Gongol.com Archives: December 2006
Brian Gongol

December 19, 2006

Graphics Aqua Sunbather

Water News Sioux Falls water rates going up to pay for Lewis and Clark

Broadcasting Artist goes to great lengths to do what good local radio already does
That is, to create a sense of "place" that people can hear

News President Bush wants a larger Army
He also wants to send more troops to Iraq, but the Joint Chiefs don't want a deployment surge.

News No child left behind?
Some need to be left behind

Socialism Doesn't Work Des Moines Partnership's plans for 2007 like "eating more dessert to lose weight"
Des Moines isn't the only Iowa city being told it needs to spend public dollars for "economic development" -- Sioux City is getting the business, too, from officials who say they need more government aid in order to attract businesses to town. This is backwards, socialist thinking and it needs to stop. If a business can't hack it in the private sector without government aid, then what's it in business for? That's called "crony capitalism," and it's shameful.

Aviation News The SkyYacht: A personal blimp
Not quite as cool as a full-fledged dirigible, but at a projected $200,000 (they aren't in production yet), it would be more affordable than the couple of million you'd have to pay for a regular airship

Science and Technology Why do polls ask stupid questions?
"Do you think we'll have an earthquake soon?" As though Mother Nature were sensitive to public opinion. Much more valuable would be: "Have well have you prepared for the next big disaster?" Polls are not themselves the news.

Broadcasting The Barbera half of Hanna-Barbera has died
What amount of happiness was brought into people's lives (and will continue to be) because of the work of a few great entertainers?

Aviation News How should the FAA be funded?
Perhaps it sounds like an esoteric question, but it has very concrete implications: Do you base it on passenger-miles flown (essentially a "flat tax" on all passenger air travel), or on fuel used (implying that the FAA's role includes a Pigovian component of environmental protection), or perhaps by the relative administrative burden each flight imposes on the FAA (like a per-mile tax on highway use)? Is the question sexy? No. Important? Yes. Efficiency doesn't always have to be mandated by law; a group is working on improving technologies for saving aviation fuel because it's good for business.

The American Way Does economics make people more conservative?
Interesting question. Short answer: It probably tends to make them more skeptical of the power of non-market solutions, and since government is a major creator of non-market solutions, it probably tends to make them skeptical of government. That fits well into the tradition of libertarian conservatism, viz Barry Goldwater...but not "conservative" in the social sense of, say, James Dobson, who thinks more government is better.