Skip to Main Content

Civil Discourse Podcast

Companion to the podcast

Copyright and the Courts (Aired 9/4/2020)

Aughie and Nia welcome Hillary Miller in the first of three episodes exploring the legal aspects of copyright and trademark law. In this episode, the three focus on copyright law as applied by the courts.

Trademarks in the US (Aired 9/11/2020)

Nia and Aughie welcome Hillary Miller to discuss trademark protections in the United States. The discussion ranges from logos to regular words used in business marks.

Booking (Aired 9/18/2020)

Aughie and Nia welcome back Hillary Miller for the last in the three part series dealing with the Supreme Court's decisions on trademark and copyright law of the recent term. In this episode, they discuss the use of "regular" words in trademark law in light of the decision.

Mudslinging (Aired 9/18/2020)

Nia and Aughie begin to explore the election season with an episode on campaign rhetoric. This discussion of lines crossed and regretted utterances circles back to the concept of civilized political speech and the potential negatives of mudslinging.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg's Passing (Aired 9/25/2020)

Aughie and Nia celebrate the life and legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg upon her passing on September 18, 2020. The discussion includes her early work with the ACLU, her jurisprudence, and her friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia.

Wagging the Dog (Aired 9/25/2020)

Nia and Aughie discuss the concept of wagging the dog, a reference to creating a distraction in order to draw attention away from a candidate's behavior. They discuss several examples from events that could be legitimate to events designed deliberately to distract, and the potential these events have to backfire.

Election Certification (Aired 10/2/2020)

Aughie and Nia discuss the election certification process. They also discuss possible problems with the process at each stage, and potential solutions.

Trump's COVID Diagnosis (Aired 10/5/2020)

Nia and Aughie discuss the line of succession as stated in the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They also debunk some internet rumors surrounding the President's health and its effect on the 2020 Presidential election.

Replacing Members of Congress (Aired 10/9/2020)

Aughie and Nia discuss the five reasons a member of Congress might need to be replaced, and the mechanisms for doing so. They also touch upon the power of special elections to steer politics in a variety of directions.

Referenda, Initiatives, and Recalls (Aired 10/16/2020)

Nia and Aughie explore those densely worded referenda, initiatives, and recalls on the bottom of state ballots. Aughie explains the differences between them, and the purposes and pitfalls of direct democracy.

Voting and Leadership (Aired 10/23/2020)

Nia welcomes Dr. Patricia Sobczak back to the podcast to discuss the way voters assess leaders. They also discuss voting as hiring as well as outside influencers on public opinions of leadership.

Presidential Personalities (Aired 10/30/2020)

Aughie and Nia explore the personality types of the Presidents of the United States as defined by James David Barber's typologies. These Presidential typologies include active versus passive and positive versus negative approaches to the position. 

Presidential Skill Set, part 1 (Aired 11/6/2020)

Nia and Aughie explore the skill set required to be President of the United States. In this first part, they explore presidential organizational skills, the means by which a president processes information, and presidential vision.

2020 Election Observations (Aired 11/10/2020)

Aughie and Nia discuss their observations regarding the 2020 elections. Episode recorded Friday, November 6, 2020. 

Presidential Skill Set, Part 2 (11/13/2020)

Nia and Aughie explore the skill set required to be President of the United States. In this second part, they explore presidential political skills, public communications, and emotional intelligence.

Presidential Transitions (Aired 11/20/2020)

Aughie and Nia discuss the importance of presidential transitions to the smooth running of government, especially in areas of security. They also touch on other presidential transitions, some smooth and some rocky.

Presidential Homes and Retreats (Aired 11/27/20)

Nia and Aughie discuss the various vacation spots used by presidents to get a little R&R. From Buchanan to Trump, Presidents taking a break have often sought to leave the White House and find a "getaway spot", often camps, resorts, or beach locations. 

Court Packing (Aired 12/4/2020)

Aughie and Nia discuss the ways that a president could "pack" the court system, focused mostly on the Supreme Court. There is also a discussion of the qualities and levels of experience needed to serve in government in general, and the courts in specific.

Qualified Immunity (Aired 12/11/2020)

Nia and Aughie delve into the topic of qualified immunity. This discussion revolves around the complexity of the issue, from fairness to protection to reasonable conduct.

NORAD Tracks Santa Claus (Aired 12/18/20)

  • Toll Free Santa Tracking Number from NORAD: 1-877-HiNORAD*
  • email NORAD Santa tracker:


*Live volunteers may be limited due to COVID-19 concerns over social distancing in the phone bank space.

** Disclaimer at the beginning of the episode - please DO NOT listen with young children present. Aughie and Nia talk about the origin of NORAD tracking Santa. They also discuss the funding, staffing, and marketing of the program.