Commonplace Entry 10


“Angry Wolf” [1]

“A democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch” – Gary Strand

This quote challenges the widely accepted view that democracy is the most just form of government.  It proposes that majority rule is dangerous, and that while many view democracy as good, it is dangerous at heart.  If those with foul intentions are the majority, it gives them the ability to oppress the minority.  In a direct democracy, the minority has no say in how to rule.  They are unable to protect themselves from edicts or actions that would do harm to them.  A democracy cannot provide adequate representation for all people.


Commonplace Entry 9


“George Washington” [1]

“There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged.” [Excerpt from Washington’s Farewell Address]

This excerpt is an address that laid the foundation for many American principles.  This decried the establishment of political parties as a negative aspect of the new Republic.  It also uses a “They Say, I Say,” when comparing the opinions of those who favor parties to his own.  As such a historical and powerful figure, his rhetorical stance resonates even deeper than most figures.


Common Place Entry 8


“Iran Missile” [1]

“Most U.S., European, and Israeli commentators and policymakers warn that a nuclear-armed Iran would be the worst possible outcome of the current standoff. In fact, it would probably be the best possible result: the one most likely to restore stability to the Middle East.”

This quote is from a Foreign Affairs article entitled, “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb.”  This is an excellent example of a “They Say, I Say,” in a scholarly work.  The mainstream, western opinion of a nuclear-armed Iran is a negative one, however Kenneth Waltz argues that it would provide stability to the Middle East.  By taking what many believe to be the worst-case scenario in the region and flipping it around, it’s rhetorical shock is enough to get the reader to keep on reading.


Common Place Entry 7


“President-Elect Trump” [1]

“I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it,” Trump said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

This is Donald Trump’s quote on the investigations into Russian hacking.  This has a clear rhetorical purpose in the fact that it pushes away doubt about the validity of the elections.  If hackers did aid him in winning the election, he would have no reason to challenge such an action.  The hypocrisy in his statement can be seen from across the campaign trail where he claimed the “establishment” would “hack” the election in Clinton’s favor.  However, as new evidence comes out, he claims that no foreign actor would do the same.


Commonplace Entry 6




[A]n education [. . .] that was designed to support a truly direct, deliberative democracy [. . .] would be an education oriented to the ‘strong publics’ of decision-making rather than the ‘weak publics’ of opinion formation. (205)


This quote discusses how our current education system doesn’t focus on teaching how to make an important decision.  It is assumed that children will learn, but it doesn’t provide the resources needed for this learning.  The person speaking this line also urges that the formation of opinions is seen as almost a negative thing.  That the variety in opinion is so pluralist that it’s hard to unify a group that could make a concrete decision together.  It suggests a democracy can only be strong when decisions are made.  It’s reminiscent of the Frank Underwood quote from House of Cards, “Moments like this require someone who will act. To do the unpleasant thing.”  The quote suggests that democracy is only effective when action is taken, and fails when it gets clogged up in debate.

Common Place Entry 5



Georgia Referendum to Amend State Constitution:

“Shall Property owned by the University System of Georgia and utilized by providers of college and university student housing and other facilities continue to be exempt from taxation to keep costs affordable?”


The root structure of this sentence could be summed up in the sentence:

Shall property be exempt from taxation?


Three or four words that jump out at me in the sentence are:

Property, in reference to buildings and land owned by educational institutions in Georgia

Utilized, discussing the what the providers of student housing are doing with the land

Continue, as it means that the law is already in effect and an amendment would solidify it’s place in the Georgia constitution

Affordable, because it is citing the purpose of keeping the land tax exempt


The rhetorical situation in this context is that the owners of universities and colleges within the state of Georgia wish to have their property remain tax exempt to prevent rising costs for students.  The intended audience is the people/representatives of Georgia, specifically the students who this affects directly.  The “encoder” who are the owners write it in this way to convince the government why their land should be tax exempt by stating a rational argument.  




Commonplace Entry 4



The bathroom sign is a rhetorical device used to describe something that may be unusual to the common person.  Most people are used to the traditional male/female bathroom divide, but this sign put up by the AU Housing and Dining breaks from that norm.  The sign is trying to convince people to use the gender neutral bathroom even if it is different from what they know.  The sign is split up into three distinct sections divided by paragraph.  The first section identifies what the room is used for and how it differs from other bathrooms.  The second explains to people that they shouldn’t view the gender neutral bathroom as a negative thing.  Finally, the third section allows a sort of compromise for those who do feel uncomfortable using the new bathroom.  Overall, the purpose of the sign is to convince those who don’t like the idea of using the gender neutral bathroom to become more comfortable with the idea.

Commonplace Book Entry 3



A favorite sentence of mine comes directly from the most famous line of the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

In essence the root sentence within this is:

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are equal, and are endowed with certain rights.

The other words such as the “created” and “by their Creator”, pursue a meaning showing how firm the belief that these rights come not from government but are inherent in man. The “unalienable” shows how resolute these words are in that they are to be protected at all costs. The final famous phrase “that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” is used to explain what the rights stated are yet still leaving room for the idea that their are other inherent rights as well. To recreate the sentence:

These truths that Life, Liberty, and Happiness are unalienable rights, we hold self evident, that they are endowed by their Creator and that all men are created equal.


Commonplace Book: Entry 2: The Conversation



“The Enlightenment logic was powerful, but it was really World War 1, which had desensitized Europe to death and suffering for a greater cause.” (George Friedman, Flashpoints)


“While US Secretary of State John Kerry is not giving up on the idea of a ceasefire in Syria, it is very hard to see his efforts bearing fruit.” (Jonathan Marcus, BBC)

These introductions provide good examples of those explained in They Say/I Say.  Both quotes identify a “they”, the first quote claiming that some others may say that the “Enlightenment logic was powerful,” but it is then contrasted by Friedman’s own opinion.  In the second quotation, John Kerry is being referenced as the “they”.



“This is true across a complicated international landscape punctuated by China’s rise, Russian aggression, climate change, persistent terrorist threats, and other challenges to the U.S.-led global order. And it is especially true when it comes to how we contend with the enormously complex challenge of state fragility.” (Fragile States and the Next President, Foreign Affairs)


“He postuated that a war would devastate Europe simply because of the economic disruption it would cause.  Therefore, war was impossible.” (George Friedman, Flashpoints)


“SAMS received hundreds of offers of support; some human traffickers even volunteered to smuggle the twins out to Turkey or Lebanon, free of charge.” (Born to Fight, Foreign Affairs)


“(Clinton) didn’t need any advice or ok from me; she was already doing it. I gave her written guidance on why and how I had been doing it.” (Powell: Trump is ‘an international pariah’, CNN)


The difference between the two types of IC connectors is that when using periods it adds a stronger statement.  The sentences appear more firm and more effective if they were spoken.  When using the semi-colon, it’s better for a smooth flow of reading.  The writing allows it to connect ideas more smoothly and doesn’t disrupt the flow of the sentence compared to the period.