Gongol.com Archives: December 2005
Brian Gongol

The United States of America (2005.12.28)
Poll Says Americans Split Almost Exactly 50-50 on NSA Domestic Eavesdropping

Health (2005.12.28)
Bureaucracy May Be Keeping Women From Getting Cancer Drugs in UK

Business and Finance (2005.12.28)
Public-Sector Unions Do Better than Private-Sector Unions
Might have something to do with the fact they're generally related to monopolistic services

News (2005.12.28)
China, Japan at Worst State of Relations Since WWII

Business and Finance (2005.12.28)
Expectations of 3% Growth in 2006
Higher pay, higher interest rates, strong job market

Threats and Dangers (2005.12.28)
Turkish Law Prohibits "Insults to the State"
Now they're rethinking the law because they're trying to get into the EU and there's that pesky issue of free speech

Computers and the Internet (2005.12.28)
Google Buys 5% of AOL
Google promises it won't change the homepage, but huge changes are already underway, with login functions and "personalized search" already taking over Google's bread-and-butter search engine

Humor and Good News (2005.12.28)
Proof That Some Kids' Work is Better than Modern Art
6-year-old's watercolors sell for $100 and up

Computers and the Internet (2005.12.28)
AOL Says It Blocked 1.5 Billion Spam Messages a Day in 2005
Porn's on the way out, but obnoxious solicitations for sex drugs are on the rise

Computers and the Internet (2005.12.28)
Oregon 21-Year-Old Could Get 10 Years in Prison for eBay Attacks
Launched denial-of-service attack that the site says cost them millions of dollars

The American Way (2005.12.28)
African Economist: "For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!"
Clear argument that aid dollars mainly benefit the rich, corrupt, and well-connected. Draining the aid pipeline could starve the dictators and encourage actual development. Not to mention that there's lots of virtue to consumerism.

News (2005.12.28)
Russian Economy Grew in 2005, But Corruption Still Everywhere
Free markets require the rule of law -- crony capitalism isn't real capitalism. High oil prices help Russia.

Humor and Good News (2005.12.28)
Cop Son Catches Bank-Robbing Father
Illinois man stole $60,000 in a nine-month bank-robbery streak; son, a cop, sees surveillance video on a website and decides to turn his dad in

Computers and the Internet (2005.12.28)
It's Not a Secret Copy of MSN Messenger 8 (Beta), It's a Virus
Why it's important to know which sites to trust

Business and Finance (2005.12.28)
CEO of Overstock.com Apparently Out of His Gourd
Makes unscripted public pronouncements about sales performance, fights with Mark Cuban, and talks about dead bodies in his trunk

Business and Finance (2005.12.28)
Free Trade vs. Protectionism: Today's Arguments Aren't New
The very same arguments against trade were circulated in the late 1800s

Computers and the Internet (2005.12.28)
"Extremely Critical" Security Problem in Windows XP
No surprise: The biggest window of exposure is Internet Explorer

The United States of America (2005.12.28)
The Curse of Declining Expectations
Baby Boomers experienced lots of easy structural prosperity; many of them coddled their children; now, as the children enter the workforce, it's hard to adjust to lower expectations

News (2005.12.28)
Can War Be Ended?

Socialism Doesn't Work (2005.12.28)
Quotations from Chairman Mao
Know your enemy

Business and Finance (2005.12.28)
Input Costs for a Gallon of Gasoline

Business and Finance (2005.12.28)
Gresham's Law: Bad Currency Drives Out Good
Really applies mainly to questions of coined currency that has intrinsic value, but today it applies in some cases where governments devalue their currencies

Iowa (2005.12.28)
Shazam! Des Moines Area Figures Out How to Consolidate Services Without Consolidating Governments
The idea of consolidating city and county governments wholesale really doesn't seem to be a great idea. Many of the benefits can be had by working on a case-by-case basis to reduce service duplication or otherwise improve efficiency, while retaining the benefits of things like intercity tax competition.

Water News (2005.12.28)
Ethanol Industry Makes Midwestern Water an Export Product
Even apparently water-rich places may need to think differently about recycling their water as demand increases

The American Way (2005.12.28)
One Day, This Could All Be Yours...
Korean immigrant becomes owner of four McDonald's restaurants a decade after starting as a fry cook. Opportunity still lives in America.

The American Way (2005.12.28)
Financial Planning as Religious Education
Whatever it takes -- including the fear of God -- it's about time to inject some urgency into the question of promoting thrift in America. Some have argued a correlation between religious participation and wealth, though the certitude and/or causality of that relationship is yet to be proven.

Humor and Good News (2005.12.28)
"Star Wars" and "Pulp Fiction" Performed by Bunnies