Gongol.com Archives: January 2015

Brian Gongol

January 20, 2015

News From the Ministry of Dissent Management...
There's a difference between government transparency and propagandizing. A transparent government is one whose workings are visible to the public and where sunlight can provide "the best of disinfectants". Streaming the State of the Union address on the Internet is fine, but it's not really any special measure of transparency. But promoting the government's coverage of its own speech with Tweets like "The best place to watch the State of the Union at 9pm ET is http://wh.gov/SOTU" isn't really transparency -- it's a declaration that the public is better off getting spin on the speech from the administration that just delivered the speech, rather than from independent journalists. The government certainly should provide the stream -- but it shouldn't then try to jump into competition with the Fourth Estate. It wouldn't be much to make a fuss about if it weren't for the fact that the White House has made lots of noise about being transparent while in fact being secretive, obstructive to journalists, and obsessive about controlling its own image. No: In a liberal democracy, the White House website is emphatically not the "best place" to view the State of the Union address...unless you want to hush dissent.

News How the FBI sought to silence Martin Luther King, Jr.
When people say, "If you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide", they clearly aren't recalling how the government has treated many people who have been doing the right thing, even when it went against the prevailing ways of the times

Threats and Hazards Why everyone should know self-defense: Case study #17
A man was abducted at gunpoint in Des Moines by someone who demanded he help him find narcotics

Computers and the Internet Twitter bets on developing markets by buying an Indian company

Computers and the Internet What's new in Windows 10