Civil Discourse Now

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

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November 12: DePauw/Wabash debate/discussion

Today, at the Broad Ripple Tavern, 745 Broad Ripple Avenue, Indianapolis, Mark Small, DePauw '78, and Carlos May, a Wabash alum and former Republican candidate for Congress will discuss/debate whether there are merits to single-gender post-secondary education. Paul Ogden will moderate. We start at 11:30 a.m. Kick-off for the Monon Bell game is a little after 1 pm. All, over  age 21, are welcome.

Added by Mark Small on November 12, 2011 at 6:52am — No Comments

Booze should be sold on election day while polls are open.

   Today as you go to the poll to cast your ballot, remember that, at the same time, all bars and liquor stores are closed. I think this is a travesty. Intoxicated voters might improve the quality of elected officials.

   First, there would be little patience shown for the people outside the polling station. By law they must remain at least 50 feet from the "chute" to the polling place. "Chute" means front door. That's sure a much-enforced rule. Intoxicated voters, freed from their…


Added by Mark Small on November 8, 2011 at 7:18am — No Comments

Elections and Karl Hess

   In 1964, Senator Barry Goldwater was nominated by the Republican Party as its candidate for president. (Trivia question: who was his running mate?) His acceptance speech, delivered at San Francisco's Cow Palace, is famous for his declaration: "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the defense of justice is no virtue." As is so often the case, Goldwater (to whose campaign I donated 25 cents that year; a lot for a nine-year-old on a dollar-a-week allowance, and the…


Added by Mark Small on November 7, 2011 at 7:17am — 1 Comment

Tax $ have been wasted on the Super Bowl.

   Here we are in November. The weather on Saturday was beautiful. Three candidates for City-County Council, all Republicans one of whom is incumbent, appeared on the show. Susan Blair is a candidate for First District. Sahara Williams is running in the Seventh. Angel Rivera holds an at-large seat.

   I missed a lot of college, and some professional, football when I was in college. I was on the debate team. Debate tournaments are held on weekends, generally Friday-Saturday or Fri…


Added by Mark Small on November 6, 2011 at 6:49am — No Comments

Polls? We don't need no stinking polls!

   The first independent polling of the race for Mayor of Indianapolis has been released. One candidate is ahead of the other by 11 points. There is a huge well of undecided voters, over 20 percent.

   Maybe my intestinal sensation (read: gut feeling) is wrong, but here is how I sense matters. People generally do not like Mayor Ballard or the way in which the City of Indianapolis has been run under his watch. But there always are party faithful. There also are some who have liked what…


Added by Mark Small on November 3, 2011 at 6:05am — No Comments

WHY City-Council candidates need to ride the bus.

   Tojo was Prime Minister of Japan during World War II. The Tojo I met in Chicago in 1983 was a chihuahua whose owner brought him into a bar in Berwyn, a suburb on Chicago’s near-southwest side. Tojo would take his place on the bar and lap up beer (not good for dogs, I know; but it was 1983 and people were ignorant of such things in Berwyn).

   The dog’s owner was in his 60s. I asked him if he served in World War II. He said he was a plumber. I smiled and commented he probably did…


Added by Mark Small on November 1, 2011 at 8:32pm — No Comments

Ned Ludd might have had the right idea.

   There are too many people and too few jobs. The world’s seven billionth child was born last week.

  Ned Ludd is widely written of in songs and stories. He broke machines in the 18th and 19th centuries. The term Luddite is defined as "a member of any of various bands of workmen in England (1811-16) organized to destroy manufacturing machinery, under the belief that its use diminished employment."  American College Dictionary, 2d ed., 1962.

   It is said…


Added by Mark Small on November 1, 2011 at 6:02am — No Comments

Rick Perry gives a good speech when drunk.

   I am not fond of Governor Rick Perry of Texas. I have yet to perceive intelligence in any statements he had made. He lacks insight in the area of economics. His response to crime is to execute as many people as possible. But I will give him credit for one skill.

   He gave a campaign speech in New Hampshire on Friday night. His numbers have tanked, from mid-20 percent to under five, when last I looked. Pinnochio would poll better. And with Pinnochio, we at least could tell when he…


Added by Mark Small on October 30, 2011 at 6:08am — No Comments

Anti-Obama sentiment from---Michael Moore?

   On Keither Olberman Olbermann's show on Current TV, Michael Moore made an excellent point. To paraphrase, if the Republican Party is the party of the rich, why has it produced only clowns as possible candidates for the office of POTUS? (Use of that acronym implies deeper knowledge of the subject.) Would they not want "their" guy in office? Unless, of course, their guy already is in the White House.

   Count me as amongst people on the Left who have been disappointed---deeply…


Added by Mark Small on October 29, 2011 at 6:40am — No Comments

Newspapers are passe, and David Brooks says thank you.

   Whenever I travel, I like to read the local newspapers. In 1990 I read The Baltimore Sun and was astounded by the writing. In Florida last spring I wondered why the St. Petersburg and Tampa newspapers were so good. The dailies were like The Indianapolis Star of old. They were thick, and not with ads, although obviously they carried ads. There was coverage of local news. Even national and international stories seemed to have local writers. Indiana is in the same country. Why was there such…


Added by Mark Small on October 28, 2011 at 5:58am — No Comments

Peter Heck and the Kokomo Tribune

   I was born in Kokomo. My parents’ farm was a mile from West Middleton, where civilization existed in the form of Chapman’s gas station and its soda pop (can’t write "coke" without the ®) machine and Spike Crail’s garage with an ancient soda pop dispenser that consisted of a well of cold water from which the necks of bottles of soft drinks stuck up. We paid with money we had made baling hay, our arms still on the mend from scratches and punctures. The ride on my three-speed Murray (read:…


Added by Mark Small on October 27, 2011 at 6:54am — No Comments

Is anyone paying attention to Bank of America latest rip-off?

   There are rumblings that Bank of America ("BoA") is in danger of failing. But wait---I thought we were inculcated with the notion it was too big to fail? Anyway, check the various websites. Whatever the number---and I have read as high as $75 trillion, as in take one billion and multiply it by 1,000----BoA has transferred so-called toxic assets it had acquired from other banks and transferred them to a federally-insured fund. In other words, the same folks who screamed they needed a…


Added by Mark Small on October 25, 2011 at 6:13am — No Comments

Has Peyton Manning played his last game?

   I did not bother to stay up and watch the Colts-Saints debacle last night. I have had to wonder, the last couple of weeks, several things about the Colts' quarterback situation.

   One thing to get out of the way. This is not simply a sports matter. The taxpayers have ponied up mucho dollars for the Colts. We paid for them to move here. We built them not one, but two stadia. When we built the second we paid them damages for having terminated the lease early on the Hoosier Dome…


Added by Mark Small on October 24, 2011 at 6:32am — No Comments

What is civil discourse?

   October 22 we were privileged to have three candidates for local office---Matt Stone and Bill Levin, Libertarian candidates for City-County Council, and Conrad Cortellini, write-in candidate for mayor. Mr. Levin expressed himself in a fashion familiar to me. He twice used forms of a four-letter word. In various forms and contexts, the word can be a noun, an adjective, or a gerund. Usually it is a transitive verb. It shares with the word "firetruck" the same letters: the first and the last…


Added by Mark Small on October 23, 2011 at 6:57am — No Comments

There are no new jobs, except in China.

   Our jobs are overseas. China has obtain them. The Chinese are a noble people. Their government is not.  The OWS demonstrations, or movements, or whatever. Our focus, as a people should  consist of more than just bitching. We need jobs here. But machine have taken the place of people. We need to rise to the occasion. We need to recgnise that we have far more people than we have jobs. people need to resist the flow of jobs overseas.

   OWS's adherents call for more regulation of…


Added by Mark Small on October 19, 2011 at 8:47pm — No Comments

Mr. Haney from "Green Acres," and a hypothetical about the Fair Tax

   Let's say the so-called Fair Tax is enacted. As I understand the Fair Tax, new goods are subject to taxation. Used goods are not.

   What constitutes a "new good"? Let's look at automobiles. One new tire on a used car does not a new car make. On the other extreme, one used tire on a car fresh off the assembly line, I think most people would agree, does not make the car "used." What about "refurbished" cars? The State---and I use the word in the general sense of sovereign---would…


Added by Mark Small on October 19, 2011 at 6:05am — No Comments

Ryan Vaughn, City-County Council president, has not really ridden the bus.

   Ryan Vaughn, the president of the City-County Council, was one of our guests on Saturday's show.  To his credit, he could have lied and no one (except him) would have realized it.

   One issue that we discussed was mass transit in Indy. I explained I lived in Chicago for a couple of years where we didn't have to schedule our lives around arrival times of the bus at the corner. Especially during morning and evening rush hours, on most routes, a bus came by every five or ten minutes.…


Added by Mark Small on October 17, 2011 at 6:03am — No Comments

Guests galore on today's show.

City-County Council candidates will be guests today. The show will be up on the net tomorrow by 11.

Added by Mark Small on October 15, 2011 at 6:42am — No Comments

Invite to the October 15 show.

   Paul Ogden and I co-host "Civil Discourse Now" and film on Saturdays, usually at 1 p.m., at Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell in Broad Ripple. If you turn east onto 65th Street off of College, Cornell is the street immediately before the Monon Trail. Big Hat Books is the second building north of 65th on the left (west) side of Cornell. This week we shall discuss local campaign issues with candidates for City-County Council. 

   On October 22 we shall discuss the legalization of all…


Added by Mark Small on October 12, 2011 at 6:04am — No Comments

Occupy Some Street

   There are two populist movements emergent in the United States today. My friend and colleague Paul Ogden perhaps disagree on basic political philosophies. I agree with his position that the Occupy Wall Street people and the tea baggers are both populist movements. Did you notice that Occupy Wall Street did not adopt a name that had a meaning of which its participants were unaware? The OWS people have college degrees, from what I understand. A great many of them are angry over having…


Added by Mark Small on October 10, 2011 at 6:06am — No Comments

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