June 05, 2006

U.S.A. über alles in der Einsperrungrate

We have the highest per capita rate of incarceration in the world. We beat out Singapore, where I understand that it's against the law to have chewing gum, by a mile. Russia, Belarus and Turkmenistan are choking on our dust. And we so totally kick Cuba's ass when it comes to locking people up.

Take that, ya' pansies.

Posted by natasha at June 5, 2006 04:00 AM | Law/Justice | Technorati links |

Having been there in the late 1980s when the incident happened that made it so, it's actually more on the order of that it's against the law to be chewing gum while using mass transit. (Or at least, that's when the "no chewing gum" law is enforced.)

Back when Singapore started it's then-new mass transit trains, a couple of door seals, late one night, had gum put on them when closed, making their opening and closing a bit messy.

Given that Singapore is a society that until recently had urine sniffers attached to elevators in their nicer buildings that would stop the device and set off alarms if they interpreted someone as possibly aving peed in a corner, this sent community leaders into a serious tizzy. Thus the gum law.

No excuse, just an explanation.

Posted by: palamedes at June 5, 2006 06:58 AM

Thanks for the clarification, but I don't think that makes it better. That means we lock up more people per capita than a country with public piss-sniffing machines. How cracked is that?

Posted by: natasha at June 5, 2006 10:32 AM

Singapore is a fascist police state. Being neat and orderly (or so they say) doesn't make it any less so!!!

Posted by: Mr Dean at June 5, 2006 01:49 PM

Mr. Dean - I think that's kind of the point and indeed, my question. Why are we locking up more people in the U.S. than in a creepy police state where they have laws about gum?

At this point, I've got to wonder if my sarcasm/snark mode is broken?

Posted by: natasha at June 5, 2006 06:14 PM

Welcome to the New Weimar.

Now I hope you will all be good Germans.

Posted by: marblex at June 6, 2006 08:51 AM