Friday, March 8, 2013

Opinions--Everybody's Got One 

Today I would like you to read the Washington Post Opinion Page and explore. Find an article that is intriguing to you and read it--closely. Then...

  1. Copy a link to the article.
  2. Write a summary of the article. Remember that a summary is the most concise manner of retelling the main points of the text.
  3. Analyze the argument of the text. What is the argument? How does the author present it?
  4. Do you see any fallacies or other flaws in the argument? If so, what are they?
  5. Explain what your opinion is on the matter. What do you think about what the author's argument?


    The article talks about former Venezuelen leader Hugo Chavez. It talks about the comparison between him and Joseph Stalin of the formerly know Soviet Known. They compare each of their policies and what they did.
    The argument is whether or not will Chavez be remembered for his actions. The claim is unknown for right now until further down the timeline. It is too soon to tell.
    I think the legacy of Hugo Chavez will be remembered because of his actions. He dispersal of family and the changes made in society will way greatly.It was a dictatorship with unfair treatment. Even though not to extremeties, the changes impacted people's live in Venezuela greatly so the legacy will be remembered.


    My article, “TSA permits small knives, bats and golf clubs but holds firm on shampoo”, was about the changes that the TSA is making about the rules to what one can bring on board an airplane. Now, passengers can bring knives under 6 cm, bats under a certain weight, and golf clubs. The TSA claims that this will not slow down the screening process because the screeners will use “common sense”. The author is making the argument that the TSA's rules are ridiculous. The author believes that the things that the TSA limits, like shampoo, are unnecessary when now they are altering rules to allow knives, things that can actually hurt people, on an airplane. The author presents the argument in a way that that makes the TSA seem like unintelligent people who are trying to make the process of riding airplanes harder for passengers. The author is obviously very biased against the TSA, however, I did not notice any fallacies that particularly stuck out to me in this article. Personally, I think the TSA is ridiculous. I do not think allowing any weapons on planes after what happened is ok. I think the author made a very strong argument that the TSA just tries to make things more complicated for passengers.

    2.) The article that I read talked about the recent lifts on bans that the TSA formerly enforced. The new rules will allow airline passengers to carry small knives, bats, golf clubs, and other items of the same type. The article also talks about whether or not the recent lift on bans will slow down airport security further. The author, argues throughout the article that instead of lifting these bans, we should instead be focusing on figuring out ways to make airport security faster.
    3.) Throughout the text, the author argues that TSA and the government are focusing on the wrong things. Instead of lifting bans and making more items legal on airlines, we should instead be focuisng on figuirng out how to make airport security function faster.
    4.) Honestly, I don't see any flaws in the author's argument.
    5.) I honestly agree with the author's opinion on the matter. Instead of lifting bans and allowing items that don't make sense on airlines, such as knives while still not allowing shampoo, we should be focusing on how to make airports safer and more efficient.


    The article was about the massive snow storm that struck the Uniter States not too long ago. It talked about how meteorologists were prediciting this to be the perfect storm & were also predicting that there would be an outrageous amount of snow would strike Washnigton DC. When the storm, Saturn, arrived on time, the meteoroligists were shocked to find that their predictions were far from correct. Instead of the crazy amount of snow, the city received a LOT of rain & snow mix. It turned out that the surface of the ground was far too warm for the snow to stay & it ended up melting right as it landed.
    The argument of the article is that weather forecasting can be one of the most unpredictable things. The author presents the argument by relating it to a thing that everyone can agree is unpredictable, politics.
    Within thr argument, I found that it was very hard to actually pinpoint what the argument was. It was difficult to see where the author was coming from because they were not straight forward about their argument.
    I think that weather prediciting is very difficult, just as the author thinks. I also think that it can change in the blink of an eye, just as politics can.


    2. The summary of the article i read was more a type of parody making fun of the new rules that people can now allow to carry with them on a plane. These include small knives, bats, golf clubs, etc, but still do not include shampoo bottles over 11 oz of liquid. The author makes clear to show her opinion on how the common sense of the airport security is measured by them frisking 4 year olds or searching old men with hip plates in fear of them being terrorists.
    3. The argument of the text is that the author believes that these new rules allowing people to carry small knives, bats, and clubs will increase instead of decrease the amount of time spent in the airport security, and that it is a step backwards in airport security. The author presents the argument in a very sarcastic and joking way by showing how the airport security has great common sense by searching 4 year olds and men with hip plates. The author believes the security will spend more time measuring and weighing knives and bats, than actually protecting people from harm .
    4. A fallacy in the argument could be that the author may be somewhat biased against airport security by compromising the security's common sense by saying that all airport security have bad common sense. That is really the only fallacy i see in the text.
    5. I think that this argument is absolutely true. I think we need to focus more upon actual threats on a plane rather than shampoo bottle sizes. Yes these things are important, yet airport security should be making steps to decrease threat as well as time spent in airport security.

    This article that I read was talking about how meteorologists have to work delicately between art and science. It ridiculed the job of meteorologists and that they did a terrible job at something that they should be used to. The writer was extremely inaccurate and assumed a lot. At the very end he talked about how meteorology, like many things, has a touch of art. I thought it was weird that whoever wrote this, felt it was okay to ridicule these people when he wouldn't be able to do any better than them. Overall, weather is something that is extremely unpredictable and sometimes there are just times that information is going to be wrong, nowadays we are so used to always getting the right answers, and really fast.


    This article is about a 7-year old girl who bit her pop-tart of into the shape of a gun and was pretending to shoot other kids with it. She was suspeneded from school because the principle said her behavioral was unexceptable and she was threatining other children. The father argued with the principle and told him that the girl was not harming nor threating anyone and that there was no need for her to be suspended.
    The author is arguing that they are making way too big of deal about a simple "pastry" and that this is causing the little girl to be bashed on social networking. The author is stating that people should not get involved with this in any way, and that there is no reason for this little girl to be talked about in this way. The author is stating that she thinks this is taken way out of proportion.
    There are fallacies, them being that it could be easily argued that the little girl was trying to use her pop-tart as a gun and that she was threating other children with it. In which case the child amy have deserved this type of punishment. The article was not clear on what the little girl did or did not do, so there is no way to judge if she had a negative intent. Another fallacy was that the author did not take into consideration the other kids that were invovled with the situation, how were they affected?
    I think that the author is right, this was taken way out of proportion. Although, saying that I do not know if the little girl actually threatened anyone. In which case, I would disagree with the author. The author seemed to make a good argument about protecting the little girl from ridicule, and I think the author is correct about trying to keep the little girl's story away from social networking.

  8. 1.

    2. In this article, the author discusses the problems of stray (feral) cats cause on the bird and mammal population. The article discusses different views on the subject and different ways to handle this serious situation.

    3. The argument is that cats can actually become a menace to society and this problem needs to be fixed. The author presents this by stating facts about the number of killings that stray cats cause and discusses possible ways to fix the issue.

    4. There are multiple appeals to ignorance in the article. The article does not specifically site its sources on the study it made and also compares the number of killings to things that are obviously less threatening such as windmills.

    5. I think this issue isn't really that big of a deal. The author is making this a much bigger deal than it really needs to be and wants the reader to agree with them and not actually look into the study.

    This article was about the weather forecast for Washington D.C. and how much snow the weathermen said they were going to get. They didn't get any snow, only rain. The argument is that predicting the weather is as much of a science as it is an art. The author talks about how the weather men and women were predicting tons of snow from the snowstorm moving across the country but all Washington D.C. got was a rainy slush. Apparently the ground temperature was too warm for the snow to stick which the weathermen did not figure in. I do not think there are any fallacies in this article. I agree that predicting the weather is an art and a science. There are many factors and variables that weathermen must take into consideration when doing their job. These weathermen made a mistake and forgot one factor. I think it takes a smart and brave person to want to be a weatherman because they have hard jobs and they can easily be wrong.


    ..... There's not much to say about this article. A snowstorm was predicted to happen in Washington D.C. and it turns out that the surface was too cold for snow. Therefore it rained. People were upset about this and one person wrote an article.

    The argument was that predicting anything is difficult. He explained what happend and then said it right out.

    I don't see any fallacies in the argument, but I'm not functioning 100% today so I may be wrong.

    I think that people shouldn't blame meteorologists for mispredicting the weather because its an extremely difficult thing to do. Thats about it.... :)

  11. 1.
    2. This article talks about the heavy snowfalls that were predicted to be heading towards D.C. As the storm approached all the weathermen and women made all of their snowfall predictions just to be greeted by nothing but rain. Turns out it was too warm on the surface for it to snow. The Washington meteorologists were said to have the worst week in Washington.
    3. The argument in this article is that weather forecasting is a science and that slight shifts in any variables can change the outcomes. The author presents this through telling the story about the false predictions in D.C.
    4. A flaw that I think of is how did they not know that the surface was too warm for it to snow?
    5. I think the author's argument is very logical and the author talks about it in a way that is convincing. The author uses an example of his argument to further make you think about the subject.


    I read five myths about water. It explained how things we've been told for a long time aren't necessarily true. Like we're running out of water, bottled water is better than tap water, we'll go to war over water, with the population growing the U.S. is using more and more water, and people should drink eight glasses of water a day. The author goes into detail about each point to disprove the claim.
    The author's argument is that people don't know a lot about water and we cling to thing s we hear that may not necessarily be true. He starts by stating that in the grand scheme of thing we know relatively little about water. Then using that as evidence that we know relatively little about the water in our lives he goes into his explanations. This is an assumption that the reader is ignorant of physics or chemistry where the law of conservation of mass is a key concept, because he starts by saying that people think water is disappearing. Obviously water isn't disappearing it is just being relocated. I don't think this should have been one of the myths because any form of education could disprove it. The next argument is slightly less shaky than the first in that people actually believe it. People do actually think that bottled water is better than tap water. He explains that water from the tap undergoes more testing that bottled water, but also states real threats posed before from tap water. He never says anything negative about bottled water, simply states how tap water could be preferable to some. This doesn't lead me to believe that tap water is better because out of the two tap is the only one listed with problems. Common sense would lead me to believe that people don't go to war over water and the fact that I've taken an elementary level history course. It's never happened before and conditions in other countries are constantly improving, so I don't need the author's reassurance about this one either. People do use more water in the U.S. the only reason we aren't using more as a whole is because of the technological revolution which has made agriculture more efficient. People hear that they need to drink eight cups of water a day, but people generally know what their bodies need. This was the only one that actually made some sense. This was the only one that I didn't actually know was a myth, but only because I don't care enough to research it. I don;t care enough to actually follow it either and I think this is the opinion of most other people as well. Only health conscious people would try to follow this and if they were this health conscious then they would probably look into the legitimacy, others simply don't care.
    On a whole this article was mostly fluff. Very few facts were actually used and it did little more than waste my time. It definitely belonged in the opinion section.


    I read an article about the new policies the TSA is trying to enforce. The author took a very pessimistic stance on the topic, using much mockery and satire to express her views. She began the article saying that she heard bats were now aloud on planes. She was excited about this, until she heard that they were baseball bats instead of animal bats. She went on to make fun of the fact that knives with specific blade lengths are aloud on planes, yet shampoo bottles more than 3 oz. are not. She makes up and example of terrorists talking about these policies, but the conversation is completely sarcastic and merely mocking the fact that these policies could enable terrorists to do more destruction. She continues the article in her mocking style by saying that babies, comic books, and airplane food is extremely dangerous.

    The argument of this article is that airport security policies are ridiculous I'm obvious ways. Small blades, bats, and golf clubs are aloud on planes, yet large shampoo bottles are still illegal. The author uses satire and mockery to convey her message. She uses verbal irony to make fun of the TSA policies.

    There are a few fallacies in her argument. For example, the shampoo bottles can only be 3 oz. because they could be used for bombs or other dangerous chemical reactions. However, I believe that her argument is that in comparison to shampoo bottles, the knives, bats, and golf clubs do seem very dangerous. Although there are minimal flaws in her argument, I believe that she did a great job of conveying her message.

    I really did enjoy this article. Honestly, I really enjoy the opinions page in general. Many of the articles have a very relaxed style of writing, which makes it easy to read. I do believe that this particular topic is something to discuss. The policies seem very ridiculous. I know that the TSA is only trying to keep the country safe, but I feel like there are better ways to go about this.

  14. 1.

    2. The meterologists predicted a snowstorm. The surface ended up being too cold for it to snow, so it rained instead. Some were angry with the wrong prediction and wrote the article.

    3. The argument, was that predicting something is harder than it seems, and never going to be 100% accurate. He tried to explain the situation, and then presented his argument very bluntly.

    4. There aren't really any fallacies. :(

    5. I don't necessarily think it's fair for someone to get worked up about something that's only a prediction. Meterologists will never be 100% correct, and I think people need to get over it. So yeah!!

  15. 1.

    2. This article is about how Rand Paul is going to be running in the 2016 election and how he will be a front runner in the republican campaign during this election. The article says that he represents a growing strain in American politics: liberalism. They say that based on his opinions it will be likely for Americans to vote for him to be the republican representative in this 2016 election.

    3. The argument in this essay is that Rand Paul will be a top presidential candidate in the 2016 election. They present information regarding to his thoughts and his stand on certain issues that are frequent in the presidential election.

    4. There is a bit of bias in this article but there is not really an definate "fallacies".

    5. I think that this argument is valid, although the "independent" running candidate really hasn't ever done anything substantial in the election.


    This article is giving opinions on gay marriages and if they should be allowed in the US. It talks about if it is really even considered a marriages and what it does to the social life of children if they choose to adopt.

    The argument of the text is that gay marriages should not be allowed because it is not good for children who are adopted by two parents of the same sex. The author presents it pretty bluntly. He really does not try to beat around the bush, he just comes out and says what he is thinking about it.

    There are many fallacies because he has no proof that it does any harm to any children that are adopted by gay parents. There is no proof of any of his arguments.

    I personally think gay marriages are fine. even though its a gay marriage, its still a marriage. They still have to say the same vows as anyone else in a normal marriage. As long as they are happy together, then i don't think it is anyone elses business.

  17. 1.

    2. In this article the author Kathleen Parker is talking about the latest problem in the mommy world that seems to be troubling the world today. Marissa Mayer from Yahoo called an initive for all of her workers at the company who work from home, need to start coming into work. Parker explored some of the ideas that the public had about this new news. Most women are upset with this saying that they want to be able to be a full time mom and work from home. Parker thinks that Mayer has a reson to call her workers in and they will be able to be a better company becasue of it. She concludeds with the thought that maybe if they are a more successful and make more money they will be okay will going to work.

    3. In this text the argument that the author is trying to make is that women are not looking at the whole situation when they are compalining that they can't be mothers if they are called into work. She presents this by saying that Mayer is strong and confident as a mother so she obviously does not want to hurt the mothers that are in her company but she is doing this strickly for the benifit of her company.

    4. There is a slight flaw in the argument. She is saying that all the mothers are upset that they have to go back to work. She is saying that it would be best for people to go back to work but in some cases it would be best for some people to be able to work from home.

    5. I feel as though Parker has a very good opionion on this. In some cases it is very important for the company for the people to come into work. I feel as though it is very importatnt for people to stop complaining about things like this because this could be very important for their jobs. Also if they are not happy because they want to be stay at home moms they may need to learn to sacrifice their job to spend time for their kids.


    I read an article about how the metiorologists in Washington all got the weather wrong. They said it was going to heavily snow but it rained instead. The argument is that the competitive environment that the metioroligists are in is causing them to be wrong when they make big assumptions in the weather. The reaction that the public made to the forecast of snow seemed a little exagerated but other than that there were not any falicies that I saw. I think the author is right and that the meteorologists should give percentage chances instead of bluntly stating the weather.


    I read an article about how the TSA is implementing a new policy in which people are allowed to take bats under a certain weight and length on board of planes, along with knifes that have blades that are shorter than 6 cm and less than 1/2 inch wide so long as they don't lock into place; however, razor blades and box cutters are still not permitted. Despite the new policies, shampoo bottles over 3 oz. are still not allowed on board. Flight attendants are not particularly satisfied with the new policy.

    The author uses satire, mocking the whole idea throughout the opinion article. The whole argument of the author is very obvious, that TSA policies are ridiculous; the fact that we're allowed to carry on items that could pose a threat to others, but not shampoo bottles of normal sizes. She goes on to joke about all other sorts of non-threatening items that could be banned in the future such as babies, sarcastically of course.

    I couldn't find any major fallacies other than the fact that the reason shampoo bottles of normal sizes aren't allowed in carry-on items is due to the fact that chemicals that could be used to make explosives; the author misses this bit in the article.

    I did enjoy this article because it aligned with my ideas about the new policies. I also really enjoyed her take on the situation, her use of sarcasm and satire was really entertaining and made the topic even more interesting.

  20. 1.)
    2.) In this article the new TSA policy was discussed. Pasengers are now alllowed to carry small knifes and bats on airlines. While the author has concerns that this will slow down airport security, he states that we should focus on speeding up airport secruity.
    3.)The authors agrues that the TSA is focusing on the wrong thing and that we should be making airlines faster
    4.)I see no flaws in this arguments
    5.) I think this is a good step. A lot of stupid things is banned from airplanes. The author also has a point in saying that we need speed up security as well so we need to find a balance.


    2. the article I read was about a guy who went to school back in 1981, he had to bring a gun into school to refurbish it for a wood shop class, he talked about how it was normal for kids to bring knives and similar things to school because they were not seen as a threat back then. His main point was why are gun law restrictions such an issue today.

    3. His argument is that the people from Newtown. Aurora and people who take off school for the first day of hunting should come together and figure out the new gun laws. He comes to this by saying that back in his time it was normal for knives and the sorts to brought to school but times have changed and so should the laws a but the people affected should come up with them not politicians in Washington.

    4. the flaw with his argument is that having two different perspectives of people who have gone through a tragic experience involving guns and those who hunt are going to differ on the laws. Just like politicians would. His argument would create a stalemate situation due to the fact that they have both experienced different circumstances involving guns.

    5. I think that gun laws should be more restricted then what they were back in 1981, but back then people were more hospitable and violence wasn't as high. I think it is someone's right to have a gun if they choose but there should be a longer process to get one. Not just anyone should be able to get a license.


    The article was about Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer. As CEO she has changed policies that make people not be able to work from home. The issue is that this takes parents away from children. However this is ironic because Mayer just payed to have a nursery made right outside her office for her own daughter.

    The argument is that maybe Mayer should not just think for herself. She should incorporate her employees children in some way that will increase performance and employee happiness. The author presents this by using very logical points and examples from similar scenarios.

    The only fallacy I see is that the author makes generalizations saying "all mothers" or "all employees".

    I think that while it is probably true that more productive work goes on when employees actually commute to work, I think Mayer's decision is unfair. For many moms their decision to work for the company may have spawned from the possibility of telecommuting. Additionally, the people that now have to go to work face issues like childcare and getting their kids to activities. Lastly, Mayer's decision to build a nursery for her own child seems ridiculous in light of what she did to her employees. Shouldn't she be treated the same way they are? I agree with the author.


    My article entitled "Low-income students can get into selective colleges", discusses the challenges that students emerging from suffering socioeconomic backgrounds face when applying for colleges. Money is considered to be the burden that separates students from quality education they deserve. The article identifies strategies to support students from low income backgrounds to achieve the goals they wish to pursue.

    Students from lower socioeconomic statuses are equally qualified but underrepresented at prestigious colleges. The author presents several statics which illustrate the percentage of students with high GPA's and high test scores who do not even apply to challenging colleges with a rigorous curriculum. The author describes a program that has proven successful in assisting these students in the successful graduation of college.

    One void in the author's article is the absence of information regarding whether students form students from low income families are applying to technical colleges or state supported universities even thought these students may not apply to prestigious colleges, they may be having success at state supported schools or elsewhere.

    I personally believe that students with the potential and the drive to achieve great things should be given the opportunity to learn regardless of family background. I think that the author was effective in relaying his perspective on this matter to his audience.

  24. This article discussed how meteorologists work delicately between science and art. The article states that meteorologists do a terrible job for something that they should be used to. The author assumed a lot throughout the article and seems to be very inaccurate. In my opinion, I believe that the author was being rude and felt like he needed to attack the meteorologist when the author himself wouldn't have been able to do any better than they do.


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