Monday, October 20, 2008


In Tijuana alone, a wave of gangland killings has left at least 99 people dead since Sept. 26, a death toll that rivals, if not exceeds, that in Baghdad, a war-torn city that is four times as large, over the same period.

Do you want to:

1. Sever the funding of those attacking NATO troops in Afghanistan?

2. Hobble organized crime the world over, thus making all people safer and freeing law enforcement funds for other purposes?

3. End the psychologically debilitating incarceration of thousands of non-violent, often young prisoners?

4. Help initiate a new era of prosperity in Central and South America?

5. Bring in millions of dollars of tax revenue?

6. Allow for an honest, fact-based social discussion about the medical dangers of substance abuse?



  1. OK, so yes, the article has punch-to-the-gut rhetorical effectiveness.

    Apropos of an earlier post – and a different but related question – re: what else might be done to “influence people in groups” to perceive broader interests on emotionally charged issues, those around Chicago might find this interesting (it’s from the U of C’s Humanities Day series, the schedule for which is online):

    Session II (2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., 10/25/08)
    Civic Knowledge Project Panel
    Stuart 105

    The aim of Civic Knowledge Project is to strengthen community connections and help overcome the social, economic, and racial divisions among the various knowledge communities on the South Side of Chicago. With a philosophical orientation that helps connect social intelligence and civic friendship, the CKP is, in the words of National Humanities Medalist Earl Shorris, "redefining the role of the university in its surroundings."

    Please join us for a lively discussion of CKP's best practices, featuring CKP coordinators Joanie Friedman and Erika Dudley in dialogue with CKP director Bart Schultz and various representatives from our partnering community organizations.

    (Yes, I appreciate that a Hyde Park symposium on this might be seen as ironic...but it depends who you ask, no?)

    It might seem an academic’s approach to the earlier question, but I’d wonder if at least exploring the point systematically might be one place to begin.

  2. Nope, definitely not. Heated rhetoric with a solid dose of hyperbole is the only way to solve this situation.


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