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Op-ed Journal Why did humans evolve the capacity to imagine alternatives to reality?

Was story-telling in prehistoric times like the peacocks tail, of no direct practical use but a good way of attracting a mate? Williamson, Timothy. Reclaiming the Imagination. The New York Times. 15 August, 2010. 1 I selected this passage because it made me question the usefulness of my own imagination. By comparing it to a male peacocks tail by being both beautiful and yet impractical, Williamson is able to make the reader question the necessity of imagination. He also uses continual questioning in order to make the reader not only listen to his argument but think about his/her own opinion of imagination and alternative reality. However, the authors use of figurative language by comparing imagination to a peacocks tail is a use of imagination, the very subject Williamson is examining.

In the context of discovery, we get ideas, no matter how- dreams or drugs will do. Then, in the context of justification, we assemble objective evidence to determine whether the ideas are correct. Williamson, Timothy. Reclaiming the Imagination. The New York Times. 15 August, 2010. 2

This quote interested me because it explains the process of determining what is reality and what is imagination. The argument presented is if we can understand how we create an alternative reality then we can better understand it and reposes it. He uses the commas like a list to show the order of thought for a human to determine if a subject is fact or alternative reality.

Some of them have embarked on a fruitless hunt for the perfect analogy. The winner, as you might have imagined, goes to that evil cherub Newt Gingrich, formerly of Georgia but now of any meeting hall with a spotlight. Cohen, Richard. Obama muddles his mosque message. The Washington Post. 17 August, 2010. 1

I picked this quote because I agree with Cohen on his position that all former politicians are now no longer interested in politics but merely publicity. In the passage the author depicts people using analogies as evil and fame obsessed. The author even goes as far as to depict the analogies themselves as scare tactics with little or no actual effect. He accomplishes both of these arguments through word choice alone picking words with very negative connotations such as evil, fruitless, and cherub.In doing this the author creates a message of lack

Op-ed Journal of competence in his political adversaries on the addressed issue. Cohen accomplishes this by using the efforts of his political opponents against them by depicting them as either asinine or ineffective. I found this passage notable because of the dry humor found in the last two sentences. Much like the rest of the article, Cohen mocks the analogies of his political adversaries by simply stating them and letting the reader conclude the audacity of the metaphors. This passage also has very sarcastic tone to it, as seeing all of the commentary provided by the author is laughing at the predictability and inaccuracy of the analogies.

He likened the mosque to a commercial tower over Gettysburg, then to the attempt to establish a convent ousted of Auschwitz and, inevitably, to a German cultural center at, say, Treblinka. Enough said. We all have bad days. Cohen, Richard. Obama muddles his mosque message. The Washington Post. 17 August, 2010. 2

I didnt make the decision to discard this reliable, high-performing drill lightly. It made me uncomfortable. I thought about my dad, 50 years ago, bent over his workbench, carefully continuing as he counting as he rewound the brass wires on a coil He wouldnt throw away anything like that until it was beyond repair. Averill, David. Fix it or pitch it?. Tulsa World. 25, July 2010. 2

I still feel guilty about it and I still think about my dad, who was thrifty, conscientious and who lived in a not too long ago past when things could still be fixed. Averill, David. Fix it or pitch it?. Tulsa World. 25, July 2010. 2

I liked this quote because it reminds me of my own values. I dont like to waste things either, and it helped me be introspective on how I view material possessions. In the passage Averill uses imagery to paint his father as a conservative, hard-working man who never took anything for granted. It gives a sort of good ole days tone to the passage which definitely appeals to his conservative readers in Oklahoma. Yet, with this better days tone, he gives a level of guilt almost to those who are wasteful by making them feel ungrateful. He also uses positive words throughout the passage to make the conservative life style and even the drill itself to be good.

This quote made me laugh because it reminded me of the time I threw away a working coffee pot from out pantry by mistake. I felt bad and my parents were upset so I felt somewhat of a connection to the author in his dilemma. He continues with his guilty tone by thinking

Op-ed Journal of his father and how he would always work to fix something if it could be fixed. He continues to portray his father as the perfect mans man by listing several conservative and masculine qualities about his father and the world in which he spent his childhood. Averill uses his own guilt about his wastefulness and the thoughts of his appreciative father in order to give a lesson about conservatism to his readers and the world.

That was then. The brass was just blowing smoke, telling the commander in chief whatever it was that he wanted to hear. Over the past several days, at meetings with one news media outlet after another, General Petraeus has been singing a decidedly different song. Herbert, Bob. No Graceful Exit. The New York Times. 16 August, 2010, weekly. 1

Look around at the economy, the public school system, the federal budget deficits, the fiscal conditions plaguing Americas state and local governments. We are giving short shrift to all of these problems and more while pouring staggering amounts of money in Afghanistan. Herbert, Bob. No Graceful Exit. The New York Times. 16 August, 2010, weekly. 2

This passage spoke to me because I think its funny that the reality of the war in Afghanistan is now being brought to the previously nave President Obama. In the quote, Herbert combines the contradicting aspects of the liberal art of vocal music to the very conservative art of war. Having a general sing is a very peculiar sight, just as it is for a general to openly disagree with the President. This contributes to the theme of how odd and surprising the current situation for withdrawal is in Afghanistan due to different policies and opinions.

As Obama spectacularly demonstrated over the last couple of days, you can be a stalwart friend of religious freedom and still not necessarily think the mosque project is a good idea. The Editors. "Obama Fumbles Mosque Question". National Review Online 16 August, 2010:

I liked this quote because it seems to be a glimpse of common sense reality as to what the problems America really faces are. The list gives a very sarcastic yet annoyed tone to the passage. The commas represent repeating breathing as if the list is too long to say in one breathe indicating that there are other issues to be addressed before America addresses Afghanistan. Herbert also uses words with a negative connotation to depict the amount of money given to Afghanistan as unreasonable. This creates a theme of being annoyed with the Federal Governments obsession with war.

Op-ed Journal

Americans about Ground Zero that he respectfully urges the leaders of the mosque project to move it elsewhere, even though they, of course, have the legal right to build it in the current location? The Editors. "Obama Fumbles Mosque Question". National Review Online 16 August, 2010:

I picked this selection because I believe it is the perfect example of bias in the media. The author uses words such as spectacularly and friend to portray the president as a true statesman who treats all people equally. It also seems to depict Obama as a trailblazer. The first sentence has a dependent clause about Obama which precedes the clause about reasonability almost as if Obama was a prerequisite to reasonability about the mosque project. The language and message all are used to portray the president as a man who can see both sides of a controversial issue.

Men and women as distinct entities no longer have significance- which is exactly what the cultural Left and the gay-rights movement advocate, even though the vast majority of Americans who support same-sex marriage do not realize that this is what they are supporting. Prager, Dennis. "Making Gender Irrelevant". National Review Online 17 August, 2010:

This article stood out to me because it seems to present both sides of an issue in the same light with the victims and the Muslims of the mosque. This seems to depict the ongoing battle between legality and morality because many view that it should be legal for the mosque to be built near ground zero yet they question the morality of the action. The Editors seem to view it as obvious, with the of course, that the Muslims should have the right to build the mosque. However they do present an argument questioning the morality of building it because it might be awkward or even upsetting for the victims of the attacks. This selection was very intriguing for me because gay marriage is one topic that I dont have a hard headed opinion about. In the quote Prager seems to be speaking for the very people he criticizes. As he did by saying dont realize he seems to be belittling the pro-gay movement. Also the passage has a very narcissistic tone to it; it

These newer studies of same-sex parents are as valid as the earlier propaganda presented in the guise of scientific studies. Like the boy-girl studies, these were conducted by

Op-ed Journal academics with agendas: to deny malefemale differences and promote samesex marriage. Prager, Dennis. "Making Gender Irrelevant". National Review Online 17 August, 2010: almost seems as if Prager is speaking from a pedestal. One odd thing is, even though he harshly criticizes other beliefs, he presents no evidence or even logic as to why the pro-gay movement no longer makes gender significant, or even why gender should have significance.

I picked this quote for my final journal because when I read it I get a sense of homophobia from the author and I really wanted to address this. Throughout the passage, Prager uses demonizing words like agenda in order to make the reader believe that the studies that support same-sex marriage are false forms of propaganda. He continues to show an evil in same-sex marriage yet only give bland rhetoric with no fact to justify it. Even though the entire message of this article is that same-sex marriage destroys gender differences the author never specifies the differences nor does he give a reason as to why those differences are in any way important.