Gongol.com Archives: 2016 Weekly Archives

Brian Gongol


September 21, 2016

The United States of America Gary Johnson most popular among military officers

The third-party candidate for President tracks ten percentage points ahead of either the Republican or Democratic candidates. And he also makes a good case that technologists should support him, too.

News Some Canadians are packing serious heat

Fearing armed robberies, some Canadians in the Prairie Provinces are going into the fields armed with some serious firepower. And this story -- which obviously runs contrary to the popular image of Canadians as super-friendly people who hate guns -- is a reflection of the fact that in the less-populated parts of the country, it can take a long time for police to arrive. Too long, in fact, for individuals to feel safe. So they arm themselves, and no reasonable person would deny that they are doing the rational thing. If the police take 30 to 60 minutes to show up, you have to serve as your own security. And that's why it is so hard to come up with a principled position on gun control: People who live in sparsely-populated rural areas may have very different reasons for carrying firearms from their counterparts who live in urban areas. And the balance of public safety may very well tilt strongly in favor of arming some citizens while trying to limit access to those same weapons for others.

Broadcasting Stephen Colbert finally finds his voice

His exasperation with Donald Trump seems to have really brought out the real Colbert

News Chicago plans a big wave of police hiring

Almost a thousand new officers. Let's hope they also take a look at the systemic factors and circumstances that have led to the city's awful violence. More police? That's part of the answer. But it's not the whole answer.

News Trump used charity funds to pay legal bills

Astonishing



September 20, 2016

Science and Technology Technology-illiterate people shouldn't control the levers of government

We don't necessarily have to fill Congress with coders, but the people who make and enforce our laws had better understand the big picture when it comes to technology

Threats and Hazards Why was a motorist shot by Tulsa police?

The available video evidence shows no apparent cause for police to have taken lethal action

Computers and the Internet Some HP printers are about to start rejecting third-party ink

HP has long made a good product, but this is taking things too far

Science and Technology At last, the Federal government is setting rules for self-driving cars

While government over-regulation is a bad thing, it's inevitable that some technologies (like self-driving cars) are going to require new or revised rules. It took much too long for the government to respond to the rise of autonomous automobiles, but at least they're finally getting something on paper.

News How libraries used to be a key source of national pride

Libraries have always needed to reflect the needs of their times, and they will continue as institutions of great importance even in a mostly-digital world. They will need careful curation, guidance, and promotion, however.


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September 19, 2016

The United States of America "I've never seen a layer of government that didn't have 10% or 20% of excess spending in it"

Vice Presidential candidate Bill Weld, who is on the only ticket in 2016 giving any serious discussion to reducing the size of government, getting the budget under control, or reforming our entitlement programs so we don't go crashing into a fiscal brick wall

Threats and Hazards A lifejacket graveyard to depict the plight of refugees

Reuters says almost 7,000 people have died on the seas trying to escape Syria and other troubled countries since January 2015

Business and Finance ITT Tech shuts down abruptly

It's the most recognizable remaining vestige of the once-great ITT conglomerate. The closure is a huge misfortune to the students who are left as unsecured creditors -- and at a time when continuing education is more important to economic success than ever.

News The Washington Post reviewer really didn't like the Clinton-Kaine campaign book

Good: A manuscript that gives the reader a legitimate insight into the mind of the candidate. Bad: Regurgitated policy papers.

News Apocalypse Watch at Stratcom

A team in Omaha keeps watch 24 hours a day