Thursday, July 17, 2008

Freddie and Fannie Manage What Al Qaeda Could Not

What is that? Scare the holy crap out of me.

Sure, 9/11 was horrific and scary, I will never deny that. It has to be the most traumatic moment in my life and the lives of many, but for those of us who just watched it on TV, who lived thousands of miles away from New York and D.C., who didn't know anyone who was lost, it didn't cause us (or at least me) to start looking over our shoulders. I have read of many people in New York City who still cringe today when a plane flies over. That makes sense; those poor people lived through it; I just watched it on the television.

And after it happened and was over, this administration (or maybe it was the media) didn't help to actually make me concerned that we were living in a war zone. I live in NW Florida, who would attack here? Much scarier for those in big cities, I am certain. But the news reports on how and wear to buy gas masks and masking tape (cause I am going to turn off the AC and put plastic over everything when it is 95 outside) plus those stupid terror alerts that NEVER made sense. It all seemed to make a mockery of the horror that this nation had experienced. It still does with all the BS TSA puts us through when we try to fly.

But now! Gasoline is over $4.00/gallon, people are losing their jobs in enormous numbers (I don't care what the unemployment rate is. They only count those receiving benefits, people), there are people who are having to choose between gas to heat their homes and paying their mortgage, on paper I have lost $13,000 in the equity on my home in the last few months, not to mention the actual money I have lost in my 401k. And Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are floundering.

I know the government will bail them out (at what cost to the rest of us?), but the fact that they NEED bailing out is making me sick to my stomach. I am only 41, so obviously, I don't remember the Great Depression, but I remember pictures of the runs on the banks. I remember my history. And I am amazed that there are so many who still deny the presence of a recession, when it seems to me that we are in the middle of one. The question I have is not, how long till the recession ends? But, when does it officially become a Depression? (I don't think we covered that in my Econ classes).

Then to top it off, fellow blogger Fallenmonk, has two posts that really knocked the wind out of my sails. This one from yesterday:

Can your family survive two weeks or a month without having access to a grocery store? Do you have enough of the basics like rice, beans, flour, corn meal, dry milk, cooking oil, charcoal, salt and whatever else you might need in the cupboard right now? Do you have a Victory Garden? If not you are at risk. This is deadly serious. You need to really consider your preparedness. Even if you buy some stuff now that you can't use before it spoils you can always donate it to a food bank and write it off.

And this one from today:

For what it is worth, and forgive me please for being frank, not being prepared to protect yourself and your family in case of natural catastrophe, nuclear war, or societal collapse is just plain stupid. I'm not saying you have to go overboard and be prepared to survive for six months with no outside contact but just make a reasonable effort to be prepared for a month or 6 weeks of limited access to food and or lack of utilities. It's just prudent.

Now, maybe reading this on top of just re-reading Stephen King's The Stand*over the weekend has contributed to my general over the top reaction to Fallenmonk's beliefs. And it is Hurricane Season here on the World's Most Beautiful Beaches, so we have canned food, bottled water, candles, flashlights and batteries, at least enough for a week, at all times. But a month? I have a 19 year old living in my house. Do you know how much he eats?

This is scary stuff and while my bff, P, thinks I am becoming a little bit of a doomsdayer** I will be picking up extra dry beans, corn meal, peanut butter, canned chicken and tuna, dried milk and crackers at the grocery store this weekend. And I ENSURE that DSD gets that blasted tank filled for the grill.

And maybe I will hold off on that flat panel TV I wanted for football season. That is a lot of money to spend right now.

*I re-read The Stand once a year or once every other year. I love that book. And, since it is about the end of the world, it scares me every single time.

**Not a doomsdayer if any of it comes to pass. And why not be prepared?


Shel said...

It's always good to be prepared for the worst. Denying that the worst could happen is not an effective preparation strategy, in my opinion.

And, I thought you might appreciate this story on CNN:

fallenmonk said...

I didn't mean to scare you, really. I know you guys are ready for the occasional hurricane but a slight blip in the oil supply that leads to issues with the food delivery system in this country and we are looking at bad news.
I do logistics for a living and I just know how fragile the system is. I do take my own advice as well. Extra dry goods. Extra water. Extra propane tank and extra charcoal. Plenty of candles and first aid supplies and yes even extra ammo. Though I must admit my wine supply is down to probably only a month or two!