January 2012 Archives


Mitt Romney stomped Newt Gingrich in Florida's primary. Mitt had 46% and Newt had 32%. The victory gave Romney new momentum which will prove valuable in the upcoming campaign events. Romney is moderate while Gingrich is more conservative, and Santorum thinks that Newt's loss means it is his time to shine as a conservative competitor to Romney. Gingrich and Romney entered a strong debate and Romney came out on top, talking about Gingrich's ex-wives and his plan to put a colony on the moon. This debate spurred many negative ads, almost 92% of all political ads in Florida last week. This seems to be the most negative campaign ever. The super PACs play a huge role, and Romney's super PAC is outspending Gingrich's. If Gingrich is to win, he has to do something to fix his problem with women voters because he only got 29% compared to Romney's 51%.

Nigerian fuel subsidy: Strike suspended

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This article is about the current oil crisis in Nigeria. The fuel subsidy in Nigeria, which made oil very cheap to be brought by people or companies, was removed on January 1, 2012 when the President Goodluck Jonathan signed the removal of the fuel subsidy. Removing the fuel subsidy not only doubled prices for practically everything from food to transportation, but in some cases tripled prices causing much turmoil in Nigeria becuase things were becoming more expensive without the income people earned increasing.

This article I feel just was telling a lot about what was going on, describing the situations. But it is considered an argumentative article because of it's credibility. The article is from BBC news, which people feel if something is said on BBC it is true. But if this same article was just an opinion piece how many people will take that person's opinion as the end all. You will probably look at other articles to see if the story was actually true and accurate. I thing credibility plays a big role in arguments. If you are a credible source, people will pay more attention and believe more of what is said.


Oluwayanmife Salako

The Washington Post reported that a small private college in California has admitted that one of the top officials on its staff has been falsely reporting the SAT scores for admitted students to several news outlets for the past six years. While Claremont McKenna officials were not willing to name the person suspected of providing the falsified reports, they have admitted that the scores were exaggerated by up to 20 points in order to improve their school's national standings in the news. Apparently this is a common practice in colleges and universities, and proving that results were falsified can be difficult; statistics may be skewed in multiple ways to more positively portray what the provider wants people to hear. Some schools will eliminate scores of students who are taking the class in English when English is not their primary language or eliminating the scores of the college's athletes.


Disparities Found in Repeat Breast Cancer Surgery

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This articles talks about the many women that have had breast cancer that have gotten a second procedure done when in truth they don't need it. They get these procedures done again because of surgeons misinterpreting "tumor specimen" and believing its cancer when it is not most of the time. In four hospitals around the country 2,206 women had lumpectomies. Of that 2,206 around 22.9 percent had to undergo multiple operations. It really depends on which surgeon you have and where you get the lumpectomies done at because the surgeons that diagnose it are ones that say you need another procedure done. I believe the article argues using logos. Its more logical and they persuade the audience with a sense of reasoning. They state a claim and back it up with a reason.


A Computer Beats A Pen For Getting Prescriptions Right

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With so much technology available these days, it seems strange that of hospitals who responded to an annual survey by the Leapfrog Group, only 17 percent use a computerized prescription ordering system. A study done in two Australian hospitals tracked the error rates in prescriptions written by doctors before and after implementing a computerized ordering system. The errors dropped by 60 percent, according to the study. Although there are major benefits to the system, such as not having to read the chicken scratch writing of most doctors, some problems still exist. The system is relatively new and does not have all the errors worked out, but still helps tremendously. The software can give hints and warnings about how prescriptions may interact with each other or if the drug would cause an allergic reaction in the patient.

This article is claiming that using this software in hospitals is an advantage, as well as safer for patients whose prescriptions have been messed up before. The author cites a study (logos) done by researchers in Australia. Pathos is also appealed to when examples of drug mix ups or mistakes leading to death are cited. Some of the words used, such as 'suffering' and 'permanent damage,' evoke emotions of frustration and pain that give the argument emotional validity.


Ex-LA teacher charged with molesting 23 children

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A 61 year old teacher from Los Angeles has been charged with molestation. The police
report charges that Mark Berndt sexually abused his students, ages 6-10, in his classroom over a two year period. Police discovered film of Berndt doing unspeakable (for this blog post anyway. If you want to know the details click on the news link above) to his students. While the author does not seem to imply skepticism to the charges, he does make the point that it is curious that prior to these charges, the elementary never received any complaints about Berndt for over 30 years. I would imagine that in the coming days people will be writing opinion pieces lamenting the schools negligence on the issue.

College Falsifies SAT Figures for Ratings

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This article by Daniel E. Slotnik and Richard Perez-Pena describes how Claremont McKenna college has been inflating their SAT scores to gain higher ratings in sources like the U.S. News and World Report, and other sources that give ratings to colleges. According to the article one senior official, Richard Vos, the vice president and dean of admissions has taken full blame for the falsification. The article mentions that Claremont McKenna has recently been rated as one of the elite schools in the nation and particularly one of the top liberal arts colleges, but this could be because of the skewed ratings. What I believe the article is trying to do, is make a very subtle argument using logos that as a society, Americans put too much faith in sources like the U.S. News and World Report and Princeton Review that rate colleges. I think the article makes the claim that these sources are not always accurate, but we often take them at their word.

DNA Key in case against L.A. teacher (Alex Davis)

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This article that I read for this class is a little different because, it's actually about a case that has been proven. This article was written about a teacher who was abusing children in a classroom setting. The teacher was blindfolding, and feeding the kids semen. He was trusted by so many parents to take care of their children throughout the day. The police would not have even had a case against the man, until they decided to look through the trash and find a spoon that had a DNA match directly to his semen. This was the same spoon that officials had seen i8n the video tapes given by the school. The teacher went through a series of other abusive acts, and caused one little girl to not want to go back to school. The argumentative facts throughout this article that I found were, direct quotes from family members, and facts that were found at the crime scene. Using the proof that they found, they were able to create a successful argument against the man. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/dna-key-in-case-against-la-teacher-accused-of-classroom-abuse.html (Alex Davis)

News Summary 2.1.12 (Maren Dahle-Koch)

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Almost all college students know the immediate effects of caffeine, as we use it to wake up in the morning, and stay up to study late. Whether it is an energy drink, a pop, or coffee we find it somehow and other than the increased adrenaline and wakefulness we don't worry to much with the other effects it has on our bodies. But, researchers have been doing studies of caffeine on women who are in pre-menopausal and child-bearing years and have found that the amount of caffeine a woman has daily alters her level of estrogen. So the question the doctors were essentially trying to answer prior to the research was what effects did caffeine have on women, but throughout the research they altered their question to why do the effects of caffeine differ between race of women?
The idea to persuade with facts and data as results of research is the key to winning over the audience on the effects of caffeine. They tell the audience that caffeine in reasonable doses is healthy short term, but long term effects have yet to be determined in reference to estrogen levels.


Occupiers Dump Condoms on Catholic School Girls.

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Occupiers Dump Condoms on Catholic School Girls.
January 31, 2012
By Todd Starnes.

This article attempts to tell the story of what happens to some Catholic school girls inside the Rhode Island state capitol building. But to be honest with you it was very poorly written. I am confused to what happened and I read it twice. I am no one to judge another persons writing abilities. I myself am not a very experienced writer. To me this article doesn't even make since. I could have missed something or not understood completely. All I came to understand was that at some point condoms were thrown. 757 liked this on Facebook and 157 people tweeted on it. I couldn't help but ask myself if they just read the headline or if they actually read the article. You should read it and let me know what you think. Maybe you can help me understand it more.


A proper limit on high-tech snooping

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This article highlighted the recent Supreme decision to uphold privacy rights in a case regarding ability of law enforcement etc. to utilize the global GPS system to monitor citizens. The Supreme Court turned down the advocacy of the US Justice Department to put the GPS system to use, by considering hat the Fourth Amendment's guarantee against unreasonable searches constituted for. The case "weighed computer technology capabilities against Americans' privacy rights".
The author argues that the justices made a wise decision, and acknowledges that while there is "no doubt GPS devices are valuable tools for fighting crime", the ability for each individual's exact global positioning and movements to be tracked is too far. The author is a firm supporter of the Founding Father's prowess in writing the Constitution and points out that it is a good sign that the Court is considering all the issues surrounding the complex conundrums.


Matt Foley

Apple Under Fire Over Working Conditions of Its Supplier

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Apple has recently been under fire for the working conditions of its supplier Foxconn. The New York Times released a story about unsafe working conditions at Foxconn as well as cramped dormitories. Apple gets many of its parts for the iPad from this supplier. This public relations issue could cause many problems if Apple does not handle it appropriately. Apple's CEO Tim Cook promised to step up audits to make sure this doesn't happen again.


Erik Pokki

Recently Pardoned Murderer Disappears

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After being pardoned of a early 1990's murder, Joseph Ozment has disappeared. He, along with 200 other convicted criminals were pardoned by the outgoing Mississippi governor, Haley Barbour. The fact that Ozment has disappeared is only controversial because he has been summoned by a civil court regarding the pardons handed out by Gov. Barbour. The pardons have been brought into court because some feel he may have over-stepped his power, or misjudged the convicted criminals he set free.
There are two sides to this argument, one being the side of the Governor, who argues that several if the pardoned were "adequately rehabilitated." He can back up this argument by recounting his meetings with them while they worked on the governor's mansion during his term. The opposing argument is that he couldn't have possibly have met personally met with all 200 pardoned criminals and he is in fact abusing his power.

Chad McFaul

The Washington Post reported this week that in recent poll, a higher percentage of democrats approve and republicans disapprove of the work being done by the Obama Administration than any other president. The other president with remarkably disparate approval ratings was determined to be President George W. Bush. Researchers have concluded that the United States has entered one of the most politically polarizing ages that it has ever seen, where Republicans will almost always reject a Democratic president and Democrats will reject a Republican before any laws have been proposed or changes made. This will make it increasingly difficult to find common ground as we work our way out of the worst economic slump in decades.


The New York Times reports on a common trend at religious private institutions; an inability to access what their beliefs and values disagree with. On college campuses today, one of the most controversial withholdings of the Catholic communities is access to contraception. However, a recent ruling by the Obama Administration follows the advice of the federal Food and Drug Administration in stating that access to contraceptions is a necessary component of women's health, seeking to prevent the 50% of pregnancies that are unplanned, and the 4 in 10 of those that end in abortion.

These issues are a hot political topic today, as each Republican presidential primary candidate weighs in against increased access to birth control. Mitt Romney has stated that he would end Title 10, which provides family planning for women. Rick Santorum would end health insurance codes to provide these services for women, and he and Newt Gingrich would seek to make fertilized eggs considered people. Gingrich would also withdraw all federal money from planned parenthood, although currently federal dollars going to planned parenthood cannot be used to fund abortions.

Despite the catholic teachings, 98% of sexually active catholics report having used contraceptives. This figure is identical to that in the general population.

The frame of the argument in this article is from the left-slanting New York Times. With the presidential campaign gearing up, the political background of each candidate and how is relates to the issue is an important contextual note for readers. However, the linguistic choices the author uses to describe each candidate as "taking away" funding and rights is very liberal-slanted, and implants negative connotation to those behaviors.

The author also attempts to reduce the credibility of their sacred teachings by pointing out that the teachings apparently have no effect on the behavior of their followers, because if they are sexually active, they use contraception anyway.

-Courtney Baga

1/30: New negotiations go nowhere

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I found this article very interesting. It was written for the nation+world sectioning the Star Tribune on Jan 30. Written by the news services it was under the Mideast heading. The three sentence article stated,"Israeli and Palestinian leaders blamed eachother for the impasse in newly launched talks. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of spoiling low-level talks, saying it failed to present detailed proposals for boarders and security requested by international mediators...."
I thought it would be interetong to use what we have learned incise romping out the arguments. According to the book the author is using ethos, believing that what they are saying is true. Also kairos, as this problem has perisisted on the middle east for quite some time, that is why there is no background information given. I sense some pathos in this argument by use of language, "blamed" and "spoiling" may indicate the opinions of the author.
I would also like to point out that they are claiming there has not been any progress in these talks.
Alex Mountain

Kano schools empty after Nigeria attacks...

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Kano schools empty after Nigeria attacks...
By Mark Lobel
Written 28, January 2012
BBC news

We live in a country where many of us take our freedom and safety for granted everyday. Yes there are dangerous people in our country but we don't have to fear going to school like those in Nigeria do. Last week in Kano, Nigeria 185 people were killed in a series of explosions. My mind can not even comprehend the fear that those people live with everyday. I had not heard of these killings until I read some news today.
In this article, the writer does a great job of informing you of whats going on in Nigeria. I encourage you to read it and become more informed about what is going on in this world. Mark, the man that wrote this article uses logos, pathos and ethos to make his point. He talks about the President of Nigeria and tells a gripping story of a woman who was affected by the killings. I think he wrote this article very well.


Angela Zhang is a seventeen year old girl from Cupertino California. She recently was awarded a $100,000 scholarship as a reward for winning the Siemens Prize for nano particles that can kill cancer cells. This new treatment is better than other methods because it can deliver a drug directly to the cancer cells and it doesn't affect any of the healthy cells around them. Once the nano particles locate the cancer cells they can release a drug. This drug release is activated by laser. This treatment is still a ways from being used on patients, though. It has much testing, Angela said it will probably be another 25 years. I think it is an impressive feat if anyone discovered this, but it is all the more astounding knowing that she is only seventeen.


Bush Keeps Quiet in Florida

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This article by Jeff Zeleny for the New York Times discusses the fact that Florida Governor Jeb Bush has yet to endorse a candidate for president. It talks about the intense race going on in Florida between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and explains that both candidates have recently been endorsed by several people, but the governor, who is a very sought after endorsement, has yet to give his stamp of approval to any candidate. The article argues that this is likely due to possibility that Bush plans to run for president himself at a later date, and he does not want to potentially antagonize any Republicans who would be willing to back him. This argument is made using ethos by giving quotes from his sons and others who are close to him, and it makes an argument using logos by logically explaining why he might run for president and why he then might choose not to endorse a candidate right now.

Hundreds Held in Oakland Occupy Protest

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The Occupy Movement turned violent in Oakland, CA on January 29. Protesters destroyed construction equipment, fences, and windows at the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center. When police officers confronted the protesters, the officers were pelted with a variety of objects, including improvised explosive devices and burning flares, injuring at least three officers. In response, the officers fired smoke and tear gas canisters into the crowds in order to keep control of the non-peaceful protesters. The officers then arrested more than 400 protesters.

The Occupy Oakland Media Committee issued a statement of the protester's view of the situation: they believed the police officers violated their police code of conduct and that the mass arrests were illegal. On the police officers' side, the mass arrests were necessary to keep the peace, as the protest was obviously violent.

The Occupy Movement is centered around the ethos argument that the 1% of wealthy people should not be so much better off at the detriment of the 99% of other Americans. I believe, however, that this protest was fueled much more by pathos. The anger and passion behind the Occupy Movement led the protesters to vandalize the City of Oakland's property and create an extremely violent situation. The police's argument is centered around ethos, as it was only logical that once the protest turned violent, they had to arrest the offenders.


The Politics of "Trannies"

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This article by Tricia Romano describes and explains the current civil-rights issues of transgender people. The structure of the argument follows Dan Savage, a sex columnist and gay activist, and how he and other gay activist celebrities have been targeted by the transgender community for being "transphobic," mostly relating to the use/misuse of the word "tranny."

The author made good use of ethos by illustrating how gay activists have been targeted; gay activists could hardly be said to be bigots, but the transgender political movement is so new that not everyone understands it yet. Dan Savage, quoted in the article, also uses logos to show how they word tranny has evolved just as the word nigger did. The only issue with the article that I had was lack of defining some terms, such as "cisgendered," which made it harder for me to follow the argument.


Not Everyone's in Tune Over Precious Violins

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As a violinist of nearly a decade, this article was really familiar to me. When growing up, you're given a crappy rental or a cheap violin- and then you learn. Now, I have never had the privilege of being a protegee or a genius, but the stigma that older violins receive has definitely been something that has been put into my head excessively over the years.

In this article, there is a great deal of commentary by violin crafters, on both sides of the argument, which I identify as ethos. Obviously is one is a violin crafter, one would recognize and have the credibility to discuss the craft of violins.

There is also a great deal of master (those who are profession violinists) opinion. It's possible to identify this as ethos as well, however I find it most notable as pathos, because a strong bond with your profession gives way to strong emotional ties to one's instrument.

Overall, I feel this is a very well argued article, for both sides of the story. I'd hope you all would enjoy as well.

Jenna Peneueta-Snyder

Genetic or Not, Gay Won't Go Away



I found this article from opinion pages of the New York Times. Unlike news report, the author shows his position directly, that is, no matter genetic or not, homosexuality should be accepted and respected by society. Some gay advocates argue their sexual orientation is determined by genes at the first birth, which is unchangeable. However, there are also some bisexuals. Frank Rruni, the writer, points out even though some people choose to be a gay, it should be understandable rather than be considered as an aberrant issue. According to Rruni's views, compared to religious freedom, homosexuality is a way of life people decline to follow, which is nothing related to right and wrong, but need be safeguarded by our laws.
At the end of the article, the author takes himself as an example to support his opinion. I consider personal feelings as a pathos proof. As for logos proof, Frank Bruni cite others words. For instance, he mentions Clinton Anderson, the director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns office of American Psychological Association and some research about gay's genes. Finally, the writer invites readers to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. In my opinion, this is a way to influence his ethos proof positively.

African Union Summit Ends Monday

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This article discusses how the African Union (AU) Summit is ending Monday, with a decision expected to be reached on a new trade agreement. The agreement, which seems to be heavily supported by most countries, will lighten restrictions on trade between African Nations and allow for more economic development throughout the continent. Currently, many African countries rely on importing and exporting good to and from Europe and China. However, as the author points out using a convincing logical argument, this agreement would strengthen the AU.

Researchers found that an early form of autism might be found in a baby's gaze. With the type of disease autism can grow to be it is important to try and catch it at earlier stages. This would help with with the proper therapy, and steps taken to make sure the child can recover from the problems that occur from the brain disorder. Researchers preformed an experiment where they found that babies without autism make direct eye contact, and babies with autism avoid the eye contact. This was very important because now they can have a start of really happens with babies who have autism. As the study carried on the babies who had autism had a different level of brain activity during the eye contact test. Of course with how young the children are and where they are at in their development, more tests need to be done in order to ensure the truths. http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-autism-eyes-20120126,0,7724152.story (Alex Davis)

Occupy Oakland Arrests Total 300 After Volatile Day

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Saturday turned out to be much more than another day of Occupying Oakland. Both the occupiers and the police say violence was expressed towards themselves, but it's difficult to discern exactly who provoked who. Police have been known to use harsh measures against the Occupy Oakland protesters when they tear-gased a group of peaceful college protesters on campus. Saturday, Occupy Oakland protesters broke into City Hall and caused damage to the interior of the building. An American and California flag were also burned during the event. Around 400 people were arrested and a few officers and one protester were wounded. Mayor Jean Quan is exasperated by the movements antics and asked the occupiers to "stop using Oakland as its playground."

This article uses all of the forms of reasoning in Aristotle's rhetorical triangle. Logos is used when the writer gives us the facts about what happened. He appeals to pathos when he writes "an exasperated Mayor Jean Quan," illustrating the emotion behind how the Mayor feels about the Occupy Movement. The Mayor is quoted several times, as well as few statements from police officials, adding ethos to the persuasion by citing credible sources. Kairos is obviously in play, as well, because the Occupy Movement provides the context for this type of action to happen. The motivation behind the action was the Occupy Movement, otherwise it might not have occurred.


This article is about the upcoming soccer training that is coming up in Tucson, Arizona that will hopefully bring sport fans back since Baseball decided not to come back this year and instead more closer to Phoenix, Arizona. The first time in a long time since Truman was president. Tucson has been struck by some hardship with a sorts of athletic games being relocated to different cities. I think this article most definitely defies with pathos because its a city trying to get back an promote sports after Major League Baseball has left. It has caused many businesses a loss in finances and the upcoming bowl in Major League Soccer has brought them hope. Hoping fans will support the soccer team and become a success. 40 percent of the population in Tucson is hispanic and many are crazed soccer fans and they are hoping that will add to the "soccer craze." The businesses in Tucson are hoping that Soccer will be a huge success.

Pipeline politics: MIsguided Obama blocks Keystone pipeline


This article highlights the Obama decision to deny a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline. While it wasn't Obama's lack of support for the pipeline, it was that the Republicans were forcing him to make a decision. The article says it's going to be a "long year in the White House" because the problem, in the eyes of the author, is that the Keystone line should be approved. It's reasons for this is because the pipeline will create jobs and produce much needed energy, as well as bolster the beneficial economical partnership with the Canadians. Keystone would be designed to stretch 1,711 miles from Alberta to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Two contrasts in the issue are opposing views from labor unions (for) and environmentalists (against).
The article uses strictly logos in its argument, stating it is important to be constructed because between now and the time it is reviewed again, we could have a new president with a new agenda, or Canadians might find alternative markets for heir oil. It denied the US a reliable source or oil and cost jobs, according to the argument presented.


-Matt Foley


The FBI is seeking to develop programs that are capable of scanning keywords posted in social networking sites, including facebook and twitter, to map growing threats. These social networks are already the primary source of open information that the FBI uses to identify and locate threats they are following, but the program they seek to develop will be the most comprehensive one yet.

The article discusses in depth how privacy groups are concerned about the unchecked surveillance of thousands of innocent people. In contrast, the investigations will identify relevant information, and filter out anything that does not fall in that category. The implications of what data will be available to whom are unclear.

The Kairos of this article is fascinating; in an age where privacy is decreasing, many people are struggling to maintain control of what aspects of their lives are made public. On the other hand, many people now expect full access to the lives of their friends and make their own day-to-day habits publicly available without concern. This controversy will undoubtedly remain in contest for many years, as the right to privacy is not verbalized literally in the US Constitution. While some opposition references that the programs may infringe on free speech, it is unclear the exact method they feel may cause that.

The set of shared assumptions also provide some element of contest to the article. On one hand, many readers assume they have control over what posts or information they choose to make public. However, some also assume the government has methods of accessing all posts and information made online, even if privacy settings prevent certain friends or strangers from seeing it. In many cases, the facts surrounding this issue are unclear, as are the rights of the people in question. More reliable information about these investigative measures will be needed before new plans are rolled out by the federal government.

-Courtney Baga

I read an article arguing that everyone does not think of the notion of economic fairness in the same way. It states that, as Americans, we believe that all people are born equal and so should be treated equally. The article argues that some political policies have eroded the freedom we have as Americans and goes so far as to say, "What Americans oppose is a vast government trying to make all outcomes equal--regardless of individual effort. Egalitarianism is bad economics because it is heavily regulatory, and bad politics because it leads to class warfare. Worse, it is a bad principle because it destroys freedom." It states that the economy should be regulated much less than it is and allow the free market to determine more outcomes. When people lose their incentives to work, they will stop working.


Erik Pokki

Marijuana Push in Colorado Likens It to Alcohol

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Whether marijuana should be legalized is a rather controversial issue all the time. Probably, there would be a ballot in Colorado in November, which may push the process of legalization.
Given alcohol as an comparison, supporters argue marijuana can be treated in the same way. They believe the legalization aims to better control marijuana rather than lead to abuse. One of the proponent, Mr. Tvert, think to legalize marijuana is to take it out of underground market, to keep it away from young people and to make our communities safer. However, there are lots of opponents against this issue. Legal medical marijuana dispensaries have already caused the abuse of medicines. Eighty-five Colorado communities have banned or halted opening s of dispensaries. Some critics articulate the legalization definitely provides much easier access to marijuana, which make the problem worse.
As far as I am concerned, the opponents' argument is better, from the logos perspective. They provide examples to support their argument rather than just make claims.


Newt Gingrich outlined his plans for colonizing on the moon throughout the course of his presidency. He explained how he would do so in a debate speech on Wednesday in Cocoa, Florida. He expressed that his goal is to eventually have enough people on the moon that trips back and forth would become a regular occurrence and that eventually there would be enough people for the colony to be recognized as a state. He made grandiose claims that this speech would go down in history as the beginning of this new age in space discovery. While he had many thought out methods for funding research and finding this generation's brightest engineers for the project, many found that his ideas may not be effective. He suggested using incentive programs and prizes from NASA's budget to encourage engineers to develop revolutionary new space technology in order to accomplish this, but people worry that these incentives will prove to be a waste of time and unsuccessful in drawing people into the project.

This article was found in the Washington Post at the link below:

1/27: Obama decries rising cost of college education

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I read this article in the Star tribune written by Kimberly Hefling on Jan 27. This article discusses President Obama's opinion of the continuous college tuition increases. On Friday he warned that colleges and universities that fail to control tuition costs could potentially lose government funds. The author explains how this is directed to young people and working families, two of his important voting blocs.

This article was fairly short so I found it difficult to pick apart the arguments. I think that for me it seemed to be using ethos because I am relating to the article so easily. She was also writing about the President of the United States which gave credibility to her article.

Recall Candidates

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A Judge in Dane County, Wisconsin has doubled the time the GAB (Government Accountability Board) has to review recall signatures for Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. To recall Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch 540,208 valid signatures were needed and an estimated 1 million signatures were submitted to recall Walker and 845,ooo against Kleefisch. Now the only problem was to validate the signatures. So the judge extended the time from 31 days to 62 days to validate at least 540,208 signatures. The argument that the extra time was needed was that, first, Walker's campaign sued the accountability board to require it to do more to root out the problem of duplicate signatures and fictitious names. Secondly, the names had to be entered into the database, which will then add time it needed to review the signatures and lastly, the time will also give republicans more time to challenge the signatures. The signatures alone are not going to recall Walker and Kleefisch, but determine whether recall elections are required.

I feel the arguments used were strong arguments because the article is giving you a flow of how to think it through. And kinda makes you believe that the action taken are necessary. The fact that Walker sued the GAB I feel made a big impact as to what extent the GAB took to validate the signatures. Maybe this is not always how the validation of signatures happen.


Oluwayanmife Salako

Romney in Florida

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In this article, Kimberley Strassel argues that, while Romney may be a better presidential candidate than Gingrich, his inability to play the politics may hold him back in Florida. She claims that the Romney campaign only has two messages: that he can fix the American economy and that he has the best chance at beating Obama.
Strassel continues goes on to say that Romney's stances have remained constant over the past month or so, but this won't get him elected in the primaries. Romney's argument, while viable if you're a fundamentalist voter who just wants to elect anyone into the White House besides, is not very strong. It doesn't inspire voters. "Elect me because I'm the only one who can beat Obama" when he should be saying "elect me because I would make a great president." While, as a whole, Strassel's argument is understood, it was a hodge-podge of interesting points that were not very well organized

Why we need a law against online piracy

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Lamar Smith, the creator of SOPA, wrote this article for CNN in support of the legislation. He said, "The Stop Online Piracy Act protects consumers and innovators by targeting foreign websites that traffic in stolen or counterfeit products." He emphasized that the legislation will not hurt (as the internet protests say), but help the economy, the U.S. economy suffers from illegal pirating, losing about $100 billion and thousands of jobs every year. Smith went on to say, "... the bill in no way censors the Internet. It only targets activity that is already illegal, and only targets foreign websites that are dedicated to illegal or infringing activity."

This argument is geared heavily toward ethos, as the writer is the creator of the legislation, which lends him considerable credibility. The other side of that is, however, that because he wrote and supports the act, is he presenting the evidence in a non-biased fashion? The internet protests happened for a reason: are there facts in this situation that Smith glosses over?


Manic Peter Pan Rules Dance Clubs

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This article by James C. McKinley Jr. for the New York Times describes the nearly meteoric rise of the artist Skrillex. McKinley explains that Skrillex has come for being practically unknown until August 2010 to being one of the music industry's darlings today. The article also describes Skrillex's views on music and art, and includes quotes by the musician on what he believes art to be. It also discusses the aggressive style of the musician, which is apparently due to his background in punk and heavy metal music. McKinley makes an ethos argument by giving quotes from popular disc jockey DJ Tiesto, event promoter Ryan Jaso, ticket Mike French, and citing the number of Youtube views of his most popular single. The article also cites his five Grammy awards as evidence of his skill, success, and popularity.

"Student Faces Town's Wrath in Protest Against a Prayer"

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We all are familiar with the first amendment, freedom of speech, press, assembly, petition, and religion; however the formal clause about religion goes like this: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

There's been a lot of argument behind this; many who are religious feel that the exclusion of religion in schools or public places is offensive and exclusive; those who aren't feel that the presence of religious doctrine and symbols are disrespectful and unconstitutional.

So which is it?

In this article, a high school student is on the latter half of this argument; that a prayer shouldn't (and in all technicality) cannot be hung up in a public school.

This makes a strong argument for the respect of the constitution, which I identify as ethos, or logos- but, it also makes an appeal on the other side of the argument, an appeal of pathos, that people of the school at the community are highly attached to the prayer and wish to keep it.

So here is my question: what do you who is reading this, think of it? Which case is strong and is an appeal likely to be granted?

Jenna Peneueta-Snyder

Controversial Composition Causes Calamity

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Court blocks 'Mein Kampf' excerpts from being published

This article explains the two sides of whether or not excerpts from Mein Kampf should be published. The copyright to print the controversial composition expires in 2015, and people have already made the jump to begin publishing with intent to present it as educational.

Now here's an article that's guaranteed to spark some controversy. As you may have read in chapter 3 of Keeping Faith with Reason, all 4 appeal types intertwine in any argument, but there is generally one that stands out as the primary. Pathos is what really stirs the heart of this sentiment. Certain phrases exist in the article that support this idea: "anti-semitic," "Putting a lid on things...," "...hate-filled book saturated with anti-semitism to the core." and et cetera. However, this article is also cleverly laced with logos reasoning which makes for a good secondary appeal. The really effective argument of using 'Mein Kampf' for educational purposes throws a controversial wrench in the balance of such a touchy subject in Germany. Almost as equally important as the other two appeals, kairos really makes its mark here. I would almost make the kairos appeal the primary except that the timing of this issue could hang in the balance since a few years ago to a few years from now. Nonetheless, it is a very critical piece of the reasoning pie.

After participating in a informative film entitled "The Third Jihad," Muslim advocacy groups ask the police commissioner of New York City to step down. The film, intended for police use, allegedly targets Muslims unfairly in police terror training. "They were not telling the truth about their involvement in the propaganda film against Muslims," said Nihad Awad, executive of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
There is definitely an argument in this article. One side makes a claim and supports it with quotes from the film and the other side defends themselves with a claim of their own, but without any support. The advocacy groups questions the ethos of the NYPD training film which argues that police should target Muslims when searching for terrorists.


New Rules for School Meals Aim at Reducing Obesity

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This article talks about improving meals at school to reduce the number of obesity in children. Its a start, America is a country with high obesity rates. Michelle Obama is campaigning to reduce the amount of salt and fat in school lunches by increasing the fruit and vegetable in our school meals. They are trying to cut down the amount of potatoes being serve and use other vegetables, but it does not seem like they will likely be able to. Even the milk schools will be serving are low fat and they are setting limits on salt to. Also they will be informing students about daily minimum and maximum calorie intakes based on age. About 32 millions students are in a meal program and the new changes will add costs of about 3.2 billion from the previous. This is the first change that they have seen in school lunches in over 15 years and many in the food industry approve of the changes. They believe it will promote healthier students and reduce obesity.


Amy Senser Accused For Vehicular Manslaughter

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Last summer, Amy Senser (wife of former Vikings star Joe Senser) hit and killed a man in Minneapolis. Senser claims that she did not know she hit the man while prosecutors are struggling to come up with solid evidence stating that she was aware of the accident. Senser is scheduled for a court date on April 23rd. The Man hit, Anousone Phanthavong apparently was a well known chef from the Minneapolis area. However, regardless to whether Senser realized that she hit a man or not, she killed him and will get her just desserts.

Jake Adams

Taken from StarTribune, 1/24/12 "Senser Driving Details Unfold"

Vikings Stadium To Be Built At Metrodome Site

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January 24th, 2012, Governor Mark Dayton told the press that the only place a new vikings stadium could be built this year is at the current Metrodome site. The recent favorite site on Linden Avenue is no longer viable for a short-term build. Vikings spokesmen, Lester Bagley said that ownership of the Vikings is very frustrated with the situation and hopes they can pass a bill to to acquire funding for the new stadium this legislation session. As far as the designs for the new stadium, none have been drawn up yet.

Jake Adams

Taken from StarTribune 1/24/12 "Dayton To Vikings: Build At Dome Site"

Jeremy Stein

This article is about how young children fail to learn social skills because of the multitasking. The web has too many distractions and ways to interact, and these interactions cannot be substitutions for real social interaction. Chatting on Skype or FaceTime, even though one might think they are the same as personal interaction, lack a few key aspects. You need direct eye contact and need to be able to observe body language, which is difficult over a computer. Also, people are easily distracted when communicating over the computer and close attention must be paid to learn social skills. Even in person, kids who are fiddling with Ipods and texting on cell phones don't pick up on social skills as easily.

They conducted a study of girls through a survey in Discovery Girls magazine. I don't know how much we can trust such a study. They didn't say what the survey consisted of, but I believe it might be hard to assess girls social skills through survey that readers of a magazine chose to respond to. Also, I doubt the readers of Discovery Girls Magazine are an accurate representation of the American youth. Plus it is a girl's magazine, so I doubt many boys responded to the survey. This also makes the study and title misleading. It is an interesting point though nonetheless.

When people think of HPV, they think of cervical cancer in women. But now a days HPV is growing rapidly. Recent studies have found that HPV is being transmitted through oral sex. Oral sex may be considered the "safer sex," due to the fact that it does not result in pregnancy, and you do not think of STD's that are being transferred orally. Over 90% of adults have practiced oral sex in their lifetime and close to 25% of fifteen year olds both boys and girls have done the same. The original cause was thought to be HPV was transferred through kissing, but further investigation suggests that oral sex is the cause. The infections are growing rapidly and are starting to become greater than those who smoke. Also researchers found that with more partners a person had the more likely they were to catch the disease.
This article provides enough information, and facts to give us the seriousness of this epidemic. With all of the research being done and the quality of researchers found throughout this article they are credited sources. The arguments provided a thought that this situation is serious by giving us facts that are actually taking place today. http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-oral-hpv-20120127,0,1665761.story (Alex Davis)

100 years of the war on drugs...

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100 years of the war on drugs
By: Tom de Castella
written on 24 January 2012
BBC News
The first international drug treaty was signed a century ago this week. This article talks all about what the war on drugs was all about back in 1912 and how it was so different than what we are fighting today. The major concern when this treaty went into effect was alcohol, Mike Jay argues, "There was a big debate over intoxication as there was concern about the heavy, heavy drinking culture of the 19th Century." But however, in this article they talk at length about the heavy influence of opium in the 19th century.
I encourage you to read this article and let me know what you think about his opinion on the matter and the history that he chooses to put in his account of this time period. I found it very fascinating to be honest.
-Anna Srock

During an interview on Friday with Piers Morgan, Rick Santorum defended his pro-life position on abortion in all cases, even rape. He was presented with the situation in which his daughter had been raped, became pregnant, and was asking him for an abortion. Santorum said he would explain to her to "make the best out of the situation" because the baby was a gift from God in a "broken" way. The comment is made with empathy while still defending his pro-life position.

Santorum argues using primarily pathos, appealing to the religious and emotional sides of his pro-life supporting audience. He uses words such as "horribly" and "broken" to illustrate he's in touch with the emotional stresses on an unplanned pregnancy. He also appeals to the religious beliefs (which I don't know if they can be argued as logos or ethos) by mentioning that each child conceived is a child of God.


Summary for 1.27.12 (Maren Dahle-Koch)

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In the article by Anahad O'Connor, he discusses the current debate over whether or not to alter/change the definition of depression. Throughout the article are inserts of professionals and experts on the matter creating credibility for the audience on the matter, but still even though it is credible source against credible source the conclusion to the matter has yet to be resolved. On the one hand, researchers are saying that with the definition currently not including "bereavement, the usual grieving after the loss of a loved one" it hinders "the potential for considerable false-positive diagnoses and unnecessary treatment of grief-stricken persons". However, Sidney Zisook, a psychiatrist at the University of California in San Diego protests that if it is not included a probable outcome would be a "disservice to people who may require more careful attention".
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 17.9% percent of Americans suffer from depression every year. So even though no conclusion has been met as it is a serious matter, all caution is being taken with changing or keeping the definition as the criteria for the diagnoses' are laid out in the framework of the definition.


The Pajama Menace

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This article focuses in on an issue in Shreveport, Louisiana surrounding dress code. The Commissioner of Caddo Parish (Shreveport falls within the parish) has planned to introduce an ordinance-forbidding people from appearing in public wearing pajamas. The author solidly pokes fun at what they believe is a ridiculous policy. The author points out the Commissioner included that pajamas could extend to yoga pants, weightlifting or jogging clothing. The author calmly points out that the Commissioner stating "The moral fiber in America is dwindling" really involves issues separate form the trends seen in youth. The author adds that the latest trend actually covers more than previous ones witnessed in youth fashion.
Where the author really secures support from the audience is when they argue that pajamas won't destroy moral fiber any more than tie-dyed shirts or bell-bottom jeans did, making a strong parable. The author makes the Commissioner's proposal seem silly in nature.

-Matt Foley

Drugs in Feed Limiting US Meat Export

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Concerns over a drug called Ractopamine Hydrochloride used in feed for pigs has caused many countries to question the pork being exported from the US. The drug is used to keep pigs lean and encourage growth up until slaughter. Traces of the drug have been found in the pork meat. The European Union, China, and Taiwan have banned it's use citing concerns about the effects it may have on humans.
The article claims that this drug is fed to somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of pigs in the US and has led to more livestock sickness or death than any other drug in the industry. The drug has also affected cattle and Turkey negatively. The drug is in a class similar to drugs used to treat humans for things like asthma however this specific drug has not been approved for human use.


Erik Pokki

Light-rail construction lags on campus

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The light-rail construction around campus is behind schedule, while the overall light-rail project has reached a 40 percent completion. There are two parts of the projects in campus missing their deadlines, the Oak Street intersection and the opening of Washing Avenue. The author provides lots of details about the delay before analyzing the reasons. One of the main reasons is constraints imposed by the University, according to Met Council spokeswoman, Laura Baenen. On the other hand, Kathleen O'Brien, vice president of University Services argued that it is unfair to attribute the delay to the University, since the agreement was reached before the contractor finally made the schedule. Besides, other given reasons are conflicts moving private utilities and field issues such as unknown utilities under the ground.
I found this article on Minnesota Daily, a newspaper focusing on campus life. The author articulates how the light-rail project lags on and uses others' opinions trying to figure out why the construction is behind schedule. The author doesn't include personal point of views. It seems that what the article does is basically provide information, but let readers themselves to make a judgment whether the University constraints affect the light-rail construction.

4 of 6 on Anoka school board back new policy on sexual orientation
Article by: MARIA ELENA BACA , Star Tribune

The Anoka Hennepin school district has been highlighted in recent years due to a string of incidents surrounding bullying and sexual harassment. At the center of the controversy is their policy stating that GLBT issues were to remain a family and church concern, not to be discussed in the classroom. Many teachers in the district reported that they felt the policy was an effective gag, preventing them from stepping in during bullying and educating about respect.

As the community works toward improving their policy, interest groups on both sides are seeking change. Marci Anderson, of the Parents Action League represents a group seeking to explicity keep all discussion of GLBT issues out of their schools. In contrast, right groups and advocates are pleased with the new verbiage, which seeks a general statement of respect, and rather than prohibiting behaviors, uses positive language about what conduct is expected from all community members. 4 of the 6 school board members are in support of the latest proposal.

The prevalence of the controversy locally influences the moderate nature of the Star Tribune's discussion. Identifying the new policy positively in its neutrality. The angle successfully incorporates a positive view of the policy, regardless of one's own political and social views. They explicity identify that teachers are not to enter the conversations with a goal of pursuasion toward any one viewpoint, and that content needs to remain age-appropriate. These are logical arguments that also acknowledge the context of the issue successfully.

When presenting the opposing side, the Parent Advocacy Committee used emotional connections to draw readers in to their side. They discuss the importance of church and family values in shaping youth. However, they fail to acknowledge that some students may not have those opportunities, or may not have positive role models at all. As such, there is one gap in their methods of teaching respect. The clear perspective of the article by the end is that the proposed policy to teach respect for all is a good idea.

Summary by Courtney Baga

How do Australians respond to shark attacks?

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How do Australians respond to shark attacks?
By: Paul Mercer
Written: 25, January 2012
BBC News, Sydney

Three shark attacks have been reported in the last week. So automatically this has begun to worry the Australian people on the east coast. Graham Nickisson along with his rescue helicopter aircrew set out to find these "rogue sharks". That day what he saw from his helicopter was like nothing he had ever seen before. Off the New South Wales coast he saw an ocean view of many sharks.
"This was quite extraordinary to actually see them so close to shore on our city beaches. I've never seen it in all my years. It was frightening particularly being so close to swimmers. They were certainly unaware the sharks were there," Graham said. You will have to read the article to catch more of his story.
But what I wanted to point out is that the author of this article interviews two people that have had experiences with sharks. The first being Rodney Fox, a man who almost died by a shark around 40 years ago. He had to have 468 stitches. In my opinion he gives a very Logos (logic) answer about shark. Saying that sharks aren't as bad as people make them out to be. The next person that the author interviews gives a very Pathos (emotional) answer about seeing shadows in the water while he surfs and he it frightens him. Just an interesting thing to note. I don't think I would have noticed these differences before I had learned about the rhetorical triangle.

-Anna Srock

The End of Average

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In this article "Average Is Over," Thomas Friedman argues that being average in America won't get you very far in more due to globalization and advances in technology. His argument counters an argument made in The Atlantic titled "Making it in America" by Adam Davidson that today's employment slump is due to the current recession.

Although a short article, I think Friedman's point is simple and well made. He cites two reasons for the current unemployment rate--globalization and technology--and gives one example for each as to why they are driving unemployment. He ends the article with unemployment statistics for different education levels, showing that more education equals less unemployment, and offers a solution: "some sort of G.I. Bill" that would give every American access to higher education because being "average" is no longer suitable here.

State of the Union Report Card

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Chad McFaul

This article was written just a few hours ago and contains a grade for President Obama in various important areas for the United States and evaluates whether or not the president kept his promises from the last union address. The article focuses mostly on domestic issues and rarely touches on foreign affairs. The topics of reorganizing government, the situation in Iraq, government transparency, health care, and IRS regulations were considered kept promises by the president from last years speech. The promises that were classified as stalled included: ending oil company tax breaks, malpractice reform, tuition tax credits, and bipartisanship.
This article contains argumentation because the author makes a claim, which is followed by facts and then comes to a conclusion based on the information he provided. This pattern is consistent throughout the article for every major issue our nation faces. In my opinion, the article has a slightly biased tone to it because of the word choice of the author. The author chose the term "work in progress" or "stalled" for promises the president was unable to fulfill.

Bus riders spend at malls, too.

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In this article Peggy Schulz a lifelong Milwaukeean, bus rider and freelance writer is expressing her opinion on Southridge Mall's new plan to relocate the bus stop away from the malls' buildings. Peggy goes on to explain how even though the relocation of the bus stop is intended to keep teenagers from hanging out at the mall, it is also affecting the non-drivers, the elderly and those with disabilities who are also bus dependent shoppers as well. This article is an opinion piece, because Peggy is the one writing this article from her point of view as a bus rider. As said in the book, opinions are arguments too when the claim is backed up with reason. And in this article Peggy made a claim that the relocation of the bus stop is going to be a hindrance and shows disdain and indifference to bus riders.
This article uses a form of argument because a claim was made with reasons that can be argued against by others. I never really sat and thought that an opinion can lead to arguments, but we see it all the time in our daily lives, whether discussing a movie, our favorite food or even what choice of clothing looks best on us.

Oluwayanmmife Salako


Apple surprised Wall Street, by blowing their expectations out of the water. Apple sold a lot of their merchandise especially during the Holiday season. The article stated that their stock grew by $32 or 8% in afterhours trading. Revenue also surged 74% to a record $46.3 billion and profit more than doubled to $13.1 billion. This being said Wall Street's expectations of Apple were huge with the selling of, iPhones, iPads and Mac computers more than in any quarter in its history. With Apple being a huge company that it is, they were not expected to do this well on profit. Because of new merchandise that is coming out later in 2012 Apple could have another huge year like the last. China continues to take the cake in the technology field, meaning that they have a high demand for the iPhone. China having a high demand for the iPhone skyrockets profit from selling the iPhone. The iPhone continues to be the bestseller in Apple's business, and they continue to improve it. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-apple-earns-20120125,0,2362635.story
Alex Davis

"Obama Speech Makes Pitch for Economic Fairness"

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I'm sure some of you caught Obama's State of the Union, and even if you already have, I would encourage you not to just read my summary on this argument, but also the article itself as it's very intriguing and strikes at some basic fundamentals in argumentation.

This article surmises Obama State of the Union, while also strong emphasizing the growing wealth and income gap in the U.S. It's important to note that that isn't merely argumentative, it's truth, statistics do indeed show a growing gap.

I felt it is important to note that what Obama and his administration suggests is that all Americans pay their fair share, rather than the large tax burdens being put on the middle and lower class. However, he was met with comments by Indiana governor Mitch Daniels who responded that, "no feature of the Obama presidency has been sadder than its constant efforts to divide us, to curry favor with some Americans by castigating others."

Currently, the rich have been given huge tax cuts, and corporations are getting bail outs and tax breaks as well- so how is that now "currying favor to some Americans" and not "castigating others"?

I felt the argument here was very strong and convincing, with enough evidence to appeal to those who fall within the demographic Obama was attempting to speak for.

Jenna Peneueta-Snyder

Misidentified Graves

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Graves misidentified at VA cemeteries.

In short, this news article is about a number of "misaligned" graves in various VA cemeteries, meaning headstones relaying incorrect information and in some cases people being buried in the wrong graves.

This article caught my eye because I have had a few relatives buried at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery. My first reaction to the article was shock that this sort of thing would happen, but after reading and being persuaded by the pathos argument presented by the VA, my emotions softened. Essentially the VA simply shifted the blame to the maintenance team, but I could sense that there was some care in the fact that they took responsibility for their action and made an effort to right their wrong. There was also a bit of cause and effect in their reasoning; the VA said that the reason some graves were misaligned was because of natural events (soil erosion, etc.) and that the effect was that the maintenance team had to replace some headstones and that in turn was what cause the grave markers to be placed incorrectly. The VA realized that it was improper to have mislabeled graves, and by doing so they implicitly claimed (on the basis of value) that it was good and important that the honor of the veterans be protected.

Depression's Criteria Might Include Grieving

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In the article from the NY Times the experts who are studying depression are arguing that depression's definition should include grieving. They believe that people who are grieving after someone dies deserve to get help too. The experts want to change the definition of depression to "the usual grieving after the loss of a loved one" While experts on the other side are arguing that if depression includes grieving there may be many miss diagnosis's of depression. They believe people will be able to access medication easily and it can cause more possible harm then good. The experts worry that many people will be labeled a medical condition that they really don't need. Everyone grieves after a death of a person and they believe that it shouldn't be included with depression because then everyone would be labeled "depressed" or a person with "depression."


Falsehoods portrayed by Newt Gingrich

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This article makes the argument that Newt Gingrich has been successful particularly in the South Carolina primary campaign by portraying himself as something that he is not, and by denouncing a group that he is undoubtedly a member of. The editorial explains that Gingrich has made arguments himself that use the technique of appealing to pathos by claiming that he sides with Americans who believe that are being unfairly treated by a group that he calls the "national establishment." The editorial goes on to argue that Gingrich is and has been a member of the group that he has tried to denounce, citing the fact that he was a long time lobbyist for Freddie Mac, among other evidence. The editorial claims that Gingrich used his "blind, destructive anger" towards the president and his " hatred of the news media" to win over voters in South Carolina.

Michael Savage: Don't punish brave Marines

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This article, written by Michael Savage to USA Today, counters a view also published in the paper regarding the alleged desecration of fallen Taliban by US Marines. Savage strongly offers his support to the troops, while acknowledging that their alleged deed is a violation of military code, as well as a "universally condemned" action. He actually takes a shot at the journalists, who have been condemning the Marines, calling them out by pointedly saying they have not fought, let alone in a fistfight. Savage defends the Marines as heroes, and makes an argument that they should be rewarded for their bravery and usually high standards of conduct, not attacked for stepping over the line. He quotes "to err is human, to forgive is divine"
While Savage's argument is understandable and reasonable, I believe he loses a little bit of credibility when he states, "These boys are not the devils. The Taliban fighters are the devils." That type of language, while attempting to make an appeal to the audience, I believe actually hinders his reasoning, and relegates him to more of an extremist.
- Matt Foley

Feel a Chill? Brown Fat's Busy Slimming You Down

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A study from the University of Sherbrooke at Quebec found that brown fat, named for its brown color, burns an immense number of calories under at least two conditions: when you're cold and shivering, and when you're exercising. It was previously thought that brown fat was only found in babies until they developed the shivering response, but the recent study has shown differently.

In a study of men, when the men were cold (but not yet shivering), their metabolic rate increased by 80 percent. The brown fat also kept the subjects warmer for longer. The study found that over three hours, the brown fat burned an average of 250 calories. Three different groups of researchers, including the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, have found results similar to this, concluding that brown fat does burn fat in adults.

This article primarily uses ethos to make its argument. They cite several researchers and doctors, including Dr. Andre Carpentier at the University of Sherbrooke at Quebec. They also say that the study results at the University of Sherbrooke are not along; they cite three other research groups that have found similar results. The researchers are also optimistic that these findings may one day lead to innovative weight loss programs, which would appeal to people's emotions and desire to lose weight, making it a pathos argument.



I'm worse off than my parents

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Jeremy Stein

I'm worse off than my parents.

This article is about how difficult middle class people have it now days compared to 20 years ago. It tells 6 stories that highlight this viewpoint. They are trying to show how bad the economy is right now and how much tougher it is nowadays to make a decent living. There is sort of a sense of doom about the whole thing.
The first story is about a 29 year old teacher who is living in a town home with her husband. They don't make enough money and are underwater on their mortgage with a high interest rate. She says that when her mother was her age she already had a house and was raising three kids. She wants a family too but her house is too small and she is stuck with it for another 10 years probably.
The second story is about an ex-student trying to pay off his college debt. He is 33 years old, works two or three jobs just to get by, lives in a rickety old house with a roomate. He says his parents didn't make as much as he is making, but everything was dirt cheap back then so they didn't have to. He has $30,000 in debt.
The next story is about a 32 doctoral student. She moved from Guyana and her father sent her and her siblings to college, bought a house, and had a car. She says just having a house is out of the option. She has done everything right, everything you are "supposed" to do to get ahead, but she doesn't see any results from her hard work.
The fourth story is about a 36 year old man and his daughter who are still living with his parents. He is a senior technician for an electrical company and he makes more than his father did, but his father had a 3 bedroom apartment, 2 cars, and would bring the family on a Cancun trip every summer. He says its tougher in this day and age to stay afloat. There seems to be a growing divide between the poor and the wealthy.
The next story is about a 50 year old man who is married and has four children. He and his wife both work in higher education. He says he cannot provide nearly as good of a life for his kids as his parents could provide for him. His dad didn't even complete high school but as the sole household income could provide for a family of four. He grew up in a 5 bedroom 4 bathroom house and his family had two cars.
The last story is about a 44 year old man who just bought a condo. His parents bought a house when they were 22. He is stuck working as an accountant for a small non-profit and does not make nearly enough to live comfortably. He says the problem is that all the jobs are going to recent college grads.

The article written by Associated Press for the Star Tribune 1/24 explores the new panic around the 2012 London Olympic games. It states that parents who want to attend the Olympics will have to buy tickets for their babies to bring them into the venues. This includes every child, even newborns carried in parent's arms. This rule is not going over well with the pregnant women who bought tickets for themselves but not their unborn children, or even those who bought tickets before they knew that they were pregnant.

I could tell that this article was subtly arguing against this rule. The author used words such as "outstripped supply", "difficult to rectify", "panicked", "infuriated", and "outraged". The author even claims that, "Tickets woes of all kinds have dogged the London Olympics." I can pick out the logos and ethos arguments in this article as they are describing the emotions of the mothers and given specifics on ticket sales and why this is a problem.
-Alex Mountain

Justices Say GPS Tracker Violated Privacy Rights

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When Antoine Jones was sentenced to life in prison based off evidence gathered from a GPS placed in his car by police, the Supreme Court considered it a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches. The police placed the device in the car without a warrant in order to track his activity over a month to search for evidence of him selling cocaine. This case will continue to shine a light on our ever-evolving tracking technology and the intrusion it may or may not have on our privacy. Justice Sotomayor discusses the implications of this ruling, illustrating how third party tracking devices, such as cell phones or webpage records, may cause controversy if used as evidence. Since those instances do not count as physical intrusion, she implies there may be problems to come with setting boundaries on the use of that information.

The justice system uses logos and ethos as their primary reasoning, referring to the laws in the Constitution as fact and a credible source. Ethical and moral reasoning may come into play in the future, however. Although they may not be seen in actual court rulings, the arguments made to either use information collected by third party technologies as evidence or not will most likely be questions of ethic. When is it ethical, as well as legal, to bend the rules around intrusion of privacy to convict a criminal?

1.25.12 Summary (Maren Dahle-Koch)

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The claim turned question: "Has the Twin Cities housing market hit rock bottom?" raises yet another question; are we on the rise rather than the decline because of recent data, and if in fact we are regaining stability in the housing market, is it due to the fact that we have hit rock bottom? After all, once you hit the bottom logically the only way to go is up...right?
In the opinion article in the Star Tribune, Aaron Dickinson is given credibility by the writer, backed up with his "deep understanding of the association's [Minneapolis Area Association of Realtor] data" to create pagos for the reader. Though a side on whether of not the market has hit rock bottom is never clearly stated, through Aristotle's Rhetorical Triangle analysis of the article one can see that the author leaned slightly more to the idea that we had in fact hit rock bottom in a real estate perspective and are gradually picking ourselves back up again, possibly into the arena of "price gains".
Buchta brings up that Dickinson is looking not only at the data of the rising market, but also at personal housing experiences, emotional draw, when analyzing the state of the market. And with the input of numbers and statistics, Dickinson's views gain a logos appreciation.
So, even though no conclusion to the argument turned question was met and no side was definitively chosen, through argument form analysis one can see the spotlight shining a little brighter over on one side versus others.


GPS Tracker Violating Privacy Rights

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The article was about the Supreme Court ruling that the cops violated a suspect's rights by placing a Global Positioning System tracker on the car of the suspect without him knowing. They violated his right and entered private property to place the tracker on the suspects car for 28 days. Antoine Jones argued that the cops violated his fourth amendment rights by trespassing on private property and placing a tracker on his car without his knowledge. The cops argued that they did it because they suspected Jones of being connected with selling cocaine and the GPS tracker helped to convict Jones of being associated with selling cocaine. They argued that if placing a GPS is violating the rights of citizens, what about On Star or the phone numbers people call and text that are on a cell phone bill, is that violating a person's rights too?


Why Squirrels are Good to Eat

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This article argues a case for eating squirrel meat. It claims that hunting and eating squirrels is "as American as apple pie." It also says that there are many traditions focused around squirrel hunting and many guns that have been crafted with its purpose focused around squirrel hunting. It claims that squirrels are one of the most common animals hunted in North America.
The article goes on to say that squirrel meat is one of the best meats out there. It compares it to a Spanish acorn-fed pig which is a very sought after delicacy that can sell for around $170 per pound. Since squirrels feed mostly on nuts like acorns and pecans, it also has a nutty, buttery flavor to it. Because of these reasons, squirrels do not deserve the bad reputation they seem to be getting when it comes to culinary value.


The Affirmative Action War Goes On

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This article entails some issues surrounding cases of affirmative action and diversity programs currently being aided and guided by the Obama administration. In short, it argues that on partisan lines, conservatives and conservative leaning Supreme Court Justices are likely to often discourage these programs.

There have been many arguments in general surrounding this topic, however, this article does a good job of entail which side has done what. It includes land mark cases, such as Grutter v Bollinger case, which allowed a law school to use race as a factor of admission.

Circuit courts across the nation are using panels of judges to determines the laws of the individual states that will serve as guidelines for the public universities therein, however, it is important to note that these guidelines, whether in place or not, can often be disregarded by universities in search of quotas, or the like.

In closing, I'd like to point out a 2007 opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts, "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race, is to stop discrimination on the basis of race."

How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work

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The article is mainly discussing why a huge amount of apple products are made overseas. Besides giving the reason, cheaper workers, apple's executives also pointed out foreign workers' diligence and industrial skills. Another important factor is the amazing productive speed and flexibility. For instance, a plant of 8000 workers in China, was once producing over 10000 iPhones per day. In addition, the market aboard for apple products is very large, still growing at a fast speed. Accordingly, globalization is the trend of nowadays economy.
President Obama wondered how work of apple products can come home. The popular apple company doesn't create many American jobs as expected.
As far as I am concerned, this article analyses the issues from various aspects, based on interviews with different apple executives. However, it would be better if the author could provide readers with statistics, such as the portion of workers overseas, in contrast with the portion here in the U.S.

"The New American Divide"

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In this article, Charles Murray argues that Americans are becoming more and more divided culturally. To illustrate this change, he focuses on the difference between the upper-middle class and the working class, cross referencing today with the 1960s. In the 1960s, the upper-middle class and the working class shared similar lives in terms of their marriage and family habits, how they spend their free time, the kind of work they do, and their religious practices--this was the "American way"--but today these similarities do not uphold despite no change in an economic divide.

Murray uses statistics and examples to argue his point that there is no longer one unified "American way." His argument and this supposed divide are made very clear although he does not clearly state why this divide is such a problem, and his solution is lacking. He argues that every family, upper or lower class, should strive for a clearly defined American way like that of the 1960s. This solution confuses me because he expects the upper classes to lower themselves to lower class standards economically and the lower class to raise themselves to upper class standards morally and behavior-ly. In theory, this sounds great, for everyone to be unified with one culture, but I just don't think that is incentive enough for people to alter their lifestyle habits.


Anonymous strikes back after feds shut piracy hub Megaupload

On Thursday, Anonymous, a "hacktivist" collective, took down multiple U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, and entertainment company websites. They did this in retaliation of the FBI shutting down MegaUpload under the new SOPA legislation. It really doesn't sound like Anonymous did anything that crippling though, they used some online tool to direct tons of traffic to the target websites that effectively crashed their servers. This seems to be just a temporary problem though, and many of the sites are back up and running now. The tool they used is the Low Orbit Ion Cannon, or LOIC. Anonymous was quoted tweeting this as well, "We, Anonymous, are launching our largest attack ever on government and music industry sites. Lulz," and, "The FBI didn't think they would get away with this did they? They should have expected us." Sounds like Anonymous takes their piracy pretty seriously. MegaUpload has made more than $175 million in illegal profits from advertising on the site and the sale of premium memberships.

Myths About Barack Obama

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This article by Jonathan Alter for the Washington Post discusses claim made about President Barack Obama. Alter argues against five specific claims that are commonly made about Obama that he believes are false. The first is that Obama is a socialist, which is an argument that he believes stems from a statement made by John McCain during his bid for the Republican nomination in 2008. He says this is untrue and cites several reasons including "Obama-care," which he says is similar to Mitt Romney's health care plan while he was governor of Massachusetts. The second is that Obama is a "tool of Wall Street." He denies that this is true and says that Obama did everything in an attempt to better the economy and succeeded in that attempt. His third claim, which I believe is the least effective, is that Obama is not a good public speaker. Alter's basic argument here is that Obama is great when evaluated as a whole, but is ineffective in short snippets. This is an extremely weak argument that is perhaps true if a person views only clips of a speech, but a speech should not be judged on clips alone. The fourth argument is that the stimulus failed, but Alter then cites several economic firms that agree with Obama's actions. The fifth argument that Alter denies is that Obama has been a weak leader. He cites evidence that Obama may have occasionally steered the country in the wrong direction, but that this does not necessarily make him weak. This is also a weak argument as a stronger leader would have made decisions that would lead the country strongly in the correct direction. Overall this article makes some effective arguments, but also some very ineffective arguments. The author tries to take on more than he should have, and is not able to take on the challenge.

39th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade ruling

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Today marked the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortions in the United States. The protest at the Minnesota state capitol showed that Americans are still at odds about the controversial ruling. The protest involved many women providing testimonies about their regrets after having abortions themselves and urged pregnant women considering abortions to obtain help. They wanted to show people struggling with unwanted pregnancies that there are resources about which they may not have even heard. These resources can help women obtain free counseling and doctor appointments throughout their pregnancies. Protesters are still adamant that this decision to legalize abortion in the United States is atrocious, and they are hoping that their presence at the capitol today will help others to see that this issue has not been forgotten.


Be Here Now: Meditation For The Body And Brain


As many other cultures have already discovered, meditation is a large part of taking care of our mental health. Mindfulness based cognitive therapy is a practice that can actually affect the structure of our brains, reduce depression and the probability of it coming back, and have many other positive affects. Mark Williams explains this therapy as a way to do ourselves a great favor and become aware of our thoughts. Research and studies of the benefits of this therapy have led to programs such as Mind Up, where kids take 'brain breaks' and practice mindfulness meditation. This practice increases our focus and helps us feel more at peace with all of the things going on around us. After all, all we can do is be in the present moment.

This article uses many reasons, primarily scientific fact and personal experiences, to back up it's claim that mindfulness meditation is an emerging and useful therapy. The argument is based primarily on opinions about what is fact.


Sharing a Computer Screen if not a Classroom

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Seth Weinberger, the founder of the non-profit organization Innovation for Learning, created a software that allows tutors to work with students via phone calls and the computer. While talking with the student, the tutor and the student are working on reading skills through stories geared to the student's reading levels. Schools in high crime are taking advantage of this software to improve their students' reading scores. The results so far indicate the program works and that many schools are seeing drastic improvement in the scores. Public School 3 in the West Village of Manhatten, New York, for example, had 78% of their 3rd graders pass the state English exam. They previously had extremely low percentages pass.

The argument in this article is how effective the software is in helping students to learn to read and write. While the tone of the article is clearly positive, the author does present the opposite view point. Some worry that the tutoring will not be as beneficial as intended due to the non-existent "face time" between the tutor and the student (they speak over the telephone while viewing the same material on the computer). They believe the observations a tutor makes about the body language and facial expressions of the student would further benefit the session. However, the point the author is making is that in high crime areas where volunteer tutors are hard to find, this alternative may provide the much needed help these schools seek.

Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/23/nyregion/sharing-a-computer-screen-if-not-a-classroom.html?_r=1&hpw

New Springsteen Album!

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New Springsteen album to arrive the 6th of March

Don't get me wrong, I think there are some more important things in the news, but these days it just gets to be a little depressing. I thought I'd thrown in something a little more uplifting, and being a huge Springsteen fan thought this was perfect. A new album is coming out soon! That seems to be a little lacking in the argument department, but the closer you look, the more noticeable an argument becomes.Advertisement is an argument all of itself; or maybe just a claim, the basis of an argument. I would compare today's advertising to that of propaganda almost. There is so much of it, and it is constantly being pounded into people's heads. Television, radio, billboards, print ads, internet ads... it never ends! It all seems a little George Orwell-esque to me, but that's just my opinion.

New Stadium to cause problems at Basilica Site?

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For many months now there has been talk about a new Minnesota Vikings stadium and where it would go. Now, the considerations have been narrowed down to just a few plans. One of which is near Minneapolis' Basilica of St. Mary. Rev. John Bauer of the Basilica despises the idea of the new stadium being put near the Basilica with the fear of it causing problems and harming the Basilica's cultural being and also hindering those who attend of doing so. Bauer says he will do everything he can to protect the Basilica. He and Governor Dayton met up to talk about the site. Though it doesn't seem as if they have come to any agreement yet as they will continue to "talk" about the situation at hand.

Bolivia signs anti-drug deal with US and Brazil. (1/23)


Bolivia signs anti-drug deal with US and Brazil
Written January 20th 2012
BBC News

This article discusses the agreement that the US and Brazil came to with Bolivia to help reduce the production of illegal cocaine. The US Drug Enforcement Administration tried to make this agreement with Bolivia three years ago but the Bolivians accused them of political interference. Bolivia is the worlds third largest cocaine producer, and the main supplier to Brazil. I wonder what changed Bolivian President Evo Morales mind toward this agreement? He knows it is not healthy for his country to be doing this. But their climate and weather is perfect for growing the coca leaves.
I have traveled in and out of Bolivia by bus. Of course you can fly into this country but I chose to bus in over the Andes Mountains some of the passes over the mountains to get into Bolivia are very high and dangerous for people to be at. You feel sick and can hardly breath. But bordering countries sell coca leaves in a bag to buy for you to chew on while up at these altitudes. It calms your stomach and helps very much to be honest. The people of Bolivia need some Coca leaves in country to be able to pass over the mountains easier. So I hope that we don't take away all of their crowing plants. Granted monitoring that the leaves only go to helping with altitude sickness would be hard I hope we don't take it away from them completely.


Furlough days in 2012 budget

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In this article from jsonline in Milwaukee the board of the Social Development Commission voted to include four furlough days, which is when worker get unpaid time off, because of the budget from 2011 and 2012 has decreased by $5 million. The furlough will allow the county to save money, but also forces employees who were furlough-eligible to have to either take days off or work without pay. The SDC passed the measure with a 7-3 vote, they know the furlough are bound to affect productivity, but it has to be done. The argument that the SDC used to show that they were helping the situation and that even though it was going to be a little hurtful, they themselves went through a list of their staff members and came up with about 450 workers that were furlough-eligible.
I feel the argument is a strong one, because in a time of financial crisis you want to know that measures people of power are taking that will impact your life will also impact their life and they were not the ones gaining from it. So it also helps to know that they are being affected to.


School is a very important part of life for many Americans. Now days the importance of school is taught in earlier grades, so by the time the children are older they have learned more. There has been a problem with Indian students. They have not met the standards set the district of schools. Because of this the district and the leaders of the Native Americans have approved five year agreement for students to attain certain goals. After setting this agreement there was no improvement that they were hoping for. The Indian students ranked last of all the ethnic groups. In response to this they decided to begin the education at earlier stages in the school life to see if it benefits them later on. Now they have certain tasks set to improve the student's capability through the year of 2016. Eventually this will be resulting in the number of graduates that enter college. http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/137830763.html

Move forward with transit investments (Matt Foley)

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This article describes the increased use and importance in Minnesota and the region as a whole, and pushes for it as a tool with which to increase local jobs and technology. The author's main argument is that "improving infrastructure makes the region more competitive". A lot of statistics are used in the argument the author makes, pointing out that transit ridership is at a 30-year high. The article states that it is in our best interest as a state to try and receive the potential federal funding because the combined proposed $225 million in funds would create badly needed short term jobs, and stimulating the Twin Cities region to be more economically competitive.


1/20: wrong surgery cases hit a high

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I recently read the article "wrong surgery cases hit a high" in the Star Tribune. I chose to include this article because it had very interesting information. I haven't learned much about arguments yet so it's hard to tell exactly which ones the author is using on this article.
This article explores the figures released about last years incidents reported in Minnesota hospitals. The author explains that there were 26 incidents in which doctors preformed the wrong procedures on patients; the highest it's been in 10 years. These are considered apart of the increased "never events" figures; events that are deemed preventable. This figure went up from 305 last year to 316 this year.
Although I am not clear which argument techniques the author is using, it I clear he is opposed to these errors and finds the rise in figures unfortunate.

1/23: Tax season is the right time to establish a budget

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This article posted in Star Tribune Januaury 21 by Chris Farrell explores when the best time to establish a budget might be. He argues that the pressure to take financial responsibility isn't going away anytime soon. Employers insist on a do-it-yourself approach toward retirement and students are expected to come up with more tuition dollars each year. He argues that instead of frugal saving American's need to start a budget. This can help boost control over finances and encourage smart spending. He explains his reasoning behind the tax time date for setting up a budget. You are gathering all of your financial data already so why not take the smart next step and set up your budget for the year then?
I think that his arguments are sound and are supported. He uses common sense to make his point as well as quotes from scholars and personal experience. All of his argument techniques tie together to make me wonder why I don't have a budget in place.

The controversy over covering the cost of birth control pills under insurance plans affects the lives of many people. On Friday, the Obama administration said birth control coverage must not be denied to employees of hospitals or universities that are religiously affiliated. Other decisions made by the administration, such as reducing the ability of women to access the morning-after pill, had some of the more left-ist groups and politicians groaning. However, this decision illustrates the administration's commitment to freedom of conscience and religious liberty.

Although we haven't covered types of arguments in class, I understand this article to use opinions and explanations to argue a point. The opinions come mainly from the more Democratic, pro-choice arguments, supported by scientific facts about emergency contraception being dissimilar to abortion drugs. Explanations were used to argue that this decision was probably the best for many women.


Senate Postpones Vote on Internet Piracy Bill

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Here is the link : )

Vote on Internet Piracy Bill has been postponed by senate. The hot topic these days is about the PIPA and the SOPA. On one hand, these two acts are supported by movie studios, recording companies and book publishing industry. On the other hand, lots of Internet companies, such as Google, Facebook and Twitter are against the bills, which also leads to some rallies. Obviously, a vast agreement hasn't been reached. However, Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader also indicated the issue was just postponed but not died.

From this news, I knew two sides of arguments. While as this article as a whole, it is very neutral. There are several citations of other people's point of views, but the author doesn't show any personal opinion.

News Summary

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I read an interesting article arguing that America is now a nation of alcoholics. It argues that a significant part of the population is now regularly consuming multiple drinks in quick succession regularly. One argument is that Americans are attempting to escape reality and that life in America is becoming stressful and unattractive. It argues that this is a widespread national problem and without action could cause some very negative effects.
Unchecked, this alcoholism could cause a nation of absentees. The author argues that being "absent" for even 1 in 7 days can change the thinking of the nation and hinder the important thinking that Americans must do on a daily basis. The author argues that the only solution for this is for Americans to decide to be "present" and make a conscious effort to stay sober.


Dangerous abortions 'on the rise', says WHO

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Dangerous abortions 'on the rise', says WHO
BBC News
Written on January 18th 2012

Abortion... the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.
When people read the word abortion there are so many thoughts that begin to flood their minds. Some examples might be, I am sick of hearing about it. Whats the big deal anyway? Can't we just solve it by allowing abortion everywhere or not allowing it at all? Maybe some of you know someone who had an abortion, or yourself had one. I want to talk about this because this topic is very close to my heart. My purpose in writing about this article is not to push my belief or thoughts on you. I would simply like to provide you with some statistics that surprised me when I read them. You read the definition at the top of the page, that is what our english language definition of the word is.

This article states that "The World Health Organization study suggests global abortion rates are steady, at 28 per 1,000 woman a year. However, the proportion of the total carried out without trained clinical help rose from 44% in 1995 to 49% in 2008."

After I read this article there were two thoughts that ran through my head. But first I had to sit back into my couch and think about what I read before I started writing this down. My first thought, was how can I believe these numbers are true? Where and how do they figure that out? But then I remembered this was a study that the WHO did. They are pretty knowledgeable don't you think? So I guess you can take that or leave it, you decide. My second thought was very different from the first, I wonder how many abortions take place now in 2012 without trained clinical help? How many woman now have medical problems because of this? To me the thought of abortion is a very sad thing. The number of children that were not given the chance to live in this world makes me grieve. Now hearing that about half of those abortions are done without a trained clinical person makes my heart break for the amount of woman who put their life in danger. But like I said before, this is my opinion, and I would simply like to share it with you.


The Wealth Issue, or the Mormon Issue?

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David Brooks argues in "The Wealth Issue" is that Mitt Romney's wealth is, in fact, not an issue. With all this talk in the media of Romney and his political campaign, Brooks argues that Romney's character is not shaped by his wealth but by his family history, specifically related to their Mormonism, which has in turn brought him wealth. Brooks illustrates the Romney family history and the religious persecution they faced and connects this to the "focus and persistence" that defines Romney today.

I think the argument Brooks is trying to get across is that Romney isn't some spoiled trust fund baby, but that he worked hard for the wealth he has accrued despite the struggles of his family. Perhaps Brooks could have made a stronger connection between the Romney family history and its effects on his character and wealth today, although I thought his comparison of the Romney family history to the Jews and Exodus was particularly interesting. Also, the title suggests the article to be about his wealth, but it seems to be more about Romney's Mormonism.


The benefits of gaming

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Trent Kays of the Minnesota Daily argues here that gaming is a good way for college students to relieve stress.

Gaming has been often criticized for wasting people's time -- especially the time of busy students -- but Kays uses his own gaming experience to argue that video games can actually enhance how college students use their time. He says he plays video games for only about an hour each day, and that he believes he has more control when playing them than he does in real life. He does not making the connection between having control and removing stress, which seemed to weaken his argument. Yet he does effectively point out the contrast between a stressful student life and a relaxing video game experience.

Kays also seems to lack explanation later in his argument, when he says good video games can complement classroom learning. He says video games present complex problems for gamers to solve, but does not provide an example and explain why gaming enhances problem-solving skills. His argument, while well-organized, lacks depth and fails to convince the reader that video games are more beneficial than harmful to college students.

URL: http://www.mndaily.com/2012/01/17/benefits-gaming

Apple is worth more than an entire Nation!

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Just kidding.

At $400 billion, Apple is worth more than Greece

This article just shows how successful the company Apple is. It describes the company, which is only a 35 year old company. It is worth $400 billion, only second to Exxon Mobil at $420 billion. They compare Apple's worth to a bunch of things, but I think that the title is quite misleading. They say Apple is worth more than Greece, only they are comparing Apple's worth with Greece's GDP. So Greece produces $300 billion a year, and Apple is worth a total of $400 billion. Thats a silly comparison! I just thought it was kind of funny. They not only say Greece, but also Austria, Argentina, and South Africa.

Here is a list of things Apple is worth more than.

I didn't read much of it, but Apple apparently is worth more than a lot of things. America's civil wars, Appolo space program, the NFL, etc. Give it a read!

Nopa to SOPA

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In lieu of all the SOPA postings (on facebook mostly), I decided to go with a less popular news story. On CNN a story that caught my eye was about a 10 year-old who stabbed another child and is being held in custody. As far as the story goes, it remains fairly unbiased and therefore doesn't present either side of an argument, except perhaps that maybe the U.S. justice system is too lax or too demanding. However, as I was pondering about what argument to find out of this, I came up with one myself: America does not have its priorities in order if the top news story is about pirates complaining about not being able to steal stuff anymore and the news about children dying at the hands of other children escapes unnoticed. However, with all the Jablonski support I've seen on facebook lately, maybe I could be wrong. I just believe there are more pressing matters than politics, such as the people themselves that politicians are trying to "care for.


SOPA and PIPA Battle Far From Over

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The current hot topic in politics is Congress's proposed legislation: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA). These acts aim to stop online piracy from harming America's intellectual property and the people associated with it. Online businesses such as Google and Wikipedia, however, are protesting the acts. wikipedia2.png

Their argument is that the legislation will hurt businesses by shutting down their websites if they infringe on the acts' provisions and that the acts will not stop online piracy. Many sites, including Google and Wikipedia, protested on January 18 by either blacking out their websites or putting information and an online petition on their website. These protests were successful in raising public awareness, getting internet users to contact their representatives, and decrease support in Congress for the legislation.

The author, David Tereshchuk, does not think that the SOPA and PIPA battle is over. While the protests are powerful, they may not measure up to the influence of the combined forces of Hollywood, the recording industry, and network television. Their argument is intellectual property and profits, which may prove to have the lobbying power to push the legislation forward in Congress. Tereshschuk's point is that this battle may just be heating up and the results are hard to predict.


The article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-tereshchuk/sopa-and-pipa-battle_b_1214146.html
The Google protest: https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction
The Wikipedia protest continues: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:CongressLookup?new=yes
The Wikipedia article on the SOPA part of the protest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act
The Wikipedia article on the PIPA part of the protest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PROTECT_IP_Act


This editorial by Jonathan Turley from the Washington Post is about a list that the State Department issues that discusses laws passed in other countries that violate the rights of the citizens of those countries. The editorial then argues how it is hypocritical of the U.S. to release such a list when we have many laws of our own that violate the rights of our citizens. Turley then cites the abilities given to the president that are in question, which include the ability to have citizens killed whom are considered terrorists, the ability to hold citizens considered terrorists for unlimited amounts of time, the prevention of interrogation of CIA agents suspected of war crimes, the ability that the president has to choose whether a person is subject to a trial or a military tribunal, and others. Turley then finishes by discussing the fact that laws like this are exactly what the founding fathers were trying to prevent when they wrote the constitution, and that the executive branch has taken steps to make sure that some of these abilities cannot be removed.

Minnesota Sues Over Serious Loss of Healthcare Data

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Last summer a laptop with important information was lost from a firm. This laptop carried very serious healthcare information. The even more serious part is that it had this information on 23,500 Minnesotans. So, feeling that this violated certain privacy laws, Minnesotan Attorney General Lori Swanson decided to sue. She had a very convincing case that no person should have to undergo their personal and private data being exposed and that the patients have the right to know exactly the whereabouts of their data presently. Francesca Luthi, the company who lost the laptop's spokesperson said they are willing to work and cooperate with Swanson on the lawsuit, however she seemed to be very closed to any questions asked. Fairview Health Services and North Memorial Health Care were the two hospitals that lost data. Although, it was found out that their was no information such as Social Security numbers, credit card information, addresses, and health policy numbers exposed. However, it is still a serious situation that private information of that many people was exposed. http://www.startribune.com/local/137678533.html

Major Websites take a hit

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On Wednesday a bunch of major websites were "out of order," due to a new code created by an alumni from here at the U of M. The basis of the argument is to stop the big names such as Google, Youtube, and Wikipedia from abusing their privacy rights. These websites have access to private things, that people have created. Also the bill would be putting a censor over the internet. It's the internet and there are so many things that go onto the internet that I don't think the bill should be followed through. If people do not want things public then it should not be shared. This bill is making it all the way to congress, and there is hope that the internet stays the same. There are pros and cons to any and everything. But the internet is so beneficial to many college students, and people across the country, that it would be hard to put stops on the internet. http://www.mndaily.com/anti-sopa-code-goes-viral-blacks-out-websites

Native Americans and new Casinos

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This article from the Star Tribune is about the casinos in Minnesota that have always been run by the Indian tribes on Indian reservations. Now there is a battle with non-indians to have a casino off the reservations and not run by the Native Americans. The Native Americans are fighting back by hiring many lobbyists to fight for their cause on January 24th. They know many people in the government like for instance Michele Kelm-Helgen (Mark Dayton's deputy of staff) and will do what it takes to not let a casino emerge that is not on Indian land. The tribes have spent millions on political campaigns to stop other casinos from starting up in Minnesota not run by them. They may also have to deal with the financing of the news Vikings stadium from their gambling revenues. But the tribes have gambling contracts with the state that do not require them to share any money they earn with the state and it does not have an expiration date. Whoever has gone against the tribes in the past has yet to win and they have gone all the way to the White House and back. The Indians are very serious in keeping casinos only to tribes.


This fascinating article from the BBC is a succinct image of gender inequality. While the headline draws readers by suggesting the anomaly of reversed-from-the-norm gender inequality, the description given is not unknown. It describes how at birth, the treasured gender is exalted, while the alternative is accepted gravely. Women receive the highest of educational opportunities, and pursue careers. The men are taken from school at a young age to help in the fields, and are married off to take their wives names. The wives don't trust the men with money matters. When the author of this article asks further questions, the women are quick to speak on the mens' behalf, and he never does receive their answer. A select few men are beginning a men's rights movement, seeking to promote their own equality. One man, Mr Pariat, defied the norm by taking his father's surname. He discussed the way men in his culture fall far short of their potential due to social inequalities, particularly with drug and alcohol abuse rampant in the underprivileged group. Patricia Mukkum, the editor of their daily newspaper, acknowledges her privilege, which allowed her a successful career, and children with three different fathers. It paints a picture known only too well, with roles and communication consequences remarkably in line with global marginalization of all kinds.


New Vikings Stadium In Downtown

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Refresh the Reality

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The main focus of this article is to show just how safe of a place downtown Minneapolis really is. Police are confident that they have ways of decreasing crime, which were done by young people, downtown. Police have partnered with courts, private security guards, sidewalk ambassadors, neighborhoods associations, business leaders and social workers to decrease the rate of crimes between midnight and 4:00a.m. by enforcing curfews and truancy violations and playing closer attention to groups of young people. With all the things police and courts are putting in place they expect a decrease in crime rates. But the biggest factor in making downtown known as a safe environment to live, shop and play are changing the perceptions of the residents of Minneapolis. It is said that the solution "lies less with policing than with what the city planners call placemaking".

The whole purpose of this article is to argue that downtown Minneapolis is a safe place, the article provides numbers to show just how much crime happens and how the police are doing things to decrease crime rate. It also shows what the author would like downtown to be over the next 15 years, which shows hope for a greener more lively place. The article is persuading people that even though crime does happen downtown, it is being taken care of and should not be a concern for residents. I like what the article did and with all the facts that were included has giving me a little peace and assurance that downtown can and will be a safe place.


News Summary: 1.20.12


In the Star Tribune article, Dayton: Vikings would need to pay $450 million at Basilica site, the plans for the new home for the Vikings is discussed. It is laid out in a formal argument format, where the facts, data, and plans are clearly stated in order for the general audience to understand. Even though the readers may not be in full agreement with the decisions being made, they at least are presented with the data and have the opportunity to place input into the situation. (Definition adapted from http://instructors.dwrl.utexas.edu/boudreault/?q=node/12)
The Government of Minnesota has been pondering and planning different sites for the new Vikings home for a while now and finally have narrowed it down to three; the original site where the current Metrodome stands, a site beside the Basilica in Minneapolis, or an area in Arden Hills are the current contenders for the new sports arena. The team has offered to pay a certain amount in order to make the cost a little more friendly to the public in the concern of raised taxes but saying you need $340-395 million dollars is never an easy conversation. The article also presents the fact that if the government were to choose the Arden Hills location, the city would contribute a certain amount to also help with lowering costs. Dayton has worked to keep a "cap at $300 million" in consideration of the public, but all three sites will require a much higher contribution from the people's pockets.
URL: http://www.startribune.com/politics/blogs/137681588.html

Make hockey safer with data

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Sorry i wasn't quite sure how to do the link, but it is below.


This editorial from the Star Tribune highlights details surrounding the recent tragedy of Jack Jablonski's hockey injury, the state of paralysis he became subject to upon receiving an illegal from-behind check in a recent high school junior-varsity hockey game. The article acknowledges the overwhelming support Jack has received from a Minnesota hockey community the author refers to as an extended hockey family. The MSHL (Minnesota State High School League) has promised better research in safety equipment and rule changes, but the author of this article pushes towards adopting a central-registry of sports injuries and using data to make rule changes and grasp a better handle on injuries such as Jablonski's.
While opposition to the author could point out that an increased awareness and focus on the coaching of safe playing would be more effective, the article pushes towards the creation of a "comprehensive injury database". The author plays their argument off the recent height of awareness surrounding Jablonski and the spike of fear and urgency within the Minnesota community.


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Hello class -

This is the space where you will post your news summaries. News summaries should be posted before class each session, as they will often come up on class discussion. You are responsible for posting one news summary every class session. These summaries should be one or two paragraphs in length. If you are reading an online article, please include the url for reference. You should include a short summary of the article, a short summary of the types of arguments that the author uses, and any reaction/response you might have to the article. Let me know if you have any questions!

Looking forward to a great semester!


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