There's a humorous old question that goes; "How do you know when a politician is lying to you? His lips are moving!" This one goes all the way back to Mark Twain, humorist and sharp observer of human nature and politics. Others, including Will Rogers used this line or similar ones quite often as well, and not always in connection with politics. The fact is, people working for personal gain alone often tell outright lies, or to put it in a more Politically Correct way, "shade the truth." Sometimes they are so far "out in the shade" that it's too dark to see the truth!
There used to be firm rules as to ethical behavior, and people were held to it. But for many years now, ethics and truth have taken a back seat to the quest for greed and power. When some higher up in government speaks, he's usually "shading the truth" to further his personal ambitions or cover his butt. Often whole groups lie to cover the treachery of their political party. And the minions of BOTH political parties do it regularly.
Here's an overused lie; "I'm sorry." Really? Have you ever watched "Cops" which is one of the first and longest running reality shows on TV? The criminals often say "I'm sorry." Have you ever been on Jury Duty, or watched trials on TV? I have done both, and "I'm sorry" often comes up, especially during sentencing. Sometimes it is sincere, most times it is not.
Actually, most criminals are sorry that they got caught, not that they did the crime. When politicians get caught, they always say they're sorry, but again, sorry that they were caught! The worst offenders of all are major corporations. When they or their management get caught, they're sorry because that is what the army of corporate lawyers tell them to say. Generally these days the case must be airtight and beyond negotiating away because the company will "settle" for an "out of court settlement" and not be "found guilty of wrongdoing." And that, my friends is a crock of that well known odious substance!
To do such a maneuver is in reality an agreement to lie. The company DID wrong, but through the magic of lawyers gets to pay off somebody or some group and catch a bye. The lawyers, the prosecutors, and the top management of the company should all go to prison for "making a deal." "Take it to the bank" that where BIG money is involved, corruption quickly follows!
For instance, Toyoda knew for more than a decade that they had a serious problem with unintended acceleration in their cars, but nothing was done. In this country and Canada the deaths started to pile up, but generally went unnoticed until the body count reached into the hundreds and a light was thrown on the trouble. Even then, Toyoda denied the problem or downplayed it.
That's when Toyoda went into "damage control mode." They came up with all kinds of excuses, it was the floor mat sliding around, but the crashes kept happening. The gas pedal was faulty, but the crashes kept happening. (Interesting that the faulty pedal design and floor mats had never been upgraded before, despite the ongoing problem of ten years.)
Independent labs ran tests and found the electronics were at fault. Toyoda, which uses special codes that are unavailable to non-Toyoda technicians, tried to sue the private labs for Hacking this code. But by then, the entire thing was in the public eye. Toyoda officials were dragged before Congress and grilled mercilessly, they all said "I'm sorry."
They were sorry they got caught and it was going to cost them millions. But behind the scenes, a "deal" was being cut. The government suddenly back tracked and claimed they couldn't find a problem. What this amounted to was that Toyoda got off cheap and the cases of dozens of attorneys were undermined. American corporations who had been raked over the coals for similar and even lesser problems cried foul. The government's head man for highway safety resigned in disgust. But the "fix was in" and the whole "agreement" was a lie.
And so, years later, we have the air bag shrapnel problem in millions of cars, both foreign and domestic. The danger is real, the public outraged, Congress makes a lot of noise, and then it all just "goes away." So much for our government protecting us, or the much touted Japanese "honor."
Another example was the BP caused Gulf Oil Spill. BP officials were forced to say "I'm sorry" but the company got off FAR cheaper than it should have by making deals with corrupt government officials. Had Harry Truman been in office during the Gulf Spill, BP's top management would have been in prison for the rest of their lives and the company itself crushed out of existence by fines and penalties. As it was, the total fines and damages have amounted to less than the BP profits for a single year!
But it doesn't take a product recall or disaster to find a lack of truth. Modern advertising is often a lie. On television, there used to be FCC standards and there was a well known rule called "truth in advertising." When I was in broadcasting in the late sixties and early seventies, this was a hard and fast rule everyone in the business followed closely. When I returned for a couple of years in the early 2000's, this rule was mostly ignored and the FCC investigation powers seem to have been gutted.
Television is the main advertising media today, with Internet being a close second and print advertising being way down the food chain. Like most of us, I see advertising on TV everyday that is "shading the truth" or an outright lie, and I'm sure most of you have noticed this too. For instance a LOT of companies say how they "care about the customer" or "always have the lowest prices and the highest quality."
Bull cookies! There is no way that any corporation can maintain the highest quality of a product and still have the lowest price! Something has to be cut somewhere. And care about the customer? Well, they DO care, right up to the moment you've handed over your money. After that, who knows? In both cases, it's up to you to keep your paperwork and PROVE you were misled. And if you DO go after a big company, be prepared to be confronted with an army of corporate attorneys who will cajole and threaten to tie you up for years and drain your finances. But remember...they care....about themselves.
One of the worst offenders is the world's largest retailer: Wal-Mart. They are so big and so well equipped that any falsehoods they perpetrate never get to the point that they have to say "I'm sorry." Products are often shabby to the point that well known manufacturers print labels on their boxes that "This product was made specifically for Wal-Mart." That is because they are forced by Wal-Mart to make a product below even the manufacturer's lowest quality specifications or be frozen out of Wal-Mart stores.
In other cases, Wal-Mart owns (usually through a "front company") sweat shop operations world wide. Truth be known, if Wal-Mart was a nation, the UN would be after them for human rights violations. Quality is generally poor and prices are kept low. And even with all that, their claim of "Always low prices, always" is a lie. Many times small, Main Street retailers have lower prices, and if the Wal-Mart is in an area where they have crushed other retailers out of business, the price is higher than other Wal-Mart stores.
They talk about having multiple security cameras "for your protection." But at most Wal-Marts, parking lot crime is higher than normal because the cameras are actually aimed at employee smoking areas or other locations where employees might be loafing or talking about unionizing. After a rash of parking lot assaults and robberies at 12 California Wal-Marts, the local Sheriff found that there were NO cameras on their customer parking areas, but several in the employee gathering areas. No company representative ever said "I'm sorry" because legally they can put cameras wherever they wish as a private corporation. Concern for their customers? Yeah, right.
When it comes to corporate advertising, it might be even LESS truthful than government, and that is an accomplishment! I do a LOT of research and most of the time there is a "back story" or a half truth that turns up something wrong with what we're being told. It's become even easier lie to the public because the public has been purposely distracted or has so little common sense that they don't even ask pertinent questions, but just accept what they're told!
Politicians and corporations have learned how to use "mis-information" or deceptions from watching how the CIA, NSA, or "Black Projects" have been doing it for decades. Most advertising is loaded with razzle-dazzle and little real information. Only ads for certain medications tell some of the truth because they are still required to do so by law. But that's okay because they are making so much profit they don't feel the need to lie!
So is everything a lie? With few exceptions, yes! At least to some extent. The whole truth is about as easy to find as an active hooker in a convent! It seems that anyone or any business beyond a certain level of power and wealth no longer needs to tell the truth, and knowing they will not be held to the truth, will say just about anything.
As with more and more events we see today, it's up to us, the general public, the customers, to weigh what we're being told and decide what to do because ethics no longer seem to exist and the justice system can be bought and paid for. The next time you see a TV commercial or read an Internet ad, stop and really think about what you're being told. It's most likely a bunch of B.S. designed to separate you from your money, your vote, or anything else you have left that might be of value! Buyer Beware!