Gongol.com Archives: February 2008
Brian Gongol


February 23, 2008

Health Socialized medicine means doctors' hours become a matter of politics

News Aging population and few kids mean Tokyo Disneyland now targets senior citizens

Science and Technology How technology has completely revolutionized Presidential campaigning

Weather and Disasters Remember those snowstorms in China last month?
The government there is insisting that power companies restore electricity to the hardest-hit regions...by the end of March.

Socialism Doesn't Work Surveillance creep becomes creepy surveillance
Florida law prohibits the use of surveillance cameras (like red-light cameras) for the issuance of traffic tickets. That's a good policy. But at least two towns are so interested in bringing in money via traffic fines (one has brought in $300,000 so far) that they're using traffic cameras to issue "civil infractions" instead of traffic tickets. Not only is it an example of Orwellian double-speak, it's also a spooky reminder of just how cheap our privacy really is to some public officials. There are much better ways to improve traffic safety than by installing cameras everywhere -- at red lights, for instance, all it takes to reduce T-bone crashes is to make a slight adjustment to the timing cycle of the lights. And let's not forget that adding red-light cameras, for instance, actually increases the number of rear-end crashes in some places. But instead of using common sense and some simple engineering to make life safer, public officials in a lot of places seem intent on sleepwalking straight into a surveillance society, in which everything you do is monitored by some "authority." Benjamin Franklin would be apoplectic.

Science and Technology China wants to go drilling for oil in the Philippines
Given China's explosive growth in energy consumption (and India's, too), we should probably be thinking right now about what we'll do when oil reaches $200 a barrel

Science and Technology The political climate may be foreboding for technology
The likely political climate in Washington following this next election will probably include a lot of enthusiasts for more government regulation and intervention in business. The Internet, meanwhile, has been free to develop over the last few years mostly outside the scope of regulation -- which has in turn meant lots of good things for consumers. But if the regulatory juggernaut comes to play, the whole universe of technological progress could find itself moving a lot slower.

Threats and Hazards State in eastern India has had a dozen lynch mobs in the last six months
The state, Bihar, has almost 83 million residents -- which makes it larger than Germany and all but 14 other countries in the entire world. But once people start to lose their faith in a reasonable system of justice and begin to handle matters extralegally through violence, a dozen events can easily cascade into many more.

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