A Few Words About Deceit

Some time ago, I heard a public service announcement (PSA) that 50% of all car accidents involving fatalities were caused by a drunk driver. More recently, I heard another PSA that it is now 30%. Given this info and only this info, a person might suggest that we get all the sober drivers off the road. They are causing almost three-fourths of fatal accidents.

I call it flawed logic, where a person makes a decision based on incomplete information. The information, as such is correct, just not complete.

I once heard a preacher say, “Deceit and the truth cannot coincide.” Certainly what he said was and is true. Where the problem comes is when part of the truth is withheld. It is on this that deceivers base their craft. Over time, I have formed four rules for deceit.
1. The person easiest to deceive is yourself.
2. To deceive someone else, you must keep at least part of the truth from that person. (The same goes for a group of people.)
3. People are egotistical. When you tell a person how wonderful they are, they are more likely to believe you. Besides, they are more likely to like you.
4. Lies are not required for deceit. Notice, in the above example, I did not lie to you, but I did leave out an important part of the truth. Therefore, I convinced you to keep the sober drivers off the road. (Hopefully, you had enough common sense not to swallow that one.

Yet people are deceived every day by things just as obvious. Many years ago, New York wanted a lottery to pay for the schools. They managed to pass the law by saying that it would be completely for the schools. The deceit lies in a little word, fungible. That means, once the government has our money, they can use it for what ever they want. It’s just a matter of bookkeeping. Today, they aren’t even trying to fool anyone. They have come right out and admitted it. The schools, of course got very little of it. Now they get none of it.

Nowadays, there are people who would like us to believe that a wall on our southern border will not help. Never mind our common sense. Never mind the fact that people put fences around buildings all the time to keep people out. Guess what? It works. Moreover, the walls are permanent. An election won’t erase them.

It is, of course obvious that torture doesn’t work. Guess what? It does. Ask the Russians. They have a lot of experience at it. Do I advocate torture? Only when the lives of thousands of people are at risk. A little discomfort for one verses the lives of millions… not a difficult choice. By the way, telling the enemy I don’t torture is probably a bad idea.

Now, after our president held a meeting with Kim, the bulk of the media are trying to make it sound like a failure. It might end up being a failure. The president himself said so. That is no reason for the vast majority of the media to rain on his parade. If nothing else, it undercuts the chances of success. Then again, the media does not want him to succeed. For them it is the worst of all possibilities. If it should succeed, it would guarantee his re-election. It would also mean the big blue wave would turn red.

I do find it absurdly humorous the contortions the news anchors go through to make the effort look bad. It is casual to the most obvious observer that what happened is good and they are doing their best to make it look bad. I look forward to seeing what they do should they get rid of the atomic weapons and build hotels along the beachfront of North Korea. Maybe the best thing for them to do would be to go and rent a room at one of the new hotels and spend the rest of their lives there. If they stay here, they might still have jobs, but no one will listen to them.

On the other hand, if the effort fails, they will be sure to make the most of it. After all, failure is what they want, even if it means the loss of millions of lives. I do find this a little ironic. They don’t like a little torture, but all those lives mean so little to them.

It is time to look beyond the deceit and use a little common sense. It is time to look at all the facts, not just the ones that are convenient to the media.

 

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