Gongol.com Archives: March 2011
Brian Gongol

March 31, 2011

The United States of America China's official view of military power in the Pacific
The country's defense agency has issued a whitepaper on the military dynamic in the region, which says that things there are becoming more volatile. And they probably are. The really good question is who has a 20-year or 50-year view of what could happen in the Pacific region. The Chinese government, being a self-perpetuating organization centered on one political party and one power structure, is likely to be more capable of taking a long-term view of power and other dynamics in the region. The democratic process in the US means that long-term planning isn't rewarded. But that makes it no less necessary.

Iowa Iowa's new Congressional map
The state has lost a seat in Congress, and the first proposal for a new set of Congressional districts looks about as logical as a map of the sort could look. It's pretty much the state divided up into roughly-even quarters. The missing element to the plan (and it's not supposed to be part of the plan, but the state will need it anyway) is the plan to ensure the state's economic and political viability over the next decade -- and, even better, over the next 25 to 50.

News Just in case you thought the world was starting to make sense...
...Kevin Spacey just hosted an 80th birthday celebration in honor of Mikhail Gorbachev. One of the Spice Girls was there. Um...OK?

Science and Technology Cargill is going to use a sailboat to move grain
Actually, it's going to be a kite-powered ship. Because what's old is new again.

Threats and Hazards The FBI's new biometrics ID program is now at "initial operating capacity"
Watching cameras and computers gallop through biometric identities is fine for Hollywood thrillers, but the perpetual surveillance to which we are becoming accustomed is not healthy for a vibrant civil society

Humor and Good News Pride doesn't always belong on a tattoo
In fact, it usually doesn't. But it really doesn't belong in a tattoo of a father's Hooters-employed daughters. In their company garb. Eww.

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