Civil Discourse Now

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

All Blog Posts (909)

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…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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. …

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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…

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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…

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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…

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

High costs of medical care and $800 if a doctor simply picks up a phone.

   Members of the legal profession are reputed to gouge clients for fees. There is the joke about the lawyer who died, went to the hereafter, and was told he was overdue because, from his billing records, he was indicated as being nearly one thousand years old. A lawyer cannot bill for work not performed, however. A "retainer" must be billed against by the hour. Also, the methods of billing, be they by the tenth of an hour or a quarter of an hour, must be by some fraction. As an example, a…

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Added by Mark Small on September 30, 2011 at 6:52am — No Comments

Forfeitures and legalization of all drugs.

   On this week's show, being shot Saturday, October 1, Paul Ogden and I shall discuss two topics. One is the wisdom or folly of forfeiture laws. Those are laws that provide the means by which local government can confiscate private property with fewer restraints, some would say due process, than that in which it otherwise would have to engage. The second is whether all drugs should be legalized.

   We start at 1:00 p.m. at Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell Avenue, in Broad Ripple.  

Added by Mark Small on September 27, 2011 at 5:54am — 2 Comments

Do you want to see the show?

We have received a couple of inquiries as to whether we have or allow an audience when we shoot "Civil Discourse Now." Anyone is welcome to attend. Today (September 24) we shoot at an earlier time than usual. We will start at 11 a.m. and discuss with Pat Andrews TIFs and priorities in spending of the City of Indianapolis. Our usual time to start is 1 p.m. We shoot upstairs at Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell Avenue. It is just north of the Brewpub and next to the Monon Trail.

Added by Mark Small on September 24, 2011 at 5:56am — No Comments

Politicians get free passes in debates.

   I attended and graduated from a high school that, prior to my enrollment, had a speech team, but not a debate team. A couple of weeks into my first year on the speech team, we attended a debate tournament as a favor to the coach of another school. I was hooked. I loved debate. I was on the team all through high school. The culmination was our making state finals. When I reached Depauw, I already had been in contact with the coach, Doctor Weiss, and one of the debaters. Again, I debated al…

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Added by Mark Small on September 20, 2011 at 6:11am — 1 Comment

What "death panels"?

   The deep political theorist and former candidate for Vice President Sarah Palin complained, a couple of years back, about "death panels" in President Obama's health care reform package.

   First, I want to say I think the package was weak. We need national health care, not this weird hybrid first proposed by the Republicans in 1994, one in which private insurance companies play a big role. Second, the plan created no "death panels." In fact, for years private insurance companies…

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Added by Mark Small on September 15, 2011 at 5:48am — No Comments

Conquest of technology!

   In 1973, when I registered for first semester classes at DePauw, I was amazed by the fact DePauw had its own computer. The thing was the size of a two-bedroom house in a blue-colar 1960s subdivision. Its memory was probably less than that of a digital wrist watch---for those who still wear watches---today.

   This explains, in part, the problems we have had with software, etc., and the delay in the show Paul Ogden and I co-host, "Civil Discourse Now," coming on-line. Well, finally…

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Added by Mark Small on September 14, 2011 at 5:50am — 3 Comments

Folly of government-funded professional sports.

   Our streets need fixed.

   I wanted to get home from the office in time to watch the kick-off. I stopped at Marsh for a couple of things for chili. I asked the cashier if the percentage of people in Colts regalia decreased after games started. Her non-answer was "I don't think one person should mean so much to people." Okay, this was Sunday, and maybe her reference was in the context of theology. I made it home in time to watch about the only good play the Colts would make, a first…

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Added by Mark Small on September 12, 2011 at 5:46am — No Comments

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