On the bright side, we have another reason to be best buddies with Saudi Arabia


OK, I’ve had enough. A resolution before the UN to condemn executions for apostasy, blasphemy, adultery, and consensual same-sex relations has passed, but Botswana, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, China, India, Iraq, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates voted against it.

Oh. And one more. The United States voted against it, too, all for allowing countries to continue to execute people for being an atheist or a gay person. The United States. My country.

Can I have myself frozen and thawed out a century, or maybe a thousand years from now, when this madness is over?

(Damn it, no. That cryogenics stuff doesn’t work. We don’t have time machines, either. Technology, you have failed me again!)

Comments

  1. madtom1999 says

    #1 Japan has always had a problem with oil security!

    PZ technology may have let you down but there is always the flying fuck to lie back on!

  2. cartomancer says

    The way I heard it explained was that the US consistently opposes attempts to limit the application of the Death Penalty because it absolutely rejects the idea that anyone should be able to tell it when it might be allowed to kill its own citizens. It sees this kind of regulation as a slippery slope towards – gasp – outlawing capital punishment altogether.

    I suspect China was thinking along similar lines. It doesn’t execute people for apostasy, adultery or being gay, after all. Japan, too, still has capital punishment. Mostly for multiple murder. Typical Japanese attitudes toward other countries and their cultures and practices tend towards the isolationist – we do things our way, they do things their way, it would be very rude to tell them what they can and can’t do.

  3. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Sessions wants to execute gays. So this being his first step at justification. 👿

  4. cartomancer says

    Akira MacKenzie, #5

    Russia does not currently sit on the UN Human Rights Council. I suspect it would have voted against if it were given the chance though, considering that Putin is basically letting Kadyrov murder gay people in Chechnya all he likes.

  5. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    Akira MacKenzie,

    It was a vote by the Human Rights Council of the UN. Russia isn’t currently a member.

  6. says

    So what’s the surprise? We refuse to sign on to the anti-landmine treaty — the refusals started, if I recall, in the 1990s with a certain president who shall not be named, and have continued ever since — and when there was a measure to prevent our military from using cluster bombs on explicitly civilian targets, it was voted down (and just look which Democrats voted against it). When we have people who proudly, even happily vote for “the lesser evil”, it means our government is going to be evil. If nastiness is on the menu, you can’t claim it’s a surprise when it shows up on the plate.

  7. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    Re 6, 7, beaten to the punch by cartomancer. Remember to refresh.

  8. cartomancer says

    If you want an actual “on the bright side” story, though, we are making considerable advances in halting the spread of HIV with new preventive drug treatments for HIV negative people being trialed on the NHS. We’re starting to see substantial drops in infection rates in the UK, where for years we were seeing steady increases. The drop-off in London, where the vast majority of infections occur, is particularly remarkable.

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/10/03/huge-fall-in-new-hiv-infections-among-gay-and-bisexual-men-due-to-use-of-prep/

    Well, it cheered me up a little bit at least.

  9. says

    Yep we are the Specialist of Special Snowflakes! E.g., 196 countries are party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, including every single member of the United Nations except…the United States. Conservatives love beating their kids too much to be restrained by such PC nonsense.

  10. jrkrideau says

    Apparently Russia has not had an officially sanctioned execution in 15 or 20 years. Why would one expect Russia to vote against such a resolution?

  11. Firestarter says

    @cartomancer You are correct, and on top of that, this particular resolution goes a step toward the goal of total abolisment: “2) Calls upon States that have not yet acceded to or ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty to consider doing so;”

    So regardless of the other stuff, America isn’t committing to that. :(

  12. handsomemrtoad says

    PZ:

    What makes you think things will be any better a century or a millennium from now?

  13. cartomancer says

    jrkrideau, #14

    Because Putin has a great deal invested in keeping Russian homophobes and the religious right on-side to hold on to power. They’re his political base as much as if not more than they are Trump’s. If it were just about capital punishment then maybe Russia would be well disposed, but Putin can’t be seen supporting anything that might be viewed as anti-religious or lenient on gay people.

  14. birgerjohansson says

    On cryogenics; Use CRISPR/Cas9 to hybridize with a Siberian newt.
    You will fit in with the crawling, slithering things that rule the USA, but can also choose to get frozen and thaw out alive.

    And If Emanuelle Charpentier walks by, you can legitimately shout “she turned me into a newt!”.

  15. jrkrideau says

    # 17 cartomancer
    I see your point but since Russia has a moratorium on the death penalty voting against the resolution buys bad international publicity.

    And homophobes and the religious right could all too easily get caught in apostasy, blasphemy, and adultery categories.

    Unless one of the four categories is mad issue like abortion is in the USA I just cannot see it being worth the international and internal political capital.

    Not when combined with blasphemy, for example.

  16. says

    A government that asserts that it has a right to kill citizens cannot be legitimate; there is no meaningful social contract that includes my consenting to be put to death. Anyone living under a government that practices capital punishment should consider themselves living under occupation by a hostile power.

  17. microraptor says

    jrkrideau @20:

    I see your point but since Russia has a moratorium on the death penalty voting against the resolution buys bad international publicity.

    Boy, because the threat of bad international publicity really motivates Russia to avoid doing things that might make people not like it.

  18. vucodlak says

    @ Marcus Ranum, 21

    A government that asserts that it has a right to kill citizens cannot be legitimate; there is no meaningful social contract that includes my consenting to be put to death.

    Oh nonsense. Next you’ll be saying that a government that strips millions of its citizens of their rights (and tortures them) is the enemy of the people, or some such. And that’s just silly. Silly!

  19. codeslinger2001 says

    Marcus Ranum @21 Conscription. All governments have always reserved the right to impress you into the military and order you to your death. When used in defense of the State against foreign aggression the State doing so is totally legitimate.

  20. aziraphale says

    Marcus Ranum @21, it could be argued that if I murder a fellow-citizen I have thereby renounced the social contract.

  21. jrkrideau says

    # 24 microraptor

    because the threat of bad international publicity really motivates Russia to avoid doing things that might make people not like it.

    Why not, though Russia probably just voted on principle. Russia has had an official moratorium on the death penalty since 1999. Doing something totally irrational like opposing the resolution makes no sense.

    It would, most likely, highly annoy major trading partners such as the EU and other countries who have abolished the death penalty. This is a good strategy?

    The Russian Federation is not some equivalent of Mordor that does evil just for the hell of it. I am sure that it would do things that might get it bad international press but it would be for the good of Russia and not just because the Russian Gov’t is some petulant child who likes pulling the wings off flies.

  22. bryanfeir says

    Iris@#11:
    I suspect a lot of votes against it are just because there’s still a significant Bircher bloc who will vote against anything that has the U.N. stamp on it. Like the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is still not ratified in the U.S., despite it being based almost directly on the Americans with Disabilities Act, mostly because of the people who still believe the U.N. is a nefarious organization trying to usurp American authority.

  23. MetzO'Magic says

    Haven’t posted here in a long, long time… but always an avid lurker.

    As an aside, one of my fav novels of all time, Peter James’ Host explores the potential dark side of cryogenics. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Leave a Reply