Category Archives: rhetoric

History is Erased by the Winners

Two-Thirds Of Millennials Can’t Say What Auschwitz Is: Study (patch.com) A common trap that many teachers fall into is assuming that when their students get to them, those students will have learned the same things that they’d learned at that particular age or grade level. For some teachers, this is an honest mistake that they’re not even aware that they’re making; others, however, may not particularly care about all the factors involved in why their students aren’t aware of certain issues, because they view every…

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Defending the Ground of the Cap and Gown

Professors Are Targets In Online Culture Wars; Some Fight Back (wlrn.org) (Content Warning: This blog includes discussion of bullying and a suicide attempt.) Of all my interactions with the worst bully I ever had to deal with in my younger days — and believe me, I had to deal with a lot of bullies back then — two stick out the most. The first was an act of public embarrassment so mortifying that it led me to attempt suicide, right there on campus, after I was finally…

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America: Death Before Discomfort

Craigslist ditches personals ads following passage of sex-trafficking law (Miami Herald) Female homicide rate dropped after Craigslist launched its erotic services platform (thinkprogress.org) In 2011, when the nation was transfixed by the “Craigslist murders” in Ohio, I had a unique vantage point to what was going on. Not only was I living in Ohio, but I was going through a period of very low employment; I had some freelance writing work to help me pay my bills, but I wasn’t teaching, and I really needed…

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I Know Censorship When I See It

Proposed R.I. bill would charge $20 to view pornography online (mynbc5.com) Washington state passes net neutrality law as states push back against the FCC (NBCNews.com) Among the many problems with Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s infamous “definition” of obscenity — you know, “I know it when I see it” and all that — is that it’s lazy. Defining words and terms is a very difficult process, especially when languages have to keep evolving so they can provide the tools we need to explain new developments…

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Indoctrination Into Silence

Students Get Mixed Messages On Whether Protesting Will Get Them In Trouble (NPR.org) School Bans Students After Gun Violence Protest (Newsweek via msn.com) It certainly made for a good media spectacle. Shortly after being sworn in as the first Democratic mayor of New York City in twenty years, Bill de Blasio indicated that he would move quickly to stem the tidal wave of support for charter schools in the Big Apple that his predecessors, particularly Michael Bloomberg, had rammed down New Yorkers’ throats for over…

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