Civil Discourse Now

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

All Blog Posts (843)

There oughtta be a law: government cannot subsidize professional sports.

   In the early 1980s, I visited Indianapolis from Chicago. I thought construction of a football stadium here was rather odd, given Indianapolis lacked a National Football League® team.  “Field of Dreams” had yet to be produced, but the concept of “build it and he will come” was a reality. Mayflower® moving trucks, as everyone well knows, transported the Colts from Baltimore to Indianapolis in 1983.

   The Colts now have played as the team of Indianapolis longer than as the team of Charm…


Added by Mark Small on April 22, 2015 at 8:02am — No Comments

Poem from 1986


c. 1986 by mark small.

Cattle crop lower branches

of the tree line

     luminescent with the sun

14 shades of glowing green---

but for the cottonwoods,

leaves upturned in whiteness,

pages to be read by breezes.

Hot July fragrances

on heavy corn-pollinated air---

     and mown hay

     and cut peppermint.

And blades of timothy, sweet

to the tastes of the horses.

And a falling sense of…


Added by Mark Small on March 12, 2015 at 6:14am — No Comments

Mitch the ... makes Purdue clerical employees take a hit; hey, there's always Plasma Alliance.

   On March 1, 1980, I moved to Lafayette, Indiana. I obtained employment on the clerical staff at Purdue University, across the Wabash River from where I crashed on a friend’s couch. A few months later I moved to a basement apartment in the student ghetto. At 15 North Salisbury, I paid $112.50 for my half of the rent, and the price included all utilities and basic cable. I did not own a car. My job, in the Life Sciences Library, was a six-block walk from my residence. A grocery store…


Added by Mark Small on March 1, 2015 at 7:34am — No Comments

Trash Pick-up Cancellations---Fodder for Mayor Ballard to Privatize Another Aspect of Indy Before He Leaves Office?

   The number of days trash pick-up has been canceled worries me. I think the administration of Greg “Give Me a Reason to Toss Sweet Deals to Pals” Ballard will use the days trash pick-up have been canceled this winter as a pre-text for final privatization of that service by the City.

   First, let me say that I understand what it is like to work in sub-zero weather. During college, I worked for my old man’s construction company. His company was union, but there was an exemption for…


Added by Mark Small on February 24, 2015 at 6:59am — No Comments

Saudi professor, women drivers, and why AAA should send leaflets to the Kingdom.

   Representatives of the United States government—members of Congress, officials in the executive branch—often talk about our “friend” and “ally” Saudi Arabia.

   One needs to overlook a few unpleasant aspects of that country, the first part of the name of which is derived from the name of the family that has ruled it since the 1920s. There is the marked weakness of human rights. For example, to criticize the King or other governmental officials is also to risk imprisonment. There are…


Added by Mark Small on February 10, 2015 at 7:14am — No Comments

Higher education is too valuable to "infrastructure" not to be tuition free: response to Ogden on Kennedy.

   Sheila Kennedy blogged about the attempt by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to remove language from the University of Wisconsin’s mission statement that its mission it to “extend knowledge and its application beyond the boundaries of its campus” and to “serve and stimulate society.” Ms. Kennedy reports Associated Press as noting “He also wanted to remove the statement ‘Basic to every purpose of the system is the search for truth.’”

   Paul Ogden, at “Ogden on Politics,” took issue…


Added by Mark Small on February 9, 2015 at 6:58am — No Comments

We should not cater to corporations on The World Series---to be won by The Chicago Cubs in 2015.

   As a fan of the Chicago Cubs National League Baseball Club®, I have experienced a lot of anguish. As a citizen of the United States, I have seen my rights erode concomitantly with bestowal of rights on corporations—fictional entities created to shield shareholders from liability (the most popular reason to incorporate).

   Now a sports agent Scott Boras proposes playing The World Series on a neutral field. Boras criticizes the “surprise” of where The World Series is played as bad for…


Added by Mark Small on January 28, 2015 at 6:29am — No Comments

The Supreme Court, and its decisions, inherently are political: Happy Roe day.

   January 22 is the anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).

   “They should take politics out of selection of judges,” a fellow seated to my right commented a couple of days ago.

   We should be clear about one matter: judges, as part of our political system, are selected by various processes—Federal appointment for life after nomination by the President and confirmation by the Senate; various hybrids, at the State level, of…


Added by Mark Small on January 22, 2015 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

The Koran does not prohibit depiction of anyone or anything: pardon the ignorance.

   When I have spoken with friends about Islam, none has read The Koran—the holy book of the religion. In yesterday’s blog I criticized those who are ignorant of the religion. Ignorance produces fear and fear begets violence.

   I want to clarify that I am not an advocate of Islam. Nor am I an advocate of any religion. I do not believe in the existence of a supreme deity. As I wrote yesterday, I am an atheist because I have studied religions. A principle dynamic of religion is a basic…


Added by Mark Small on January 9, 2015 at 7:05am — No Comments

Learn about religion---then make fun of it.

   Yesterday’s mass shooting of editors and other staff at “Charlie Hebdo,” a French publication known for satire, most prominently of matters related to Islam, demonstrated some people cannot tolerate humor.

   Religious extremists exist, be they in Islam, Christianity or Judaism—all, by the way, from the branch of religions arisen from the concept of Abraham—and have carried out other atrocities in history. Christians flayed the head of the library of Alexandria—Egypt, not Madison…


Added by Mark Small on January 8, 2015 at 7:15am — No Comments

"The Interview" and how perhaps a faux hack turned a mediocre flick into box office profits.

   SONY Pictures produces a movie that sucks—according to the critics whose reviews I have read. “The Interview” is a one punch line film of questionable taste. Because the flick is centered on a pair of journalists who plan to assassinate Kim Jong Un, and the film’s makers do a lot of promo (they appear on “The Daily Show,” as I recall, and other places), the flick garners more attention than perhaps would have been the case.

   Here is where matters become more interesting. Kim Jong Un…


Added by Mark Small on December 25, 2014 at 7:46am — No Comments

Changes, survival and CDN after January 1.

   The quarries north of Bloomington during the summer in the 1970s were sort of like a Hoosier variation of Woodstock. My recollection of how we got there, and the route we took and the destination—did we crawl over a fence near 17th Street?—is vague. Ultimately we walked down a dirt lane, along which a guy sold Coors beer—the real stuff that one could not purchase in Indiana legally and it was maintained cold all the way from Colorado, or at least that was what anyone who asked was…


Added by Mark Small on December 21, 2014 at 9:03pm — No Comments

Political Party of Green now the ONLY party in this Nation's political system.

   There only is one real party in the United States, and it is a Party of Green.

   I did not write the Green Party—the left-wing, environmental-focused party—is the only real party in the United States. That would be a silly statement to write.

   The “green” of which I write is the color that has figured so dominantly in United States currency. Money controls the United States. Voters, except in the immediate run-up to elections, can be damned. In the time immediately before an…


Added by Mark Small on December 16, 2014 at 7:21am — No Comments

Happy Straight Day!

   No: this is a day to celebrate because the date lines up in a numerical “straight.” December 13, 2014 is 12/13/14.

   Sometimes life stretches out, a gray expanse of days. One after the other, each day is comprised of routine mixed with nuances of detail overlaid with the same levels of stress. Joy must be taken in the odd moment available.

   In 2006 I wanted to throw a party on June 6, maybe something outside on the deck, but the kid with the Rottweiler guard dogs showed up on…


Added by Mark Small on December 13, 2014 at 7:32am — No Comments

Federal budget "deal" screws common people and lets Big Banks gamble with risk borne by us.

   When the Big Banks received the largesse of billions of dollars from taxpayers after the melt-down of banks in 2007-08, much of the blame was placed on derivatives markets in which the Big Banks speculated.

   A derivative is a contract that derives its value from the performance of an underlying entity, often called the “underlying.” The underlying can be an asset, an index, or an interest rate.  (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, United States Department of Treasury,…


Added by Mark Small on December 12, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

Special prosecutor should be appointed whenever a police officer is alleged to have violated criminal law.

The grand jury failed to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown. There appear to have been irregularities in the procedure by which evidence was presented to the grand jury. For example, while some eyewitnesses who claimed Brown had raised his hands—a near-universal show of surrender—were cross-examined by the prosecutor, Wilson was allowed to give a narrative that, one may reasonably infer, was intended to be exculpatory.



Added by Mark Small on December 3, 2014 at 7:27am — No Comments

Electronic billboards: Pat Andrews meets with industry officials.

   Pat Andrews at "Had Enough Indy?" blogged about the ordinance that has been proposed regarding electronic billboards in Marion County. As a result of her blogs, she was invited to meet with some of the folks in the billboard industry. She invited me along.

   On Tuesday, a little before 1 pm, I took a elevator to the27th Floor of what used to be the Bank One Building, but has been renamed Chase---after the bank that has done so much to so many people. We were o meet in the offices…


Added by Mark Small on November 29, 2014 at 7:55am — No Comments

Drones are bad---especially for other aircraft, like commercial airliners, aloft.

   In the aftermath of last week’s blizzard in the Buffalo, New York, area, various television networks ran footage taken from drones—unmanned aerial vehicles—to show viewers how bad the snow had been. I was surprised the different angles we were given from, what the anchors said, were different drones.

   A few weeks ago, a couple of YouTube videos went viral. In each the viewer was treated to an incident from the drone’s eye view. In one, a hawk attacked the drone. In another, the…


Added by Mark Small on November 24, 2014 at 7:22am — No Comments

Death by privatization---on today's Show we discuss inmates and deprivation of medical care.

   America no longer is the “land of the free.” With five percent of the World’s population we have nearly twenty-five percent of the World’s correctional institution (prison) inmate population. We have more people in prison than such progressive nations as North Korea and China.

   Since Richard Nixon launched the War on Drugs, we have seen billions of dollars invested in a large-scale effort to scuttle parts of the Constitution and a failure in cessation of people from seeking the…


Added by Mark Small on November 22, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

Electronic/digital billboard ordinance poses a financial threat---bloggers Pat Andrews and Gary Welsh alert the public.

   Pat Andrews at “Had Enough Indy?” and Gary Welsh at “Advance Indiana”®  have done their usual excellent jobs of research on another topic of local concern. They have blogged about an ordinance being considered by the City-County Council that would ease restrictions on construction of digital billboards in Marion County. Others, particularly on Advance Indiana®, have posted comments about the proposal and the process by which it has snaked its way behind the scenes.

Worst aspect of the…


Added by Mark Small on November 21, 2014 at 7:24am — No Comments

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