Crime and Punishment 2

by David on August 31, 2007

I mentioned briefly Gary Becker and the rational decisions criminals make. Then Tim Worstall gets on the case:

They make burglary and other crime a rational choice, especially given the low rate of detection. (One burglary in every twelve reported ends in conviction, and one conviction in thirteen ends in a prison sentence, which means that burglars, on average, serve about one day per burglary in prison. Given the value of unskilled labour on the market, it is a very poor burglar who cannot steal more than one day’s wages from a house.)

and everywhere like such as

by David on August 30, 2007

I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, um, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq and everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future

29th August 2007

by David on August 29, 2007

Peelian Principles

  • Every police officer should be issued a badge number, to assure accountability for his actions.
  • Whether the police are effective is not measured on the number of arrests, but on the lack of crime.
  • Above all else, an effective authority figure knows trust and accountability are paramount. Hence, Peel’s most often quoted principle: The police are the public and the public are the police.

The US has just 5 per cent of the world’s population, but 25 per cent of its overall prison population.


by David on August 28, 2007

A report on BBC Radio 4’s flagship news programme, Today, covered the film of Ian McEwan’s well-regarded novel, Atonement. It wasn’t really news and when the BBC’s main evening news bulletin also carried an item about the film I wondered what was going on.

Well, Atonement is produced by Working Title Films and guess who owns shares in Working Title? BBC Films, the feature film-making arm of the BBC.

Could I stop paying for this please?


by David on August 27, 2007

Mia Farrow: Darfur’s a bit shit

Indie’s standards slip even further

by David on August 25, 2007


A point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or (especially) news story. A really stylish fisking is witty, logical, sarcastic and ruthlessly factual; flaming or handwaving is considered poor form. Named after Robert Fisk, a British journalist who was a frequent (and deserving) early target of such treatment

Wikipedia, Fisking

I am increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11. It’s not just the obvious non sequiturs: where are the aircraft parts (engines, etc) from the attack on the Pentagon? Why have the officials involved in the United 93 flight (which crashed in Pennsylvania) been muzzled? Why did flight 93’s debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field?

I am talking about scientific issues. If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the twin towers – whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C – would snap through at the same time? (They collapsed in 8.1 and 10 seconds.) What about the third tower – the so-called World Trade Centre Building 7 (or the Salmon Brothers Building) – which collapsed in 6.6 seconds in its own footprint at 5.20pm on 11 September? Why did it so neatly fall to the ground when no aircraft had hit it?

Robert Fisk, Even I question the ‘truth’ about 9/11

Robert Fisk could try a spot of research at that Popular Mechanics where Flight 77’s debris are shown and discussed and where various other loopy conspiracy claims are debunked

For example, Popular Mechanics observes:

Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750°F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn’t need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength — and that required exposure to much less heat.

The real question now is, for how long will The Independent continue to trash even further it’s already sorry reputation by continuing to publish such nonsense?

Crime and Punishment

by David on August 24, 2007

The natural horror felt at (insert appalling crime here) should not blind us to the fact that (crime is actually falling/it is all Thatcher’s fault/such crimes have always been with us).

If we surrender to (the tabloid agenda/the Daily Mail hysteria/knee-jerk populism/the politics of the soundbite) and take the easy option of (jailing more of our young people/bringing back the birch/bringing back hanging/walling off the cities then bombing them/demonising our young people) we run the very real risk of (actually achieving something/alienating a generation/an invasion of killer bees).

There is only one answer. An enormous increase in the funding of (Sure Start schemes/outreach workers/emotional intelligence mentors/youth projects/anti-racist 5-a-day smoking cessation co-ordinators).

Laban Tall

Becker surmised that … criminals make such rational decisions. However, such a premise went against conventional thought that crime was a result of mental illness and social oppression.

While Becker acknowledged that many people operate under a high moral and ethical constraint, criminals rationally see that the benefits of their crime outweigh the cost such as the probability of apprehension, conviction, punishment, as well as their current set of opportunities. From the public policy perspective, since the cost of increasing the fine is marginal to that of the cost of increasing surveillance, one can conclude that the best policy is to maximize the fine and minimize surveillance.

Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, described on Wikipedia

New kittens

by David on August 23, 2007

Battle Royale

by David on August 21, 2007

The best proposed solution to the problem of young,feral scrotes I’ve seen is this:

As twisted as it sounds, killing off 41 teens takes a great deal of creativity and an innate sense of pacing in order to avoid, well, cinematic boredom.

How stupid are RadioShack’s Ts & Cs?

by David on August 19, 2007

Read the Linking to this Web Site paragraph (item 6).