The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


The Neocon Nightmare

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 7, 2006 - 11:06am

One of the few things on war in Lebanon that actually makes sense to me, from Israel's chief negotiator at Oslo:

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50% of US Public Believes Saddam Had WMD's

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 6, 2006 - 7:42pm and: On July 21, a Fox News segment suggested, with no evidence, yet another destination for the supposed doomsday arms. "ARE SADDAM HUSSEIN'S WMDS NOW IN HEZBOLLAH'S HANDS?" asked the headline, lingering for long minutes on TV screens in a million American homes. --I do not know if it is just that Americans are somehow uniquely stupid or not, but it is precisely this problem of civic ignorance that no radical democratic project has yet been able to overcome (and why Madison's republican solution to the risks of majority tyranny is still right).

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Scholarship of Blogging

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 6, 2006 - 7:36pm

New book of essays on blogging (introduction is free):

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The King's Prophet in the King's Court

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 6, 2006 - 6:14am

The MSM continues to puff Billy Graham, over 50 years after William Randoph Hearst decided he would be a good force against communism and unions And Reinhold Niebuhr's comments on the Graham-Nixon connection still seem relevant:

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What Song Was #1 on Your Day of Birth?

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 5, 2006 - 6:10pm Mine was Vaya con Dios. . oddly enough. . Miriam's is Perry Como, Hot Diggety, appropriately enough. . And Jennifer's is Rod Stewart, Maggie May (which she's never heard, alas).

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Submitted by Jim Aune on August 5, 2006 - 11:40am

In the last few years I have noted the term "begs the question" change from its correct usage as a label for a fallacy to a device for introducing a thesis statement. Here's one example from an otherwise interesting looking law review article: "These phenomena beg an obvious question for legal scholars: Can the law be used to mollify the cognitive distortions and situational influences affecting professional sports actors, and can it direct them towards socially-preferred behavior?" Grr. . . is it that no one learns informal logic now?

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I Can't Even Think of a Title For This One

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 4, 2006 - 7:15pm

A year after his “Axis of Evil” speech before the U.S. Congress, President Bush met with three Iraqi Americans, one of whom became postwar Iraq’s first representative to the United States. The three described what they thought would be the political situation after the fall of Saddam Hussein. During their conversation with the President, Galbraith claims, it became apparent to them that Bush was unfamiliar with the distinction between Sunnis and Shiites. Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam--to which the President allegedly responded, “I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!” more at

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Rhetoric and New MeMeMedia

Submitted by Anonymous on August 4, 2006 - 3:35pm

HEAD ON! apply directly to the forehead! HEAD ON! apply directly to the forehead! HEAD ON! apply directly to the forehead! A ring tone is not the only use for this annoying gem of televisual speech.... Can't wait to talk with my students about in the fall.

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Marxist Writing Tips

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 3, 2006 - 4:47pm

from a review article in the Times Literary Supplement, January 22, 1982, by George Steiner, on the life and work of Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukacs: "When I first called on him, in the winter of 1957-8, in a house still pockmarked with shellbursts and grenade splinters, I stood speechless before the armada of his printed works, as it crowded the bookshelves. Lukacs seized on my puerile wonder and blazed out of his chair in a motion at once vulnerable and amused: 'You want to know how one gets work done? It's easy. House arrest, Steiner, house arrest!'"

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UT Petition of Beirut Situation

Submitted by Adria on August 1, 2006 - 7:07pm

I received this e-mail this week: "To: UT Austin and American Academy. We the students at the Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin condemn the indiscriminate bombardment and invasion of Lebanon by the Israeli military. Several of our departmental colleagues are stranded in Beirut and other parts of Lebanon and we are extremely concerned for their safety and wellbeing as well as the safety and well being of their families, friends and loved ones, and of all Lebanese civilians. As Lebanese civilian casualties continue to mount, Israel with the full support of the U.S. government has announced its intention to escalate the indiscriminate bombardment of cities, villages, roads and bridges in Lebanon. We reject the notion that the actions of Hezbollah and their presence in Lebanon or indeed any other circumstance--could possibly justify such extensive violence against civilian targets." Read the rest at: Least it be said, I do not like this petition. But I'll withhold my comments for now and see what you all think.

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