Arguments / Debates / Demagoguery
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Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Nov 17, 2012 My Take: The danger of calling behavior ‘biblical’
QUOTE: The fact of the matter is, we all pick and choose. We’re all selective in our interpretation and application of the biblical text. The better question to ask one another is why we pick and choose the way that we do, why we emphasis some passages and not others.
CNN (Cable News Network) Nov 09, 2012 Fantasyland: Denial has poisoned the GOP and threatens the rest of the country too.
QUOTE: Romney has no political heirs in his own party or elsewhere, he does leave behind a cultural legacy of sorts. He raised Truthiness to a level of chutzpah beyond Stephen Colbert’s fertile imagination, and on the grandest scale. That a presidential hopeful so cavalierly mendacious could get so close to the White House, winning some 48 percent of the popular vote, is no small accomplishment. The American weakness that Romney both apotheosized and exploited in achieving this feat—our post-fact syndrome where anyone on the public stage can make up anything and usually get away with it—won’t disappear with him. A slicker liar could have won, and still might....This year’s instantly famous declaration by the Romney pollster Neil Newhouse that “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers” crystallized the mantra of the entire GOP. The Republican faithful at strata both low and high, from Rush’s dittoheads to the think-tank-affiliated intellectuals, have long since stopped acknowledging any empirical evidence that disputes their insular worldview, no matter how grounded that evidence might be in (God forbid) science or any other verifiable reality, like, say, Census reports or elementary mathematics
New York Magazine Nov 05, 2012 The Real Loser: Truth (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: To be sure, the Obama campaign has certainly had its own share of dissembling and distortion, including about Mr. Romney’s positions on abortion and foreign aid. But nothing in it — or in past campaigns, for that matter — has equaled the efforts of the Romney campaign in this realm. Its fundamental disdain for facts is something wholly new....win or lose, the Romney campaign has placed a big and historic bet on the proposition that facts can be ignored, more or less, with impunity.
New York Times Oct 15, 2012 Do facts matter?
QUOTE: it is not clear what impact the fact checkers are having on the public at large or, nearly as important, on the politicians. They keep laying out the facts and the politicians keep stretching the truth. There is little evidence that the public is outraged by any of the revelations nor that it has any real influence on how the politicians conduct themselves...
CNN (Cable News Network) Sep 13, 2012 How to Argue on the Internet Without Becoming a Troll
QUOTE: Don't Use Metaphors...Don't Post Links...Deal With Petty Insults Effectively...Don't Ask Questions...Don't Be Lead By Questions...Don't Use Annoying Buzz Phrases...Do a Quick Structure Check
LifeHacker Jan 26, 2012 Gingrich Stuck to Caustic Path in Ethics Battles
QUOTE: Mr. Gingrich, Democrats and Republicans here agree, emerged as one of Washington’s most aggressive practitioners of slash-and-burn politics; many fault him for erasing whatever civility once existed in the capital. He believed, and preached, that harsh language could win elections; in 1990, the political action committee he ran, Gopac, instructed Republican candidates to learn to “speak like Newt,” and offered a list of words to describe Democrats — like decay, traitors, radical, sick, destroy, pathetic, corrupt and shame. Those same qualities are now on display as Mr. Gingrich, a Republican candidate for president, turns his caustic tongue against Republicans and Democrats alike.
New York Times Dec 11, 2011 How to Fix Fact-Checking
QUOTE: The Standard piece offers up some genuine examples of faulty fact-checking in service of its tendentious argument. The problem with fact-checking is not that it’s a liberal media plot. The problem is that fact-checking – like everything – is sometimes a lazy, half-assed business.
Forbes Nov 20, 2011 Protest Puts Coverage in Spotlight
QUOTE: Newspapers and television networks have been rebuked by media critics for treating the movement as if it were a political campaign or a sideshow — by many liberals for treating the protesters dismissively, and by conservatives, conversely, for taking the protesters too seriously. The protesters themselves have also criticized the media — first for ostensibly ignoring the movement and then for marginalizing it.
New York Times Jun 25, 2011 The Ways of Silencing
QUOTE: We might wish politicians and pundits from opposing parties to engage in reasoned debate about the truth, but as we know, this is not the reality of our political discourse. Instead we often encounter bizarre and improbable claims about public figures. Words are misappropriated and meanings twisted. I believe that these tactics are not really about making substantive claims, but rather play the role of silencing.
New York Times Jun 22, 2011 Medicare: Facts and Convictions (The Stone)
QUOTE: The moral of my story is that understanding and effectively taking part in a debate requires awareness of the level at which we and our opponents are operating at any given point...Once we’ve pushed the debate on Medicare or any other policy matter to the point where convictions become the sole basis of disagreement, it is time to vote.
New York Times Jun 22, 2011 Nazi hunting: How France first "civilized" the Internet
QUOTE: France has long attempted to "civilize" the Internet out of things like racism and Nazi ideology by curbing their dissemination. In fact, the first battle in this war concluded a decade ago. The winner was France; the loser was the then-reigning giant of the Web—Yahoo—along with the notion that the Internet is a "global" place that inherently transcends national boundaries.
Ars Technica Jun 19, 2011 McCain blames some Arizona wildfires on illegal immigrants
QUOTE: U.S. Sen. John McCain is blaming illegal immigrants for starting some of the wildfires that have scorched hundreds of thousands of acres in Arizona...The Arizona senator, however, did not say what the evidence is, prompting a swift rebuke from Latino civil rights advocates.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jun 13, 2011 Scientists Measure the Accuracy of a Racism Claim
QUOTE: physical anthropologists at the University of Pennsylvania, which owns Morton’s collection, have remeasured the skulls, and in an article that does little to burnish Dr
New York Times Mar 10, 2011 Dumbing Deficits Down
QUOTE: [Republicans] claim to care deeply about deficits — but they’ve spent the past two years putting cynical, demagogic attacks on any attempt to actually deal with long-run deficits at the heart of their campaign strategy.
New York Times Feb 21, 2011 Why America's teachers are enraged
QUOTE: Thousands of teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public sector workers have camped out at the Wisconsin Capitol, protesting Republican Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to reduce their take-home pay -- by increasing their contribution to their pension plans and health care benefits -- and restrict their collective bargaining rights.
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 09, 2011 Charges Against Muslim Students Prompt Debate Over Free Speech
QUOTE: When administrators at the University of California, Irvine, decided to suspend the Muslim Student Union for a quarter over the disruption of a speech last year by the Israeli ambassador to the United States, most thought the latest controversy on campus had ended.....[prosecution] reignited campus debate about the event but have also prompted a feisty argument about the role of free speech on a college campus...
New York Times Feb 02, 2011 How to expose empty office rhetoric -- constructively
QUOTE: ...First Liar Wins (FLW) rule...works because once uttered -- and because they are simple, plausible, and appealing -- any attempt to refute them sounds argumentative rather than constructive.
InfoWorld Jan 16, 2011 The War on Logic
QUOTE: But the same spending would still be necessary if we were to undo reform. So the G.O.P. argument here is exactly like claiming that my mortgage payments, which I’ll have to make no matter what we do tonight, are a cost of going out for dinner.
New York Times Jan 11, 2011 Tucson shootings don't quell debate over political rhetoric
QUOTE: Across the ideological spectrum, officials and activists agreed after Saturday's Tucson killings that it was time to soften the harsh edges of America's raucous national dialogue. But by Monday, a bitter debate had erupted over how to do it - and on whose terms.
Washington Post Jan 09, 2011 Shooting Casts a Harsh Spotlight on Arizona’s Unique Politics
QUOTE: While the individual components of Arizona are shared by other states, the mix of the state’s border proximity, rapid growth and dire fiscal circumstances have combined in the last few years into a riveting and sometimes chilling theater of fiscal, political and cultural tensions.
New York Times Jan 07, 2011 Rift in Arizona as Latino Class Is Found Illegal
QUOTE: ...Mr. Acosta’s class and others in the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American program have been declared illegal by the State of Arizona — even while similar programs for black, Asian and American Indian students have been left untouched....It was Mr. Horne, as the state’s superintendent of public instruction, who wrote a law aimed at challenging Tucson’s ethnic-studies program. The Legislature passed the measure last spring, and Gov. Jan Brewer signed it into law in May amid the fierce protests raging over the state’s immigration crackdown.
New York Times Dec 25, 2010 Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir
QUOTE: When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.
New York Times Dec 16, 2010 Wall Street Whitewash
QUOTE: The bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was established by law to “examine the causes, domestic and global, of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States.” The hope was that it would be a modern version of the Pecora investigation of the 1930s, which documented Wall Street abuses and helped pave the way for financial reform. Instead, however, the commission has broken down along partisan lines, unable to agree on even the most basic points.
New York Times Jul 21, 2010 White House Offers Apology to Official Accused of Bias
QUOTE: The White House and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack apologized profusely and repeatedly on Wednesday to a black midlevel official [Shirley Sherrod--Ed.] for the way she had been humiliated and forced to resign her Agriculture Department job after a conservative blogger put out a misleading video clip that seemed to show her admitting antipathy toward a white farmer.
New York Times May 21, 2010 Texas school board hears from critics of social studies changes
QUOTE: ...McLeroy has argued that the revisions provide balance to a set of standards that did not initially paint America in a positive light. Both liberals and conservatives on the board have called the changes "political" -- but they have disagreed on whether that was a bad thing.
Washington Post Apr 24, 2010 Undercover persuasion by tech industry lobbyists
QUOTE: The influence peddlers of K Street have discovered the power of social networking on such Web sites as Twitter and Facebook. Using their own names without mentioning that they work in public relations or as lobbyists, employees of companies with interests in Washington are chattering online to shape opinions in hard-to-detect ways.
Washington Post Apr 21, 2010 VAT's benefits outweighed by politics, experts say
QUOTE: the hyperpartisan political atmosphere is narrowing the options for dealing with the chronic budget shortfall. The latest sign: the emphatic rejection by both parties in recent days of a value-added tax, a sales tax imposed by nearly every other developed nation.
Washington Post Apr 04, 2010 Debunkers of Fictions Sift the Net
QUOTE: David and Barbara Mikkelson are among those trying to clean the cesspool. The unassuming California couple run Snopes, one of the most popular fact-checking destinations on the Web. For well over a decade they have acted as arbiters in the Age of Misinformation...
New York Times Mar 21, 2010 Texts Without Context
QUOTE: a concern with how digital media are reshaping our political and social landscape, molding art and entertainment, even affecting the methodology of scholarship and research. They examine the consequences of the fragmentation of data that the Web produces, as news articles, novels and record albums are broken down into bits and bytes; the growing emphasis on immediacy and real-time responses; the rising tide of data and information that permeates our lives; and the emphasis that blogging and partisan political Web sites place on subjectivity.
New York Times Oct 08, 2009 Lexington: Of debt and deadbeats
QUOTE: Arthur Brooks, the head of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank, feels that the real culture war in America today is not about gay marriage or abortion, divisive though those issues are, but about capitalism.
Economist Oct 05, 2009 Prepaid, but Not Prepared for Debit Card Fees (The Card Game)
QUOTE: For many people who do not have bank accounts, or cannot get a credit card, the appeal [of a prepaid debit card] is irresistible... But their convenience comes with a catch: fees, often hidden in the fine print.
New York Times Sep 19, 2009 Is a second execution attempt cruel and unusual?
QUOTE: The aborted execution [of Romell Broom in Ohio] has renewed concerns about lethal injection, and raises the question of whether a second execution attempt would violate the 8th Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
Los Angeles Times Sep 15, 2009 Cracking the Spine of Libel (The wild Side)
QUOTE: English libel laws create particular difficulties for science journalists. Science, after all, is about evaluating evidence. Science journalism, sometimes, requires pointing out when evidence is weak or absent.
New York Times Sep 10, 2009 War of technologies in California speeding case: Parents of a teen driver use data from a GPS vehicular tracking device to fight a speeding charge based on radar guns.
QUOTE: A California speeding ticket case to be decided in coming weeks puts a new twist on the age-old cops versus drivers battle, pitting police radar against personal GPS tracking devices.
Christian Science Monitor Sep 04, 2009 Expelled student sues over "unreasonable" cell phone search
QUOTE: The organization [American Civil Liberties Union] has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Mississippi middle-school honor student, alleging that a 2008 cell phone search and the sixth-grader's subsequent expulsion were not only unnecessary, but also unconstitutional.
Ars Technica Sep 03, 2009 After Its Madoff Report, Can Victims Sue the SEC?
QUOTE: Howard Elisofan, a partner at Herrick, Feinstein LLP and a former SEC enforcement attorney, launched a legal action against the SEC on behalf of a victim, Phyllis Molchatsky, last December.
Time Magazine Aug 28, 2009 Court tosses "arbitrary" FCC cable market share cap
QUOTE: The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has just thrown out the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) rule limiting each cable provider to no more than 30 percent of the overall video marketplace.
Ars Technica Aug 27, 2009 Dealing With Being the Health Care ‘Villains’
QUOTE: Humana workers and executives said the [insurance] industry tended to absorb blows that should be directed elsewhere.
New York Times Aug 24, 2009 Bioethicist Becomes a Lightning Rod for Criticism
QUOTE: The debate over [White House health care advisor] Dr. [Ezekiel J. Emanuel] shows how subtle philosophical arguments that have long bedeviled bioethicists are being condensed, oversimplified and distorted in the griddle-hot health care debate.
New York Times Aug 23, 2009 Officials Weigh Circumcision to Fight H.I.V. Risk
QUOTE: Public health officials are considering promoting routine circumcision for all baby boys born in the United States to reduce the spread of H.I.V....
New York Times Aug 21, 2009 Detainees Said to Be Shown Photos of C.I.A. Agents
QUOTE: he Justice Department is investigating whether three military defense lawyers for detainees at the Guantánamo prison illegally showed their clients photographs of C.I.A. interrogators...
New York Times Aug 20, 2009 Debate still rages over new N.J. national park
QUOTE: The battle over the park [Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in New Jersey], authorized by legislation signed by President Obama this spring, reflects two competing views of how to run national parks...
USA TODAY Aug 18, 2009 Lutherans to Vote on Sexually Active Gay Clergy (On Faith)
QUOTE: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, one of the largest Christian denominations in the country, will decide this week whether to allow gay people in relationships to serve as clergy.
Washington Post Aug 16, 2009 A bold gambit to reduce demand for child porn: Federal prosecutors and a New York lawyer are persuading courts to order anyone caught with illicit images to pay financial restitution to child victims.
QUOTE: Federal prosecutors are embracing an aggressive approach to fight the spread of child pornography on the Internet, urging judges across the country to order full restitution to identified child victims in cases where the defendant possessed the images but played no role in their creation.
Christian Science Monitor Aug 16, 2009 Oil Group's 'Citizen' Rally Memo Stirs Debate: Firms Asked to Recruit Employees, Retirees (Green)
QUOTE: A petroleum industry trade group is asking oil companies to recruit employees and retirees to attend rallies attacking climate-change legislation, an approach to grass-roots politics that resembles strategies used recently by some opponents of health-care reform.
Washington Post Aug 10, 2009 Iranian Officials Call for Arrest of Opposition Leaders
QUOTE: Revolutionary Guard generals, top politicians and senior clerics have called for the arrest and punishment of opposition leaders, including defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi...
Washington Post Aug 06, 2009 Big Insurance, Big Tobacco and You
QUOTE: the insurance industry is taking these [consumer fraud, incorrect statistics] and other flim-flams straight from the tobacco industry's playbook.
PR Watch Jul 31, 2009 Voices From Above Silence a Cable TV Feud
QUOTE: The reconciliation — not acknowledged by the parties until now — showcased how a personal and commercial battle between two men [Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly] could create real consequences for their parent corporations.
New York Times Jul 28, 2009 Landlord sues tenant after tweet about moldy apartment
QUOTE: a property management company in Chicago has filed a lawsuit against a tenant who tweeted an off-the-cuff comment about the company.
Ars Technica Jul 22, 2009 400 Percent APR—Is That Good? Do people take out payday loans because they're desperate—or because they don't understand the terms?
QUOTE: There's been a lot of finger-pointing lately about who is to blame for the untenable financial circumstances of many American families. Among the usual suspects... none is an easier target than payday lenders
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