Thursday, April 21, 2011

Things You Can't Know, and for other purposes

((((whenever they introduce legislation, they cryptically describe what the bill is supposed to do, then add the phrase, "and for other purposes". I'm for abolishing that practice. It has nothing much to do with this post))))

Quite often you will hear governmental agencies, police, charities, the friggin Ad Council announce that some practice or restriction has saved X number of lives. In reality, there is no way of knowing how many lives their pet projects saved.

The reason it can't be known was quite eloquently illustrated in Mark Twain's short story, The Mysterious Stranger.

For example, they may claim that a general road block to filter out drunk drivers saves lives, and it may seem like it does. Usually it is more successful at nabbing people with too many parking tickets, past due license renewal or broken tail lights.

What if, because of that simple delay, Sally did not meet Biff at the local art gallery, and therefore the chance that they would produce a child named Dexter was lost?

Dexter would have been conceived at just the right time and temperature for all the genes and juices to create a benevolent super genius. Dexter would have raced through his education, obtaining a doctorate by age 13, and by age 20 he would have found they key to curing AIDS, as well as the common cold, cancers of all sorts, and psoriasis.

But no! Officer Dimwitty of the El Cajon branch of the CA Highway Patrol, and his sidekick Officer Juan Mamaculo, had to put up a roadblock, delaying some drivers more than others. They spent just enough extra time trying to look down Sally's blouse, asking stupid questions, that by the time she arrived at the gallery, Biff had hit the road. Fate had been duped by the Man.

So, in reality many lives which would have been saved were lost. We can't know that will happen, but we can't know it won't.

That debunks assertions that they know how many lives are saved.

Anyway, after the fate twisting roadblock Sally marries a sociopath who does things of which I cannot speak. Her life is forever plunged into darkness and despair. Biff becomes the Democratic congressman from East San Diego county and introduces a bill requiring everyone to fly naked, wrapped in ten layers of plastic wrap, with little holes poked in it so you can breathe.

Biff's bill results in a drastic increase in the cost of air travel, and necessitates that everyone arrive at the airport 6 hours in advance so they can be stripped, wrapped and loaded by conveyor into the aircraft.

The country then wonders what happened to the air travel industry. Like always, when things go awry, the public media take on it is that it somehow mysteriously happened all of a sudden. Cause and effect has been stricken from the collective mind. Perhaps it has something to do with sensitivity or giving back, or chem trails--who knows?

Because the airline industry demise is so bewildering, the president initiates a plan to bail out the airlines at a cost of 3 trillion dollars.

It turns out the bailout money is not closely followed so the CEOs who supported the president's campaign are able to receive huge bonuses and billion dollar salaries before their companies declare bankruptcy and they resign to take prestigious jobs in the executive branch of government. Then Congress authorizes a second bailout to keep the companies from going under and to get them out of bankruptcy.

All because of a life saving roadblock.

This is what happens when you have policies which treat everyone as guilty before proven innocent and 4th amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure are ignored.

The public was assured by the cheerful TV newslady that "it's a lot safer out on the highways this holiday season!!" She may have had something else to say, but I got distracted trying to look down her blouse.

1 comment:

Can't make comments any easier, I don't think. People are having trouble--google tries to kidnap them. I'll loosen up one more thing and let's see. Please give it a try

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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