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Bring back Foolishness, Corpor

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Bring back Foolishness, Corpor

'Bring Back Foolishness'

Jeff Jacobys' essay, entitled 'Bring Back Flogging' was, in my sincere opinion, poorly constructed. There are numerous instances where I felt that he had either not supported his premises with valid information or had negated his support in later sentences.

The essay begins by drawing forth images of Puritan punishment. He cites two instances of punishment, which were particularly torturous and radical in nature. He then draws a comparison between this inhumane punishment and imprisonment by stating with irony that, 'Now we practice a more enlightened, more humane way of disciplining wrong doers: we lock them up in cages.' His use of the word 'cages' was an attempt to vilify the enclosurement of human beings and to compare this treatment of human beings, to the caging of other animals. Although his position is clear from the first glance at the title, he poses us with a dilemma, he immediately denounces his acceptance of imprisonment with his use of irony and at the same time he proposes a solution which he has radicalized. This early attempt at discounting imprisonment by comparing it with an extreme form of the punishment he is proposing, simply leaves the reader with a negative feeling towards both forms of punishment rather than bolstering his view.

The third paragraph of this essay is primarily concerned with persuading the reader that the rate of imprisonment is on the rise, and that this form of punishment is now the form of choice in the United States. He cites the statistic,' 1.6 million Americans are behind bars today. That represents a 250 percent increase since 1980, and the number is climbing.' Lets look at this piece of information and analyze the value of such a statement. Foremost, he says ' 1.6 million Americans'' the key word here is Americans. Most readers of U.S origin in my opinion take this word 'Americans' to mean people whom live in The United States. The truth of the matter is that the word Americans refers to those people whom live on either of the American continents. This means that Canadians, Mexicans, and Colombians are among those whom can be polled for this statistic. This statistic turns out to be misleading, when it is obvious that he is implying that these 1.6 million people are in U.S. prisons. Another flaw in the presentation of this statistic is that there are no sources cited which lend credibility to the information.

Jeff Jacoby seems accustomed with using words as tools for undermining that which he opposes. By using the word 'cage' frequently, he ascribes a negative connotation to the act of imprisoning people. He successfully taunts us with images of defenseless animals locked within inhospitable quarters, and hopes that the image will fuel the readers' probable fear of human rights violations. Another statement within the fourth paragraph, which I see as an attempt to fool people, is when he says, ' Crime is out of control, despite the deluded happy talk by some politicians.' This sentence come out sounding as if it were a fact, when in actuality it is his opinion based on feelings rather than data. I also see an attempt to discount the authority of politicians by calling them deluded. Again there is an absence of support available for either of these two opinions.

To add to this debauchery, he cites another misleading statistic in the last sentence of the paragraph. He declares, ' Fifty-eight percent of all murders do not result in a prison term. Like wise 98% of all burglaries.' What does this statement conjure up within your mind when ...

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