Civil Discourse Now

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

All Blog Posts (920)

Greetings, from beautiful St. Lucia!

   I tap this into my lap top as I lounge on the fan tail of the 80 foot boat I purchased yesterday here in St. Lucia. I acted on my own advice for the past couple of weeks. Each time I wrote on this blog that people should sell short, I actually did so. One moment, please---ah, I had to pour a bit more champers into the wine flute. There is not as much noise out here as there is inside, what with the music and dancing. The boat is rocking a bit, but that's what life is about, I…


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

Texas governors should be banned from the White House, except as visitors.

   George W. Bush was President of the United States for eight years. He was not elected but selected by a Supreme Court, the majority of the members of which had been nominated by his father, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. From 1969 to 2009, only one Democrat, Bill Clinton, held the office of President and nominated anyone to the Court. The Court ignored the law, issued a decsion it said would not be used as precedent, and let Bush move into the mansion on Pennsylvaia Avenue.…


Added by Mark Small on August 18, 2011 at 5:48am — No Comments

Happy Birthday Elvis Presley!

  Oops! Michelle Bachmann got another historical "fact" wrong. This time she was talking about a topic more important than the history of the republic. She was talking about the King. Elvis Presley's birthday is January 8. The date of his death was Agust 16, 1977. I was in Greencastle, Indiana, that day, preparing for the start of my last year a DePauw. I had dined on a fried banana-and-peanut butter on whole wheat sandwich. Well, the part about the sand wich is not true. But the part about…


Added by Mark Small on August 17, 2011 at 6:09am — No Comments

When's the last train out of Baghdad?

   There are several quotes about a foreign power's involvement in Iraq:

   "Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators."

   "Iraq could be a model for development and democracy for the entire region."

   "Our policy is actually working, and if 'prematurely curtailed, the result would be disastrous ... Withdrawal would lead inevitably to anarchy.'"

   "The only way to leave with honor would be to redefine the…


Added by Mark Small on August 15, 2011 at 5:52am — No Comments

Corporations are not people, Mit, you two-dimensional mope.

Corporations are not people.

Mit Romney, under pressure from Iowans on break from eating deep-fried Twinkies at their State Fair, said yesterday, "Corporations are people!" The rest of his brief comments seemed to indicate he meant since corporate profits go to people, that made corporations people.

Sorry, Mit, but giving an entity profits does not breathe life into it and confer on it the status of human. As I have written before, a corporation is not a living,…


Added by Mark Small on August 12, 2011 at 5:49am — No Comments

Is Michelle Bachmann always getting goosed?

   What is the deal? The cover of "Newsweek" carried a photo of Michelle Bachmann, eyes bugged out and quizzical expression on her face. She looked like somone just had goosed her. She frequentlyhas the same look. SHe also has a thing about looking off-camera. People make fun of politicians who use teleprompters, but get real---without that particular machine, Roald Reagan would have been lost. Of course, Nancy's astrologer always was in the wings.

   Bachmann's facial expression is a…


Added by Mark Small on August 11, 2011 at 6:29am — No Comments

The market is up?

Stocks rallied today, across the pond, for the usual imagined reasons markets rally or fall. John Candy's character in "Stripes" played poker with a kid who was, well, slow. He taught the kid how to play poker. "Let me see your hand," Candy's character said. After looking at the cards, he said, "You know what I'd do? I'd bet it all. Bluff. Come on!" Of course the kid did, and lost.

History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. I read that on another blog to which Paul's blog is…


Added by Mark Small on August 10, 2011 at 6:01am — No Comments

Get the point? Sell short.

I am not a stock market analyst. I do not give advice about matters related to stocks. The opinion I express here is my own. But damn, I have been right in stating people should have sold short yesterday.


Added by Mark Small on August 9, 2011 at 6:31am — No Comments

Repeat: sell short

The market made another significant adjustment downward. Everyone should have sold short. I said as much last week. So those heeded my advce would have enjoyed significant gains.

Matters look bleak. The tea baggers rejoice, out of ignprance. Those with foresight aare happy. And the baggers rejoice in tanking the economy. They have taken glee over the destructon that have wrought. And the Koch brothers, and their ilk, rejoice. Theirs is nihilistic view. 

Added by Mark Small on August 8, 2011 at 8:49pm — No Comments

Islam and school vouchers

This was written in response to a person on a website in Kokomo.

1) I did not use a debate tactic to muddy any waters. A reasonable inference as to people who claim originalism as a jurisprudential philosophy is those people can state, with precision sufficient to guide us, what the Framers of the Constitution intended. A first, and I would think necessary, step is to say who the Framers were. The Convention itself was muddied. Compromises were reached, especially as to slavery, only…


Added by Mark Small on August 8, 2011 at 6:16am — 2 Comments

Like I said: sell short.


I was right.

On August 1, I advised everyone to sell short: "So if you have any money to invest, wait for the right moment, then bet on the markets to slide. Things look to get worse." Someone sells short when that person bets the market will lose points. Perce Livermore, famously, sold short on the "Day the Bubble Burst" in October, 1929. He made millions. I knew a brilliant broker who figured out, on Friday, October 16, 1987, on a software program, that the market…


Added by Mark Small on August 5, 2011 at 5:18am — No Comments

Originalism is bunk

   A popular theory amongst those who would have us to return to the old times is that we should base interpretation of the Constitution on the Framers' intent. The theory is called "originalism."   

   However, there was no single theory of the Constitution held by the Framers. The Constitution was the product of compromises, many revolving around the issue of slavery. By the way, those who wanted to keep slavery won. Do we rely upon those individuals' vews to interpret our rights…


Added by Mark Small on August 3, 2011 at 6:31am — 4 Comments

Great! No co-pay for birth control!

Birth control will be readily available to the poor

Beginning January 1, 2013, preventative measures, including birth control, will become available without co-pay under the overhaul of the nation’s health-care system.

In other words, amongst other aspects of health care available, finally, to the poor will be birth control.

One aspect of the argument against a woman’s right—let’s use a popular term for the matter, "sovereignty" over her body—to obtain an abortion…


Added by Mark Small on August 2, 2011 at 6:04am — No Comments

My advice: sell short.

My advice: sell short.

The deal that appears to have been approved whereby the debt ceiling will be lifted was negotiated in the same way as Vito Corleone used Luca Brazzi to negotiate contracts in "The Godfather." We do not need to cut spending nearly so much as we need more revenues. I agree with Bill Maher’s assessment that of the two political parties, one has no brains and the other has no balls.

The bobbed tail is wagging the clueless dog. Meanwhile, the Shih Tzu…


Added by Mark Small on August 1, 2011 at 5:43am — No Comments

Review of Ron Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton"

Book Review: Ron Chernow’s "Alexander Hamilton"

I highly recommend author Ron Chernow’s comprehensive biography on this country’s first Secretary of the Treasury. Some biographies gloss over early years as a fast-forwards means to reach the main events of a subject’s life. Chernow devotes a lot of pages to Hamilton’s early years, and for good reason. If one’s youth forms his or her person as an adult, one can see Hamilton’s birth in Caribbean poverty and his struggles to…


Added by Mark Small on July 31, 2011 at 6:05am — No Comments


Malum per se are inherently wrong. Sorry, This is Saturday night,

Added by Mark Small on July 30, 2011 at 9:23pm — No Comments

Legalize hookers

Victimless "crimes" are not crimes at all. They are acts malum prohibitum---i.e., because arbitrarily they have been deemed wrong. Acts malum prohibitum---i.e., murder, rape---are acts the are wrong on a fundamental level. So legalize hookers and tax their trade.

Added by Mark Small on July 30, 2011 at 9:21pm — No Comments

The Show returns w/guest Jeff Cox

We have been on hiatus as our team of engineers worked on software problems we had experienced. Today we will film again. My guest will be Jeff Cox,  an Indianapolis attorney. We shall discuss "What I would do if I were President of the United States." 

Personally, I question Jeff's judgment, as he is a Cleveland Indians fan. I am a fan of the Chicago Cubs National League Baseball Club. I do not question his judgment because Cleveland has not won a World Series in either of our…


Added by Mark Small on July 30, 2011 at 5:20am — No Comments

It's all about the sugar

   I lived in Chicago. Corruption was so ingrained in the politics that books were written on the subject. The Machine of Mayor Dailey (the first) was efficient. People took the matter for granted. He was long dead by the time I arrived in the City of Broad SHoulders. But his Machine lived on. There was the occasional Federal indictment, and a sitting or former Governor seemed always in the dock. The system was built on sugar. Call it what you will---cash, payola, kickbacks, whatever. The…


Added by Mark Small on July 29, 2011 at 6:12am — No Comments


My good friend Paul Ogden has raised a point in response to my plan to balance the budget. Unlike the elected officials who have mis-managed this whole budget thing, I know Paul is reasonable and will listen to other ideas as a means of solving problems. Now first, that cut of the defense budget by 20 percent amounts to about $120 billion. The figures everyone has used project savings over a 10-year plan. That means I came up with $1.2 trillion right there. Another idea, from the… Continue

Added by Mark Small on July 28, 2011 at 6:03am — 1 Comment

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