I’ve been thinking about “it is.” Actually I’ve been thinking about Walter Cronkite, media “information,” unemployment, the stock markets, Korea, Gaza, the BP oil disaster, and the Obama Administration. I grew up watching the iconic Walter Cronkite deliver the evening news. It was in times of major troubles much like those of our own now. Cronkite was a real journalist (as were Jennings, and Huntley and Brinkley). You felt you were being fed real “meat” and left those newscasts with a sense of knowledge that helped you relate and really TH*NK about the problems. In a way, you felt a part of the solution; not just another victim of it. Cronkite ended each broadcast with “and that’s the way it is...”
You see the current situation leaves me wanting far more. I truly feel that unless “We the people...” are given a fair (and honest) summary of the events and facts unfolding before us now, we will be unprepared when these drama(s) play out. AND, we will see no real change. We are deeply plagued with a corrupt and non-functioning system of (former) checks and balances which neither can be fixed, nor corrected as they are. We need real change. Our government is a bloated, power and debt driven calamity where the first order of business is to get elected, to get re-elected, or to pad your nest so much that when you decide to get out of government (or are thrown out), you have a nice financial cushion and a means to continue on with a cash flow well above that of the American people you supposedly served. A perfect storm of multinational problems has developed, and it is an election year. 1,400 former elected officials now function in DC as lobbyists. And that’s the way it is... or is it?
The foundations are cracking and THAT is a good thing. Virtually everywhere you look the scummy truth is floating to the surface. We ARE in a recession/ depression!!! In recent past, such downturns were only admitted when the government could legitimately say it was over. Or, at least their fix of printing money and increasing debt had stimulated a continuity of consumption. Now what had worked, isn’t working... but the government and their corporate partners in crime continue the spin. They hope and pray that no one will notice their scam. Well, guess what? Some of the public is catching on, and are mad as hell. And, that’s the way it is... or is it?
The unemployment crisis is central to our present dilemma(s) and is the key to any recovery. The government needs a turnaround badly, but their bag of magic (fluffing) tricks and accounting games is empty. Last week we learned that in May 431,000 jobs were created. WOW!!! What Uncle $ugar didn’t tell us was that 411,000 of those “jobs” were temporary census counters soon to terminate, and that the 431,000 increase included yet another 200,000 plus due to death and retirements in the work force. We actually lost ground --- this being a further decrease in employment. And that’s the way it is... or is it?
The stock markets continue their roller coaster ride --- up and down (the Dow down 323.31 points last Friday). The financial pundits and Uncle $ugar’s talking heads have blamed this on Greece, Korea, the EURO, Gaza, and Iran. This makes no sense to me at all. These foreign calamities should (and traditionally would have) made the dollar denominated assets in the US more sought after. But NO!!! The truth is that at the core of these downturns is the fact that the backing behind US markets are as inherently unsound as the rest of the world, maybe worse. And that’s the way it is... or is it?
Developments on the Korean peninsula got zero coverage. Kim Jong-Il is a certifiable Looney Toon who has even become an embarrassment to his Chinese benefactors. Like many other world leaders he needs a war to rally his people behind him. A South Korean vessel was sunk (by the North Koreans no doubt) a month ago. “Kimmy” has a MILLION armed troops on the “demilitarized” zone waiting for the orders to march. The South is an ally of the US, meaning??? And that’s the way it is... or is it?
Conditions in Gaza rival or surpass those of the Warsaw Ghetto pre-WWII. Israel has an embargo on all that enters the strip. A flotilla of foreign aid and much needed building supplies, food, and medical items was stopped in international waters and nine civilians (including an American teenager) were killed. Israel does whatever it wants and is an ally of the US, meaning??? Now Iran has offered to escort the next convoy to Gaza. OYE!!! And that’s the way it is... or is it?
The BP oil disaster continues. The news of recent successes in curtailing the sludge flow comes from... well, BP. President Obama staged a photo op on a beach that had been cleaned by 300 plus ”volunteers” just before the filming. Meanwhile... further down the coast we see a shot of an oil caked pelican. Do we believe the President... or the pelican? (I’m going for the bird.) And that’s the way it is... or is it?
I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2009 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This story was published on June 7, 2010.