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IndyBuzz provides information about Central Indiana's most stimulating and thought provoking events -- discussions and conferences, art exhibitions, films, music performances. It tells you what's happening … explains why you should be part of what’s happening. More than an events calendar, though, IndyBuzz tries to make events more meaningful for participants by suggesting an article or two to read before the event, recommending books or websites that will be sources of further information after the event, and pointing out related events that are worth attending.

Visit IndyBuzz's sister site, http://www.provocate.org/, which provides a context for the clusters of the events discussed in IndyBuzz.

Navigating IndyBuzz in September

Here are some of the most stimulating, thought provoking events for September. The middle of the month is dominated by the 19 parts of the excellent adventure of "My Daily Constitution" ... for more information about this series check here or here. But as you see, we have much more to look forward to this month.

Click on the links to find out about each event. At the bottom of each event, you'll see a link:


Return to Navigating IndyBuzz in September

Clicking on it brings you back here.

Heave a sigh of relief that you are soon to move from the clunky blog-world of IndyBuzz to the sleek, stylish, and user-friendly electronic magazine Provocate! In the meantime, explore what is on tap this September, and let me know what you think.

John

This September you have a chance to learn the answers to these and other urgent questions:

Sept. 8: What does the history of Indiana’s relations with Japan teach us today?

Sept. 11: What will Zadie Smith say at Butler on the 5th anniversary of 9/11?

Sept. 12: What did a Hoosier “Sherpa” learn guiding (and failing to guide) two Supreme Court nominees to the summit?

Sept. 12: What do Wal-Mart and Evangelical Christianity have to do with the global reality of work?

Sept. 14: How can a Lebanese-American professor possibly envision “a peaceful Middle East”?

Sept. 15: How can IUPUI better connect Mexico and Indiana?

Sept. 17: Is there a better place for an open reading of the Constitution than the Statehouse?

Sept. 18: How free is free speech in academia, too free or not free enough?

Sept. 18: So who are “We the People”?

Sept. 19: What are the right and wrong limits to free speech?

Sept. 19: Can we have both security and civil rights, or will we wind up with neither?

Sept. 20: Do US signatures on international treaties mean anything?

Sept. 20: Does the Constitution mean freedom or tyranny (Arsenal Tech debates the answer)?

Sept. 20: What was Pierre Atlas doing in Cuba and on the Lebanese border?

Sept. 21: When should private property be taken for the public good?

Sept. 21: Does anyone speak more passionately about the War Powers Clause than Andy Jacobs?

Sept. 22: Who owns the First Amendment?

Sept. 22: Are there reasons gay people shouldn’t have equal rights?

Sept. 23: What constitutional rights apply to non-citizens?

Sept. 23: What can a bus tour tell us about tensions between private property and social good?

Sept. 23: How does the Constitution apply to young people … and is it worth a hip hop poetry slam?

Sept. 24: Can films truly hope to capture the experience of Muslims in the US after 9/11, the work of Arab journalists during the invasion of Iraq, and Bolivians when they first meet James Carville?

Sept. 24: Can we have a constitutional democracy and a constricted right to vote?

Sept. 25: Do posters about Katrina and New Orleans have to be depressing?

Sept. 25: Is China’s modernizing economy a threat to the US?

Sept. 25: Can our local experts shed light on the summer’s crises in the Middle East?

Sept. 28: A Chinese legal scholar asks, “Does China have a legal system?”

Oct. 3: How did a 19-year-old Mexican and a 24-year-old Belarusian get to be world-class poets?

Sept. 8: The History of Japan-Indiana Trade ... and what we can learn for today's challenges

Larry Ingraham and John Clark of the Sagamore Institute discuss how Indiana's relations with Japan have developed over the years, and whether it tells us anything we can use today

When: Friday, September 8 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Where: Sagamore Institute for Policy Research 340 West Michigan Street Indianapolis 46202

Sagamore Institute for Policy Research will release the findings of its most recent policy report, “The Indiana-Japan Partnership: Telling the Story.” Senior Fellow and Director of International Trade Larry Ingraham will discuss the findings of the study he conducted to record the history of Japanese investment in Indiana and what effective economic development tactics are relevant today. I will put this story in a context that helps us understand immigration with Mexico and trade with China.

Earlier this year, SIPR launched an important project aimed at documenting the history of how the first wave of Japanese investment came to Indiana during the years 1983-1988, why other waves followed, and how the Indiana-Japan relationship has transformed our state. SIPR Senior Fellow Larry Ingraham has researched the history of Japanese investment here in Indiana, addressing such questions as what made Indiana so successful relative to other Midwestern states; what made specific communities so successful; and what effective economic development tactics of that period are relevant today. The product of this study is the latest SIPR Policy Report, “The Indiana-Japan Partnership: Telling the Story.” This Policy Report is the first paper to be released under the auspices of the Orr Initiative at SIPR, and is especially timely as Indianapolis will be the host of the 38th annual joint conference of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association and Japan-U.S. Midwest Association from September 10-12, 2006. The release of the SIPR Policy Report will coincide with this conference.

If you would like to attend this event, please e-mail your name, affiliation, address and phone number to Pat A. Hasselblad (pat@sipr.org) or telephone 317-472-7824 by September 5, 2006.

There will be a charge of $10.00 to attend this event.
This event is complimentary for members of the SIPR Founders’ Club and SIPR Patrons.

Return to Navigating IndyBuzz in September

Sept. 25: Two perspectives on the summer crises in the Middle East

Profs. Siobhán McEvoy-Levy (Butler University), Pierre Atlas (Marian College), and Edward Curtis (IUPUI) discuss their recent experiences in and perspectives about Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon

When: Monday, September 25 7:00-9:00 PM

Where: Butler University, Robertson Hall -- Edison Duckwell Recital Hall

Three of Indianapolis's brightest scholars of international relations and Middle East Politics were present in the Middle East as relations between Israel, Gaza, and Lebanon blew up in June and July. In June, Pierre Atlas of Marian College was one of 22 American academics invited to participate in a two-week workshop on the Arab-Israeli conflict sponsored by Tel Aviv University. The group met with Israeli and Palestinian scholars, journalists and activists and traveled throughout Israel, including up to the Lebanese border where they saw Hizbollah flags flying on the other side. Two weeks after his return to the US, the Lebanon conflict erupted.

Just as Pierre was returning, Siobhán McEvoy-Levy of Butler University departed for the region: she arrived in East Jerusalem July 1 and left July 12 ... the day Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and sparked the conflict that raged for weeks. Read about Siobhán's trip here.

Each year Edward Curtis of IUPUI takes a dozen students to Jordan for a five-week, two-course study-abroad program in which students meet government officials, journalists, activists, university professors, Iraqi refugees, Palestinian refugees, and falafel vendors, among others. This year, in addition, he delivered a lecture at the American University of Beirut’s American Studies Center, met with officials at a Roman Catholic university north of the capital, and toured the Lebanese mountains from which some of my relatives hail. He also spent time in Damascus and Aleppo in Syria.

Hear their very different perspectives, and perhaps what we in Indiana and the US can do to help reduce tensions in the region.

Regular readers of IndyBuzz are familiar with the biography of Pierre Atlas: professor of political science at Marian College, founder and director of the Franciscan Center for Global Studies, associate fellow at the Sagamore Institute, columnist for the Indianapolis Star and RealClearPolitics.com, etc.

Siobhán Mcevoy-Levy is (to my surprise) a newcomer to IndyBuzz. Siobhán is a native of Belfast. She received her master’s and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge (UK) and a BA Honors degree from the Queen’s University, Belfast. She is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana where she teaches courses on Peace and Conflict Studies, US Foreign Policy, Political Communication, and Children and Youth, and where she coordinates an undergraduate minor program in Peace Studies. She is the author of American Exceptionalism and US Foreign Policy. Public Diplomacy at the end of the Cold War (Palgrave 2001). Since 2001 "Siobhán has been researching, writing, and teaching about war-affected children and youth, peace processes, and post-conflict peace building. She has written a number of articles and book chapters on youth and armed conflict; and she is the editor of new book: Troublemakers or Peacemakers? Youth and Post-Accord Peace building (University of Notre Dame Press, November 2005). The research for this book was commissioned by McEvoy-Levy when she was co-director of the Research Initiative on the Resolution of Ethnic Conflict (RIREC) at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, between 2000 and 2003. McEvoy-Levy’s current research projects focus on conflict and post-conflict education, and on the children born as a result of wartime rape and the challenges they present for post-war reconstruction and reconciliation.

Ed Curtis is another newcomer to IndyBuzz. He is Millennium Scholar of the Liberal Arts and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He is a scholar of religion, race, and ethnicity; African American religions and history; and Islamic studies. Curtis has authored several books and articles--most recently, Black Muslim Religion in the Nation of Islam, 1960-1975.

IndyBuzz and Provocate will have more about this event. You can read about a Provocate Inter/View with Pierre about trip to Israel and the Lebanese border. To hear more about Pierre's trip and his recent visit to Cuba, you should attend his talk to the Indiana Council on World Affairs Sept. 20th: “What I did on My Summer Vacation: Reflections on Cuba and Israel.”

Return to Navigating IndyBuzz in September

Sept. 11: Zadie Smith on the anniversary of 9/11

Zadie Smith, perhaps the worlds' best 30-year-old novelist, comes to Butler University

When: Monday, September 11 7:30 PM

Where: Butler University Clowes Hall

This one is significant for several reasons. Zadie Smith is one of the most critically acclaimed young writers in the world. At only one level is it important because of what she has achieved in her three decades. The British Arts Coucnil handily summarizes the higlights of her career:



Novelist Zadie Smith was born in North London in 1975 to an English father and a Jamaican mother. She read English at Cambridge, graduating in 1997. Her acclaimed first novel, White Teeth (2000), is a vibrant portrait of contemporary multicultural London, told through the story of three ethnically diverse families. The book won a number of awards and prizes, including the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread First Novel Award, and the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall winner, Best First Book). It also won two EMMA (BT Ethnic and Multicultural Media Awards) for Best Book/Novel and Best Female Media Newcomer, and was shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Author's Club First Novel Award. White Teeth has been translated into over twenty languages and was adapted for Channel 4 television for broadcast in autumn 2002. Her tenure as Writer in Residence at the Institute of Contemporary Arts resulted in the publication of an anthology of erotic stories entitled Piece of Flesh (2001). More recently, she has written the introduction for The Burned Children of America (2003), a collection of eighteen short stories by a new generation of young American writers. Zadie Smith's second novel, The Autograph Man (2002), a story of loss, obsession and the nature of celebrity, won the 2003 Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize for Fiction. In 2003 she was nominated by Granta magazine as one of 20 'Best of Young British Novelists'. Her third novel, On Beauty, was published in 2005, and won the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction. She has also written a non-fiction book about writing - Fail Better (2006).


But Zadie Smith's significance goes beyond awards and sales and astronomical book advances. She is one of the few young writers who seems to appreciate how serious writing is. That doesn't mean she isn't funny ... "White Teeth" is hilarious. By serious I mean she seems to believe that the writer has a responsibility to challenge the reader, and to create a possibiltiy for the reader to be a better person at the end of the process. I am not sure how successful she is ... I need to read "White Teeth" again. But that she accepts this challenge is noteworthy. I very much look forward to reading her book "Fail Better: The Morality of the Novel" ... if and when it becomes available in the US.

A serious writer on a serious day.

You can find links to many of Smith's articles and short stories here. You can get a feeling for her voice in interviews here and here.


Return to Navigating IndyBuzz in September

Sept. 12: "Anatomy of a Supreme Court Nomination: What we can learn from the battles over Miers and Alito"

The IU-Indy Law School and the Sagamore Institute present former Sen. Dan Coats's "sherpa's" perspective on the process of Supreme Court nomination and confirmation

When: Tuesday September 12, 5:00 talk; 6:00 PM reception

Where: IU-Indianapolis Law School, Wynne Courtroom

Like the Sherpas who help guide mountain-climbers to the top of the Himalayas, "Sherpas" in DC are the veteran politicos who guide Supreme Court nominees through the Senate to the black-robed summit. You have to be well-connected and diplomatic to be a Sherpa in DC. It's an informal title for an informal job, and no one can recall any insider being so thoroughly inside as to be chosen as Sherpa for two nominees ... until Dan Coats, who was in charge of guiding the confirmations of Harriet Miers (a debacle, but not his fault) and Samuel Alito (a successful ascent).

Dan Coats had a very successful and distinguished public career, serving in the US 1981-1989, and in the Senate 1989-1999. His career may have become even more interesting after he left the Senate. After narrowly missing being nominated as the Secretary of Defense in 2001 (the world would be a different place if he had been in the Pentagon the past six years rather than Donald Rumsfeld!), Coats took the post of US ambassador to Germany just days before 9/11. He thus had one of country's the most sensitive diplomatic positions, trying to hold alliances together through Afghanistan and Iraq. After leaving the embassy in 2005, he became senior counsel in the Public Policy and Government Advocacy Practice Group of the international law firm King & Spalding. He is also co-chair of the board of trustees of Sagamore Institute.

You might like to hear what Sen. Coats had to say about the nomination process during the heat of Alito's confirmation in this interview on NPR.

This event would be a great kick-off to most of the discussions that will start days later as part of My Daily Constitution. The insider's perspective Sen. Coats brings will be a fascinating counter-point to the view that ordinary people like you and me have on constitutional and political questions.

Return to Navigating IndyBuzz in September

Sept. 28: "Does China Have a Legal System?"

A talk at the law school by Jerome Cohen, one of this country's preeminent scholars of the Chinese law and justice system

When: Thursday September 28, lecture 5:30 PM; reception 6:30 PM

Where: IU-Indianapolis Law School, Wynne Courtroom

Jerome Cohen is a giant in the field of Chinese legal studies. As Director of East Asian Legal Studies at Harvard Law School from 1964-1979, he helped pioneer the introduction of East Asian legal systems and perspectives into American legal curricula. While he lived in China in 1979-81 (a crucial period for China's economic opening to the global market), he advised American businesses and taught courses to the highest level Chinese government officials about international business law. He is currently a professor in the NY University Law School, an Adjunct Senior Fellow for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Senior Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; he serves as arbitrator and mediator in international business disputes relating to Asia, and advises families of persons detained in China.

You can see some of his recent non-academic articles about China here. I particularly recommend his testimony before Congress: Law in Political Transitions: Lessons from East Asia and the Road Ahead for China; and his recent article "China’s Legal Reform at the Crossroads."

Want to bring yourself up to speed about China before the event? You could read some breaking news articles from Yahoo. Taiwan Security Research thoroughly collects the best news articles about China and its neighborhood; the best economic analyses is assembled at Roubini Global Economics Monitor.

If you like this event, make sure you see the exhibition of contemporary Chinese art "On the Edge" at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Henry Rosemont, an eminent scholar on Chinese philosophy, addresses whether China's economic success is a threat to the US.

Return to Navigating IndyBuzz in September

Sept. 12: “Wal-Mart, Evangelical Christianity and the Global Reality of Work”


Butler University's Center for Faith and Vocation Lectures Focusing on “Religion and the Corporation” kick off with the biggest corporation of them all ... Wal-Mart

When: Tuesday, September 12 7:00-9:00 PM

Where: Butler University, Krannert Room of Clowes Memorial Hall, 4600 Sunset Ave.

Two historians, Dr. Nelson Lichtenstein, professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Dr. Arthur Farnsley II, a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at IUPUI, will discuss the world’s largest retailer’s roots in rural Arkansas and the resulting influence of evangelical Christian theology and culture on its business practices.

Lichtenstein has written widely about the labor and culture in America and is currently researching religion and work. He edited “Wal-Mart: The Face of 21st Century Capitalism,” (New Press, 2006) and contributed to the 2004 PBS Frontline documentary “Wal-Mart: Good for America?” He is frequently quoted in stories about "The Big Box," as he was recently in an LA Times story about the flak it has received from conservatives as it targets gay bargain-shoppers. You can get the chapter of his book here, "It came from Bentonville: The agrarian roots of Wal-Mart's culture," by Bethany Moreton... it's pretty good. A very different perspective about Wal-Mart defends the giant by dissing its critics. I hope the discussion at Butler goes beyond such a simplistic position.

Art Farnsley is the author of “Southern Baptist Politics” (Penn State University Press, 1994) and “Rising Expectations: Urban Congregations, Welfare Reform, and Civic Life” (Indiana University Press, 2003). Art is director of the important local organization, the American Values Alliance. If you are an Art Farnsley fan (and you should be), you will also want to check out his talk on the limits of free speech, part of My Daily Constitution.

This is not the first visit of Wal-Mart to Indybuzz, and it probably won't be the last.

Sept. 14: “A Peaceful Middle East: An Alternative to Imperial Fantasies, Failed States, and Violent Visionaries”


At Marian College a discussion on the Israel-Lebanon Crisis with Dr. Akram Khater

When: Thursday, September 14, 7:00 PM

Where: Marian College 3200 Cold Spring Road Indianapolis 46222

According to Pierre Atlas of Marian, "on September 14, the first FCGS Global Studies speaker for this year will be Dr. Akram Khater, a Middle East historian, director of the Middle East studies program at North Carolina State University, and a native of Lebanon. He was one of the American participants in the Tel Aviv University workshop. I grew to really admire and respect him, and when the conflict with Hizbollah broke out, I had to invite him to Marian to speak on the subject. It was a no-brainer."

That is probably the first and last time the phrase "no-brainer" will be applied to Prof. Akram Khater, one of the brightest young Middle East Scholars in the US. A native of Lebanon, Khater earned a B.S. degree in Electronics Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, and holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and University of California, Berkeley, respectively. We could consider him a Hoosier: before emigrating to Raleigh, he taught at Ball State University. Professor Khater has contributed much to the field of Middle East History. His books include Inventing Home: Emigration, Gender, and the Middle Class in Lebanon, 1870-1920 and Sources in the History of the Modern Middle East.

Professor Khater has also contributed the Middle East and North Africa section to The World and Its People, a high school textbook. In addition to publishing many articles and reviews, and in addition to making conference presentations throughout the United States and overseas,
Professor Khater has been particularly active in bringing his expertise to audiences in colleges, high schools, and churches. Balancing a commitment to civic education for the public with a productive academic career is admirable ... and all too rare. I can see why he gets on with Pierre Atlas.

If you like this event ... You will want to counter Khater's account of his recent trip to Israel with Pierre Atlas's version at Pierre's talk to the ICWA. Control Room, about al-Jazeera, is an essential documentary for understanding the Arab world's perception of the US ... it will be shown as part of the My Daily Constitution Film Festival at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. You should attend the MDC discussions of the the Constitution and American war-making, and the relation between the US and international law.

Sept. 15: IUPUI Symposium on Mexican Immigration

A must-attend event as IUPUI determines its plan of action with Mexico

When: Friday, September 15, 2006 1-4 pm

Where: IUPUI University College 115

IUPUI has a recently-formed a campus-wide, Mexico interest group that is sponsoring two programs this fall (with support from the Office of International Affairs and Campus and Community Life). This educational event will be comprised of two panels. The first panel will examine Mexico’s culture of emigration and the legal issues faced by immigrants in the U.S. The second panel will focus on contemporary issues faced by Mexican immigrants in Central Indiana. Panelists include Thomas Ruge from Lewis and Kappes, P.C. and IUPUI professors Robert Aponte (Sociology), Maria Pabón López (Law), and Michael Snodgrass (History), as well as local community members. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Steve Jones of the IUPUI Center for Service and Learning.

IUPUI has a recently-formed a campus-wide, Mexico interest group that is sponsoring this symposium, with support from the IUPUI Office of International Affairs and Campus & Community Life with a gift from the Efroymson Fund (a Central Indiana Community Foundation fund).

This symposium is focused on the IUPUI community to help them understand the opportunity of this strategic partnership ... the entire community is invited. A follow-up symposium at IUPUI on Oct. 13 will bring in a wider range of community leaders and activists to discuss making this partnership a reality.

For more information, contact Hilary Kahn at 274-3812 or visit http://www.iupui.edu/~oia/IA/mexicopartner.pdf.


More to be posted on IndyBuzz as it develops ... it could be very important.

Return to Navigating IndyBuzz in September

Sept. 17-24: My Daily Constitution -- What is it, and why is it so important?

My Daily Constitution ... over the course of one week, we have an opportunity to attend some 19 events about different aspects of the US Constitution, a chance to to inform ourselves, to provoke discussions, and I hope to excite our passion about democracy. More importantly, we have an opportunity to jump-start dozens continuing conversations about what these issues should mean for our everyday lives.

When: Sunday, September 17 to Saturday, September 24

Where: Just about everywhere! Coffeeshops, bookstores, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indiana State House, Indiana Rep ... check the schedule. Or look at the beefed-up schedule in IndyBuzz.

You can read a critical Pre/View on the politics and art of My Daily Constitution at http://views-pri.blogspot.com/.

“My Daily Constitution” (MDC) started as a public art project by Linda Pollack, included in the exhibition "Democracy When?" at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions in Hollywood in May, 2002. The project brings together leading innovators, the People, and the U.S. Constitution, providing an opportunity for the U.S. Constitution may to be brought to life through Constitution Cafés and other programming. The series has been held in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, New York City and Seattle. The project was a response to the political and cultural climate in the United States after the initial shock of 9/11 and the passage of the USA Patriot Act.


“The idea,” says Pollack, “is to break away from the dynamics of the large
lecture hall and create a space where individuals and communities can become
active participants in a dialogue about our democracy. Our Constitution, our
democracy, is about interpretation-- and interpretation means a collective,
active dialogue, not just passive consumers and lawmaking producers. The U.S.
Constitution is a living document, part of our quotidian life, influencing us in
both large and small ways daily."
During the early 1990s, working in Europe, Pollack witnessed both the brutal collapse of democracy during the civil war in former Yugoslavia and the work of NGOs such as the European Cultural Foundation to strengthen civil processes. She saw both democracy’s fragility and its less newsworthy day-to-day effectiveness. Back in the U.S., as she watched the rapid changes in American law and culture post 9/11, Pollack became convinced that dialogue and citizen engagement are requirements for a vital, high-functioning democratic society.

A Constitution Cafe, a term especially developed for the series, is an event designed to break away from the dynamics of the large lecture hall, and the invisible 'wall' of the panel discussion, to create a space where individuals and communities can become active participants in a dialogue about our democracy. Constitution Cafés are led by discussion leaders who will briefly speak about the issues for a portion of the event. Thereafter the floor is open for questions, sharing comments and experiences, and for listening.

For MDC Indy, a slew of Indianapolis-based discussion leaders have been recruited to share their knowledge, ideas and expertise addressing different issues affecting our Constitutional Democracy. Readers of IndyBuzz will be sure to recognize a few names, others may be new to you. Facilitators will also play a role in the discussions. Their mission is to keep the discussion space open, respectful and productive.

To help you get the most out of MDC, the IndyBuzz blurb for each event offers some useful background readings for the discussion topic. If you have the opportunity, feel free to acquaint yourself with these issues, and become a better-informed participant. If you want to learn more, leave a comment at the bottom of the IndyBuzz blurb. Experts are standing by to answer your questions.

The founder of My Daily Constitution, Linda Pollack, is an artist and organizer who has exhibited and presented her work in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States. She studied finance and economics in Pennsylvania and studio art in the Netherlands and in California. She got her chops developing cultural policy and putting it to practice while working for the Amsterdam based European Cultural Foundation. While there she set up the Foundation's first arts mobility fund to respond to Europe's East / West cultural divide post 1989. She also set up initiatives addressing culture and war in the former Yugoslavia, working with the Sarajevo Theatre Festival, Balkan rockers “Leb i Sol”, and others.

My Daily Constitution continues Pollack's investigation into the cultural and visual signifiers and practices of democracy, following ‘German Parliaments,’ created during her residency at the art center Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. ‘German Parliaments’ examined the built environment— the plenary halls of state and federal parliaments— to see how a society ushers in democratic practice post German unification.

With MDC, Pollack turns her attention from the physical architecture of German parliamentary halls to the political and moral framework of the American constitution. Where ‘German Parliaments’ examined the static spatial structure of policymaking, MDC creates new, fluid spaces where citizens can come together to discuss the challenges and possibilities of our shared civic life.

With MDC, Pollack proposes to go beyond the visible symbols of patriotism, beyond flags flapping on cars, and invites us to explore the less visible— yet no less important— world of civic ideals and community engagement.

Themes for My Daily Constitution fall into several distinct clusters:

Overarching events addressing the Constitution as a whole

Constitution Cafés discussing free spech and its limits

Constitution Cafés discussing the struggle to be included in "We the People"

Constitution Cafés discussing tensions between private property and the social good

Constitution Cafés discussing the Constitution in a time of war and terror

Attend one, attend them all ... but get to these discussions, they will be worth the time.

For complete details on topics, discussion leaders, times and locations please refer to the MDC-Indy schedule. The topic list is by no means exhaustive, as Constitutional Democracy is a never-ending story, but it should get the ball rolling! It is up to us in Central Indiana, after the end of this very event-full week, to keep the ball rolling. It's up to us to sustain the conversations, and to use these conversations to transform our civic life.

For the IndyBuzz schedule of MDC events, clink here.

Return to Navigating IndyBuzz in September

Sept. 17-24: My Daily Constitution -- the schedule for an event-full week

So what do we have in store for My Daily Constitution - Indy? Take a look at the schedule below. You can click on the links to go to the IndyBuzz blurb for each event. At the bottom of the blurb will be a link to take you back to this schedule for My Daily Constitution. And go to the excellent http://www.mydailyconstitution.org/ page for more information.

Sunday, September 17
2:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Opening event: “Reading the Constitution”
A public reading of the Constitution, with Hoosier Constitutional scholars and lawyers answering your questions live, in real time!
Where: The Atrium, Indiana State House Building


Monday, September 18 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM
Susan Erickson (IUPUI)
Constitution Café: “What does the 'liberal' in 'liberal arts' mean? The difference between constitutional freedom of speech and academic freedom of speech”
The First Amendment grants the right to proclaim falsities as truth and to denounce opponents as evil. Within the academic community, different parameters apply. Can these very different notions of “free speech” be reconciled?
Where: Democracy Plaza, IUPUI campus breezeway adjacent to University Library

Monday, September 18 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Pierre Atlas (Marian) & Charlie Wiles (Peace & Learning Center)
Constitution Café: "Who are ‘We the People’ Anyway? Personhood, Citizenship and the U.S. Constitution"
Traditionally Americans have regarded themselves as a "nation of immigrants" grounded in an increasingly inclusive, "civic" identity consistent with the ideal of pluralism. As America becomes demographically more Latino and Asian, and with Islam as the country's fastest growing religion, will we still advocate inclusiveness and pluralism as our national ideal?
Where: The Auditorium of the Old Centrum: 1201 North Central Ave. Indianapolis, Indiana 46202


Tuesday, September 19 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM
Art Farnsley (American Values Alliance)
Constitution Café: “Hate Speech, Pornography, Prayer before Football Games: What are Legitimate Limits to Free Speech?”
Everyone knows you can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, but are there other limits to free speech? When does free expression cross the line into doing actual harm to others?
Where: Democracy Plaza, IUPUI campus breezeway adjacent to University Library

Tuesday, September 19 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Claudia Peña Porretti (ACLU-Indiana)
Constitution Café: “Can we have national security without sacrificing our core American values?”
Shortly after 9/11 the U.S. Congress passed the first USA PATRIOT ACT. Fearing further terrorist attacks after 9/11, a large part of the American public supported giving up freedoms in exchange for greater security. How can we tell if the government has gone too far in its search for security, or if it has not gone far enough? What can citizens do to maintain the balance between security and individual rights?
Where: The Athenaeum Foundation: 401 East Michigan Indianapolis 46204


Wednesday, September 20 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM
Ed DeLaney
Constitution Café: “International Agreements in War Time: Do U.S. Signatures on a Treaty Mean Anything?”
The War in Iraq and the apparently broader series of events called the War on Terror challenge those Americans who believe in international treaties. Can the President dismiss the relevance of the Geneva Conventions? Will the Congress let him? What will the consequences be in terms of International Law and our chances of conducting a successful foreign policy?
Where: Democracy Plaza, IUPUI campus breezeway adjacent to University Library

Wednesday, September 20 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Constitution Debate: “The Arsenal Tech High School Constitution Team”
Two groups of six teens from the award-winning Arsenal Tech High School Constitution Team will debate the merits of a constitutional government vs. an autocratic or dictatorial government. Lawyers act as judges, and the evening finale opens the floor for questions from the audience.
Where: The Spades Park Library Auditorium: 1801 Nowland Avenue Indianapolis 46201


Thursday, September 21 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Abdul Hakim Shabazz (1430) & Jeffrey Stake (IU Law)
Constitution Café: “Taking private property for public use: When and how should the power of eminent domain be employed?”
Historically, there are many examples of governments seizing private property for the “public good.” Today “public good” has been broadened to include private redevelopment, confusing the issue of when and how to apply eminent domain. Can public good be defined to still respect individual rights?
Where: Shapiro's Downtown: 808 S Meridian St Indianapolis 46225

Thursday, September 21 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Andy Jacobs & John Clark
Constitution Café: “The War Powers Clause and the U.S. Constitution Today”
The Constitution gives to Congress the exclusive right to declare war, while designating the President commander-in-chief of the military. How realistic is this division of power? In waging war, what should be the proper balance between Congress and the President? What should be the balance between the Constitution and security in an age of terrorism?
Where: The Indiana Historical Society: 450 West Ohio St. Indianapolis, Indiana 46202


Friday, September 22 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Sheila Kennedy (SPEA) & Andrea Price (Public Access of Indianapolis)
Constitution Café: “Who's First Amendment? Reclaiming the Public Interest in Our Media”
It sure isn’t your father's media: five mega-corporations own most of the nation's newspapers and broadcasters, while bloggers and internet sites proliferate. What is news, what is “infotainment”? Where do Americans get the information required for informed voting and self-government? What kinds of information are protected by the First Amendment, and why?
Where: Indiana Repertory Theatre: 140 West Washington Street Indianapolis 46204

Friday, September 22 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Ellen Anderson (IUPUI) & Gary Welsh
Constitution Café: “Liberty, Equality, and LGBT Rights”
What do “liberty” and “equality” mean in Indiana and the United States today? Do these words include us and our experiences as LGBT people? This discussion will use the real-life legal experiences of LGBT people in matters ranging from marriage to adoption to employment to explore how we "fit" into the Constitution.
Where: Outward Bound Books: 625 North Street Indianapolis 46202


Saturday, September 23 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
María Pabón López (IU-I Law) and Teo Cain (local organizer)
Constitution Café: (English/Spanish) “Do U.S. Constitutional Rights Extend to Non Citizens?”
What rights do non-citizens, documented and otherwise, have for free speech, the workplace, voting, free association, equal protection, criminal law, and other aspects of our Constitutional democracy?
Where: St. Mary’s Catholic Church: 317 North New Jersey Street Indianapolis 46204

Saturday, September 23 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Organization for Neighborhood Empowerment
Bus Tour: “Case Study: Air Quality Indianapolis -- A tour of an East Side Neighborhood”
This bus tour will visit the neighborhood surrounding the Citizens Gas & Coke manufacturing plant on the east side of Indianapolis.
Where: Family Center, Christian Park: 4200 English Avenue Indianapolis 46201

Saturday, September 23 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Michael Sutherlin (HEC) & Dick van Frank
Constitution Café: “Public Participation in Environmental Regulation: Theory vs. Reality”
State environmental agencies are charged with the protection of all citizens of the state. In reality, groups with the greatest resources exert a disproportionate influence on the enactment of environmental regulations. We have the studies and the enforcement actions, so what is preventing advances in creating a cleaner, more healthy Indiana? Could “business as usual” be the problem?
Where: Family Center, Christian Park: 4200 English Avenue Indianapolis 46201

Saturday, September 23 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Jacquelyn Bowie-Seuss (ACLU-IN) & Warren Watson (J Ideas)
Constitution Café: “Constitution Who? Constitutional issues about Students and Young People.”
What are constitutional rights for students and young people? Does the Constitution protect freedom of expression of student newspapers, high school plays and blogging in libraries? Are all school searches and seizures constitutional?
Where: Glendale Library Auditorium: 6101 North Keystone Avenue 46220

Saturday, September 23 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Hip Hop Poetry Slam + Open Mic: “Constitution Who?” Featuring DJ Dicky Fox
Where: Glendale Mall First Floor Indoor Court: North Keystone Avenue 46220


Sunday, September 24
My Daily Constitution Film Festival
11:00 AM Control Room — A documentary about the world’s perception of America’s war with Iraq, with an emphasis on Al Jazeera's coverage
1:00 PM Persons of Interest — A documentary about the detention of Muslim-Americans in the wake of 9/11
2:30 PM Our Brand Is Crisis—Documentary about US political pros designing an election campaign in Bolivia.
Where: Indianapolis Museum of Art: 4000 Michigan Road Indianapolis 46208

Sunday, September 24 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Rod Bohannan (Indiana Legal Services) & Amos Brown (WTLC-AM)
Constitutional Café: “The Right to Vote and American Constitutional Democracy”
When it comes to voting, how are our state and the rest of the country progressing? In this concluding discussion we will examine the history of voting in Indiana, advances, set- backs, and what can be done about this fundamental practice of our democracy.
Where: Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church: 414 West Vermont Street, Indianapolis 46202

Return to Navigating IndyBuzz in September

Sept. 17: Kick off My Daily Constitution with a public reading at the Statehouse

My Daily Consitution opens on Constitution Day with public “Reading the Constitution” at the Indiana Statehouse

When: Sunday September 17, 2:00-5:30 PM

Where: The Atrium, Indiana State House Building 200 West Washington Street
Ohio Street entrance (North side of Building) Indianapolis

A public reading of the Constitution, with Hoosier Constitutional scholars and lawyers answering your questions live, in real time! Come to read, or listen ... but come with questions and the expectations that you will be starting something special.

For more information ...

Before joining the experts to read and discuss the Constitution, read it on your own. It is surprisingly brief, the shortest constitution of any democracy in the world. As part of “My Daily Constitution,” you can pick up a free copy at several locations around town. There are plenty of copies you can download from the web, including here. If you want to see how much of the constitution has been changed over the years, check out the annotated version provided by Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute. Even more detailed is the Interactive Constitution set up by the National Constitution Center. Take lots of notes and come to Statehouse on Constitution Day ready to ask questions.

Looking for a couple of good background articles about the Constitution? Look at eminent historian Gordon Wood’s “The Founders Rule!,” a review of Bruce Ackerman’s new book, The Failure of the founding Fathers: Jefferson, Marshall, and the Rise of Presidential Democracy. Robert Remini gave a good lecture to the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2003 about “Ordinary Heroes: Founders of Our Republic.”

After discussing the Constitution with some of Indiana’s finest legal scholars, you will probably want to read about this remarkable and still-evolving document. Start with Akhil Reed Amar’s highly acclaimed America’s Constitution: A Biography. Another excellent book is Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution, by Jack Rakove. Another attempt to discern the original ideas and intentions of the Framers is Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution, by Forrest McDonald (who visited Indianapolis earlier this year).

There are many websites that collect documents and articles from the Constitution’s history. For two decades, the multi-volume collection The Founders’ Constitution (published by Indianapolis’s own Liberty Fund) was the standard. Now The Founders’ Constitution is available on-line.


About the venue: The State House that stands at the intersection of Market and Capitol Streets is the third incarnation of a home for Indiana’s legislature. The first State House was built in the 1820s to house state offices and county government, and a second structure was erected in 1835 for just $60,000; however, this building began to deteriorate after only 30 years of use. The current State House was completed in 1888, in a design similar to the U.S. Capitol. Recent renovations have returned the current State House to much of its original state, including the light-filled atriums.
If you like this event ... check out the Arsenal Tech High School Debate team, which will revive the concerns and anxieties about the Constitution that wracked the country more than two centuries ago. You can view a copy of the first running of the Constitution at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, see for yourself what the fuss is all about. And do check out how the hip-hoppin' kids address the issues with the Constitution Poetry Slam.

To return to the IndyBuzz schedule of My Daily Constitution events, click here.

Sept. 18: How free is free speech in academia?

A Constitution Cafe conversation about “What does the 'liberal' in 'liberal arts' mean? The difference between constitutional freedom of speech and academic freedom of speech,” part of My Daily Constitution

When: Monday, September 18, 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

Where: Democracy Plaza, IUPUI campus breezeway adjacent to University Library

The First Amendment grants a very broad freedom of speech, including the right to proclaim falsities as truth and to denounce those who disagree with us as evil. Within the academic community, slightly different parameters apply. “Liberal” speech is informed by consideration of multiple points of view, and is free speech of a particular sort. It entails both constraints (such as the rules of logic or scientific inquiry), and protections (such as tenure, which prevents a faculty member from being fired because of his/her political views). How can these very different notions of “free speech” be reconciled?

Leading this discussion will be a favorite of civic groups throughout the area, Susan Erickson, a Trustees' Lecturer of Political Science at IUPUI. She teaches courses about the news media and politics, gender and sex roles, and the real and manufactured world of conspiracies. Freedom of speech lies at the heart of many of her courses, which deal with such issues as freedom of the press and the use of speech by militant, extremist, and fringe religious groups.

For more information ... Want some basic background on some of today’s hotly debated questions of freedom of academic speech? Kermit Hall gives a college president’s perspective on “Free speech on public college campuses,” along with helpful background information from the First Amendment Center. Richard Just provides a useful map in “Schools of thought: The liberal-conservative divide on college campuses.” For a Hoosier perspective, check out IU Prof. Robert Ivie’s “Academic Freedom and Political Heresy.”

After the Democracy Plaza event, you’ll want to read a book or two. Free Speech in the College Community by Robert O’Neil is a good place to start, as is Martin Golding’s Free Speech on Campus. For a nice collection of essays from diverse perspectives, check out the volume edited by Peggie Hollingsworth, Unfettered Expression: Freedom in American Intellectual Life.

Susan Erickson credits her understanding of the social forces in America that shape the debate over freedom of academic inquiry and expression to Garry Will’s A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government, and to Richard Hofstadter’s classic “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.”

Many groups devote themselves to preserving academic freedom … although they often disagree strongly about the sources of threats to those freedoms. Some, such as Students for Academic Freedom, wave their political agendas proudly. The Foundation for Individual Rights is less shrill. More balanced is the American Association of University Professors, which provides a helpful collection of documents on academic freedom.

About the venue: The Democracy Plaza at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis was created with the purpose of providing students, faculty, and staff with an opportunity to express, speak, and hear diverging thoughts surrounding social, political, economic, and religious issues relevant to the campus, city, state, country, and world. The project was started in the summer of 2004 when a group of students, faculty, and staff at IUPUI worked together to address the benefits and drawbacks of a physical structure outside of the traditional walls of academia that would seek to host a common area for students, faculty, and staff across the array of disciplines.

If you like this event ... You should check out some of the other MDC events addressing free speech issues. Art Farnsley comes to the Democracy Plaza the next day to discuss fears that free speech might hurt. Later in the week, learn about today's news media and the First Amendment. And there will be a special discussion of how much protection the speech of kids is given.

To return to the IndyBuzz schedule of My Daily Constitution events, click here.

Return to Navigating IndyBuzz in September

Sept. 18: A discussion of who the heck "We the People" are anyhow?

A Constitution Cafe discussion of "Who are "We the People" Anyway? Personhood, Citizenship and The U.S. Constitution," part of My Daily Constitution

When: Monday September 18, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Where: The Auditorium of the Old Centrum: 1201 North Central Ave. Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

Traditionally we Americans have regarded ourselves as a “nation of immigrants”, and our national identity has not been based on any one specific ethnicity or religion. Instead, the concept of “American” has been grounded in an increasingly inclusive, “civic” identity consistent with the ideal of pluralism. This ideal was not realized even when immigration was largely from European countries; discrimination against Italian, Irish, and Jewish Americans was commonplace. African Americans were excluded from full citizenship for generations. As America becomes demographically more Latino and Asian, and with Islam as the country's fastest growing religion, do we have the will to advocate inclusiveness and pluralism as our national ideal?

Leading this discussion will be local favorites Pierre Atlas (Marian) & Charlie Wiles (Peace & Learning Center). Pierre is an assistant professor of political science and director of the Franciscan Center for Global Studies at Marian College. He writes a bi-weekly opinion column for the Indianapolis Star and a monthly online column for RealClearPolitics.com. Pierre obtained his Ph.D. in political science from Rutgers University in 2000, and also holds Master's and Bachelor's degrees in political science from the University of Arizona and the University of Toronto, respectively. His specialization is Middle East politics and the Arab-Israeli conflict, and he also teaches courses in American politics and U.S. foreign policy.

Charlie Wiles, a true "warrior for peace," holds a degree in Political Science from Indiana University. He spent several years working for the Indiana State Legislature, started a general contracting business renovating older homes, and served as a combat medic in the US Army Reserves from 1991-1999. In 1997 he was founding director of Peace Learning Center, a not-for-profit organization focused on teaching youth nonviolent methods to resolve conflict. Currently he coordinates interfaith/intercultural programs and lives with his wife, Sachiko, and two daughters, Lena and Aya, on the north side of Indianapolis.

For more information ...

Want to learn more about the topic? A good place to start would be the US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ own overview of their history. Nancy Salvato provides another useful historic overview of changing legal notions of citizenship: “Current Issues of Immigration in America.”

A brief overview of some of the changing ideas of citizenship in American history read Rogers Smith’s “The Meaning of American Citizenship.” Smith gives the topic a much more detailed treatment in Civic Ideals: Conflicting Visions of Citizenship in US History. Peter Spiro identifies “The Citizenship Dilemma” at the heart of Smith’s efforts to draw a vision for civic nationalism in America in the 21st century. Noah Pickus offers a thoughtful discussion of these issues in True Faith and Allegiance: Immigration and American Civic Nationalism. Diana Owen, in “Citizenship Identity and Civic Education in America,” explains what this means for education … and not only K-12 education.

Some of the books Charlie Wiles recommends: Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution, by Linda Monk (or see her video presentation) ; "The Impossibility of Religious Freedom" by Winnifred Fallers Sullivan (read the introduction); and "The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need it Now More than Ever" by Cass Sunstein (or read Sunstein's summary).

Charlie also suggests several websites: Exploring Constitutional Conflicts at www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/home.html; Centuries of Citizenship at www.constitutioncenter.org/timeline/html/cw13_12363.html; and a glimpse at how others view "We The People" from the Pew Global Attitudes Project at http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?PageID=802

Good suggestions from Charlie, check them out.

About the venue: Built as the Central Avenue United Methodist Church in 1892, the facility and its stewards have played a significant role in the social and cultural history of Indianapolis. During the peak of the Social Gospel era in the early 20th Century, the church and its membership battled for child labor laws, developed health care programs for the poor and helped form three enduring institutions: Methodist Hospital, Wheeler Rescue Mission and Goodwill Industries. The church also served as parent to St. Luke's United Methodist Church and played a key role in the development of what is now known as the Old Northside Neighborhood.

If you like this event ...

My Daily Constitution has Constitution Cafes devoted to a couple of groups that are stretching the traditional boundaries of civic inclusion: non-citizens and gay people. Another discussion will focus on the problems African Americans and other groups have had with that most basic of civic rights and responsibilities, voting.

To return to the IndyBuzz schedule of My Daily Constitution events, click here.

Sept. 19: An MDC discussion of the legitimate limits to free speech

Art Farnsley leads a Constitution Cafe discussion about "Hate Speech, Pornography, Prayer before Football Games: What are Legitimate Limits to Free Speech?” at IUPUI's Democracy Plaza, part of My Daily Constitution

When: Tuesday September 19 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

Where: Democracy Plaza, IUPUI campus breezeway adjacent to University Library

Everyone knows you can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, but are there other limits to free speech? When does free expression cross the line into doing actual harm to others or excluding them from the political community? Come talk about the hard cases involving hatred, pornography, religious expression, and more.

Leading this discussion will be Art Farnsley, a founding member and executive director of the American Values Alliance, an Indiana-based, grass-roots group committed to civility, fair play, and honesty in the electoral process. His scholarly work illuminates the relationship between religious and political culture. Farnsley has written books on denominational politics in the Southern Baptist Convention, the role of congregations in welfare reform, and religion’s influence on the development of Indianapolis. His current research involves interviewing flea market vendors about their religious and political beliefs.

IndyBuzz featured an excellent speech by Art last year about free speech and American values.

For more information ... about free speech and prayer at public schools’ football games, check out Cathy Young’s “God Talk” (influenced by Jeffrey Rosen’s article, “Is nothing secular?”). James Weinstein has written a well-reviewed book called Hate Speech, Pornography, and the Radical Attack on Free Speech. American Civil Liberties president Nadine Strossen takes on feminists who wish to censor pornography in Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women’s Rights. IU professor Jeff Isaac has been a passionate critic of attempts to restrict or criminalize hate speech. Check out his arguments with the group “Bloomington United”: www.bloomington.in.us/~bu/newsarticles.htm.

If you are inspired by the Democracy Plaza discussion of these issues with Art Farnsley, you should check out the local group that Art directs: American Values Alliance. AVA is devoted to preserving civility and fair play in our passion-filled arguments about politics.

About the venue: Democracy Plaza at IUPUI is a large common area for expressing opinions and exchanging ideas in “an atmosphere of fair play,” according to the plaza’s posted guidelines, the space is surrounded by a wall on which faculty, staff, and students scribble questions, ideas, and responses in colorful chalk. Hundreds of people at a time have showed up for outdoor rallies, and more still join in the plaza’s ongoing political expression.

If you like this event ... you should attend Susan Erickson's conversation about academic free speech, and the discussion of the First Amendment and news media.

To return to the IndyBuzz schedule of My Daily Constitution events, click here.

Sept. 19: MDC discussion of whether the USA PATRIOT Act is patriotic (and other security dilemmas)

Claudia Peña Porretti of the ACLU-Indiana leads a Constitution Cafe discussion of what has happened to civil liberties since 9/11 as part of My Daily Constitution

When: Tuesday, September 19 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Where: The Athenaeum Foundation: 401 East Michigan Indianapolis 46204

Shortly after 9/11 the U.S. Congress passed the first USA PATRIOT ACT. Fearing further terrorist attacks after 9/11, a large part of the American public supported giving up freedoms in exchange for greater security. Since then the President has claimed that protecting national security requires bypassing Congress and the courts on issues such as domestic surveillance and torture of suspected terrorists. The Framers of the Constitution would not be surprised by these developments. It was why they sought to protect our individual freedoms from fearful majorities by ensuring inalienable rights that the government cannot restrict. It is also why The Framers divided powers among the branches of government so that no one branch could act without being checked by the other branches. How can we tell if the government has gone too far in its search for security, or if it has not gone far enough? What can citizens do to maintain the balance between security and individual rights?

Leading this important discussion will be Claudia Peña Porretti, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana. Porretti has worked at Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation of Indiana, Inc. (HVAF), where she has served as Director of Development and Communications since 2005. HVAF is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating homelessness for veterans and their families. Prior to that, she was Director of Development and Special Events for La Plaza, Inc, a non-profit Hispanic organization that provides programs and services in the areas of health, social services, education, arts and culture, and economic development to the Central Indiana Latino community.

For more information ...

For breaking stories, before going to the Athenaeum check out some recent articles from Google and Yahoo. You should take a look at this piece by Bruce Ackerman about how our legal changes are (and aren't) protecting us "Before the Next Attack," and this article about "What would Dirty Harry Do?" These issues often touch us close to home. The case of the Crazy Tomato "terrorists" in Evansville received national attention here and here).

After the event you may be inspired to seek more informaiton on the web. Start with some of the reports from the US Department of Justice, and contrast them with information from the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the American Library Association. Want a couple of good books? Try David Cole's Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism and Nancy Chang's Silencing Political Dissent: How Post-September 11 Anti-Terrorism Measures Threaten Our Civil Liberties.

About the venue: The Athenaeum was originally built in the late 1890s to house German societies of Indianapolis, including the Sozialer Turnverein. Das Deutsche Haus (The German House), as it was known prior to World War I, was built in the German Renaissance Revival style and housed a gymnasium, locker rooms, meeting rooms, restaurant, auditorium, bowling alleys, concert hall, and a beer garden. In 1907, it became the home for the Normal College of the North American Gymnastic Union, the country’s oldest institution for physical education training. Although the Normal College eventually merged with Indiana University and moved to IUPUI, today the Athenaeum still houses the city’s oldest restaurant (1894), gymnasium (1894), theater space (1898), and orchestra (1883). Both the Athenaeum Foundation, a nonprofit organization that maintains the building, and the Rathskeller restaurant can be reached at (317) 630-4569.

If you like this event ...

You will definitely want to see Persons of Interest, a documentary about the detention of Muslim-Americans after 9/11, part of the My Daily Constitution Film Festival. Other MDC events address this issue from different angles. While Claudia Peña Porretti will talk mainly about the power of the state being directed at domestic targets, Ed DeLaney looks at the US and international law. Andy Jacobs and I will address another aspect, the constitutional constraints on the President's war-making powers.

To return to the IndyBuzz schedule of My Daily Constitution events, click here.

Return to Navigating IndyBuzz in September

Sept. 20: Ed DeLaney discusses whether US signatures on treaties mean anything

Local/global attorney Ed DeLaney leads a Constitution Cafe discussion on “International Agreements in War Time - Do U.S. Signatures on a Treaty Mean Anything?” at IUPUI's Democracy Plaza, part of My Daily Constitution

When: Wednesday, September 20 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

Where: Democracy Plaza, IUPUI campus breezeway adjacent to University Library

The War in Iraq and the apparently broader series of events called the War on Terror challenge those Americans who believe in international treaties. Can the President dismiss the relevance of the Geneva Conventions? Will the Congress let him? What will the consequences be in terms of International Law and our chances of conducting a successful foreign policy?

The best person in town, maybe the best people in the country to lead this discussion is Ed DeLaney, one of Indiana’s most experienced trial lawyers. He has handled a wide array of cases for more than 30 years, trying cases throughout the US and in Europe. His principal areas of expertise are business disputes, securities law, estate-related controversies, First Amendment issues, and access to records litigation. DeLaney has also been active in international trade work, especially relating to the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. DeLaney has a B.A. and an M.A. in International Relations from the State University of New York at Binghamton. After serving in the United States Navy, he attended the Harvard Law School and graduated with Honors in 1973. At the end of 2003, he retired as a Partner from the firm of Barnes & Thornburg where he had practiced since 1973. In January 2005, Ed joined DeLaney & DeLaney.

What more can be said about Ed? One of the great things about doing a blog like IndyBuzz is the opportunity to plagiarize from myself. Here are some blubs about Ed from previous postings.

Ed DeLaney on the UN:


Ed DeLaney has taught me just about everything worthwhile that I know about the roblems with the UN. He has been on the ground, building new legal systems with he cooperation and obstruction of the UN, and thus brings an utterly refreshing erspective to the question. So here are some questions you should expect Ed to nswer: What should be the role of the UN Security Council? How much should the US bind itself by Security Council resolutions (or lack of resolutions)? What does the N do well, and what does it do poorly? Are Americans correct to worry that nternational law will trump US law, and thus that multilateral organizations such as he UN or the International Criminal Court will supplant the democratically elected overnment of the United States?

Ed DeLaney on Russia:


Ed DeLaney is one of my favorite speakers on Russia. Thanks to a stint in spy school in the 1960s, courtesy of the US Navy, Ed is fluent in Russian. So as Ed rose to prominence as one of the top corporate attorneys in the Midwest and a leader in the Dem party of Indiana, he also carried out extensive business in the USSR. In the 1990s he used his international law experience in the Balkans, representing Bosnia in negotiations and helping establish the legal system in Kosovo. I find his insights on local politics to be most illuminating when he talks about Russia, Central Asia or the Balkans ... I have swiped about a dozen anecdotes and illustrations from Ed that I use in my talks (I hope this lawyer will recognize this as the sincerest form of flattery, not cause for a suit). It will be worth skipping work or cutting class to attend this talk.
Ed DeLaney on international law:


Ed DeLaney is a trial lawyer and currently a partner at DeLaney & DeLaney in Indianapolis. DeLaney has been active in international trade work throughout his career, especially as relates to the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. He represented the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in an arbitration hearing under the Dayton Peace Accords. He is an adjunct fellow with the Hudson Institute and an adjunct professor of law at Indiana University–Bloomington. DeLaney has written, in collaboration with John Clark, on the United Nations and how it can be used most effectively to rebuild Iraq.

For more information ...

You should do a bit of reading before the session. Citizens for Global Solutions has a great program on international law and justice. Check out Yahoo for recent articles on the detainess at Guantanamo, one of the clearest points of tension with the Geneva Conventions. For three different perspectives on Ed's discussion, you can read articles from US New & World Report, the National Review, and the American Prospect. And Ed isn't the only local expert on these issues.

After the event you may be looking for more information. Check out the contributions by Marty Lederman on the Balkinization law blog. Human Rights First is an important group. The Lawyers Committee for Human rights has written articulately about this issue: read chapters 4 and 5 of their report A Year of Loss: Reexamining Civil Liberties since September 11, and Behind the Wire: An Update to Ending Secret Detentions.

About the venue: Democracy Plaza at IUPUI is a large common area for expressing opinions and exchanging ideas in “an atmosphere of fair play,” according to the plaza’s posted guidelines, the space is surrounded by a wall on which faculty, staff, and students scribble questions, ideas, and responses in colorful chalk. Hundreds of people at a time have showed up for outdoor rallies, and more still join in the plaza’s ongoing political expression.

If you like this event ...

You will love hearing from Andy Jacobs about the Constitution and US foreign policy. You'll also enjoy Claudia Porretti's conversation about the erosion of constitutional protections in the US since 9/11. The movie Control Room, about the Arab TV News network al-Jazeera, shines light on how much of the world sees the US ... it's part of the MDC Film Festival.

To return to the IndyBuzz schedule of My Daily Constitution events, click here.

Sept. 20: Constitution Debate with the award-winning Arsenal Tech High School Constitution Team

The Arsenal Tech High School Constitution Team demonstrates why they have stomped on other constitution debate teams from around the country as part of My Daily Constitution

When: Wednesday Sept. 20 7:00-9:00 PM

Where: The Spades Park Library Auditorium 1801 Nowland Avenue Indianapolis, 46201 317-275-4520

The award-winning Arsenal Tech High School Constitution Team (under the direction of social science teacher Tobi Elmore) will debate the merits of a constitutional government vs. an autocratic or dictatorial government. They will also highlight provisions of the United States Constitution that provide a means of preventing abuse or misuse of government power. What is the relevance of arguments made by the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists to contemporary events under our present government (natural rights, republicanism and constitutionalism)? Two groups of six teens each give reasoned and impassioned statements. Lawyers acting as judges ask them clarifying questions. The evening finale opens the floor for questions from YOU the audience to the teens!

These kids are arguing a great topic. It is easy to forget that many good and patriotic Americans opposed the adoption of the Constitution after it was signed on Constitution Day. You can find several very good books about the Anti-Federalists. Constitutional scholar Bruce Ackerman's latest book has been attracting attention with its arguments that the Constitution was even more flawed than we tend to think: The Failure of the Founding Fathers: Jefferson, Marshall, and the Rise of Presidential Democracy.

Want to learn more about the history of this excellent Constitution debate team? CHeck out Andy Jacob's tribute on the floor of Congress.

About the venue: Spades Park Library is one of two remaining Carnegie libraries in the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library system. The Italian style building was constructed on land donated by Michael H. Spades, and was dedicated in 1912. In 1987 the library underwent renovations and celebrated its 75th anniversary. Bathrooms, new furniture, and an elevator were added, while the original first floor arrangement was maintained, the circulation desk was restored, and part of the original tin ceiling was cleaned and repainted.

If you like this event ... Make sure you attend some of the other lively and off-beat MDC activities such as the Constitution reading and the Hip Hop Constitution Poetry Slam.

To return to the IndyBuzz schedule of My Daily Constitution events, click here.

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Provocate strengthens the intellectual and civic fabric of Central Indiana by connecting global & local, entertainment & education, culture & policy