The Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio
Brian Gongol

With the TV and movie writers still on strike, it's interesting to hear a Google VP say that he doesn't think that the Internet is going to dismantle traditional media. That's not a real breakthrough idea, but it's a telling observation as we wait through the Hollywood writers' strike.

Speaking of Google, while you're checking out some of their new features (like their new terrain feature on Google Maps), you might be interested to know that the bosses there are putting their money into energy, instead of new Internet projects. That's probably a more significant development than most people realize.

The Chinese government has just placed a $17 billion order with Airbus, for 160 passenger airplanes. To put that in perspective, it's about the same amount as the entire US food stamp program. Speaking of big money, Asian and Middle-Eastern countries are pouring billions of dollars into Western financial companies. That raises all kinds of questions, from whether that should worry us to whether they would better serve their citizens by turning the money over to taxpayers.

More riots in Paris. This problem isn't going away until they figure out how to fix their chronic unemployment. And that's only going to come when they put more faith in free markets.

The sleet, snow, and ice accumulations from this past weekend were all over the map.

Does Ted Turner have a diabolical plan to buy up all of the open land in western Nebraska? Some people think so. Speaking of people with diabolical plans, Hugo Chavez is hoping that this weekend's vote will allow him to become the perpetual dictator of Venezuela. He's already accused the CIA of trying to assassinate him and CNN of encouraging people to kill him, so he's setting the stage for a siege mentality among the people. We've been talking about Chavez since February, if not earlier, and the situation has only gotten worse. Venezuela is one of the top four suppliers of petroleum to the US, and we don't need a concocted dispute with them to worsen the situation. We have been ignoring Latin America for too long, and now that neglect is coming back to bite us.

The "Wall Street Journal" just published a story on which college-prep schools send the most kids to the Ivy League. We, as a state, ought to ignore attention lavished on the big names and instead work on doing a better job of offering opportunities for higher education to everyone in Iowa, including people who didn't attend right out of high school, but could benefit from earning a degree later.

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