Bag of Randomness for Thursday, March 19, 2020

Gosh, this week is dragging on. I’m not sure if it’s mainly because my kids are home for spring break, the pandemic, cancellation of baseball and softball practice, and having housework done and not having any furniture downstairs. It’s probably a combination of things, and you can add to it the uncertainty of knowing how long the kids will be forced to stay at home. I love my family and all, but I like having them gone during the day. You know, that whole absence makes the heart grow fonder kinda things.

Yesterday, Kellyanne Conway stated her husband, George Conway, is a half-Asian. So, now WifeGeeding and she have something in common. And, now I’m contemplating if I should add George to my highly out-dated BagOfNothing Half-Asian Hall of Fame.

The federal agency I work at asked us to limit our Skype video sharing because the increase of users working from home is stressing our capabilities.

The latest Star Wars movie has a great John Williams’ cameo and Easter egg tribute. Williams plays a bartender outside a droid shop. Every piece of seemingly random stuff that populates the area where Williams’ character is standing represents one of the 51 films for which he’s been Oscar-nominated. Examples include Indiana Jones’ whip from Raiders of the Lost Ark, the barrels from Jaws, and the iron from Home Alone. You can read more about it here.

Mark Cuban says bailed out companies should never be allowed to buy back their stocks ever again

“No buybacks. Not now. Not a year from now. Not 20 years from now. Not ever,” Cuban said on “Squawk Box.” “Because effectively you’re spending taxpayer money to buyback stock and to me that’s just the wrong way to do that.”

He also said, “Whatever we do in a bailout, make sure that every worker is compensated and treated equally — in that the executives don’t get rewarded extra to stick around because they got nowhere else to go.”

I have a few ideas I’d like to see happen for any company which takes a federal bailout.  And I’ll be honest, I haven’t given these hardly any thought, I’m coming up with these on a whim.

  • For the next five years, the highest salary can be no more than fifty times that of the lowest-paid full-time employee. So if the lowest-paid full-time employee makes $35,000, then the top salary at the business could only be $1,750,000 (50 x 35,000).
  • Executive bonuses would be eliminated for this time period.
  • For all airline travel, no chartered jets, no business or first-class seating.

Kevin Bacon Encourages Social Distancing With Sweet ‘6 Degrees’ Campaign

On Wednesday, the “Footloose” actor took to Instagram to share his new #IStayHomeFor initiative to promote social distancing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Inspired by the pop culture phenomenon “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” Bacon encouraged his followers to share who they’re staying home for to prevent the spread of the virus.

What Will ESPN Do Without Sports?

From March Madness to Major League Baseball, auto racing to international soccer, leagues and events have been suspended, postponed, and outright canceled, all in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The result for the sports world is an abrupt and unplanned hiatus — an indefinite, all-encompassing athletic shutdown that has left ESPN, the self-proclaimed “worldwide leader in sports,” facing a vast programming void. In March and April alone, ESPN will have to replace 60 lost NBA regular season and playoff games, 28 MLS matches, the entire NCAA women’s basketball tournament, and a number of other games and events

Here’s an interesting art installation in Marfa, TX by Marc Thorpe called Citizens of Earth.

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5 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Thursday, March 19, 2020

  1. Bizarro Big Tex says:

    I like both your and Cuban’s ideas. To these great thoughts, I would add that a certain number of board seats be given to the Federal Government for the duration of the loan, based on the amount borrowed from the U. S. Treasury. If you borrow half the assessed value of the company, Federal folks with expertise in your company’s area would get half the board seats, etc. And at least one board officer would have to be one of those Feds. I’m looking at you Boeing. And as part of the qualification process, the company would have to be domiciled in the good old U. S. (not in an offshore tax haven) AND paying full United State taxes. Looking at you Norwegian Cruise Line, Halliburton, and General Electric, to name but a few. When the loan is paid off, those Fed board members step off the board immediately. If you want our U. S. tax dollars, the deal is you have our agents sitting at the board table while our money is in play.

    • Bryan B. says:

      Small government me started yelling “no, no, no, never” like so much Norm Hitzges when I read your second sentence, but I was totally on board with that idea by the end.

      • Bizarro Big Tex says:

        Bryan B., I too am small government most of the time, except when bad actors continue to act bad repeatedly. The financial meltdown in 2007-08, where the U. S. Government just threw tons of greenbacks at banks, brokerages, and investment houses without linking it to systemic reform drove me crazy. Have banks changed how derivatives are tracked and booked? No. They still don’t know how much is at risk in the derivative market. Nobody does. Are they using average citizen deposits to play the currency trading game again? Yes. Do they still sell investment products based on faulty rating reviews? Yes. Wall Street is repeating the same bad behavior. That’s why I am breaking my small government vow and saying let’s marshal the overseers this time before the Treasury checks are cashed by American Industry and Businesses.

        DF Steve Eisman & DF FrontPoint Partners

  2. Bryan B. says:

    This week has been ridiculously slow. Last Wednesday feels like it was a month ago. Because of Spring Break, Sunday was my first full day off after working 13 in a row. I woke up around 9am and went to bed at 10pm and felt like I was awake for 20 hours. And I managed to keep myself relatively busy all day.

    Cuban was all over TV and social media last night and I liked a lot of what he had to say. He sounds like a very measured voice of reason in a time of extreme chaos. He also sounds like someone that’s positioning for a presidential run in 4 years.

    My grandparents spent a ton of time in southern New Mexico and west Texas hunting over the years and my grandmother was always fascinated with Marfa. I foresee us seeking a vacation that costs less this summer and a west Texas road trip may be in the works.

    • David Bryant says:

      What has the world come to when Cuban is sounding like “a very measured voice of reason in a time of extreme chaos”

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