Gongol.com Archives: March 2007
Brian Gongol

March 3, 2007

Iowa State Patrol says I-80 really still is closed west of Des Moines

Socialism Doesn't Work Getting kids addicted to gambling
If the state creates a "Lottery Fund for Education", as proposed under HF 596, then Iowa would effectively be turning education into a dependent of gambling. There's still no solid ethical reason why government should (a) be in the lottery business to begin with, or (b) have a legal monopoly on lotteries.

Iowa Ban on high-intensity headlights proposed
Iowa HF 561 would ban xenon-gas headlights. As usual, the main question is whether a ban is really necessary. The lights are annoying to other drivers, but is this really cause for state action?

Iowa ACT's for all students?
Iowa HF 573 would require all Iowa high school students to take the ACT exam before graduating. On one hand, it could help encourage more kids to go to college, but on the other, it sounds like a heavy-handed mandate.

Iowa Is Internet-enabled hunting of animals really an epidemic?
Iowa House File 484 would ban the hunting of animals via the Internet. Is this really a problem?

Science and Technology Lots of people rushing to eject the incandescent light bulb
Which is a fine way to save energy, but there's no reason for it to be a legal issue: The energy savings should be sufficient that people will switch voluntarily. When the law mandates what kinds of bulbs people have to use, that's going too far -- not just because the default choice is the compact fluorescent (which hurts the eyes), instead of the much eye-friendlier (but still too-new) cluster LED bulbs, which are even more efficient.

News Top officers in Iraq say they have six months to win

Iowa Same-day voter registration?
Iowa SSB 1229 would allow people to register to vote on election day. Bad idea. Too much potential for fraud. There's a reason for checks and balances in the voting equation.

Socialism Doesn't Work "Power Fund" bill introduced in Iowa Senate
SSB 1298 would establish the "Iowa Power Fund," which is the Governor's proposal to spend a ton of taxpayers' money on subsidizing the renewable-fuels industry. Do Iowa's politicians think the state is so flush with cash that we can afford all of these handouts? The simple fact is Iowa just doesn't have the money for all these proposals -- even if they weren't bad policy to begin with. Also sneaking in under the "renewable energy" cover is SF 318, which would drop $43 million on a "renewable fuels building" and staff at ISU. Seriously, dear legislators: We don't have the money to do this right now.

Agriculture Cucumbers getting better disease resistance by adding new genes

Weather and Disasters Huge stretches of I-80, I-35 closed in Iowa due to snow

Science and Technology New signs suggest liquid water persisted on Mars for quite some time

Recent radio podcasts