“On War and Being a Journalist, Florida’s Vote-Counting Fiasco…”

by on December 18, 2006


Genji Wanadara’s “critique” of On War and Being Homeless” inspired me to clarify that.

1. An op ed piece does not require the standard news story “lead.” The structure of this 500 word article is Deductive: That is, it presents a series of facts (premises), and then draws a conclusion from them. This is the obverse of Inductive, which starts with an assertion (in a lead paragraph, for example) then illustrates it with examples.

2. The piece presents a Parallel. The title “On War and Being Homeless” sets up the parallel. The sentence: “What do Zinn and Boden have in common?” pulls together the parallel.

3. The parallel’s theme is “Victim-blaming.” Howard Zinn is quoted paralleling Leaders who shunt responsibility away from their war-mongering by telling us War is our “Human Nature” to Experts who deflect attention from the real causes of homelessness — defunded affordable housing —- by telling us the poor are to blame for being poor, and the homeless at fault for being homeless.

Zinn’s parallel was my inspiration for the article. I am grateful that Genji Wanadara read the piece all the way through, which he had to do in order to levy the criticism. I hope the point about “believing in yourself” instead of internalizing “holy writ” from “The Government” or any outside expert got through to Mr. Wanadara. It really amounts to thinking for yourself instead of letting authorities tell you “How It Is.”

American soldiers, Iraqis, and “unhoused” people alike have suffered horribly because “Authorities” feed Americans such false assertions. We often swallow them whole without holding them up to careful scrutiny.


Carol Harvey


By behaving like one even after a huge victory, the only thing this ‘controversy’ accomplishes is to reinforce the democratic party’s image of being a poor loser. (“poor loser” ranks second only to “quitter” on the list of traits American’s view as negative) Showing some grace and letting this one go would have served the party far better.

Brian O’Brien

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