Last June, Dan Rodricks of the Baltimore Sun wrote a column asking the city's drug dealers to help stop the violence that has annually put Baltimore at or near the top of the list of ameirca's deadliest cities. "You can keep selling drugs," he wrote, "Just stop the shooting and the killing that goes with it." His article was criticized as naive and simplistic, but he forged ahead, mounting a one-man campaign to help find jobs and rehab for ex-convicts and former dealers trying to go straight. Columnists are employed to make arguments, to express and defend opinions, and they often include a call to action, but Rodricks has gone way beyond that and deserves to be applauded.
Occasionally, he takes a break from his crusade, as in this recent piece on former pro wrestler, Nikolai Volkoff, real name Josip Nikolai Peruzovic. Retired to suburban Baltimore, Peruzovic may be a candidate for Maryland's House of Delegates this fall. No word on whether the Iron Sheik will join him on the ticket.