Civil Discourse Now

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

All Blog Posts (1,183)

RTW is backed by the same people who love "employment at-will"---go figure.

   Once more, we go to the Orwellian aspects of the legislation called  "Right to Work" ("RTW"). Who would be so left-wing in their radicalism as to assert that a human eing has a right to work in her/his job? Oh, that’s right—the same folks who are so protective of Indiana’s status as an at-will employment State. "At-will" means an employer can fire a worker—and Mitt Romney has said he loves firing people—for anything, except, generally, reasons based on race, gender, religion,…


Added by Mark Small on January 10, 2012 at 7:09am — No Comments

"Right to Work": what does such a law mean and who wrote it?

  "Right to Work" ("RTW") sounds like a great idea. Why should anyone be deterred fro a "right to work"? If something is a "right," it should be protected by law.

  The wording of HB 1028 is similar to the other two bills pending before our General Assembly:

"Makes it a Class A misdemeanor to require an individual to: (1) become or remain a               member of a labor organization; (2) pay dues, fees, or other charges to a labor               organization; or (3) pay to a…


Added by Mark Small on January 9, 2012 at 7:22am — 2 Comments

"Right to Work" in Indiana: next week's Show.

   George Orwell’s fame is derived from two books: Animal Farm and 1984. From the latter came the linguistic Newspeak, the language promoted by the State. Today, when one speaks of something as "Orwellian," usually it is in the context of a "good" label applied to something most would consider bad.

   Presently before the Indiana General Assembly are two bills in the House of Representatives (HB 1028 and 1043) and one in the Senate (SB 0395) that are considered "right to…


Added by Mark Small on January 8, 2012 at 7:37am — No Comments

How did I get that name wrong?

   During yesterday's Show, I referred to W.A. Clark, a Montana business tycoon/minerals baron of the turns of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, as C.W. Morgan. I got the name wrong, but all the other matters about the man that I cited were correct. I had the name right in my blog from a couple of days ago---and a print-out of the blog in a 3-ring binder right in front of me. So mea culpa.   

Added by Mark Small on January 8, 2012 at 6:55am — No Comments

TODAY'S SHOW: It will be fun and informative, "Citizens United" and what has followed.

"Civil Discourse Now" welcomes back panelist Jeff Cox. Also wwelcome goes to Nicolas Martin, in his first apearance on the Show. Nicolas is a long-time libertarian, a faithful serf to his nine-year-old daughter, and a funeral photographer whose website link is at the end of yesterday's blog & will be repeated on the Show today. Those interested in watching live, we shoot at 11 a.m. at Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell in Broad Ripple. We will be on-line no later than 11 am Sunday.

Added by Mark Small on January 7, 2012 at 7:33am — No Comments

Montana slams "Citizens United," part 3: will the case withstand U.S. Supreme Court scrutiny?

   Odds are very good that Western Partnership will be taken up on a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. Whether the Montana Supreme Court’s holding will survive there is a bit like speculating whether, once in the NCAA tournament, Indiana University will fare well.

   The justices of the Montana Supreme Court are aware of the possibilities of course. Chief Justice McGrath wrote for the Montana Court fully aware of the possibilities. That is why…


Added by Mark Small on January 6, 2012 at 7:41am — No Comments

Montana slams, part, plus: if corporations are treated like humans, do we humans receive the benefits of treatment as corporations?

  So, let’s pick up from yesterday. The Montana Supreme Court, on December 30, handed down a decision in Western Tradition Partnership, Inc. Attorney General, 2011 WL 6888567, ("WTP" for short) that, seemingly in the face of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 130 S.Ct. 876 (2011),  has upheld Montana’s ban on corporate donations to a "a candidate or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political…


Added by Mark Small on January 5, 2012 at 7:20am — No Comments

Montana Supreme Court slams "Citizens United."

   A decision handed down on December 30, 2011, the Supreme Court of Montana, in Western Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Attorney General of State, 2011 WL 6888567, ("WTP") might rock the foundation of the Super PACs created by the Citizens United case.   

   Generally the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, Art. III, §2,  means a decision of the United States Supreme Court trumps the highest court of one of the 50 states (or 46 states and four…


Added by Mark Small on January 4, 2012 at 7:32am — 3 Comments

A dialogue with Socrates.

  I, this weird dream last night, I ran into Socrates. As my dreams go, we were on the concourse of a ballpark. I knew it had to be a dream, and not death. After all, as an atheist, I do not believe in an after-life. If I did, this was not heaven, as it was a weird compilation of ballparks related to the Reds. I am a Cubs fan. On the other hand, it wasn’t hell, because I saw no indication I was in the Bronx.

   But I had a beer in my hand (not Hudepohl, or else I would have had second…


Added by Mark Small on January 3, 2012 at 7:09am — 1 Comment

   The City of Indianapolis, through its Department of Code Enforcement,  has been kind enough to post an information for "Super Celebration Sites" for the time leading up to, and following, the Supe…

   The City of Indianapolis, through its Department of Code Enforcement,  has been kind enough to post an information for "Super Celebration Sites" for the time leading up to, and following, the Super Bowl.

   Contexts of Orwellian twists on the English language are interesting. To see these phenomena in regard to a sports event staged by a mono(lith)poly would add an element of amusement, were it not for a couple of factors. First, we—taxpayers and citizens of Indianapolis and…


Added by Mark Small on January 2, 2012 at 7:58am — No Comments

Public intoxication should not be a crime.

   Last night I thought about a deposition I took this week.

   Folks met up yesterday at the Broad Ripple Tavern (BRT) at 2:00—p.m., not a.m.—to do what has become ritual New Year’s Eve: talk, have a few laughs, discuss political and social issues, and drink. My beverage of choice is beer. Joe, a fraternity brother from DePauw days, does not imbibe. Bright-line rules have their merits. Mine: do not drink if one knows one has to get behind the wheel of a car and do not drive if one…


Added by Mark Small on January 1, 2012 at 7:19am — No Comments

WANTED: Stats wonk

  -In grade school did you acquire a bizarre fascination with columns of numbers?

  -During the 2008 presidential election, about 7:00 p.m. did you say something like, "Obama took Fulton County 75/25? That's a Republican area. That's a major indicator---he's won"?

  -If you are into & have some knowledge of political polling, and would like to be on Saturday's show, e-mail me at 

Added by Mark Small on December 30, 2011 at 7:59am — No Comments

New Year's Eve Show will be good!

   This will be a different kind of New Year's Eve show. For one thing, we will shoot it at 11 a.m. That is as in it is still light out (here in Indiana, barring an unscheduled complete solar eclipse). For another, we will discuss the year to come in politics, and from a bit of a different angle. We will give overviews of the nine Congressional races, as well as the races for Governor of our fair State and the office of United States Senator. And (of course) we shall discuss the presidential…


Added by Mark Small on December 28, 2011 at 6:27am — No Comments

Americans Elect; part 2

   As I said two days ago, I could not understand why the Republican Old Guard allowed mopes to dominate the run-up to the 2012 presidential election. The best scenario for Republican Party to defeat President Obama, in such a close race? A third-party, center-left candidate with a solid national profile runs on a well-funded third-party ticket. S/he could bleed votes from Obama in key states and Romney would take those states and the presidency. 

   Enter: Americans Elect.



Added by Mark Small on December 26, 2011 at 7:27am — 2 Comments

WARNING: Another election is about to be stolen, and right before our very eyes.

   I did not understand why the Republican Old Guard allowed such mopes to dominate the primary elections and run-up to the 2012 presidential election. 

   If the Republican Party wants to defeat President Obama in 2012 so badly, what would be the best thing that could happen? A center-left candidate with a solid national profile runs on a well-funded third-party ticket. Such a candidate could bleed votes from the Obama campaign in key states and in the right numbers and Romney would…


Added by Mark Small on December 24, 2011 at 7:56am — 2 Comments

The Supreme Court's decision in "Citizens United" is bad on a scale of "Dred Scott."

   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 December 23, 2011 at 7:35am — 5 Comments

This IURC thing is NOT a scandal, you putzes.

   The flap over the Indiana Regulatory Commission is not a scandal. "Scandal" is defined as "a disgraceful or discreditable action, circumstance, etc. American College Dictionary, 1962 ed., p. 1082. In a general sense, the whole thing about Duke Energy officials being cozy with the people at the Indiana agency charged with regulation of Duke Energy is disgraceful or discreditable. But I came of age—i.e., went to college—when Watergate was in its prime. "Scandal" has evolved…


Added by Mark Small on December 21, 2011 at 6:59am — No Comments

The people paid for Conseco Fieldhouse; at least we should get to sell the naming rights.

   The Indianapolis Star reports this morning that later today, at a press conference, Conseco Fieldhouse will be renamed. In the story, reporter Heather Gillers writes, "Conseco Fieldhouse, built by Herb and Mel Simon, opened in 1999 when the Pacers moved from their former home, Market Square Arena."   

   I did not see photos of Herb and Mel out there on the construction site pouring footers and laying brick.  Therefore I must infer that by writing the structure was "built…


Added by Mark Small on December 20, 2011 at 7:07am — No Comments

Cheer for the Colts to clinch this Sunday!

   In the 1980s, Indianapolis wooed the Colts from Baltimore with a new stadium, tax benefits, and other perquisites. The idea here was that the expenditure of taxpayers’ money was a good investment. The Colts would bring jobs to Indy. The city would gain prestige as home to two teams in the four major sports. Games would attract visitors to Indy and leave behind dollars spent at local businesses.

   Indianapolis has spent a lot of money on the Colts. Our residents have paid more in…


Added by Mark Small on December 19, 2011 at 7:01am — No Comments

When will there be a head-on collision on Broad Ripple Avenue?

   Friday morning I drove to work. My route passes through a school zone, that of Broad Ripple High School (or whatever the school is called today). My speed was 25 mph, for three reasons. First, because it is a school zone and safety is important. Second, because I do not want to receive a ticket. Third, tickets for speeding in a school zone, the last I heard, run a thousand bucks.

   Just past McDonald’s, a Land Rover was on my rear bumper. I maintained my speed. I noticed a second…


Added by Mark Small on December 18, 2011 at 7:31am — 2 Comments

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