Civil Discourse Now

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

Democratic convention, Mayor Ballard and cricket, and more!

   Today “Civil Discourse Now” launches its own channel on “Live 365.” The past two weeks we have experienced technical difficulties we previously had not encountered. We are unable to get on the air for nearly an hour. We no longer will have such problems.
   But, I digress.
   In February, after one of its fracking sites blew up large sections of a Pennsylvania township, corporate honchos at Chevron gave residents of the area damaged “free” pizzas.
   In ancient Rome, the poet Juvenal called on leaders to give the people bread and circuses—bare food and entertainment—to mollify them.
   Mayor Greg Ballard has stepped up these bizarre notions that a little food and a little entertainment, in the face of public disasters, may quiet Indianapolis citizens.
   The zip lines for the Super Bowl were fun for some. We never may know the balance sheet on that extravaganza. Most studies show local governments lose money—i.e., taxpayers get screwed—when those local governments subsidize sports.
   Events of the last few days here in the Circle City have played out in odd ways.
   First, the national cricket championships this summer will not be played in Indianapolis. A spokesperson for Mayor Ballard announced that on Friday. The national organization for cricket is about to be stripped of its authority by the international cricket association. Millions were spent on the cricket facility on the East side.
   Second, YOUR Indiana Pacers lost to the Miami Heat last night. Let me explain a few things. I am a native-born Hoosier. I watched the telethon in 1980 when the Pacers needed to raise $12 million (I think was the sum) just to stay here. Today, $12 million probably wouldn’t buy the concessions contract from the Pacers. Mayor Ballard has done his best to “assume the position,” to quote Niedermyer in “Animal House.” The people of Indianapolis, of course, assume the position and bend over. Mayor Ballard wears the hood and administers the swats with the paddle.
   In the meantime, people get killed in acts of violence, in part because we have few police—at least fewer police than promised in 2007 by then-candidate Greg Ballard.
   Our streets look (and feel when one drives over many of them) like roads shelled out by mortars in a war zone.
   And public schools? To paraphrase the bandit in “Treasure of the Sierra Madre”—“Schools? We don’ need no stinking schools!” We have charter schools and vouchers.
   At the Indiana Democratic Party state convention today, we shall speak with delegates, candidates for various offices, and random passersby. I handed Matt Stone, CDN Senior Contributor, his press credentials last night, on the corner of an alley and a side street on Indy’s near North side. He should have some interesting spots.
   I am curious. Who will run for the three most prominent offices—not on this year’s ballot—from the Democratic Party? The offices to which I refer are United States Senate, Mayor of Indianapolis, and Governor of Indiana.
   As I have written in this blog, most of the candidates for whom I have voted in my life were members of the Democratic Party, although I gave 25 cents to Barry Goldwater’s campaign in 1964 and I voted for Ed Clark in 1980 (because he wanted to legalize drugs, not because I even knew the guy who was his running mate).
   The three occupants of the offices mentioned are, in order: an alien ( Dan Coats is as much of a Hoosier as any other resident of North Carolina), a buffoon (or disgruntled fan of cricket), and a man who has learned what little power the Governor of Indiana holds and (probably) how much he misses Washington (so much he—seriously?—is considering a run for President).
   To paraphrase Colonel Jessup in “A Few Good Men”—not the “You can’t handle the truth” bit—“Please tell me you have something more for me, Danny. Please tell me I haven’t traveled all this way so you can ask me about what underwear I packed.”
   The Indiana Democratic Party needs to tell us who is there to run for these offices.
   This mid-term election is important. At least one Indiana Congressional District, the Second, could “flip” to the Democrats. Every seat in the Indiana House of Representatives (of course) is open. If the State House goes blue, maybe there can be a little sanity injected into things.
   A Senate seat in 2016 would be prime.
   The race for Governor? That would be nice.
   But I’d like for someone to run for Mayor to unseat this bastard who has turned this City into a corrupt, financial ruin. (Wait—he was elected Mayor when Daniels was Governor. Okay, I get the connection.) In Ballard’s last campaign it seemed the Democratic Party candidate was feign to attack Ballard for fear she would step on the toes of Ballard’s backers. Some people have the impression there only is one political party in Marion County politics.
   So today, in downtown Indy, at the Convention Center, the Indiana Democratic Party holds its state convention. “Civil Discourse Now” will be there to cover events from 11 am to 1 pm.  In future weeks you can catch us on “Live365!”
   Let’s see what the Indiana Democratic Party can offer voters to give us something more than zip lines and cricket. We want police, decent streets and taxes that aren’t simply handed over to those well-placed politically.
   Let’s see who is there to place Mayor Ballard in a position to simply collect his Marine Corps pension. A lot of us are worried his financial shenanigans will many of us scrambling around to pay for basic services while he and his buddies relax over drinks in the tropics.
   Marie Antoinette was quoted as saying, “Let them eat cake!” She left the entertainment component out and had no real plan for long-term survival. If the French had made the zip line instead of the guilotine maybe she would have survived the French Revolution.

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