Gongol.com Archives: January 2010
Brian Gongol

January 21, 2010

Broadcasting Air America is shutting down
The company just couldn't make a profit. Times are obviously tough all over the broadcast landscape, with NBC paying Conan O'Brien $32.5 million to buy out the rest of his guaranteed contract to host the "Tonight Show". Now, Conan needs to hire the writers from "Arrested Development" and produce some great television. Conan clearly knows how to take advantage of a stunt, like pretending to blow $1.5 million on a sketch.

Socialism Doesn't Work Don't kid yourself: Big government power inevitably leads to big abuses
Chinese civilians -- tens of thousands of them -- are being ordered to retrieve the debris of a rocket that crashed and left behind deadly chemicals. That's what a government can do when the state is the sovereign, not the people. The fight over Internet access in China between the government there and Google will undoubtedly continue to reveal just how much an over-powerful government will do to try to repress its subjects.

Science and Technology The orangutan who's best friends with a dog
(Video) People wax philosophical about whether humans are naturally good or naturally bad. It's a ridiculous question. While there's a whole lot of theology that preaches the "fallen" nature of man, which in turn many take to suggest that we're innately evil, the fact is that humans, like other animals, can only survive over the long term by cooperating for mutual benefit. We make mistakes, and sometimes we can benefit in the short term by following "evil" ways. But eventually, the species needs cooperation and reciprocity (things we deem as "good") in order to survive. That's why cheaters get kicked out of sports, corrupt politicians get sent to prison, and nations band together to defeat fascism. Seeing how a primate and a dog can play together isn't itself proof that animals are innately good, but it certainly ought to give pause to those who are quick to condemn all living beings as being evil. Unfortunately, the belief that we're all evil causes some people to adopt all-or-nothing political attitudes and counterclaim legitimate legal concerns about religious freedom with untenable claims of personal offense when others try to exercise those religious liberties.

The United States of America Fergie Jenkins says that Mark McGwire should apologize to the pitchers of his era
Jenkins, a former pitcher himself, says that McGwire damaged the careers of pitchers who were playing by the rules by using steroids to improve his performance against them. He has a point.

Humor and Good News What's in a name?
Phyllis Stein might be aware of the pun her name creates when it's turned into the name of an art gallery

Water News Northwest Iowa town recognized for protecting its water