Gongol.com > Food for Thought > November 2004
Gongol.com Archives: November 2004

Aviation News (11.12.2004)
USAF Test Pilot Helps Land Airliner After Co-Pilot Has Seizure
"On the plus side, the emergency allowed the test pilot to log in 'two or three tenths of an hour in a 737'"

The American Way (11.12.2004)
Mankiw's Six Rules of Thumb
It's old -- probably by about a decade or so -- but it's a great insight into the thinking of the chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers

The United States of America (11.12.2004)
How Lazy Reporting Screws Up World Affairs
Reporter asks President Bush if Prime Minister Blair is his "poodle." That's nothing more than stupid, lazy, "gotcha" journalism meant to get a few headlines.

If the question is whether Britain and the US are cooperating closely on security matters, the answer is definitely yes. If the question is whether they should, the answer again is a resolute yes.

If the question is whether close cooperation between two traditional allies in a relationship that includes a much larger and more powerful partner, then you might wish to dig up Franklin Roosevelt to ask whether Winston Churchill was his "poodle" or consult the ghost of Ronald Reagan to determine if Margaret Thatcher was his "pet."

The stupid, lazy work that passes for reportage when someone compares the British Prime Minister to a pet dog during a Presidential news conference is an affront to people of any intelligence everywhere.

Yes, the question was technically posed as follows: "Mr. President, first. The Prime Minister is sometimes, perhaps unfairly, characterized in Britain as your 'poodle.' I was wondering if that's the way you may see your relationship? And perhaps, more seriously, do you feel for the --", but that same basic question could have been posed alternatively as, "There have been some comedic characterizations of your relationship in the media, but what is in fact the relationship between you? Is the United States diplomatically dependent upon the UK, and is the United Kingdom militarily dependent upon the US?"

Unfortunately, the reporter apparently lacked that level of class and/or intelligence.

The United States of America (11.12.2004)
Wimpish Decision Not to Air "Saving Private Ryan"
ABC offered it to affiliates; at least some chose not to air it, fearing the FCC would bust them for indecency. It's akin to prohibiting the national anthem on the grounds of being violent music ("Bombs bursting in air..."), but the new FCC non-rules on indecency ("We can prohibit you from doing anything we want, but we won't give you a rulebook on what's not allowed") are just that bad.

The American Way (11.12.2004)
Incentive for Colleges to Teach Financial Literacy
If your grads can't handle money, how will they make alumni contributions later on?

Computers and the Internet (11.12.2004)
Library of Congress Says Most Web Pages Last Only 44 Days
They launched a program in order to archive some of the most transient pages of all, including campaign websites

The United States of America (11.12.2004)
Howard Dean Wants to Become DNC Chief
The Democratic Party is getting a new chair sometime in the next few months. If they're smart, they'll change course -- since their current path doeesn't seem to be working. Iowa's Governor Tom Vilsack is a widely-discussed but unwise choice: He won Terrace Hill essentially by default against two weak challengers: Jim Ross Lightfoot, who had a strong early lead in 1998, took to calling himself "Governor Lightfoot" early in the campaign, which annoyed even the GOP faithful; Doug Gross (2002) tried too hard to ride the coattails of Governor Terry Branstad's five-term juggernaut, after Vilsack had already earned a term's worth of incumbency. Vilsack has presided over a huge state budget shortfall, hasn't led the Democrats to a majority in the statehouse, and runs a state that has elected Republicans to five of seven total seats in Congress. That's hardly a winning record.
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