April 2012 Archives

Finish Off Al Qaeda - Op Ed - Courtney Baga

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This Op-Ed in the New York Times was written by Eric Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, is the author of "The Heart and The Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL."

The title provided him is an appeal to credibility. The SEALs are known as an elite, highly respected sector of the military, and as such, the article can be read with the perspective than an expert is speaking.

The argument made is that there are two separate wars going on- one against terrorism, and one to build the state government to a stable place. The writer argues that the terrorism war is going well, but that the latter is a hopeless cause which the United States has a moral obligation to build to a place of some stability, but cannot be "won."

He appeals to logos by writing clear "steps" that he proposes to achieve this. By making it seem manageable, it tempers the argument that "once the US has entered a military conflict, we must stay involved until it is resolved."

He also appeals to a visual, pathos side by making an analogy to a forest fire. He says, "Achieving that goal demands focus. Defeating a terrorist organization is like fighting a forest fire; there's never a clear moment of victory, and even after you've won, you have to watch carefully. The successes of the past decade have required discipline, focus and sacrifice from America's service members and their families. Now, to complete that mission, we must ask no less of our policy makers."
The respect with which he affords the relevant decision-makers makes the goal seem reasonable, easy to understand, and not a lofty goal to ask that both policy and in-the-field folks must work toward.

An opinion article published in the Washington Post recently claimed that the Republican Party is becoming less and less likely to compromise on issues affecting our government in recent decades, and the author gives a few examples to prove his point. His argument seemed quite one sided, and he did not make any qualifications to his argument by saying that there are some unwavering Democrats as well. I feel that this hurt his argument. He is trying to prove that the Republicans are the source of all problems, but I feel that absolutely no qualifications about the ongoing issues between parties will alienate readers. He provides evidence of only a few notable figures in the Republican Party and how they have reacted to proposed ideas by Democrats in a closed-minded way and does not seem to agree that Democrats have any part in the essential stalemate that has occurred over several issues in recent months. I do not associate with either party, and I feel that both sides have accountability in this lack of decision-making that is happening in today's politics. I felt that this author's argument was too one-sided and alienated many readers that would have been otherwise sympathetic to what he had to say. He needed to be more considerate of his audience and their possible viewpoints before deciding to word his article this way.

Dairy industry raising funds for Babcock Hall Upgrade

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This article was about the dairy industry trying to raise funds for the estimated $32 million cost of renovating and expanding a 60-year-old dairy plant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Just reading the first paragraph the reason they gave for renovating the plant is because "the outdated building is an embarrassment to America's Dairyland". I thought that reason was not a solid reason. You want to spend that kinda of money because the building is an embarrassment? I didn't like it and was already turned off from the article at that point.

As I continued to read, I felt what they did well was start by saying all the good things having that plant had done. Such as produces more than half the nation's specialty cheese, and also how it helped cheesemakers develop award winning- specialty cheese. And then continued with how it is expanding it's work the space is too small and cramped. I feel that helped the argument because it kind of sweetened the audience to want to continue reading.


Educational Seniority Reform

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This article posted in the St. Paul Pioneer Press is a call to action aimed at persuading the general public and Governor Mark Dayton to move forward with what the author calls "one of Minnesota's most important education reforms," using language such as "he should sign the law". The author advocates for overturning the seniority based layoff system for teachers in Minnesota that uses only experience rather than performance to determine jobs. The author uses several logical appeals, including Minnesota's 90% bipartisan support and general support to switch to performance based determinants as well as logical/emotional appeals. The author uses stories to make logos and pathos appeals like the story of "Minnesota's 2009 Teacher of the Year almost never was." These are very persuasive to neutral audiences because of the strength of example and association.

-Matt Foley

Does the Bible still matter in 2012? (5/2 entry)

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Written by Lamar Vest / Published April 29, 2012 / FoxNews.com

This is a very interesting argument, I encourage you to read it. I will sum some of it up, but overall I feel as thought the writer's argument is a pretty solid one. He may make a few hasty assumptions in the beginning paragraphs regarding "Americans." He seems to lump them into a group of people that are all the same by making statements like, "After all the very visible fighting about public displays of religious symbols-- from 10 Commandments plaques to graveyard crosses to faith-themed war memorials to holiday manger displays--you might have developed the impression that most Americans don't think the Bible matters today and they like it that way." But he backs up that statement don't worry. He goes on to state the research commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research, "found that the majority of Americans (69%) believe the Bible provides answers on how to live a meaningful life. But while 79% believe they are knowledgeable about the Bible, 54% were unable to correctly identify the first five books of the Bible.  And approximately half of Americans surveyed didn't know the fundamental differences between the teachings of the Bible, Koran and Book of Mormon, with 46% percent saying they believe all three books teach the same spiritual truths."

Each year, American Bible Society puts the guessing aside and asks a sampling of Americans to tell us how they view and the Bible and what they believe its role should be in America. Lamar Vest states in this article that, "The State of the Bible in America in 2012 can be summed up in two words: encouraging and unsettling." To me that is a pretty accurate depiction of the Bible. This article is a pretty opinionated article, but because he backs up his argument with valid research that has been done, makes his stance on the subject more believable. Interesting what a little valid credibility can do for a pretty opinionated argument.

-Anna Srock

On BBC News

The US Secret Service has tightened staff guidelines in an attempt to stop any repeat of the Columbia sex scandal. This is a follow up article on what is being done about this scandal that happened a little while ago. The agency described the changes as "common-sense enhancements" of existing rules- "refinements of existing rules" governing employee responsibilities and conduct. The article goes on to explain how they are going to apply stricter drinking rules and rules involving how others are not allowed to come into Secret Service Agents rooms. It is an informative article to say the least. They back up their claims by stating credible sources of men and woman who have made these new enhancements to the rules. But one of the things I found interesting was the assumptions the writer of this article is making. They are assuming that everyone knows the full story of what happened in Columbia, and they are assuming that we want to know what has been resolved with this issue. While these assumptions may be true, it is important to note while making an argument, the assumptions you are going to make and who your targeted audience is. Based on the contents of this article I am going to make an assumption myself. The audience they are going after is someone who it knowledgeable of this incident and is seeking and answer to what rules are now being enforced to make sure this doesn't happen again in the secret service agency. Is this a correct assumption or am I just simply coming to a hasty accusation? I guess this is just my thoughts after reading this article in a critical way.

-Anna Srock

American unions support possible US Air merger

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Three unions - the Allied Pilots Association, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Transport Workers Union - have agreed to support a potential merger with US Airways Group. This support is especially prevalent because the three unions represent over 55,000 employees. While there are many more things that need to be done in order for a merger to happen, both sides see the settlement of the respective unions' terms as a positive sign for the future. Furthermore, this merger would eliminate the competitive advantage of Delta Airlines and United Continental Holdings.

The negotiations of the unions' terms were all policy claims about what should be done for each side (focusing on the union, of course) if a merger were to happen. US Airways Chief Executive Douglas Parker (exhibiting ethos) also made a policy claim when stating what other steps need to be taken moving forward.

The Article

In response to CeCe McDonald's case

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CeCe MacDonald was assaulted in South Minneapolis because of her transgender identity. During the fight, an attacker was stabbed and died. CeCe was the only person arrested and has been charged with "second degree murder". Compared with the gunshot case in Florida, the murder hadn't been arrested for more than one moth after the crime. There is a contrast, even though there is a strict law system. CeCe was the victim of the traumatic incident, however, she is the only one arrested. What about the other guys? Why don't they have to take responsibility? Though transgender surgery is a controversial topic in society, the judgment shouldn't be influenced by CeCe's transgender identity. Transgender people are people too. The murder charge shows no logos. Transgender is not normal, but it doesn't mean it is evil. As far as I am concerned, it is understandable some people feel uncomfortable about transgender people, but there is definitely no reason for people to tease them or even attack them. We have the right to disagree, but we also need to learn to respect. It is glad to see there are lots of people supporting CeCe MacDonald. People have emotions. If something unfair appears, the pathos will work. The feelings of anger and unfairness motivate people to say no. We have to say NO to racism and transphobia.

Invisible Children gets more visible

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This article discusses the ways the Kony 2012 campaign acts. The Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture was vandalized as a result of the campaign. Posters, stickers and sidewalk chalk were all around, and even homes and major landmarks were painted. According to the author, these ways to disseminate the anger towards Kony's outrage are rather annoying. However, he also points out his critique doesn't mean there is no need for Americans to care about those invisible children in Africa, but the point is the campaign should find other appropriate ways.

I find it very interesting the author can view the Kony campaign in another perspective, other than only be overzealous. At the end of the article, the author suggests several policy claims, related to how to strength the influence of the campaign in an effective way. The target audiences of the campaign now are most young people, and they get the information from Facebook, twitter and other SNS websites. But it can be much more influential if the organization can appeal to a large adult presence and drive the attention of mass media, since adults and mass media can add additional credibility to the campaign, which can provide their argument against Kony with more ethos

The U.S. government's Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) funded the construction of a stretch of highway in Ghana. By people in Ghana and the US alike, it is seen as an act of goodwill, as well as an excellent use of foreign aid to improve the lives of people in Ghana. As the country's largest work project in decades, the highway is expected to facilitate "[...] greater trade and commerce, which Ghanaians have long asked for to generate the kind of sustainable economic growth that will eliminate the need for foreign aid in the future." It also improves educational and professional opportunities for this country with 28.5 percent of its population in poverty; the highway will provide greater access to the cities/locations hosting these opportunities.

What is very evident in this article is the ethos boost to the US government. The positive response from both US citizens and citizens of Ghana shows how beneficial foreign aid can be when used in this way. I am supportive of these types of projects because it is an improvement to a country in need, but it also is a step to facilitating their way out of their dire economic situation. As the article mentions, Ghana needs to be self-sufficient if they are to escape poverty (highlighting a logos-based argument). This article also employs pathos when describing the reactions of the joyful Ghana citizens.

The Article


This article made their analyses very credible by citing numerous statistics regularly throughout the piece about how the bill would hurt students, women, and minority groups by doubling federal student loan rates.

The article also placed it in context of the election by comparing the bill's impact to a growing trend of GOP legislation that negatively impacts these groups disproportionately. They also provided very good temporal context of the growing issues surrounding post-high school education costs, and the implications for voters.

By drawing in ample evidence surrounding these areas, the article had an implicit argument that the GOP candidates and legislature representatives are, indeed, attacking these minorities particularly. The statistics make the argument for them, which prevents the article from sounding so political it would need to be in the opinion section.

Soft Drinks: Public enemy No. 1 in obesity fight?

In a nutshell, this article targets sugar as one of (if not the leading cause for obesity in America).

I found this article extremely interesting and convicting. Added sugars, particularly in drinks-- like soda, fruit juice, chocolate milk, etc-- make up a rather significant portion of our everyday calorie intake. Though the fact claims were rather unstable in that the author didn't seem to buy into them completely, I think the over-arching value claim that our health is most important and in jeopardy (because of how inexpensive and ubiquitous these added sugars are) is valid and overwhelmingly appealing because of frightening number of over- and under-weight people in America. It is easier in America to live an unhealthy life than it is to lead a healthy life. I know that I for one want to choose the latter, and this article was persuasive enough to get me to stop drinking soda.

America's "Immigration Crisis" Ending?

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An opinion article was published in the Washington Post Thursday about the sudden decrease in illegal immigration from Central America recently, and the author argues that now is the time for both political parties to come to a consensus about what needs to be done to solve this argument. He cites a recent document published by the Pew Hispanic Center saying that illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States has not only halted in recent months, it has likely reversed in direction.

The author uses blatant sarcasm and generalizations about populations to express his opinion in this article, and I feel that it hurts his argument. He seems to understate the issue in order to make his opinion seem like the only logical one. He says that " There's no longer the slightest excuse for histrionics about the alleged threat to our way of life from invading hordes intent on -- shudder -- working hard and raising their families." Even if the argument is logical, he has no evidence to support his claim and seems to disrespect the other side of the argument which will not do much to make people support his side. If anything, I feel that his methodology in this article hurts his argument and alienates people otherwise willing to listen to what he has to say.

I found some of the things that he was saying to be quite offensive, and this made me less likely to consider his opinion as a valid argument. He adds that "On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of Arizona's 'driving while brown' law, which instructs police to challenge and, if necessary, apprehend anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant." I feel that he overgeneralized the situation and did not actually say all that the law would entail, and this hurt his argument significantly.

Should Your Dog Be Watching TV?

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In this New York Times article, author Douglas Quenqua delves into the wisdom of a television channel for dogs. Quenqua describes the channel, called DogTV, which has 24-hour programming scientifically designed to appeal to dogs. The segments include images of a bouncing ball, landscapes, humans playing with other dogs; there are even segments meant to aid in correcting behavioral problems, with a muted vacuum cleaner segment and random, muted door bells.

I think the author missed out on making a comparison between children watching television and dogs watching television because many people regard their dogs as children. There are highly debated pros and cons to having children watch TV: TV can be educational and can distract the child when the parent is busy, but TV should not be a substitute for real playing and learning. The same argument can be made for dogs. The author analyzes each side of the dogs-watching-TV issue, but a comparison to children would have made the argument more understandable to readers who are probably not too experienced in having their dog watch TV.


Justin Bieber calls Indonesia 'some random country' during London event.
Published April 26, 2012
The Wall Street Journal

This headline pretty much sums up the article. It is a very short article written in the Wall Street Journal. "Indonesia may be one of the most exciting countries in the world right now, but it looks like Justin Bieber did not get the memo." The young pop star reportedly insulted the large Southeast Asian nation, labeling it "some random country" during an event in London. The article then goes into some more detail about what happened while he was on stage. But is this accurate information? I feel as though this short article is just full of broad accusations. I am not a Justin Bieber fan. But this seems to be a very critical argument, and unnecessary in some sense. I understand Bieber is a popular person right now, but this article made me question the credibility of the writer not what Bieber slipped up saying on stage. I feel like we have been taught in class to not do this specific thing. The author is making broad accusations, not backing up his/her information with a credible source, being respectful of the person, and not explaining himself/herself well enough.

Donations pour in to Trayvon Martin's killer

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The title of this article says it all. Notice how they said, "Donations pour in to Trayvon Martin's killer," not, "Donations pour in to Zimmerman." I think this is a very interesting article and I really enjoyed reading it. There were a few things about it that I didn't quite understand. They didn't really say why the donations were pouring in, so I can only assume. There were a few other assumptions that I had to make, but I think I understood the point of the article. Still, I could be mistaken. Because of this lack of warrants (and possibly grounds for some claims) the meaning of his argument becomes murky. The author quotes Zimmerman's lawyer a lot, which is excellent grounds, and based of these quotes the audience is left to understand that Zimmerman was being dishonest, as the lawyer didn't have knowledge of the near $200,000 Zimmerman had received. Also stated by the lawyer was that this might affect the judges decision in a negative way for Zimmerman. Because of these two points, we get the idea that Zimmerman is somehow manipulating the system, but this article makes a very unclear argument, so I am not sure exactly.

Increase Farm Children Worker Safety Regulations

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This article is written in support for modification of farm safety laws/rules/regulations regarding child workers. It backs the Labor Department's decision to regard the public's more than 10,000 comments on the issue to determine what changes should be made, and pushes for amendment to increase safety through legislation. The author makes the claim that by modifying and improving farm safety laws will decrease injury and fatality, while allowing children to contribute in a positive manner that will cultivate skills for America's agricultural future. The argument is made using pathos by brining in a few tragedies and child farm accidents that could be avoided. They draw ethos by referring to Democratic congressman Collin Peterson in making a claim that the Labor Department isn't moving fast enough with enough deliverance. The most significant of arguments draws from logos, incorporated by bringing up how the laws will not prohibit children, rather enable while maintaining safety. Where the author loses some creditability to me is when they condone Republican lawmakers for preventing the proposals from being passes due to "attacks on family farmers." The author does not do an adequate job of fairly addressing and acknowledging the opposition.

-Matt Foley

Money Doesn't Serve People 4.27.12

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I found this opinion article to be pretty interesting. It aims to please a general audience, and the claims it makes are very pointed and clear.

Overall, it suggests that lobbying by large scale, very wealthy companies are muddling the political process, and people are not being represented adequately. The grounds for this are example of how Google spent more than it's top 4 contributors in an effort to lobby against recent privacy and anti-trust laws.

The Board also uses major media corporations and how they are becoming and advocating less transparency.

This argument is very strong, but it oversimplifies the political process, and criminalizes all lobbying, but only details negative uses of it.

Also, the claim is that the public isn't represented, which I tend to agree with, however, the public elects their congresspersons in a fairly simple manner, and if the public thinks that an elected official isn't taking into account their constituencies interests, they have all resources at their disposable to recall or elect someone else into their place.

-Jenna Peneueta-Snyder

Is a college degree worthless?

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This article is all about how a college degree is worthless. That is definitely the main claim in this article. It suggests that the education system itself is flawed, and it keeps requiring more and more education for no real reason. It states that pretty soon people will need PhD's just to get decent jobs. This article claims that not going to college is a smarter choice than attending. It uses a lot of fact claims and even some policy claims. It includes lots of statistics and math. Luckily, I was not intimidated by it or too gullible. I found this argument very flawed. It's main premise was some math including starting salaries and debt of college students, and then it factored in interest rates and stock market returns to state that the college student will never catch up to the wealth accumulated in the 5 years the other person has been working, plus the college student will be paying off student loans for another 10 years out of college. I found 2 huge things wrong with this argument.

First: 18 year old kids aren't knowledgable enough or have enough foresight to start a retirement fund and responsibly invest their money in the stock market. More likely they are going to blow that money on a car, apartment, guitar, boat, etc. 18 year old kids aren't as responsible as he is making them seem.

Second: Even if they are that responsible, it still doesn't matter. College grads make nearly twice as much as non college grads of the same age. So while the non college grad is investing and saving all their money, the college grad can save the exact same and still have enough for a much healthier stander of living. The problem with his idea was he focused on merely accumulating wealth. Sure, maybe non college grads can save more money in the long run, but they would be living off pennies to do so and they wouldn't be able to cash in on their hoard of money until they retired.

Because of this, I don't see how the author can say a college degree is useless. Sure, people can make more money than college grads, and sure, college degrees may not be the ticket to an automatic great life, but a college degree does a lot more for you than if you didn't have one at all. Im probably just biased though.

I wanted to dive deeper into this article and really analyze what kind of arguments are being made. Beyonce was named the world's most beautiful woman for 2012. First of all on the surface this article is arguing that Beyonce is in fact the most beautiful woman on the planet. How is this evaluated? Is this argument valid, since there is no way they compared her beauty to all the other women in the entire world? What makes her the most beautiful women, how is beauty defined in this article? They do not offer any kind deeds, volunteer work, or anything she has done to help the community. So is her beauty defined simply on how she looks?

This article is also reinforcing the fact that women need to look a certain way to be beautiful. They need to be thin, have money, and look perfect. The visual argument (photo of Beyonce) to support their argument is one in which she is all made up, with her hair perfect, and make-up to conceal any flaws she may have to the reader.

I also feel like another argument being made is that only the rich and famous can be the most beautiful women, because they are the only ones on the list.

What is the purpose of this list in the first place? What makes Beyonce number one, rather than number two? The support for why she is the most beautiful is that she is a mother now. But does that really touch on her beauty? Just because someone can genetically give birth, does that give them beauty? Does it mean she is going to be a loving, caring, good mom? No.

This article raises more questions than answers, and when looking at it critically starts to irritate me. Why as Americans do we have to focus so much on image and defining exactly what can be qualified as beautiful as to drive all young women to try to attain a nearly impossible perfection without help of surgery, personal trainers, and airbrushing?

-Alex Mountain

The Garden's Response (Alex Davis)

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Los Angeles is a place where neighborhoods, violence, families, and a sense of hope come together. The issues that take place in L.A. are very serious, and cost people their livelihoods. Many people that worked at the Gardens incorporated their whole life into this one place. Working there gave them a sense of security, drive, and a place to call home. They also put a lot of time into planting the crops, and using them to survive. What happened to them was very unfortunate, but in the grand scheme of things it's about money. When the owner of the land decided he wanted to do something different and close down the Gardens he clearly saw that there was not enough for him to keep the Gardens alive. These people that work here need to understand the business, yes they are the one who works the land, but they are not the true owners. It probably was not a good idea to just cut them off, but the owner felt it was the best decision for him and his land. (Alex Davis)

the garden

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The documentary "The Garden" depicts the South Central Farm in Los Angeles, California that rose after a riot burned down the buildings that once stood in the 14-acres. I thought the documentary did a good job of depicting the problem at hand, peoples thoughts, and the thoughts of the opposing side. Its unfortunate that the Garden does not still stand today and I do understand that its the land owners land but he evicted them and said there was going to be a storage facility but in the end there is nothing on the lot right now and it could be a lush farm area.

4/25: The Garden

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I thought that the garden was an interesting documentary. It was clear that they were using visual augments because of the medium they were using. I think there are multiple arguments presented in this film, one of which is that our society has its priorities mixed up. We should look more towards helping people, living a happy life, and doing what we can to help the planet, instead of focusing on profit and land ownership and the legality of the situation. I think they presented this argument effectively using pathos, or showing the stories of those affected by the garden. I think another argument being made was that the Mexican community is not being able to prosper in L.A. and is even having to give up the teaching of traditions because of this problem. This tie into another argument about the race factor, that our society should be helping the Mexican community prosper. The main argument is that what is happening is wrong and should be used as an example to society that we need to make some changes as to what we classify as important. Also, that the Mexican community needs help with our legal system, and to bring them to court is basically to take advantage of them. From what we saw all of these arguments were presented using pathos, and telling the stories of the people. A little logos, with the comparison of what is used for now and what it will be used for. I just didn't think that it was effective in the sense that this was one man's land, not government land. And they argue that he needs to continue to let the community prosper on his dime. He is the owner and therefore can decide when he wants his land back.
-Alex Mountain

South Los Angeles: A Changed Community (4.25.12)

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After finding this article that discusses the South LA community I recalled that it can be related to "The Garden", a film about the community garden in LA that we watched earlier this week. Both talk of how the community has changed. "The Garden" speaks of how the community garden created value, worth, success, passion, and a sense of belonging in the people of the community. The article talks on how the racial demographics of the community has gone from "you buy, we fry" fish markets catering to Southern palates [that] have been replaced by Mexican mariscos and Salvadoran pupuserias. In the historic jazz corridor, where music legends once stayed when they were barred from wealthy white neighborhoods in the city, botanicas sell folk and herbal remedies from Latin America."
The change occurred right after the riots that gave way to the creation of the community garden and the "this is a huge, pivotal shift...It changes the whole sense of the neighborhood." This coming from Raphael J. Sonenshein, executive director at the Pat Brown Institute at California State University, Los Angeles, who has studied racial politics in Los Angeles for decades giving me the understanding that this really is a huge shift. Sonenshein has been accredited to notice these shifts and I am in agreement with him.
The idea that Y happens because of X is presented in the statement "there's not a great sense of community, people stay in their own worlds until there is some crisis to bring them together...It happens with every group. Mexicans say things only to other Mexicans, blacks to blacks." People of different races only speak to one another if crisis occurs. Why this separation? And the empty promises to rebuild what the riots destroyed in the community have yet to be kept; is that the cause?



This article is about John Edwards and the affair he is being accused of. It isn't just an affair though. He used hundreds of thousands of donated campaign funds to cover it up. The tone of the article and the claims are aimed to paint Edwards as a villain, but they provide a counter argument at the end that appeals to emotions very well. They bring out facts about Edward's ex-aide that is the major witness that make him look like a dirt ball. They point out that he had an affair and that he helped cover up Edward's affair because he wanted to ride his coat tails when he became president. It wasn't just that, but they actually made some claims that brought out evidence showing that Edwards did have SOME honorable intentions. His wife was dying of cancer and that was part of the reason he covered it up and when it came out they got separated, but he was with her on her deathbed and they stayed on good terms. Also, he stayed away from money from the donations as best he could. And he tried to cover it up for the good name of his family. Of course, one has to remember he was having an affair in the first place, but it was a nice twist in the article that changed the message slightly.

In Response to The Garden

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Before I begin, I fell that it's important to note how emotionally fueled this documentary was, and how it very clearly only on one side of the argument.

I felt that overall, the claims made in The Garden were very strong, ranging from dealing almost completely with pathos in terms of these people's livelihoods, as well as a lot of logos with legal battles and city laws, etc.

I think the strongest claim in favor of The Garden community was that Horowitz purchased the land back from the city, but that the sale was not made pubic, despite it being between a public entity and a private buyer, and despite that land being occupied for something else.

The lawyers in favor of The Garden did a very good job of putting that forth, and hinting at possible corruption by Jan Perry and the Concerned Citizens organizer. This therefore diminished their credibility, and in the eyes of the viewer, made the plight of The Garden community more believable and trustworthy.

However, on part of Horowitz, there were some arguments that weren't included in the documentary. Such as that The Garden was on city property, but wasn't an open organization, or that farmer's didn't have plot terms, and therefore there was never a need or desire to let in new farmers, as most farmer's stayed on their acres without renewing there time there.

I think that it's important to take note of Horowitz argument in this context, because it gives a more balanced view as to what the battle was to begin with. I support The Garden community, but the documentary did more of a job of criminalizing Ralph Horowitz, Jan Perry, and Juanita Tate, rather than focusing on the tangible arguments of the other side.

However, the remarks made by Ralph Horowitz at the end seemed degrading and inappropriate, and diminished his credibility further, as he stated that "they never once thanked him, they were not gracious, and that they kept on saying 'you owe'."

I felt those comments to be inappropriate, and essentially put The Garden's argument far above Horowitz's.

I did some search as to the current status of The Garden now, as this film was made in 2006, and only updated to 2008.

The current status of the lot is still empty, and Horowitz hasn't made any plans to build or sell the area.


-Jenna Peneueta-Snyder

Mexican migration slows, but debate isn't over

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This is a tricky argument. It doesn't follow occam's razor as it is a complex argument. They do do a convincing job, however. For most the article, they talk about how immigration is decreasing and Mexican's are actually emigrating more than immigrating. The author expresses to us in several instances that it is becoming less of an issue. They cite many of their fact claims, but they also leave many of the claims ungrounded. The author also describes underlying forces that affect immigration, such as the economy of Mexico and the US, as well as enforcement and changing policies. They go on to say that the debate is not over yet, however, and policy makers are still arguing. The tone of their writing suggests that there is no need to argue and that the debate should be over, but write at the end they throw a curveball. They start talking about illegal immigration and use strong claims saying its a problem. They say this lull in immigration should be used to strengthen defenses against illegal immigration before they are overwhelmed again.

This is an effective argument, because it sways those who may originally oppose it. It is a very interesting approach. They make you believe they are developing a different position, and right when you think you know what they are doing they switch it, leaving you consciously unsure of what they are advocating, but you are left with a message that they wanted you to have. They disguise the argument very well, which I believe was necessary because it is a hot button issue.


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This documentary was about the tragedy of the riots in LA. I think they played mostly off our emotions. And I do think they played off them more than simply appealing to them. They showed us the tragic riot describing the damage and number of deaths and wounded, and they cut to scenes of poor (mexican?) workers and describe how they are struggling to survive. Anyhow, they paint this sad and depressing picture and get you to feel sympathy and then show how happy the garden makes the citizens, "who are in desperate need of hope right now." After illustrating this point they quick flip and say that the garden will not be made how sad and unfortunate that is. I think this surpasses regular emotional appeals and they are becoming too manipulative. This approach could have been very affective, but they didn't disguise their intentions well enough.

Also, I wasn't sure exactly where they were going with the rest of the film, but I feel like this was not a proper way to set the stage for the rest of their argument. You need to finesse in emotional appeals if you are not dealing with a widespread issue. While poverty is widespread, it is more difficult to gain sympathy and arouse the feelings of American citizens when they subtitled the whole thing. Some subtitles would have been very effective, but they should have found more people who spoke english to interview. This seems like a trivial and shallow point, but the way you present your argument is HUGE. It is just like how people are better convinced by an eloquent speaker than a speaker who stutters. The rest of the movie may have pulled it off, but I was unfulfilled emotionally by this portion of it, and thus I was unconvinced. That's the downside of relying strictly on emotional appeals. I was moved at the time of viewing, but looking back I am not left with a lasting impression.

Response to The Garden - Courtney Baga

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The issue surrounding the community garden and its changing use is an issue that I hadn't heard about before. The documentary did a very good job of establishing the circumstances, meaning, and connection, providing viewers both with contextual relevance and an emotional connection to the concern.

It is unfortunate that I was not able to view the rest of the film in its entirety, but I am confused as to why the city would have constructed the community garden on space they did not officially control. This seems to me to be an unfair oversight that should have been foreseen.

The demonstration of the importance of the garden in the community, particularly as it relates to values and life skills for their families was a compelling argument because there were no viable alternatives to provide the same benefits. The documentary recognized and respected the government's response to their concerns, which added credibility that they were not selectively choosing information to share.

"Precious Knowledge" Response - Courtney Baga

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The documentary "Precious Knowledge" was an extraordinarily well-constructed piece that shared logos, ethos, and pathos surrounding the issue. The program has clear statistics supporting the success of their students, both within the school (GPAs, attendance, and graduation rates) as well as beyond the experience (post-high school education). These combined results are sufficient to provide the framework necessary to support the school's goals, completely separately from any arguments about what roles schools ought to have or ought to be teaching.

The reality of the United States legal structure is that private and charter schools are allowed to make curriculum choices like this. Unfortunately, state governments are more volatile and less restricted by the Federal Government. The bill, which provides State Superintendents with the power to make curriculum choices is a clear constitutional issue that ought to have standing in the Supreme Court in violation of the equal protection clause. The disparate impact of accommodations of student interests is sufficient grounds to see the programs should be maintained and increased.

The documentary framed the extreme xenophobic backlash in a way that prevented me from having any idea what any argument FOR the Superintendent's choices could be. This indicates a strong argument in favor of the programs. However, I am concerned because I am confused as to how this bill could be passed, supported, and defended in this way. I feel like the documentary would have been more credible if it allowed testimony about that side, and then discredited it. I am more cautious about my approach because I see the gap in that side of what information I have. It didn't go so far as to harm their credibility, but only because the extreme, racist clips they did show were so unreasonable that they opted to discredit the other side rather than consider their points. I would have preferred they do both.

Cool website on Logical Fallacies

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In response to "The Garden" (4/25 entry)

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Part of the documentary we watched in class on April 23rd, 2012.

This documentary address the tragic story that took place in Los Angeles, California 5 or so years ago. In this film the director, Scott Hamilton Kennedy paints a clear picture of how many people lives are around these community gardens located in Los Angeles. He follows a few individuals on their journey of their day to day life cultivating the earth, to the time when they read the sign posted that they will be evacuated. The owner of the lot decided he wanted to sell the property to someone who wanted to construct warehouses in its place. In the part we viewed in class, we were shown the process that the workers of the land went through to argue their need in keeping the gardens. Their lives and the lives of their families depended on it. But unfortunately, we live in a world where people look to their own needs more than to the needs of others. The owner of the land saw a better opportunity so he went for it and in some sense not really caring who's life was affected by his choice.

The arguments made in this documentary, are mainly value claims being made about the residents living and working that prosperous land. I myself can speak Spanish fairly fluently and have spent close to four years living in South America. The way they present this culture, in the little bit that I have seen, is correct. So that built credibility for me while I was watching. But this approach plays on your emotions in a strong way. Which was in some sense the purpose of this documentary. The author and producer want you to feel sorry for these people, who have now been taken away from their land for no reason. The land where their gardens once lived and produced fruit is now a dirt field.

-Anna Srock


This article backs policy claims recently made during Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak's annual State of the City address regarding the development of North Side Minneapolis. The author backs Rybak's decision to devote much of his address to "accomplishments and challenges on the North Side", claiming that Minneapolis growth as a city is tied to development and improvement on the North Side of the city. The author builds ethos in his argument by building his case off of the address of the respected mayor, a public figurehead. He uses logic to draw important aspects from the mayor's address and link them to improvements in the overall wealth of the city. He is persuasive in using points regarding previous models on the North Side that have proven beneficial to improvement in quality of life. These include partnerships, police and city efforts that have led to a 45 percent decrease in violent crime in the area over the past 6 years. The author does a good job of tying in how these efforts will create big benefits for the city as a whole. Increasing amount of green homes and programs will lead to increase in employment, tax revenue and stabailize families and communities. Overall the argument is sound, logical and very persuasive that developing the North Side of Minneapolis is optimal to city health.

In response to "Precious Knowledge"

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The documentary Precious Knowledge records the process how the Mexican American Studies Program at Tucson High School was questioned by the regents in Arizona, and finally be abolished.

After watching this documentary, I just don't understand, how could the bill be passed, and how can it still exist today! The documentary shows a strong pathos proof. It is not fair. I feel rather sad about their stories. Compared with 48% of Mexican American high school students' dropping rate, Tucson High's Mexican American Studies Program has an average 93% of enrolled students graduating from high school and 85% going on to attend college. This is a success of the program, which works as an impressive logos proof for me against the bill. Meanwhile, the experiences and feelings those students shared in the video also are good examples to identify the Mexican American Studies Program is nothing about anti-America education, but a creative and excellent pedagogy which helps students to know more about themselves, to be devoted, and to discover their dreams.

In the contrast, the regents who support the bill to abolish Mexican-American studies lack logos. They first carried out this proposition without going to those classes, without truly investigating the issue. After the students' protest, a governor went. But he argued that the class could be just a show, rather than exhibited what it really was. He couldn't provide evidence how the class was anti-white, however, still insisted the bill. I just read an article in MN Daily, which writes "A member of the University of Arizona Board of Regents who led the crusade against teaching Mexican-American studies in Arizona high schools is now training his sights on the Mexican-American studies program at the university level". If people don't fight, they can reach as farther as they want. How terrible it can be if the college education is facing censorship!

From page 3, MN Daily, April 23rd.

TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, is a non-profit organization, which hosts a series of conferences and talks to disseminate worth sharing ideas. TEDxUMN is an offshoot of TED in our university. The theme of TED activity on Saturday was the "Heart of Discovery", which also stressed the importance of personal discovery and growth alongside professional growth.

This article is news about a TEDxUMN conference. There isn't an argument involved, but I find this news passionate and interesting. TED has caught my eyes before because of its creativity and passion. Sometimes, I feel confused about myself, lacking motivation and unsure about my future job. TED helps college students to think about their dreams and to be creative. The conferences include speakers of various professional and educational backgrounds. Their thought provoking experiences work as great examples. These examples can be considered as a part of logos proof. Speakers at TED talks over the years have included Bill Gates, Frank Gehry and Al Gore, which strengthen greatly the ethos proof of TED's conferences.

Voter I.D. Debate (Alex Davis)

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I personally feel that the voter i.d. debate was put together very well. Both sides of the argument did well. But I would say that the Pro side of the argument made their statements more clear. With the amount of fraud going on in this country their side felt it is necessary to carry a photo i.d. when voting. Also they stated that there was a very small percentage of the population that did not carry an i.d. in the first place so the votes would not be thrown off. The protection of integrity was huge for this side of the argument as well. They felt that people should honestly be able to vote without any fraud. Voting multiple times is also a problem here, without the proper laws that should be in place. (Alex Davis)

4/23/12 - International scandals

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Inside China's murder mystery hotel

Briefly, this article talks about the murder of a British businessman in China. The situation is still being looked into, but it seems tightly under wraps with no end in sight.

This is one of the oldest (policy claim) arguments there is: what is acceptable behavior between countries. For years people have hidden under the covers that are international laws, and have gotten away with just about everything because we claim that no country should have no power over another (of course, given the countries are approximately equal in power). Now this seems like a huge problem, but how to go about a solution is an even bigger problem. This article simply observes what can happen between countries and addresses the helplessness that is a result of shady international treaties.

Cece Mcdonald

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Cece Mcdonald, a student from MCTC was out with her group of friends when she was confronted by an older group of White Americans who then proceeded to taunt her and her friends. It ended up leading into a violent dispute and in turn one of the men, Dean Schmitz was fatally stabbed. In the events that happened after the aftermath Cece was treated for her wounds which she acquired from the fight on her face and put into solitary confinement for two months before being able to see anyone. Her wound on her face was so bad it swelled up to a gulf ball size lump. Whats sad about this is that Cece originally born as a man, was being harassed by people of our community. We still have "transphobic" people and its not the fact that they can't accept them, but its the fact that they can't walk away and be the bigger person and not start something with something they fear. I just thought about how unfair the justice system was, I felt she and her friends fought in self-defense and they should be treated like an other person was.

Voter ID Debate

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I have to give it to the pro side in this debate. I feel that the con-side made a good effort but all their arguments seemed frivolous to me. The pro side pointed out that IDs provide many benefits to people in need so, the poor have no excuse to not have an ID. Furthermore, everyone already has the right to vote, it's not discriminating against any minorities, individuals must take it upon themselves to get an ID though. IDs are cheap if not free for most people so money should not be an issue. All arguments from the pro side made me feel like they were pushing the law so that they could exploit flaws in the system. In the end, the pro side had a stronger argument with plenty of facts and reasons to back it up with. Good job Pros

Jake Adams

The Amnesia Candidate

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In this opinion article, Paul Krugman argues that Mitt Romney's campaign is relying on people forgetting about the past. Forgetting that Bush created the economic crisis that Obama inherited. Forgetting that Obama successfully created millions of private sector jobs.

Krugman describes how Romney made a campaign stop at a shut-down dry wall factory which, Romney says, is a symbol of Obama's economic failure. Krugman that points out the irony that the factory actually shut down while Bush was president; not only that, but the dry wall factory is unlikely to ever open up again due to the burst of the housing bubble.

I thought Krugman's irony and illustration of the factory not as a symbol of Obama's economic failure but as a symbol of Romney's reliance of the forgetfulness of Americans was very interesting. He twisted Romney's argument to create his own.


Getting involved with a Hart-throb

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So this article written by the editorial board was about Josh Hartnett's (Pearl Harbor & Black Hawk Down actor) recent visit to the U last Saturday (April 14th) to help campaign for Obama's reelect.

The article notes that regardless of your political affiliation, it's important to become involved with politics. It also quotes Hartnett with "politics seems intimidating, like we don't have an involvement in it."

By making Hartnett the center piece of this article, I definitely think it's a use of ethos, as he has credibility not only with being well known, but he has also worked on campaigns in the past, and has stayed politically active through his busy acting career.

The article also makes mention of Mayor RT Rybak, which is another use of ethos, as he is a big figure in Minneapolis, and has a wide following.

-Jenna Peneueta-Snyder

Voter ID Debate

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This was a close one, I think that both sides had pretty rational arguments, but for me, the con side was more persuasive. I believe that this is because there argument seemed more natural and intuitive. Also, I think they did a great job at redefining the argument to their advantage while still keeping it relevant. Both teams were excellent and they came prepared, but I tend to agree with the con side more. Both sides did well to address voter fraud.

The pro side did well talking about voter turnout and how voter ID should be handled, but I feel that the con side rebuked this by pointing out same day registration. While voter fraud is a large problem, I don't think it should have been so central to their argument.

Another argument I found effective, and is always an issue, is cost. Cost is always a concern, and in this instance the con side had a little bit of an inherent advantage, but that is part of a debate.

Also, the fact that the bill isn't finalized is another inherent advantage, but they capitalized on it and could have even focused on it a little more. This is very important and lawmakers should adopt policies closer to what the con side were advocating for.

My vote is for the con side

US Senate debates bill seeking 21 Century Postal Service

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This article was about the US Senate launching a floor debate on major postal reform proposals to look into how to help the US Postal Service out of it's current financial crisis.

The core component of the bill S. 1789 seeks to reform USPS payment obligations for its pension, healthcare and workers' compensation system in order to dramatically reduce USPS operating costs while also finding ways to cut operational expenses and raise new revenues. The bill will also modify requirements allowing USPS to cut costs by delivering mail to on-street mailboxes.
The opposition are opposing facility closures while bill S. 1789 would look to add controls to the closure process, rather than preventing closures. The bill will dramatically reduce the number of both USPS employee and facilities.
Another part of the bill is that it would allow USPS to provide more products and services than it currently offers in order to generate more revenue to offset the more than $14billion annual losses.

When the bill was passed last autum, losses at the postal service have appeared to worsen and Congressmen have been speaking up to stop the radical downsizing of the USPS network and it's mail services standards.

I think it is interesting that in order for the bill to pass they argued that it would save the USPS a lot of revenue and even provided figures as to what the bill would do and even though it faced opposition was still passed. It's interesting that even facts and stats can be wrong to use solely to base a decision on. Cause as it was shown, the bill made the losses even worse.


Voter ID Debate

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Overall I found that the side taking an against voter ID stance was better prepared with more valid arguments and a more persuasive side. The most standout arguments for me were the ones they discussed regarding voter turnout and the ability to supply voter IDs to all voter-eligible citizens. While both teams were prepared well, they also both used a lot of more technical terms which were hard to pay attention to on a Friday. To make a decision I chose the con side of voter id, they were more captivating and persuasive with more logical arguments about voter id not being efficient.

Man runs 100 marathons to honor his friend.

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Running one hundred marathons in one hundred consecutive days sounds like an impossible challenge, but one British man has done just that, in memory of a friend. NBC's Annabel Roberts reports. He has run a marathon everyday since the 14th of January. All of this to raise money for his friend that died of cancer. He kept a video diary of his journey and all that he went through during these one hundred days. The damage this has done to his body is not yet known. He stated that he wanted to give up many times, but kept pressing on because he made a promise to his friend and wanted to raise money to help his family know that he is gone.

I did not think there was an argument behind this video report at first. But it is clear that the reporter wanted to cover the story because of what this man accomplished. The first time I watched it I was inspired and questioned wether or not this man actually accomplished this crazy thing. But then i realized that the claims made in this video play with your emotions. It is almost like they are saying, determination to fulfill a promise you made can drive you to do anything. Even something some people may think impossible. So even though there is no opposition against this claim it can still be viewed as a claim made to play on your emotions.

-Anna Srock

Debate: Voter ID Laws

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There were several arguments presented on Friday during the debate concerning voter ids. One of them, presented by the group against voter ids was in regards to same-day registration. Requiring identification makes same-day registration and voting extremely difficult because it is a long process to check identification so those are however many less voters in the poll.
Another argument presented by this same group was that requiring ids eliminates many voters because non-permanent residents, elderly people in homes, etc. do not have ids so they are unable to vote. And when that many people are unable to vote the outcome has a greater chance of being altered.
The final argument that I will bring up was brought up by the group in support of voter identification. It was the topic of identity fraud and how requiring voter id protects integrity, and when elections are extremely close and voter fraud is more egged on to occur, requiring voter id makes counting easier and capturing identity frauds quicker.
In regards to the debate I would have to side with having identification required because if someone really wanted to ensure their voting privileges they would make sure they took the steps to gain an id and the ability to vote.

Queer Injustices: Violence Against Transgender People

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Going to the Queer Injustices: Violence Against Transgender People event was very eye opening. Last summer Chrishaun "CeCe" McDonald who is a young African American transgender woman, she was violently assaulted in South Minneapolis because of her gender and race. A fight occurred and one of her attackers was stabbed and died. CeCe in now unjustly charged with two counts of second degree murder. This event focused a lot on Cece McDonald and the unjust treatment of her case.

It was appalling to hear how CeCe was being treated by the justice system. She was the only one out of all the people in the fight that was arrested and charged with something. Even though she was clearly the victim she was being treated like she was the attacker.

The main goals of her support system was to
1. Get CeCe to be referred to as a she, instead of a he. Which they succeeded in
2. Get her out of solitary confinement and then jail. Which they also succeeded in due, raising the bail to get her out. But then was sent back in January for breaking her probation, which they had no actual proof or evidence about.

If you are interested in learning more about it the website they gave us was: http://supportcece.wordpress.com/

Decision on Voter ID Amendment Debate

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After watching the voter ID amendment debate, I realized that both sides have some very valid concerns about the issue. Overall, I thought that the single most effective argument was that the amendment is not even complete, and bill makers are planning to work out the fine details after it passes. However, I thought that the side that was advocating for the voter ID amendment had the strongest debate. I am voting for the Pro-Voter ID Amendment side.

My main question about the con voter ID amendment side is why eliminating same-day voter registration would be such a problem for the general public. They make it seem like it is a huge issue that people should strongly oppose, but I do not understand why people cannot just be prepared and register beforehand, especially because it does not take long at all to register. The fact that they were trying to understate the fraud that is happening in elections and say that it is "not a significant problem" yet seemed like an ineffective argument and hurt their case in the long run.

One of the strongest arguments presented by the Pro-voter ID amendment was the fact that qualifying for several government-funded programs such as welfare, food stamps, medicare, social security, etc. required the showing of a state- issued ID. If the lower class and elderly are not able to obtain an ID to vote, then they cannot also apply for these government programs. Having an ID can only help them.

Another strong argument presented by the Pro side was that the ID amendment will allow people to obtain identification free of charge in Minnesota. Therefore, having a low income is no reason for a person to feel that they cannot vote. They can get an ID no matter what as long as they are a citizen of the United States. It does not have to be in the form of a driver's license, so it will be easy to obtain for the elderly as well, even if they are not going to use it to drive.

As I said before, the strongest argument in this entire debate was how the bill itself is still incomplete. People are voting on something that has not even been finished, so it is difficult to know what the final product will look like. It is hard to vote in favor of something without knowing the implications beforehand.

After this debate, I do not see why it is a problem to show an ID before voting. Sure, it will cost some money for the state to provide these IDs, but the majority of Minnesotans have IDs already. I thought that the Pro Voter ID Amendment side definitely provided the strongest arguments in this debate, so they have my vote.

Precious Knowledge Film Screening

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Going to the Precious knowledge film screening, I didn't know what to expect having heard nothing about it. But after the film was over I was amazing by it. It is a powerful film and I highly highly recommend everyone to see it!

The film was about if ethnic studies classes can be taught in public schools. The girl Crystal and her peers were in this class to learn more about their culture and have a greater appreciation for it. These students were disenfranchised high school seniors who become academic warriors and community leaders in Tucson, Arizona's while state lawmakers attempt to eliminate the program. The arguments for the program were that:

It brought in a high graduation rate for Lations than any other program around, 93%
It make the students more interested in learning
Teaches them about their culture and shows them they are more than people label them as

The arguments against the ethnic studies is that:

It created Anti-Americanism, the students are taught to hate Americans with the curriculum that was being used
The teachers speak hate speeches to the students
They don't teach about the founding fathers who "built" America
Bringing back segregation and not living up to what MLK jr spoke about.

The debate was very very difficult to watch. The people pro the ethnic studies school used a lot of pathos and logos and the people con used a lot of ethos, and logos.

It was a really really good film. One of the students in the film, Crystal, actually came to the film screening and gave us more information about what is going on. The community actually staged many protest, sit-ins and walk outs to get state legislators to stop the bill from passing. The ethnic studies classes in the end were considered unconstitutional and were shut down. The teachers and students all faced a lot of struggles with people saying so many hateful things about them and their classes.

Lawsuits are still going on right now and hearing with the federal courts as well. it was really interesting and empowering to hear her speak and how even 3 years later they are still fighting for these classes to come back. It hit close to home knowing that racism still exists. even though I don't see it, it is happening.

Stand Your Ground Debate

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In my opinion the anit-stand your ground group argued their side better. I chose 3 arguments that stood out to me and formed my opinion.

First of all the con side showed how thew passage of the stand your ground law was twisted and used in such a way that mislead many legislators. This demonstrated that those who supported this law were not totally honest with the Floridian legislature and hurt their ethos.

Secondly the argument that more guns means people are safer stuck out to me. In my eyes the more civilians with guns the more complicated the job of a police officer can be. It is harder to figure out who the good guys are and who the bad guys are if both sides are shooting at each other. The pro side also constantly referenced the defend your castle law which was not the subject of the debate a was a waste of speaking time.

Finally, the con side demonstrated how easy it was to obtain a gun and the permit to conceal it. Texas, known to be very gun-happy, has fewer conceal and carry permits than florida, the home of the stand your ground law. This showed how radical the law is and labeled it as out of the ordinary, which in my opinion, is very convincing.

One of the main reasons I side with the anti-stand your ground group, is because their opponents did not argue the same topic consistently and it lead to a very random and hard to follow argument.

4/20: Voter ID Debate

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I think that the pro-voter id won. They had solid arguments and I choose to side with them because of that, as well as, the errors and confusion in the other teams arguments.

The opposing team stated that voter fraud is a non-common occurrence and that we already have laws in place. But, I do not agree with this argument because it is not a sound argument. Just because there is not a lot of convictions at this point does not mean there is no crime, and because we already have laws does not mean they are working or enough.

They also gave estimated costs to give ids for free, but that is only estimated and small in comparison to other spending budgets, and there was no context given to these numbers.

They also argued that this law would effected 200 million seniors, minority, students. But as the other team mentioned you need an id for medicare, social security, welfare, government housing, foodstamps, to do banking, to apply for school, certain jobs, rent a book at the library, buy alcohol, attend events. So who exactly are we debating about? Who really doesn't have an I.D.? and if the goverment is providing it for free to these people, then they would be able to capitalize on all the benefits, with no cost. The people that would not be able to obtain these IDs are undocumented citizens, and those who probably wouldn't be voting in the first place.

The pro voter id side said that 80% (on average) in Minnesota are in favor of voter id. I think that this is because voters want to know that only citizens of the United States are choosing our representative lawfully, and it is our responsibility to make sure that this is the case.

The opposing side said that only 55 people are in favor of voter id, this reduced the credibility of their case, because whether or not they meant to say percentage, they said 55 people, and that is false.

Just because we already have laws to punish voter fraud does not mean this is enough or complete. It is hard to convict for voter fraud because of the sheer number of votes. As our country evolves into a mix of undocumented citizens and citizens we need to evolve our laws to ensure that only those abiding by the law, and paying taxes, are being able to vote on those issues.

The opposing team also said that the felons voting would not effect election result- but already claimed elections were so close we need these unidentified. This also lessened their credibility in my eyes.

-Alex Mountain

Voter ID debate

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My decision for the debate winner was extremely difficult; both teams presented excellent arguments. I choose the con-voter ID amendment team, however, because I believe a couple of their points really hit home.

1. One of their strongest points was that the bill is not completely written. The voters of Minnesota would be voting on an incomplete bill, which, if enacted, would be completed/rewritten after the election. The con-team pointed out the possibility of the bill changing. I believe if a bill is to be enacted, it should be complete and its intentions very clearly stated.

2. Their second strong point was how expensive this voter ID amendment would be. It would cost $20 million to implement it over 3 years, according to the team. I also do not agree with the provision of the bill giving everyone a free id. The team pointed out that how can Minnesota's government afford this when the state budget is already in crisis (which we all can remember the government shut down as a result). I thought this was a very good point.

3. The pro-team said that Minnesota has one of the highest voter turnouts in the country. From my time working on campaigns, it is my understanding that this is due to same-day registration and absentee ballots; it makes the voting process convenient and simple for voters. The con-team cited the statistic that 20 percent of the vote total was a result of same-day registration (and I'm sure absentee ballot voting would add on to this percentage). A new voter ID amendment would abolish same-day registration because it would be too hard to verify IDs in such a short time period.

Stand Your Ground Law Debate

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For the debate on Wednesday, I vote in favor of the "con" side.

1. The con side had the most clearly articulated argument. At times, the pro side were merely providing stories that didn't directly work toward their goal. The lack of focus when arguing why the gun laws were specific enough was evidence enough that the laws were not specific enough.

2. The con side used a wider variety of measures to support their side. They mentioned that the police force was against the legislation in the first place, they had statistical data to support that the laws have reduced those found guilty of murder compared to justifiable homicide, and they used select, pertinent stories to illustrate how these scenarios work.

3. The con side was more on-point as they responded to each group member's relevant ideas. In contrast, the pro side often did not acknowledge the points that had just been made in the debate or try to refute them as directly, so their credibility was not as strong for how well they understood the material and how strong they felt about their argument.

-Courtney Baga

stand your ground law debate

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Each side did an excellent job of presenting their case. I believe the con side did a more effective job of presenting their case and what stuck to me was "guns don't kill people, people kill people." Like they said before its not that they want the law to be totally abolished but they wanted it to be less broad and more defined and set in stone. Trayvon Martin was a hot topic in the debate and we understand that people are allowed to carry guns and if they do feel threatened where is it okay to use it? At the mall? At home? Thats where the law becomes unclear. I felt the pro side used examples that were not specifically geared to the stand your law debate and it was more about the right to carry and have firearms. What stood out to me from there debate was the statistics they used that said the US had 12%? less crime because we have a gun law allowing people to carry firearms compared to that of Canada. Overall, I think the con side won the argument.

Secret Service gets into trouble (Alex Davis)

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There has been a recent scandal that took place in Cartagena, Colombia regarding former members of our secret service. The scandal includes the secret service men and prostitutes. According to the article these men were sent down to Cartagena early to make sure that the site was secured for the President's arrival. President Obama was on his way down there for a summit of the Americas, when the scandal broke out. He was very upset at the fact that his secret service men, were not behaving properly, and that they were not representing the United States Properly, neither the President himself. There was a whole issue in the first place because an argument broke out. The argument was about whether or not a prostitute was going to get paid. That triggered the scandal and overshadowed the Summit itself.
The real question here is, whether or not there is really a problem with the actions of the secret service. Prostitution is legal in Colombia, therefore what is the problem? With that being said should the men be judged and or punished for these types of behavior. A female agent who retired seven years ago, and refuses to give her name, said "Agents are people too, they are going to meet people wherever they go, and they could be targeted anywhere. What if they had picked up these women in a bar? What's the big deal?" This is a form of a logos argument, she is logically thinking that it could happen anywhere and they should not be judged of their actions. President Obama and his comments on the matter are a form a Pathos, because his anger of the situation is leading him to make the decision to get rid of these people. W. Ralph Basham, a man who ran the service from 2003-2006 states that "From the day you walk in the door, it is stressed that you are representing the White House and the president himself." He is using an ethical argument to prove his point, which is also known as Ethos. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-secret-service (Alex Davis)

Ready for My Video Chat Close-Up

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A $10,000 cosmetic surgery can make someone look better while using Skype or other video chat services. The procedure is called the FaceTime Face-Lift and focuses on sagging necks. According to Dr. Robert Sigal, the camera is usually set at an unflattering angle and focuses on the neck while one is video-chatting. The reasons behind the popularity of this procedure is the prevalence of video-chatting (from interviews to personal conversations) and the fact that video-chat users don't like the way they look while they're video-chatting. While video-chatting, they can't ignore their sagging necks or other unfortunate looks (as they could before video-chatting was so popular). Opponents of the procedure believe the doctor is preying on these people and their insecurities.

The pro and con sides of the argument are very clear in this article. The pro side believes the procedure is helping people like the way they look, particularly while video-chatting. The con side believes doctors like Dr. Sigal are taking advantage of people whose insecurities are highlighted through video-chatting.

The Article

Stand Your Ground Law Debate

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First, I'd like to say that both the pro and con side did very well considering how emotionally fueled the Trayvon Martin case has been, and how the case itself has become pretty large and pertinent, and because of that a lot of people have formed opinions without being fully informed.

I found the three strongest claims to be 1. Guns don't kill people, people kill people (Pro). 2. Stand Your Ground needs to be clarified, not restricted (Con). and 3. Under Stand Your Ground, immunity is defined too broadly (Con).

I thought that the pro's side strongest argument was that guns don't kill people, people kill people. Which, although has become sort of cliche, is 100% true and applicable. People need to be put under a certain kind of scrutiny, not gun laws.
However, I felt that by pointing this out, it almost negated their point, as Stand Your Ground law is a broadly defined law that states that a person is allowed to defend themselves; this argument was never about gun control, it was about the Stand Your Ground law, and effective it may or may not be.

Both sides made good arguments, but I felt the con side had more focus on the Stand Your Ground law itself. The law itself is very muddled, and because of that allows immunity to those who do not deserve it, and because of the muddled nature, those people do not even face public trial. I thought this piece of information best sums up the con sides argument, and I felt it a very persuasive argument.

-Jenna Peneueta-Snyder

In response to the debate

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Both the pro and the con sides do a good job. They use lots of cases to back up their claims. However, for me, the pro side wins the debate. 1. As for the pro side, from my perspective, it is not easy to make a strong argument, since the gunshot accident in Florida has aroused people's anger. But they point out that this case is atypical. One extreme case cannot verify the law's fault. They also mention the details of the Florida gunshot case are not clear yet. 2. The pro side quotes guns do not kill people, and people kill people. When those criminals act, they don't consider the law too much. They just commit the crime out of impulse. Thus, changing the law makes too much difference. 3. The Florida gun law guarantees its citizens the right to protect themselves. The pro side gives several real cases to identify how people used guns to protect themselves. These cases work well as logos proof. How if at that time they didn't have guns? 4. The pro side also points out the number of crime has dropped, provided with statistics. They say criminals may not dare to commit crime with the consideration that other people may also have guns with them. The above four points are what I find persuasive in the debate. Meanwhile, the con side also gives a great debate. Their main point is the law is way too confusing. As a law, it should be either black or white, yes or no other than be in a gray area. The Florida gun law is ambiguous, which helps killers get way with their crimes. They argue that the potential of abuse is too large. The con side provides several cases of how innocent people were killed and killers got away easily, which work as a pathos proof well to arouse people's emotion of unfair, fear and anger. But as far as I am concerned, the con side can be more specific. The con side emphasizes they are not against guns but against the specific law in Florida. It would be better for them to point out which part of the law should be changed, and how to change it. Since it is the con side. For me, if you are against the existing policy, you still need to provide a better substitute policy.

How Exercise Could Lead to a Better Brain

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Scientists have found a clear relationship between brainpower and exercise. "Using sophisticated technologies to examine the workings of individual neurons -- and the makeup of brain matter itself -- scientists in just the past few months have discovered that exercise appears to build a brain that resists physical shrinkage and enhance cognitive flexibility." Exercise has been shown to slow the deterioration of the hippocampus, a key part of the brain. It also jump-starts neurogenesis, or the creation of new brain cells. This article shows yet another benefit of exercise.

In this article, ethos is present when the University of Illinois is cited as the site of the research. Logos is used when interpreting the research, as well as the fact claims made by the researchers. The article also has an overarching theme of a policy statement: people should exercise more for the health of their brains.

Debate Response

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In my opinion the winners of the debate were the people who were in favor of more gun control laws. The three arguments that I found to be the most effective were that the law should be more clear on when it is acceptable to use deadly force, that the stand your ground law creates an environment where it is acceptable to "shoot first, ask questions later," and the fact that the number of "justifiable killings" has increased since the law was implemented. I thought that these arguments were the most effective because they were logical and because they had direct evidence to back up these claims. For instance someone pointed out that the number of "justifiable killings" had increased to 105 in Florida, and someone else cited the fact that an astounding 1 in 17 people have conceal and carry permits in Florida. I thought that those were both very strong pieces of evidence that supported their side. The argument that the stand your ground law makes it unclear when it is acceptable to use deadly force was also very effective because it makes logical sense. As one of the debaters said there should not be a grey area when it comes to the law. The third argument, which involves the "shoot first, ask questions later" environment, was effective because that is exactly how the law seems to operate, and I think they did a good job of communicating that.

Debate Response

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Let me preface this blog post by saying I believed both debate groups did an excellent job and made quite a few good points and arguments. Ultimately though I believe that the side opposing guns made the more convincing argument. One particular argument that I did not find very convincing that came from the pro-gun group was the reliance on anecdotal evidence. This type of evidence is not all that effective in this instance because there is a lot of flukey cases that play to much into emotional appeals. Another instance that helped diminish the credibility of the pro gun group was the book cited in the opening statement was titled "The bias against guns" which obviously would present a very one sided and partisan argument. One argument that was particularly effective for the anti-guns was the evidence that NRA spends a lot of money lobbying politicians and gave specific numbers. This helped solidify their argument and also helped them ultimately win the debate.

On Fox News
Aired April 18, 2012

This video about President Obama and his talk about the economy and the Buffet Rule, makes a few very compelling claims and arguments. It starts out with a news reporter explaining how President Obama is now calling the Buffet Rule the Reagan rule. Referring to a 1985 speech in which Ronald Reagan said all people should pay taxes equally. A few minutes into this report, they bring in Michael Reagan to get his opinion. This is Ronald Reagan's son, sp it is interesting that they ask him to share his thoughts on the matter. In my mind this is a credible source to have. This move was smart on Fox News's side if they want this report to end up going against the President.

Michael Reagan starts out by saying that he is "so sick of Barrack Obama lying about his father, to try and pass his piece of legislation." This is a pretty strong claim isn't it? Is it a fair assumption? Michael Reagan then goes on to explain exactly what his father meant during his speech given on taxes and how President Obama has taken this section out of context. Michael Reagan calls this act that the President is doing a bull faced lie. Yet another strong claim. Is this a fact claim. It appears to be, because if you think about the two people involved, President Obama and Michael Reagan, who is going to be telling the truth about this speech that Ronald Reagan gave years ago. I think Michael would be the credible one in this argument, because he stands for what his father stood for many years ago.

Michael Reagan seems to see right through the things that President Obama seems to be saying. He makes a strong case, using tools that allow him to seem very credible to the listener. I am not fully aware with what is going on here with the tax laws, but after watching this video, I am questioning President Obama's way of dressing up as a former president in order to get the citizens vote to pass his legislation.

-Anna Srock

I would like to analyze the picture used in this article, and the ways in which it enhances the underlying claim. The point to the story is that this is a real couple from a small town, and the reader should be happy for them, and to know that these are good people. Only good people win the lottery, is what this photo is saying to me as a viewer. They seem to be in a church, with stained glass windows making them seem holy and followers of religious, and therefore morally sound. They are both dressed very modestly, and are only shown from the chest up, so the reader cannot judge their figures, and attire. They are both smiling in a very non threatening way, as to argue that we will use the money carefully. I think this picture demonstrates the argument in the article. It states that, "The couple, who have grandchildren, have no immediate plans other than to craft an investment strategy, then look into how to treat themselves in a few months or a year, Merle said." I find it interesting that they choose to mention the grandchildren at this moment in the text. It is out of place and is used to argue that they are good people and what they plan to do with the money will most likely be affected by the fact that they are family orientated.

-Alex Mountain

This was a very short article. I would like to explore the argument made 'between the lines' because it was mostly presented as fact. I think the first sentence is hinting at the argument. 'A hospital in northeastern Minnesota says it has changed its policies after mixing up two newborns.' This is already letting the audience infer that the hospital admits that this was a grave mistake, so much that they have changed their policies because of this incident. The second line states the Kiros, or context, "A nurse at Virginia Regional Medical Center recently brought a newborn to a mother to breastfeed, but it was later discovered it wasn't her baby.' The author is letting the reader assume that this action did in fact take place, although the wording is 'brought a newborn to the mother to breastfeed' so that does not mean the action actually took place (it is later in the article that it become more clear). Then the bulk of the article presents Bill Smith Medical Center CEO (adding credibility to the story), he says that the 'nurse entered the wrong room with the baby and failed to match the newborn's hospital bracelet with the mother's.' By this wording the reader is meant to infer that the nurse is at fault. But then he continued to say that, 'an ID card that followed the baby included the mother's room number, but the mother had changed rooms. He says the card system has since been abolished.' So did in fact the nurse bring the baby to the right room number but the room wasn't the mothers any longer? Would that make the hospital liable for the incident? It is very unclear, and that is an argument technique employed by the CEO. He is arguing that multiple things went into this so fault cannot be determined, instead look past this incident without thinking critically since it is so unclear in the first place. The last line in the article is, 'Families of both newborns are upset. The father of one of the babies says his wife was breastfeeding the wrong child.' This is appealing the readers emotions. The author is asking; Reader, how would you feel if this happened to you? Upset like them?
-Alex Mountain

This debate is very tricky because of the amount of personal weight it carries; unfortunately there are many sad stories about the death of innocent victims and the mercy given to the guilty. However, this debate clearly went to the side that opposes gun laws that give free reign to the "self-defense" cop out.

One effective example given by this side was that story of the unarmed neighbor that was shot because his neighbor felt threatened by him. There is not a lot of context surrounding this story, but that is exactly the point. If there is a lack of information or witnesses, it should not be made easier to obtain dangerous weapons. The constitution says it is our right to bear arms, not our privilege to bear arms because we want to. Right carries the idea of responsibility of looking out for ourselves and our neighbors, not killing people because we feel threatened.

Another strong point that was made was the fact that "justifiable" homicides have tripled. I don't remember the exact statistic, nor does it really matter; what matters is that more people are being allowed to walk free under the cover of this "self-defense." Again this goes back to the argument that we as citizens have a responsibility to protect, not to endanger, society.

Lastly, it is a right to bear arms, there is no doubt about that. However, due to the increasing number of deaths that have nothing to do with self-defense, it is clear that these laws do nothing more than put guns in the hands of passionate people with no intentions of defending themselves, or more importantly, those around them.

Vote: Repeal gun laws.

One final note: there was a lack of policy claims in this argument. It is difficult to say how laws should be rewritten, especially in regards to a emotionally charged subject. However, what must be done in reaction to this subject is extremely important.

Stand Your Ground debate response

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I think that the con team relied too heavily on examples and appeals to emotions which really did not provide enough support for their claim that the stand-your-ground law is not effective.

"Guns don't kill people; people kill people." I think this is a compelling argument. The problem may not necessarily be the guns/gun laws but the people. Violence will still exist, guns will still be used regardless of the amount of restrictions on gun ownership. But then again...guns enable people to kill people. So while it's a good argument, it does not fully support the stand-your-ground law in and of itself.

The con's argument that self-defense is too subjective, especially without witnesses, was one of the strongest of the debate. It relates directly to the Trayvon Martin case because there were no witnesses before the shooting, and this is exactly what the controversy is over.

I think that the pro's argument that everyone is safer with more guns on the streets is significantly flawed. The logic isn't there or it wasn't explained right. If there would have been better statistics to back this up, possibly the amount of deaths by guns relative to a state's gun restrictions...The Canada/UK burglary statistic was helpful, but I'm not convinced that the reason the US burglary rate is lower is because there are more guns; it's a correlation, not causation perhaps.

Overall, I think the con team won because of their focus on the subjective-ness of the stand-your-ground law.

'Three Cups of Tea' lawsuit claiming author fraud heads to court in Montana

This piece by Matt Voltz in the Star Tribune presents the story of a man who wrote a book telling of his experiences getting lost in a Pakistani mountain, wandering into a small town, and deciding to build schools there. He returned to the United States, wrote a book called "Three Cups of Tea" and did 500 speaking engagements to garner funds for his charity.

Today, there is a lawsuit that purports that many of the things in his books are untrue. He and his publisher do not deny these allegations.

One important point the article does not say, but I am familiar with because I attended one of those presentations, is that he also sold off the story as true in those speaking engagements he asked for money at.

The article supposes the fraud is a first amendment freedom of speech breach. However, the charge of fraud does not suppose that the statements are illegal to speak, but the misrepresentation for profit is more relevant. Also, the article fails to share which components of the story were incorrect, if they were relevant, and if the funds given to charity were used for the cause they said they would be used for. All these concerns are more relevant than the first amendment case the journalist focuses on.

Data Shows Gender Gap in Faculty Earnings

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Today's Minnesota Daily article concerning the gender gap in faculty earnings was an interesting one.

It lays a few informational points about the review that was done, and statistics show that male faculty here at the U make on average, 2.2% more than their female counterparts. The article makes use of Murray Clayton, a professional consultant and professor of statistics at University of Wisconsin, Madison. I take this including of his opinion as ethos, however, he makes some claims that I feel are not substantially supported.

He mentions that a gender gap is "sometimes justifiable if based on merit." However, what he and the author of this article do no include is that the movement for more women in higher educational institutions is a fairly infant one, when compared to how long men has held positions in higher ed.

Women have only have the last 30 years or so to gain proper tenure and "merit" as Clayton puts it, while men have had much more time. Therefore, his argument about merit must be taken with a grain of salt, because even with merit being considered gender neutral in the present, when evaluating why and how this gender inequity came to be, we must also look to the past.

At any rate, the article does make use of many female faculty members, which pulls not only on ethos, but I also recognize some pathos as well. Being a woman, and seeing women working towards equality can be an emotional experience for some.

-Jenna Peneueta-Snyder


The article is mainly talking about a policy claim, which supports the streetcar revival in Minneapolis. An important reason given is rebuilding the lines of streetcar can spur the economy. In order to back up this statement, the supporter, Aaron Isaacs, a historian at the Minnesota Streetcar Museum and a retired transit planner, provided historical evidence. For example, he said the Pleasant Street circle by Folwell Hall on the University of Minnesota campus exists because streetcars from 15th Avenue used to turn around there. Aaron Isaacs' previous job as a transit planner gives him ethos. And the examples from streetcar glorious history work well as logos proof. Besides, Major R.T. Rybak is also in favor of the streetcar revival. Major R.T. Rybak here is also with good ethos. However, there are also some people questioning whether the streetcar revival can boost the economic and social development, and if it is not, the state funding is wasted. Maybe more considerations need to be discussed before the final decision. But as far as I am concerned, the whole article provides a strong argument to support the streetcar lines.

In an article posted by the Washington Post this morning, Chris Cillizza argues that people are writing off the Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney in particular, assuming that there will not be a possibility of any candidate beating President Obama in the November elections later this year. He provides evidence from Monday's Gallup poll that shows just how close Barack Obama and Mitt Romney currently stand in the ratings. He believes that Romney holds more Independent voters than Obama, so he is more popular with the public in general. Cillizza qualifies these arguments by showing many polls to the contrary, noting that these polls cannot be heavily relied upon for accurate information about the outcome. He also acknowledges that they are all taken in a brief period of time, and elections are very dynamic. Populations are constantly switching sides and developing new opinions as the campaigning progresses. Still, he asserts that the mixed reviews about how the election will go indicate that the likelihood of Obama being re-elected is not as set-in-stone as previously thought.



This article details the recent soundbite that came to the media's attention over the weekend involving presidential candidate Mitt Romney discussing stay-at-home mothers. While speaking in New Hampshire, Romney said that mothers should work and send children to day care, even if it comes at an expense to the state. His reasoning for these remarks was that he wanted people to experience the 'dignity' of work. This argument is hypocritical however, because a few years ago he praised his wife for the work she has done as a stay-at-home mother of their children and admitted that she hadn't worked a day in her life. This hypocrisy presents a problem in his argument as it shows that his opinions on the matter are inconsistent.

MSNBC Published 4/11/2012
By: Scott Stump

When I read this headline I said to myself, "no way!" So I clicked on the link and read the story behind this man who professionally sharpens pencils and charges people 15 dollars to do it. Crazy I know right with the economy that we live in that someone would pay that amount to sharpen a pencil. The author states in the article that some people have done this as a gift for a graduate student, wedding couple, and a construction contractor. Rees started his business around two years ago and since then has sharpened 500 pencils for people. Rees has also gone on to write a 224 page book about how to correctly sharpen a #2 pencil. He got the idea for his business while working an office job filling out census forms and they discussed the importance of having a well sharpened pencil. As he sharpened his pencil or a trash can one day he thought to himself I should find out the best way to sharpen a pencil and start a business that provides this service to others. So that is just what he did.

The style and argument style of this article was a little tough to pull out. But it is clear that the author mainly wants to use actual quotes from other involved not his own. I would say close to 95% of the words are quoted directly from Rees, or other involved. The author sees the effectiveness and credibility value in using others words and claims than his own. His point comes across clearly, because he has done his research and may have had a interview with the man who started this business. The author, Scott Stump, isn't making broad or hasty accusations, he is just filling the article with valid claims made directly by the people involved. This to me is a very effective way in building a case.

-Anna Srock

4.16.12 Saving a School for Immigrants

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In the heart of Manhattan stands a building that "has taught English and helped immigrants assimilate for decades" and at the end of this month it is pinned to be closed down. Pathos is dripping throughout this article from the many students and faculty that use this facility. There are about "200 immigrant students" learning "pronunciation, academic writing and literature" and take classes on "getting a job in the United States" and the eviction notice is effecting more than just the students and faculty. According to Doctor Keller "who directs a program at Bellevue Hospital Center for international survivors" and refers many of them to the center stated that the center's closing "would be a terrible loss for us, for our city, and our community". This adds ethos as well as shows that the closing of the International Center is a beneficial component to many, many people.
Dr. Keller also makes the claim that there needs to be more centers opening, not the current ones closing. And grounds for a policy, plan of action, to "find a new location, advertise changes and raise money" is in production. All of this adds to the argument and shows that community members, center participants, and others are willing to go at great lengths and put in much effort to keep a center that creates "fully productive members of American society" alive.
A final note of pathos is said by Mahmood Ali, a student at the center. ""This place cannot stop...it will blossom again and grow up again, because it has a soul," and he compared it to a tree". This article argues that it is about the people, not the center itself, and that if the center closes, the values and the people will remain.


4/16/12 - 1940 Census records releases

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1940 Census records unlock family mysteries

Simply put, this article brings to light what a treasure trove of information there is on the internet in regards to ancestry and specifically the 1940 census release.

As in all news, you will even find an argument subtly buried in this article about people and their ancestors. This article seems to be making an appeal to how exciting it is to learn about your genealogy, which you will find is hard to deny. Family and ancestry is extremely personal, and possibly one of the biggest appeals used in conjunction with pathos. Even if your family isn't the perfect union, there is just something about thinking back to your ancestors that is intriguing. Being a cynic though, I question the relationship between the article's publishing company and Ancestry.com and Archives. com. There must be something more, because this article is basically an advertisement for these two sites. Just something to think about.

Dangerous dogs are a quandary for police

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This article argues about the dangerous run in police have had with dogs while trying to catch criminals. They use pathos in the article by starting off with how one officer was shot in the leg by accident by another officer when they were trying to shoot at the dog. It goes on to give logos by stating facts "Minneapolis police shot and killed 12 dogs last year, and park police shot and killed one." Another logos they talk about is in London while looking for a suspect five unarmed police officers were mauled by one "pit-bull" type dog and they all left with serious injuries. The other side fighting for the families that lost dog argues that Minneapolis police should not go "shooting up" peoples homes because they may end up shooting up a kid. They also used logos in their argument by telling a story of how two not vicious dogs were shot and killed for no reason. Each side argues with the use of logos to convince the audience of their argument.



The news is mainly about how the members of National Rifle Association view the gun laws. They insist that people should have the right to arm with guns in order to protect themselves. Hikers argue it can be dangerous for them if they are tracked by bandits but don't have guns. An old Air Force veteran said he is too old to run away if something happens, which is the point he holds why he needs a gun. According to the interview, other members also question Zimmerman case. Some offered the slogan "Guns don't kill people, people kill people".

As far as I am concerned, the views these members given are lacking logos. Guns don't kill people directly, but people can kill people by guns. If guns can be used widely in the country, it forces everyone to learn how to shoot, in order to avoid being cowed by gun owners. This week, in California, two international students from China were shot near their campus, USC. This accident freaked out tons of international students. Some people in the Internet updated their status on SNS websites, saying that no matter you like guns or not, no matter you are girls, you are not from gun free countries, you would better to learn how to shoot, and you have to be excellent, which is the surviving technique in the U.S. Then, what the U.S. is all about? A country everyone carries a gun, suspicious about people all around? More guns can increase anxiety other than peace.

Obama: 'Angry' if Secret Service allegations true

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This article discusses the recent controversy surrounding secret service members allegedly interacting with prostitutes in Colombia. Investigation of this potential crime is still in its infancy but President Obama made the claim that he would be upset if the allegations turn out to be true. Obama made the claim that because secret service members represent the highest office of the country they should subsequently be held to the same moral standards as the president himself. This type of argument that Obama makes complete sense. In a way this is an example of a syllogism. Obama is saying that he, as he is a public representation of the united states, is held to a certain moral code. He is also saying that members of the secret service are public representatives of the US. Therefore, they should be held to the same moral code

Published April 15, 2012 on Fox News.com

A 2004 photograph, released into the public for the first time just this last week, shows a coat and boots in the mud at the legendary shipwreck site. The way they are "laid out" makes a "compelling case" that is where someone has come to rest. Human remains may be embedded in the mud of the North Atlantic. This article is making the strong claim that even after the ship went down 100 years ago we could still find some human remains in the mud. The picture is proof that makes their claims credible. They have a reason to share this bit of news with the world because this picture was released to them with sound evidence. They also use quotes from people who have been down that 2 ½ miles to see the wreck, which makes their claims even more credible.

The argument at the end of this article I did not see coming. In the last two paragraphs they bring up the laws that have been put into effect for the Titanic by saying, "There has been a long fight to protect the Titanic since it was rediscovered by Ballard in 1985, beginning with a federal law passed by Congress aimed at creating an international agreement to transform the shipwreck into an international maritime memorial. Sen. John Kerry introduced what some observers see as stronger legislation April 1 aimed at protecting the site from "salvage and intrusive research."
But the luxury liner, which went down April 14, 1912, after striking an iceberg, sits in international waters, limiting what the U.S. government can do. Delgado said an international treaty would need to be negotiated between Britain, Canada, France and the U.S." So is this article's argument about how we could eventually find some human remains down there to study or that we need to preserve and take care of the sunken ship better?

-Anna Srock

Ozzie Guillen not right for baseball

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This article discusses the recent comments Miami Marlins professional baseball manager Ozzie Guillen made regarding his respect for Fidel Castro. While the article at first appears to be informational on the controversial interview, there is an implicit argument within the text. That argument makes the claim that Ozzie Guillen is a loose-cannon and somewhat of a liability to the Marlins and the MLB. This argument can be inferred by the tone and content of the article. The author discusses previous controversial comments Guillen made while managing the Chicago White Sox from 2004-2011, showing how the controversy is consistent with wherever Ozzie Guillen works. Additionally, the author describes how upset the Cuban-Americans in the area are, as well as background information on Fidel Castro. It is explained that the stadium itself in in the Little Havana neighborhood in Miami. The article explains that Guillen says what he means and acknowledges he has apologized several times, but the author uses this to advantage in making his claim that Guillen is an unpredictable liability to the league.

-Matt Foley

in Response to The Video

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Today we watched the documentary about immigration. Three guys were faced deportation since they committed crime before. The logos of new immigration policy seems logical that if you don't obey the law, you don't deserve the life in the U.S. However, the situation can be more complicated. They came here when they were a child, and they had family members here. What can they do if they return their country? Without their social network, can they fit in? The pathos I feel strong is the separation from family. It is so sad they have to say goodbye to their family here. I remember one of the guys has wife and a lovely daughter. As far as I am concerned, the deportation should be decided case by case. When did they commit the crime? Were they still a teenager then? Did they have a family here? It is understandable the government wants to control immigration in order to protect the country after 911. The U.S. can pass the bill to secure the border, and control the amount of new immigrants. As for those minority people who have spent most their lives here, it should be much more careful to decide whether to deport them. The U.S. admitted them as refugees when they were young, but wants to abandon them abruptly after they have settled down here. It seems worse than the U.S. never accommodated them at first.

U.S. Divided (Alex Davis)

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The Trayvon Martin Case has been continuing on in our Country for a while now. Many people have concerns pertaining to whether or not the shooting can be "justified." Recent polls have been taken through to see what different demographics have to say about the case. The polls recently taken by Reuters/Ipsos demonstrates a significant split between whites and blacks. The polls statistics are very interesting because "91% of black AMericans surveyed said that the fatal shooting of Martin by Sanford neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was unjustified. Among whites, that numer was 35%; among Lations 59%." The country is at a split, trying to figure out whether or not this crime was justified. One thing that is being talked about as well is that whether or not it is okay for someone to use a weapon (mainly guns) to protect themselves if in a life threating situation. Amongst these people who voted "87% of people agree that Americans should have the right to use deadly force to protect themselves if threatened in their homes. Roughly teo-thirds believed people should have the right to use deadly force if threatend in public." After this being said, "what justifies as "your life being threatened," Is this being left up soly to the gun owner who could technically shoot someone for no reason, but if they felt they could be in dnager then the could technically let the bullets fly. This could be corrolated to many different aspects of the United States crime rate. People want to be safe, but that does not always mean that we use violence because we feel is necessary. http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-trayvon-martin-gun-rights-poll-20120413,0,6394688.story (Alex Davis)

4/13: Dying to Get In

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We were only able to catch a small portion of this film in class. I continued to watch a small amount on my own. I would like to discuss the strategy used by the film makers to argue their case. This film dives into the perspective of the immigrants, to show the viewers the dangers and problems they face. It was appealing to pathos of the viewers by putting a face on immigration, and having them tell their stories, hardships, and what lead to their decision to migrate to the United States. I think that this was an effective strategy without looking critically at the film. My opinion is that it was touching and hard to hear the things these people have gone through, but you could find those types of stories from citizens of the United States as well. There are so many people in this world that need our help, and you could find these types of sob stories from all types of people. I think that it is trying to argue with examples that are not unique in our society.

-Alex Mountain

Immigrants Shot in Arizona

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I read an article explaining a shooting that occurred in the Arizona desert about halfway between Phoenix and Tucson. Two undocumented immigrants that were a part of a group of 20-30 immigrants were shot by unidentified gunmen. Authorities are investigating the shooting to try to determine if the shooters were vigilantes or border bandits. A similar shooting took place in February of 2007. The article is very straight forward and presents the story in an unbiased way. There are a few fact claims that seem pretty fair and unbiased. The article speculates a little bit about what the motives of the shooters were in a logical way. The article also appeals a little bit to pathos by talking a little bit about the deaths and families of those that were killed.

-Erik Pokki


Alabama May Revise New Policies on Migrants

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This article talks about how after a year the immigration law in Alabama is being revised. It does not necessarily mean the demise of the law but it will be revised to receive less scrutiny from civil rights activists and business leaders. The new bill requires status checks on people to make sure that they are indeed citizens of the US and that anyone that is an illegal immigrant is not able to go to a public college. This article uses ethos to backup its claim that Alabama is revising its law. It has many quotes from many governmental leaders. The article gives us more in-depth details of what will be revised in the law. Business leaders will be punished if they are caught hiring an illegal immigrant and their business license will be suspended for 60 days compared to the 10 days that was in the bill previously. This law has cause a lot of controversial talks in the US and many other states are starting to take matters into their own hands.


4/13/12 - 9 Killed in crash... 9 what?

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Texas - 9 Killed in Crash

This was a small "article" that was less than a paragraph that mentions "9 killed"

I'm not sure if this is actually considered an article, but I was appalled at the language it used in the way it presented the deaths of 9 people. Chapter 10 in our book has a lot to say about ethos, but I'm just going to mention a few in regards to this article. First is language: not only does the language in this article strip away any appeal to emotions (9 killed, not 9 dead, doesn't even mention what is dead or more importantly who) but the very cut-and-dried language does not match up with the type of message this person is trying to convey. Especially in regards to people, when any argument uses language that strips away the emotional connection loses credibility because it tells us the arguer has no personal connection. In some cases this may be acceptable, but never when people are involved. Also because the article is so short and succinct (structure), it makes me question the credibility of the effort that was put into the article. My guess is that this was just a "news burst" and that another, more in-depth article was written using this information; this specific piece though is almost too short to show that any real effort was put into it.

There is a new film that will be in limited release in the United States in the coming months called Monsieur Lazhar, and it is highlighting the rarely discussed issues in Canada about immigration. Not many people think of Canada when discussing the issue of illegal immigration, but it is a growing problem and is being heavily debated. In this article, the author argues that many Americans are tip-toeing around the issue of illegal immigration because it is currently such a heated debate. His policy claim is that Americans need to start getting involved and voicing their opinions because immigration laws are affecting millions of people, here legally or illegally, in countless ways. The article is mostly a movie summary, but he uses key examples from the movie as evidence of the hardship that foreigners face in a country that will not welcome them after escaping from a country that had oppressed them. He tries to make the reader sympathize with the plights of immigrants trying to find work and asylum by providing ample examples of situations where people had no other option than to escape from their homeland and find a new place to live, legally or illegally.


This article was published on April 1, "Utah Attorney General A Die-Hard Conservative, but Not on Immigrants"


This article focuses on discussing the man, Mark L. Shurtleff. They review his history, policies, personal life, and recent activities. The article builds him up as enormously credible through these components.

They discuss his mormonism and republicanism. By reviewing his policy preferences, and discussing where he breaks from his party on immigration law, there is improved trust in his judgement, because he is deciding based on ethical principals, and not just going along with his party.

They review how he is known in his community. They discuss how he goes to the local, authentic mexican restaurant, and gets involved with people on a personal level. They explore how he turned to politics after a motorcycle accident in 2007, and how he published a book about Dred Scott. The reader has an image of an involved, caring, fun-loving man with a compassionate heart and social awareness. His credibility is unbreakable, even for a conservative mormon in a liberal newspaper.

When the article turned to discuss the issue of immigration, they begin by quoting Shurtleff that there are many more republicans that seek a more moderate approach to immigration, and it is only the extremists that harp most publicly. In doing so, he is priming his argument to be more credible by increasing one's perception of how common it is. Then, he goes on to use explicitly the arguments conservative immigration policies use, and discount them. He discusses how much many immigrants love America, how the economic structure of America is depending on them, and how the criminal immigrants are a problem, need to be caught, but how other immigrants won't be able to help us do so if they are deported.

Alabama May Revise New Policies on Migrants 4.13.12

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In this New York Times article, there is a summary of what have been happening in Alabama for the last week concerned immigration policy. Alabama has some of the strictest immigration laws, as well as the most conservative courts, and therefore this revision process is pretty important.

State Representative Mickey Hammon has proposed that some of the more controversial provisions be revised or stricken, and would allow more flexibility and less educational discrimination to immigrants.

Supports claim that "the changes would make it clearer, easier to enforce and less susceptible to legal challenges." And to support this, they offer the bill would remove provisions that made renting property to undocumented immigrants the same as harboring one, and remove the barring of immigrants from public schools.

However, those against the bill argue that they would rather have the courts decide "conclusively." This isn't supported by much, but it may just be a way to bid time so that the current law does not get revised.

Governor Robert Bentley weighed in, stating that "the essence of the law will not change," and that "anyone living and working in Alabama must be here legally."

There's not an incredible amount of information present in the article to support the revising of current immigration law, however the context is clear: the strictness of the law is garnering less support.

The article mentions some state congressmen to offer support, however it is unclear if this is on party lines, or how much experience the legislators have.

-Jenna Peneueta-Snyder

News Summary 4.13.12

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According to the article "Mixed Reviews on Program for Immigrants With Records" one can asses that with the "major confusion for state and local authorities by providing inconsistent information about a high-profile federal program to identify illegal immigrants who committed crimes," credibility for the argument and more specifically the government is decreasing. Trustworthiness and authority are to key parts in determining a level of credibility and when a government is toying with the audience and the information and what they give out the level of credibility weakens. However, by naming the project "the centerpiece of the Obama administration's immigration enforcement policy" credibility is gained back because a) it is said to be the main focus on the itinerary and b) under the president's supervision. We look to the president to make decisions for our country and so we, for the most part, put our trust in him to make the most beneficial for the people, decisions. But, with me it offers no sense of greater credibility because I have not supported Obama's decisions in the past so I am wary of backing them now.
The article explains and lays out the steps that will be taken by the government and the statistics of the success of the program, which shows the audience (citizens of the United States) that this is an important issue, and they are working hard to find a solution. But some areas of the government still don't see why it is "mandatory" and don't support that it "separates families and deports illegals that have no criminal record". This emphasizes that there are still flaws to the plan and that the government, the people deciding on the plan are still at odds with each other. So I don't believe, at least on this issue, that credibility with the issue and the government in the eyes of the people is very high.


DREAM Act video

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I found this video in the opinion section of the Wall Street Journal online, posted on April 10th.

In this video the president of the group Immigration Works USA Tamar Jacoby speaks on the issue of "illegal" immigration, specifically the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act, she explains, is a piece of legislation that would help the children on illegal immigrants, brought here as unknowing minors, on the path to citizenship if they go to college or serve in the military; at least, that's the DREAM Act that's been considered in Congress for the past decade. But Republican Senator from Florida Marco Rubio has created a new version of the DREAM Act ("DREAM Act 2.0") that would give these young people "non-immigrant visas" without actually helping them become citizens.

Jacoby illustrates how the process of gaining citizenship and getting a green card can take years. Jaboby concedes that giving these young people legal status is a step up from trying to ship them out. She more or less has an appreciative tone towards Senator Rubio for creating somewhat of a compromise on immigration reform: not giving these young people automatic citizenship but putting them on the right track by giving them legal status.

Jaboby works with immigration, and she can speak very knowledgeably on the subject. Her concession to Rubio's DREAM Act also helps to build her credibility.


Immigration and Emigration

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article This is about the current immigrant situation in America. The article takes the stance that immigration is a good thing and it uses a tone that supports illegal immigration as well. There are lots of policy claims that use legal situations and events as support. Also, there are some logic claims and MANY appeals to emotion. This is almost used when talking about legal and illegal immigration. They mainly talk about the climate, however, and don't try to outright convince us whether its good or not, the convince us more so that it is going to be an important issue in elections to come. They cite evidence but many claims aren't warranted because it is a hot button issue that doesn't need much warranting. It is current and the context is such that not much needs to be explained. Sometimes grounds aren't even given for claims but thats because they are widely believed facts. I don't know if I agree with all their stances, but they do a good jun convincing us to at least think of it from their perspective.

A van carrying 19 people, all suspected of being illegal immigrants, recently crashed in southern Texas. Nine people were killed in the crash, six more were injured, four people fled the scene (two were later caught). Overcrowding of the van by the coyote, or human trafficker, is believed to be the cause of the accident. Lenny Sanchez, a police commander used by the article for their ethos-based argument, commented the police often see these top-heavy, overcrowded vans tip over. The article was very straight forward and seemed to make many unbiased fact claims until the end. The authors appealed to pathos in the last couple paragraphs by describing the dead bodies on the side of the road. A witness's emotional account of the "bodies still moving" was also mentioned. This may indicate the authors' position on illegal immigration (which one would infer that they side with the pro-illegal immigration stance) or that they are acknowledging the loss of human life is such a sad way.

The Article

Alabama Immigration Law

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This article by Robbie Brown for the New York Times discusses the fact that Alabama might be making significant changes to its recently passed immigration bill. The reform will make numerous changes including removing a requirement that new students' immigration status be checked, requiring that only people arrested be checked on immigration status, and it removes a policy that banned illegal immigrants from public colleges. However, the law does put greater penalties on businesses caught employing illegal immigrants, and it allows police to question the status of all passengers in a vehicle instead of only the driver.

The article tries to make the claim that views on immigration are changing in the U.S. The article backs up this claims with grounds such as the changes that this reform would implement in Alabama, and it discusses a similar law in Mississippi that was not passed by their legislature. As far as ethos is concerned, the article cites two sources that support immigrant rights, which include the Federation for American Immigration Reform and Immigration Works USA. Ordinarily I would think that would detract from the ethos, but one of the pro immigration rights groups was actually suggesting that the reform wasn't necessary and that the state should have allowed the state Supreme Court to deal with the issue.

New Immigration Detainee Center

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This article discusses a new immigration detention center built in rural Texas to accommodate illegal immigrants. The center is built to seem less like a prison and more like a living center with dormitory-like dorms, a gym, library and other amenities. Additionally, detainees are allowed to move around freely and attend their hearings. He refutes the opposition, who pushes for harsher punishment and sides with the Obama administrations goal of accommodating immigrants and treating them better than the "monolithic class of dangerous criminals" they are stereotyped as. The author uses the Obama administration as credible backing for the case they make that a jail cell is immoral, and immigrants, who are also people, deserve better. He use logic to argue that it is unethical to jail immigrants who often pose no threat, often with no criminal record, in detention centers in which they have been abused and neglected, far from family and lawyers. The author believes the Karnes center is a far more humane immigrant jail, as well as more economically responsible.

-Matt Foley

Immigration Officials Arrest Over 3,100

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April 2nd, immigration officials swept the country in a nationwide operation to target illegal immigrants and other aliens residing in the country. Over 115 nationalities were recorded as being arrested. Operation "Cross Check" was said to be the largest of its kind. Last year a similar operation resulted in an arrest of 2,900 individuals. Overall, the article seemed a little vague as to what ethnicities were actually arrested. Yes, they said they arrested people fromover 115 countries, but there is some grey areas as to how many individuals were arrested from those countries. For all we know from this article, 3,000 mexicans were arrested and the remaining 100+ could have been from elsewhere. The article seems to appeal to a pathos line of thought, glorifying the arrests and making it seem like we've done a good thing in deporting the illegal immigrants. It makes the police officers in the article seem like heros as well. My question is, how do they know they convict people when they have absolutely no information about them?

Taken from Foxnews.com, April, 11, 2010. (article posted at April 2)

Jake Adams

Opponents mostly dominate immigration bill hearing

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This article details the ongoing immigration battle in the state of Alabama. After passing what many call 'the toughest' immigration law in the nation, many citizens of that state of become fed up with the consequences. People have argued that this law fosters a sense of fear among immigrants and also people who are citizens but are ethnic minorities. While it is widely known that the citizens of Alabama generally hold a conservative political view that usually is in favor of stricter immigration laws. However, many prominent conservative politicians and religious leaders have come out and staunchly opposed the law. These testaments from people in power have far reaching consequences as they are looked upon rather favorably by the people in Alabama and the ethos appeal can definitely be seen

This article is about Syrian refugees in Turkey and one reporters stories about dealing with them.

Watson is the reporter who is there witnessing and relaying his account of what is happening. The Syrians are fleeing and being forced out of their country by the dictator Al Assad, and they are going to Turkey and staying in refugee camps. This article tries to persuade us of many things. The main claim/theme of this article is that the Syrians need our help and support. They use narrative and personal accounts from watson of families and people living there. They appeal to emotions and reason a little, but they do not utilize ethos like they could have, but that is fine. Their appeals to emotions are strong and make their story persuasive. They illustrate all the harsh things and violence Syrian refugees are experiencing. They really make the reader sympathize and empathize with their situation, then they hit us with an implied policy claim at the end. I found it very effective and it really gets you thinking.

"You have to remember what these people have gone through. They are now stateless. They don't have rights in Turkey. They cannot travel freely around Turkey on into other countries. They've left their loved ones behind. They are desperate for the outside world to hear them. Many of them feel betrayed by Western countries that have intervened, for example in Libya, using the argument of defending civilian populations from dictators, and they ask why the same hasn't happened for them." -Watson

On Wednesday, nine people, all believed to be illegal immigrants, were killed in a late night accident in southern Texas. Coyotes, as human smugglers are known to overload vehicles with illegal immigrants to spirit them from border areas to inland cities where they move on to destinations throughout the United States. Frequently driven at high speed to outrun law enforcement, the vehicles are top heavy and roll easily. Which explains why this happened to this van carrying 19 people in it on Wednesday.
The ethos or credibility in this article is fairly normal for this type of a story in the news. Typically as the author of an article of this style you want there to be direct quotes from a police officer or an eyewitness to the scene. The eyewitness in this story causes the story to take a slight twist in my opinion. The beginning of the article is simply information claims and as accurate of a story as they know at the time. Then what seems like out of no where they pull out this name, Dianna Castillo, who is only twenty three years of age, "stood in front of her home near the wreck on Wednesday morning." She said this to the reporter, "The bodies were everywhere," Castillo said. "I wanted to cry because it's really sad because they came over here to live a better life and then they lost their lives." Immediately I got this sense that the author or reporter that put this article together wanted to make sure she was painting these illegal immigrants in a good light. Who knows maybe they were coming up here to find a better life for themselves, or maybe they were coming in for other reasons.
I guess my point in saying all of this is, is that if the reporter had interviewed an eyewitness that had replied in a negative or racist way, would he or she have added that in this news report? I do not think they would have, can you imagine the response they would have gotten from their readers if they would have? Instead they chose to put this remark and slightly slip their argument in there with out really making it an argumentative piece. You can say that I am making accusation, or coming to a hasty conclusion about this article, but I am just stating my opinion as I see it.

-Anna Srock

Death of a Briton Is Thrust to Center of China Scandal

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Bo Xilai, one of China's Communist leaders is almost done with his political career, by charge of corruption and a scandal of his wife. His wife is now charged as a suspect with murdering a Britain businessman, Neil Heywood. New york times and Washington Post both report this astonishing political scandal in China, however, from rather different perspectives. New York Times mainly talks about crimes of Bo Xilai and his family conducted. As a mayor of Chongqing, one of the big cities in China, he promoted "red revival" as a leftist, which some critics consider as a reverse to the infamous Cultural Revolution. Commercial advertisements are banned in Chongqing televisions during the prime time. But Washington Post says Bo Xilai did a good job when he was the political boss in Chongqing. He relieved the economic disparity and helped the poor. According to Washington Post, there were protests in Chongqing against Bo's removal.
What I want to say is politics really, really sucks in China. There are lots of rumors all around. What's the purpose of the removal of Bo Xilai? Is he really, really a bad guy? Or is he a scapegoat? I have totally no idea. Different media have different explanations. Chinese major media are repressed by the government censorship. Some U.S. media attack Chinese politics way too much, and they just want to report in a totally opposite side doubting the government's decision. Now the government decides Bo Xilai's removal. Washington Post stands out to support Bo, arguing Bo's political strategy in Chongqing benefits he citizens, which I totally disbelieve! Washington Post lacks ethos and logos. Since, as a Chinese, the silly "red revival" promotion does nothing good obviously.

Did 'Kony' director have a manic 'episode'?

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This article is about the Kony director that went crazy and ran through the streets naked playing with himself and banging his fists on the ground while yelling incoherently. This article is very convincing. They are trying to persuade us of the diagnosis that was given. Ethos, as it is many times, is vital in this type of article. The author is a psychiatrist which increases credibility. Also, the author doesn't make it sound like he knows everything and he is always right, but says rather that he is trying to describe the symptoms as best he can. He says, is everyone the same? No. So reasons for behavior in one person are not the same as reasons of others. He is straightforward and honest about it and doesn't beat around the bush. This enhances his credibility. This is the key point of the article. They make some logic claims and their logos is strong too, but the ethos is what makes this article sound. The author and many other experts have come to the conclusion that, "Mr. Russell has received the diagnosis of "Brief Reactive Psychosis"." Although, he says that the future will be the only thing that will reveal if it will repeat or not and admits his diagnosis very well may not be correct.

this article is about how Reebok is in a lawsuit with Nike about Tebow shirts and Nike won. The article was effective in convincing us their fact claims were true and I am left with no doubt that what they say is happening actually is happening, but they left a lot out. For this, I think their main argument was slightly debunked. They did not include much information in their article and I was left wondering what exactly was happening. I got the feeling that it was an ongoing event and this was just an update, because they didn't fill the readers in on everything that was ha[ppening. It isn't that the article isn't detailed, it just doesn't include most of the most vital information and the reader has to infer what is going on and why. This is probably ineffective argumentation because of this. Otherwise, they made great use of fact claims and even a little with appeals to emotions. Interesting type of article.

DOJ sues apple over price fixing scheme

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This article is about price fixing with apple and other companies that offer e-book reading and selling.

I thought this article was very effective at persuading. Most news articles aim to persuade us that the news they present is real, but many times there is another, underlying, message. This article did a great job at persuading that their news was true. They used fact claims very effectively. They grounded and warranted when needed. Although it was riddled with jargon, most people would be able to understand it, even if they don't know what every single word means. They used expert testimony as well as legal events to support their claims, both very effective ways to do so.

Their underlying claim/argument was that these price fixing companies were engaged in monopoly like tactics and strategies. This is hinted at all throughout the article but it is even spoken directly at one point. "Those agreements, dubbed "most-favored nation" clauses, aren't straight-out illegal under antitrust laws -- but they're also not always legal."

This is a nice article and they do a good job at persuading using logos and ethos to their advantage. Their credibility is through the roof in this article.

Zimmerman to be charged

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this article is about Zimmerman and Trayvons death. This article aims to convince us that Zimmerman is going to be charged now. THey did not do a great job at persuading us in this article. Their ethos was developed poorly, they lacked logos and their facts didn't even support their claim. Their argument was flawed. Their main idea was that Zimmerman was going to be charged, but this was misleading. People say he is going to be charged and it looks reasonable, but it hasn't happened yet and it is not yet set in stone. The "to be" in the title is misleading and these words should be kept in mind when reading news stories.

The author cites sources but the misleading title detracts from ethos. And the facts don't fully support his claim, some of the facts presented disagree with the overall theme of his argument even though they are not intended to present a counterargument. This is faulty use of logic claims and it makes me wary of this article.

Justice Dept. Sues Apple and Publishers Over E-Book Pricing

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This article is about how the justice department is suing Apple and five major companies on the basis that they are controlling E-book pricing to whatever they feel is necessary. They filed a civil antitrust suit against them on Wednesday on the claim that they raised e-book prices in 2010. Several of the publishers have already started to settle the lawsuit. The investigation started last year when investigators started when the government said there was illegal action two years ago when publishers adopted a pricing policy for e-books. They claimed the companies used a policy, "known as the agency model, allowed publishers to set their own prices on e-books, with the retailer taking a commission." Compared to the normal "wholesale model in which publishers charged retailers about half the cover price for a book and then allowed retailers to set their own sale price."


Democrats vs. Republicans on the Tax Debate

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An interesting opinion article was posted in the Washington Post today regarding the claims and lies made by both political parties about taxing issues and the budget deficit. The author, Matt Miller argues that both sides are creating a stalemate by lying to the public about how best to solve the growing budget problem. He argues that the Republicans are trying to convince the public that the only thing that we need to bring the budget under control is the cutting of government-funded programs and lowering spending. Democrats are trying to convince the public that the only solution is to tax those who make over 250,000 dollars per year, and that will be enough to bring the budget under control. The author argues that both of these claims are misleading and are keeping us from coming up with a reasonable solution and prolonging the strain on the economy. He uses logos by explaining the upcoming strain on Medicare as the baby boom generation moves towards retirement. He does not have proof for the following argument so it hurts his overall argument somewhat, but he claims that neither one of these viewpoints will bring spending under control and provide a stable economy. He argues that our current levels of spending are not sustainable: we need to pull some tactics from both sides of the argument if we are to create a logical plan for future spending.

Two presidents are better than one

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In this commentary, Justin Moyer described David Orentlicher's new book "Two Presidents are Better than One: The Case for a Bipartisan Executive Branch." The book outlines how a bipartisan presidency would ease partisanship across the country, help third-party candidates get elected, ease tensions between the executive and legislative branch, and allow the executive branch to be more representative of the constituency.

The author of the article states that Orentlicher is a professor of law, which in itself gives him credibility, but he was also a state legislature. This build the author's credibility because he has actual experience with government and the effects of partisanship.

I think Orentlicher's solution to partisanship, two presidents, is highly unlikely to happen. It would require a constitutional amendment which requires 2/3 of all congress to approve. Rather, if a precedent were to be set for presidential candidates to chose a vice president from the opposite party, partisanship would be equally subdued.


3,000 Dolphins Found Dead on the Coast of Peru

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Over the course of three months, 3,000 dead dolphins have been found on the coast of Peru. Peruvian biologist Carlos Yaipen believes the cause of the dolphins' deaths is a controversial technique for detecting oil beneath the seabed. Yaipen said, "The oil companies use different frequencies of acoustic waves and the effects produced by these bubbles are not plainly visible, but they generate effects later in the animals. That can cause death by acoustic impact, not only in dolphins, but also in marine seals and whales." The underwater sonar causes "the formation of microscopic bubbles of nitrogen in the bloodstream and vital organs of aquatic mammals," otherwise known as the deadly condition called the Bends.

This article makes many fact claims about what is happening. Logos is used when trying to determine why it's happening. The logos is backed up by ethos with the quotes by Carlos Yaipen.

The Article

Santorum Drops 2012 Presidential Bid 4.11.12

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Minnesota Daily for 4.11.12

The republican race for who will receive the presidential bid is coming to a quick close, with Romney the projected nominee after Santorum's drop out just yesterday.

This article from the AP makes some strong claims about whats to come of the Romney campaign, stating that it'll be a long and hard fight for the next 7 months until the presidential nomination.

The problem most Americans are currently dealing with in deciding who should take the next election falls primarily with the current state of the economy, and some who think that the Obama's administration hasn't handled it well.

However, in recent polls, Obama has shown a double digit lead in likability and inspiration, and many are questioning, as this article quotes Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina, if they can trust Romney.

-Jenna Peneueta-Snyder

Charles Manson moving to Mental hospital (Alex Davis)

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There has been multiple hearings, referring to Charles Manson and his future in a mental hospital. Charles Manson was convicted of a series of murders in the Los Angeles area in 1969. Manson and his "family" were found guilty of their crimes and sent to prison. Now that Manson is 77 years old, there has been some thought to him being released to a Mental Hospital. Although Manson keeps putting himself into a deeper hole than when he started. Some fact claims about his imprisonment are that, there have been two instances where guards have found a cell phone in Manson's possession, also a homemade weapon has also been confiscated from him. The courts keep saying that Manson is still too dangerous to be let free, he could still bring harm to those around him. Even though he has the possibility of parole, it does not seem likely that he will.http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/04/charles-manson-should-move-to-mental-hospital-attorney-says.html (Alex Davis)

News Summary 4.13.12

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In discussing the article, "Push for the Right to Die Grows in the Netherlands" by David Jolly published in the 'New York Times' I am going to be primarily focusing on the credibility the argument has in my own perspective as an audience member.
The article begins with a personal depiction of Dr. Petra de Jong, "a Dutch pulmonologist" and her experience with an elder man wanting to end his life. This presents one issue with credibility. It starts with a story of passion that caught my attention and utilized pathos. I feel for the patient. Subconsciously did I add more trust to Dr. de Jong's argument to allow euthanasia because of this personal story from her?
Following, the doctors credibility is elevated with expertise she has and authority as "the head of the euthanasia advocacy group Right to Die-NL". And using claims that involve the words "overwhelming majority" and "thousands" give this side of the argument a sense of popularity, another issue when it comes to credibility. I now have the impression that in the Netherlands, for the most part, everyone agrees with the doctor.
On the second page of the article, the procedure is discussed, and trust is gained as I read about the precautions and detailed steps taken in the procedure.
But as the article comes to a close, the opposing side is stated and I am brought back to reality, seeing that most of the reasoning for euthanasia were 'false' credibility markers and that authority is given to the other side with facts about the procedure and the expertise and trust for pro-euthanasia declines with statements such as "it is not clear how well doctors were adhering to the official guidelines" (4) in regards to the procedure, and discussed following is the issue the patients that are "not suffering physically" and the "extension of euthanasia" given to these people. Both of these topics swayed me to the conclusion that the credibility offered for anti-euthanasia, even though less than pro, was more effective than the other side.


News Summary 4.11.12

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The article "Iran's Efforts to Stir Afghan Violence Worry U.S." written by Thom Shanker, Eric Schmitt, and Alissa J. Rubin presents more than one arguments by example. By doing this, the article not only maintains fluidity but also gains audience views on the overall claim that because of recent events, Iran and Afghanistan movements require our careful watch, because movements in regards to military and weapons will may negatively effect America directly on the front line.
One claim that shows how the authors carefully qualify the statement is "for the most part, the efforts by Iranian agents and local surrogates failed to provoke widespread or lasting unrest" (1). By using "for the most part" and avoiding words like "always" and "invariably" they bypass later criticism because they are not claiming that actions by Iranian agents fail all the time, but in their experience and through interviews they found that most of the time this was true.
Two other claims that are followed by an example is "that Iran continued to "fuel the flames of violence" by supporting the Afghan insurgency" and "Iran could do more if they chose to". The one example provided to reason these claims dances with the issue of being misled by vivid description. "In a melee after the Koran burning, 7 people were killed and 65 were wounded, Afghan and American officials said. That violence peaked when a police ammunition truck was hit by gunfire from a rioter and exploded." Although this does not contain as graphic depictions as it could have, it still offers up numbers of casualties and the effects of the violence. This can create misled ideas about the actual amount of violence occurring. This may have been the only outrage following the Koran incident. And the fact that only one example is offered lessens the effect of the claim.
The final claim I would like to bring up that is depiction of argument by example is this, that "Iran has exercised other means of 'soft-power'...opening schools" and is followed up by three (the magic number) examples. In "western Afghanistan to help extend influence...opened schools in Kabul, and have largely financed a university attached to a large new Shiite mosque." This, I would say is one of the better grounded claims in the article, and so ending with it I think was effective. It left the reader with a claim that had more than one, like some of the other claims in the article, examples grounding the statement made in concern to the violence in the Middle East and the concerns of the United States.



This article is written in a very interesting way, considering the controversy around the shooting of Treyvon Martin.

The man who shot Treyvon was 28 year old Zimmerman. The issues of the controversy center around racial profiling. Treyvon was a 17-year-old black kid, and Zimmerman a 28-year-old Hispanic man, who headed the neighborhood watch committee. The article is announcing that Zimmerman's lawyers have publicly stepped down from representing him because he has stopped responding to their communications, and went behind their advice speaking with the prosecutor, Fox news, and creating his own website, despite the fact that they were creating one for him in an effort to protect him.

The article opens by quoting Zimmerman's lawyers, saying he is unstable, unreachable, and very disconnected from reality. It segues into questioning the lawyers' professionalism in making those statements. Finally, it revisits Zimmerman's behavior and considers that he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and is hiding in solitude for fears of attacks.

The progression of the article is confusing, and fails to make clear the writer's points. The beginning states strongly that Zimmerman is unstable, and suggests that charges against him should be coming down soon. In contrast, the end of the article tries to explain his behavior in a more understanding way, and the middle even scolds those that made the initial statement. I would have expected the progression to happen in the reverse order.

Since the journalist chose to write it in this order, it is clear that he is promoting the public opinion that is seeking prosecution for Zimmerman's actions. He maintains a stronger argument than the opinions seeking that by acknowledging the complications. As with most reputable, ethical news sources seeking to inform, the article stops short of drawing conclusions. The selective use of evidence leads the reader effectively to a conclusion without alienating those who may have disagreed by stating their position outright.

The article is also accompanied by a large photo of Zimmerman. He is smiling awkwardly, and it is taken out of context of anything. The photo is somewhat reminiscent of a mug shot, further progressing the implications of the article.

The context of this argument is important, because media surrounding the case has been so prevalent and provocative. The credibility of the piece is ethical journalism, but doesn't meet a burden beyond that, as the structure of the piece is clearly biased. There is no discussion of laws, facts from the nights, or other explicit logical reasoning to draw conclusions about. This is partially due to the well-known nature of the incident; they did not need to be iterated. However, it is typical for arguments to at least touch upon the relevant logical points, and this article did not do so.

When the Olympics is your neighbor (4/11 entry)

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By Marian Smith, msnbc.com
April 10th, 2012

As the Olympics fast approaches, photographer Gideon Mendel has sought to capture the diversity of life within one mile of the main Olympic site. This photo blog on MSNBC describes a small restaurant that almost closed their doors a few years ago due to construction starting in East London, in preparation for the Olympics this summer. This fourth-generation family restaurants profit went down by 90% when closed roads stopped their loyal customers from coming. They decided to build a new restaurant directly across the River Lea from the Olympic Stadium and have high hopes for this summers profit. Their are two pictures in this blog, so I found it only fitting to blog about it this week, because we have been talking about visual arguments. The top picture is of the old restaurant filled with construction workers eating a meal on their lunch break. It shows the workers eating a hearty meal in a out of date room, and the man in the front of the picture just happens to be reading a newspaper with English news on it. In my mind I immediately thought this photographer is trying to portray these men, as hard workers who live just like you and I do, eating lunch and reading the news. But the author is also trying to portray the looks of the old restaurant, because towards the bottom is a picture of a shiny new kitchen at the restaurants new location.
This may not be a debated topic in England with new restaurants opening just for the Olympics, but who knows maybe it is. But this just goes to show that even thought there may not be an argument behind this blog there is still an underlying message in a picture that the reader can draw his own conclusions from.

-Anna Srock

Ashley Judd responds to media attention

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Hello class -

This is a really interesting article in light of our recent conversations on Feminism.

Take a look:


I'd be interested to hear what you all think!


4/11: Masters Controversy Rages On

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This article was written for ABC news by Erin Hayes. It is oulining the latest outrage surrounding the Augustana, Ga golf club and their policy on women members. Women are not allowed to join the golf club that recently held the Master tournament, one of the highest-profile events in sports. Martha Burk, chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, states that this is sex discrimination at the highest level. The club's chairman, Hootie Johnson, states that there may come a time when we include women as members of our club but he wasn't going to let Burk set the timetable. I think that his technique is to divert attention away from the question at hand but instead focus on the fact that they may change eventually but she is being too pushy. I think that this may be effective for some who do not care what kind of message this kind of discrimination sends.

Burke argues that this fight is about women's ability to do business at the highest corporate level, to have all doors open to them, even the doors to the golf course so they can entertain their high-profile clients at high-profile affairs just like their male counterparts do. She says. 'I believe if a CEO is willing to tolerate a club that shuts out his female counterparts, then he's willing to tolerate a pay gap in his company, probably a glass ceiling, and who knows what else?" I am very biased to agree with her claims but nonetheless I believe what she is saying to be valid.

The counter argument to this is that it is a private club and they should be able to invite who they want to join. Mike Watson, here to watch the goings-on around the Masters tournament, said that if the Augusta club "were a federally funded organization, I'd feel quite different." But, he said, men should be able to have their own private clubs. Women, too. "I think if women wanted to form a country club and keep men out, that should be their privilege."

I found this to be extremely interesting because of the discussions in class. I also had conversations about this topic with two male coworkers who agreed with the golf course claiming that, 'I don't think they are wrong to exclude women, it's men only.' I told them that I could not imagine the outrage if there was a golf course that was 'white only' no blacks allowed. This is the exact same type of discrimination, and should not be overlooked or tolerated. Racism and sexism are both taking a group of people and targeting them or excluding them.

-Alex Mountain

Destroy ugly architecture

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This article discusses a side to a recent public debate in the area of architecture. The debate waged is on whether or not to preserve old architectural structures that are not aesthetically appeasing, particularly raw concrete models sculpted in the Brutalism era. The author acknowledges that building should be preserved for two reasons; because they are of great historic importance or are aesthetically beneficial. He argues that a single ugly building such and an outstandingly negative building can ruin the entire look of a town. He claims that these "atrocities" should be torn down, only leaving a few to preserve an example of the style. The author acknowledges the opposition from architects that the fault lies in the "uneducated eye" of the viewer, but refutes this opposition by claiming buildings cannot be better than they look, because "architecture is a public art that imposes itself on the public." The author uses logos to refute for Brutalist gray concrete monsters.

-Matt Foley


Some researchers believe that it is neonicotinoids, a kind of insecticide, that lead to the disappearance of bees nationwide. Therefore, a petition to ban neonicotinoids is carried out. Whether we should pass the petition? The whole article holds a neutral stand. The author talks about why proponents think the ban is necessary, giving the conclusion of the lab to back up the argument. However, the author also doubts the result that neonicotinoids are the main culprit, since the logos proof of the proponents doesn't seem strong enough. Not only neonicotinoids are the contributors, but there are also other factors should be examined. University of Minnesota Researchers also say that more research is needed before the Environmental Protection Agency approves such a ban. The petition is a policy claim. Policy is suggested in order to solve a certain problem. While if there is not enough evidence to guarantee the ban can relieve the problem of the disappearance of bees, the ban still needs to wait to be judged.

Why we speed

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In this opinion article in the Star Tribune, David Banks argues that there is a simple reason for why people speed: flow. This article is a response to another opinion article which stated that people should not be able to pay their way to a clean record. The author concedes that, yes, laws exist for a reason, but speed limits are not determined by any moral guide; speed limits are based on the apex of safety and fuel efficiency and effectiveness. The author argues that everyone's apex or comfort zone is different, and flow is best achieved when everyone can go at their own pace, just as in a work environment or when on a walk. He ends the article by saying that problems on the road are caused not by speeding (or not speeding) but by inattentiveness, again by using anecdotal evidence; this issue should be more focused on than speeding, more cracked down on.

I think this argument was compelling. The author took an "everyman" look at the issue. His argument as to why speed limits are not the most important law and why not necessarily obeying the speed limit can be more efficient was made clearly, and he offered a different solution to the supposed problem of speeding.


I wanted to analyze the visual presented with the article. The article is about the head of the taxpayer-funded convention and visitors bureau got a 4 percent raise and a $23,025 bonus, as city employees in Minneapolis endured a wage freeze this year to keep property taxes down, .This article is about It is of Melvin Tennant, the CEO of Meet Minneapolis, arrived at the convention center on a Segway before giving a recent speech. I think this visual is meant to appeal to the readers pathos. He is looking very happy and a little silly on a segway indoors. To me this makes me think he is lazy, and therefore not hard working. This may be meant to make him seem undeserving of the raise he was given and therefore strengthen the argument the article is making that this is unfair and wrong. I think this visual is effective to support the article

-Alex Mountain

I wanted to analyze the visual presented with the article. The article is about the head of the taxpayer-funded convention and visitors bureau got a 4 percent raise and a $23,025 bonus, as city employees in Minneapolis endured a wage freeze this year to keep property taxes down, .This article is about It is of Melvin Tennant, the CEO of Meet Minneapolis, arrived at the convention center on a Segway before giving a recent speech. I think this visual is meant to appeal to the readers pathos. He is looking very happy and a little silly on a segway indoors. To me this makes me think he is lazy, and therefore not hard working. This may be meant to make him seem undeserving of the raise he was given and therefore strengthen the argument the article is making that this is unfair and wrong. I think this visual is effective to support the article

-Alex Mountain

4/9/12 - Does anyone remember AOL?

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AOL selling patents to Microsoft in $1 billion deal

AOL patents to expire soon, being sold to Microsoft

I used to use AIM all the time when I was a kid which is why this article caught my attention. After its 15 minutes of fame in the 90s, AOL has since flown under the radar. Though this article seems to be innocent and informative, there is a hint of alliance with, well, everyone but Google. "The deal represents a coup for basically everyone not named Google." What this article is cleverly doing is pointing out a specific error in Google's thinking so as to chip away at Google's reputation. By extricating this thought and highlighting its flaws, the reputation of Google is being based off this one decision.

Keeping Students' Mental Health Care Out of the E.R.

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This article is about the lack of special education classes in New York. The lack of special classes provides a problem for the students that need it. In this article it tells the story of Gabriel who was ignored the rights to be in a special education class and have his own aide because of the lack of money the schools in New York have. He had many violent and angry tantrums and was sent by EMS to the hospital to be evaluated and each time he was sent back the next day totally fine. Another problem for the New York schools is changes in how the education department finances special education services


A Man, A Woman. Just Friends?

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In this opinion piece by William Deresiewicz, Deresiewicz entails what it means for men and women to be friends, and how its more a political issue than you'd think.

He starts by giving some background, like how male/female friendships in western culture is relatively new (considering our long evolutionary history). Men and women used to occupy entirely different spheres, the work place, the home, school, etc, etc, and we seen and inferior...and therefore friendships rarely came about.

However, male/female friendships have become more frequent with the growing feminist movement, as William claims, it has brought women into the same spheres as men, and made all equal.

He does however, point out how media and society still rebel slightly against this idea that men and women can be friends...as we normally see movies in which male/female friendships always turn out to be more to one or the other, or both. As well as in reality, in which Deresiewicz points out even friendships between males or between females is suspect, such as Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King.

-Jenna Peneueta-Snyder

DAAREL BURNETTE II Wrote this piece, "Race-specific groups take aim at academic disparity" for the Star Tribune

This article discusses a new program that seeks to improve the academic standing and social integration of racial minorities at the increasingly diverse Woodbury High School. As the school got more diverse over recent years, achievement, which was historically very high, slowly began dropping. The majority, white teachers did not have the skills to support their new student body. A new group,"Be The Dream" meets after-school with students of color and teachers. Teacher education and student awareness of opportunities are two key components of the group.

The article makes the policy claim that the new group is effective, and a good investment for the school. The introduction is by heralding it's successes, before any information about the program has been shared. In addition, the student and teacher opinions that start it off and are shared throughout are single-mindedly supportive of the program.

The policy claim is upheld with the credibility of statistics. The test scores of the students have improved dramatically in the few short years of the program. Interestingly, the scores of the majority, white students who are not a direct part of the program have also improved. This adds a wider base of support to the program, as it is not skewing the use of resources unfairly; it is good for all students.

The article explains distinct differences in components of high schools that hit close to home for every reader, and also highlight specific changes. Lunchroom seating, hallway fights, and test scores are common high school characteristics that many are familiar with.

The article loses some credibility in two brief moments. In one, the article identifies the white majority teachers as being distanced from the students of color by being more "grounded." They also bring up racial tensions, but in their hallway fight example, highlight a fight between African-American students, and African students over traditional African garb that was worn on school spirit day. These choices are subtle, but implicate negative connotations with the students of color, and fail to highlight any concerns about the white students. The former also is stereotyping the students of color as less grounded, and places them in stark relief based solely on majority assessment of what "grounded" consists of, as this is an unfounded assumption with no grounds or backing.

Overall, the article is excellent. There is no discussion of negative components of the program, which clearly makes the policy argument that the program is good.

Robot Fish Help Scientists with Understanding

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In an article for salon.com, Laura Miller describes the work of scientist John Long, which has helped scientists and researchers better understand the way that evolution works. Miller states that Long is a researcher who has been fascinated by fish for a great deal of time, and he uses robotics to better understand the reasons that fish and other sea creatures have evolved the way they have. Long creates robots that resemble certain creatures and makes hypotheses about the way that he believes that evolution should make them act. He then takes the actual findings and interprets them to find actual reasons for evolution, which often defy intuition.

Miller's overall claim in the article is that robots can be used in unexpected ways to advance the work of science. Miller describes in depth two unexpected ways that Long's research has been used to explain evolution that would have previously been contradictory. Miller's grounds for this come in the form of fact claims that appeal to logos when she cites these two scientific studies. One describes how Long and his team discovered a factor in tadpoles called "wobble" that led to the development of backbones in early vertebrates. Another describes that discovery that an ancient creature's use of four flippers was actually inefficient, which was contrary to popular belief. The article seems to also make an overarching policy claim that unpopular scientific research (both involving robots and otherwise) should be funded in order to increase discoveries similar to those made by Long. The grounds for this claim are the unexpected discoveries created by Long's research.

There is a report that has been highly controversial on both ends of the abortion arguments in recent weeks. Two Australian ethicists are now arguing that there is no legitimate difference between an unborn human fetus and a newborn. Therefore, their fact claim is that there should be no difference in the rights of parents to choose whether to terminate an unwanted pregnancy even if the child has already been born. The reasons for this argument are that having a child may cause unknown psychological harm to a mother after the birth and that abortion is not suitable for all families. Opponents are suggesting that because of this claim, people are blurring the lines more and more on where "rightful" termination of a life ends and murder of a human being begins. The ethicists make a policy claim that it should not matter whether or not the child is otherwise healthy. The fact that the newborn does not have the moral reasoning capabilities of an adult human means that their feelings should not be taken into account when deciding whether or not they hold the right to live, and therefore, we need to give parents the ability to terminate the life of their newborn child if they choose.

Link to the News Article:
Link to the Journal Article:

Military and Drugs (Alex Davis)

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This article is about the U.S. Air Force pilot Patrick Burke; he was stationed at Ellsworth air force base. The pilot had taken a tablet of Dexedrine, in which is an amphetamine, but also known as "go pills" One night after taking these pills, and having some drinks on the way home Burke began to strike his friend in the head. He also attacked the lady who was escorting them home. After this he stole the car, and eventually ended up crashing it into a guard rail. Burke had been charged with auto-theft, drunk driving and two counts of assault, but got lucky when the judge found him not guilty "by reason of lack of mental responsibility" Drugs are all around our military going from anti-depressants, narcotics, sedatives, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety drug. Not a huge percentage of our military is taking drugs to help them with post combat thoughts, stress, and anxiety. But on the flip side to all of these to help our military it seems to be making an impact. The suicide and homicides rates dealing with the military is also sky rocketed through the rough. The drugs given in a military also are an easy access for most; they can pass along through soldiers. Another fact claim dealing with the military is that "The big difference is these are people who have access to loaded weapons, or have responsibility for protecting other individuals who are in harm's way." So because they are in the military is it okay to abuse drugs? Some doctor's feel that they are still weighed on the benefits and risks, along with the use of the drugs, but other than drugs what is the military doing to help our soldiers who do need more clinical attention. James Culp, who is a former Army paratrooper, but now a high-profile military defense lawyer states "What do you do when 30-80% of the people that you have in the military have gone on three or more deployments, and they are mentally worn out? What do you do when they can't sleep? You make a calculated risk in prescribing these medications." This means that after his claim he would rather have them on medication than re-living their war memories. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-army-medication-20120408,0,1291311.story (Alex Davis)

Can a Man and Women be "Just Friends" ?

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William Deresiewicz makes an exceedingly interesting argument in his editorial in the New York Times that I suggest you take a look at. He argues that there can be and does exist such thing as a platonic relationship between men and women. He makes his argument by supplementing it with historical knowledge and evolution of the relationships between men and women in Western Society. He draws ties to the Feminist movements and how the new roles available for women in society have shaped the way they are allowed to interact with men. The article explains how it is societal issues that explain why we do not yet as a whole believe that such a relationship exists; we still suspect any close member of the opposite sex. In a thorough and ethical way, Deresiewicz explains to the reader how we, in our culture have trouble with any love that is not explainable by romance or family. He suggests things are beginning to change, opening us up to a wider range of emotional possibilities. He uses references such as When Harry Met Sally and friendships like the ones we see on the television series Friends between Ross and Rachel and Monica and Chandler. He explains how the common misbelief media portrays is that friendships always end up in bed. While we don't hear of platonic relationships often, the author suggests they are a large part of his life, and while young people with "all those hormones" don't get it, the companionship of a platonic friendship with the opposite sex is very possible.

-Matt Foley

Lawyer gets 5 years for defrauding county

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This article is about a Brookfield lawyer who scammed more than $500,000 from the Milwaukee County clerk of courts who was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison. The question they are now trying to decide is how much restitution he might pay and who will get it if he does.

I found this article to be interesting because I felt had some definition arguments and the consequence. The lawyer committed a crime of defrauding and by law when convicted you are required to serve some time in jail, they also provided another example of someone who was convicted and sentenced.

And they alos provided claims of logic, logos. When trying to decide who the money would go to. Because the money he took was from about 30 victims in order for them to get some money they would have to assert their claims for restitution at the sentencing because the county is trying to get the same money. Any unclaimed money after 10years if the county's money. I thought it was logical that if the victims wanted the money that was taken from them, they would have to speak at the sentencing. I think it was fair and can only help and not hurt.

Let students drink at TCF

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The author supports alcohol selling in TCF bank. One reason he given is that students should be treated as adults. Also, this policy will prevent students' from binging alcohol before games. Another reason is if the bill is passed, budget will increase by selling alcohol. The author shows his stand very obviously. This editorial is a debate supporting a policy claim. However, as far as I am concerned, the whole article is not strong enough. As we known, Wisconsin has allowed university students to drink alcohol in the stadium. If Wisconsin can be given as an example to back up the claim, logos proof can be stronger. Analogy is a good way to illustrate an issue. Besides, since this is a controversial case, it would be more convincing if the author can have an effective rebuttal. Why opponents are against this bill? Why their worry is not a problem? Now that the ban was passed in 2010, there were definitely certain significant concerns. It would be better if the author can prove all the concerns are not necessary.

James Murdoch steps down as head of BSkyB

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James Murdoch has stepped down as the chair for British Sky Broadcasting. His decision was logos-based, as he made the fact claim that his presence in the company could make him "'a lightning rod' for attacks on the satellite network following his role in the long-running phone-hacking scandal."

The phone-hacking scandal was when News International hacked "phone messages of celebrities, politicians and murder victims triggered a string of high-profile arrests and resignations in Britain." This also triggered Murdoch's resignation from the company.

The Article

Lavish Spending For Corporate Events

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The Washington Post reported Thursday that the massive General Services Administration company has been horrendously mismanaged financially. The author provides evidence to back up his claim by explaining how off budget the company was when planning a lavish team-building event at a resort in Las Vegas. The original budget for this event was 300,000 dollars and quickly spiraled out of control to a whopping 823,000 dollars. The author also acknowledges the poor choice to give the organizer of this event a bonus of unspecified quantity anyway after a board of directors determined that it would be inappropriate to do so. The man who received this bonus is Jeffrey E. Neely, the manager of the company. He has been placed on administrative leave as more information is coming to light about how spending was mismanaged by Neely and his team. All of this evidence very effectively backs up the author's claim that spending was very poorly overseen and led to lavish parties and bonuses in the midst of the economic downturn. All of this spending for the conference was reportedly for Neely to ensure that "the infamous Las Vegas planning conference had to be 'over the top'".

Today's special: Moorhead waitress gets her $12,000 tip

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In Moorhead waitress Stacy Knutson believed she was blessed by a 12,000 dollar tip. It was left by a customer in a takeout box. She tried to return it to him and he told her to keep it. She figured it was to heavy to be food, opened up the takeout box and found wads and wads of money. She turned it into authorities and the authorities said in ninety days if no one claims it she could have the money. But then the authorities said the money was drug money and the drug dogs could smell weed and narcotics on the money. So they in turn decide to give her a 1000 dollar reward instead of the full 12,000 for turning in the drug money. Knutson decides to file suit for the money and in her statement she said, "it is a complete miracle to see our prayers answered, but then difficult to face the reality of the struggle it is to obtain it from the Moorhead Police Department." People from the community are arguing that the money couldn't have been given to a more appropriate person. Stacy Knutson is still back waitressing tables until now she has to wait until the courts decide.

U.S. Added Only 120,000 Jobs in March, Report Shows

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This article shows that the United States has only added 120,000 jobs in March which is fairly low, but the unemployment rate dropped from 8.3 to 8.2% reported from the US labor department. Analysts forecasted it to be 205,000 new jobs but it was only a staggering 120,000. ADP reported that private sector gains reached 209,000 new employees and mostly they were from small businesses with 49 people or less. Stock market was also down by 1%. Unemployment has been a topic in the presidential campaign if unemployment is decreasing it will work to Obama's favor for the presidential election as he will sway more voters to vote for him.


Dodgers New Era off to a bad start (Alex Davis)

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The major league baseball team known as the Los Angeles Dodgers has not had the best seasons as of late. They have recently been dealing for new ownership and they got it. Magic Johnson who was also a professional athlete and played for the Los Angeles Lakers now shares in the ownership of the Dodgers. At the home opener Johnson was seen sitting with the old owner, who practically destroyed the organization. There is specualtion as to why Johnson would be photographed sitting next to the old owner Frank McCourt. Some claims made about Magic Johnson and his choices are that he is supposed to be the face of Dodgers, so why would he be seen with the person who is no good. Magic Johnsons is none the less a great athlete, and sports icon, but his judgement as a baseball executive is very suspect. Other claims are that the people who he is been seen with are bad news when it comes to running an orginaztion. Assumptions are made and the opinions of the people are that he needs to let go of the past and take control of the dodgers with out being influenced by people who do not have good intentions. http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-0406-simers-dodgers-20120406,0,2527109.column (Alex Davis)

Political cartoon "Flea circus"

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For this entry, I'm going to analyze a political cartoon and the argument it's making.

This cartoon is an image of Mitt Romney as a dog trying to scratch at the "fleas" which are drawn to look like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

This image creates an argument that, at this point in the GOP presidential candidate race, Gingrich and Santorum are just fleas to Mitt Romney. Fleas are little parasites that live off the blood of mammals. So right now, Gingrich and Santorum are only in the race by clinging onto Romney. This in turn distracts Romney, as depicted by Romney-dog trying to scratch at the fleas. Rather than focusing on issues, Romney must still try to beat off Gingrich and Santorum.


Star Tribune editorial

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This is make up for Wednesday, April 4th.

This Star Tribune editorial argues that Governor Dayton should not veto a GOP-sponsered bill that would end the tenure based layoff system for teachers. This bill would allow for seniority to be one of many factors in determining layoffs, not the only factor.

The editorial does a good job of iterating the benefits of a merit-based system and the consequences of a tenure-based system. There is strong refutation, where the author notes that Dayton cries this bill is politics, not policy, motivated; the author then accuses the Governor of the same thing, saying that to veto this bill because it may or may not be politically motivated is equally politically motivated.

I would be interested to hear what teachers think of the different layoff systems. It's hard for me to be swayed by either argument without having all of the information. Is it just that young teachers support a merit-based system, and older, tenured teachers support the tenure system? Or is there crossover?


The White Earth Nations has made three proposals that would dramatically improve the state of Minnesota finances today. Their collateral is only permission to build a casino in the metro area.

The proposal contains the following tenets, in exchange for building a metro area casino
1. Split net profits from the casino with the state, rasing $726 million to $1 billion for the state in the first five years.
2. Pay $400 million to cover the state's share or Vikings stadium construction costs
3. Set up a $12 million dollar fund to increase purse sizes at MN racetracks

Although many other tribes and reservations will object, both Governor Dayton and Republican candidates have sought state-shared casinos in the past. These actors, however, are cool to the idea. The main objection is that allowing one off-reservation casino will be a door opening to many more, which the state does not want. Senate Majority Leader, David Senjem R-Rochester also asserted that the proposal would not factor in to stadium discussions.

The article has an interesting argument structure because it attempts to strike a balance arguing both sides at once. The White Earth Nations proposal speaks for itself. The expressions of doubt from the political actors are unimpressive and unconvincing, particularly when juxtaposed with their previous statements that they would have supported such a measure.

It is unclear why the particular objections revealed are important, or indeed, relevant. First, they object that other reervations and tribes will have a problem with it. However, it is not clear why that matters. The reality is that this tribe made this proposal, and it looks very beneficial for the state. Second, they make the claims that it could be a slippery slope to many off-res casinos. However, if the state is part-owner, there is no reason the state must accept the next proposals, and if the state stands to gain that much money from the project, they ought to consider what they can do for their citizens.

The article highlights many concerns, failing to provide grounds or backing for the majority of them. While it does bring about both sides of the issues, neither is well-supported, and there is no clear voice for the argument taking place at the capitol.

NCAA "student-athletes"

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This article condones the form college basketball and football have taken one, embodied in the recent national championship won by Kentucky. Kentucky started three freshman and two sophomores, one of the most talented group of college basketball players ever to play together. The argument is against the "one and done" model in NCAA, where athletes choose a program that gives them a chance to go right to making millions as a professional athlete. 6 "student athletes" are expected to go in the first round of the NBA draft next year. The author acknowledges why it is accepted... simply because people love it, and collegiate football and basketball combine each year to form a $6 billion dollar industry. The author points out that some argue to pay college athletes for the millions they bring in, but people who advocate for this forget about the obvious over commercialization of NCAA sports. This argument is interesting, because the author advocates for something we hold as an American value, education. Athletes who go to college to earn a degree while playing sports are scarce now despite them being respected as "doing it the proper way". The article discusses how at least Kentucky coach John Calipari does not apologize for what he does, not pretending that his players will graduate. I think the main idea is that while it would be very hard to reverse or amend, largely due to profits, the author wants us to understand there is something fundamentally wrong with NCAA athletes abusing their "student-athlete" status.

-Matt Foley

News Summary for Wed. 4.4

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Senate passes voter ID bill

The article is mainly talking about whether people will be required to show photo identification at the polls in order to vote. Obviously, the requirement of photo identification is a policy claim. There are supporters and opponents. However, the author points more views given by the opponents. Some considered that students, along with soldiers overseas, the elderly, homeless people and disabled would be deprived of the right to vote. Although the author doesn't state his personal stand, I can guess he is an opponent too, from his arrangement of the whole article. While there is also an example given as an analogy. Mississippi has already passed a photo ID requirement via constitutional amendment. But there is no analysis about whether this requirement works well in Mississippi. In my opinion, it would be better for the author to make a detailed comparison.

I wanted to analyze the visual attached to this article, written by Michael Liedtke. I think that the picture is an interesting choice. It shows the yahoo sign (logo) at the headquaters in Sunnyvale, CA. It shows the sign at a very odd angle, with the blue sky above, trees, and flowers. I thought it was in contrast with the tone of the article, and the picture itself presented contrast. The industrial sign shown with a nature background. One could infer that Yahoo is impeding on nature in this photo. I don't understand why they chose this picture for the article, there could have been much more interesting photos (maybe those effected by the layoffs). I would also like to point out that the flower in the corner is highlighted, but it is dying. It shows dead buds and does not look like it is flourishing. Normally the newspaper would cut this out, but maybe this is suppose to represent the business itself. I think overall this picture is arguing that Yahoo is a company that does not provide benefits to those around it (nature included) and is dying.
-Alex Mountain

Tiger Woods Still in Favor Among Fans

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This article writes about how Tiger Woods still has a huge fan following despite all the controversy he has been associated with. Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational two weeks ago at Bay Hill in Florida and is now getting ready to compete at the Masters. Despite the fact that woods has fallen out of the top 50 ranked golfers in the world in the last two years, many are predicting a comeback for the former long-time number one golfer. One fan stated "whether you love him or hate him, the sport needs him."

I think this article uses a lot of logical appeal to make its point. I believe superstars are needed in every sport and Tiger Woods is definitely still a superstar in my opinion. There are plenty of superstar athletes that have been forgiven by fans for things they did off the playing field. In my opinion this isn't how it always should be but sports fans tend to forget the things athletes do off the playing field because they get caught up in the excitement they experience while watching them perform.

-Erik Pokki


I felt that this article posted by the Washington Post was very fitting with what we are currently discussing in class. The article talks about how easily things can be skewed in the media to convey a completely different argument and take things out of context for the viewer. The article is called "NBC issues apology on Zimmerman Tape Screw-Up." They discuss how NBC cut and pasted pieces of the Zimmerman 9-1-1 call to insinuate that he felt that Trayvon was suspiciously walking through the neighborhood just because he was black. In reality, the two sentences were completely separate, and Zimmerman only noted that Trayvon was black after the dispatcher asked for a description of the individual. Because of the poor cutting and pasting that NBC producers provided to the viewers, many people developed opinions on the situation before they even received all of the information. I thought that this article was a very good example to readers on why you cannot trust everything you hear. It is so easy to skew things in the media these days, and the only way to learn the truth is to do the research yourself.

This article written by Ryan Foley for the Star Tribune describes the lawsuit filed by the females employees if CRST Van Expedited. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's sexual harassment lawsuit against the company has backfired and put the agency on trial. He writes that, "Dozens of women who described an ordeal of unwanted and aggressive sexual conduct may receive no compensation for lost wages or emotional distress because of judicial criticism of the agency's investigation."
I think that this author is opposed to the backfiring of the lawsuit, and would like to see some action taken to help the women. He uses logos and pathos to appeal to the reader. I think that he is explaining the situation with the women to make the reader side with them and the agency that supported them. He also presents how this ruling would effect the agency but does not explore the consequences to the trucking company. He argues that the problems with the agency were from the February ruling in the case sets a new standard for workplace class-action lawsuits in the federal court district that includes Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska and the Dakotas. Before filing a lawsuit on behalf of employees alleging similar discrimination, the agency will first have to investigate the merits of every worker's claim and attempt to reach settlements. If the agency doesn't, EEOC risks having the case dismissed.The agency has argued that such a standard is impractical in cases involving hundreds or thousands of potential victims. At a minimum, the agency says, investigations would take longer and delay relief compared to other regions, where class-action cases can be filed with a lower standard.

-Alex Mountain

This article is talking about the allegations that seven Milwaukee police officers and a sergeant may have sexually assaulted people and violated their civil rights while conducting body cavity searches on the street, which has led to the most sweeping investigation of the Police Department with claims dating back a couple of years. The Milwaukee County prosecutors have launched a John Doe investigation, in which prosecutes can compel testimony and documents without the public knowledge. The FBI and U.S. attorney's office are closely monitoring the local investigation and if they are not satisfied with the outcome they can launch their own. Then the article provided an exam of the Frank Jude Jr case where the three officers were acquitted in state court, but ultimately the three and four others were convicted in federal court.

The article said something that as I was reading made me soften up. Hearing about the investigation, I knew it was about time and that something needed to be done and hearing what was going on in the investigation was edging on my frustration, but when the article added in statement by Michael G. Tobin, who is the executive director of the Fire and Police Commission, when he said "Sometimes we lose track of the fact that we have made so many positive changes that have increased the public trust over the past five years or so. We have to keep earning that trust on a daily basis in everything we do, from the beat cop talking respectfully with everyone they meet, to the way we handle this investigation". As a reader is made me feel that the investigations were not just happening to make people not hate the police department and kind of take the heat off themselves, but also because they want to earn and maintain the trust the people have in the system. That to me was an appeal to our emotions as readers because we always want to trust.


Bipartisan Budget Plan Beaten by Foes

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Jonathan Weisman's article for the New York Times explains how a bipartisan budget plan created by Representatives Steven C. LaTourette and Jim Cooper was recently shot down in congress despite the fact that it had supposedly overwhelming support. The article says that the budget proposal was almost immediately shot down by liberal and conservative groups who both cited different reasons for opposing the bill.

The article's claim is that the budget was shot down because both parties refuse to compromise and they believe that whoever holds the majority after the upcoming election will be able to overpass any objections to their own future budget proposals. This claim is supported by warrants such as a statement by one of the supporters of the bill who says that this strategy simply will not work. The article also cites claims by partisan groups from both parties who say that the budget should not be passed. This is despite evidence cited by the article that knowledgeable people in Washington believe that a bill similar to this one is the only way to potentially solve the enormous budget deficit that America is facing.The article makes mostly fact claims regarding the treatment of the legislation. However, there seems to be an overarching policy claim that politicians in Washington need to come together on some sort of legislation like the Simpson-Bowles budget plan in order to decrease the budget deficit here in America.

News Summary 4.4.12

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With the deadline of April 10, 2012 fast approaching, and the fact claim made that the attacks on the cities of Hama and Homs were committed by the Syrians, and the value claim that the cease-fire plan promise made by the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad was broken, efforts to create a more peaceful atmosphere in Syria "[are] not encouraging". Throughout the article, the arguments are made by causes. That "x", the zero cooperation from Syria, will "y" cause further violence and tensions within the United Nations.
However, Assad's disregard "has been widely expected" and so if that is the 'credibility' standard already set by the people, how is he expected to perform any differently? Many negotiators have attempted to find a way to wiggle their way into the Syrian government and system, the Red Cross for example, but progression is slow, even though they have stated efforts "to renew an appeal for a daily two-hour suspension of hostilities to ease the evacuation of the wounded and the delivery of aid". The UN is awaiting the final 'decision' of Syria to retract violence methods from the cities by the 10th, but if not a new plan must be taken into action, another policy claim made and put forth.


Written By: Tyler Kingkade
The Huffington Post

I have tried to stay away from blogging about politics during this semester, because I never know what to believe. But this article and video caught my eye, so I decided to blog about it. Presidential candidate Rick Santorum claimed on Monday that most public universities in the University of California system do not offer American history courses. During his speech he makes that claim that he has read that seven or eight of the California University systems don't even teach an American history course. It's not even available to be taught. He says that it is sad that our nation seems to slowly be moving away from the necessity to teach students about their own history.
But underneath this short video of part of the speech that he gave on Monday, the author states that his claim is false. The evidence that he then uses is according to the Universities website, and a spokesperson for all 10 campuses. It just seems to me like the author Tyler Kingkade is saying that he is wrong and his information from a website can prove him wrong. To me that does not seem to be a very strong rebuttal. The words are hard to follow and he seems to be just picking a fight with a political candidate.

-Anna Srock

Student Gov't Disappoints

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While we are in the midst of Student Election season (elections going from April 2nd to the 4th), this article seems to hit hard at home at what some students who are the edge about who to vote for are thinking.

It makes one very strong claim: that the students currently running for MSA president aren't cut out to be leaders, due to the fact that they've made "timid, marginal proposals" for student change.

The MN Daily's Editorial Board supports this claim with evidence of last weeks ACEC debate, which turned out to be trivial, as both candidates agreed largely on the same issues on campus today, and both are focused toward "making students matter", yet the Editorial Board argues that "there is little evidence that either pair knows what that means."

In my opinion, I definitely agree. Although I haven't had much time on this campus as others, being only a freshman, I felt that neither candidate spoke to true change for the U, and merely went with mediocre, or "beige" campaigns aimed at pleasing not only the students, but the U faculty as well. Now, don't get me wrong, I find to problem with wanting to attain mass appeal in a campaign, but my thoughts are reflected by the MN Daily's Editorial Board's opinion on leadership: "Occupying a position of power is not enough to be considered a leader. True leadership is exercising that power courageously to serve one's community."

If your opinion differs, don't forget to vote at acecvote.umn.edu !

-Jenna Peneueta-Snyder

Killing Us Softly response

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Killing Us Softly argued that the way in which media and advertising depict women defines society's norms with regards to women; because women are treated as housewives, sexual objects, and subservient to men in media and advertising, that's how they are treated in society. The speaker made a strong argument, especially with the use of the visuals and humor. As I expressed in class, I think the speaker is making light of what I see as a chicken-or-egg problem. She's blaming media/advertising for causing certain views towards women, but these views towards women existed before advertising of this type. Media/advertising utilize these illustrations of women because people respond to them in a way that benefits media/advertising; media/advertisers are just doing their job. This then brings up the question of how much media and advertising should take on a responsibility for society.

News Summary 4.2.12

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This past weekend I attended the Minnesota Roller Derby Girls final bout and while I was waiting in line for the bathroom I saw a woman wearing a shirt that read "I am a queer (whatever the fuck that means)" and debated asking the woman and finally got up the courage to ask her. I found it really interesting though because we were talking about it in class and also in my US media class. The phrase on the t-shirt emphasized that the term "queer" is an unfixed term and that it means basically whatever you want it to mean. When I asked her about it she said "well I know what I think it means and you think what you think it means and that is all that matters. To me, all that matters is what I think but because there are so many definitions and thoughts about it, negative and positive, and the only one that should matter is mine." It was neat to see how confident and carefree she seemed to be about the matter and that she wasn't aiming to convince me of anything during the conversation. She just said what she thought and didn't so much care what I thought about it but cared that I had asked. It was a cool experience and I am glad I was able to have lecture be a part of reality this weekend.

Killing Me Softly

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I think this documentary brought up a lot of good points about women in advertising. It mainly got its point across using examples of advertisements while highlighting how women were portrayed in them. I think a lot of the examples did point out certain ways that women are portrayed which could be seen as inaccurate or pressure women to look or act a certain way. In general I don't think women are portrayed in a negative way but instead maybe these ads promote a certain "type" of women or create expectations for women. At the same time I believe that men are also portrayed in a certain way that can have many of the same effects. Overall I think that advertising is more of a product of our society than the other way around. It is easy to blame advertising for many negative things but I believe in actuality it is not really at fault.

-Erik Pokki

killing me softly 3

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Killing me softly 3 is a documentary showing how women are portrayed in advertising. It depicts how media is strongly associated with the way women are portrayed in society. It claims that it turns people and females in general into objects and things which causes violence and abuse. I believe that media has a strong influence on people all around the world. Article claims that the "perfect body" rarely exists in the world. There is so little people that are born a size "0" and if they are not they strive to be with plastic surgery and eating disorders.

killing me softly

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Killing me softly 3 is a documentary showing how women are portrayed in advertising. It depicts how media is strongly associated with the way women are portrayed in society. It claims that it turns people and females in general into objects and things which causes violence and abuse. I believe that media has a strong influence on people all around the world. Article claims that the "perfect body" rarely exists in the world. There is so little people that are born a size "0" and if they are not they strive to be with plastic surgery and eating disorders.

Killing us Softly Reaction

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The film Killing us Softly was very thought provoking and evoked quite a range of emotions in me. Jean Kilbourne, the woman behind making this film, attempted to argue that the messages in mass media present an unattainable image for women and subsequently lead women, on some unconscious level, to fall into certain social roles. I believe that she makes many strong arguments detailing why advertising is the most powerful form of media. I also believe that she was mostly correct in saying what social roles these advertisements place women in. However, I believe that this movie may be a little dated. Kilbourne argues that these ads are teaching women to be submissive and dependent on men. I believe that this message in advertising has been changing fairly drastically. Many advertisements that I have been seeing (along with television programming) seem to encourage women to foster a sense of independence and strive to be self-sustaining and even act more promiscuous. In a sense, I feel like advertisements are slowly moving towards showing women more in the same light that men were once presented.

Response to "Killing Us Softly 3"

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Jean Kilbourne presented a very persuasive argument through the third installment of her documentary series, "Killing Us Softly 3." She highlighted the negative impact sexist media advertisements can have on women.

My attention was caught through the following statistics: In 1979, $20 billion a year was spent on advertising. In 1999, the year the documentary was made, $180 billion was spent. Kilbourne pointed out that the average American spends three years of their life watching commercials. Her point was that media ultimately sells normalcy because their influence is so great.

She then transitioned into the impact this media-dictated normalcy has on women. The media plays on the American value of hard work: if women just work hard enough, they can achieve the "ideal image." In reality, the image of women portrayed in the media is completely unrealistic. A very small percentage of women actually look like this "ideal image," and almost none of them are actually similar to the photoshopped pictures in magazines.

Kilbourne connected this idea with one of her strongest points: the sexist media is putting women in their place. For example, she believes that emphasis on certain body parts (breasts, butt) of women in advertising makes them an object, instead of a human being. Another example is the craze over thinness: Kilbourne believes this is a way of silencing women. The sexist advertising wants to cut them down to size.

This idea of silencing women was also present in her argument that sexist advertising increases violence against women. By having a cultural climate where a women is a thing, "violence becomes inevitable," Kilbourne says. This climate is not helped by the fact that masculinity means violence and brutality in our society.

All in all, I was convinced by Kilbourne's arguemnt. She skillfully weaved an image of the negative impact of the media on women in our society.

Killing Us Softly Response

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This documentary provided valuable insight into the distorted view that the media and advertising gives us about women. The creator of this documentary asserts that advertising has skewed the role of women in society and makes them out to be weak, subordinate objects under the authority of men. The point that she made about the female role taking up as little space as possible and looking mild and quiet except for when the other people in the ads were of minority races was very interesting, but it is hard to take her word for this. There are so many advertisements in the world that we see every day, so it is easy to find pictures that support this viewpoint. I would be interested to hear the statistics on how often women are taking up these subordinate roles except when in the presence of minority race individuals in the advertisements. I believe that, for the most part, her arguments were very effective in conveying her points. The use of several shocking visuals gave credibility to her arguments and allowed the reader to see what she is describing in real life examples.

Response to 'Killing Us Softly 3'

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I feel that media definitely plays a major role in altering the images of women and distorting women's view of themselves, and I think the points that were made in 'Killing Us Softly 3' were very strong and made one really think about what the media is doing to our society.

I think what shocking was how teenagers have been hypersexualized. I wasn't surprised, per se, to see all the different examples of how younger and young adults and teens are being used as sex objects, but I was more surprised at how it's become common for that sort of stuff to be in the media and on magazine covers.

I can think most specifically of the Justin Beiber fan craze, although he isn't a women, he was still used as a sex symbol from the time he was only 13 years old, which is pretty ridiculous if you ask me.

Also how she talked about how men are expected to be masculine, and how masculinity is always portrayed in some way as being involved with violence, I found that to be another thing I often over looked and took as common nature. The media is constantly influencing culture, so if you grow up within this media consumed time, you're more likely to take it all at face value and think that it's all how it's supposed to be.

-Jenna Peneueta-Snyder

Response to 'Killing us softly 3'

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The video 'Killing us softly 3' is about how women images are presented wrongly in advertisements. It is a novel but thought provoking way to view nowadays advertisements.

The speaker argues that those extremely perfect women are unrealistic. However, teenage girls are given the illusion that lots of women look like super models. Besides, they consider pursuing beauty rather important. They try hard to lose their weight, hoping to look as thin as possible. But men don't have too much pressure if they don't have a good body shape. The speaker uses contrast a lot in the video. Men's bodies are not scrutinized to the extent as women's. Another contrast I remember is how teenage girls and boys are viewed differently. The speaker presents several examples, which boys look powerful and happy, while girls are sad and weak. Contrast in the video is an effective way to back up the speaker's argument. When discussing about sexism, I find our reading materials don't include as much contrast between men and women as the video does. The video compares the difference directly, which lead people to a reflection of the sexism. Contrast is also a way to arouse pathos. As a female, I feel very unfair, why do we have to pay attention to our look and the success of women in other areas is often ignored by our society?

Another critique towards advertisement is impressing that women are converted from subjects to objects in ads. There are plenty of pictures showed in the video to reveal the fact that women being portrayed as sex objects. No matter what the ad sells, they can always find a relation between sex and the product. Pictures work as both logos proof and pathos proof. If the culture of advertisements is mainly about sexual appeal other than the real advantages of the brand, is there any reason for us to believe ads anymore?

At the end of our class, we talked about whether ads and other mass media can influence people. From my perspective, mass media definitely have an effect on people, and can shape our culture. Thus, it is time for us, especially communication students and scholars, to reflect critically how mass media change us. If there is something wrong, how we can do to correct it?

Response to killing me softly (Alex Davis)

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The documentary of killing me softly was very interesting. For me, I could definitely tell that Jean Kilbourne was more on the woman's side. She was pointing out all of the things that are harmful for females, but turning them around on males as well. The way she presented the material, was a far stretch. Some of the images she showed i did not agree with, such as the calvin klein add with the two boys and the little girl. To me those adds are just for show. Everyone knows that sex sells, and that equals more money for companies. In the end women everyone has their own beliefs, and views on certain situations, which causes them to act in certain ways. Those articles, and pictures, and add campaigns are not meant to be realistic to an extent, they are a sign of what advertisers think people want, and that is what they show. Unfortunately for the average American not all of us look like the adds, or what we see in the media, so sometimes we try and make our appearance fit what we see. But in reality if we all learn to accept what we have is enough, and learn how to work with that then we will be better off. (Alex Davis)

4/2 Response to "Killing us Softly 3"

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This video, "Killing us Softly 3" was done in 2000 by Jean Kilbourne. The examination of how woman are portrayed as sex objects in advertising is an interesting subject. The way she organized her argument was organized, easy to follow and powerful. To have that many visuals to back each statement she made, brought about this sense of power to her argument. She obviously studied how to make an audience appeal to your argument because she used many ways to make us side with her.
I agree with the main points in her arguments, but there are things that I disagree with. Jean Kilborne states that "ads primarily sell products but also sell a view of sexuality and normalcy." They seem to tell us who we are and who we should be. Yes I agree that ads seem to portray this perfect lifestyle with woman that have perfect bodies. But doesn't the business promoting the ad want it to look good and enticing so you will buy it? We live in a double standard world. If you wanna sell something you have to make it look good, even if it means you are lying. Beauty and sex sells, that is the way our world works. That doesn't not mean it is the right thing to do. But, when money is involved people become greedy. Businesses want to make more and more money, so of course they are going to sell their products in an enticing way.
Me saying all of this, does not mean I think it is ok the way our world advertises products. But if you think about it, it makes since why we do it. The arguments and facts that she gives in this video is very thought provoking. She knows how to combine information with compelling thoughts and images. But at the same time, whenever you are looking for dirt you can always dig it up anywhere. In my opinion she has done just that. She states that she is just an average person that noticed this one day. Jean then decided that she wanted to make people aware of what is going on. Making a claim that she is no different that you and I. But like I said above, the way we advertise things in this world makes sense and it sells, which allows businesses to make more money. Will this style of advertising ever come to an end in that case...? I do not think it will until money is out of the picture.

-Anna Srock

Courtney Baga - Response to Killing Us Softly

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Jean Kilbourne's next installment dissecting the advertising industry continues her timely and eloquent series promoting awareness of issues that oppress women.

A strong component of her film is the awareness she creates of her audience. She gains credibility immediately in the beginning of her film by introducing herself not as an elite person of academic or social stature, but as an average person, with an average job, who one day happened to notice something. She appealed to her audience of other average people by slowly and gently exposing them to the advertisements that she started to notice at work. By showing the ads she started to notice without drawing conclusions for her viewers, she allowed the audience autonomy and relatedness to connect with her ideas, and reduced the likelihood that the audience would get defensive or bring out any of their well-rehearsed objections to feminist arguments.

Jean avoided labels and reduced the amount of anticipation and "boxing" of arguments that often arises when oft-debated, controversial issues are presented. In contrast, Jean presented her incontrovertible evidence - loads of it - and allowed the viewer to observe for themselves. With her wide array of ads to choose from, and ample fodder that connects into most media sources, viewers would be able to connect with some, if not all concerns she brings out. She also effectively stays very focused on her issue and claim- the negative conscious and subconscious effects that sexist advertisements have on women. This is a strength of her piece, particularly when compared to many long-winded, interconnected feminist arguments. Although other arguments are correct that sexism is an issue that incorporates class, race, gender, sex, and many more, Jean's avoidance of those concerns brings her audience together, and limits the number of people left out or misunderstood.

She didn't leave any women out, nor did she leave men out. She openly acknowledged their challenges, and did not even highlight percentages of men that run the companies or advertising firms in question. Although that may be a policy claim, an effective logos arguments, and a contextual note of importance, she avoids it for sake of her argument being heard, and she does so effectively.

Once a viewer is open to the ideas Jean is trying to promote, their acknowledgement of those more complicated components will have time to manifest. Bu focusing her argument on her average audience, in an average context, and with the most accessible means possible, Jean creates a very effective, strong case for women's rights. What that case is precisely, though, remains unknown, and is one of the strengths of its context.

Should not pay cut related PCA pay

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This article discusses recent state legislation that significantly cut pay for Personal Care Attendants who are relatives. The article makes a claim that while it is found that discriminating against PCAs who allow their relatives to stay at home while caring for them is legal, it is not necessarily right. The claim is one of policy, involving values and logic. The author believes that the state of Minnesota should be thanking the relatives who step up to keep their relatives out of institutions. The argument the author makes to appeal to logic is that by relatives stepping up to become PCAs, language barriers, emotional disorders or geographic situations make at-home care much easier for all involved parties. Additionally, keeping relatives out of institutions saves taxpayers many costs. The central thesis is " The state should not tell the caregiver that he or she deserves a smaller paycheck than a nonrelatives would get." This is a claim of policy, infused with value. The argument is that the 20% pay decrease to relatives is legal, but not proper.

-Matt Foley

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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