Gongol.com Archives: February 2015

Brian Gongol

February 26, 2015

Threats and Hazards "NATO and Russia hold rival military exercises on Estonian border"
That's a headline that had better wake up the planet

Threats and Hazards Manipulations of power and privilege
At least on the surface, it appears that United Airlines may have put a route into place just to please the chair of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which has supervisory power over the three major airports in greater New York City. It may be a far lesser kind of extension of privilege to the politically powerful than the apparent plunder of Yemen by its former president for an estimated $60 billion, but both situations derive from the common thread that people will seek power and luxuries, and they'll do it whether the economic system involved is free-market, socialist, communist, or otherwise. It is purely naive to imagine that capitalism is somehow specially susceptible to abuse or that government power isn't always and everywhere at risk of abuse as a tool for enhancing the lifestyles of the politically powerful. In general, the more powerful the government and its ability to regulate, the more likely (and larger) the abuses will be.

Threats and Hazards The Guardian claims Chicago Police have a "black site" for detentions that exceed legal standards

Computers and the Internet Chinese online services could be at grave risk
The government is enforcing a policy requiring people to use their real names on social networks, which is a tricky thing to ask in a place where the government doesn't take kindly to dissent

News Violent crime is one of Omaha's biggest troubles right now
It's not an especially violent city by any means, but there has been a lot of highly visible violence in recent memory. It's worth asking whether the problem is exacerbated by the fact that the Omaha metro is almost entirely under the same municipal government; Des Moines, comparable by almost every measure, seems to have less violent crime -- and it's at least possible that the difference could in part be due to the fact that the Des Moines metro consists of dozens of communities, each of which has a different police force and set of community priorities. It's much harder to differentiate efforts to respond to different problems when everything is under the same municipal government.

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