Luckily, We Have The Fed

Admittedly, I am more stupider than a lot of people when it comes to finances.  So someone please tell me how the stock market really works.  See, I thought the stock market reacted to what is going on in the economy.  I didn’t realize it was the economy.  

Apparently, I was wrong, because the Federal Reserve has announced an emergency rate drop to “fix” the stock market.

The Federal Reserve, confronted with a global stock sell-off fanned by increased fears of a recession, slashed a key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point on Tuesday and indicated further rate cuts were likely.

This move is not an instant fix,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics

“Fix” is actually the perfect word.  Markets can be “fixed” kind of like a fight or the World Series can be “fixed”. 

So let me get this straight.  We (individually and as a country) have borrowed too much money, which has us headed towards a recession.  The obvious solution?  Lower interest rates to banks, which allows them to lower interest rates to consumers, which allows them to borrow more money.  Makes sense right?  Right?

“You can’t borrow your way out of debt”–Dave Ramsey

So rest easy tonight, all of ye lower and middle income Americans.  Though the cost of milk, gasoline, and Coors Light doth drift higher whilst thou income remaineth the same, panic disturbs not the slumber of bankers, barons, and brokers.  So long as the DJIA remaineth propped by policy, politicians, and ponzi schemes, you need not be troubled by the frightful prospect of competing on a level playing field and moving forward.

Ah, what the hell!  You can just put it on your credit card, right?  Rates have never been lower!!!

Two Hours Late

Driving in this morning I was listening to all the school and business closings.  Several of them were running “two hours late.”  Here in the South, the slightest bit of snow or ice is enough to cause schools to open either one hour late, two hours late, or close altogether.  Basically, those are the only three options.

I was reminded of a day when I was in sixth grade and our school opened two hours late because of snow.  After we arrived, we spent at least another hour sitting in our homeroom class while the administration figured out how to schedule the rest of the day.  Not that I really minded sitting around and goofing off with my friends for an hour, but I remember wondering why they hadn’t planned for this in advance.

I mean, there were only 3 possible scenarios, and one (being closed) meant that they wouldn’t have to plan at all.

Was This Part Of The Dream?

I’ve wrestled for a couple of days on how to compose this post, and I’m still not sure I can do this idea justice.  I think the best way to frame it is to begin by quoting an email a friend sent to me on Saturday.  A little background–he has two small children who are enrolled in arguably the best pre-school in their city. 

When he picked up his kids last Friday and asked them what they’d learned, they told him about “Martin Luther The King”–very cute.  How sad it is that the lesson they learned about one of the greatest Americans in history is sprinkled with horrible ideas that totally contradict Dr. King’s message…

He helped black people. The white people weren’t nice to him. They put him in jail.  Yeah, and they killed him.
All black people are nice. White people are mean.
The white people hit him and wouldn’t go to school with him.

Those were direct quotes from the kids.   And as my friend pointed out:

By the way, before yesterday, they had absolutely no idea that
there were black people or white people.

There’s no better time than childhood to reinforce what kids already know to be true–that people should “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  I realize they are kids, and they obviously get some things mixed up.  And I also realize that they still don’t really grasp who Martin Luther King Jr. was.

But I don’t think “All _____ people are bad and all _____ people are good” is what Dr. King had in mind.  Fill in the blanks with any adjectives you want–black, white, red, yellow, Christian, Jewish, pretty, ugly, stupid, smart, rich, poor, Mexican, French, short, tall, fat, skinny, etc.–and that statement couldn’t be further from the truth.

It’s shameful when a great message like Dr. King’s is bastardized to further an agenda.  Knowing no other details that what I’ve shared here, I can’t say that’s what happened in their school.  I doubt the teacher(s) told these kids directly that “all white people are bad and all black people are good,” but if that’s the message that was received, they might as well have.

Marketing at the Pediatrician

Today we took our little Chick Pea for her 6 month checkup. We go to a large pediatric group, and today we saw our third doctor. One of the things about going to a large group is that each doctor has their own personality and style, but today I noticed one common thread with all of them–the word “perfect“. Of course, we think she’s perfect, but it’s a little strange that every doctor we see uses that word so often.

Do doctors sit in marketing classes that tell them to use this word to give parents a warm fuzzy feeling about their practice?

If they don’t, they should. It works.

***UPDATE***

Seth Godin lets us know that there is also a problem with perfect.

So It’s Not Just Me

Back before anyone read this blog *wink, cough*, I wrote a fairly snarky post about the absolutely ridiculous commercials for Yaz and Viva Viagra.  It seems I’m finally vindicated, as NewsComa is equally creeped out by the Viagra commercial.

Every now and then I make a mistake that seems fairly common among bloggers.  I come up with an idea that is so damn funny that I absolutely must get it published as soon as possible.  After all, the whole world is probably dying to know how unbelievably witty and clever I am, right?  I then spend the next couple of days checking every now and then to see how many hundreds of links and comments I’ve received.

So far I’m batting .000

I suspected my Yaz/Viagra post may fall into that category, so I went back an re-read it.  My conclusion:

I really am as clever and funny as I thought–maybe even funnier!

Sun Buys MySQL

I don’t write about tech stuff here too often, but since this blog, and most likely yours*, is backended by MySQL, it’s relevant. MySQL’s business model works like this–it’s free (as in beer) to use, but enterprise level users do pay the company for support. That’s what makes it so great for the web. People can back end blogs, content management systems, bulletin boards, and just about anything else they can imagine using freely available open-source tools. In fact, there’s even an acronym for the most commonly used tools working together (LAMP–Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP). For the end user, more than likely nothing will change.

So why does it matter to us that Sun now owns it? Because the fact that Sun owns it means that Google, Microsoft, and Oracle don’t own it.

Story

*HM, I know you do your own blog engining…mad props.

Bread and Milk

Wintery weather has been predicted to possibly occur somewhere in this vicinity.

In the South, that means one thing–get thee to a grocery to buy all the bread and milk you can fit into the cart.  You’re going to be stuck in your house (after all, the snow piles reaching as high as two inches will keep you from even opening the door) until the dusting of snow that covers a twenty yard stretch of half a lane of the four lane highway between your house and Kroger melts.  This could take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, and you’ll never make it to mid-morning without plenty of bread and milk.

Oh to be in college, when preparing for snow meant stocking up on beer, condoms, and stolen trays from the cafeteria to be used as sleds.

My Homies Shakespeare and Tupac

Taylor’s right. Shakespeare kicks serious ass. I would say he kicks more ass than Tupac, but he didn’t continue to publish works after his death, so I can’t go that far. But she has an interesting point–lots of kids aren’t into Shakespeare mostly because they aren’t into their teachers.

So, if you’re a high schooler trying to avoid reading Shakespeare because your teacher is telling you to do it, hear this: They’re right about him. But contrary to what your goofy-assed English teacher says as she swoons over some lines you barely understand, you don’t have to like him right now. The important thing is to NOT LET THE ENGLISH TEACHER KILL IT FOR YOU.

In my case, the school system in general screwed it up by introducing us to Romeo and Juliet first. I guess because it’s “easiest” to get? Dunno.

Anyway, when I read Hamlet, I couldn’t believe how great Shakespeare was. I was kicking myself that I’d not gotten everything from Julius Caesar I should have the previous year.

I attempted to make up for my iambic pentameteric deficiencies in college, but ended up studying just enough Shakespeare (one semester) to know how much more there is out there and that I’d barely even scratched the surface. Although, I’d make the argument that one of the side effects of really learning is that you find out how much you don’t know.

So here’s the advice that I’m almost 100% sure no one will take–kids, read all the Shakespeare you can while you have the time and someone willing to fill in all the stuff you don’t catch on your own and answer your questions.

Good Lesson From a Newspaper Guy

From Michael Silence: 

Here’s a rule of thumb: It is not incumbent upon you to prove a document is public. It is incumbent upon a government employee to prove it is not.

*Read the story which prompted that nugget.  Interesting:

Ms. Long again stated that they were not public and would not be public until today. After I insisted that they were public, she finally said she just didn’t care and handed me the bids to review.

*Not Knox County–YAY!

Ron Paul’s Next Move

Ron Paul’s campaign is at a serious crossroads. This time last week he was armed with a treasure chest full of cash, an army of enthusiastic supporters, and even though he hadn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the Republican nomination, a third party run was looking promising.

This time next week, he may have nothing left but the cash.

His refusal to name the author of the controversial statements that appeared in his newsletters has many of his supporters questioning his candidacy.

So what should he do to fix this problem? I’ve spent the last couple of days up in the attic drinking absinthe and analyzing this problem with my political genius, and I think I’ve found the answer.

If I were him, I’d start by asking my supporters to just chill for a minute.

From what I’ve been reading, they seem to be the only people who are making a big deal out of it. The mainstream media, who we’ve all complained from day one are out to get him, have more or less given him a pass on this. It’s already blown over with everyone except for his supporters, who seem hell bent on imploding.

Does the sky always have to be falling? No one thinks he wrote or believes any of the racist stuff in the newsletters. Those who say they do are only saying so for political reasons.

Just let it go. You didn’t see Bill Clinton’s supporters in 1992 and 1996 demanding a list of all the chicks he’d banged, did you?