Topics 2012

January 5 —  Racism In America: Where Are We?

January 12 — Is the age of the dictator finally near an end?

January 19 — What does it mean to be poor in the United States?

January 26 – What is the South’s role in contemporary U.S. politics?

February 2 –   Obama’s report card:  Year 3.

Feb 9 – Government regulation versus personal responsibility.

Feb 16 –  Is it time to downsize our defense strategy?  How?

Feb 23 –  Can all scientific research be trusted?

March 1 –  How will electoral redistricting affect San Diego?

March 8 –  The 1970s:  Joke, or pivotal decade?

March 15 –  Is the anti-tax revolt ebbing?

March 22 – Whose side is the Supreme Court on?

March 29 – Why are so many people hostile to Mormonism?

April 5  – The Roots of Libertarianism.

April 12 –  What Is a Political Moderate?

April 19 –  Pakistan: Friend Or Foe?

April 26 – How would you change the Constitution?

May 3 – Should we Legalize Vices: Drugs, Prostitution, Gambling?

May 10 – What Should Constitute Self Defense Under the Law?

May 17 –  Was Communism Right About Anything?

May 24 – The Mt. Soledad Cross: Can Religious Symbols Be Secular?

May 31 –  Who Should Be San Diego’s Mayor?

June 7 – Is America’s mass incarceration system racist?

June 14 – How should government help Americans in their pursuit of happiness?

June 21 – Must religion be conservative and patriarchal?

June 28 – Assessing Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

July 5 – What Should We Do About Iran?

July 12 – Have we created a culture of lying and cheating?

[SWITCH to MONDAY nights]

July 23 – After Citizens United: Can we take big money out of politics?

July 30 – Should we continue to explore space?

August 6 – Why is the US so far to the right of the rest of the industrialized world?

August 13 – Is anti-semitism dead in the West?

August 20 – Why do so many people despise President Obama?

August 27 – What is patriotism?  How does it differ from chauvinism?

September 3 – The Fate of Syria and Arab Democracy

September 10 – Medicare: Safe or Doomed?

September 17 – How Conservative Would a President Romney Be?

September 24 – Is any gun control possible?

October 1 – Should we keep trying to increase longevity?

October 8 – Are “targeted killings” legal, moral, and/or effective?

October 15 – Is the presidency too powerful?  Whjat’s the alternative?

October 22 – Will we soon have a White GOP and a non-White Democratic Party?

October 29 –  California’s November ballot propositions

November 5 – Where Do Morality & Political Values Come From?

November 12 – Election Wrap-Up + Budget Austerity: Solution or Problem?

November 19 – What Is Liberty?  John Stuart Milll’s Philosophy.

November 26 – Is workplace anti-discrimination law too narrow?

December 3 – Is College Always the Answer?

December 10 – Lessons of the E.U. Crisis.

December 17 – What is killing America’s small businesses?

December 24 – Can atheists and believers respect and understand each other?

December 31 – What is the evidence of God’s existence?

4 responses

  1. To The Manly Men at Civilized Conversation
    The meeting was suppose to be about defense cuts, by the time I left the meeting the discussion topic evolved in war; Past, Present, and Future. Linda said she didn’t know why she was there. The other woman present fell asleep in her chair. All of the guys were enthusiastically talking about the likelihood of war with Iran. Iran is much larger, more populous, and more modern nation than Iraq. Invading Iran would be a huge mistake. I’m not against war, or the military. My opposition is to wars which are fought under false pretenses, or which achieve nothing. There is always a choice between the way of hope or the way of fear. Relying on hope is always better in the longrun. Someday we will reach childhoods end and outgrow the need for internecine conflicts. Hope will triumph. I wont darken your door anymore. Your group is fairly homogenous, the larger male part of the group is dominate. There is no place for a non-conformist, or a contrarion at the oblong table. Farethewell wayfarers in the space time continuum.

    1. Sorry you feel that way. But, if I understand you correctly, (1) there is no tolerance for noncomformity in the group, and (2) you disagree with much of what is said. Both cannot be true unless what you really mean is that you prefer conformity, but conformity only with what you believe. I agree with you on the substance on Iran and defense spending generally, and am appalled all the time at the views I hear in the group.

      Yet, I don’t — and should not — control what opinions are aired. Our conversations depend on who shows up and what views they express. If you prefer to chat only with people who agree with you, then perhaps you have made a wise choice. Should you choose to return, of course, the door is always open.


  2. James H. Zimmerman | Reply

    I agree that discussion veered from the topic of defense cuts. People tend to talk about their own views and pet theories rather than the topic. Perhaps the moderator should be more assertive at such times.

    Anyone who thinks he heard me talk “enthusiastically” about war with Iran must be hard of hearing. I do think however that there is a good chance it will happen before the Nov. election.

    We shall see.

  3. I don’t believe that war with Iran is imminent. I believe I’m more liberal than most , if not all of the group .If I eventually return it would be nice to be able to speak for a full minute on occasion. The 30 second hook leaves me with items unsaid. I was allowed to speak during the first hour, but not the second at the last meeting which I attended. dw

    my email address may change in the future

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