Gongol.com Archives: January 2007
Brian Gongol

January 9, 2007

Iowa Vilsack delivers Condition of the State Address

Computers and the Internet Apple to offer new iEverythingInOne by June
Phone/iPod/computer hybrid could end up a smash hit, or it could be so far off from delivery (six months) that it'll be picked apart by speculation and beaten up by faster-launched alternatives first.

News College football coaches aren't the only overpaid public employees

Science and Technology Blair says don't fly less, just offset emissions
The whole issue of climate change and how to deal with it is unusually complicated: There really is little to nothing that individuals' efforts will do to reduce overall emissions of greenhouse gases, and we don't even know whether human behavior as a whole is substantially responsible for changing the climate. But simultaneously, the issues involved (especially the burning of fossil fuels) are also related to much larger issues -- like how dependency upon those fuels puts energy-hungry countries at the mercy of petulant politicians who use their raw energy supplies to get what they want. And there's no doubt that the local effects of related pollutants (like ozone) are responsible for making some local environments (like smog-ridden Los Angeles) more directly unpleasant than anything that global warming has served up so far.

Humor and Good News Toast loves butter

Water News USDA declares drought disaster in southeast Iowa

Humor and Good News Father of young kids saves film student's life
The student had a seizure and fell onto subway tracks; the older man jumped in and held him down while a train passed over them. How is it that some people still believe that most humans aren't good by nature?

Iowa Higher property taxes, higher minimum wages, and more subsidies for private firms
That's the promise of the new Iowa Legislature

Socialism Doesn't Work Chavez declares: "We are heading toward socialism, and nothing and no one can prevent it"
Nationalizing Venezuela's telephone and electric industries, and threatening to take majority stakes in most oil projects. Also planning to cut off criticism from an opposition media outlet by not renewing their license to broadcast. The TV network in question is using interviews to call the decision "autocratic", which it definitely is. Some important facts to note: Chavez is using Venezuela's oil money to buy political power. But reliance on commodities as a source of national income is a terrific way to enrich cronies and foster radicalism -- see how oil wealth has done the same for Saudi Arabia. Also important: The move to shut down the opposition broadcasting outlet is a reminder that it was a huge mistake to cut the Voice of America, which must be fixed immediately. (Most Americans have no idea how important Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty were to ending the Cold War.) And the whole rise of Chavez and his preposterous "Bolivarian socialism" is a reminder that the US needs to revive its interest in Latin America immediately, if not sooner. Chavez is already starting to bully around the OAS.

News Vilsack interview with Rolling Stone
Why's he running for President? "I'm a governor of eight years and a senior Democratic governor in this country. I deserve to be on this stage and I deserve to be in this race." No one "deserves" to be in a race. The people "deserve" Presidential candidates with good ideas.

News Historian compares 1914 with 2007
Thinks there are just enough bad things going on that a serious financial panic and/or war could both be plausible

Science and Technology A view of home from space
And some ruminations on the neighborhood

Iowa Opening-day speeches: Iowa House
And Iowa Senate

Humor and Good News Inventor of instant noodles dies

Humor and Good News "OMFG - UKRIP means 'Goodness Me, We Are In Difficulties'"
If 14-year-olds ran a service to alert people to terrorist threats via text messages

News LA traffic engineers may have intentionally created gridlock
Terrorism isn't the only thing that can intentionally disrupt and harass the lives of innocent people -- disgruntled union employees can also do the trick. Yet another reason why big cities are often overrated.

The United States of America States should never have given up solitary control of the National Guard
The "troop surge" being discussed could mean that Guard and Reserve units might be called up for more than the conventional limits on deployment would allow

Broadcasting When the locals can't take a joke
An Omaha talk-show host got into trouble for airing a parody commercial poking fun at high rates of violence in part of town. But don't people get bent out of shape when their radio and television coverage seems too "corporate" and isolated from their communities?

Graphics Half-Court Shot

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