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Comments

no_clue

Talk to someone that has lived in China for a while, or who has relatives that live in China. You'll learn that the amount of fake food and medicine produced for local consumption is truly stagering. Fake in the sense that it may lack the claimed nutritional or medical value, or that it is outright poisonous. Even buying an American name brand in China offers no protection. None at All. You don't know what the hell you're getting when you buy a bottle of Tylenol there, no matter how authentic the package looks.

And its not going to stop any time soon, because its the people in power, at all levels Chinese government, that profit from all this. And its not just that bribery and corruption is fundamental to Chinese society (it is, its a cultural thing). Its that more often than not the people in government own the companies that produce fake products. Its 100% equivalent to the United States with the FDA+President+Congress owning all the food and drug companies, with no free press, with no system of law, and no elections. America may suck, but China is F'ing scary.

Sentencing the head of the Chinese FDA to death may sound funny, but its not. Its confirmation of the scariest stories you hear about China. No dog and pony show execution (see if they ever do execute the guy!) should be considered a sign of improvement either. Nothing short of a sea change in the Chinese government/law/press/society is needed. America has gone through huge changes, like the rise of unions and civil rights, that improved people's lives and made it a stronger country in the long run. China needs changes no less dramatic before we can have any confidence in products produced there. How many decades will it take for China to become a trustworthy producer of anything you eat or drink? Today, Chinese manufacturers take full advantage of caveat emptor.

LJP

Another thought: China also applies the death penalty to cartoonists who are critical of their leaders ....

LJP

Scott,

If you're looking for a justice system that REALLY works, you're looking at the wrong Asian country. Unless things have changed dramatically since I last lived there, JAPAN has one of the most effective justice systems. Criminals get caught (of course, it helps that it's an island nation, so there is less room to hide), they get strict sentences, they serve the entirety of those sentences, prison is a vile place you don't want to go, criminals can't sue their victims for trying to stop them, and both the crime rates and recidivism rates are among the lowest in the world.

Of course, there are many social, cultural, political, educational, and economic factors involved -- not just an effective judicial system -- but it would be a start.

LA Clay

HA HA ! you used the word "integrity" while talking about politicians! Could you be more sublime?

Gaurav

death penalty for bribes...
if this happens in india half the government would be dead...

Leonel


Scott... You are such a manipulator... :p

The death penalty is wrong. Period. If you want to punish your guy, put him on forced labour for life. Now, I bet most Politicians would prefer the death penalty instead of doing an actual day's work. THAT would be punishment for him AND deterrent for others.

Dee

- It's the electorate who decide the policies which get implemented, including the penalties on the statute books, by way of who they vote for. The nation gets what it thinks it wants. Posted by: MWR-UK | May 31, 2007 at 05:46 AM

Cannot agree on this point. We elect representatives based on what they SAY they will do. Then, when they get elected, they forget where they came from and their performance is completely opposite of what they advertised.

Hmmmm. Could we get them removed for false advertising?

MrBongo

Personally, I have banned buying anything made in China.

Ibid

I'm pro-death penalty. I don't think it's a deterrent or anything. I just know that if I go to prison for something, I don't care if I'm guilty or not, I'd rather get executed than spend 20 years in prison.
Sure, sure, only 20 years (or less with good behavior) means I'm still only 52 when I get back out. Of course, all my technical skills will be obsolete, nobody will want to hire a felon, and I'll only a decade to save up for retirement. Plus I'll have spent the last 20 years being traded for cigarettes and watching daytime television.
No, I'm gonna ask the judge to have me executed just as soon as possible. If my request is turned down I stab my lawyer and ask again. What!?! The lawyer lost my case. You think I'm gonna pay him?

MWR-UK

Some wonderful things about living in a democracy like the U.S. or the U.K.:
- If you don't like your leaders, tough: you're in a minority, more people voted for them than for someone else. (Unless you live in a really liberal country, with a proportional representation system.)
- If you think you can do better, go for it: your constitution says you have every right to do so, and the responsibility to make sure it gets done properly. (Unless you're one of those who is inelligible, in which case you're in no position to complain either.)
- It's the electorate who decide the policies which get implemented, including the penalties on the statute books, by way of who they vote for. The nation gets what it thinks it wants.

With regard to the death penalty, and justice in general:
- Sentences are imposed according to the outcome of a trial by a jury of peers (not by the government, they only provide the options that the judge may select from). The jury know in advance the crime being tried and the penalties available to the court.
- It doesn't matter whether the penalty is death or a $60 fine, the jury decide the guilt of the accused, beyond all reasonable doubt. If they think there's reasonable evidence that the wrong person is being tried, or the charge is incorrect, then the jury is obliged to find them not guilty.

How about this for an idea for sentencing - the three tier system: the first time you're convicted of a crime (any crime) you get a small fine, say 10% of your annual income; the second time you get convicted (again, regardless of the crime itself), you get to spend a year in prison; and the third time it's game over.

Stephan

Dilbert seems to like China:
http://flickr.com/photos/smallbox/275897861/in/set-72057594106374852/

Don't ask, I guess it's art. ;-)

Noah Vaile

While I agree with you about politicians who accept bribes I have to point out that the elimination of all those appeals could accelerate the "crime to execution" period with commensurate savings. And over cook that last meal.

As for China though the fact that even with a death penalty that dude felt confident enough that he would get away with it that he committed the "crime" is sort of scary. Hell, in China he may not even have been the one who did it- he just died for it.

While I agree with DJH I also hasten to point out that a lot of people are in fact not deterred by the existence of a death penalty whether enforced or not. A most recent example being the Va. Tech shooter who concluded the rampage by shooting himself. That 'suicide at the end' format pretty much excludes the death penalty as a deterrent. We see this happen quite often in "man kills wife, children, dog, fish then self" as well.

Personally I like the idea of the punishment fitting the crime. You torture and rape- guess what you got coming. The death penalty not as deterrent but as punishment. Get 'em out of society, keep 'em off the public dole.

ASM826

Ok, you are willing to make your exceptions. I am willing to make mine. Even if some of the people you would have executed might be innocent, you would like to proceed. So would I. What groups of offenders would I like executed? Why does that matter. I don't like their behavior, so off with their head!

Tomorrow you can explain how you're going to make the trains run on time.

John S

Funny I thought almost exactly the same thing: Why can't America's politicians be held as accountable as Chinese Politicians. George W and crew didn't come out of nowhere - they emerged naturally from the current system.

Claude

Actually he wasn't killed because of what he did, it was more because he got greedy and approved too many, and because he was so incompetent that he got caught. They don't really care if he takes bribes or not, just if he is so bad at it that he gets caught.

oliver

I have seen this and it is good stuff.

1. Death penalty does work. Brings crime down from example 50% to 2%. That is good enough for me. You will never get 0%.

2. Death penalty should be carried out fast, like in the old days.

3. With today's technology and the reasonable doubt thing, we should get the right guy almost always. That is better than the alternative.

4. If you do not believe in the death penalty... come and live in Africa for a while... then we will talk again.

5. Maybe some countries are developed enough to not have to use the death penalty... but in Africa they need to bring it back or we will never be able to sort the shit out. That is why Botswana is safe... they have the death penalty.

6. Interesting fact: about 5% of men have DNA in their sperm that is different from their DNA. So even if you find the right guy... the DNA may set the killer free.

Stuart Booth

Yeah, here in the UK, I can think of...oh, at least 300 politicians we should hang right now!

basselope

I'm not generally a fan of Frontier Justice, but some people deserve to be taken out back. Like the people responsible for using Human Hair (even from Barber Shop floors and Hospitals) to make Soy Sauce:
http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/waiwai/archive/news/2004/11/20041117p2g00m0dm999000c.html
http://net127.com/2004/05/27/chinese-soy-sauce-made-from-human-hair/

More precisely, they extracted an amino acid from the hair used in the manufacturing of Soy Sauce. Even apart from the gag reflex reaction of just thinking about covering my Lo-mein with this stuff, the process did not "sterilize" the compound. Tons of this crap made it into the world market place (though most of it reportedly stayed in China.)

Iain

This puts me in mind of the recent Noah's ark story:

http://environment.guardian.co.uk/conservation/story/0,,2088590,00.html

5000 endangered animals found floating in a ship, near death, off China, presumably destined for the wealthy gourmands of Beijing restaurants. I cannot condone any death penalty in all seriousness, but would not exactly cry too many tears if those involved in such trade were shot instead of tacitly permitted to operate as they so obviously are.

Maurice Condie

I can't remember where I heard it but the life expectancy of young men under 25 in some parts of LA actually gets longer if they get convicted of murder. They spend much longer on death row than they are likely to survive on the streets. I did hear it.. anyone know if it's true?

I bet the guy in China is dead within a month.

Did he approve bogus Tiger testacies, which may have failed to improve erectile function?

Zeph

Repeat after me: "Murder is NOT about 'sending a message.'" If you want to "send a message", try email.

Cranston Snord

Ummm... If they start executing politicians who take bribes, then what politicians would be left? Particularly when one considers all of the other euphemisms for bribe - such as "Corporate Campaign Contributions".

M. Python

The world today seems absolutely crackers,
With nuclear bombs to blow us all sky high.
There's fools and idiots sitting on the trigger.
It's depressing and it's senseless, and that's why...
I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees,
Yet they're always friendly, and they're ready to please.

I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
There's one billion of them in the world today.
You'd better learn to like them; that's what I say.

I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
They come from a long way overseas,
But they're cute and they're cuddly, and they're ready to please.

I like Chinese food. The waiters never are rude.
Think of the many things they've done to impress.
There's Maoism, Taoism, I Ching, and Chess.

So I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
I like their tiny little trees,
Their Zen, their ping-pong, their yin, and yang-ese.

I like Chinese thought, The wisdom that Confucious taught.
If Darwin is anything to shout about,
The Chinese will survive us all without any doubt.

So, I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees,
Yet they're wise and they're witty, and they're ready to please.

All together.

Wo ai zhongguo ren. Wo ai zhongguo ren.
Wo ai zhongguo ren.
Ni hao ma; ni hao ma; ni hao ma; zaijien!

I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
Their food is guaranteed to please,
A fourteen, a seven, a nine, and lychees.

I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
I like their tiny little trees,
Their Zen, their ping-pong, their yin, and yang-ese.

I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees...

M. Python

The world today seems absolutely crackers,
With nuclear bombs to blow us all sky high.
There's fools and idiots sitting on the trigger.
It's depressing and it's senseless, and that's why...
I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees,
Yet they're always friendly, and they're ready to please.

I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
There's one billion of them in the world today.
You'd better learn to like them; that's what I say.

I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
They come from a long way overseas,
But they're cute and they're cuddly, and they're ready to please.

I like Chinese food. The waiters never are rude.
Think of the many things they've done to impress.
There's Maoism, Taoism, I Ching, and Chess.

So I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
I like their tiny little trees,
Their Zen, their ping-pong, their yin, and yang-ese.

I like Chinese thought, The wisdom that Confucious taught.
If Darwin is anything to shout about,
The Chinese will survive us all without any doubt.

So, I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees,
Yet they're wise and they're witty, and they're ready to please.

All together.

Wo ai zhongguo ren. Wo ai zhongguo ren.
Wo ai zhongguo ren.
Ni hao ma; ni hao ma; ni hao ma; zaijien!

I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
Their food is guaranteed to please,
A fourteen, a seven, a nine, and lychees.

I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
I like their tiny little trees,
Their Zen, their ping-pong, their yin, and yang-ese.

I like Chinese. I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees...

Paul C

Could be worse, as in the old days the Chinese had this thing where they bound a miscreant up tightly in a wire-mesh jacket, then sliced off all the bits that protruded through the mesh... slowly, leisurely and bit-by-bit, over a period of days or weeks. It was called the "Death Of A Thousand Cuts".

No THERE's a deterrent... nice and cheap, as all you need is some closely woven wire mesh and a shaving razor..

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