Gongol.com Archives: May 2010
Brian Gongol

May 18, 2010

Iowa The trouble with unmarked police vehicles
The Iowa State Trooper driving the governor on Sunday afternoon used his unmarked SUV to pull over another driver who says he thought he was being followed by a crazy person. The rise of the unmarked police car is pretty disturbing, philosophically and practically. Just as one has the right to face one's accuser in court, one should also have the right to see police and law-enforcement officials in clear sight. The idea that one is just as likely to encounter an unmarked police vehicle as a marked one is bothersome, since it leads to the conclusion that police officers are lying in wait, ready to surprise the unsuspecting driver anywhere. And they present a very real security risk: Imposters have mimicked unmarked police vehicles and used that element of surprise to attack unwitting victims. That creates a specific hazard to law-abiding motorists. It's just downright weird in this Iowa case, since the vehicle was an executive escort for a state official. There's no problem with using unmarked vehicles for executive protection details, but to turn one of those vehicles into a pursuit car seems like really bad judgment at best, or a strange abuse of privilege at worst.

Health Do yourself a favor: Take two minutes for a self-exam today
Take a minute or two and conduct some basic self-screenings for cancer. Early detection saves lives. There's lots of misinformation about cancer that finds its way around the Internet, largely because we've been trained to wait expectantly for some sort of magic-bullet solution to cancer. But cancer risks can be significantly reduced through a balanced diet, exercise, and early detection and treatment. Meanwhile, science is making great progress towards improving genetic detection, which holds great promise for some types of cancer. Instead of forwarding hoax-ridden e-mails about "cancer cures" and false threats, people should instead remind their friends and family to assess their health once a month.

Water News A chemical plume migrating a mile every ten years knocks out private Nebraska water wells

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