Thursday, July 16, 2015

How not to win friends

To secure an advocate for one's cause, there are ways to go about it, and ways not to go about it.

At a trial in Toronto, the charge was living off the avails of prostitution, in street parlance, pimping. As the Crown Attorney's questions became more pointed, the accused thought he would win the jury's sympathy. He shouted at the prosecutor, "Admit it. You've been after me for years because I once shot a cop."  If any jury members were asleep, that woke them up. He was found guilty.

Land-locked Bolivia would like access to the nearby Pacific Ocean over the territory of its neighbour, Chile. During the return flight to Rome following his recent visit to South America, Pope Francis was asked by a Bolivian national if he would mediate this dispute. The pope said he could not comment as the issue was currently before the International Court of Justice. In any event, was the pope disposed to help?

A few days earlier, Bolivia's leftist president, Evo Morales, presented Francis with a gift. It was a cross in the shape of a hammer with a sickle mounted on it.  A "communist cross" is hardly the way to win a friend then ask him for help.

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