21 Apr 2008

Prison State

Who knew?
The US has the world's largest penal population with some 10 per cent of the adult population behind bars.
Can you believe that? One in ten US adults is in jail! That's just absurd. No, it's worse that absurd - it's criminal! How do you boast of having a functioning Democracy when one in ten adults is in jail?

UPDATE: Proving that even anal-retentive pond scum have their uses, Tim Blair picks up the AFP error:
The actual figure is closer to one per cent.
The USA does still have by far the highest incarceration rate in the world, of course, and it has been growing rapidly, particularly for blacks:
Nearly 4.7 per cent of African-American men are behind bars in the United States. That percentage grows to nearly 12 per cent for black men aged 25 to 29-years-old.
That is still an absolute disgrace. The latest US figures are over one percent, with around one in 30 either in jail, on parole or on bail. The cost to government is over $55 billion per year.

NB: I assume it was my criticisms over at BlairBolt Watch that got Timmeh keeping an eye on me. Is he scared?

UPDATE 2: This story has been picked up at BlairBoltWatch and I have posted two opening comments:

Look on the bright side - Timmeh linked to a story about prison guards opening fire on a race riot which erupted after neo-Nazis celebrated Hitler’s birthday, and he never even mentioned any of those pet topics. That must have taken a lot of self-restraint.

Maybe he is learning?

Or maybe I just don’t hear dog whistles when they are pitched that high.
And still in moderation:
Actually, I am rather curious about how Timmeh came upon this little story...

He links to the AFP story, exposes their error, and then writes: "UPDATE. A lefty fell for it."

The link goes to my blog. Now, let's ignore for a moment how you can "fall for" an error which was neither a trick nor a joke. I read this AFP story earlier today and wrote a quick, outraged blog post about it. If I'd had more time I might have realized the journalistic error, but I didn't - my bad, I readily admit.

But there's Timmeh waiting to pounce on my mistake. I challenge his minions to look through my blog and find any other such glaring factual (factual!) errors. I'll wager they are few and far between.

So here's what I'm thinking: Timmeh noticed my criticisms of him and Big Rupe here, at blairboltwatch, and elsewhere, and has been keeping an eye on my blog, waiting for an opportunity to pounce. But he does it in his own clever, snarky way, pretending that he found the story himself, and THEN noticed my link. Vengeance accomplished?

Alternatively, it's possible that Tim's real target was YOUR ABC, which carried the story which I originally linked to (now updated to fix the error, I notice). Maybe Blair is monitoring ABC News to gather more "evidence" of perceived leftwing anti-US bias? That would explain why his post links to the original AFP story, which he would have had to track down to check that it was an AFP error, not an ABC one.

Hey BTW, anyone wanna buy a painting?