Civil Discourse Now

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

Mark Small's Blog (1,222)

Repeal the Second Amendment

Gun violence has sparked debates on half-way measures. People advocate limits on handguns. Cities enact laws restricting handguns. After the shootings in Arizona, there was a movement to ban 30-shot clips for assault rifles. Personally, I believe these suggested measures are half-way. To stem gun violence we should ban private ownership of firearms---all firearms. Law enforcement personnel reasonably require firearms. Our military reasonably require firearms. Individual citizen ownership of… Continue

Added by Mark Small on April 11, 2011 at 8:27pm — No Comments

Guantanamo Bay

On Saturday, April 9, my guest will, once again, be Curt Coonrod. We will discuss Guantanamo Bay. I believe we share a fondness for Cuban cigars. (Personally, I like Cohiba Esplendidas and Hoyo de Monterrey double coronas. Unfortunately, the tiny area of Cuba on which the tobacco for those cigars is grown is far away from Guantanmo Bay.) We will discuss the status of detainees held by the United States at Gitmo.  

Added by Mark Small on April 9, 2011 at 5:53am — No Comments

Resolved: the United States should have national health care

Our debate for March 25 will be that national---read that socialized, folks---health care should be provided in the United States. My guest/opponent will be Dr. Michael Pratt, D.C. I will take the negative position, in defense of the status quo.

Added by Mark Small on March 26, 2011 at 5:47am — No Comments

Carlos Lam, Former Guest/Opponent, Disappoints

I was e-mailed yesterday morning about the news concerning Carlos Lam who, as many already know, e-mailed the governor of Wisconsin to suggest the governor engage in a tactic Carols called "false flags" to discredit union activists in the demonstrations against that governor's bone-headed actions. In earlier times the tactic was called "agents provacateurs." It consists of planting one or more poseurs in the ranks of the opponent's demonstrations. The poseur(s) then engage in acts of…


Added by Mark Small on March 26, 2011 at 5:45am — No Comments

An Odd Series of Dreams

I awoke this morning from an odd series of dreams. In one, the governor of Michigan had caused to be enacted a legislative package that conferred the power of government on corporations. The corporations would run cities—individual services or departments or entire cities themselves—without the inefficiency of voter input through elections. In another dream, government leaders in several states raced one another to sell off assets, built by the public with public capital raised from…


Added by Mark Small on March 25, 2011 at 5:59am — No Comments

"Citizens United v. FEC" was a poorly-reasoned example of "judicial activism." Part 1

Our election process was significantly damaged by one of the worst decisions in the history of the United States Supreme Court, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Procedurally, the decision was hypocritical, an act of judicial activism antithetical to the what generally is viewed as appropriate by Republicans. Substantively, it enables foreign shareholders to exercise the rights of American citizens through the corporations those shareholders come to own and…


Added by Mark Small on March 24, 2011 at 5:46am — No Comments

Resolved: that Justice Clarence Thomas should be impeached.

Our March 19, 2011, debate will consider whether Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court should be mpeached. I shall represent the negative on tis issue.

Added by Mark Small on March 16, 2011 at 8:40pm — No Comments

Why corporations are a bad idea.

I was asked last night why the "left" finds the word "corporation" to be evil. I asked the person to clarify what he meant by the "left" and whether he used the word "evil in ecclesiastical context. So began that part of our conversation.

A corporation is not a living, breathing thing. It is created by statutes and consists of a piece of paper. A corporation has no national loyalties. Its loyalties are to its shareholders. A for-profit corporation’s morality is shaped by its reason…


Added by Mark Small on March 11, 2011 at 6:31am — No Comments

First two segments of March 5 debate salvaged

I was able to pull the first two segments of the debate Carols Lam and I had on March 5 concerning public funding of  Planned Parenthood. Those now are on the web site. 

Added by Mark Small on March 10, 2011 at 6:49am — No Comments

The March 5, 2011, Debate

On March 5, Carlos Lam was gracious enough to travel to my office and debate Resolved: Planned Parenthood should receive public funding. Carlos is a lawyer. His appearance on the show was not in connection with his employer and solely was a personal matter on his personal time. Through technical glitches—i.e., my ineptitude in the operation of transfer of taped images and audio from camera to computer—much of the debate was lost. For that I apologize, both to Carlos, who took time out…


Added by Mark Small on March 6, 2011 at 7:23am — No Comments

Removal of Apparent Adbot

Someone posted on this site something that made little sense, given the content of the site. I e-mailed the person who posted the item and asked if the post was simply an adbot. An adbot is a creature of the computer world that seeks out new websites and enters a post that, in reality, is an advertisement. I received no response. I infer from the lack of response that my suspicions are a reality. I therefore deleted the matter. If I was wrong about the matter being an adbot, the person who… Continue

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

March 5 debate is Resolved: The public should fund Planned Parenthood.

The recent brouhaha over budgets has been many-faceted. I did not think a debate on the budget as a whole could be easily accommodated on the show, given our time limits.  So I thought we could concentrate on one aspect of the national budget over which people have strong feelings. We will debate on Saturday at 1. I will try to upload the show that afternoon.

Added by Mark Small on March 3, 2011 at 6:43am — No Comments

February 19 debate and the show

-We learn as we go. I had thought  debate on Ronald Reagan's presidency would draw at least a few people interested in defending the presidency of the 40th man to hold the office. I was mistaken. Fortunately, as previously announced on this blog, Curt Coonrod will debate the topic on March 12. That left us scrambling for a topic and guest for February 19. As luck would have it, Paul Ogden agreed to debate Resolved: originalism is an invalid means of interpreting the…


Added by Mark Small on February 26, 2011 at 5:59am — No Comments

Proud to Announce March 12 debate on Ronald Reagan!

I am proud and pleased as punch (as former Vice President Hubert Humphrey once would have said) to announce that Curtis Coonrod has accepted my invitation to debate Resolved: Ronald Reagan was a very bad president. Unfortunately, Mr. Coonrod's schedule is such that he is not available for the debate until March 12.  I first met Curt in 1970 when we were rookies in high school speech and debate. He was on Lafayette Jeff's team. My high school was a small, rural school in Howard County. He…


Added by Mark Small on February 25, 2011 at 7:03am — No Comments

Will no one come to the defense of the Gipper?

I have yet to find anyone to debate in defense of Ronald Reagan on the proposed topic. I can be contacted at

Added by Mark Small on February 24, 2011 at 7:07am — No Comments

Background of the web site

The background of this web site is not some weird hippie alteration of the flag of the United States but the flag of the Green Mountain Boys.

First formed in the 1760s, the Green Mountain Boys were a militia organization formed in Vermont. They took an active part in what we call the Revolutionary War and played a crucial role in the colonists’ victory in the battle of Ticonderoga. Today, the Vermont National Guard bears the name of the group.

In the 1970s, a friend of mine…


Added by Mark Small on February 22, 2011 at 6:10am — No Comments

Next week's debate: Resolved that Ronald Reagan was a really bad president.

This debate will focus on some of the misconceptions about a president elevated nearly to the level of icon. Our debate will focus on those misconceptions. I will argue the affirmative---that Ronald Reagan was a really bad president, popular belief notwithstanding.

Added by Mark Small on February 20, 2011 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

Resolved: that the Federal Government should control primary and secondary education in the United States.

This will be the topic of our next debate, Saturday, February 19, between Chris Spangle and me. I will take the affirmative. The debate should be on the site in the afternoon. I am new to this tecnology thing. My Freshman year at DePauw, the school's computer (singlular) filled a room I recall as being about 20' by 20'. SO I am late to this process.

The debate should be spirited. The point of the debates is to discuss matters in civil fashion but with disagreement; without…


Added by Mark Small on February 18, 2011 at 6:43am — 1 Comment




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Added by Mark Small on February 17, 2011 at 6:58am — No Comments

How to move towards a balanced budget

Budgetary matters

We have before the Congress a budget proposed by President Obama that makes few people happy. There is general consensus that we should cut spending. There is no such consensus about raising taxes. The Republicans want to preserve tax cuts for the rich. Some in the Democratic Party are willing to preserve those tax cuts.

So, like people everywhere who try to balance their checkbooks, let us see what we could do to right these matters.

1. Cut…


Added by Mark Small on February 16, 2011 at 6:33am — No Comments

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