January 22, 2009

"Those wacky Chinese! Giving the death penalty over milk!"

The NYT headline makes it seem as though the Chinese are up to their usual oppressive ways, but perhaps you would give the death penalty here too.

45 comments:

Original Mike said...

I'd be comfortable with life in prison. What kind of person does such a thing?

traditionalguy said...

Good example of there "ought to be a death sentice in the law for what they did" thinking. Take them out and shoot them! The technical criminal codes and its protections of a Defendent's rights may not be so harsh. If W gets criminal accusations from the NYT for being mean to snake types, then the NYT has to at the least see these Chinese actions as Over the Top.

Ron said...

Wow, you'd think the Chinese would bond with Sean Penn...

David said...

"leaving out facts can be a powerful thing."

So says your son.

Which is, of course, the problem with our politics and our financial system.

"Not entitled to your own facts?"

That's so 20th Century.

Veeshir said...

Of course they had to kill him. They had to Do Something.
He's not the first guy they've killed over tainted products sent to the US and he won't be the last.

My quibble is that I bet a dollar he's not the guy responsible, he's the guy who works for the guy who's responsible.
Think Travolta's character and Forest Whitaker's from Battlefield Earth.

That's what commies do.

fcai said...

Travolta is a communist?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think it's awfully harsh. Those yellow need to mellow.

Veeshir said...

I should know better but.....

No, the actions are commie, jeez.

Galvanized said...

The answer is to definitely impose a death penalty for knowingly poisoning infants, especially because they understood that their greedy practices would almost certainly result in a few deaths. Is there any question of what these people deserve? I hope that the courts make clear a picture of an innocent baby's eyes looking trustingly up at his loving mother as he sucked up all the toxic ingredients. How could someone expect to deserve his life and remain to witness the outcome of the lives of his own healthy children when he took someone else's? Maybe there will be some hint of humanity left in them to fashion their own nooses and save the government time and money, as well as the parents of these babies their continued anguish.

Original Mike said...

On the other hand, this is the Chinese death penalty, right? Not our take-20-years-to-get-it-done system. In that case I say, off with their heads.

Tibore said...

"I'll bet most people who skim the front-page teaser won't click the link and read the article. They'll go away with a vague impression that death sentences are given out in China for all sorts of silly reasons. So leaving out facts can be a powerful thing."

Yes, that's true. Leaving out facts does indeed invite the potential for misunderstanding. On the other hand, that was just a headline and teaser lede (believe it or not, I think "lede" is the correct spelling over "lead" here, but that's a digression); you'd hope that people would read the article to catch on to the fact that the penalty is imposed for corruption and conspiracy that resulted in deaths for some and severe health problems for others.

Could that have been done any better? Maybe. I personally might have written the teaser differently, mentioning the specific harm. Like for example "A Chinese court sentenced three people accused of selling tainted milk products that killed six and injured 300,000 others". But that's me.

traditionalguy said...

I do empathise with Chinese parents who are themselves attacked by their Gov't. for over-procreating [until one trophy child is Very valuable to the family's ancestors], then finding out there kid has been killed by the Universal milk supply system.

bearbee said...

Will human rights activists protest?

Will the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights seek sanctions against China?

JohnAnnArbor said...

There is a distinction that China makes here. When a year or so ago China's tainted stuff was killing American pets and Central American people (toothpaste), China got all upset and demanded that foreigners stop disparaging China. Only when Chinese themselves were victims did they take it seriously, and then only to try to suppress most of the victims and make a few high-profile shootings.

Harry Flugleman said...

Why is melamine delicious in Italian milk, but when you put it in Chinese milk it is disgusting?

William said...

Hundreds of millions of Chinese have seen their living standards rise astronomically during the past twenty years. This truly was a great leap forward. Compare the coverage of this miraculous transformation with the media's past coverage of Mao's excesses....Mao sent physicians to labor camps to spread manure and learn the lessons of the proleteriat. Meanwhile their patients died hideous, painful deaths from such tractable diseases as colitis. Meanwhile the western press respectfully reported on "barefoot doctors" bringing medicine to China's poor....There are no heuristics, no feed back loops, where the press learns from its mistakes and improves over time. There is only one narrative: socialism is good; capitalism is bad.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Didn't the milk kill a number of babies? Six is the official figure I believe.

Certainly thousands were sickened.

I don't remember anyone being executed for killing 100+ Americans with tainted Heparin though.

Original George said...

Complete trivia. Like a steamroller passing over a grain of sand.

"Everyone understands that in the short run China’s handling of its reserves has been a convenience to the United States. By placing more than $1 trillion in U.S. stock and bond markets, it has propped up the U.S. economy. Asset prices are higher than they would otherwise be; interest rates are lower, whether for American families taking out mortgages or for American taxpayers financing the ever-mounting federal debt. The dollar has also fallen less than it otherwise would have—which in the short run helps American consumers keep buying Chinese goods.

Everyone also understands that in the long run China must change this policy. Its own people need too many things—schools, hospitals, railroads—for it to keep sending its profits to America. It won’t forever sink its savings into a currency, the dollar, virtually guaranteed to keep falling against the RMB. This year the central government created a commission to consider the right long-term use for China’s reserves. No one expects the recommendation to be: Keep buying dollars. How and when the change will occur, what it will be, and what consequences it will have, is what everyone would like to know."

From a great James Fallows Atlantic piece on the industrial juggernaut that is China.

Jim said...

What would Jack McCoy have done?

Triangle Man said...

Original Mike said...

On the other hand, this is the Chinese death penalty, right? Not our take-20-years-to-get-it-done system.


Watch out for the vans. It actually looks more like a bus here.

Jen Bradford said...

I think it's awfully harsh. Those yellow need to mellow.

Thanks hoosier daddy - big laugh over here.

Original Mike said...

China's new fleet??? of mobile execution chambers.

Crimeny.

Doyle said...

If the NYT were trying to make fun of the Chinese, they could have made their derision more obvious with something other than "Death Sentences in Chinese Milk Case," which seems pretty straightforward.

Nor did the story itself read like its author thought the death penalty was unwarranted. To the contrary, after reading it I wished we had accountability like that.

So, bogus post.

Freeman Hunt said...

The article was overly empathetic to the convicts. They knowingly added melamine as a cheap filler. That isn't presented until almost the end of the article.

They knowingly killed people purely out of greed. No pity from me.

traditionalguy said...

Doyle...We did have accountability like this until the Supreme Court started finding against State's use of the Death Penalty and created the Life time Appeal process. The death penalty was there to protect citzens, and therefore it had to be curtailed so that stone cold killers can go directly into counseling rather than be killed themselves for the killing of citizens like you. That should show you how valuable you are to those Supreme Court Snobs. Keep in mind that the execution of the witnesses is now a rationally a demanded procedure for smart armed robbers... nothing personal...the young up and coming criminals just must do what they have to do, wherever the Death Penalty has been removed.

Johnny B. D. said...

You are such a liar.

The headline says: Death Sentences in Chinese Milk Case

How would you write it?

Let's see, they did give the death penalty. It was in China. And it was about milk.

We know you hate the NYT. (I did, too, when they ran a few columns by you.) We know you use headlines as ink blots. But can't you just be honest for once?

The headline was simple, direct, and accurate: Death Sentences in Chinese Milk Case.

John Althouse Cohen said...

If the NYT were trying to make fun of the Chinese, they could have made their derision more obvious with something other than "Death Sentences in Chinese Milk Case," which seems pretty straightforward.

I agree that's not a ridiculous headline considering how concise it had to be. But to not mention in the headline or the teaser that the death sentences had anything to do with people dying is ridiculous.


Nor did the story itself read like its author thought the death penalty was unwarranted. To the contrary, after reading it I wished we had accountability like that.

I'm not criticizing the entire piece. I'm criticizing the teaser. Obviously, the way we even know the details of the case is because the author put them in the article. Nor am I even criticizing the author of the piece, since I don't know if that's the same person who wrote the teaser. (There's probably someone whose job it is to write teasers and headlines for other people's article.)


So, bogus post.

Bogus comment.

Meade said...

Doyle, you ignorant slut.

Anthony said...

>On the other hand, this is the Chinese death penalty, right? Not our take-20-years-to-get-it-done system. In that case I say, off with their heads.

Rumor has it that the Chinese death penalty is a bullet to the head, partly so that the organs can be harvested.

Freeman Hunt said...

Johnny, if you think Althouse hates the NYT, all must assume that you're new around here.

Maguro said...

Rumor has it that the Chinese death penalty is a bullet to the head, partly so that the organs can be harvested.

That's how it was in the past (also, the executee's family used to get a bill for the cost of the bullet). Now they have super-humane "death vans" that go around administering lethal injections:

Chinese Executions

Progress, comrades!

Meade said...

And hey, Johnny B.D. (*guffaw!*), how about this:

China To Execute Milk Men

Plus, this seems headline worthy:

Rare Sino Cry For Class-action Over Spoilt Milk

Doyle said...

But to not mention in the headline or the teaser that the death sentences had anything to do with people dying is ridiculous.

It does specify that they were selling tainted milk, though, right? That's pretty bad.

There's just no indication they were trying to trick readers into thinking "Those wacky Chinese."

traditionalguy said...

Does the NYT have a delivery by satellite or internet [not filtered]into China? This may be all the news that was fit to be printed in China. Also, did the Party consider "the forced oral injestion of melimine daily until dead" as a sentice? No MSG of course, which would be cruel and unusual.

Freeman Hunt said...

Something should have mentioned that the milk was tainted on purpose. Otherwise it sounds like some milk got accidentally tainted, and the Chinese are shooting people for it.

traditionalguy said...

OK, if they did it on purpose, then that's a Crime Against Humanity. Now tell me again how partial birth abortion works.

Freeman Hunt said...

Now tell me again how partial birth abortion works.

Not going to find me defending that.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

After this you'd think Chinese people would think twice about mislabeling.

Revenant said...

If they were actually guilty I wouldn't have a problem with executing them. I wouldn't have a problem with being the guy who pulled the switch, even.

But I don't trust the American justice system enough to endorse the death penalty in any but the most clear-cut cases -- and I trust American justice a HELL of a lot more than I do Chinese. Why should be be at all confident these people were actually guilty of anything?

Cedarford said...

The Chinese have a way. They give out death penalties for people that massively corrode their society, as well as direct deaths. They recently executed several officials for bribery and two con artists caught in Ponzi schemes last year are condemned and have a few more weeks to live.

Now, if we had shot Millikin, Boesky, Levine, and Charles Keating in the 80s...would be have had Jack Grubman, Johnny Hsu a decade later? If we had put a high velocity bullet through the heads of Jack Abramoff, Kenny Boy Lay, Jeff Skilling, Marc Rich, and Fast Andy Fastow would we have had our economic catastrophe or Bernie Madoff?

Eric said...

If we had put a high velocity bullet through the heads of Jack Abramoff, Kenny Boy Lay, Jeff Skilling, Marc Rich, and Fast Andy Fastow would we have had our economic catastrophe or Bernie Madoff?

You notice the Chinese haven't run out of people to shoot?

hdhouse said...

make them drink a gallon of the milk a day...bet they would rather not.

Revenant said...

If we had put a high velocity bullet through the heads of Jack Abramoff, Kenny Boy Lay, Jeff Skilling, Marc Rich, and Fast Andy Fastow would we have had our economic catastrophe or Bernie Madoff?

Yes.

Zeb Quinn said...

Hey, if we're going to be cheering for the handing out of the death penalty to those who intentionally snuff out the lives of innocent babies, where would we be stopping it without drawing some very hyper-technical and arbitrary lines? You better rethink this one.

Revenant said...

where would we be stopping it without drawing some very hyper-technical and arbitrary lines?

Is there some reason we'd WANT to stop it? I've got a lot of concerns about politics, but "we're executing too many people who intentionally killed babies" doesn't really make the list.