Civil Discourse Now

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

Mark Small's Blog – December 2013 Archive (14)

Stop the use of drones!

   A new year begins tomorrow. The designation of the day when the new year begins is arbitrary. The planet we call Earth makes a lap around the sun every 365 point whatever days. Centuries ago, the Gregorian calendar was adopted by Pope Gregory XIII. Names of our months are derived variously from Roman mythology (e.g., January---"Janus"), Roman leaders (e.g., August---Augustus Caesar) or simple Roman numbers (e.g., October---for the number eight, the original name of that month under the…

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Added by Mark Small on December 31, 2013 at 7:31am — No Comments

Andy Jacobs, Jr.: Passing of a great man, a great Hoosier and an honest member of Congress.

   Andy Jacobs was a great man. He did not accept campaign contributions from PACs or, for that matter from what I remember during his tenure in Congress, anyone. He was re-elected on name-recognition developed from decency and honesty, rare qualities in a member of Congress at any time, but especially during the 1960s and into the 1990s, when he retired from the House of Representatives.

   In high school, I was upset when Andy Jacobs lost his re-election bid in 1972 to Bill Hudnut.…

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Added by Mark Small on December 29, 2013 at 7:33am — No Comments

Foreward into the Past! Saturday's guests at Shambles Furniture Restoration to talk about the year past and the year ahead.

   "Civil Discourse Now" will stream live from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday, December 28. Our guests will include John E. Zaphiriou, a/k/a Groucho, who has interesting insights and interestingly incites people on the 'net. Matt Stone, of IndyStudent, also will be on hand. We shall discuss the highs and lows of 2013 and what we might expect in 2014.

   The Show will stream live from Shambles Furniture, at 7183 West U.S. 40 in Cumberland, on the far side of I-465 to the east. A good time…

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Added by Mark Small on December 27, 2013 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Ghosts of Christmas Present: Scrooge abandons GOP talking points after night-long hallucinations and becomes a Marxist.

   This year's coin toss came up George C. Scott in "A Christmas Carol" (rather than Alistair Sim in 1951's "Scrooge"). The script follows the work by Dickens. Also, the story gives on the feeling one is watching Fox or people who otherwise spew out GOP talking points:

   1)Jacob Marley was as dead as a doornail...And thank goodness there was no mention of a "death tax"---a/k/a inheritance tax. Otherwise, Scrooge would have had to part with all that wealth he obtained from his…

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Added by Mark Small on December 25, 2013 at 12:10pm — No Comments

If Santa can beat Martians and the Devil, why does he need escort by military fighters?

   In the early 1960s, when I was a child and still believed in tenets of conservatism, local TV, over the course of the evening on December 24, each year would report that weather radar had picked up an object in flight from the North Pole. The bit was humorous. Kids had the notion Santa Claus was real and with modern technology even could be tracked. Each year since various stations have carried similar coverage. Actually NORAD, the government's nuclear radar system, was the source of the…

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Added by Mark Small on December 24, 2013 at 6:30am — No Comments

"Duck Dynasty" and "GQ" stink---the entire experience.

   Last evening I inferred many of the people who had written about the infamous interview of Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the family at the center of the A & E network's "Duck Dynasty," had not read the interview. There was a feel that many simply quoted outrageous passages from other people's reviews of the article. Those reviews themselves might have relied on quotes from others' reviews. I wanted to read the entire article, so as not to be a hypocrite---at least not in this…

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Added by Mark Small on December 21, 2013 at 7:21am — No Comments

Dan Carpenter's "Indiana Out Loud" and Saturday's Show.

   Dan Carpenter has retired from "The Indianapolis Star" after a couple of decades as a reporter and then columnist. From what I understand from recent polls, I should believe reports of his retirement are damn lies, because a significant number of the American people hold the view that the media are untrustworthy. (Actually, the polling questions usually are something like, "Do you think the media is..." The word "media" is a plural. There is a bit of evidence that I took Latin in the…

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Added by Mark Small on December 20, 2013 at 6:56am — No Comments

Make Those Children in Poverty Work Because There's No "Free Lunch"! says a Congressman on a House Appropriations Subcommittee.

   U.S. Representative Jack Kingston, a Republican from Georgia, has said children from families in poverty, who qualify for free lunches at school, should be forced to work for those meals. He suggested the children sweep the cafeteria floor to understand what it means to work. He said children should learn there is no such thing as "a free lunch." State Senator Stacey Campfield of Tennessee has introduced legislation in the Volunteer State that would cut State welfare benefits to parents…

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Added by Mark Small on December 19, 2013 at 7:00am — No Comments

Urine screens scare off prospective employees? Imagine that!

   Yesterday evening I caught part of a statement made by a member of the House of Representatives to an audience of what appeared to be his constituents. The Congressman spoke of how people stay on unemployment benefits by choice. He then referred to comments several employers had made to him about people who would come to that employer, apply for a job, leave after the prospective employee learned the employer required employees to submit to urine screens, then have the audacity to include…

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Added by Mark Small on December 18, 2013 at 7:02am — No Comments

Melyssa Hubbard (formerly Donaghy), once-Dominatrix and now author of "Spanking City Hall," will be our guest 12/14, 11 am to 1 pm, from "All My Relations," in Avon.

   Melyssa Hubbard (known then by her birth name of Melyssa Donaghy), first garnered headlines several years ago for several matters. She helped organize what arguably was the precursor to the movement known by the rubric "Indiana tea party." She led demonstrations against then-Mayor Bart Peterson, who, shortly thereafter, lost re-election to Greg Ballard, the predecessor of the current mayor, Ryan Vaughn. Last, but not least, she was busted by the City of Indianapolis.

   The "bust"…

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Added by Mark Small on December 13, 2013 at 7:14am — No Comments

Suggestions to improve education.

   Public debate has increased recently in Indiana over the topic of education. Public discourse, as a general matter, is good. As Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in perhaps his most famous dissent: "But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas---that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get…

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Added by Mark Small on December 10, 2013 at 7:41am — 1 Comment

In defense of guano.

   As acrimony has overcome harmony in political discourse, so too have those who wield verbal cudgels sought to tweak otherwise vituperative rants with polite words.

   The words "batshit crazy" have been flung about to describe members of the opposition to that of a particular speaker's. Most often the phrase arises when an image of Michele Bachmann appears on the screen. The reaction is visceral and spontaneous amongst many people---except for a very thin majority of the registered…

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Added by Mark Small on December 8, 2013 at 7:43am — No Comments

Pearl Harbor: 72nd Anniversary of the attack and the focus of Saturday's Show.

   Prior to the Japanese attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, and the air bases at Hickam and Wheeler Fields, on December 7, 1941, there was strong sentiment against United States involvement in what would become called World War II. The Japanese attack muted much of the opposition in the United States. The following day, the United States Congress declared war on the Japanese Empire. Japan on September 27, 1940 had entered into the Tripartite Agreement with Germany and…

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Added by Mark Small on December 5, 2013 at 7:30am — No Comments

Blogs as sources of local news in Indianapolis: Welsh, Kennedy, Stone, Easter, and the Cincinnati Reds fan.

   Before The Show yesterday, I conversed with one of the artists at The Stutz Building---excellent place for artists and small businesses, and I really, really want an Auburn Boat-tail Speedster---about the nature of news media today. We discussed the absence of focus for the much greater amount of information available, thanks to the internet, compared to three decades ago. I mentioned that in the 1970s-1980s, national news primarily came through the three major networks. As the artist…

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Added by Mark Small on December 1, 2013 at 7:44am — 1 Comment

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