Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Perils of Laws and Perceptions

I wrote this in response to an article about new tobacco taxes and the reasons for them. A respondent stated there were no conspiracies behind most things done by government. It has often been said that money is the root of all evil—coupled with the desire for power and you have the answer to most of the world's problems.

You are right, there are no conspiracies. If we follow the money we always find the force behind many of the things you mentioned(drug and alcohol laws). Statistics are padded and ignored to bring about the results wanted. A statistician will tell you he or she can support any belief.  Even when we ourselves look at raw numbers we can't be sure of the truth. I have looked deeply into  DUI statistics. They will tell us how many people are killed each year in alcohol related accidents, or how many people are killed by drunk drivers.

What the statistics and proponents of laws don't tell us is that a DUI caused accident doesn't mean the drinker was the cause of the accident. They don't tell us that speeding or reckless driving was the cause. We aren't told the road was covered in ice and it was truly just an accident.  When a beer can is found on the roadside, or a weeks old empty in the floorboard, the accident becomes alcohol related. If the attending officer can smell what he/she believes to be alcohol, even if it's cough medicine, it becomes an alcohol related accident.

This is worth repeating—we know speeding kills more people than other causes for traffic deaths. If DUI laws were really about saving lives, all speed limits would be lowered to 40 MPH. But then we have to look at speeding statistics, themselves. Too often we see a 35 MPH zone on a section of road that was built for 50 MPH. People inevitably speed and police closely monitor these sections. This is done purely for revenue enhancement.

The government then conditions people to believe the propaganda. They begin ad campaigns telling us how evil drugs are and that the drunk driver is the biggest menace in the country.  Yes, these things can be bad. Moderation is the solution to many of today's problems.  Each week there seems to be the new big bad. Each week we lose more control over our lives.

We know terrorism exists around the world. The government wants us to believe the reason we have so little of it in this country is because of their fantastic work and NSA spying. I think the attacks are much lower for a reason. Terrorist might come to this country with the intent of causing harm, but they discover what appears to be paradise for them. The point is, when the government and the media are hyping something, we must listen with caution and an open mind.

Today's media doesn't come to their positions by force, it is purely agenda driven. It is a field that draws the progressive personality. Media owners want their businesses to be seen as reporting objectively. It's for this reason they choose a position they perceive to be the middle. Perception is relative to the viewer. Today, the media drives perception and can easily distort the middle position.
The media loves dead bodies littering the streets and it's for that reason they cling to traffic accident scenes, captioned by, 'Drunk Driver.' Because they love death scenes, the public can get a distorted view.

The same can be said for terrorism. When there is an act of terrorism the media will quickly avoid making the connection. It is only when no other official cause can be found will they come to the factual conclusion. This isn't because the media wants to hide acts of terror, but to maintain their perceived position of the ideological middle. Because most acts of terrorist are by those of the Muslim faith—they hesitate. Some think this is because they believe the media is protecting the religion. It's because they worry more about maintaining their middle position than the facts of the story.

No matter if it's drugs, alcohol, or terrorism, there is always the manipulation of perception. We are all guilty of trying to manipulate facts and statistics to support our point of view. These manipulations are done for many reasons, and sometimes done for what is believed to be the greater good. Who would complain about getting drunk drivers off the road? Who would complain about getting drug dealers off the streets? Most won't and the government knows this.

While some evils are magnified, others are glossed over. The reasons are often simple, there is no money in ending some evils. In an effort to make sure all Americans are equal under the law, we must also make sure all laws are equal to the truth.

I should note that this theory applies only to laws and statistics. When it comes to politics there are so many more variables. I was just reminded how the media was solidly behind the unknown Obama. There were obvious facts the media chose to ignore about the future president. That's an article unto itself. The Obama Syndrome speaks to that aspect

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