Reader Feedback 06/14/2005

 Regarding last week's article "Canadian House Arrest", reader Mark H. comments:

"Your article on this subject was very interesting, but left out the most important question, which is: "How did it work?"

"You covered the question of what do people think about it, and how obviously terrible it is, but you never thought to ask the most important question! Which is, did these offenders who received these "inadequate" sentences (i.e. house arrest) re-offend or did they just serve out their time at home uneventfully????

"If the latter, I am not terribly upset. There are a lot of people who think that criminals should "pay their debt to society". However, what actually happens is that society pays a cost of approximately $30,000 per year per prison inhabitant. In exchange for paying that 30 grand a year, we get an ex-con who has a hard time finding a job in government or private industry and therefore is driven to exercise his newly honed-in-prison skills by re- entering a career of crime. This is not a wonderful outcome."

And Jerry W. adds:

"It may be that the reason China's incarceration rate is so low is that they don't bother keeping a lot of their prisoners alive. It would be interesting to know what China's "execution" rate per 100K is."

In response to our article "Nonsense Research", we were in for a surprise when reader Peter R., an expert in collision forensics and accident reconstruction, wrote:

"In the 6/6/05 WWNK, you mention research into the optimum angle of stone skipping. I would appreciate it if you could send me the article that you reference or provide a citation so I can research the specific article. I am currently involved as an expert in forensic engineering in a civil trial here in California. Surprisingly, this very subject may be of some help to me in that case."

Reader John H. sees it from the humorous side:

"A couple of years ago I heard a government-sponsored study once determined that the perfect food for a cat was '24 grams of 12% protein, 14% fat, 8% ash...'

"A mouse on the other hand is '24 grams of 12% protein; 14% fat, 8% ash...'"

Posted 06-14-2005 11:25 PM by Doug Casey