it might snow — gotta buy milk & bread!

The weather here in Arkansas can be so random… yesterday I was outside playing tennis because it was 62 degrees, and tomorrow we’re expecting from 2 to 8 inches of snow.  For those of you from the north, that amount of snow probably means nothing.  But here, where it snows maybe once or twice a year, it’s a big deal.  It’s been all over the news.  And there was even a segment on the news dedicated to people buying all the milk and bread because snow was mentioned in the weather forecast.

According to the news program, some people rush out to buy milk and bread before potential snow not because of the snow, but because other people will be buying milk and bread because of the snow.  So who started that cycle?  It’s not like we ever have more than a couple days of wintry weather, and it’s not like you can’t eat if you run out of milk and bread for a day or two.  So why is it such a big deal?

I wonder if that happens anywhere else but the South.  If there’s any readers north of here, do you experience anything like that?  I’d guess not, because road crews clear the roads quickly.  Here, if snow sticks to the road, the town shuts down.  People start leaving work when they see snow falling.  When I used to work for a large IT corporation, I worked with clients in Chicago and New York City, and they would be shocked that people couldn’t get into work for two inches of snow.  But that’s how it is.  The roads don’t get cleared quickly, and there is little to no public transportation, and there’s often some amount of ice, whether initially or the next day.  That may seem weird, the town closing down, but I kinda like it.

Hopefully we’ll get a LOT of snow so I can build giant snow creations (like a snow castle).  And of course, a day or two off work is nice…  🙂

Jon Stewart on the economic collapse

There’s a video clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart that I’ve been meaning to link to.  The topics discussed aren’t “breaking news” anymore, but they’re still relevant — such as America’s financial troubles caused by Wall Street firms.   If you haven’t seen this episode before, it’s worth watching.  This clip is only 10 1/2 minutes long.  (I will warn you that there’s a little bit of crude language, although most is beeped out.)

The first part is about a bipartisan financial reform bill that was in the works for 2 years, led by Chris Dodd and Bob Corker.  Eventually, Dodd decided to put out his own bill, which contained regulation that should’ve been implemented the day after the financial crisis began.   If you’re short on time, you can skip to around 4:20 of the video to get to the better part.

Jon Stewart explains why Lehman Brothers imploded, according to a bankruptcy examiner’s report, and he shows how Lehman Brothers hid their worthless junk holdings — some $50 billion.  And Citicorp did the same thing, and Goldman Sachs fueled AIG’s gambles.   And supposedly no one at Lehman Brothers is going to jail for what they did, even though they intentionally deceived everyone watching them by hiding $50 billion of worthless securities (which in some circles is considered fraud).

The best part of the video begins at 6:20, where Jon Stewart discusses the Supreme Court case that says corporations have the same rights as individuals.   So what if individuals had the same rights as corporations?  Jon Stewart puts it in perspective in a way only he can, and it’s classic.  Here’s the link:

The Daily Show: In Dodd We Trust

I don’t always watch The Daily Show, but sometimes it reports more on the important and controversial news than the full-time news networks, and Stewart makes it funny.  Humor is important at a time like this.  It can be very disheartening to see our country’s economy (and our freedoms) being destroyed from the inside out by large corporations, Congress, and the Obama administration.  Receiving that distressing news with some injected humor makes it a little easier to swallow.  (What’s the old song say — “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”)

Chick-fil-A randomness

In celebration of Cow Appreciation Day, Chick-fil-A is running this promotion:

“On July 9, prove you’re no chicken and visit your local Chick-fil-A fully dressed like a cow and receive a FREE Chick-fil-A Meal in celebration of the Cows’ favorite holiday.”

If you have (or can get) a cow costume and don’t mind looking silly, you can get free food.  I wonder how many people do this every year…

It’s nice to see corporations that have a sense of humor.  More companies should follow suit.

Why is the economy still a debacle?

As you know, the U.S. economy has been in bad shape for a while now, and the government just issued a $700 billion bailout to fix the mess.  But I’m hearing in the news that things are still bad on the economic front.  I don’t understand…

I realize these corporations are huge and complicated, but how long should it take to feel the effects of billions of dollars?  I can envision it helping really quick.  (Just imagine if you were given a billion dollars, how long it would take to fix your economic problems.)

The government gave these billions of dollars to the financial experts, the people who have been in the industry for years, the people who run the critical companies — the mortgage lenders, the big banks, the insurers, the credit card issuers, etc.  These are the people who have the authority in their companies to make the difficult decisions, to make a difference.  These people are paid big bucks to know what they’re doing.  These people are… um… the people who… uhh… got us into this mess in the first place…  OH, NO!  WHAT HAVE WE DONE???