Professor speaks on political discourse

first_imgJohn Duffy, associate professor of English, spoke on the ethics of argument during “ND Votes ’16: Political Responsibility and Virtuous Discourse” at Geddes Hall on Monday night. The event was sponsored by ND Votes ’16, a nonpartisan campaign aimed at educating and registering young voters.Duffy, the director of the University Writing Program, said the “toxic rhetoric” used in contemporary political discourse has made finding truth in politics incredibly difficult.“This rhetoric has managed to undermine forces grounded in logical argument and empirical evidence, which once were considered authoritative,” Duffy said.Much of the blame for this unhealthy political atmosphere falls on the media, he said.“Cable TV, talk radio and all the other social media platforms have made toxic rhetoric a fact of everyday life, a form of entertainment and a product to be bought and sold,” he said.Duffy said the media has become unreliable in reporting the truth, which has made discerning fact from fiction a legitimate challenge.“We seem to have come to a place where we are unclear on the nature of factual information. We’re not agreed on what constitutes a fact,” he said.In order for this toxic rhetoric to end, a cultural change must occur, Duffy said, and this cultural change must be grounded in supporting statements with actual evidence.“There are assertions, assertions, assertions — but not evidence. When you provide evidence for a claim, you are demonstrating your integrity. You are not simply making wild statements, you are willing to back them up,” he said.Duffy said people must also be willing to listen to those challenging their ideas, who present opposing viewpoints.“You expose yourself to the contradictions, the uncertainties, the possibilities that attach themselves to any serious, worthwhile questions,” he said.By doing this, Duffy said, “we expose ourselves to the possibility that we might have to change our minds.”In closing, Duffy said personal arguments and opinions should be taken seriously, since they are a reflection of personal values and are “expressions of who we are, expressions of our character, expressions of the kind of community in which we want to live.”Lorraine Cuddeback, a Ph.D. candidate in theology, examined voting from a Catholic perspective. Cuddeback said developing a strong conscience is a necessity for choosing the best political candidate.“The formation of a conscience first involves a willingness to seek what the truth is,” Cuddeback said.Cuddeback said that Catholics should play an active role in the political world.“It is the particular vocation of lay Catholics to directly shape the moral character of the country,” she said.The event also offered students the opportunity to register as voters in preparation for the 2016 presidential primaries and elections and provided instructions for obtaining an absentee ballot.Tags: CSC, ND Votes ’16, Rooney Center for Ethics and Democracylast_img read more

Read More →

Benteke penalty wins it for Villa

first_img Saido Berahino looked to have earned a point for below par West Brom after he cancelled out Gabby Agbonlahor’s opener. But Villa deserved the win and could have been clear by half time after Fabian Delph hit the post and Agbonlahor had two efforts cleared off the line. It moved them three points clear of the Barclays Premier League drop zone as West Brom remained 13th. Charles N’Zogbia replaced Scott Sinclair for the hosts while Albion were unchanged following their 1-0 win over Southampton as strikers Berahino and Brown Ideye shrugged off injuries. Sherwood was looking for N’Zogbia to provide some inspiration but the hosts were nervous from kick off with the Baggies more composed in the early stages. That evaporated though and Albion survived a huge let off after 16 minutes when Agbonlahor collected a cross, spun and fired at Foster. It looked a straightforward one for the England keeper but he let it slip through his fingers and the ball trickled goalwards. Foster recovered to claw the ball back off the line as goal-line technology ruled it had not gone over. It inspired Villa, though, and Tom Cleverley shot over before N’Zogbia fired straight at Foster who, this time, took it comfortably. But Villa had their tails up and grabbed a crucial lead on 22 minutes when Agbonlahor took first blood in his personal duel with Foster. Sherwood had urged his new side to find Benteke early and Brad Guzan’s long clearance went straight to the striker, who flicked the ball on for Agbonlahor. The forward then outpaced Joleon Lescott and slipped the ball under the advancing Foster for just his fourth goal of the season and first since November. It was the first goal Albion had conceded in 440 minutes and they almost shipped another eight minutes later. Armed with the lead Villa relaxed and Agbonlahor’s pace continued to give the Baggies problems with the striker agonisingly close to a second on the half hour. He, once again, beat the Albion defence to a long ball and toe-poked underneath Foster, only for Lescott to hack the ball off the line. The Baggies failed to test Brad Guzan in the Villa goal as the hosts contained Berahino and Ideye with the visitors second best in the first half. And Villa nearly doubled their lead in stoppage time when Delph found space with a clever turn and curled onto the base of the post from 25-yards. The hosts were on top and continued to press after the break and Ashley Westwood curled a free kick over. While it remained 1-0, though, Albion remained in the hunt and they wasted a glorious chance on 56 minutes when Craig Dawson header over from seven yards after losing his marker. But 10 minutes later they did level as Villa let their rivals off the hook. Chris Brunt’s deep corner was headed back by Lescott and Berahino was left alone in the six yard box to nod in his 18th, and simplest, goal of the season. Villa were rattled and Jores Okore had to produce a fine challenge to deny Ideye before Foster claimed substitute Jack Grealish’s volley. The Baggies’ equaliser had rocked Villa and they lost their first-half drive as the Baggies looked more threatening. And a tense Villa Park almost boiled over when Berahino and Alan Hutton squared up with the latter landing a nasty challenge on the frontman. The Scot was lucky to escape from with just a booking. There was a further twist in injury time though when Foster rashly took down Lowton in the box and Benteke sent him the wrong way from the spot. Christian Benteke’s last-gasp penalty clinched a crucial 2-1 win for Aston Villa over West Brom as they escaped the relegation zone. The striker scored in the fourth minute of injury time after Ben Foster brought down Matt Lowton to cap a dramatic derby. It was Villa’s first league win since December – and Tim Sherwood’s first as boss – and ended a seven-game losing streak. Press Associationlast_img read more

Read More →

Correction: FSJ Women’s Resource Society sees major spike in clientele; in need of food donations

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – CORRECTION: The increase June to 2015 to June 2016 was 101%, not 100.1%.The Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society is in need of food donations after seeing a major increase in those using their services.The Poverty Outreach Store is funded by United Way. The Society says they are very reliant on public donations.- Advertisement -There has been a major increase in the services being used, according to Phallon Stoutenburg, who is the Outreach and Housing Coordinator.“June to June, so June 2015 to June 2016, we saw a 100.1% increase for our outreach stats. So the exact number for that 245 clients in the month of June in 2015. In 2016, we saw 492. So the first quarter of 2016, we saw an increase of 25% compared to the first quarter of 2015. So we are definitley seeing the numbers go up, so with that the number of food items that are going out the door have increased as well.”The Society is looking for non-perishable food items. They are also looking for clothing as well as hygiene and household items. You can view a full list here.Advertisementlast_img read more

Read More →