The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


Who Benefits from Government Programs

Submitted by syntaxfactory on January 11, 2013 - 8:34am

by Lisa Wade, PhD, 1 day ago at 01:00 pm

At Sociological Images, some interesting insight into who receives Government Aid and whether they believe that the Government has a responsibility to aid people. Maybe surprisingly, a large number of people who have received government aid are ideological opposed to the kinds of programs they have benefitted from.


Neil Gaiman gives speech; Politicians engage inflammatory rhetoric

Submitted by syntaxfactory on May 10, 2011 - 8:26am

What does the series of events, and the exchange of discourse most recently at its core, have to say about the relationship between rhetoric, politics and the arts? --db

Neil Gaiman is paid $40K to give a lecture at the Stillwater Public Library in Minnesota, then donates the money to charity:

Some politicians get wind of this and announce, a year later in a budget dispute:


Jean-Luc Nancy and Alain Badiou on Western Intervention in Libya

Submitted by Jim Brown on April 5, 2011 - 8:38am

This is an interesting exchange between Jean-Luc Nancy and Alain Badiou on Western intervention in Libya.


It is fine for the beautiful souls of the left and the sophisticated operators on the right to sigh or protest; whether in European or in Arab countries: one must know which world we are in. We are no longer just simply in the world of Western arrogance, self-confidence and imperialism. Oh! It is not that the poor old “West” has cleaned up its act: it is simply in the process of melting in the fusion that begets another world, without sunrise or sunset, a world where it is day and night everywhere at the same time and where it is necessary to reinvent the act of living together and, before all else, the act of living itself.


How can you of all people fall into this trap? How can you accept any kind of ‘rescue’ mission being entrusted to those very people for whom the old situation was the good one, and who absolutely want to get back into the game, by forcible means, from motivations of oil and hegemony? Can you simply accept the ‘humanitarian’ umbrella, the obscene blackmailing in the name of victims? But our armies kill more people in more countries than the local boss Gaddafi is capable of doing in his. What is this trust suddenly extended to the major butchers of contemporary humanity, to those in charge of the mutilated world that we are familiar with? Do you believe, can you believe, that they represent ‘civilisation’, that their monstrous armies can be armies of justice? I am stupefied, I must confess. I ask myself what good is philosophy if it is not immediately the radical critique of this kind of unreflecting opinion, moulded by the propaganda of regimes such as our own, which popular uprisings in regions strategic for them have put on the defensive, and which are seeking their revenge.


On Wisconsin

Submitted by syntaxfactory on March 10, 2011 - 10:28pm

Anyone who's my Facebook friend has seen me use Facebook to vent my feelings about the events in Wisconsin. My feelings are strong, and they are not rooted in my professional expertise [I am not a political rhetoric / public address person]. Some of them are rooted in my concerns for colleagues who have struggled, at the branch campuses of the UW system, to win collective bargaining rights.


NWP in danger

Submitted by syntaxfactory on March 4, 2011 - 3:02pm

March 4, 2011

David Beard,

Federal legislation for Striving Readers and the National Writing Project passed in both the House and Senate and signed by the President zeros out funding for these two important programs. Unless legislators are convinced by an outpouring of outrage, these programs have little chance of being restored.

NCTE members need to call or write their Representative and Senators NOW to explain the importance of funding these programs in the final budget.


Chapter 5, The Ethics and Politics of Speech

Submitted by Nate Kreuter on December 9, 2010 - 7:46am

Due to a slight hiccup in scheduling, I'll be talking about Chapter Five of Pat Gehrke's The Ethics and Politics of Speech, even though Chapter Four hasn't been covered yet. Hopefully Chapter Four will be covered subsequently.


Citizen or Academic? Arizona Raises the Question Yet Again

Submitted by Adria on May 10, 2010 - 7:27am

A false dichotomy for sure. This morning, I noticed that the wonderful chair of our department here at UT, Barry Brummett, had a Facebook status noting that the new Arizona law is forcing academics to behave as citizens---from boycotting Arizona goods to Departments no longer supporting academic travel to Arizona (h/t to David Beard).


The Dumb Network

Submitted by Jim Brown on September 20, 2009 - 5:25pm

Good news. The FCC is expected to announce the beginning of its formal rulemaking process for net neutrality regulation.

The FCC's process is a great model of "open source" government. And it's going to be an interesting conversation when the FCC issues its Notice of Inquiry. Network providers don't like net neutrality, as it prevents them from determining how fast various packets of information travel across their networks. But advocates of net neutrality insist that a healthy Internet requires a "neutral" network.


Nate Silver on Agency

Submitted by Jim Brown on March 21, 2009 - 9:13am

So, yes...I am a Nate Silver fanboy. I'm willing to admit this. I got to see his keynote at SXSW Interactive, and it reminded me of how jealous I am of his career path (from baseball statistics to political analysis). Silver has the ability to make statistics not only understandable to the layman but also relevant.


The Rock Obama

Submitted by Joe Sery on March 11, 2009 - 10:31pm

This weekend’s Saturday Night Live featured Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as an Incredible Hulk-esque Barack Obama. Aptly dubbed The Rock Obama, he emerges from the President during irksome meetings with Republican senators ( Has the idolization of Obama reached an even higher echelon?