Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It's a Trap!

So, there's a group of wingnuts going to march on DC in Operation American Spring to "take back" the White House.
But - It's a trap!

Interestingly, Col. Riley has termed the march “OPERATION AMERICAN SPRING”, a name synonymous with Islamic terrorism. In essence, “Operation American Spring” is a trap to set-up well-meaning “patriots” for acts of state-sponsored terror so that Obama’s political opposition can be vilified and a civil war can commence.
It is during one or both of these seemingly harmless events that a state-sponsored coup d’├ętat and/or terror attacks will likely take place.

Evidence?  We got your stinking evidence:

In what appears to be a pre-White House terror exercise, it was reported on May 6, 2014, that a car allegedly trailing President Obama daughters’ motorcade prompted a White House lockdown. Whether the lockdown provided the necessary cover for the installation of demolition explosives and/or weapons inside the White House is not known, but said explosives could be detonated via remote control at a future date (May 13-16?) in order to give the appearance of a coordinated coup or terrorist attack.
Aside from the Pennsylvania man who was arraigned for a White House threat on March 24, 2014, two people were arrested and charged for throwing items at the White House on May 9, 2014. Prior to a state-sponsored terror attacks, patsies are often arrested for trivial crimes against the target in question in order to set the precedent for the real attack which is forthcoming.
Interestingly, on May 11, 2014, it was revealed that the Washington Monument will finally be reopened to the public on May 12, 2014. Whether the 3-year closure has provided the necessary cover for the installation of demolition explosives and/or weapons inside the Washington Monument is not known, but said explosives could be detonated via remote control at a future date (May 13-16?) in order to give the appearance of a coordinated coup or terrorist attack.

You just do have to admire, in same sense that one admires the Panzers going through France so efficiently, that way in which the total absence of data -- "is not known" -- is offered as certain proof.  Wheels within wheels.  The conspiracy is just the cover for the real conspiracy.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Instructor's Manual

The textbook will have an Instructor's Manual.  In general I have not found these very useful, but I tried to make a useful one for our new textbook.  The Instructor's Manual contains more examples, suggestions for background reading and some test and study questions as well as classroom exercises and checklists for various things.  It also contained a number of snappy quotes.

And that was the problem.  The publisher is concerned about if these are "fair use."  I think they are all obviously fair use, but just as a number of them got cut from the textbook, some are getting cut from the Instructor's Manual.

One of the most annoying cuts is that I cannot quote the Monty Python skit "the Argument."  This seems like a classic, even necessary reference to make in an argument textbook.  And it is over 40 years old.  Does not seem like I'd be denying income to the group by quoting it.  But, alas, it will have to go and be replaced by a reference to go look at it.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The textbook

Our textbook is in the publication process at Pearson and should appear this fall.  Titled, Argumentation, Keeping Faith with Reason, we hope it provides a theoretical framework for understanding practical reasoning.  An Instructor's Manual on pdf will also be available.  I am hoping this blog can become an active place for instructors to comment and share their experiences of teaching from this text.

How is this text different?  A not-so-modest list.

·         An extensive discussion of value claims.  We explain why these claims are often done poorly and provide examples of how to do them better.

·         An extensive discussion of credibility (ethos).

·         More systematic discussion and use of the Toulmin model.  We use Toulmin throughout the book to surface issues and clarify concepts.  We also develop an extension of Toulmin to cover networks of arguments which makes the model more useful for examining real-world arguments.

·         The addition of kairos as a form of proof to the traditional logos, pathos and ethos.  This concept allows us to group a series of concepts which ensures the communication event is not assumed to be isolated from larger contextual factors.  In particular, focus on kairos allows traditional analysis to include contemporary concerns with cross-cultural communication.

·         Organizing claims into a two-dimensional conceptual framework composed of claim types (fact, value, policy) that are implemented by seven forms of reasoning (definition, example, cause, sign, etc.).

·         While we do not cover all the writing topics an English composition class would, there are several places that discuss the practical issues of writing a student paper (or any form of brief argument).  We discuss models of argument presentation.  This describes various ways to order and structure an argument.  We also provide practical advice on how rebuttal arguments should be structured.

·         A series of sidebars titled “Arguments we never want to hear again” discusses certain pernicious arguments best not engaged in.

·         We make a considerable effort to use both simple examples as well as real-world issues of interest and controversy. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The purpose

There are a lot of arguments in society.  A lot.  Too many are done badly, being little more than a chain of assertions or disconnected claims.  This blog is devoted to assessing them and suggesting better ways to discuss things.

Also, this blog is in support of my U. of Minnesota class, "Analysis of Argument," and students will be posting here.