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Hate high gas prices? Look in your garage


Apr. 12, 2005 12:00 AM
People are angry about the high cost of fuel and seem convinced that the oil companies, in collusion with China (and probably those rascally French), somehow have it in for the poor American consumer.

Never do I hear speculation that the words "rising demand" could ever mean that American consumers' gluttonous use of oil could be pushing up prices.

Yet according to the EPA, average mileage has declined from 22 miles per gallon in 1987 to 20 mpg today, and 48 percent of new auto purchases are now trucks and SUVs, the worst swine at the gasoline trough.

Fed up with high gas prices? Look in your garage. Angry about paying more at the pump? Thank the Hummer driver commuting to work alone.

Perhaps it's time to trade in that F-350 with the pristine bed-liner and clean mud flaps for a more responsible but less iconic vehicle?

Of course not. It's easier to blame the Chinese. - Michael Walker,
Glendale
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/0412tuelets121.html

What is the writer's stance or opinion? The writer thinks that Americans are stupid when they complaine about the higher gas prices. He thinks that people need to open their eyes to the fact that their cars are using more gas, so there's higher demand.
What is the writer's purpose? To inform people.
What is the writer's desired outcome? For people to stop buying gas-guzzling cars, or stop complaining about the hike in gas prices.
Who is the writer's audience? (Be specific!) Middle-aged workers that drive.
Is the writer convincing? Why or why not? The writer is convising because he uses tons facts to prove his point.


The return of Cardinal Law

Published April 12, 2005
With the somber chants, pomp and public sorrow surrounding the death of Pope John Paul II still hanging over St. Peter's Square, American Catholics were confronted Monday by someone they may have thought had faded into the deepest recesses of the Vatican--Boston's disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law.

Law surfaced at the Vatican to lead one of nine consecutive, and very public, masses--the novemdiales--memorializing the late pope. That is a distinction reserved for the most influential members of the church hierarchy.

How could Law qualify for such an honor?

In 2002 he resigned from his leadership post in Boston because of his central role in the pedophilia scandal there, which left the archdiocese in a shambles, both spiritually and financially. Settlements with abuse victims cost more than $85 million. As the scandal reverberated nationwide, the cost of an avalanche of legal judgments and settlements over the sexual abuse of children reached a staggering $840 million, according to one estimate.

Over a period of several years, Law covered up the terrible behavior of priests who were molesting children, rather than expose and dismiss the offenders. The welfare of criminal priests took priority over the welfare of children. Law rotated the priests around parishes, only to have them prey on other children. He approved the quiet financial settlements with the victims and families who sued the archdiocese. When that would no longer work, he squandered church resources on costly legal maneuvers to keep the information from the media and the public.

Law ultimately resigned in Boston and was assigned by Pope John Paul II to head St. Maria Maggiore, one of Rome's most important basilicas. It was because of that position, Vatican officials explained, that he was asked to preside over one of the novemdiales.

Members of a U.S. group representing victims of sexual abuse tried to protest at the Vatican but were escorted out. "Cardinal Law is being put in a position of prominence which is rubbing salt in the wounds," one protester said.

Indeed, the handling of Law's case raised questions of whether the late pope ever fully grasped the enormity of the scandal and the damage it was causing the American church.

Initially, he and the Vatican closed ranks around the embattled clergy and hierarchy, and they vaguely blamed the scandal on the loose mores of American society. That rationale collapsed when similar problems surfaced elsewhere around the world.

Law, at 73, is young enough to participate in the conclave to elect the next pope. But his return to such a public role, his assumption of an honored role in the remembrance of John Paul II, is a terrible insult to the victims of a church scandal that Law, to his shame, perpetuated.

Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

What is the writer's stance or opinion? The writer thinks that Cardnial Law was the one who covered up most of the preist-sex scandle and is therefore not fit to have the cloth
What is the writer's purpose? To inform people about this lapes in the church's jugment
What is the writer's desired outcome? For people to reject the Cardnail
Who is the writer's audience? (Be specific!) Calthoic people that care about the church
Is the writer convincing? Why or why not? Not really. He doesn't use any real facts beond those that have gone under surtinie at court.



Commentary > The Monitor's View
from the April 12, 2005 edition
China-Japan Logrolling
The Monitor's View
The closer they get, the farther apart they seem. Only in the past few years have China and Japan become each other's largest trading partners. They've also tried to weave the Far East into a tighter economic community. Yet the recent protests against Japan in several Chinese cities show just how much these historical rivals must still rise above their nationalist instincts for the sake of creating a stable East Asia.

Just imagine where Europe would be today if its giants, France and Germany, were still scratching at each other in public 60 years after World War II.
The protests against Japan began in an Internet campaign by Chinese students to prevent Tokyo from winning a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Then they escalated when Japan, once again, altered a history textbook to gloss over its wartime actions against China, reinforcing the perception that the Japanese aren't truly the postwar pacifists they've so ably demonstrated for half a century.
These incidents add to recent friction over disputed islands, Taiwan, Japan's military expansion, and the Japanese prime minister's visits to a Tokyo shrine that includes the remains of 14 war criminals. Japan also now realizes that years of aid to China have bought little friendship. And last November, it caught a Chinese submarine in its waters.
One basic problem is that China is catching up quickly to Japan in economic clout after more than a century of being weak. The speed of China's climb since 1979 hasn't matched the skills of the two nations to design a partnership that lets them work out their differences. Leaders of the two nations have not exchanged visits in years, a sign that each is stuck in asserting a robust nationalism for domestic reasons.
Tokyo's leaders want Japan to be treated as a "normal" country, forgetting the war past, projecting a military presence, and earning international respect. China's Communist Party leaders have resorted to stoking nationalist outrage, with Japan as an easy target, to maintain unity; but they know they must control it before protests turn on them. (They also know that the party's record of mass killings under Mao and at Tiananmen hardly gives it a platform to criticize Japan.)
What should glue the two together is their growing economic integration. Leaders on both sides dare not upset that apple cart. Each troubling incident brings warnings from business, and leaders learn a bit more that their legitimacy lies in ensuring prosperity, not nationalist grandeur.

What is the writer's stance or opinion? Japan and China will never get alone no matter what the word sees.
What is the writer's purpose? To inform about the newspapers position on the Japan-China thing
What is the writer's desired outcome? For people to be informed
Who is the writer's audience? (Be specific!) Middle aged workers who care about world events
Is the writer convincing? Why or why not? Yes, he uses facts and how the two conties have been acting affectly

Guilty Until Proven Innocent
Published: April 12, 2005
The post-9/11 world involves two competing nightmares. One imagines another terrorist attack that occurs because authorities fail to respond to signs of danger. The other is about innocent people who are arrested by mistake and held indefinitely because authorities are too frightened, or embarrassed, to admit their errors. We have to be equally vigilant against both.
Right now, two New York City girls, both 16, have been detained and accused of plotting to become suicide bombers. If there is a real reason to believe that charge, officials are obviously right to have acted. But so far, they have said little about the evidence against the girls, and the girls' friends and families have offered accounts that suggest the charges could be completely false.
At this point, it's impossible not to worry about a potential miscarriage of justice, given the number of previous incidents in which the government has rushed to make a terrorism arrest that turned out to be baseless.
Details of the cases against the two girls - one from Bangladesh and the other from Guinea, and both in the country illegally - are sketchy. According to reporting by Nina Bernstein in The Times, the parents of the Bangladeshi girl went to the police several weeks ago to file a complaint about their daughter's defying their authority. When the dispute was resolved, they tried to withdraw the complaint, but the police proceeded with an investigation.
The police and federal immigration officials searched her belongings and are reported to have found an essay on suicide. According to the family, the essay says suicide is against Islamic law. But detectives went on to question the girl about her political beliefs before arresting her. Even less is known about the investigation of the girl from Guinea. Teachers and students at the high school she attended expressed outrage at the arrest and at the idea that she could be plotting terrorism.
The government calls the girls an "imminent threat," and says it has "evidence that they plan to be suicide bombers." But it has not described the evidence, insisting that national security requires that much of it remain secret. Because the girls are here illegally, they have been put into a deportation system that affords them far fewer rights than ordinary criminal suspects have. There is no definite limit on how long they can be held.
No one wants to leap to conclusions about a government case in such an important area. But the record is not reassuring. Last year, the government wrongly jailed Brandon Mayfield, a lawyer who is a Muslim, for two weeks after the F.B.I. mistakenly matched his fingerprint to one found at the scene of the Madrid train bombing. After the Sept. 11 attacks, the Justice Department rounded up hundreds of Muslim men who were here illegally and detained them for months, often in deplorable conditions. The department's inspector general later found that the F.B.I. had made "little attempt to distinguish" those with terrorism ties from those without. Shortly after 9/11, federal authorities detained a Nepalese tourist for three months in a tiny cell after he inadvertently included an F.B.I. building in a videotape of the sights of New York for folks at home.
More information about the two girls will no doubt surface over time. If the evidence isn't there, the arrests are very disturbing. The government will have taken 16-year-olds from their families, branded them as would-be terrorists and put them into a frightening legal limbo for no good reason.
What is the writer's stance or opinion? In the wake of 9-11, we have to be careful not to arrest very Arab looking male out there.
What is the writer's purpose? To inform people about the injustices since 9-11
What is the writer's desired outcome? For people to be more aware of what's going on
Who is the writer's audience? (Be specific!) Hot-headed, god-fearing people
Is the writer convincing? Why or why not? Yes because he plays on emotions while using facts effectively.



The Finding Truth in the Information Web


The Internet is a wonderful thing. It gives students tons of information within a few keystrokes, making research easier and faster. One major concern however, is the authenticity of said information. Another is the use of propaganda. Since it is very easy to publish on the web; anyone with a computer and Internet connection is able. Since most sites have a shelf life of one day, it adds all kinds of new headaches to anyone who attempts to have some controls. Therefore, it is not the publisher's responsibility to make sure the information is truth, but the users.

It is critical for all Internet users to have some way of distinging fact from fiction. There are many sites that have check lists of things to look for and avoid. One such site is LEO:
Literacy Education Online - Assessing the Credibility of Online Sources; they have broken down what to look for in a source into six categories - authorship, publishing body/publisher, currency, perspectives, coverage, and accuracy or verifiability. This site is very handy because it gives a bulleted list of everything to look for and the warning signs.

There are many different views on propaganda, especially what is "good" and what is "bad". The Propaganda Homepage says:

It may seem strange to suggest that the study of propaganda has relevance to contemporary politics. After all, when most people think about propaganda, they think of the enormous campaigns that were waged by Hitler and Stalin in the 1930s. Since nothing comparable is being disseminated in our society today, many believe that propaganda is no longer an issue.

But propaganda can be as blatant as a swastika or as subtle as a joke. Its persuasive techniques are regularly applied by politicians, advertisers, journalists, radio personalities, and others who are interested in influencing human behavior. Propagandistic messages can be used to accomplish positive social ends, as in campaigns to reduce drunk driving, but they are also used to win elections and to sell malt liquor.

The Internet brings good and evil. It is the job of the user to sift the gold from dirt.

Letter Pre-Writing
What is your purpose and who is the audience? My audience is the principal, who I'm trying to persuade to let me graduate with my class
Which persuasive technique would be most and/or least effective on your audience? Facts, logic, and reasoning are the best tools to use.
What method will you use to persuade the principal? I will use tons of facts as well as some emotion to back up my reasons.
What is the proper format for a letter? (See resources for assistance) salutation, body, closing
How will you organize the letter? Opening, point one, point two, closing

Dear Madam Principal,
As you may well know, my graduation statues is in danger due to a few late slips. I think that this is completely unreasonable. While I understand and respect that in some organizations a few minutes late may make the difference between life and death, but surely this institution of learning is not one of them.
I think that graduation statues should be defined by other things then late slips, especially when the slips are made out for mere seconds after the homeroom bell sounded. My grades are sound and my DSTP scores are average if not above. The notion of exiling me to a summer school is pointless at this point in time.
I understand that if you let my graduate then you'll have to let every unfortunate senior who is late graduate as well. However, if the late disqualifier is elemated then so to the problem.
Sinerly,
A student