Civil Discourse Now

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

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE and Chapter 986 of the Revised Code of the Consolidated City of Indianapolis and Marion County.

   One would think a small shop would be the kind of local business politicians (of either major party) would want to benefit from a publicly-subsidized event. After all, each election cycle "small business" is an often-used phrase to extol candidates’ virtues. I never have heard a politician speak ill of "small business" as a concept.

   Let’s say a locally-owned sandwich shop, within one mile of Lucas Oil Stadium (or in Broad Ripple, on Mass Ave, or in Fountain Square) displays a sign in the shop’s window (in magic marker on cardboard; let’s make t really sweet and fuzzy-warm) that reads: "Souper Special/Ham & Cheese w/soup du jour $4.95." Now there might be some Hoosiers who wonder what this damn soup du jour is, because every time they’ve ordered it, it’s different; chicken and noodle one time, tomato another. But the whole point is there is a special.

   Nonetheless, small businesses cannot exercise free speech in certain areas of the City of Indianapolis during the 30 days leading up to The Super Bowl® or for several days following the event. Unless they obtain a license and pay a fee.

   Oh—and does anyone want to question how we have subsidized The Super Bowl®?  Bloggers at "Had Enough Indy?" and "Advance Indiana" provide some of the latest details. We, as taxpayers, have paid and will continue to pay for the pleasure of hosting the event. We might not be able to afford tickets to the game, but we had better be able to pay tax bills as they become due. One can pass on the deal of a ticket scalper.

   Chapter 986 of the Revised Code of the Consolidated City of Indianapolis and Marion County, under "LDL-3-Signs," requires a Limited Duration License ("LDL") for signs. Just about every kind of temporary "signage" is governed, including "inflatables, cold air balloons, banners, pennants, flags, building wraps, A-frame signs, T-frame signs, projected image signs [did they anticipate what the Occupy people did in NYC?], electronic variable message signs, and light emitting diode signs. Mobile advertising shall not be permitted under this provision."

   It gets curiouser and curiouser. Not only do they want an application and a fee for any signs one would want to post, but: "Unless otherwise approved by the event sponsor, a minimum of twenty percent (20%) of the total square footage of the sign face of any temporary sign shall reference the respective Super Celebration Site via the official cultural district logo, the official ‘Super Celebration Site’ logo, or other text or content approved by the event sponsor which promotes the district."

   Not only does the merchant have to apply for a license, pay a fee, and obtain the license before she or he can put that sign in the window, twenty percent (20%) of the area of the sign must include THEIR (a/k/a the NFL®/Super Bowl’s ®) official logo. Presumably our merchant would be gifted sufficiently to execute the logo with a black Sharpie®.

   This is crap. The NFL® has come to town and shnookered Indy into giving up everything to play host to The Super Bowl®. (I wonder is the Simons will get paid by the City somehow? I know, the Pacers are NBA and that makes no sense, but neither does the contract the City has with the Pacers. And if Indy is being so good to those football people, why shouldn’t the Pacers get a taste?)

   Repeat of message blogged: Saturday, January 28, 2012, at 11:00 a.m., "Civil Discourse Now" will film one or more acts of civil disobedience, defined by Black’s Law Dctionary: "A deliberate but nonviolent act of lawbreaking to call attention to a particular law or set of laws of questionable legitimacy or morality."

   The conduct will address corporate greed and oppression in its campaign to extract as much money from the people of this County and State as possible (before leaving down with the money) while the corporation quashes free speech.

   Mark it on your calendars, put a Post-It® note on your monitor, or do one of the weird things people can do these days with personal digital devices to remind themselves of anything and everything.

   And watch this web site.

   Saturday, January 21, 2012, at 11:00 a.m.: we shall speak to the World (and even people in Antarctica or on the International Space Station, if they are tuned in).


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Comment by Mark Small on January 25, 2012 at 7:54am


Sorry to be rude. I for got to wish you a good day.

Comment by Mark Small on January 25, 2012 at 7:54am


I am opposed to the holding in Citizens United that corporations have the full rights of human beings and that they should be able to give as much money as they wish in political campaigns. The Iowa caucuses were a good example of anonymous corporations acting on behalf of a candidate to smash another candidate. And there is a long case history at the U.S. Supreme Court pre-Roberts about distinctions between commercial and political speech.


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