Archive for October, 2010

Soapstone of The True Mission of ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers’ by Susan Dominus

The True Mission of ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers,’ an article published in The New York Times, written by Susan Dominus, discusses the movement of legislation to require crisis pregnancy centers in New York City to clearly express their stance to those who visit them. The legislation would require, among other things, signs at the entrance and in the waiting rooms to inform women that the center does not provide abortions or contraceptives (if they do not) and to make it clear if no licensed medical professional is on the staff.

Subject: The possible legislation in New York for crisis pregnancy centers to make their stance and provisions clear.

Occasion: The author is writing this piece in response to the possible legislation and to, it would appear, agree with that legislation.

Audience: The author’s audience are people of New York City, and is certainly aimed towards those who have opinions towards abortion and the legislation.

Purpose: The author’s purpose is to inform her audience of the legislation and persuade them of its virtues. Though, the author also seems to be fighting for the case of the woman in the situation who is looking for, “the ideal, nonpartisan place where a woman could assume people would understand the depths of her moral dilemma,” which the author hints (at the end of her article) doesn’t include either type of center currently available.

Speaker: The author is clearly  biased towards the pro-choice cause, and, though she seems supportive of Planned Parenthood, asks a rhetorical question at the end of her article which suggests reform for both sides of the argument.

Tone: The author’s tone is reproachful and, at places, sympathetic towards the plight of the pregnant woman seeking unbiased help.


“Play-Doh? Calculus? At the Manhattan Free School, Anything Goes” by Susan Dominus

This article, written by Susan Dominus (link to another article by Susan Dominus) and published by The New York Times describes the philosophy and routine of Manhattan Free School, a unique private school  in New York. This school operates under the theory that students will eventually find their passions and “be eager to” learn about them, but that  until then, they should be able to do whatever they are inclined to. So, students are enrolled in classes, not exactly standard ones and the all of the classes are of the students choosing, but they may do something else, such as play with play-doh, instead of working on class assignments. There are no grades or tests, only two official teachers, and all matters of school policy are decided upon by a vote which includes students.

I do not believe that I would flourish under such a school system. I was home-schooled for two years when I would have been in 6th and 7th grade, and while I read as much Jane Austen and Laura Ingalls Wilder as I wished, my education in math, science, and the grammatical points of english suffered. I believe that in order for a person to flourish in such a system as the Manhattan Free School, they would have to find their passion very soon and be very determined to learn and study whatever it may be. There are problems with the accepted form of education, as there are with anything, nothing is perfect. But I believe that this form of education works for many people, myself included.

Soapstone of Judge Rules Health Law is Constitutional by Kevin Sack

This New York Times article, Judge Rules Health Law is Constitutional, written by Kevin Sack, describes the recent ruling by Judge George C. Steeh of Federal District Court in Detroit that the healthcare law is constitutional. The law has been challenged 15 times and Judge Steeh was the first to come to a ruling on the case. The legal challenge that Judge Steeh ruled on was put together by several Michigan residents and the Thomas More Law Center. The question of the issue is whether the Commerce Clause of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to require citizens to obtain a commercial product, in this case, healthcare. Judge Steeh ruled that the refusal of citizens to purchase health care qualified as “activities that substantially affect interstate commerce…. These decisions, viewed in the aggregate, have clear and direct impacts on health care providers, taxpayers and the insured population who ultimately pay for the care provided to those who go without insurance.”

Subject: This article explains the happenings of the first ruling for a legal challenge against the health law. It also informs the reader of the two higher profile court hearings on other challenges that will happen in later in October and in December.

Occasion: The  article is in response to the court ruling  that occurred in response to one of many challenges against the health law that will start in 2014.

Audience: The article is written for anyone following the law or the challenges against it.

Purpose: The purpose is to inform the public on the happenings of a court case that could very well affect them.

Speaker: The speaker is not portraying any role or character, he is merely describing events.

Tone: The article is informative and unbiased. It is very to the point.

Soapstone of World War II Memories, and an Instant Connection by Corey Kilgannon

This article, World War II Memories, and an Instant Connection, by Corey Kilgannon of The New York Times focuses on two World War II veterans who met for the first time at a hospital before each was going to have open-heart surgery. The war veterans, Benjamin Klein and Victor Allegretti, after speaking with each other, discovered that they were both in the 82nd Airborne Division of the United Sataes Army, and both rode gliders into Normandy on D-Day mere hours apart. They marveled at their bond in to the night before their surgeries.

Subject: The article describes the encounter of the war veterans before going in to detail about their landings on Normandy and ending on the comments of the Klien, that he was not afraid of anything after coming out of World War II, and the surgeon, that these feelings were the same for every veteran of the war that he had met.

Occasion: The occasion is the rarity of meeting a veteran of  World War II, much less having two meet each other by chance.

Audience: The story is aimed at anyone interested in World War II, especially due to its focus on the events of D-Day.

Purpose: The purpose of the article is to describe the events of the meeting of Klein and Allegretti and describe their actions on D-Day.

Speaker: Kilgannon seems to have either been a World War II buff himself, or put a lot of research into this piece. His writing is very detailed.

Tone: The article is descriptive and memory driven.