Has it occurred to Mr. Cook that the "gang truce" is actually an old tactic used since at least the early 1970's to reorganize, regroup, and shift alliances, and that it's possible that his angel may have been using that tactic?
I'm dismayed at how naive Chattanoogans are about gangs. I've lived most of my life in areas where gangs have been fully established for decades. For a quick, albeit incomplete, primer-here it is:
Most people hear about 2 gangs: Crips and Bloods. That's because they're from L.A., so people learn about them via Hollywood. The real gangs, I'm talking the ones that are true criminal organizations, are the older, much more organized Chicago gangs-the Vice Lords and the Gangster Disciples. I'm not saying the former groups are to be laughed at, but they are really regarded as farm teams for the Chicago boys.
The Chicago gang have extensive experience in hoodwinking well meaning fellows like Mr. Cook. Here's a couple of tricks that they do, some of which have already been tried here, and some that haven't:
- The "gang summit". Usually organized by preachers or social worker types. Already discussed above.
Gang members as community leaders. Tom Wolfe debunked this in his early '70's essay "Mau Mauing the Flack Catchers". The Vice Lords actually increased their power exponentially with community grant money. They used a nice chunk of it to invest in weapons.
Gang member as Anti-Gang Counselor. Some are real, others have been caught using their position for recruiting.
the Journalist/Sponsor/Big Brother Figure- Goes back to Hunter S. Thompson's days reporting on the Hell's Angels. Not so much a gang tactic, but serves to "humanize" the gangster. Caution: often degenerates into the Stockholm Syndrome.
While I'm on this, I'll take the liberty of also addressing another common gang pathology- the Brutality Cycle. It goes something like this: Gang violence increases. Cops crack down. Community leaders hold anti-police brutality rallies. Cops lessen presence. Crime spirals out of control. Death toll rises. Same community leaders organize Stop the Violence rallies, calling for more concern about their community from city officials. Repeat cycle.
Another "lack of experience is a virtue" candidate. Celebrating the naive, the parochial, seems to be the thing now. We've gone from Washington wonkery being the disfunction to the other extreme. No, I don't want another trial lawyer turned pol, but I don't want someone who trumpets not having gotten his hands soiled with politics as a measure of greatness either.
Sorry, but a lot of other people's property is being improved by a relief from this drought. It's called farmland.
Clever. Let's use kids as a metaphorical human shield to shut down the immigration debate, such as the arguments that illegal immigration:
-keeps the native-born at a high unemployment rate, thus necessitating more welfare, which over the generations has led to all the well-known social problems that keeping large numbers of people unemployed brings.
-is inherently capitalist/libertarian in that it refuses to recognize borders and national sovereignty.
-is also inherently capitalist/libertarian in that it promises the myth of an exponentially growing economy tied to an exponential population growth, predicated on limitless resources. A lie.
-drains social resources.
-balkanizes American society.
Since I tend to follow environmentalist views on overpopulation and the carrying capacity of a land/resource base, and non-capitalist views of a finite economy, I find that illegal imm. has serious problems. It's not accident that many with ties to Wall Street are happy with illegal imm. It dovetails with a global capitalist agenda.
I also have problems with the volume of legal immigration with H1-B visas. We crank out thousands of college graduates who have difficulty entering the workforce in professions saturated with H1-Bs. A lot of supporters of big imm levels, both legal and legal, couch their arguments in the "stagnation" myth i.e. if we don't have massive immigration, than we will become stagnant in innovation-an argument that says that our own people can't innovate for themselves.
Well, it looks like we need family reunification-on the other side of the border.
The state needs to exterminate his junk.
This is an excellent opportunity to reinvigorate the health of America. As a supporter of Mrs. Obama's push for better health, I'm excited that enforcing immigration laws will provide more job opportunities for our native unemployed. The unemployed can work for a living, lose weight, and gain self esteem. If we'll just enforce this new law, and start limiting welfare, there will be the combination of jobs available plus an incentive for those on the welfare rolls to take those jobs. You can bet they'll last for more than two hours.
The first lady's health plan + clamping down on illegal immigration = a healthier, happier America