Gongol.com Archives: 2011 Weekly Archives
Brian Gongol



Humor and Good News A one-man battleship



Business and Finance If you hoard gold, you're a jerk
One curiosity: The author of an article quoting Charlie Munger saying the same says he's "Not really sure exactly what [Munger is] trying to say here". Really? Let's make it simple: Gold doesn't do anything useful, really. And holding onto it in the hopes of surviving some end-times calamity -- at the expense of others -- instead of learning to do something useful that can be bartered, well, that makes one a jerk.

News Hillary Clinton says China's on a "fool's errand"
The Secretary of State says it's foolish for the Communist government to keep trying to keep its people down

Business and Finance Rajaratnam found guilty
The hedge-fund manager was found guilty of fraud and conspiracy. For a free market to function, we must have the rule of law. That's the shortcoming of extreme libertarian philosophy. But thinking that free markets are the only environments in which abuses will occur is the main error of the left.

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Business and Finance Budget-crunched cities are leaning on nonprofits to pay up
Payments in lieu of taxes -- they're really just taxes by another name. But it raises a reasonable question: Why should any organization be allowed to operate as a "nonprofit" with special treatment, anyway? There certainly are a lot of good organizations operating as non-profits. But there also are a lot of individuals who use nonprofit organizations as vehicles to dominate commercial markets and put for-profit companies out of business. And they can do so while paying themselves more than generously.

Broadcasting Chicago kisses Mayor Daley's butt on his way out the door
Including television anchors, who were (knowingly or not) featured in a furniture commercial smooching his rear end goodbye

Broadcasting Stephen Fry vs. a dance-music DJ: Is classical music irrelevant to youth?
(Podcast)

Iowa Cedar Rapids and Iowa City want a new "regional brand"
They've gone by the name "Technology Corridor" for a while

The United States of America Mike Huckabee just can't be taken seriously
The fact he has a website called "PrayForHuckabee.com at which people are asked to "pray" on his behalf to "help" him make a decision about whether to run for President -- well, it's nauseating.

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News Early warning: The European Union is doomed
Foreign ministers of the countries that make up the EU have agreed to require people crossing borders within the EU to show their passports. Passport-free travel is a pretty significant indicator of the internal integration of a place (nobody has to show a passport to cross from Oklahoma into Kansas). The plan has to be approved by the EU parliament to go into effect, but the fact they've even discussed the idea shows that an integrated Europe is doomed. That's probably unfortunate.

Computers and the Internet Facebook has been smearing Google -- on privacy matters
The business motivation is obvious -- but it sure seems ironic that Facebook would be using privacy issues as a lever against any other company or website. And it wasn't a very sophisticated or nuanced approach. They could have just funded a nonprofit to do their dirty work for them.

Business and Finance Sen. Chuck Grassley on the AT&T merger with T-Mobile
Does the merger threaten the public interest?

Computers and the Internet Google announces "Chromebooks" are coming this summer
Samsung and Acer will make the machines, and Google will make the operating system

Computers and the Internet Ad agency says Apple's brand value is $153 billion
Seems like that's a pretty wild overstatement

Humor and Good News A "fan fiction" attempt to revisit "Calvin and Hobbes"
It's hard to justify...much like a reunion tour or any movie sequel...but for one or two tries, these are reasonably good fan fiction

The United States of America Inside America's cultural media archive

Threats and Hazards Officials are worried about the nuclear plant just outside of Omaha

Humor and Good News Things that make you go, "Hmm..."
(Video) Cowboy monkeys