July 4, 2019

Moving Forward; Preserving Rhetorica

Happy Fourth of July.

I am completely unable to get the archive file for all the posts to work.

So here’s what I’ve begun doing: Using archive.org, I am selectively re-publishing posts from the past.

That’s as good as it’s going to get.

UPDATE: I found a number of old posts had been marked as drafts in my last attempt to re-post from my archive file. I’m going to go through and publish them.

January 23, 2019

Nothing Is Ever Easy

You’d think with as much experience WordPress has at running a content management system that it would have a smooth process for importing content — especially backed-up content.

But, no.

Turns out the import system is full of problems.

Again, I’m working on it. All Rhetorica content still exists. It’s just going to be a bigger hassle getting it all back into place than I thought.

Stay tuned…

January 15, 2019

Working On It

I tried importing from my .xml backup file this morning with limited success. It seems most of the work is there, but it has been set to “draft.” No clue why.

I may go through and re-publish each entry.

I may try re-installing WordPress with a new database and then import the file.

Stay tuned…

December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas … and Yikes!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Sadly, Rhetorica suffered a catastrophic event a few days ago. Still not sure exactly what happened. But, I do have a plan for fixing it. Luckily, I also have a complete back-up. I’m nowhere near the computer that holds the back up, so Rhetorica is likely to look like a bit sparse until the middle of January.

April 18, 2003

Bollinger’s Statement

I didn’t expect anything earth-shattering from Lee C. Bollinger’s task force statement on journalism education at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. And I wasn’t disappointed. But I do think the thrust of his statement is important: journalists must be broadly educated:

That a journalism school is located within a great university, which houses an extraordinary amount of expertise on virtually any subject, means that it would be an intellectual tragedy not to ensure that students partake of the feast.

If at first this seems like common sense, don’t be fooled. I would assert that the majority of students in higher education miss this feast because they come to college focused on being trained for a job rather than getting an education. This situation may be particularly distressful in regard to the practice of journalism (necessary to the civic health of a democratic republic), which, to be done well, requires not only basic professional skills but the ability to think critically and in context. To achieve this, Bollinger believes journalists need

a functional knowledge of statistics, the basic concepts of economics, and an appreciation for the importance of history and for the fundamental debates in modern political theory and philosophy.

To this list I would add a deeper understanding of language and how it works from the disciplines of rhetoric, linguistics, cognitive science, and psycho-linguistics.

April 1, 2003

Freedom of speech…

Is this a great country, or what? Today, thanks to Jeremy Gilchrist, we are free to express exactly what we think…to police dogs. And in their language, too!

March 20, 2003

Irony or stubborness or what?…

Here’s an article from the Los Angeles Times that sheds no light on the situation with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s camera shyness. The report does say this:

“Every time we ask, the answer is always no. And there is never an explanation,” said [C-SPAN] vice president Terry Murphy. “We don’t have this problem with any other Supreme Court justice. We have even covered panel discussions and the screen goes blank when he begins to speak.”

At what point does such behavior become odd (not to mention contrary to the principles of open debate and discussion of issues that make a democratic republic possible)?

March 3, 2003

Political definitions, political power…

Is it “global warming” or “climate change”? Is it an “inheritance tax” or a “death tax”?

The answers to these questions, and thousands like them, are not trivial. The answers determine the course of policy because politics is a battle of definitions. And the battle is “won” when citizens, journalists, and politicians accept one term over other possible terms as an accurate description of reality (or, rather, experience).

For more on how words shape policy and the political process, check out this article in The New York Times.

February 25, 2003

Yahoo radio…

What would be wrong with liberal talk-radio? The same thing that’s wrong with conservative talk-radio: Yahoo discourse. Leonard Pitts, as usual, says it well:

I mean, naif that I am, I’d like to think the ability to see the world in multiple dimensions, to think beneath the surface, to handle complexity, is inherently neither liberal nor conservative. I’d like to think it is the mark of thoughtfulness, maturity and intelligence, period. And I’d like to think those are things we’d all hope to be. Certainly dialogue rooted in those qualities would be of significantly higher quality than most of what now passes for social and political discourse.

I, too, am a naif.

February 21, 2003

What did the man say?…

MediaMinded found an interesting item about Aaron McGruder, the cartoonist who writes Boondocks. He gave a keynote address for Black History Month at Indiana University and, apparently, said some inflammatory things. Apparently he said the Republicans killed Sen. Paul Wellstone.

Now, I agree that extremists of all sorts say extreme things when given a microphone. That’s one of the things that makes them extremists. So I’m making no apologies. My question is this: where’s the quote?

Neither a story by the Bloomington Herald-Times nor the IU Daily Student quote McGruder directly. Both reporters, instead, assert that he said such a thing.

Hello? It’s called news. And you need to quote such news directly if it is serious. If it is not serious, then we need to know that. Is this an example of extraordinary incompetence or, perhaps, political bias? Or something else? (i.e. “I tell jokes for people who like leftist political humor.”)

I’m trying to run down a transcript. If this guy is seriously claiming political murder, we ought to know EXACTLY what he said.

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