s solstice, Tuesday’s Christmas, Wednesday’s Boxing Day and the beginning of Kwanzaa—it seems only fitting to take today off. (I…


Added by Mark Small on December 22, 2012 at 7:06am — No Comments

Invitation: to anyone who wants to discuss whether there was a Jesus and Jesus's birthday was December 25.

   Either the World ends today, or tomorrow "Civil Discourse Now" goes on at 11 a.m.

   Fox News® has reported a lot about a war on Christmas. I believe there should not be a "war" on Christmas, but a more rational understanding of the secular roots of the holiday.

   This is an invitation to anyone who would like to come onto the program tomorrow to discuss whether Christmas really is the birthday of Jesus Christ.  This topic entails a couple of questions. First, whether there…


Added by Mark Small on December 21, 2012 at 6:52am — 1 Comment

After January 1: "Civil Discourse Now" joins the "Indiana Talks" network!

   I had the pleasure, yesterday, of being a guest on The Gary Snyder Show. Gary has organized a network on the internet called "Indiana Talks." As I understand his goal, "Indiana Talks" is an internet platform for pod casts, originating from Indiana, that span a wide range of viewpoints. Google "Indiana Talks" and you can pick up its shows that are on now. I would provide a "link," but I am not that advanced techno-wise.

   Yesterday Gary also extended, and we accepted, an invitation…


Added by Mark Small on December 20, 2012 at 6:29am — No Comments

Penal corporations and the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary.

   Because of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I have heard many people call for stiffer prison sentences for people who commit offenses while armed with a gun and for greater action in the area of mental health. The latter seems to take the form of conferring upon government officials greater discretion to hold someone for a period of time to monitor the person’s behavior and determine whether the person should be detained longer.

   Both of these parts of a solution to…


Added by Mark Small on December 19, 2012 at 7:07am — No Comments

Ban private ownership of guns, but in the meantime...

   Today’s Show will be about "World Peace." Our guests will be the Reverend Dave and Bill Levin. We will go on at 11.

   Yesterday’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut does not make the country’s Number One mass shooting. That distinction remains with the incident at Virginia Tech. What seems most horrific is the 20 victims all of whom were young children.

   Polls indicate a majority of the people of this country favor gun control of various types.…


Added by Mark Small on December 15, 2012 at 7:33am — 1 Comment

The Show for Saturday, December 15: World Peace.

   Saturday, December 15, at 11 a.m. we shall live-stream a show about World Peace. So far our guests will be Bill Levin and the Reverend Dave. I will provide more details tomorrow.

   On Saturday, December 22, we shall discuss Christmas—Is it a pagan holiday? Was there really a Jesus? If Santa Claus wears red, gives things away for free, and relies upon masses of elves to manufacture his toys, does that make Santa a communist?

Added by Mark Small on December 12, 2012 at 7:09am — No Comments

A Letter to Governor-elect Pence: Tornadoes in Indiana are not about global climate change...

Dear Governor-Elect Pence:

   Your Eminence, Your Exaltedness, and Your whatever is appropriate for a person between jobs.

   In the couple of years before Hurricane Katrina, the political leaders of New Orleans and Louisiana gave insufficient thought to what many had seen as inevitable—a hell of a hurricane that could wash over a city below sea-level and cause mass havoc.

   Between Katrina and the latest hurricane on the East Coast, lessons were learned, and emergency…


Added by Mark Small on December 10, 2012 at 7:13am — No Comments

"Lincoln": The effects of the institution of slavery still are fel today.

   Today we will discuss the movie "Lincoln" and history of and surrounding the Civil War. We will be joined by guest panelist Matt Stone (IndyStudent).

   I was taught in grade school, junior high, and high school that the Civil War was fought to abolish slavery. That is both a simplistic and incorrect concept.

   At the outset, let me explain that in this discussion I will not refer to "slave owners." Implicit in use of that term is the notion the practice it describes bore…


Added by Mark Small on December 8, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments

December 8's Show: Lincoln.

   Tomorrow’s Show will be about "Lincoln"—the President, the movie, and, some would say, a vampire who occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

   Seriously—we will discuss the first two topics, as well as aspects of Lincoln’s life and presidency. Our guest will be Matt Stone, of IndyStudent dot com.

Added by Mark Small on December 7, 2012 at 6:39am — No Comments

"Lincoln": worth matinee price, but a disappointment overall.

   "Lincoln" is overrated as a flick. One gauge by which I judge a movie is whether it is worth full-price, only matinee price, or nothing. I am glad I paid matinee.

   Paul Ogden has written a truncated view of the film. While he seems rather indignant over the experience (I think because he scrimped on popcorn and soda; really—is he an American? Anyone seen his birth certificate? Let me know), I think the movie was over-written and dragged. I thought the flick was good at times.…


Added by Mark Small on December 6, 2012 at 7:11am — 1 Comment

Broad Ripple parking garage: when someone else foots the bill and you receive the profits, of course your crews work on Saturdays.

   Construction contractors do not perform work for sheer fun. One may refer to the free market, incentives, or a similar term, but the notion that work is performed for pay is a constant.

   The past few Saturdays I have noticed construction workers active on the parking garage at the confluence of College and Broad Ripple Avenues and Westfield Boulevard. Several points need to be made, based on what I learned from my old man, who was a union sheet metal contractor:

   1) In…


Added by Mark Small on December 2, 2012 at 7:05am — No Comments

Today's Show: Whether the system of primares has corrupted how we choose candidates for President.

   On today’s Show, shot from 1915 Broad Ripple Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America, Planet Earth, Paul Ogden and I will discuss whether the system of presidential primaries has corrupted the selection of candidates for President of the United States, and what alternatives we have to the system.

Added by Mark Small on December 1, 2012 at 7:01am — No Comments

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