Gongol.com Archives: October 2006
Brian Gongol

October 5, 2006

The American Way Updated rankings of the business/economics blogosphere
Direct link to the ratings now available at www.EconDirectory.com. More people visit Marginal Revolution each day than any other site in economics -- by a margin of 40%

News 20 of the 50 states in big budget trouble
The economic upturn of the last couple of years has helped balance a lot of state budgets, but 20 states are forecasting big structural deficits over the next couple of years. That's a scary figure, since the Federal government is also living well beyond its means.

Iowa Iowa's "Don't veer for deer" campaign looks successful
A good example of government doing the right thing -- addressing a public-safety concern through education rather than needless regulation

Science and Technology England's Canterbury Cathedral held together by duct tape
Literally -- 20% of the pillars are in such bad shape (due to age and corrosion) that they're being held together with tape

Graphics Extreme Vertigo

CommerceBucket "Ten Reasons Not to Buy a Franchise"

Computers and the Internet Electronic voting machines: Still not ready for prime time
Dutch group demonstrates how easy it is to hack electronic voting machines that their country is planning to use in general elections next month; among other problems, all of the machines use exactly the same key...so if you can break into one, you can break into (and tamper with) them all.

Water News Rainy late summer produces big soybean crop

The American Way Two factors behind the Irish economic miracle
Massive growth wasn't just caused by lower taxes and less regulation -- those are only half the story. The other half is the country's openness to immigration.

Iowa State auditor finds huge problems with Dallas County sheriff's office

Socialism Doesn't Work Environmentalist says other environmentalists are ruining the environment
James Martin says nuclear power is reaching a stage where it can be operated completely fail-safe and without producing anything that can be used to make weapons, but opposition from groups like Greenpeace sustains public opposition instead of advancing the use of the clean source of energy. The fundamental error in thinking by groups like Greenpeace is to assume that any risk of danger is too great. The fact is that solving problems like global warming requires taking steps and incrementally improving our condition while incrementally decreasing our risk. All safety is relative, and any appeal that assumes that all risk can be eliminated is both misleading and misguided.

Iowa 400 scalped tickets turn out to be fakes
People bought the scalped tickets to the Iowa-Ohio State game and found out they'd been had by counterfeiters

Threats and Hazards China says don't make North Korean nuke standoff worse
US, France, Japan, South Korea, Australia all condemning Kim Jong-Il's plans to test a nuclear weapon, but China is playing the same old "don't make them mad" line while the US is giving direct warnings to North Korea through the UN. It doesn't look as though Iran is backing off its nuclear plans, either.

The United States of America Foley fallout could make it hard for GOP to keep Congress
It would help if they had spent less time alienating the party's fiscal conservatives and the independents who prefer the GOP for its spending restraint. But instead of addressing problems like the pending collapse of Medicare funding, the Senate has been busy making noise about the nonsense fence across the Mexican border, which won't solve any real security issues. Conservatives in the UK are also trying to reach consensus on a new identity.

Threats and Hazards Al Qaeda, Algerian terrorists overcome differences and team up
For Al Qaeda, it's a way to shore up potential alternative home base of operations and to gain another working arm. For the Algerian terrorist group, it's a way to gain logistical support. Related: Violence in the Sudan has pushed another 10,000 people out of their homes. That's the size of a small suburban community in the US. The best ally that free people have in the effort to bring about a peaceful world is disorganization and chaos in the enemy and thoughtful, deliberate responses to real problems like Darfur. It may, for instance, be more efficient to back the African Union peacekeepers already in the Sudan than to try to put UN troops there and attract violence from extremists -- much like it's often more efficient to back opposition groups than to undertake violent efforts to overthrow dictators and autocrats. It's expensive and complicated to put peacekeepers (let alone combat troops) on the ground in foreign places.

News Woodward article says others wanted to toss Rumsfeld, but President did not