At various times in the past I have chastised our leadership in government and business for allowing/promoting publishing or broadcasting "news" that was misleading and/or superficial and thus functionally useless or harmful to the recipient. Today I decided to ratchet up my attack. For whatever reason the sum of all the negatives and false positives reported in the past twenty years, their predictable variety and frequency, and more recently the apparent severity of the threats presented via the news media, have reached what I call critical mass. They produce fear, then false elation then confusion in the general population.
The fear and confusion disempower people and cause them to react irrationally rather than to reason their way through the subjects and the implications. The false elation keeps them off balance. The reporting lacks substantive, connected facts that might be used to support reasoning. The recipients are thus weakened and more easily directed and led by their noses to do whatever leaders want without significant complaint, and without discovery of the true origin(s) of their fears. Mostly, people polarize in their implanted beliefs regarding good guys and bad guys and accept the false idea that they have no further role in societal problem solving beyond what they are told to do. They stop thinking except within a small circle of implanted beliefs. A good education helps to overcome the dissembling but even that is inadequate when sufficient relevant facts are withheld.
I am certainly not the first person or even the ten thousandth person to voice disgust about news creation/fabrication and reporting that create anxiety, fear and mindless obedience to "authority," all done in a friendly presentation mode. This issue has been well known for at least seventy years, and it is not a result of having fools expressing opinions via the news media. The viewers/readers however are treated as if they are in fact fools. Indeed, the earliest reported example of mind control and opinion formation tactics applied to the general public was done under Woodrow Wilsonís presidency to promote USA involvement in WWI. Later, writers like Orwell and Huxley described the problem through novels, with projections about the future that can only be described as depressing for the common citizens. The key issue today that needs to be addressed is "How is it that mind control dissembling continues unabated, and is indeed increased through time, when it is totally obvious to our higher members of government and business that the dynamic of that behavior is to weaken and thus disrespect the population?"
Is there a crime implicit in these activities? Yes there is, and it is among the worst crimes possible to commit against the common citizens. When you undermine the conduct of life of the population with fear producing lies or even partial truths disguised to make the net effect of minor problems seem disastrous you have committed mind control, destructive mind control, and that my friend is indeed a crime of very serious magnitude. You have taken away the ability to simply live life within oneís abilities to seek contentment. Think about "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" and the identity and severity of the crime become immediately obvious. Similarly, when advertisers hype the general public with positive claims about products or investing that are simply vastly overstated or untrue or unproven then the advertisers have committed fraud. Is it "buyer beware" or is it collusional government failing to protect the citizenry from economic predators?
As to the specific reasons, topic by topic through time, for the decisions about news designed to control or direct the population, I can only say the basis is essentially economic, political or a direct legal control issue. There is no surprise there. And, of course, the control problem methods are even more obvious in Theocracies. In short, the common citizens are continuously abused and misdirected to keep them weak relative to the much smaller number of controlling leaders in government and business. Some of this abuse is done through legislatures, police agencies and courts. Some of the abuse is done by getting people to fight with each other, a.k.a. civil suits, and to rat each other out, re. absurd laws, for even minor annoyances, producing distrust across the population. But the subject of this article is primarily about misdirection in the media to produce irrational fears and/or poor decisions, economic or personal.
Letís take a look at a few of the subjects that are often vastly overstated in severity or frequency of occurrence, and monotonously repeated, in a never ending cycle. Below is a partial list of problem areas that I am certain you will recognize, and I will examine some of the topics later in a logical manner to provide a rational perspective. Just realize that you are regularly inundated with inappropriate "information." Also consider that the occurrence of these problems somehow never seems to get solved as we evolve our society in the USA. You definitely want to think about that aspect of the larger problem of citizen abuse. Why are our crime rates so high compared to other advanced countries that are also democracies (or are they, or have we created criminals via ridiculous laws?)?
Child sexual molestation
Impropriety by professionals
Medical warnings/Health threats
Broad economic problems
Lives of actors, singers, etc.
International war events
Now, what about the topics we need to hear about but donít? Yes, another list is forthcoming. It is a very limited list but sufficient for you to understand some of what we need and do not receive.
Pending legislature and future implications and later voting by legislator, defining and categorizing each legislator by actions, not promises
Planned job eliminations via outsourcing or offshoring
Corporate investment decisions and amounts re. offshoring with job quality and loss statistics and impact on USA worker income and future national implications
Actual numbers of crimes per 1000 people, by type of crime, with probabilities of occurrence to the individual by locality
Exact behaviors of police agencies and social service agencies and individuals by case, along with final results, including court decisions by case
Quality of education by testing results/problem teachers and incompetently performing school administrators
Complete truth and robust descriptions in advertising
Lottery chances of winning expressed in simple odds
List of worst lending institutions and statistics about them
List of best lending institutions and best practices
Efficacy reporting re. crimes and reductions/increases, with plans and actions to stem the problems at the source rather than later through the police and the courts and penal systems
Medical cost and malpractice abuses by specific physicians and specific hospitals
Actual threats of military buildups by potential future enemy nations, e.g. China
At this particular time, May 1st, 2009, there are three representative deceptive topics receiving attention in the "news" that I find worth mentioning.
The first is the hype about a new variant of swine flu with human genetic characteristics that is being elevated to pandemic level. I have encountered literally dozens of scary articles just within the past two days, and the truth is that only one person has died in the USA, and that person was a Mexican infant transported into the USA to visit relatives. Only 130 USA citizens have contracted the flu, none have died and the rest are recovering as with any normal flu. In a normal year we lose 28,000 people to death by flu. The idea is that this flu has a low mortality rate and is unworthy of much attention at all, yet the WHO and other agencies like the CDC are acting like we are about to perish like we had the black plague. What the hell is wrong with our control of invalid news and hype?
The second topic concerns the Congress passing a bill to control abusive practices by the credit card banks. The point is the banks and their executives should be indicted for destructive practices that have/can/will destroy the lives of millions of common citizens, for most recently numerous banks doubled the credit card interest rates with no reason other than their own selfishness, and now families suffering job losses are truly strapped. The problem is that the final version of the bill will not be effective in rolling back what the banks have already done, so the problem isnít and wonít be solved and the common citizens are once again disempowered and turned into indentured servants, having done nothing wrong. They are, however, being punished for being sucked into bank advertising within the past few years allowing too much credit at lower interest rates. Are common citizens, by virtue of their limited intellect, automatically eligible to become victims of the credit card companies? Will we not protect the ignorant from financial predators through government?
The third topic concerns the stock market. The shills are at it constantly trying to convince the public to buy into the "recovery," when in fact there is no recovery. There is a 1400 point increase in the Dow Jones Industrial Average since its low point of around 6900, but that increase is purely a temporary increase due to massive government spending to shore up the banks and certain corporations. This is deception of the highest order, it is flat out dishonest, and there is no way the shills should be allowed to entice people to forget what just happened a.k.a. losing at least half the value of their stock holdings since last October. There is no real indication of improvements of any significant magnitude in the economy, so all the polls mean nothing Ö the common people are simply inured now regarding disaster, so any upward movement in the market or in consumer sentiment, no matter how small, is being hyped as the beginning of a return to good times. It is all false. Other current misdirections of that order are found in articles about the strong USA dollar, when in fact the massive spending will create the very hyperinflation that the "experts" are now saying wonít happen. Is not our federal government responsible for allowing these "news" abuses?
I am certain you understand my points. Many of the negative behaviors, i.e., those that hurt the population by deception and in some instances by later indentured servitude are committed by the most powerful people in the USA through corporations and banks, and those behaviors are not punished. The common citizens, however, are punished severely for acts that under examination should not even be designated as crimes, e.g. possession of small quantities of marijuana. There are no effective checks and balances on our federal government, state governments or on our businesses. The only time anything useful appears to happen (but in fact doesnít, especially in amount) is when the whole system implodes as it began doing in earnest during 2008.
Barack Obama was thus elected by the common citizens in terrified response to their being economically abused. Will his presidency and a Congress controlled by Democrats (who are in turn, like the Republicans, controlled by corporations through campaign contributions) turn things around? Donít hold your breath waiting, for you will surely perish. Of course, the news will keep you off balance while you are waiting. If you are not confused then our leaders have failed and they risk you taking power that belongs to you from them.
Now lets take a look at some of the long list of lies and hypes from the first list earlier in this article.
- Murder: The USA is tops in committed murders, totaling around 11,000 per year. Other "civilized" democracies in combination donít add up to that total. Yet, in a nation with 300 million people, an annual murder rate of 11,000 means the average probability of you being murdered is roughly one in thirty thousand. That is so small a number that even here your murder is entirely unlikely, unless of course you insist on visiting inner city high crime areas to sell your illegal drugs on some other drug lordís turf. Hmmm Ö Is this subject worthy of much reporting? When we have people literally go nuts and start shooting lots of other people is the problem "murder" or untreated mental problems? Is the solution gun control or better psychological testing on a routine basis for all the population, starting at a young age, so that identification and treatment preclude going postal?
- Rape: What is rape? The cleanest definition is forced sexual intercourse, sometimes accompanied by beating or strangling the victim. That is a hideous crime, for no human has the right to force any other human to do anything, sexual or non-sexual. Rape with violence is assault of the highest order barely below murder in severity, for it attacks and sometimes destroys the mental and/or physical health of the victim. And sometimes, without violence, it has few if any negative effects if the victim is emotionally sound before the fact. With that lead-in to the topic of rape it is now necessary to compare that vicious crime to comments made about murder above. How is it that we canít seem to identify burgeoning problems with problem individuals and act on that knowledge before the fact? Why do we report lots of sexual activities in the media that fail to meet the definition of rape given above? What is it about sex throughout human history that makes it such a big taboo unless done in specifically prescribed ways in specific situations according to some religion, government, etc? How is it that consensual sex between any two people, done in any way of their choosing, is subject to any scrutiny at all by any institution? I will make one exception and that is sex between an adult and a child or an adult with diminished mental capacity is bad because one of the participants is unable to form good judgments about consequences. It is not nice to take advantage of the weak, sexually or in ANY other way, including financial rape! Makes you think, doesnít it? The definition of the age of consent, however, is a real problem, for human sexual needs may or may not begin in either gender around puberty, and the real problem is unwanted pregnancies and/or STDís, not destruction of the mental or physical health of the potentially young healthy participant(s). In short, there is no particular age, post puberty, where sex should be considered to be a crime of assault, provided it is consensual. It is clearly not a felony if it is consensual. Church and government interference are simply ugly control mechanisms that harm the common citizens, with social disgrace and definitions of crimes that are pure garbage. These control rules and laws should be destroyed, for they serve no good end. They simply perpetuate prejudice and tunnel vision thinking. Think "birth control" and STD testing, not crime. Accept inevitable human behavior as determined by each individual as to time and consensual partner(s). Berate stigma.
- Child Abuse: What is child abuse? Briefly, anything that denies a child a physically or mentally healthy living environment is child abuse. There can be physical abuse, mental abuse and/or failure to feed and clothe and nurture the child in a manner that promotes normal maturation. There, that was easy to define, wasnít it? So how much child abuse do we have? What can be done about it? Is it always a crime or sometimes simply stupidity or selfishness on the part of the parent(s)? What is societyís role in alleviating this problem? No child deserves abuse of any sort from anyone, including other children, so we tend to want to take an active role on behalf of the helpless child. Unfortunately we donít have many if any good answers or responses, for two reasons. We donít really know the frequency or severity of child abuse at all except in extreme situations, and, we donít have any societal mechanism to stop the problem because there is no legal way to stop abusive parents from simply having more children. This is a problem of unlimited scope until we control the right to reproduce. As to media abuse, I suggest that media could do a far better job researching and reporting instances of child abuse. In that manner the media would have some societal value rather than simply being a business that thrives on sensationalism. Not likely, huh? I guess really important news is outside their purview.
- Child sexual molestation: Adults who force or lead children into sexual activity are in fact predators, and children do need to be protected from them. Unfortunately, efforts like Meganís Law havenít helped at all, at least on a percentage basis. Why? Well, the individuals identified as predators are frequently harmless and not the archtypical horrid raper and killer of children. The net was cast too wide with no distinction regarding specific circumstances, like limited mental capacity of the perpetrator, or severity of the crime, i.e. level of assault, or a combination of those characteristics. Law enforcement agencies do not have budgets set up to track the literally hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions now of post prison individuals subject to Meganís Law. Thus, all we really have done is give the media one more area of sensationalism to promote sales. That is disgusting. Were we to focus our efforts and our Meganís Law on truly dangerous child molesters, which we certainly can identify, then their tracking could be done well, and/or they could be made to live in areas of the country where no further children would be put at risk. Even better, how is it that we canít identify potential child molesters before the fact? I believe we have many indicators as children mature. We simply refuse to use that information to the advantage of our children. We choose to pick up the pieces after the crime instead of stopping it before the fact. How stupid!
- Kidnappings: These sensational tidbits come from nasty idiots for basically one of three causes. The first is economic when criminals extort money from wealthy people. The second is a domestic issue when a parent absconds with the children in a custody battle. The third is when a person (almost always a young girl) is abducted for rape and usually later murder. Kidnappings are a terrible crime because in all instances the victims are robbed of their right to decide where and with whom to be. Kidnapping is thus assault of a very high order and it is no wonder the media takes full advantage of the common citizens and their piqued interest in what will happen following the kidnapping. The various alert systems like Amber Alert do help, so this is one instance where media, especially broadcast media, can help locate the victim for subsequent rescue. As to frequency of occurrence, just think about how few times you hear about people being kidnapped in the course of a year, globally. I will bet you can sense that this happens about one time per year across the USA except for the custody type of kidnapping mentioned above. Thus, kidnappings generate great fear but with very tiny probability of happening to 99.99999 percent of the people. So why be afraid for you? If you have children, however, it is prudent, as always, to know in general where they are playing, and to know that someone, even an older child, is keeping an eye on your children and other children. The odds of abduction are actually extremely small and it is a pity that children do not engage in more outdoor unsupervised (by an adult) activities as we did until the 1980ís. This means that the created fear factor in abductions due to the media and police agencies has caused a gross societal change that is unwarranted and very damaging to the development of the children. The "boogie" man isnít gonna getcha! Do consider, however, the risk factor based on where you live, i.e., the inner city is dangerous, whereas upscale suburbs are not a good shopping area for predators, for there is almost always multiple people observing any vehicle passing through Ö and any sign of uncommon activity.
I need not go on with further examples from the original list. You understand my points and you are able to write about the other named topics if you have taken any time at all to learn how our society actually operates.
As to the subjects about which we receive little or no useful information, but which would be most useful to the common citizens in managing their lives, I will also defer to you to think about the items on the list and others that will surely occur to you.
I leave you with some parting thoughts, pulled from Destiny. Human life is valued based on the perceived value of the individual to the society, not because of any inherent legal, moral or religious rights. This fundamental invariant fact throughout history is why we can kill our citizens and those of other countries so easily in war, and have starving and/or homeless people in our country of great abundance. This also explains why some jobs pay so well while others pay so little. Equality is and has always been a gross deception foisted onto the populace to keep them from revolting and overthrowing the various governments. And due to intelligence deficiencies the common people are easy to fool and to misdirect.
So Ö what do we do if Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress fail to address our 2008/2009 economic disaster successfully for the common citizens? For now we will wait and see. Later Ö who knows? Will it be "newsworthy?" Is it even possible for a populist movement to maintain momentum in the face of media control and misuse Ö or do you see irrefutable evidence of the powerful continuing to steal from the weak?
Peace (at least for the present).