Gongol.com Archives: August 2012
Brian Gongol

August 23, 2012

Computers and the Internet Rule #1: Don't get caught in stupid photographs or videos
In case Prince Harry and others haven't noticed, this is the Internet age, which means a photo can be disseminated all over the world faster than most of us can find a postage stamp. This means two things: One, we're all going to find ourselves in compromising or unflattering pictures once in a while, and as a result, we're all going to have to become a little more forgiving and a little less judgmental about the mistakes of others if we expect the same for ourselves. Two, anyone with a reasonable endowment of brainpower will avoid getting into stupid situations when cameras are in the immediate vicinity. Getting naked during a game of pool is probably a bad idea for anyone, but most especially for one of the most recognizable celebrities in all of Britain.

The United States of America US borrowing at this pace cannot go on forever
We don't technically have to balance the budget completely -- a deficit of less than the rate of economic growth would be fine. But that means getting to something like 21% of GDP in spending and 19% of GDP in taxes and other government revenues. We're nowhere close to that kind of balance, and we're on a fast track to making it much worse. The gap is a cavernous 8.5% in 2012. Mitt Romney is asking the right question: Is today's spending worth borrowing more from China?

Business and Finance "At the very least China is building a global portfolio"
"At the most this is the start of a new empire."

The United States of America The Onion: "College newspaper endorses Barack Obama"
Sure, it's funny because it's practically a foregone conclusion on campuses across the nation. But we really ought to ask an important question: What major achievements of the present administration can be accounted-for without transfer payments? In other words, what can the Obama administration really say it has done that hasn't come back to taking money from one set of taxpayers and giving that money to a different class of voters? Certainly, the White House is not without some credits: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seems to have been doing a stellar job of managing American diplomacy, and it was probably time to get rid of "Don't ask, don't tell" in the military. But the health-care "reform" act remains a mystery even to many of the people who voted for it in Congress, and there's really no way to justify proposals like aggressive forgiveness for student debts without acknowledging that such proposals either explicitly or implicitly punish some people in order to offer a "freebie" to others. The same goes for the huge breaks given to first-time homebuyers. And it would be perfectly rational for a person to take these free things, and there's a natural human instinct to want to reciprocate the apparent generosity (that is, to vote for the candidate who "gave" the voter something). But it's a misplaced reciprocity, since the government has no money of its own -- just the money it collects from taxpayers and then uses.

Weather and Disasters NOAA thinks hurricane season could be worse than normal
And one of them is on track to hit Tampa while the Republican national convention is in town next week

Computers and the Internet Google moves its email-security tool to Google Apps