Different methods to seek Justice

Henry David Thoreau is one of the most important literary figures of the nineteenth century.  His essay “Civil Disobedience” showed how to act civil but disobedient in order to protest things that you did not think were fair without being violent.  Thoreau was instrumental in the later writings of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Ghandi in the fight against injustice.  King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” was based on the principles of Thoreau’s essay.  Both King and Thoreau are exceptional persuasive writers and speakers.  Even though both writers were writing on ways to be civil but disobedient, they have opposite methods to achieve their ultimate goal.  King is religious and apologetic and focuses on what is good for the group, while Thoreau is assertive and aggressive because of his own personal hate toward the government.   They both have the same ideas but view them differently.  King wants to raise awareness by marching and speaking to help open doors for everyone.  Thoreau is striving for more individual rights in his essay.  Although both have similar ideas and beliefs they are achieved in very different fashion.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham jail.

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Satire as Effective Argument

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Harry Golden sitting at his desk in 1957.

Ethical Appeal is an appeal through the writer’s good character in which he shows himself well-intentioned, knowledgeable, fair minded and concerned.  In The Vertical Negro Plan by Henry Golden, the author uses the ethical appeal approach in presenting his arguments.  This is opposite of the approach used by Roger Guffey in Left Handers (Those Sickos) Got No Reason to Live.  In that reading, Guffey used harsh language that possibly turn off the audience and discredit the information because of this approach.  Golden makes the audience feel that he is knowledgeable on the subject based on the facts that he writes about early in the reading.  He discusses a series of amendments that were passed by North Carolina legislature and uses facts to back up his points to make his reading credible.  He says, “A careful study of my plan, I believe, will show that it will save millions of dollars in tax funds and eliminate forever the danger to our public education system.”  The fact that he says careful study of his plan displays that he is concerned for his audience and is fair minded regarding his ideas and opinions.  This is quite different than Guffey who states in his article that left-handers are “not normal” and “un-American.”.  This type of language is this kind of brashness that his audience discredits him and his article.  Using proper ethical appeal as Golden does is definitely the better approach from the two articles discussed.

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Concussion -Issue Proposal

Concussion is a 2015 movie that brings to light the issues of football-related brain trauma in former NFL football players.  The movie is about a neuropathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu,  who made the first discovery of CTE, a football related brain trauma, in a former NFL player and fought for the truth to be known.  The doctor’s quest to make this public knowledge put him at odds with one of the most powerful businesses in the entire world, the National Football League.  The issue with the movie from a societal standpoint is that football fans love seeing big hits during football games but now realize that this can cause concussions which can affect a players health in the future.  These future health issues may change how the game is played and how the game is watched by its fans and players.  The big question that everyone wants to know is how will the discovery of CTE affect how the NFL is played in the future?

As an avid football fan and former athlete it is always compelling to me when societal issues affect a sport that I love.  I love the way the game of football is played today and don’t want it to turn into a game of two hand touch.  It will be interesting to me to see how some rules may change over time to compensate for the head injuries that may occur during the violent sport.

I know that concussions are caused by violent hits to the head.  These issues have lead to later health issues in former players that have lead to early death in some places and others having issues like memory loss and headaches.  These issues are being treated currently during the game with a concussion protocol that has been enforced by the league and is monitored by outside doctors.  Players cannot return to games until they pass a certain test.

The issues are in its infancy and there is much more to research and learn from a societal standpoint.  To me it is difficult to determine if the effects are really caused by hits during a football game or by some other cause.    I think the players and fans need to be more educated on the matter so that everyone understands the importance of this issue and the changes that it may bring to the game.

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Will Smith starring as Dr. Bennet Omalu

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“A” is for “Absent” by Chris Piper

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Missing school = Missing out

In my rebuttal, I will be arguing against Chris Piper’s article that states that attendance should not affect your grade in a specific class.  I feel that it is important to attend class and get the most out of your college experience and learn from your professor and peers as much as possible.  I understand that it may be possible to do well on assessments without attending class ,but I feel that attending is an important part of becoming an adult.

Piper feels that as long as you do the work expected and do well on your tests/exams that you should not be penalized for not going to class.  He states that he had high marks on the tests and projects in a certain class ,but when the final grade came out he had a “C.”   He realized that based on the syllabus he earned the grade given to him ,but he does not feel that it is right because he understood the material and performed well on assessments.  In the article he also references that professors have attendance policies to stroke their egos or because when you have a job you can’t be absent.  These are arguments in favor of not having an attendance policy.  The position that Piper takes is that as long as you do all the work requested there is no need for attendance in the class.

I question the following statement by Piper: “I spend plenty of money on my education and my choice to fully take advantage of the expense is exactly that – my choice.”  I disagree with this statement because I feel that you are doing yourself a disservice by not attending class and getting the most out of your money.  I feel that attending class and listening to your professor and peers is important and you may learn important life lessons that are not in the testing material.  I realize that we are measured by grades ,but to me grades are not the only reason we go to college.  If you are in college unfortunately you need to go to class if there is an attendance policy because it will negatively affect your grade and therefore is not your choice.

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Argument Style

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Tailgating with my family for the LSU vs. Alabama game this year

About a week ago I had an argument with Alex, who is a good friend of mine.  We were arguing over who is the better quarterback, Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady.  We love to argue about sports and have debates over what teams are better or what players are better.  It is usually good natured fun ,and we like to debate over such topics.  This particular argument lasted quite a while as I was arguing that Aaron Rodgers is the better quarterback and he was on Tom Brady’s side.  We both would throw out stats to back up our argument from sports websites to make our points.  In the end, we both agreed to disagree with each other’s opinion because this is really a subjective matter.

The above argument is typical of the types of arguments that I normally have.  I am a fairly laid back person ,but I do have a passion for sports and love discussing sports topics and debating different issues with others with the same interest.  It usually revolves around football or basketball because that is my two favorite sports ,and for some reason Alex is usually on the other side of the argument.  We normally make a solid case with facts and reasons why we believe what we believe ,but in the end we usually agree to disagree.

My parents and past coaches and teachers have had a great impact on my style of argument.  My dad loves sports and always has an opinion as well.  He always tells me that if you have a passion for something and believe in something to give everything you have to be as successful as possible. He is laid back like me and is not confrontational but likes to give his opinion on certain issues.  He taught me that it is important to always try to back up your arguments with facts and not just opinion if possible because it will make for a better argument in the end.  My past coaches/teachers have also instilled in me that it is important to be aggressive if possible ,but this is something that I struggle with.

The best trait of my current argument style is that I try to back up my points with facts and not just opinion.  I feel that this is very important in any argument so that people will believe you.  I feel like I am not always direct when arguing and therefore need to improve on that front when arguing my case.  I think it is important to be flexible with my argument style and look forward to improving by learning from others.

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