Civil Discourse Now

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

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 of his weekend to prepare for and engage in the debate, and to those of you who expect me to keep my promise that, each week, you can count on a new debate on 3leftturnsmakearight. I shall attempt to post those segments of the debate between Carlos and me that were not lost to the ether.

I also must apologize to anyone who wanted to watch a debate on an important issue that affects a significant number of people. Many women are dependent upon Planned Parenthood for family planning services to which they otherwise would not have access. The services of Planned Parenthood, however, are not confined to women of lower incomes, but span all socioeconomic sectors. The groups services are not limited to matters of family planning. Planned Parenthood also screens for STDs and various forms of cancer. Also, birth control pills distributed by Planned Parenthood are not necessarily prescribed to a woman as a means of contraception. The Pill, as it has commonly been called for some 50 years, also is prescribed for various medical conditions. Finally, the main argument against public funding has been due to Planned Parenthood’s provision of services for abortion, a matter that takes up three percent (3%) of its funding.

Carlos eloquently and politely argued against my position. I hope that he will return to the Show in the weeks to come so that we may re-argue the matter. As importantly, I have had five (5) debates on 3leftturnsmakearight. The sixth will be next week. Each of my guests has been, and will be next week, a white male. I have been honored that these guests have appeared. I have appreciated the manner in which we have engaged in debate both informative and enjoyable. Remember what the slogan on the web site reads: "Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment."

I have tried to obtain a diversity in the guests on my show—i.e., women, people who are non-white. If someone wishes to argue a matter on the Show, e-mail me. (I will have an e-mail address specific to this web site by Tuesday, 3/8/11.) I will be glad to consider any topic and anyone as a guest. There are few rules on the Show. I will write them up and post them later, but they consist of: do not talk over your time limit, do not talk over someone else while that person has the floor—or conference table—and do not wear a white shirt. The last bit is a techno thing. Also, name-calling, in the form of insulting pejorative form, is not allowed.

So, mea culpa for this week. I only took shop in high school because one semester was required. I had a two hundred percent (200%) error on the best chemistry lab I did. (My partner did the rest and I was good at doing the formulae or whatever figuring our the numbers and stuff was called.) I still have digital devices that flash "12:00." So I screwed up. In no way was that meant as a dig at Carlos, at the issue we debated, or at those of you who have devoted time to watch this show that, I hope, is at the start of a good run.–mark small. 03/06/11

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