Gongol.com Archives: March 2017

Brian Gongol

March 14, 2017

Threats and Hazards If the US takes a swipe at the UN, what happens next?

If the United States withdraws dramatically from a world leadership role, we shouldn't expect peace and order to fill the void. Brutal cuts to our participation in (and funding for) international organizations seem shortsighted.

Threats and Hazards Influence-peddling through the back door?

If Chinese companies (which may or may not be acting at the behest of the state) are offering to take part in sweetheart deals with family members of powerful White House officials (like the President's son-in-law and key advisor), then by whom and how is that to be policed?

Business and Finance Businesses will be key guardians of tolerant social norms in the years ahead

Even if the temper of government sways in illiberal directions, the influence of the private sector should serve as an important guardian of tolerance. A good example: The investment-management company BlackRock is going to pressure investees to take action on issues like boardroom diversity. They have the votes, so they'll have the influence.

Threats and Hazards Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence

If the President truly has reason to believe that he was wiretapped, he has to supply some sort of evidence. Otherwise, baseless accusations undermine the basic assumptions of truthfulness required to make an advanced society function.

News Decorating, dictator-style

How come people with authoritarian instincts seem to share really bad taste in decorating?

Iowa Gates on the Interstate

A common scene in the rural Midwest: Permanent gates that swing closed to block entrance ramps to the Interstate highways. Because nothing short of a locked, permanent gate will stop some Midwesterners from proving what (over-)confident winter drivers they are.