Gongol.com Archives: July 2019

Brian Gongol

July 25, 2019

Computers and the Internet Spot-checking student social media?

A prominent Australian journalist suggests "I think all high schools should have the right to do spot checks of students' (children's) social media accounts to ensure they comply with the school ethos. It would surely temper some of the crude behaviour & language on there." We're all entitled to idle thoughts that maybe haven't been fully developed for prime time, but this one is especially bad. This idea would take "in loco parentis" to an extreme that would displace the parents even in their own homes. And even though some would be quick to blame the left for such overreach, there is a loud and intemperate wing of the right that would also have the state decide personal moral judgments for us, openly and unapologetically. It is one of the most distressing developments of our age.

Threats and Hazards What good is the law if it's abused by its executors?

Quinta Jurecic writes: "[D]irecting the attorney general to turn the full power of the state against your innocent political opponent (a thing that is in the Mueller report) does not strike me as beside the point" [of the hearings]. "The rule of law" is meaningful only when it restrains those with power from abusing it. It's not hard to enforce rules against the weak and vulnerable.

News A sense of responsibility

Margaret Thatcher once said, "Ultimately, it is the willingness of its citizens to acknowledge a sense of responsibility towards their fellow men that distinguishes a free society from one dominated by licence and anarchy." Maybe it was a conscious choice, maybe it was a mere coincidence. But the use of "citizens" (a narrow definition) having responsibility toward "fellow men" (a universal one) might well have a lesson in it.

News Pabst to sell "caffeinated malt beverage"

An iced coffee with a close relationship to beer? Nothing about that is a good decision.

News Robert Mueller and "Pickle Rick"

Stephen Stromberg compares the special counsel to a cartoon mad scientist whose exploits are ignored by an audience that doesn't get what it's seeing: "On Wednesday, Mueller's answers could be summed up: 'I made a report. What more do you want tacked on to this?'"

Computers and the Internet Google Street View is on the prowl

Seen in the wild roaming the Des Moines metropolitan area

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