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View Diary: Missouri attorney general demands executions be scheduled before their execution drug expires (61 comments)

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  •  as a historical aside . . . (10+ / 0-)
    I must confess I find it a bit fascinating that the death penalty, which has lasted so very long in this country despite being generally deplored by most other modern nations, is finding a formidable opponent in pharmaceutical company branding needs.
    this has happened before, sort of . . .  .

    Way back when electricity was first being utilized for homes, a conflict broke out between two large electric companies, owned respectively by Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse.  The conflict was mostly economic, but also had a technical side to it---Edison's system used low-voltage direct current, while Westinghouse's system used high-voltage alternating current.  To prove that his technology was safer (and therefore he should get the contract to electrify the city), Edison launched a PR campaign to paint the high-voltage Westinghouse system as "dangerous", and demonstrated this by flamboyantly using alternating current to publicly electrocute everything from cats and dogs to an elephant. Then, in the ultimate PR move, Edison had some of his own employees produce the electric chair, which used --you guessed it--high voltage alternating current to kill criminals, and publicly urged the state to adopt it as an execution device. The state obliged. Edison hoped that the move would demonstrate the danger of high-voltage systems, and also tar Westinghouse by associating him with death.

    Alas for Edison, Westinghouse's system was technologically superior, and was the one adopted (and still used today).

    •  That was Tesla's AC System. (0+ / 0-)

      George Westinghouse was just Tesla's business partner. Tesla had briefly worked for Edison, but quit over having his ideas stolen by Edison without any credit. Edison hated Tesla for being brighter, and for being a foreigner, and never passed up a chance to mock Tesla or put him at disadvantage.

      Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

      by rhonan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 10:38:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another Thomas Edison story. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm beginning to dislike this guy, Edison.

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