Gongol.com Archives: June 2019

Brian Gongol

June 20, 2019

Threats and Hazards Illinois deploys state troopers to undercover semis

The good achieved by busting distracted drivers is at least partially offset by the bad in making the roads just a little bit more of an unaccountable, undercover, full-time surveillance state.

News Could Tampa Bay share its baseball team with Montreal?

Montreal and Tampa Bay are already the "Twin Cities" in the minds of most people, so this is hardly a stretch, right?

News The gender-reveal pseudo-industry is running out of ideas

First came the idiotic escalation of the "prom-posal". Then it turned to the nonsense of extravagant "gender-reveal parties". What happens when people start making public affairs of their colonoscopies? That may be the only greenfield left. Jokes notwithstanding, there are those who turn even the earliest stages of romance into a big display. We expect adolescence to be a time of learning and practice for all kinds of important things (e.g. internships, drivers' ed, student government), and we should. It ought to be that way for relationships, too -- a time for low-risk practice and failure.

Iowa Former AIB campus slated for housing redevelopment

Great news that something better will come of the site. But the failure to really get something off the ground (as was originally intended) with a serious, on-the-ground presence in Des Moines with one of the big three state universities is a giant missed opportunity. From a strategic perspective, the state of Iowa could use the economic boost from research universities, which need campuses.

Weather and Disasters Where Americans welcome refugees

The biggest mistake is to think of refugees as people without skills or agency. Just because you've been displaced from what was once your home doesn't mean you gave up your right to self-determination or somehow forgot your craft, trade, or profession.

Weather and Disasters South Dakota tornado takes a backwards spin

Tornado watchers should be anti-clockwise.

News A bold statement

Professor Qu Weiguo of Shanghai: "Freedom is not a handout, we need to earn it with our efforts." In his speech to a graduating class, he also, boldly, told them: "Today's civilization is a product of communication and fusion", and advocated against thinking in a "Western-vs-Eastern" binary. Heroic words.

Threats and Hazards Philadelphia police restrict six dozen officers over social-media posts

Some of the comments shared or endorsed by the individual officers were grossly bigoted. Does social media cause people to do and say things that aren't truly in their hearts and minds? Or do the tools just offer transparency into what's already there? Either way, this affair ought to make any reasonable person sick to their stomach.