Gongol.com Archives: March 2015

Brian Gongol

March 20, 2015

Threats and Hazards Terrorist attack in Tunisia was carried out by Al Qaeda/ISIL
Two language checks: First, we shouldn't allow internal divisions among terrorist groups to determine what we call them. The group variously known as ISIS/ISIL/QSIL/Daesh is a splinter group of Al Qaeda, and we shouldn't dilute our attention to the hazard by diluting the name we apply to it. Second, we should reject the common phraseology "takes responsibility for" when talking about terror attacks. Civilized people "take responsibility". Barbarians just crave your fear.

Business and Finance Government is the leading employment sector in ten states and DC
Food for thought

Health Failure to care for sick veterans is a national shame
It's probably time for us to stop using the phrase "mental illness" (which tends to connote something negative that is to be avoided) and instead talk openly about "mental wellness" as something positive to which we ought to deliberately commit resources like money and attention. At a level that is probably subconscious, the terminology "mental illness" perpetuates the stigma we have unwisely attached to it. It becomes something unpleasant-sounding, so culturally we are inclined to avoid it. But if we were to talk about a positive commitment to mental wellness, it would probably help to open the public conversation such that we would think of it as an affirmative state of well-being which we as a culture should be committed to preserving (or creating, as the case may be) for everyone. We all exist in various states of mental wellness, and improving that state for every person is a positive, affirmative goal. It's much too easy to think of "mental illness" as something that someone else has -- it's impossible to reject the notion that we are all in some state of "mental wellness." And words do matter, particularly on sensitive topics. Making them less sensitive by bringing them out of the shadows is something worthwhile to consider.

Threats and Hazards Yemen fails into civil war
When the president has to flee an air raid on his residence, things are pretty messed up. And the deaths of scores of people at two mosques is another stomach-churning development.

News US DOT infographic shows why it matters where you choose to live
The amount of lost time and added expense faced by people who choose to live in places where congestion and traffic are terrible really boggles the mind

News One-time prosecutor apologizes for erroneous death-penalty conviction
Fortunately, the innocent convict has been freed -- after decades of wrongful incarceration

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