October 24, 2008

The Real Deal

Perhaps, some of us still have our heads in the sand concerning the real state of affairs when it comes to the hardship which has hit a large part of our population, in different parts of the country, but not all of us do.

The following account, from another friend of mine, gives a pretty clear picture of what is beginning to happen all around us. It may be a little more subtle, in different areas, but it is happening, no matter how much spin is put on the actual facts, trying to soothe the harsh reality of it.

My friend is an educated man--a practical thinker, with keen, observational skills. I think what he has to say will give some insight into what is happening to real people, in real life. Any of these people he speaks of could be our neighbors, our friends, and unfortunately, our very own family.

Here's what he said, in his own words:

Everyone knows the media is not interested in telling people the news. Instead, their primary concern is twisting the news to suit their own agenda. If a newscaster on CNN said it was raining outside my house, I'd get up and go look for myself before I gave their statement any credence.

So when they ramble on and on about lost jobs and the situation in the country, you know they're just reading teleprompters, parroting whatever comes across the screen mindlessly.

Three things occurred this week that gave me some indication of how events are effecting people out in the real world. Not news anchors with six digit salaries, but real people. First , I had lunch with someone I've known for more than ten years. She's a divorced woman, about my age, who lives in an apartment in Atlanta. Her 401 K statement listed the value of her account at $147,900 the previous quarter. Her next statement arrived this week, and her account is now valued at less than $37,000. That's a lot of money to lose in a three month period.

The next day, I had a quick lunch at a local fast food place. One of the women who works there has a son that I taught when he was in fifth grade. He was a good kid, well behaved and intelligent. His parents had great hopes for him. Then his father lost his job when the plant he had worked at for years shut down. Now the whole family is living off savings and the mother's meager income from the fast food place. The husband is about my age, had specialized skills, and can't buy a job now. She told me they can't get a student loan, so instead of going to college they are trying to find something for him at a tech school.

I talked with a small businessman who had a $200,000 line of credit at his bank. He used it to cover the gaps between invoicing and receiving payment that all small businessmen have to deal with. His banker called him this week and told him the line was being canceled. They said it was nothing to do with his credit, that he had been an excellent customer for nearly thirty years. But they just couldn't continue the line. How is he going to make do now?

So all this is real, and the bland, smiling faces mouthing platitudes on the television screen have no idea what's really going on. Why should they care, they aren't going to lose their jobs.

Just Another Unfortunate Hoax

It's really too bad that there are people out there with obvious emotional issues, craving the attention they get when they do something like this.

Ms. Todd, who claimed to have been robbed, and assaulted, having a "B" scratched into her face, simply because she displayed a McCain bumper sticker on her car--giving the impression that it must have been an Obama supporter-- has admitted that it was not true.

She has joined the ranks of many others who have made false claims against innocent people. Some who come to mind are Tawana Brawley, who was fifteen when she accused six white men of raping her, back in 1987, which turned out to be a hoax, and racially motivated.

And then there was the case of the black stripper who accused three of the Duke University la crosse players of rape, a false accusation which could have destroyed the lives of three young men. The incident did destroy the career of Durham N.C. District Attorney, Mike Nifong, who was determined to hang those young men, high and dry, and truth be damned. It seems that race and politics were at work in this case.

The two cases mentioned incited deep, racially motivated emotions on both sides, which in itself is a shame. But when something happens, as in the case of Ms. Todd, it incites not only racial, but also politically toxic feelings.

I suppose that there will always be those who will risk their own pride and dignity, for their fifteen minutes of fame, and being the center of attention, for whatever it's worth.

Worse, though, is the fact that there will always be those just waiting for something like the incident with Ms. Todd to happen, so they can gloat, throw more mud, and cast more aspersions at the other political party.

When it comes to that, I'm afraid that both political parties come out less than lily-white.

Obama Breaks His Promise On Public Financing

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

Maybe, Sir Walter Scott had Senator Barack Obama in mind when he penned those words.

It looks like Senator Barack Obama has had plenty of practice, and has become quite an expert in the art of deceiving.

Have you been wondering where all the money is coming from to support his underhanded campaign, and how it is that he seems to have a bottomless coffer when it comes to funding his ads, designed to deceive his devoted followers into giving him even more, untraceable, dollars?

It seems that Obama and his campaign have plenty of devious ways to accomplish his agenda, and what is worse, it seems that there are plenty of people out there willing to let them get away with it.

But tell me this: Can anything good come of something founded on lies and deception?

For instance:
"It turns out, for example, that credit card companies deploy a variety of security measures to guarantee the processing of electronic transactions. For campaign giving, the key safeguards are vendor address verification, country of residence, and proof of citizenship. We now know that Obama operatives at the campaign’s website have disabled the security settings on vendor identity to expedite online donations, gifts that then speed through to fund election activities that would be flagged as illegal under normal FEC reporting standards."

Read this, and more, in "Obama's Fundraising Fraud," an excellent article exposing the corruption, written by Donald Douglas.