The Wrong Choice--or Too Many Choices--Can Be Lethal
Dec. 15, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 56
IN THE NEWS
Australian executed in Singapore
Singapore executed Australian heroin trafficker Nguyen Tuong Van early today in a case that triggered an outcry in his country, where people held vigils at the hour of his hanging. Australia's prime minister said the execution would damage relations between the countries.
--Associated Press, Dec. 2, 2005
Your FREE guide to Medicare prescription drug savings is enclosed.
--Mailing envelope from Blue Cross/Blue Shield
A number of years ago, I was invited to speak at a direct marketing conference in Singapore.
My wife, Peggy, and I boarded a Singapore Airlines 747 on the West Coast, and one of the elegantly attired hostesses greeted us by name and showed us to our seats.
We were given welcome gifts, wined and dined in splendor, and had plenty of video gadgets to play with. Amazingly, after a 16-hour flight the lavatories were as spotless as they were on take-off. On the return flight, I had trouble sleeping and noticed that each lavatory was checked every 15 or 20 minutes throughout the night.
Shortly before our arrival at Singapore's Changi Airport, an announcement was made that drug trafficking in Singapore is punishable by death.
We were handed landing cards to fill out. It was the usual exercise--name, address, passport number, reason for the visit, etc.
The card was printed in blue and black with just one line prominently placed in red.
Warning: Under Singapore law, trafficking in drugs is punishable by death.
No ambiguities. No fuzzy thinking. No shades of gray. No ifs, ands or buts. Here was a rule plainly stated. Deal drugs and you die.
With this simple declarative sentence, the drug smuggler is given a yes-or-no choice of action.