Gongol.com Archives: March 2013
Brian Gongol

March 18, 2013

The American Way Exceptional analysis on the "Arab Spring"
Economist Hernando de Soto nails several major issues missing from a lot of the superficial discussion of what's happened and happening in the Middle East. Significantly, the mistaken notion that "just because we have elections - just because Jimmy Carter comes in and says that we are fine - means that we have democracy". He points out that if there's no accountability to local voters, then the elections really don't mean much. He also points out that the protests started in Tunisia because a man believed (as his family now reports it) "The poor also have the right to buy and sell." It was a commercial appeal -- not an overtly political one. And yet he died for the cause.

The United States of America John F. Kennedy held 64 news conferences in his time in office
On average, one every 16 days. Friday marked the centennial of the first Presidential news conference. President Obama, by comparison, held 36 in his first term.

Health 3D printing of organs will be one of the breakthrough technologies of the next ten years
An Iowa City group thinks it's within six years of producing a pancreas in a lab. This kind of advancement, along with self-piloted cars, will be the technology that creates the next huge leap forward on a scale similar to that of the Internet.

The United States of America Swift reaction to the Republican Party's introspective
The Wall Street Journal's headline called it a "scathing self-analysis". The first major portion of the report's narrative says there are "two parties" inside the GOP: "[T]he gubernatorial wing, is growing and successful. The other, the federal wing, is increasingly marginalizing itself". Whether anything else in the report holds true or not, this single line taps an essential notion: The Republicans can be the "good government" party, especially by showcasing the work that state governors do well. Everyone (minus the anarcho-libertarians) accepts that we must have some government; Republicans have historically done very well when being the party of government that does things well and efficiently in the public trust.

Health Take two minutes for a self-exam today
Take a minute or two and conduct some basic self-screenings for cancer. Early detection saves lives. There's lots of misinformation about cancer that finds its way around the Internet, largely because we've been trained to wait expectantly for some sort of magic-bullet solution to cancer. But cancer risks can be significantly reduced through a balanced diet, exercise, and early detection and treatment. Meanwhile, science is making great progress towards improving genetic detection, which holds great promise for some types of cancer. Instead of forwarding hoax-ridden e-mails about "cancer cures" and false threats, people should instead remind their friends and family to assess their health once a month.
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