Civil Discourse Now

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

All Blog Posts (1,183)

Let's get rid of private prisons!

   Let me get this straight. Corporations such as CCA—Correctional Corporation of America—operate some of our prisons and, in doing so, seeks to make a profit. That is a dynamic to privatization: the profit motive makes for more efficient operations. CCA receives monies from the particular state with which it contracts for each prisoner it houses and feeds. 

   CCA seeks to run more prisons. Expansion of market-share, after all, is one of those silly, kookie things about…


Added by Mark Small on December 14, 2011 at 7:04am — 2 Comments

Voter fraud!? Let's roll out some unnecessary ID laws!

   "Voter fraud!" OMG! Such words bring to mind Mayor Daley and rigged elections in Lake and St. Joseph counties. The Republican Party has stepped forward to combat this menace to our republic! After all, the root of the word "republican" is right there. They are rightful guardians of the Republic. There could be no ulterior motives in waging war against Voter Fraud. Let’s go ahead and use upper-case on both words while we’re at it.

   Unfortunately, there has been very little voter…


Added by Mark Small on December 13, 2011 at 7:26am — 5 Comments

"Just take off your clothes and lay down on your backs"

   That is a line from a song by Phil Ochs, a folk/protest singer who, in the 1960s, was dubbed "The Troubadour of the Left." Judge Julius Hoffman refused to allow Ochs to sing from the witness stand during the trial in United State v. Dellinger, et al, also known as The Chicago Seven (after Bobby Seale's case was severed from what had been The Chicago Eight. Ochs had sung in Grant Park during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. He was called by the defense to testify as to what had…


Added by Mark Small on December 10, 2011 at 7:01am — No Comments

Saturday's Show: Why should we be the cops of the World?

   United States troops are all around the World---and why? The Cold War is over, so why do we have over 50,000 military personnel in Germany? It is not like those personnel can run over to Amsterdam and have fun. The military has urine tests for drugs. We have 40,000 in Japan and nearly 30,000 in South Korea. The Japanese are not in imminent danger from anyone. And South Korea? Their forces would wipe the North's off the map if the platform shoe-wearing, pompadour hair-styled goofy dictator…


Added by Mark Small on December 9, 2011 at 6:59am — No Comments

Will the coach give the signal to Jeb Bush?

   Thoughts about the presidential campaign:

   1) It starts too early. There is a enough crap on TV. Ban candidates from announcing candidacies before January 1 of the year of the election. There might be less of an emphasis on money for candidates. (Okay, maybe I am naive on that one.) Plus we would be spared a lot of drivel. With what would it be replaced? Different drivel, probably. As it goes now, though, by the time election day rolls around, many of us will have been thoroughly…


Added by Mark Small on December 8, 2011 at 7:35am — 2 Comments

Donald Trump is a fraud and will be a joke as a moderator.

   Donald Trump should not be considered a successful businessman. He has milked money out of ventures under the protection of the corporate veil. He has received government subsidies for his businesses. The businesses failed and he filed corporate—not personal—bankruptcy. Taxpayers footed the bill for the subsidies. Creditors stood empty-handed. Well, they nearly were empty-handed. They could hold their "Notice of Discharge of Debt." They also could frame the single-page notices if they…


Added by Mark Small on December 6, 2011 at 7:09am — No Comments

Nearly Everyone Sees Folly in Our Current Drug Laws?

   Since 1976 I have argued that all drugs should be legalized. The guests that Paul Ogden and I were privileged to have on the Show as guests were Randy Miller of Drugfree Marion County and George Brenner, an addictions counselor with 38 years' experience. I erroneously anticipated they would take firm positons in opposition to any concept of decriminalization or legalization. If you watch and listen to the Show---click on the Videos tab on this page---you will realize such was not the…


Added by Mark Small on December 5, 2011 at 6:55am — No Comments

Today: Whether All Drugs Should be Legalized.

   Today, at 11 a.m. at Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell in Broad Ripple, Paul Ogden and I shall co-host a panel discussion with Randy Miller of Drug Free Marion County and George Brenner, LCSW, who counsels individuals for substance abuse problems, on whether all drugs should be legalized. You can join us in person and live at Big Hat, or catch the Show late tis afternoon after it has been uploaded/downloaded/embedded. 

Added by Mark Small on December 3, 2011 at 6:47am — 2 Comments

Government should have a reason before depriving us of a freedom.

   Should government have a reason for banning something?

   There are many distinctions between laws. Amongst those distinctions is one of laws that ban certain conduct. Laws that ban conduct that is malum per se (for example, murder, robbery, kidnaping) prohibit conduct society has seen as intrinsically wrong. Laws that ban conduct that is malum prohibitum (for example, jaywalking, possession of marijuana) prohibit conduct because we, or our elected officials, say such conduct is…


Added by Mark Small on December 1, 2011 at 7:03am — No Comments

All drugs should be legalized.

   What did we learn from Prohibition? That if we outlaw a substance that itself is not intrinsically bad but that some people choose to consume, we create an illicit market. From this market, organized crime grows. In the 1920s that crime grew to great proportions. People still drank. What they drank could contain impurities that could harm them, to the point of death. Did H.L. Mencken write, drinking was a national sport during that time? We wasted money on law enforcement. We lost money…


Added by Mark Small on November 30, 2011 at 7:34am — 1 Comment

Should all drugs be legalized?

   For Saturday, December 3, our "Civil Discourse Now" will focus on the question of whether all drugs should be legalized. Let me clear about what we mean by "legalization." This does not mean "decriminalization," an approach that lessens penalties but keeps the illegal marketers. This does not mean street vendors could peddle, supplied by any cartels or someone's brother-in-law with a basement (or, these days, roadside) laboratory. There would not be ads on TV for the latest, best designer…


Added by Mark Small on November 29, 2011 at 7:00am — No Comments

Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns Only Lost Merchants Customers.

   Fortunately, Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns ended not with a bang. I was out early, engaged in field research after we did Saturday’s show of "Civil Discourse Now." I felt my perception of the evening would be best served if I remained in one place. There were several bars with signs outside advising customers were not allowed to enter armed. As I said in at least one previous post, I do not stay up late. At 8:00 I was home.

   One news report said dozens showed up for the "event."…


Added by Mark Small on November 27, 2011 at 7:48am — 8 Comments

Tonight? Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns Still Is a ... Sham

   Tonight is the night for the Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns event.

   I questioned the intentions of John Hallgarth, cited by a couple of local media outlets as originator of the event, in a November 23 blog. More facts have emerged about his past. He has expressed admiration for, even belief in the politics of, the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi organization founded by a former associate of George Lincoln Rockwell, head of the American Nazi Party. The NA founder also authored…


Added by Mark Small on November 26, 2011 at 8:17am — 2 Comments

Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns is a . . . Sham

This is in reply to Roberta Ecks who responded to yesterday’s post.

   1) You are correct. No one owns the words "occupy" or "tea party." There has to be more than coincidence in the use of "occupy" for this particular action. Given the nationwide actions under that rubric—agree with the sentiments or not—to use the name for a gathering of any sort of political implication is to try either to use it for that momentum or to discredit it. Either way, if Mr. Hallgarth does not agree with…


Added by Mark Small on November 25, 2011 at 7:55am — 3 Comments

Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns Is a Neo-Nazi Sham, part 2

   A post to yesterday’s blog raises a valid point, that one should not jump to conclusions that Mr. Hallgarth is a member of or believer in the teachings of National Alliance. There are several points I would raise in response:

   1) Paul Ogden, fellow blogger on "Ogden on Politics," addresses several matters in regard to links on Mr. Hallgarth’s Facebook page. The link to Stormfront is as troublesome as Mr. Hallgarth’s reference to National Alliance. Both organizations are racist.…


Added by Mark Small on November 24, 2011 at 9:02am — 1 Comment


"Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns" is a neo-Nazi sham.

   An individual from Shelby County has announced plans for an Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns for Saturday, November 26, 2011, between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. His stated purpose is to educate the people in Broad Ripple about their Second Amendment right to bear arms as a means of self-defense.

   This is seriously stupid. Also, it is an attempt to couple the Occupy Wall Street ("OWS") movement with violence. The man who is…


Added by Mark Small on November 23, 2011 at 7:26am — 3 Comments

Occupy What Street?

   Occupy Indy is one of at least  three websites that join Indianapolis with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement.

    I agree with the goals of the OWS movement. Contrary to what some contend, the goals of the movement are not vague. The movement seeks to raise taxes on the one percent richest people in the country, void by whatever means necessary the United States Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, place greater restrictions in the operations of large banks and…


Added by Mark Small on November 22, 2011 at 7:29am — No Comments

Open invite: Gun advocates should engage in civil discourse at gun & knife show

  In the next few days I will post blogs about why we should eliminate private ownership of firearms. Gun advocates have a gun & knife show in mid-January If some of you advocates wish to advocate, let's discuss, in civil fashion, this topic. I shall be armed with my intellect. Many of you are intelligent and capable of advancing your cause---even though I musy say you are wrong. It is time for rational discusson about this very important matter. If all drugs were legalized, we would…


Added by Mark Small on November 18, 2011 at 9:39pm — No Comments

Upcoming Shows

   The following are shows we will anticipate doing in the coming weeks on "Civil Discourse Now":

11/19   Immigration, w/guest David Cook, who practices in the area of immigration law, and another guest yet to be determined.

11/26  Economic chaos, w/guest David Lemley, a financial adviser.

12/3  All drugs should be legalized, w/guest (and a person opposed to legalization) Randy Miller of Drug Free Marion County.

12/10  American imperialism and militarism, w/ guest…


Added by Mark Small on November 18, 2011 at 7:07am — No Comments

Iceland's reaction to banks' meltdown.

   Iceland is an interesting place. I never have been there, but have read about it. It is a volcanic island in the North Atlantic. Vikings often sought refuge there with women they had kidnaped during raids. The women tended to be attractive. Bobby Fisher played Boris Spassky for the world chess championship in Iceland's capitol.

   Also, Iceland had a banking crisis similar to our own. Iceland's people chose a different course of action than we did. Instead of rewarding, with…


Added by Mark Small on November 16, 2011 at 7:14am — No Comments

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