Gongol.com Archives: May 2013
Brian Gongol

May 13, 2013

Threats and Hazards If it looks and smells like government overstepping its powers...
...then there's probably a good chance it really did. The Associated Press says the Justice Department secretly took two months' worth of their phone records. The AP calls it "a serious interference with AP's constitutional rights to gather and report the news". From what has been reported thus far, they appear to be absolutely right. And it should also be noted that this is exactly why people are wrong when they repeat the tired (and incorrect) refrain that "corporations aren't people". The AP is a corporation -- a cooperative, technically, but a corporation nonetheless -- that exercises the same legal rights to report the news under the auspices of the First Amendment as the individuals who work for the corporation. If the corporation (as a "body" of people) doesn't retain the same Constitutional rights as the journalists individually, then how could we really enforce those Constitutional rights for us all? This particular instance, at least, appears to illustrate exactly why it's silly to dismiss the understanding that corporations really are (made up of) people. And it should also be a case to give us all a serious case of concern about how open and transparent the Federal government really is.

Agriculture Iowa's farmers have 15% of the corn crop planted
This time last year, they had 86% of it in the ground. That's how cold and wet conditions have been.

Science and Technology Payphones, remembered

Science and Technology How smart are dogs, really?

Weather and Disasters Strangely, we've had practically no tornadoes in a year
Iowa and Nebraska have been virtually tornado-free. That's not normal at all.

Humor and Good News Listen more
Paul Bennett: "For most of my twenties I assumed that the world was more interested in me than I was in it, so I spent most of my time talking, usually in a quite uninformed way, about whatever I thought, rushing to be clever, thinking about what I was going to say to someone rather than listening to what they were saying to me." Sounds like a profound statement to the Twitter and Facebook age.

The American Way A democratic China within 20 years?
(Video) Maybe. A bold statement from a Chinese businessperson on "60 Minutes" earlier this spring.

Business and Finance Google versus the newspaper ad

Broadcasting Seth Meyers gets "Late Night" when Fallon takes over for Leno

Recent radio podcasts