May 2008

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Comments

Kevin Kunreuther

It just makes me sick, sick, SICK that Amnesty International will now campaign for this scumbag's human rights, when he didn't give a flick about anybody else's human rights when he took the bribes.

Ian

I've always thought we'd be best served by a government that paid average salaries, but added big bonuses for doing things smart (ie better outcomes, sooner, for less money) and enormous penalties for the sort of screw-ups and crap results caused by on the job apathy and negligence.

incredulous

It is amazing how many people take stuff written by a comedian so seriously.

Okgenuine

Wow. It seems like they have successfully put a face on evil in this instance. Nice. We always get the criminals with bad genetics but never the ones with good genetics.

Ray

Well, besides taking bribes, the guy's failure to do his job right may have killed some people. I'll grant you that the death penalty is kind of harsh for the crime of negligent homicide, but still, it's not just a money crime.

Adam

I favor the death penalty for people who don't use their turn signals while driving.

Og the Invincible

I'm not a fan of religion, but you gotta admit that the Old Testament folks didn't f@#k around. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. If you kill someone, you die the same way, even if that means being dismembered slowly by blind children using dull scissors. If you rape someone, you get castrated and gang-raped by gorillas. You steal a car, you get dragged behind one for the same distance you drove that car, and over the same period of time. You rob someone, you get chained to the wall and left alone in a room with the person you robbed, and they can bring whatever into the room they wish. I could go on.

Point is, we're too soft on crime. Countries like China are doing themselves a favor by being this tough.

Og the Invincible

I'm not a fan of religion, but you gotta admit that the Old Testament folks didn't f@#k around. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. If you kill someone, you die the same way, even if that means being dismembered slowly by blind children using dull scissors. If you rape someone, you get castrated and gang-raped by gorillas. You steal a car, you get dragged behind one for the same distance you drove that car, and over the same period of time. You rob someone, you get chained to the wall and left alone in a room with the person you robbed, and they can bring whatever into the room they wish. I could go on.

Point is, we're too soft on crime. Countries like China are doing themselves a favor by being this tough.

Stomper

Of course this becomes a referendum on the death penalty. Last I heard, studies all agreed it has no measurable deterrent effect -- at least, in US culture. Who knows? Maybe criminals in other cultures have different motivations and concerns.

As Scott implies though, when people commit these crimes in the US, they just aren't thinking, "Hey, what happens if I get caught? Is this a death-penalty offense? Maybe I better call my lawyer first . . ."

So if not deterrence, then what is the function of the death penalty? Sure it prevents the criminal from doing more crime -- but so does life in prison without parole. Big difference is, life in prison can be reversed if the DNA shows the guilty verdict was wrong, or if we subsequently learn the prosceution's star witness was making things up.

The best excuse I ever heard for the death penalty? It helps maintain order by persuading society as a whole that justice is being done. As long as a substantial number of people in the US equate justice with revenge, the death penalty will be necessary to maintain the illusion of justice.

This explanation makes sense to me, but it is so, so cynical. I really dislike thinking about my fellow citizens as a mob to be manipulated by sacrificial victims. Like "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas." Man, that stings.

--Stomper

Giordy

China does quality? You've got to be kidding...

How about toxic fish? http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,275269,00.html

How about toxic pet food?
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/bb1664a0-0c71-11dc-a4dc-000b5df10621.html

How about toxic toothpaste?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6686627.stm

How about dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical? Frozen catfish laden with banned antibiotics? Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria? Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/19/AR2007051901273_pf.html

If that's your idea of quality, I pity the unfortunates who eat at your restaurants...

Matt

China will do what it can get away with.
No-one isbeing held responsible for exporting wheat flour and gluten contaminated deliberately with melarmine to artificially improve its analysis.

They have just shipped puffer fish- yes puffer fish to Canada labelled Monkfish.

They only care about profit. They are already a country associated with crap quality. The economy turns nicely on production of counterfeit goods. Executing one poor sap is a marketing ploy. Nothing else will change.

Tony


To Rob Kay, who wanted to know which US politicians exhibited corruption which led to actual deaths of actual people...

... aren't some of your politicians making a packet out of the Iraq war...?

Not that that in itself is evidence of corruption...

Jenni

Maybe there should be fewer automatic appeals...

Jeff

"I believe in God the Father and in Jesus Christ His only Son.

China's zeal for "quality control" would also sentence ME to the death penalty. I think I'll stay right here, thank you."

Given that a sizable part of the Chinese population is Catholic - what the heck are you referring or inferring to here?

Jeff

I support the death penalty for all corrupt politicians. Incorruptible politicians are more important in "democracies" than in any other system of government. (Since generally in non-representative governments the citizens don't trust the politicians anyways, but in representative governments the politicians are supposed to represent the interests of the populace. In practice, corporations get their way (see incinerators or chemical fertilizers for example).

Natalie

The first people to examine in a trial of US's corrupt politicians will be the men at the top. How cynical is lying about evidence to justify invading a country simply so you can create a market for armaments manufactured by your cuddly little companies? No war = no armaments budget.

Stephen Buxton

If you listen carefully, you can here the "pop" of hundreds of Daily Mail readers' heads exploding, trying to justify whether or not they agree with the sentence

(For those outside of the UK, the Daily Mail is a right wing newspaper with a readership of people who are stereotyped as hating immigrants, fearing anything foreign, and having a catchphrase of "hanging's too good for them!")

Michael Chastain

kritika joshi wrote: "Convicting the wrong guy is not very common - less so than doctors cutting off the wrong limb or testicle."

This is my new favorite excuse to justify ANYTHING. Sure, we killed an innocent guy, but don't worry about it because you're more likely to have a doctor cut your balls off.

McGurker

Don't claim those ideas of your own Scott. I say they are my own ideas, and I am a teenager, which means I read it somewhere and liked the sound of it.

You know it's true.

McGurker

Don't claim those ideas of your own Scott. I say they are my own ideas, and I am a teenager, which means I read it somewhere and liked the sound of it.

You know it's true.

RavenBlack

Someone asked:
"Closing the gap fast? Executing one guy and the ensuing quality control improvement is not indicative of a rival system of government. How many people did the US have to execute over quality control last year?"

The answer is very likely "they *should* have executed several, but didn't execute any, and that's why the FDA is still massively corrupt."

In 1991, for example, the FDA banned Stevia "at the request of an anonymous complaint" [implied: with a large wad of cash stapled to the back]. Stevia is a non-poisonous plant which functions as a very powerful low-calorie sweetener, used for centuries with no reported or known harmful effects.

Aspartame, on the other hand, discovered in 1965, was approved in 1981 after much controversy for use in dry goods, and in 1983 for carbonated beverages, in several other categories in 1993, and removed all restrictions in 1996. Aspartame breaks down into the highly toxic formaldehyde (especially if it gets warm; a moderately famous case occurred when some carbonated beverage producer shipped a lot of its aspartame-sweetened diet-product to desert troops - it got warm, broke down to formaldehyde, and consequently made troops blind.)

The difference between these two - aspartame was pushed by Monsanto (the delightful multinational corporation with all sorts of questionable practices, responsible for pretty much any product hippies will complain about - GM foods, aspartame, bovine growth hormone and even Agent Orange. Though to be fair, they aren't (to my knowledge) behind "high fructose corn syrup"). Stevia was pushed *against* by "anonymous complaint", and, as an easily grown and non-patentable plant, would have no large corporate backer.

I'm entirely in favour of the death penalty for whoever took those bribes.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame

L. Silva

Another example of Chinese quality control was when we visited the Ming Tombs. Each brick had the name of the person that made it pressed into it. If your brick broke, you lost your head. It is several hundred years old and the bricks still look in good shape.

Ashok Subbarama

I wish we had a system like "Minority Report" ... prevention is always better than cure. In this instance, the guy(s) who paid the bribe need to be sentenced too.

I would recommend death penalty for the following:
* Accounting Fraud/Deception involving educational, health related & retirement funds
* Child sexual abuse
* Drugs involving minors
* Homicide
* Rape
* Sexual assaults
* Terrorism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_eye_for_an_eye

-Ashok

squigs

The death penalty would be a lot more effective for lesser crimes. If there was a death penalty for littering nobody would dare litter. On the ther hand, most people don't commit more serious crimes because they feel it wrong rather than they fear the punishment.

Therefore we should allow the punishment to inversely fit the crime. Fines for murderers. The death penalty for jaywalkers.

Silvox

Knock Knock, the next thing will be us high school kids having fun rising takes jail time and so on until their shoe is us toung shine.

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