Adolph Hitler's Speech in the Berlin Sportpalast: God and Power
Harpine's Thoughts about Public Speaking
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3M ago
“Providence,” said Adolph Hitler, Germany’s Christian Nationalist leader, “only gave to us what we deserved in the end.”  On January 30, 1940, the anniversary of his appointment as Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler gave a powerful defense of far-right conservative values. Those values resonate to a surprising degree in much conservative rhetoric today. Speaking in the enormous Berlin Sportpalast, Hitler ridiculed democratic ideals, while boasting that Heaven would stay on Germany’s side only if Germany remained resolute. Yet, as he spoke, World War II was already five months old, and G ..read more
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Joe Biden Said to Get Out the Vote!
Harpine's Thoughts about Public Speaking
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3M ago
Yesterday, President Joe Biden spoke to Democratic Party state leaders by teleconference. His simple point was to get out the vote: “Most of all, keep the faith. Remind the folks that the power is in their hands. This is not a referendum; this is a choice. And the more people we get out to vote, we win. We win.” Biden taught two basic lessons: first that the side that gets out the vote will win, and second, that the only poll that counts is the voting on Election Day. Polls are just opinions. The election, and only the election, decides the nation’s fate: “this is not a referendum, this is ..read more
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Was Biden Divisive When He Defended Constitutional Government?
Harpine's Thoughts about Public Speaking
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3M ago
Joe Biden, official photo The people whom “the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars,” while, in contrast, the people “they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth,” wrote H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan. This statement was made by journalists long ago, but it has never been more obvious than it is today. Lies are being sold as truth while the actual truth is buried beneath the lies. On November 2, 2022, President Joe Biden spoke about the future of American democracy. He directly targeted Republican falsehoods and conspiracy ..read more
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Is There Such a Thing as a Stupid Question: The Attack against Paul Pelosi Led Conspiracy Theorists to Make Bogus Arguments
Harpine's Thoughts about Public Speaking
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3M ago
A few days after the horrendous attack on Paul Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi’s husband, conspiracy theories continue to flourish.  Suspicion underlies all conspiracy theories. The newest version of the conspiracy theories use two basic tactics. First, the conspiracy theorists ask endless questions. Second, when proven wrong, they view this as proof that they were right. Both tactics are utterly bogus.  The attack occurred when a deranged right-wing conspiracy theorist broke into Pelosi's home with a hammer. Tricking him, Pelosi surreptitiously called 911. When the police arrived, the intru ..read more
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The Paul Pelosi Attack: Top Republican Conspiracy Theorists Shocked by a Violent Republican Conspiracy Theorist
Harpine's Thoughts about Public Speaking
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3M ago
Just in time for Halloween, the right wing is spreading a massive, absurd conspiracy theory about the horrible attack against Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. In this first post, I establish that right-wingers are using the Internet to deny the official account of the assault and to gin up a scandal. Instead of admitting that an unhinged right-wing conspiracy theorist attacked the Pelosi home, they quickly cobbled up the idea that the attacker was Mr. Pelosi’s same-sex lover. Thus, right-wing conspiracy theorists deflect attention from the violent actions of a ri ..read more
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George W. Bush on 9/11: A Message of Unity; Have We Forgotten?
Harpine's Thoughts about Public Speaking
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5M ago
I still remember my shock when I drove by the Pentagon, smashed on 9/11, only a few miles from my childhood home. Today, on the anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks against the United States, let us look once again, with the perspective of history, to remember the statement that President George W. Bush made at the end of his brief epideictic speech on the evening of that terrible day. The message resonates to this day. It was a message of unity. His message was that all Americans must unite to do what is right. It is a message we have forgotten. In our increasingly con ..read more
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Who Was More Divisive? Biden, or Trump?
Harpine's Thoughts about Public Speaking
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5M ago
Donald Trump Last week, President Joe Biden gave a speech about the “Soul of America.” He said that the people who he called “MAGA Republicans” were dangerous and did not respect our Constitution. He assured the nation that MAGA Republicans were only a small fraction of the entire party. The press called his speech divisive. Well, fine. Let us, however, look at Donald Trump’s subsequent September 3, 2022 rally speech in Pennsylvania. Trump engaged in name-calling, called his opponents “crazy,” “evil” and tyrannical, and said that Democrats hate America. Was Trump’s speech as div ..read more
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Trump Blames Immigrants for America's Problems. Well, What Else Would He Say?
Harpine's Thoughts about Public Speaking
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5M ago
Hatred of others has long been conservative rhetoric’s essence. It worked for Hitler. It worked for George Wallace. It’s working for Donald Trump. At yesterday’s political rally speech in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump, while rambling from one topic to the next, returned over and over to immigration. It was immigrants, he said, who cause America’s problems. It was the Democratic Party’s love of immigrants, he said, that disqualifies them for public office. Us versus them. A simple formula: immigrants are bad, while Americans are good. Conservative speakers have long blamed their own problems an ..read more
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Biden Turned the Tables on the Topic of Student Loan Forgiveness. A Clever Debating Tactic.
Harpine's Thoughts about Public Speaking
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5M ago
Biden answers a reporter's question Turning the tables on your opponent is often a clever debating strategy. Use your opponent’s own argument against them. President Joe Biden recently announced a program of partial forgiveness for student loan debt. Republicans immediately held that this was unfair to people who had already paid off their student loans. In his White House speech announcing his student loan forgiveness program, Biden listed the expected facts and figures. He reviewed the personal problems that Americans face due to crushing student debt. That was all fine. His speech ..read more
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Jonathan Edwards "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God:" Proof-Texting as a Rhetorical Tactic
Harpine's Thoughts about Public Speaking
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6M ago
Jonathan Edwards In his 1741 sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” Jonathan Edwards terrified his congregation with a masterpiece of Gothic imagery. High school literature students marvel at Edwards' vivid metaphors. Edwards’ speech is, equally, however, a desolation of bad logic and ghastly argumentation. Ripping a single phrase from the Bible out of its context, Edwards created an imaginative masterpiece. He drew his power from the superstition of words. Religion scholars call this proof-texting. The idea is that the Holy Bible is divinely inspired, and therefore every sen ..read more
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