What we're about

Civilized Conversation seeks to revive the lost art of face-to-face thoughtful conversation. We're a diverse group of people from different parts of the political spectrum and varying backgrounds. Yet, we believe that it is possible to discuss controversial topics honestly and respectfully, as well as passionately.

We meet every Monday evening at the same time 7pm and place (Zoom, but previously Panera Café 5620 Balboa Ave.) to discuss a pre-set topic. Usually it's related to politics or public affairs, but some topics are about religion, history, world politics, or even philosophy or science. Our format is an informal roundtable discussion by all present, with a moderator, DavidG.

Note: The Friday before each meeting, DavidG does a post on the group's main website that gives information about the topic and links to optional background readings. Main website: civilizedconversation.wordpress.com.

Come join us any Monday night!

Upcoming events (2)

Should Democrats be clearer on what they stand for, more ruthless at getting it?

(This month, we'll do a mtg every Monday in October, including 10/25. But we will skip Nov 1st. Since both months have 5 Mondays, we will have 4 mtgs in Oct and Nov.)

Democrats are always complaining that their leaders lack the ruthless, killer instincts of the opposition party and need to stop bringing a whiffle bat to a knife fight.

Is this fair? Are Democrats wimps at the top? Or do they just seem that way because the Party is less united than the Republicans? Or is it more because their leaders are following most Democratic voters' preferences for compromise over confrontation? Or because they don't have Fox News and talk radio telling their base voters the other side hates America and seeks to impose totalitarianism in every budget bill?

Or...is it something else?

I thought this would be a great topic because CivCon members tend to be Democrats and if I had a nickel for every time I heard one complain the Party's problem is that its leaders are wimps, I would need a GOP tax cut. Also worth discussing are two things. One is maybe it's a tad self-serving to think this way. Maybe Dems don't get their big, bold transformative changes because the public doesn't want them, and it's merely convenient to blame our leaders?

Two, let's hear a bit about what the other party says about who is ruthless. A caution: I follow events closely and know in detail what the GOP is up to routinely these days. To take just two examples, they may have forced us to default on the national debt by the time we meet; and a single GOP senator is holding up ALL appointments to natl security agencies until the SecDef and SecState resign over...Afghanistan. See? I didn't even mention the voter suppression, anti-mask anti-vax laws, or Tucker Carlson.

Anyway, should be a fun one - if this stuff is your idea of fun. For some "Yes, wimps" and "No, not wimps" background articles, go to our group's main website the Friday before the mtg, at

Vaccinated people only, please.

Understanding and dealing with sociopathic and psychopathic people.

A nice (and never before done by CivCon!) topic idea from Penny.

Sociopaths and psychopaths are pretty common, as books like "The Sociopath Next Door" have popularized. What are these diseases? Do they exist on a continuum or are you just either one or not one? What happens when they make it to positions of great power and influence (hmmm)?

And, how should we identify and deal/not deal with the psychopaths and sociopaths we encounter in our lives?

For optional background readings, go to or main website, https://civilizedconversation.wordpress.com.

Vaccinated people only. No exceptions.

Photos (411)