Civil Discourse Now

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

All Blog Posts (1,722)

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



   The budget quandary continues. With straight faces, Republicans and tea baggers defend tax cuts for private jet owners while millions are unemployed, our schools suffer budget cuts, and government services are shut down.

   Once more, let us see what we could do to right these matters.

   1. Cut the budget? Cut military spending.

   About 20 percent of the budget, or over $70 billion, goes to military spending. We do…


Added by Mark Small on July 27, 2011 at 5:55am — 1 Comment

Super Congress!?


   Congressional leaders, unable to resolve the crisis on the debt ceiling have, according to this morning’s HuffPost, proposed creating a body comprised of members of both houses to enact budget legislation. The details are fuzzy, but the net result is the same.

   They propose to alter the structure of the Federal government in conflict with provisions of the United States Constitution without the inconvenient steps of the process of…


Added by Mark Small on July 24, 2011 at 5:47am — No Comments

Oslo Chaos

Oslo Chaos

   When mindless acts of terror (is the phrase redundant?) Occur in the world, will people please not immediately ascribe those acts to believers of Islam?

   Until yesterday I would have thought "Oslo Chaos" was an oxymoron or the name of a Norwegian punk-rock band. (Anachronism warning: are there still punk-rock bands?)

   Someone exploded a bomb in downtown Oslo. A couple of hours later, a man opened up with an automatic weapon and killed (at last…


Added by Mark Small on July 23, 2011 at 5:35am — No Comments

Legalize All Drugs, Part 2

Legalize All Drugs, Part 2

I shall continue the argument I began yesterday.

7) Prohibition of drugs causes more harms that it attempts to resolve. People OD, in part, because of ignorance about impurities in the drug or ignorance of high content of the drug—i.e., a person does not know the smack s/he is running up (shooting) is nearly pure and not the usual substance cut by 50 or 60 percent lactose. In the system I propose, the FDA would have oversight of manufacture and sale. Drugs… Continue

Added by Mark Small on July 22, 2011 at 5:45am — No Comments

Legalize All Drugs, Part 1

Legalize All Drugs, Part 1

   A substance people consume to ease the pain of existence was made illegal. Because it was illegal, but the demand for it was high, a thriving black market for the substance developed. Criminal elements soon took control of that market and, frequently, warred with each other. Bystanders were killed. Today those bystanders would be called "collateral damage." Illegality did nothing to diminish demand for the substance. People still wanted it. They…


Added by Mark Small on July 21, 2011 at 5:45am — No Comments

President Obama has been a disappointment.

   At about 5:00 in the afternoon of the 2008 election, I told my wife I either could go to the basement and smoke a cigar (where I have an air purifier to dissipate the smoke from my Churchill) and come up for the returns, or wait until 7:00 or so and (maybe) be too hammered to appreciate several things, amongst them the outcome of the vote. She told me to enjoy my cigar.

   The cigar took about two hours to smoke. I walked into the living room as the first states’ tallies were…


Added by Mark Small on July 20, 2011 at 5:44am — No Comments

Rupert Murdoch is the Bernie Ecclestone of politics

Murdoch has acquired political power in a fashion similar to Ecclestone's conquest of Formula One racing. I guess because I am in Indy, I ponder such matters as F-1, particularly since we no longer see it raced here. The guy who took over F-1, Bernie Ecclestone, rose Bormann-esque through the F-1 bureaucracy to take over that form of racing world-wide. Nobody paid him much attention until it was too late.

Murdoch was born in Australia, and naturalized as a citizen in the United…


Added by Mark Small on July 17, 2011 at 12:31pm — No Comments

Help Mr. Wizard, turn me into a turtle!

   The economy is in shambles because (1) Bush II helped his frat brothers at the Yale chapter of Deke and gave them and their peers huge tax breaks in 2001 and (2) took us into one-and-a-half unnecessary wars. I say one-and-a-half because after 9/11 Osama bin Laden was in Afghanistan. We were justified to seek him out and capture or kill him. Other than that, our experience there has been the same as that of the British in the 1920s and the Soviets in the 1980s. Those who fail to study…


Added by Mark Small on July 15, 2011 at 5:57am — No Comments

Really, Call Them Teabaggers

Really, Call Them "Teabaggers"

   Its participants prefer to call it "tea party." They take offense—major-league and personal—at the label "teabaggers." When I wrote a blog last week on "Hoosier values," I made reference to participants in whatever this thing it is they have—I think Tony Soprano called his and his fellows’ activities "this thing we have," and it was not waste reclamation—teabaggers as teabaggers. I wrote:

 "Some people are…


Added by Mark Small on July 13, 2011 at 5:57am — No Comments

There are no "Hoosier values" or "average Hoosiers."


   This is a riposte to comments made in response to a blog my friend Paul Ogden was kind enough to run on his website, "Ogden on Politics." In his response, one David Ditton suggested that if I "disagree with so many values of the average Hoosier" perhaps I should relocated to Massachusetts, New York, Washington, or California. This "love it or leave it" attitude was not new when I heard it expressed in the 1960s.

   "Values" are more complex than…


Added by Mark Small on July 12, 2011 at 5:00am — No Comments

Hoosier Values

This morning I posted a response on Paul Ogden's blog, Ogden on Politics, in response to someone who questioned whether I have Hoosier values. The responses are under a guest column on Indiana's primaries that I wrote, and Paul was kind enough to post, last week.

Added by Mark Small on July 11, 2011 at 8:01am — No Comments

Indiana's primary election system violates both constitutions and is illegal.

   Indiana provides for secret ballots, outlaws the buying of votes, and makes no reference by name (the proverbial elephant, and in this case his/her pal donkey, in the room) to either of the two "major" parties 

   Tomorrow will appear on this site an essay on the unconstitutional nature and illegality of the Indiana primary election system. The statutory scheme is farcical. So stay tuned---or on-line or whatever the appropriate term would be in the early 21st Century. 

Added by Mark Small on July 6, 2011 at 5:14am — No Comments

What is it with these spam attacks?

The ads for various supplements were spammed onto this site a couple of days ago. The ads were removed.

Added by Mark Small on July 2, 2011 at 12:31pm — No Comments

Afghanistan. Let's get out.

There is no viable reason for United States military forces to remain in Afghanistan. There are two truths in life. The first, never fight a land war in Asia. That is paraphrased from "The Princess Bride." There's a lot of money to be made in war by contractors, even if there is no political point to the conflict. That was the lesson many businesspeople took from Vietnam. As an Afghani war lord supposedly said to the British Viceroy shortly after Britain rolled into Kabul: Congratulations on… Continue

Added by Mark Small on June 18, 2011 at 6:02am — No Comments

Getting Sick in a Strange Place

Getting Sick in a Strange Place

One factor to consider in getting away is choice of destination, obviously. But there are a macro-choice, as it were, and a micro-choice.

We were in Florida a couple of weeks ago. Friends have a house there and invited us for the weekend. We had tickets for the Tampa Rays-Angels game. And sorry, I cannot use a geographic noun in reference to the Angels. When the franchise opened in 1962, they were called the Los Angeles Angels. They moved,…


Added by Mark Small on May 17, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Software glitches

For the past few weeks we have said software problems with the show. We have filmed shows, but have not been able to download/upload/embed and otherwise put the shows onto the website. Those problems soon will be resolved and several shows will be on the site within the next few days.

Added by Mark Small on May 12, 2011 at 5:47am — No Comments



Saturday, May 14, 2011, beginning at 3 p.m., come to the Broad Ripple Tavern, at the corner of Carrollton and Broad Ripple, to meet and socialize.

Other blogs might support the Republican, Democratic, or Libertarian parties. Others might tout what I have discerned only as the amorphous views of the party of tea. Here at 3leftturnsmakearight, however, our concept of "party" is slightly different. As one historian has noted, in writing of the…


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

Citizens United, Part 2


Corporations are not mentioned the United States Constitution or in the Bill of Rights. At the time of the Constitutional Convention, only a few corporations existed. Those entities were created for temporary works, such as construction of a specific bridge or road. There was good reason for the Framers to be suspicious of corporations. The Boston Tea Party was a reaction to British favoritism for the East India Tea Company. Thomas Jefferson, though not a delegate to the…


Added by Mark Small on May 3, 2011 at 5:51am — No Comments

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