Civil Discourse Now

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

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If I did not sign the promissory note, the hospital would "ship" me, like goods, to Wishard.

   By now the prednisone had been weaned down from an equivalent of 850 mg per day by IV. To describe the appetite it caused as "voracious" is an understatement. My stomach was a blast furnace ignited by prednisone and into which food, when fed, instantaneously disappeared.

   I had obtained continuances on all my cases. The staff of every court before which I had cases went to the max to accommodate what had occurred to me. Only a couple of clients seemed not to understand the…


Added by Mark Small on March 18, 2012 at 6:42am — No Comments

The middle days of a dreary hospital stay.

   The therapy with the legs I could understand. After all, I had lost the use of my legs. I had begun to gain some control over them, so the therapy made sense.

   "Vocational therapy" was—as almost everything else in this hospital hell—in the basement. The wheelchair was parked in front of a desk, behind which sat a physical therapist who explained to me that vocational therapy was for my upper body. I asked her why "vocational therapy" was necessary—twice a day, I think the chart…


Added by Mark Small on March 17, 2012 at 6:14am — No Comments

March 17 Show: whether public intoxication should be a criminal offense?

   Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. Until I moved to West Laughalot (a/k/a West Lafayette), I did not understand there was a component of consumption of alcohol to the holiday. Even at DePauw, where we took advantage of any pretext to throw a party, I do not remember St. Patrick’s Day as a particularly heavy party day.

   In West Laughalot, my perception of the holiday changed. We would hit The Stabilizer ("Stabes") for drink specials on the holiday venerating Ireland’s patron saint.…


Added by Mark Small on March 16, 2012 at 6:42am — 2 Comments

TV ads for the Super Borl(r) inundate TV if the two weeks prior to the game and a person on steroids only can salivate.

   As Woody Harrelson's character in "Doc Hollywood said, "I woulda been a doctor, except for all that science stuff." That might not be verbatim, so maybe the quotation marks are inappropriate. But the sentiment was correct.

   Still one does not need to be in the medical profession to know certain things, especially about one's self.

   I had no use of my legs. My brain would direct them with such complex orders as "Move!" And they wouldn't. Above my (growing thanks to the…


Added by Mark Small on March 14, 2012 at 9:06pm — No Comments

The question "Why me?" never had crossed my mind---it was my DNA.

   One would think that, a diagnosis having been reached, there would be no more need for MRIs. But at 1 a.m., I was wheeled out the door and down the hall to the elevator. Next came the injection of Xanax®. More Pink Floyd-esque pounding of the magnets as the machine scanned the body that lay in its tube. Sleep was impossible with all the noise.

   Altogether I had four MRIs. An MRI is expensive. Of course, at 1 a.m. the machine sat in the basement, unused. The place could turn a…


Added by Mark Small on March 14, 2012 at 6:59am — 1 Comment

IU was playing Purdue, I just had received a REALLY BAD diagnosis: what does one do?

   There were positive aspects to my having been given so many drugs since my admission to the hospital. Given my jolly nature, I was chuckling and having a rousing time. The neuro wore a long, serious face as he sat down. There probably is a course in medical school: "How to deliver REALLY BAD news to patients." Given how many MDs lack traces of personality, the course would about have to be required. If there was such a course, and he had taken it, that was years ago and he had not…


Added by Mark Small on March 13, 2012 at 6:07am — No Comments

By now I had lost use of my legs; MS Chronicles, part 3.

   On May 5, 2012, I shall walk in my fourteenth consecutive 500 Festival MiniMarathon®. We shall have surprise coverage of the event by Civil Discourse Now. This is the part three of a series about MS and vehemence about the Mini.®

   Breakfast of my first full day on the neuro ward was not bad. As soon as the meal was rolled away, an orderly appeared with a wheelchair. Sarah was there, but had to leave for work. She is an accountant and January is when tax season ramps up. She…


Added by Mark Small on March 12, 2012 at 6:25am — No Comments

What does MS have to do with "civil discourse"?

   What does my 1994 diagnosis with MS have to do with "civil discourse"?

   There are a lot of pressing issues that we face today. One example is that the United States Attorney General has stated a (false or, to be stylish, faux) legal distinction between "due process" and "due judicial process" to validate the United States government’s killing of its citizens. I am a lawyer. I can/should/will address this issue.

   Another major issue has to do with health care. "Health…


Added by Mark Small on March 11, 2012 at 7:33pm — 1 Comment

Multiple Sclerosis and why I will not miss a Mini-Marathon(r). Part 2.

   On May 5, 2012, I shall walk in my fourteenth consecutive 500 Festival MiniMarathon®. We shall have surprise coverage of the event by Civil Discourse Now. This is the second part of a series about MS and my vehemence about the Mini.®

   When Sarah came into the examination room and sat down, the neuro explained we had "a complete neurological emergency." He said I either had a tumor on my brain—"tumor" got my attention—a tumor on my spine, multiple sclerosis, or a couple of other…


Added by Mark Small on March 11, 2012 at 7:28am — No Comments

Multiple Sclerosis ("MS," my initials, how personal) and why I will not miss a Mini-Marathon.(r) Part 1

   On May 5, 2012, I shall walk in my fourteenth consecutive 500 Festival MiniMarathon®. We have a surprise for Civil Discourse Now with coverage of the Mini. I shall not miss a Mini. Last year I walked the 13.1 miles after having been diagnosed, the previous weekend, with pneumonia. After I completed my first Mini in 1999, I swore to myself I never would miss a Mini—unless I was dead or the MS finally had beaten me.   

   MS? Why the vehemence about the Mini? You need to know the…


Added by Mark Small on March 10, 2012 at 6:56am — 1 Comment

If allegations are true, former defenseive coordinator Gregg Williams should be banned from football for life.

   There are many problems in today’s world. People die. Despotism reigns. Chaos flourishes. In the Grand Scheme, athletic competitions seem trivial, at best a mere allegory for life: there is a start, a meaning (goal), and an end (death), unless the game is baseball and the contest, technically, never would end where the two teams could not break a tie in extra innings.

   If we set aside for a moment the question of whether there is importance for sports in the Grand Scheme, next is…


Added by Mark Small on March 9, 2012 at 8:13am — 1 Comment

Reasons other than belief in world climate change exist for policies to avoid fossil fuels.

   Yesterday, March 7, was quite warm for this time of year in Indiana. I wore a t-shirt outside part of the afternoon. The wind was brisk, but the sky was clear.

   The weather of one day, taken alone, is not indicative of world climate change. The weather of one year, taken by itself, is not indicative of world climate change.

   "Climate change" is short-hand, today, for the discussion about whether humans have caused, principally through their of fossil fuels, significant…


Added by Mark Small on March 8, 2012 at 7:00am — 3 Comments

Will Republicans continue to hitch their wagon to the jackass that is Limbaugh?

   Advertisers are in a rush to abandon Rush Limbaugh for Limbaugh’s on-air rant against the Georgetown Law Center student who had sought to testify at hearings on a Congressional hearing concerning contraceptives.

   First, the dispute is not one over freedom of religion. If one wishes to advance a religious cause in this context, we should turn first to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. That precedes the Free Exercise Clause. If one wishes to advance his religious…


Added by Mark Small on March 7, 2012 at 7:45am — 7 Comments

Would a Santorum EPA place controls on rivers of blood?

   Before the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1969, we were treated with interesting spots on the evening news. In 1969 the Cuyahoga River, in beautiful downtown Cleveland, burned. When one approached Gary on I-65, the sky was orange from the effluents of the steel mills.

    Yesterday, in response to my blog about the environment, Mr. Wheeler claimed "you posit an extreme example from your childhood days as that somehow…


Added by Mark Small on March 6, 2012 at 7:22am — 2 Comments

Is Santorum so glib about protection of the environment because he believes we are in the "end times?"

   Rick Santorum spoke a couple of weeks ago about President Obama’s attitude toward environmental matters. In dismissing concerns for the environment, Santorum said his god gave people this planet to use.

   How can a person be so short-sighted and such a poor student of history? When Richard Nixon—yes, that Richard Nixon—signed into law environmental protection laws, there were a lot of problems with our environment.

   On the west side of Kokomo was a steel mill. When I was…


Added by Mark Small on March 5, 2012 at 7:38am — 1 Comment

Filibusters? At least make senators get off their asses if they're going to block legislation.

   As a kid I watched Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," and inspiring movie about an honest, everyday guy who by happenchance is appointed to the United States Senate from an unnamed Midwestern state. The movie reaches its peak when Senator Jeff Smith filibusters to block a bill that is backed by the corrupt political bosses who seek to have him removed from the Senate.

   Frank Capra’s film is a classic. Also, it explains how the filibuster is an important part of our…


Added by Mark Small on March 3, 2012 at 7:36am — 2 Comments

Who is Rush Limbaugh to call anyone a "slut"?

   In Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut statute that not only prohibited the use of contraceptive devices, but made it a criminal offense for anyone to give out information of instruction on their use. The case is cited by many as having begun the concept of the right to privacy as a part of the U.S. Constitution. The concept goes back earlier in the Court’s history, though. In Oldstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438…


Added by Mark Small on March 1, 2012 at 7:38am — 4 Comments

Mr. Santorum: There is an "establishmnt clause" in the First Amendment and it is not an emetic.

When Europeans first came to the shores of this continent, Europe was in turmoil over religion. Between Luther’s 95 Theses to the Treaty of Westphalia over one hundred years of bloodshed passed. Some who came to the North American shores sought refuge from religious persecution. Others came for economic reasons. Some came through no choice—chained and sold, once they arrived here, as chattel. They were slaves.

   Rick Santorum is an odd person to advocate rejection of the separation…


Added by Mark Small on February 28, 2012 at 7:31am — 8 Comments

Next Saturday's Show plus how maybe money will co$t Rick Santorum Michigan.

   On our March 3 Show we shall discuss the presidential primaries and look forward to SuperTuesday®. (I used the trademark thingy there because I was not sure if some opportunistic bastard already had taken it.) The two hotly-contested races in the ... I’ll back up. There are two political parties. Those parties have funneled the system into two channels. An eligible, registered person can vote either Republican or Democrat, as those parties represent both sides of all political…


Added by Mark Small on February 27, 2012 at 7:28am — 3 Comments

Rant on Civil Discourse: catch the top of yesterday's 5th segment---antithetical, but so if life.

   I went on a rant at the start of yesterday’s fifth segment.

   Usually we do four, 14-minute segments of "Civil Discourse Now" on Saturday mornings. If we are having fun with a particular topic, or it is proving too difficult to cover in only four segments, we will go five segments.

   Yesterday, our guests were Jeff Cox and Kurt Lorey. We discussed whether the United States is biased toward Israel. Co-host Paul Ogden, between segments, commented that the discussion of…


Added by Mark Small on February 26, 2012 at 7:31am — 3 Comments

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