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

Aviation News (11.14.2004)
Seat Guru
In sharing this site with the world, I risk not being able to use the incredible advice contained here to my own advantage.

Threats to Western Civilization (11.14.2004)
Thailand May Be Next on the Terrorists' Hit List
Muslims, angry over an incident in which several of their own were killed by police after a demonstration, have been going after Buddhists. Clerics warned of reprisals. There are hints, though, that things may cool down for Spain's separatists.

Business and Finance (11.14.2004)
Don't Wait for Energy Prices to Fall
China's energy demand is rising at a double-digit pace.

The American Way (11.14.2004)
What's Good About Jaywalking
Usually, the CBC's evening news program The National is filled with anti-American reports and updates on Canada's sad budgetary condition. But Friday's edition included a positively hysterical report by Tom Alderman on jaywalking. Apparently there's a lot of talk about enforcing jaywalking ordinances in Canadian cities. Over the course of the story, Alderman identified several favorable results of jaywalking:
  • It's time-efficient. If there's an open space in vehicular traffic, why should pedestrians have to wait for an arbitrary stoplight?
  • It's often necessary. Many urban areas are designed in such a fashion that pedestrians can't reasonably get from point A to point B without crossing illegally.
  • It creates an incentive for urban planners to consider pedestrians. Heavy congestion, particularly in downtown areas of central cities, could be alleviated by methods of urban design that rely less on free public roads and more on pedestrian traffic. While there are certainly aesthetic benefits to pedestrian-friendly downtowns, there are also advantages to be considered in terms of air pollution control, stormwater runoff, and optimal use of available space. The higher rent goes in a downtown area, the more costly it becomes to maintain every block of free public road. Some of the space taken up by those roads would be better used for additional rent-generating business activity.
Certainly, there are hazards and costs to jaywalking as well. But it's worthwhile to reasonably consider the benefits, too.

Threats to Western Civilization (11.14.2004)
Palestinian Civil War Begins
One security guard killed in attempt on the life of new PLO leader

Socialism Doesn't Work (11.14.2004)
Not Every Problem Requires a Law
Leader of left-wing Canadian political party wants to ban trans fats. That's right, ban 'em outright. His justification: "People expect us to have legislation to protect their health and if we'd been informed that trans fats are dangerous to your health, we'd be irresponsible if we didn't take some action." No, cheesehead, you're irresponsible for thinking that every problem requires a government solution.
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