Gongol.com Archives: January 2013
Brian Gongol

January 5, 2013

The American Way Time for a national attitude adjustment
A USA Today poll suggests that there's a vast surplus of pessimism in America, particularly about economic issues. And while there is considerable reason for disappointment -- a President who won't acknowledge the imperative need to control spending among them -- the long-term engines of prosperity in America remain in place and can be brought to full throttle if we will let them. ■ Our primary obstacles seem to come back to dependency. Do we await another bailout or another "stimulus" package or another "economic-development" offer before getting to work? We shouldn't. Nor should we hope that the government will sensibly allocate things like "green" tax credits or job-creation funds. The Federal government has shown no reasonable capacity to even balance its own budget, much less to make sensible real-world, private-sector investments that pay off. ■ Over the intermediate and long terms, things will get better in America. Sustainably. Persistently. And they must, if we are to even pretend to fix some of our great structural problems -- the need to fund our vast entitlement complex, or the need to bring our infrastructure up to the kind of first-class standards we expect.

News Can Chavez remain Venezuela's president if he's too sick to take the oath of office?
It's hard to rule a country by remote

Science and Technology More self-piloted cars: Now one from Toyota
Google's been putting self-driving cars on the road for a short while, and now Toyota appears to be doing the same thing. Self-piloted cars should be a huge benefit to society when we get them -- saving energy (by driving more efficiently than people), saving lives (since they should be considerably safer than human-piloted vehicles), and saving lots of valuable time (allowing people to make use of the many hours we spend behind the wheel -- especially in America -- doing something other than developing road rage at the other drivers around us). This is a can't-wait-for-it technology.

The United States of America Party control by state, 2013
Many, many states are essentially under single-party control, which gives those parties the opportunity to show that they can actually govern effectively. And if they don't, the voters in those states should punish them severely at the ballot box.

Science and Technology The "fiscal cliff" bill was signed by autopen

Broadcasting Funny-man Hassel departs Des Moines television

Computers and the Internet The majority of Americans with cell phones now have smartphones
Nielsen says 56% of mobile-phone users were on smartphones by the third quarter.

Business and Finance Some unofficial new looks for old brands
It's funny what non-commissioned redesigns tell us: People really do care about their brands, and are disappointed when they feel like those brands aren't living up to the users' expectations.

Computers and the Internet A majority of adults around the world think people over-share online

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