Gongol.com Archives: April 2010
Brian Gongol

April 21, 2010

Business and Finance Warning bells for US debt are growing louder
Data from the credit markets suggest that it's safer to lend to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway than to the Federal government. Buffett doesn't have the power to compel people to pay him like the Federal government does, nor does he have the Bureau of Engraving and Printing at his beck and call. That his company is considered a better credit risk than the US government suggests that the markets are telling the government to stop spending beyond its means. As our cost of borrowing rises, the size of our debt grows at an accelerating rate -- making us an even worse credit risk, leading to higher interest rates on our debt, compounding the size of the debt, and so on in a feedback loop that's going to cost us lots of real money in the future. Better to slow spending now and get the debt under control. Unfortunately, while one group of activists wants the government to do more and more (and thus spending more) all the time, another group is single-minded about paying less in taxes. The problem is that, having built up a big pile of debt for past expenses, we're going to have to get less from our government while paying more for it. That's the Catch-22 of debt: Getting responsible after the fact only compounds the pain. The pain is necessary, but nobody wants to administer the fix.

Computers and the Internet Why nobody, ever, should borrow, steal, or buy e-mail lists
They don't do the good they're advertised to do, and there are hidden perils -- like blacklisting -- that can result. Good content and valuable offers make a list worth joining freely.

Broadcasting Public radio coverage across the United States
An interesting map indicating national coverage of local radio signals. It's too bad that these kinds of maps aren't easier to generate dynamically for other radio broadcasts, like Cubs games, for instance.

Computers and the Internet Is ultra-high-speed broadband as significant as electricity?
Perhaps so, but more in the negative than in the positive: That is, not having high-speed Internet access may increasingly become just as painful as being without other basic services.

Humor and Good News America: Putting the party in Canada's pants since 1776

Threats and Hazards "South Park" puts Muhammad in a bear costume
When someone uses an American website to suggest that the creators of the show will be killed, is that a threat or is it "a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them"? It certainly sounds like the former. Ridiculous claims are made in the name of religion all the time: An Iranian cleric says that women's clothes are causing earthquakes, and Pat Robertson blames Haiti's disaster earlier this year on a "pact to the devil." People of goodwill and free thought should be unanimous in their rejection of these stupid claims and the fear they put in their fellow people.

Broadcasting Podcast: Economics as a lifesaving device

Broadcasting Radio highlight: What's nice about Firefox

Water News Protecting your valuables during hail season