The Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio
Brian Gongol

Someone needs to give the government a wake-up call after a common household burglary resulted in the theft of 26.5 million names and Social Security numbers. A VA employee took that huge database home on a laptop, and the laptop got stolen. Other ID heists have occurred when people have stolen computer tapes and disks being shipped by truck, but never on this scale. What's scary is the likelihood that lots of other government agencies have similarly huge databases full of private information that are kept under conditions just as un-secured. In the private sector, there are lots of incentives to treat these databases with extra caution -- the threat of lawsuits is just one. But since the same incentives don't necessarily apply in the public sector, they need to be held accountable by the public. And it's just one more reason to be skeptical of too-big government.

One of Lenin's (you know, ol' baldy from the Soviet Union) main criticisms of capitalism was that he thought it always tended towards monopoly. But the fact is that capitalism -- when government stays out of the way -- usually ends up cannibalizing any firm that tries to gain a monopoly. Google, for instance, has the lion's share of the world's search-engine traffic. But since the market has a chance to act, Yahoo and eBay are teaming up to fight back and win over part of Google's market share. And it will probably have some effect...and government didn't have to do a thing.

Microsoft wants to develop a computer that reads your emotions, but Amazon is going in the opposite direction by using people power to replace computing power with the Mechanical Turk.

Should kids have to pay to go to the bathroom? Your answer probably depends on whether you're trying to teach them or trying to keep them well-hydrated.

Hereditary welfare programs (like being a member of a royal family) are trouble...especially when your monarch-in-waiting decides to advocate the use of unproven alternative medicine with taxpayer funding.