Category Archives: Administrative

Topic ideas needed for rest of 2017

See the next post down for Monday’s meeting on money in politics.  Next week, Jeremy and Penny, two of our newer members, will help me select topics for mid-Oct. thru January or so.

We need ideas.  Politics, public policy, foreign affairs, religion, philosophy, history, culture, or others you think might make for a good civilized conversation.  Please leave ideas in comments or email or talk to me at Monday’s mtg.  There is NO obligation to attend or give an opening talk if you suggest the subject.


Topic ideas for a crazy June – Sept 2017

Very soon Ali and Linda will help me select topics for the next 3-4 months.  Any ideas?  Add them in comments or contact me.

Politics, foreign relations, religion, philosophy, history, science, culture, or anything else that makes for a good conversation.

New Topics Are Ready

Thanks to Aaron D. and Rich, we have three months worth of new topics.  See here or the various sidebars:  Civcon-schedule-2017-#1-feb-June

Hard copies available on Monday.

Mtg on Propositions on Monday

I propose we discuss the 15 propositions (17 minus the 2 death penalty ones we did last week) by subject areas.  Here’s the order I think might work, starting each area with the most important/controversial ones.  (Red) shows people that have volunteered to research and present specific props.  If you want to do one, just let me know.   I’ll do the usual linkfest post in a few days.

A.   Criminal Justice:

  • 57: Criminal sentencing. (Linda)
  • 64: Marijuana legalization. (David)
  • 63: Gun (actually ammo) control. (David)

B.    Health Care and Environment:

  • 52: Medi-Cal hospital fee. (Carl)
  • 61: State prescription drug purchase costs. (Carl)
  • 65: + 67: Plastic grocery bag ban. (David)
  • 60: Condom use in porn. (David)
  • 56: Cigarette tax hike. (Linda)

C.   Taxes, borrowing, good government.

  • 55: Extends a previous high-income tax increase. (John M.)
  • 53: Requires voter approval for big state revenue bonds.
  • 54: Publishing of CA legislature’s draft bills and proceedings.
  • 59: Citizens United – Non-binding declaration to reverse it.

D.    Education:

  • 58: English language proficiency.
  • 51: School bonds ($9b) for K-12 and JC’s.


Next Mtg Postponed: No CivCon On Sept. 26

Since Sept. 26 is the night of the Clinton/Trump debate, we are postponing our great topic, “How do progressives view the Constitution,’ until next schedule.  See you on Oct. 3 for, “What should U.S. school kids be taught about history?”

Any topic ideas for the rest of the year?

If you have any topics you want CivCon to do from Oct 10 to end-2016, please put them in comments or let me know some other way.  Suggesting one does not entail any obligation to give a presentation or anything.

I figure we should devote an Oct mtg to the ridiculously-long November CA election ballot, maybe do a post-debate wrap up and other election-related topics, a 20th anniversary of Fox News topic, etc.

Politics, public policy, religion, philosophy, history, science…Your ideas?



Monday’s Mtg on Future of Democratic Party

Tomorrow (Friday) PM I’ll post my usual pre-mtg link-fest.  I was watching all the convention stuff.  It’ll will be a great time to talk about the Dems’ future.

We’re a Meetup, Now, too!

After 10+ years (!!) as a standalone club, Civilized Conversation is now also a Meetup group.  I thought it would help us find some new members in this world-historically crazy election year.


Our process will remain unchanged.  By every Friday evening I’ll post my usual pre-mtg intro to our next topic with links to optional background reading.  If you join the Meetup group you’ll get their email reminders, and it might be more convenient way for some of your friends to join CivCon.

New Topics Ready: June – Sept.

Thanks to Carl and Bruce, we have a new schedule for June-Sept.  Copies will be available Monday and the website is updated.   We continue to meet every Monday night at 7pm at the 5620 Balboa Ave Panera Café.  See the next post down for optional background readings for our next meeting. 

Topic Idea Thread

On Saturday, 1/30, David, Linda, and James will pick new topics for 2016/Q1.  If you have any ideas please put them in comments.  Remember, politics, public affairs, philosophy, science, history, foreign policy, religion, or something else that’s fun to discuss.