The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


"Abortion Shouldn't Be Something To be Ashamed Of"

Submitted by Adria on August 19, 2006 - 3:54pm

A post from the blog, Bitch, PhD: The year before Roe v. Wade, fifty-three famous women, including Susan Sontag, Gloria Steinem, and Anne Sexton, publicly acknowledged in Ms. magazine that they had had abortions. Now Ms. is asking those of us who value the fact that we've grown up with the ability to obtain abortions safely and legally to do the same. If you've had an abortion, you can say so here ; and like Sexton, Steinem, and Sontag, you can give Ms. permission to print your name in the magazine, or on the website (or not at all, if you prefer). And if, like me, you've been lucky enough to have only the pregnancy(ies) you were ready for, you can still sign in solidarity with your sisters--in my case, literally--and donate to Ms. "Reproductive Freedom Fund," which goes to support the Feminist Majority Foundation , which "engages in research and public policy development, public education programs, grassroots organizing projects, leadership training and development programs, and participates in and organizes forums on issues of women's equality and empowerment." They also, if you didn't know, have a nifty Feminist Career Center that lists interesting jobs and--for you academic types--internships that you or your students might be interested in. for original link: click here



Submitted by Jim Aune on August 19, 2006 - 12:02pm

Jack Balkin analyzes the judicial opinion, and finds it wanting: While Erwin Chemerinsky praises it: Includes links to the opinion and orders.


Rhetorical Review

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 19, 2006 - 11:40am

The June issue is out: Rhetorical Review The Electronic Review of Books on the History of Rhetoric Includes a review of a very important new book on Wilson: Robert Alexander Kraig: Woodrow Wilson and the Lost World of the Oratorical Statesman


Another Speech Crime

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 19, 2006 - 10:37am

I wasn't happy about Andrew Young becoming a Walmart supporter, but should he really be forced to resign for nothing more than a sociological generalization (easily verified if you go to NYC, Chicago, or LA)? --In the Sentinel interview, Young was asked about whether he was concerned Wal-Mart causes smaller, mom-and-pop stores to close. "Well, I think they should; they ran the `mom and pop' stores out of my neighborhood," the paper quoted Young as saying. "But you see, those are the people who have been overcharging us selling us stale bread and bad meat and wilted vegetables. And they sold out and moved to Florida. I think they've ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs; very few black people own these stores." The rest of the story is here:


Ivy League and Public Speaking

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 18, 2006 - 11:43am

A stirring--well, it could have been more stirring--defense of public speaking courses in today's Inside Higher Ed: I'm still waiting for the definitive sociological explanation of the curricular differences between land-grant universities and elite private universities.


Walmart vs the Democratic Party

Submitted by Adria on August 18, 2006 - 9:28am

DES MOINES, Aug. 16 — Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, a likely Democratic presidential candidate in 2008, delivered a 15-minute, blistering attack to warm applause from Democrats and union organizers here on Wednesday. But Mr. Biden’s main target was not Republicans in Washington, or even his prospective presidential rivals. It was Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer. Among Democrats, Mr. Biden is not alone. Across Iowa this week and across much of the country this month, Democratic leaders have found a new rallying cry that many of them say could prove powerful in the midterm elections and into 2008: denouncing Wal-Mart for what they say are substandard wages and health care benefits... Wal-Mart has begun a counterattack. In interviews on Wednesday, company executives warned that they would alert their 1.3 million American employees to the anti-Wal-Mart campaign. They also pointed to a poll the company financed that reported that Americans were generally supportive of the company. “There is far more evidence to show that this short-sighted political strategy will backfire than that it will actually work,” said Mona Williams, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart Stores. “We believe our associates vote, and it is our responsibility to let them know when a politician speaks out for or against our company.” In a letter to its workers in Iowa, Wal-Mart warned of the political events, including appearances by Mr. Bayh, Mr. Biden and Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico. Wal-Mart “would never suggest to you how to vote,” the letter said, “but we have an obligation to tell you when politicians are saying something about your company that isn’t true. After all, you are Wal-Mart.” Read it all here I keep seeing flashes of that yellow, smiley-head, bouncing around with malicious intent...



Submitted by Adria on August 17, 2006 - 5:05pm

Has anyone seen this before? FYI: I'm having trouble clicking on the large picture images on the homepage, but the mission statement is interesting, and so are the videos (for a sample, click on videos and then on the last video on the lower right hand side called "silence ME")



Submitted by Adria on August 17, 2006 - 4:33pm

I remember sitting in Professor Aune's modern rhetorical criticism class two years ago. He had decided to integrate a feminist approach to the class, as originally there were only five of us--all female. (There was a guy that enrolled later). One day Jim began a discussion by asking us if we ever thought about whether or not we would want to change our last names if we married. One woman was already married, and had taken her husband's last name. The rest said they had assumed they would take their partner's name. The guy--if memory serves me correctly--seemed to assume a woman would take his name, but also said he wouldn't mind if she didn't. So then there was me. I like my last name. If I got rid of my Italian last name, I feel like nothing would make sense--including my Italian nose. I felt guilty, because what's in a name? But there's something to this, methinks. I hate to mess up everyone's geneology charts, and I get that kids complicate the decision. But then I found the following article on Slate. When Scot (last name Cummins) gets home from work tonight, I'm going to 'propose' this! :)


Nonverbal Communication in the Fight Against Terrorism

Submitted by Adria on August 17, 2006 - 4:20pm

Does anyone else see a problem with this strategy? Faces, Too, Are Searched at U.S. Airports DULLES, Va., Aug. 16 — As the man approached the airport security checkpoint here on Wednesday, he kept picking up and putting down his backpack, touching his fingers to his chin, rubbing some object in his hands and finally reaching for his pack of cigarettes, even though smoking was not allowed. Two Transportation Security Administration officers stood nearby, nearly motionless and silent, gazing straight at him. Then, with a nod, they moved in, chatting briefly with the man, and then swiftly pulled him aside for an intense search. Another airline passenger had just made the acquaintance of the transportation agency’s “behavior detection officers.” Taking a page from Israeli airport security, the transportation agency has been experimenting with this new squad, whose members do not look for bombs, guns or knives. Instead, the assignment is to find anyone with evil intent. So far, these specially trained officers are working in only about a dozen airports nationwide, including Dulles International Airport here outside Washington, and they represent just a tiny percentage of the transportation agency’s 43,000 screeners. But after the reported liquid bomb plot in Britain, agency officials say they want to have hundreds of behavior detection officers trained by the end of next year and deployed at most of the nation’s biggest airports. “The observation of human behavior is probably the hardest thing to defeat,” said Waverly Cousin, a former police officer and checkpoint screener who is now the supervisor of the behavior detection unit at Dulles. “You just don’t know what I am going to see.” Even in its infancy, the program has elicited some protests. At one airport, passengers singled out solely because of their behavior have at times been threatened with detention if they did not cooperate, raising constitutional issues that are already being argued in court. Some civil liberties experts said that the program, if not run properly, could turn into another version of racial profiling. Other concerns were raised this week by two of the foremost proponents of the techniques, a former Israeli security official and a behavioral psychologist who developed the system of observing involuntarily muscular reactions to gauge a person’s state of mind. WORD" target="_blank">More here


Federal Judge Orders End to Warrantless Wiretapping

Submitted by Adria on August 17, 2006 - 4:14pm

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 — A federal judge in Detroit ruled today that the Bush administration’s eavesdropping program is illegal and unconstitutional, and she ordered that it cease at once. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor found that President Bush exceeded his proper authority and that the eavesdropping without warrants violated the First and Fourth Amendment protections of free speech and privacy. "It was never the intent of the Framers to give the president such unfettered control, particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights," she wrote, in a decision that the White House and Justice Department said they would fight to overturn. A hearing will be held before Judge Taylor on Sept. 7, and her decision will not be enforced in the meantime pending the government’s appeal. The judge’s ruling is the latest chapter in the continuing debate over the proper balance between national security and personal liberty since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which inspired the eavesdropping program and other surveillance measures that the administration says are necessary and constitutional and its critics say are intrusive. Read the rest HERE