Gongol.com Archives: July 2007
Brian Gongol


July 4, 2007

The United States of America Sen. Hagel asks why titanium shouldn't be used for armoring Humvees rather than golf clubs
Independence Day is a fine reason to do something for American servicemembers

News Woman survives three days on mattress floating in the Sea of Azov

Humor and Good News Czech brilliance: A mobile pub

Computers and the Internet Even the CIA is ignorant of mobile-phone security

Socialism Doesn't Work China has almost as many migrant workers as the US has adults
200 million Chinese -- mostly poor and uneducated -- go wherever they can find work in a country where the government has little respect for individual liberty, and thus does little to punish those employers who take thousands of workers as slave laborers. By comparison, there are about 225 million adults in the entire US.

Health Men at fault for part of America's health-care problems
Fewer than half show up for an annual physical. Naturally, the less-frequent the routine checkups, the more likely it is that something will be wrong by the time a person actually gets help. And, by extension, the more expensive the treatment required, since early treatment and preventative care are usually much cheaper than what's required later.

News Former "Marine One" pilot ends armed robbery with concealed pistol
71-year-old was in a Subway eating a sandwich when two armed robbers broke in and tried to rob the place. He fired seven times, killing one robber and wounding the other. That's called neutralizing a threat.

Business and Finance Getting more free trade, even with a Democratic Congress

Science and Technology The "Big Ask" may be asking for the wrong thing
A campaign called "The Big Ask" involves people recording short video messages pleading with their governments to pass tougher regulations on greenhouse gases. The problem is that there are several ways to approach the problem, and tougher regulatory limits may not be the most effective -- nor the most efficient. For example, tougher emissions standards on cars may increase the cost of new autos, which could keep people driving older (and less-efficient) models from upgrading to newer (and more-efficient) models, which would prolong the excess environmental damage being done by the old cars. A carbon tax would probably be preferable to a regulatory approach, but gas taxes have problems, too, including a disproportionate impact on people with low incomes. What we really could use are more innovation prizes, like the one Richard Branson is offering for anyone who can develop a commercially-viable method of reducing greenhouse gases. Taxes and regulations tend to be punitive, while prizes reward good behavior. Given the choise, we should probably prefer our governments to reward rather than punish whenever possible.

The American Way New Zealand named one of world's freest economies
But, like the US, they have a depressingly-low household savings rate

Threats and Hazards Cleric calls for Islamic law to be imposed on Islamabad, then tries a cross-dressing escape from town
Police found him wearing a burqa among 60 female students leaving town. India is worried that things may be going badly for the government in Pakistan in its standoff with a radical group, which is unnerving since Pakistan has nuclear weapons.

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