Civil Discourse Now

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

Mark Small's Blog (1,047)

This IURC thing is NOT a scandal, you putzes.

   The flap over the Indiana Regulatory Commission is not a scandal. "Scandal" is defined as "a disgraceful or discreditable action, circumstance, etc. American College Dictionary, 1962 ed., p. 1082. In a general sense, the whole thing about Duke Energy officials being cozy with the people at the Indiana agency charged with regulation of Duke Energy is disgraceful or discreditable. But I came of age—i.e., went to college—when Watergate was in its prime. "Scandal" has evolved…


Added by Mark Small on December 21, 2011 at 6:59am — No Comments

The people paid for Conseco Fieldhouse; at least we should get to sell the naming rights.

   The Indianapolis Star reports this morning that later today, at a press conference, Conseco Fieldhouse will be renamed. In the story, reporter Heather Gillers writes, "Conseco Fieldhouse, built by Herb and Mel Simon, opened in 1999 when the Pacers moved from their former home, Market Square Arena."   

   I did not see photos of Herb and Mel out there on the construction site pouring footers and laying brick.  Therefore I must infer that by writing the structure was "built…


Added by Mark Small on December 20, 2011 at 7:07am — No Comments

Cheer for the Colts to clinch this Sunday!

   In the 1980s, Indianapolis wooed the Colts from Baltimore with a new stadium, tax benefits, and other perquisites. The idea here was that the expenditure of taxpayers’ money was a good investment. The Colts would bring jobs to Indy. The city would gain prestige as home to two teams in the four major sports. Games would attract visitors to Indy and leave behind dollars spent at local businesses.

   Indianapolis has spent a lot of money on the Colts. Our residents have paid more in…


Added by Mark Small on December 19, 2011 at 7:01am — No Comments

When will there be a head-on collision on Broad Ripple Avenue?

   Friday morning I drove to work. My route passes through a school zone, that of Broad Ripple High School (or whatever the school is called today). My speed was 25 mph, for three reasons. First, because it is a school zone and safety is important. Second, because I do not want to receive a ticket. Third, tickets for speeding in a school zone, the last I heard, run a thousand bucks.

   Just past McDonald’s, a Land Rover was on my rear bumper. I maintained my speed. I noticed a second…


Added by Mark Small on December 18, 2011 at 7:31am — 2 Comments

Let's get rid of private prisons!

   Let me get this straight. Corporations such as CCA—Correctional Corporation of America—operate some of our prisons and, in doing so, seeks to make a profit. That is a dynamic to privatization: the profit motive makes for more efficient operations. CCA receives monies from the particular state with which it contracts for each prisoner it houses and feeds. 

   CCA seeks to run more prisons. Expansion of market-share, after all, is one of those silly, kookie things about…


Added by Mark Small on December 14, 2011 at 7:04am — 2 Comments

Voter fraud!? Let's roll out some unnecessary ID laws!

   "Voter fraud!" OMG! Such words bring to mind Mayor Daley and rigged elections in Lake and St. Joseph counties. The Republican Party has stepped forward to combat this menace to our republic! After all, the root of the word "republican" is right there. They are rightful guardians of the Republic. There could be no ulterior motives in waging war against Voter Fraud. Let’s go ahead and use upper-case on both words while we’re at it.

   Unfortunately, there has been very little voter…


Added by Mark Small on December 13, 2011 at 7:26am — 5 Comments

"Just take off your clothes and lay down on your backs"

   That is a line from a song by Phil Ochs, a folk/protest singer who, in the 1960s, was dubbed "The Troubadour of the Left." Judge Julius Hoffman refused to allow Ochs to sing from the witness stand during the trial in United State v. Dellinger, et al, also known as The Chicago Seven (after Bobby Seale's case was severed from what had been The Chicago Eight. Ochs had sung in Grant Park during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. He was called by the defense to testify as to what had…


Added by Mark Small on December 10, 2011 at 7:01am — No Comments

Saturday's Show: Why should we be the cops of the World?

   United States troops are all around the World---and why? The Cold War is over, so why do we have over 50,000 military personnel in Germany? It is not like those personnel can run over to Amsterdam and have fun. The military has urine tests for drugs. We have 40,000 in Japan and nearly 30,000 in South Korea. The Japanese are not in imminent danger from anyone. And South Korea? Their forces would wipe the North's off the map if the platform shoe-wearing, pompadour hair-styled goofy dictator…


Added by Mark Small on December 9, 2011 at 6:59am — No Comments

Will the coach give the signal to Jeb Bush?

   Thoughts about the presidential campaign:

   1) It starts too early. There is a enough crap on TV. Ban candidates from announcing candidacies before January 1 of the year of the election. There might be less of an emphasis on money for candidates. (Okay, maybe I am naive on that one.) Plus we would be spared a lot of drivel. With what would it be replaced? Different drivel, probably. As it goes now, though, by the time election day rolls around, many of us will have been thoroughly…


Added by Mark Small on December 8, 2011 at 7:35am — 2 Comments

Donald Trump is a fraud and will be a joke as a moderator.

   Donald Trump should not be considered a successful businessman. He has milked money out of ventures under the protection of the corporate veil. He has received government subsidies for his businesses. The businesses failed and he filed corporate—not personal—bankruptcy. Taxpayers footed the bill for the subsidies. Creditors stood empty-handed. Well, they nearly were empty-handed. They could hold their "Notice of Discharge of Debt." They also could frame the single-page notices if they…


Added by Mark Small on December 6, 2011 at 7:09am — 1 Comment

Nearly Everyone Sees Folly in Our Current Drug Laws?

   Since 1976 I have argued that all drugs should be legalized. The guests that Paul Ogden and I were privileged to have on the Show as guests were Randy Miller of Drugfree Marion County and George Brenner, an addictions counselor with 38 years' experience. I erroneously anticipated they would take firm positons in opposition to any concept of decriminalization or legalization. If you watch and listen to the Show---click on the Videos tab on this page---you will realize such was not the…


Added by Mark Small on December 5, 2011 at 6:55am — No Comments

Today: Whether All Drugs Should be Legalized.

   Today, at 11 a.m. at Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell in Broad Ripple, Paul Ogden and I shall co-host a panel discussion with Randy Miller of Drug Free Marion County and George Brenner, LCSW, who counsels individuals for substance abuse problems, on whether all drugs should be legalized. You can join us in person and live at Big Hat, or catch the Show late tis afternoon after it has been uploaded/downloaded/embedded. 

Added by Mark Small on December 3, 2011 at 6:47am — 2 Comments

Government should have a reason before depriving us of a freedom.

   Should government have a reason for banning something?

   There are many distinctions between laws. Amongst those distinctions is one of laws that ban certain conduct. Laws that ban conduct that is malum per se (for example, murder, robbery, kidnaping) prohibit conduct society has seen as intrinsically wrong. Laws that ban conduct that is malum prohibitum (for example, jaywalking, possession of marijuana) prohibit conduct because we, or our elected officials, say such conduct is…


Added by Mark Small on December 1, 2011 at 7:03am — No Comments

All drugs should be legalized.

   What did we learn from Prohibition? That if we outlaw a substance that itself is not intrinsically bad but that some people choose to consume, we create an illicit market. From this market, organized crime grows. In the 1920s that crime grew to great proportions. People still drank. What they drank could contain impurities that could harm them, to the point of death. Did H.L. Mencken write, drinking was a national sport during that time? We wasted money on law enforcement. We lost money…


Added by Mark Small on November 30, 2011 at 7:34am — 1 Comment

Should all drugs be legalized?

   For Saturday, December 3, our "Civil Discourse Now" will focus on the question of whether all drugs should be legalized. Let me clear about what we mean by "legalization." This does not mean "decriminalization," an approach that lessens penalties but keeps the illegal marketers. This does not mean street vendors could peddle, supplied by any cartels or someone's brother-in-law with a basement (or, these days, roadside) laboratory. There would not be ads on TV for the latest, best designer…


Added by Mark Small on November 29, 2011 at 7:00am — No Comments

Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns Only Lost Merchants Customers.

   Fortunately, Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns ended not with a bang. I was out early, engaged in field research after we did Saturday’s show of "Civil Discourse Now." I felt my perception of the evening would be best served if I remained in one place. There were several bars with signs outside advising customers were not allowed to enter armed. As I said in at least one previous post, I do not stay up late. At 8:00 I was home.

   One news report said dozens showed up for the "event."…


Added by Mark Small on November 27, 2011 at 7:48am — 9 Comments

Tonight? Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns Still Is a ... Sham

   Tonight is the night for the Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns event.

   I questioned the intentions of John Hallgarth, cited by a couple of local media outlets as originator of the event, in a November 23 blog. More facts have emerged about his past. He has expressed admiration for, even belief in the politics of, the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi organization founded by a former associate of George Lincoln Rockwell, head of the American Nazi Party. The NA founder also authored…


Added by Mark Small on November 26, 2011 at 8:17am — 2 Comments

Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns is a . . . Sham

This is in reply to Roberta Ecks who responded to yesterday’s post.

   1) You are correct. No one owns the words "occupy" or "tea party." There has to be more than coincidence in the use of "occupy" for this particular action. Given the nationwide actions under that rubric—agree with the sentiments or not—to use the name for a gathering of any sort of political implication is to try either to use it for that momentum or to discredit it. Either way, if Mr. Hallgarth does not agree with…


Added by Mark Small on November 25, 2011 at 7:55am — 3 Comments

Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns Is a Neo-Nazi Sham, part 2

   A post to yesterday’s blog raises a valid point, that one should not jump to conclusions that Mr. Hallgarth is a member of or believer in the teachings of National Alliance. There are several points I would raise in response:

   1) Paul Ogden, fellow blogger on "Ogden on Politics," addresses several matters in regard to links on Mr. Hallgarth’s Facebook page. The link to Stormfront is as troublesome as Mr. Hallgarth’s reference to National Alliance. Both organizations are racist.…


Added by Mark Small on November 24, 2011 at 9:02am — 1 Comment


"Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns" is a neo-Nazi sham.

   An individual from Shelby County has announced plans for an Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns for Saturday, November 26, 2011, between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. His stated purpose is to educate the people in Broad Ripple about their Second Amendment right to bear arms as a means of self-defense.

   This is seriously stupid. Also, it is an attempt to couple the Occupy Wall Street ("OWS") movement with violence. The man who is…


Added by Mark Small on November 23, 2011 at 7:26am — 3 Comments

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