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France's War Rhetoric: The Rise of the Exterminators

Pierre Guerlain | Posted 11.29.2015 | World
Pierre Guerlain

The dirty war in Algeria, which pitted Islamists against the army, haunts many people who fled to France to escape the terror and murder meted out by the FIS (Islamist front). Others who fled Iran may be equally vehement. French people who should remember the murderous consequences of such rhetoric during the Algerian war of independence still favor it today.

On 'The Right Way' to Describe a Terrorist

Palle Yourgrau | Posted 11.23.2015 | Religion
Palle Yourgrau

This is not to deny that President Obama has other reasons, as well, for how he chooses to describe terrorists. He is reluctant to call Islamic those who, he strongly believes, are in clear violation of the tenets of "true Islam." Yet is it not true that a bad Muslim is still a Muslim, just as a bad Christian is still a Christian, and a bad Jew, a Jew?

TransCanada Chief Uses Rhetoric to Blame it all on Rhetoric

Peter Paskale | Posted 11.10.2015 | Business
Peter Paskale

A well-structured sound-bite always wins you headlines. TransCanada president and chief executive, Russ Girling, knows this. Here's what he had to say about last week's decision not to go ahead with the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The Spirit of the Commander

Yael Wissner-Levy | Posted 11.04.2015 | Politics
Yael Wissner-Levy

In an environment where the spirit, the ruach, of the commander is the one calling the shots, the rhetoric is the only thing we can cling on to. It won't move mountains, but it will install a discourse of hope.

How Dare You: The Costs of Shutting People Down

Khanh Ho | Posted 11.03.2015 | Impact
Khanh Ho

Minorities often find themselves in this situation -- whether they work in academia or business or government. And they often have to think about the backlash of someone, quite often an ally, who will take offense if they don't tow the line.

White Gods and Black Devils: The Rhetoric of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner-Pt. 1

Andre E. Johnson | Posted 06.02.2015 | Religion
Andre E. Johnson

Henry McNeal Turner's writing focused on much during the post reconstruction period. One of the first major debates Turner found himself in was on African missions and emigration.

How You Can Help Someone With Mental Illness: What to Do First

Farsh Askari | Posted 06.30.2015 | Healthy Living
Farsh Askari

Instead of an assessment (which implies judgment) and advice (which implies expertise), what someone who's mentally distressed, in any context, needs first, mentally and emotionally, is some acknowledgment and support.

Modi's Oxymoronic Stance on Climate Change

Chaitanya Kumar | Posted 06.10.2015 | World
Chaitanya Kumar

Yes, the world doesn't need to tell India what to do because of our unique cultural value to the environment and our minimal contribution to historic carbon emissions, but neither can India's Prime minister continue to dwell in rhetoric and falsely lead the public into thinking he is doing enough to protect them.

#Selma50, Storytelling Strategies and Social Change

Lee-Sean Huang | Posted 05.09.2015 | Politics
Lee-Sean Huang

By presenting a problem, and then a solution, it may leave the reader thinking that the problem is solved, but of course it is not solved. We have a choice to make, to continue the march towards a more just society, or to rest on the laurels of past victories. The choice is ours.

Bill O'Reilly and the Unforgivable Curses

Peter Paskale | Posted 04.27.2015 | Media
Peter Paskale

Rhetoric is magic. But just like magic, it has its dark side. Just as J. K. Rowling gave her magical world the three 'Unforgivable Curses' -- Imperio, and Crucio, and Avada Kedavra, so rhetoric has it's own. It has Skotison, and Pysma, and Procatalepsis -- word structures designed to befuddle or destroy.


Dave Helfert | Posted 04.09.2015 | Politics
Dave Helfert

We're about to see and hear a lot more button pushing in the debate over the 2016 federal budget proposal outlined by President Obama.

Ready for Your Close-Up?

Peter Paskale | Posted 04.01.2015 | Books
Peter Paskale

Whether you're writing or speaking, when you want your audience to visualize something, borrow from the art of the filmmaker. Ask yourself what scale you want the audience to assign to that object and line-up your shot with care.

Leave Them (Texting) Kidz Alone

The University of Central Florida Forum | Posted 03.30.2015 | College
The University of Central Florida Forum

I enjoy watching students stay connected with their friends and classmates in a variety of ways throughout their days, and I don't care if their notes to each other are grammatically correct.

Killer Queen Chiasmus

Peter Paskale | Posted 03.25.2015 | Books
Peter Paskale

West was a Queen of the soundbite. She was also a Queen of chiasmus -- a little rhetorical device that adds style to any presentation or piece of writing.

When Edward Met Hillary

John Llewellyn | Posted 03.08.2015 | Politics
John Llewellyn

Former U.S. Senator Edward Brooke (R-Mass.) died Jan. 3 at age 95; he was lauded as the first African American elected to the Senate and as a moderate voice in the Republican Party. He has another historical moment as well: he was present at, and a catalyst for, an early spontaneous statement of political values by Hillary Rodham (later Clinton).

Agents of Hope

Mohammed Fairouz | Posted 02.23.2015 | Arts
Mohammed Fairouz

We live in an age in which the attack on language is endemic; an age in which techniques like the filibuster have been used to effect mass dysfunction in governance and prevent people from talking to one another.

How We Should Discuss Ferguson

Chad Williams | Posted 01.29.2015 | Black Voices
Chad Williams

So as we continue to discuss the events of Ferguson, its ramifications and what it teaches us about American society, avoid speaking with maxims. Regardless of your opinion on the verdict, consider the other side honestly, even when it seems that no one does the same.

7 Secrets Within Obama's UN Address

Peter Paskale | Posted 11.24.2014 | Politics
Peter Paskale

Powerful speeches contain powerful content. For that content to shine though, it must be mounted into a powerful structure. Barack Obama's speech today at the UN General Assembly contained both.

A Cure for Microwave Spectrum Disorder

Stephen Whittaker | Posted 08.31.2014 | College
Stephen Whittaker

When challenged about the effect on their psyches of what I generically dub anti-social media, students assure me that they are fully social, but their integration and communication is with a society other than the one in the room.

Brevity and Eloquence -- Lessons From Calvin

Peter W. Wood | Posted 07.23.2014 | College
Peter W. Wood

On May 1, the U.S. Mint released the latest of its presidential commemorative dollar coins, this one celebrating our famously taciturn 30th preside...

We Don't Need Debates; We Need Conversations

Matt Bieber | Posted 04.13.2014 | Politics
Matt Bieber

Josh Weinstein thinks about rhetoric and argumentation with more nuance and subtlety than anyone I know. At the moment, he's developing Argmaps, a web-based platform for structured inquiry into really hard questions.

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Lisa Longo | Posted 01.25.2014 | Politics
Lisa Longo

Some insurance companies are canceling policies, so therefore our president must have lied. Nope. Not true. It is a handy talking point for the opposition, but it is in fact, just another logical fallacy. Once you start listening for them, you'll find them everywhere.

Love Thy Economy as Thyself

Anat Shenker-Osorio | Posted 11.27.2013 | Politics
Anat Shenker-Osorio

The economy doesn't actually have needs, desires or preferences - we do. If our elected representatives, now working on the economy's behalf, want to screw us, we at least deserve dinner first. Something a little nicer than you can purchase with food stamps.

Trayvon, Morsi and B.S.

Sherman A. Jackson | Posted 09.21.2013 | Religion
Sherman A. Jackson

The whole point of providing reasons to justify privilege is to raise it beyond critique, take it out of the realm of politics and place it in the realm of nature, where it can be seen as normal, "nobody's fault," as natural as morning dew or death.

Romans 1.26-7: The Bible 'Says' Homosexuality Is a Sin?

Joel L. Watts | Posted 09.18.2013 | Religion
Joel L. Watts

Jesus may not have spoken directly about homosexuality, but Paul did, we are assured. However, this passage is not about condemning homosexuality, but about condemning those who condemn others.