Aug 15

No More Gender-Based Signs

Yesterday Target, one of the world’s largest retailers, announced they will be removing gender based signs throughout their store. This does not include signs regarding clothing but ones in reference to toys, bedding, and things of that nature for young kids. The idea behind this movement is to try and get rid of stereotyping things based on gender for young children. Target wants to lead a movement to show that children should not grow up in a home where they do not want to play with certain toys or watch certain television shows as they are meant for the opposite sex.

The author of the article is able to engage her readers about the topic by using many real life examples as well as referencing movements on twitter that she believes could have influenced Target’s decision. The author is also able to establish logos throughout the article as she references many other authors and gender equality activists to show how valid her argument truly is. I believe this movement by target will only help America achieve gender equality and hopefully it will influence other retailers to do the same.

Aug 15

Another Police Shooting

This past weekend in Memphis a police officer was shot to death after pulling over a person for a traffic violation. The officer was shot and killed while walking to the suspects car and the suspect fled the scene but is believed to have been found today. This shooting comes very recently after a multitude of other recent traffic stops in which cops have been accused of using excessive force. These incidents include when a police officer shot and killed Samuel DuBose on July 19 which reignited the chant across the country that “Black ¬†Lives Matter.” This shooting also comes at a time when there has been an increase in recent gun violence and talks of how to handle gun control laws.

The author of this article is able to take an unbiased stance on the shooting, but comes to the conclusion that all lives matter and we must take some sort of action to prevent these now common acts from occurring. The author is able to relate to his audience through the use of many quotes as well as relating this shooting to similar recent shootings. The author is also able to relate to the audience by establishing ethos when he includes quotes form the Memphis police chief and police director. All in all this is a very sad incident and we can only hope the proper steps are taken to make sure shootings like this do not continue to occur.


Jul 15

Unemployment Continues to Fall

With the economy continuing to grow Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to its lowest number in the past 41.5 years this week. The total number of Americans filing fell to 255,000 which is the lowest amount of applications since 1973. This number is down 26,000 from the previous week which shows very positive growth for America but the author of the article points out some flaws in this number. The author talks of how this number could be skewed as he says ,” last week’s drop likely exaggerates the strength of the labor market as claims are volatile during summer when automakers usually shut assembly plants for annual retooling.” The author then goes on into deeper discussion on this point that automakers varying summer schedules can affect the amount of jobless claims. The author when explaining this idea includes many statistics and a graph to help show his logos on the topic. The author then goes on to use many different measures of unemployment and job production to show that while the unemployment rate reaching a low is a very good sign we cannot look at it as the only measure of how the economy is doing. While the author does use many valid other statistics and points I believe the unemployment drop should be viewed very positively and we should value this period of low unemployment.



Jul 15

California Drought

California over the past four years has been facing one of its worst droughts in history. This has left California with over a half million acres of dry farmland as well as receding reservoirs. The current drought is now being viewed as the worst to hit California in the past century according to readings from the annual Palmer Drought Severity Index recordings. This index tracks soil moisture in order to measure the severity of droughts. Based off this index California is currently in an extreme drought that is the worst in more than the past century.

The author of this article is able to grab the readers attention through his use of statistics to prove his argument. The author uses an uncommon statistic in the Palmer Drought Severity Index instead of just looking at waterfall. By incorporating this study as well as charts that follow along with the results of the Palmer Drought Severity Index recordings it also reinforces the authors argument and helps prove his point.

The author then finishes the article on a bright point as he talks about El Nino and the probability of the storm bringing rain to California in the winter. He talks about how there is currently a 90 percent chance of the storm reaching up to California leaving the article on a positive note of hopeful rain to come.


Jul 15

Oil Drilling

The BP oil spill that occurred in 2011 was the first many of us saw of the dangers of oil digging, but it was not the first time an issue like this occurred. In 1969 an oil platform six miles off the coast of Santa Barbara, California experienced a malfunction that caused oil and natural gas to shoot up into the ocean. This event had catastrophic repercussions, but the government was not able to learn from this disaster and allowed it to reoccur just 42 years later. After the spill in 1969 Congress passed a bill that banned off shore drilling on 85% of America’s coasts and was intended to hedge against another incident. This bill though ended in 2008 under the Bush administration and Bush pushed to reopen these drilling territories as gas prices were skyrocketing. Eventually the sanctions on drilling were loosened and America once again began to drill in its oceans. This ended up being a horrific decision as the BP spill occurred just shortly after. The author of this article is able to convey his point of American’s desire for things now while ignoring the past through his simple use of an abrupt ending to his article. The author never specifically states his disappointment with drilling or his disgust with the spill, but he ends his article with simply stating the death toll and areas affected from the spill to show how truly catastrophic it was. This abrupt, and unpleasing ending shows how he disapproved of the decision to keep digging and gives us the idea that he knew something like this would occur again.


Jul 15

Consumer Debt

Consumer debt is a problem that has plagued America since credit cards were invented in the 1950s, and it has sharply risen over the past 15 years. With a simple signature, and some sort of income, American’s every day are able to add new credit cards to their name and increase their risk of compiling debt. How does consumer debt relate to rhetoric though? Consumer debt activists, as well as the credit card market as a whole, are both controlled by media outlets trying to force their opinions on those reading or watching. This can be seen when a MasterCard commercial advertises their classic “priceless” slogan, which takes an emotional view into family values that will promote spending. Rhetoric can also be shown on the opposite side when people publish works bad-mouthing the credit card companies and blaming them for increasing consumer debt. Both sides heavily use propaganda and skew statistics in their favor to try and engender certain emotions or feelings inside the viewer. These rhetoric strategies have seemed to work in favor of the credit card companies so far as the national consumer debt continues to rise, but the opposing side has had a good deal of recent success against the credit card companies. President Obama recently appointed Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren to oversee the creation of a financial agency working to protect consumers from the hidden fees credit cards may carry. This agency will work to regulate the credit card industry as it has become a monopoly controlling the lives of so many Americans. Hopefully this agency can be successful in its conquests, because with American’s consuming habits there is no end in sight to buying on credit.



Jul 15

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