Gongol.com Archives: February 2013
Brian Gongol

February 8, 2013

News Postal Service subtly blames retirement programs for its financial crisis
And thus, by extension, for its move to cut out Saturday letter deliveries. This is a warning sign of things to come. The US Postal Service isn't the only agency with massive liabilities for pensions and retiree benefits.

Iowa Homelessness in Iowa City: A complex and growing problem
The city has a single homeless shelter, which is over capacity and doesn't allow anyone on drugs or alcohol to stay. But there are lots of non-housing resources (like food) available for the homeless, so people are attracted to the community for access to those services. It's really hard to get this kind of social problem resolved in a way that is both humane and oriented towards the long term. Of course the people operating the shelter don't want to allow in drug and alcohol abusers -- that could put the staff and other innocent guests at risk. But if the rest of the system creates large incentives for people to show up (like free food) and doesn't have an effective way of breaking addictions (which generally requires buy-in from the addict him- or herself), then a large population of homeless addicts is likely to persist in the area. That, in turn, may put a strain on the social services that are needed to reach out to those who are homeless but trying to get back on their feet. It's complex, and anyone who suggests otherwise probably isn't looking at the whole picture.

News New Year means a billion people moving around China
Imagine: Three times the entire population of the United States, and all of them going somewhere within the same country

Computers and the Internet Bush family e-mail accounts get hacked
To what extent should the Secret Service now be responsible for policing e-mail seccurity among the families of former Presidents? They certainly have access to high-level information, and they remain high-profile security targets. It's a reminder for everyone else to practice good password security.

News Iran's government pushes young people to have more children
They fear running out of younger workers to pay for the welfare system.

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