Podcast: Updated weekly in the wee hours of Sunday night/Monday morning. Subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or iHeartRadio
In this episode:
- Should Mark McGwire apologize to the pitchers of his era?
- Twitter users should learn to spell "Favre" correctly
- Campaign finance doesn't need reform; political power does
- Why the US House of Representatives needs ten times as many members
- Iran's government uses intimidation to keep its critics in check
- Using private contractors to put astronauts in space
- China's government sends villagers out to pick up the wreckage of a rocket crash
- Why mandatory national service should worry you
- Firefox - new and free. What's not to like?
This is an approximate transcript from tonight's show, generated via the Amazon Mechanical Turk. Some errors are inevitable.
Brian Gongol: It's 9:08 here on Newsradio 1040 WHO. Good evening, I'm Brian Gongol here along with Brian Dean, we're ready to talk about making money and having fun on WHO. I don't know about that snow out there -
Brian Dean: Oh yeah, well you know, the National Weather Service is saying there's some light snow, at the airport anyway, so - Yeah. Maybe some flurries.
Brian Gongol: I'm not seeing a whole lot of it outside our window - our weather window yet. But I am sure that it is there or that it will be again soon. The real kicker here is very shortly we are to be seeing a considerable amount of wind.
Brian Dean: Yeah.
Brian Gongol: Overnight hours tonight, we're looking at very windy conditions, so that could be a bit of a mess. Meantime, we have some roads out there that are a bit messy; we've got a couple of updates here on some of the road conditions from the Iowa DOT and the Iowa State Patrol. They're saying really that in the western third of the state right now, lot of roads out there are a bit of a mess. In particular if you're in the northwestern - about quarter of the state right now, the roads up there are completely covered with ice, and they're kind of drawing that zone of ice coverage on the roads. All the way out from places like Denison and Carroll up to the north, into the west, to those locations. So, very very icy in northwestern Iowa. Snow covering the roads out in west, central, and southwestern Iowa, so if you're headed out, say on Interstate 80 anywhere west of -- kind of out of the Atlantic area, and going westbound out of there -- roads are now mostly covered with snow in that area, the same applies to Interstate 29. Pretty much north to south, as it travels through Iowa, mostly covered with snow out there as well. Some of the snow starting to make its way here into portions of Central Iowa, like that with some light snow here in Des Moines, and we're also seeing it on the Interstate, they're reporting that Interstate 80 actually has got at least a little bit of snow coverage, partially covered with snow, all the way out to Dexter, so kind of where the road does that funny dog-leg...
Brian Dean: Oh sure, yep --
Brian Gongol: ...at an angle, so you very briefly wiggle through a couple different counties all at once, that's where they're talking about it, just west of the Des Moines metro area, so we've got some of that here in this area as well, and we'll keep an eye on the road conditions of course for you across the state of Iowa. Also a very odd little bit of condition out in eastern Iowa, where in the Davenport area right now, they have closure on Interstate 280 (where Interstate 80 goes out that direction, becomes loop road within the metro area out in the Quad Cities) they're actually reporting right now that I-280 is closed, if you get out there in both directions at the Iowa-Illinois border near Davenport, because of flooding, so they're actually redirecting travel out onto Illinois Highway 92 instead. So I-280 out in the east is closed up, Interstate 80 out to the west of Des Moines area, covered with some snow, so be careful any direction you're traveling, and of course, we would normally say at this time of the show, you know, please turn on all cellphones and electronic devices, enjoy them as much as you like and use them to communicate with us, you may wish to do that as frequently as you like as well if you're on the roads and wish to share some of those road conditions with your fellow WHO listeners, at 515-284-1040, or 1-800-469-4295, and of course, if that's not your thing to be calling in and talking to us, you can always text it into us, preferably not the driver. We don't want the drivers doing the texting, but anybody else can, at 989-1040, again the 515 area code, 989-1040, you can get a hold of us that as well. So we're going to keep you on top of the weather and road conditions here for the hour we're with you here on WHO Radio, and of course we'd love to hear from you any time about any of those automatic, immediate, live-from-the-field updates that you can feel free to pass along to us as well. Now in the meantime of course, Minnesota-New Orleans right now trying to decide who it is that gets to take home the NFC championship, as a Bears fan I'm pretty much out of this game altogether, I just cannot bring through my enthusiasm and joy, but I did note this week that a former Chicago baseball player had something to say that I did appreciate and wanted to share with you a little bit - I'm more of a baseball fan anyway, so it seems reasonable and fair. Fergie Jenkins is out now with the declaration that he thinks Mark McGwire ought to apologize to all of the pitchers of his era.
Brian Gongol: Mark McGwire, having now admitted that he was using steroids at the time he was hitting all those home runs. Fergie says look, if you were juicing, you were cheating them out you know, ERA, and so forth, you should be apologizing to every pitcher you were hitting against, because you were cheating, and hypothetically, they weren't. So, I think that's an interesting declaration.
Brian Dean: Yeah, interesting, but you know -
Brian Gongol: You know, I can't disagree with him really.
Brian Dean: In that steroids era, I would think that a lot of the pitchers were also, "juiced up".
Brian Gongol: Well, they apparently weren't juicing as well as he was [both laugh]. Might have made the difference! And I do find that an interesting declaration. And you know in a sense, you know, first of all, from an ethical standpoint, yeah he really probably does owe them an apology, but taking it even a step further, it's interesting to see somebody who still takes pride in the notion of fair play, and that you know what, if you were cheating the system, you owe somebody an apology, at the very least. If you don't owe them restitution, I doubt now Mark McGwire is going to start writing checks to all these pitchers.
Brian Dean: [Laughs] Yeah...no, I don't think so.
Brian Gongol: You know, he was anything against. But he probably did ruin a couple of careers that way, if he was knocking them out of the park. And if other batters were doing the very same thing, they were probably cheating those pitchers out of legitimate careers, if those pitchers themselves were not juicing, and were playing fairly. I think that's an interesting notion because we have all these people who are upset right now--and understandably so--about how things have been done in the economic sector over the last few years. People who say that the banking executives who've been taking big bonuses, and what have they done for us lately, there are a lot of people out to get them. There's a lot of people who are out to look for massive changes in the way that we insure and pay for health insurance in this country. A lot of people who seem to take it very personally that there is money being spent in the economic sphere. But at the same time do we take that same attitude about fair play to the way that people actually do sports? And do we hold them to the very same standards? I mean, I think that if McGwire was juicing the whole time, he probably does owe some people an apology, at the very least. He certainly shouldn't be welcomed back in the system the way that he is, probably is. Here's one for ya'--just chew on this for a little while--it comes to Hall of Fame voting and things like that. Pete Rose is going to be kept out forever because of his gambling. Nobody, I don't think, has ever accused him of cheating in the game itself in the way that McGwire is accused of cheating. So really, who's the true bad guy here? I tell you, I'm not a huge Pete Rose fan. But truly, honestly speaking, if we're going to hold people to standards of honesty about what they're doing, which is worse: Betting for your own team or juicing it so that you were able to do something that was illegal or otherwise shunned while everybody else wasn't. I...I just find that an interesting concept because we're so eager to see some people get theirs. We're just so eager to see some people get punished for what we perceive as cheating that I think it's interesting to ask is everybody else accountable to the same level as well. And do we hold baseball players, football players, basketball players to the same standard of holding them away from cheating and, and of criticizing them for it that we're eager to hold people who account when it comes to big banking and things like that. If you want to weigh in, 284-1040 or 800-469-4295. Jim apparently wants to share something about that. Jim, thanks for calling WHO.
Jim (caller): Yes. How you all doing up there?
Brian Gongol: Hey, we're doing terrific. How about yourself?
Jim (caller): Fine. Thank you for mentioning that...I'm doing all right. I wanted to add my two cents in here about that McGwire thing. There was a winter warm-up out here in St. Louis last week, and that's when the fans get to come in and meet and greet the players, and this and that, you know, the Cardinals, and this and that.
Brian Gongol: Um, hm.
Jim (caller): And they paid to get in there. But anyways, McGwire got a standing ovation when he came in there, and this guy that openly criticized him sometime by it--he was a former Cardinal--he got booed by the people.
Brian Gongol: Did he? Really?
Jim (caller): Isn't it a sad commentary of our society?
Brian Gongol: Truly is.
Jim (caller): Yeah, a cheater gets the praise, and the guy that done it the honest way gets booed.
Brian Gongol: Yeah. And see, that is the sad part. And that's where I wonder, you know, if people so eager--and again, I don't disagree. I criticize a lot of the people who have been taking home, you know, for instance in banking, taking home these big paychecks for not really doing anything for everybody else.
Jim (caller): Sure, sure, sure.
Brian Gongol: But we criticize them, why shouldn't we also criticize these guys who, like McGwire, did stuff to cheat other people out of the system when it comes to things like sports. I agree with you, I think it's only fair to hold that accountability evenly across all fields, you know.
Jim (caller): You had a guy up that came from your area up there, Kurt Warner, and he is a shining example of how these sports people should be.
Brian Gongol: Um, hm. And hey, he's an alumnus of my very own alma mater, University of Northern Iowa, so hey, I will always be inclined to agree with anybody who says nice things about Kurt Warner, especially his choice of schools. (Laughs)
Jim (caller): Yup, I love that guy. I just, you know, I think he is a wonderful example for these kids to look up to, you know.
Brian Gongol: Yeah, some honesty and some hard work really do pay off eventually, don't they.
Jim (caller): You got it. Thank you very much, sir.
Brian Gongol: Appreciate your call, Jim. Thanks for calling WHO. All right, buh-bye. It's 9:18 here on Newsradio 1040 WHO. Of course, anytime you want to weigh in, we invite those calls and look forward to them. At 284-1040 or 800-469-4295. You know, we think this is relevant, I think this is relevant to the whole notion of making money and having fun, the usual theme of this show here on WHO because there's a lot of money that gets chased into this sector, into the sporting arena. Now that we are trying to figure out how gets to go to the Super Bowl, there's a whole lot of money that chases that as well. And it's interesting. The money that chases stuff gets a lot of attention. The Supreme Court this week with its decision about campaign financing and campaign spending, striking down the limits on whether corporations or other organizations, unions, activists groups alike, could pour money into American election campaigns and whether that was legitimate for them to do so, it looks like a very tight decision: 5 to 4 in the Supreme Court and certainly a split opinion around the rest of the world as well. I've heard a lot of people say to me: Well, they have to limit the money, the rule of money in the campaigns. We have to do something about that. We have to cut back the money that is getting in campaigns. It's corrupting everything. I have a response to that and I think...it's the response I've given some of them. I want to bounce it off of you and see what you think about this as well because I don't think the money alone is the issue that gets people going. I think it's the power issue and that is what's important. Um. Speaker of money and power: New Orleans apparently took the money and the power to the Super Bowl.
Brian Dean: Yeah, they did. Yup, field goal.
Brian Gongol: Just when they had a field goal, 31, 28 for a moment.
Brian Dean: There was some interesting pass interference call made against the Vikings.
Brian Gongol: And you as a Vikings fan take it personally.
Brian Dean: Well, you know...No, I don't take it personally just because I'm a fan, but it sure was odd. It seemed kind of strange, but you know what? That's the game. Brett Favre threw an interception at the end of regulation that was really kind of a silly play as well. So the Vikings did have a chance, a lot of chances. Fumbled it away, really, is what it comes down to.
Brian Gongol: Now I would really like to share with everyone, for instance on Twitter, it's spelled FAVRE not FARVE.
Brian Dean: Yeah, it's Favre not Farve but pronounced Farvre.
Brian Gongol: That's right. It's a trending topic. It's the number two trend in topic on Twitter right now, but it's spelled FARVE on Twitter. People, learn to spell the guy's name when you talk about him.
Brian Dean: Pretty exciting football game, really. So, if you're a football fan, you know, and just enjoy football, it was a pretty exciting overtime game. Uh huh. What I think most people thought, it was going to be a really close football game. And it's over. The Saints are going to be in the Super Bowl.
Brian Gongol: And there you go. Sorry, I guess there you go. The Vikings are out of it.
Brian Dean: Yeah, well, whatever. You know what? There are other...Football is not the most important thing in the world.
Brian Gongol: No. And neither is campaign finance reform by any stretch, but I do think I've got an answer to those who think this is the end of the world as we know it that the Supreme Court has said: Any money that wants to go into campaigns pretty much can. So I want to talk about that. I want to get your opinion on this, Brian to you because you're a communicator, an expert professional communicator. I want to get your take on this as well. So we're going to be talking about that in just a moment. I invite you to text in your comments if you like it, 989-1040. That's a 515 number: 515-989-1040. We'll be back right after this. Talking about, well, where that money ought to be going, whether it's corrupting our system and making us all go to evil, right after this. It's nine twenty-one on Newsradio 1040, WHO.
Brian Gongol: I've got a rhetorical question. I don't have a good answer for this one here on WHO Radio, but I will ask it nonetheless. How would you know if they were having a wild party in New Orleans to celebrate winning the NFC championship? I mean, how is anyone going to know the difference there?
Brian Dean: You know, it was interesting...
Brian Gongol: People drinking in the streets? Oh, now that's a change.
Brian Dean: I think they did show some of the streets in New Orleans and they were empty...
Brian Gongol: Oh! There you go.
Brian Dean: While the game was going on. It was weird and the announcers were telling you how strange that was. So I'm sure they are very excited there now. I imagine. With that overtime win over the Vikings.
Brian Gongol: I'm just curious how you'll know the people are going nuts in New Orleans. [Laughs] It's like saying the people were up all night in Las Vegas. I mean, what do you think is going to happen? People just don't go to bed in Vegas and they don't stop partying in New Orleans. That's kind of how it works.
Brian Dean: Oh, yeah.
Brian Gongol: Regardless. OK. So, the Supreme Court said this week that, pretty much, you want to spend money on campaigns in elections, well, then go ahead. Go right ahead and spend as much money as you like. Just pour it all in. That's fine. And I say, realistically, from a legal standpoint, they are probably right. I mean, realistically, it's speech, so how can you restrict that?
Brian Dean: Yeah.
Brian Gongol: But I've heard people say of course: Oh, but it's the influence of money in politics that's corrupting everything. That's what is making everything just awful.
Brian Dean: When was politics... Was, were. When were politics, whatever...
Brian Gongol: What has politics been...
Brian Dean: When, in the history of America,...when has politics been not corrupted in some way
Brian Gongol: Well, see?
Brian Dean: ...in some fashion, other than maybe in some movie somewhere where some particular character was glorified..."Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" or something like that?
Brian Gongol: Exactly, exactly. The thing that kills me about this is the thought that: Oh, the problem is, there is too much money in politics and so then they use the money to influence the power and things wrong. Why isn't the question instead: Is there too much power in politics? Does government have too much power to do things? And thus the money chases the power instead. That's the thing that bugs me, is what really we have is probably government with too much power at too high a level so it too much to get there. Which gets back to my, admittedly a little bit off the wall, but not completely unconstitutional attitude, that the House of Representatives of the United States shouldn't have 435 members, it should have 4,350. I mean there should be more than 4,000 members of the House of Representatives. You want to solve the money and politics problem overnight, at least for Congress, you make the House of Representatives 10 times larger than it is today. Which means that each representative represents a tenth as many people as he or she is representing today. Because right now a house district is 600-700 thousand people. Turn that into 60 to 70 thousand people. On average across the United States I think that is actually 720,000 or 709,000, some huge number. Turn it into 70,000 on average. Then you have taken getting elected to Congress from being the kind of thing that takes winning over more than the population of the state of Wyoming to getting elected to city council in a place like Waterloo or West Des Moines. You know, a mid-sized American city. I mean West Des Moines is at about 60,000. Waterloo is about 100,000. Put it somewhere in that neighborhood. Getting elected to city council in a place like that is not easy, necessarily. I mean I have friends who are on the city councils in those places and it takes a lot of effort and it takes some fund raising. It takes some kind of activity to get from point A to point B. You don't just show up and go, "Ah, nobody else volunteered for the job so I guess I get to win it this time around." I mean you have got to do something to do it. But getting elected to city council in a place like that is vastly easier than if I were to just wake up some morning and say, "You know, I feel like unseating one of those people who's sitting in the House right how and, well, I am going to raise enough money, in the millions of dollars, to win a seat in the US House of Representatives by winning over the attitudes of 600-700 thousand people all at once." That's an expensive proposition. That's why it costs so much money. That's why there's so much money in politics, because it costs a whole ton of money to get elected from a district that large. Make the district smaller with fewer people, it is easier to convince that group of people plus it makes you more responsive to their requests. I mean, I don't think that's unreasonable. I really don't. In fact, when the founders were writing The Constitution their attitude was about 30,000 people per representative. So, I mean, we're at a factor of more that 10 beyond, 20 beyond, what they originally intended. So why not fix that a little bit, bring it back into coordination a little bit?
Brian Dean: Wasn't the thought also that eventually there had to be a time where there would just be too many members?
Brian Gongol: Well, here's the deal. If your concern is that there will be too much gridlock in Congress, I say, "Please, can I have some more gridlock in Congress? That would be great?" If they aren't getting things done, they aren't screwing things up and then they have to focus on getting things right.
Brian Dean: The Capitol Building would be so huge if they were all going to be there.
Brian Gongol: Surprisingly not, actually, if you think about it. OK, say you take it up to about 4,300 members of the House of Representatives, so we are just talking about one of the two Houses. We don't have to change the senate. We can still have two per state there. That is fine with me. No problem. And that will still be an expensive campaign and it will still be fraught with all the controversy that it is today, fine. But in the state of Iowa we have apparently decided that having one very conservative and one very liberal senator representing us is exactly what we want, and that is 100 percent the balance we which to strike. Essentially, the two of them canceling each others' votes out every single time on every thing. OK, apparently, that is the agreement we have come to in Iowa and that is kind of the thing we are comfortable with. We're going to lose a seat in Congress after the next census cycle, which, by the way, is taking place now. We're going to lose a seat in Congress. We're going to go from five seats to four. That is going to hurt a lot. Now if we had 10 times as many representatives, if we lost two or three, if we went from 50 to 48 or 47 or 46 or 45, it would be a far less dramatic loss in representation. Not to mention the fact that this solves the gerrymandering issue which is that people design their districts so that their parties get elected the same way over and over. Now, Iowa's not really that bad when it comes to the redistricting. It's actually a pretty fair pretty reasonable approach at least that's been taken while we've had five seats in Congress. When it goes to four what are they going to do? I mean will western Iowa remain the perpetually Republican block that it has always been? Are they gong to try to mix that somewhere else? Because it's to the Republicans' advantage to have a safe seat and it's probably to the Democrats' advantage to isolate that seat so that they can say, "All right, fine...we are going to lose that one consistently, but we will have a better shot then at winning others." How is that going to get gerrymandered? Well it is not as bad here as it is in other places. There are some places around the country where some of these districts are offensive, the way that they're laid out.
Brian Dean: Right.
Brian Gongol: It's clearly nothing to do with neighborhoods, it's about making sure your party always wins, which, again, contributes to the power and corruption cycle in the House and that creates the problems that we're really worried about it. It's not the money flowing into politics, it's how the power flows in politics, and if you divide it up a little bit more, it should be much more reasonable. Okay, physically talking about setting the people in the room, if that's really the concern is fitting enough people in the room, you know, the Hall, the main concert hall at Kennedy Center, there in Washington DC, does hold 2,442 seats. So you could, I mean, you know...working this out, if you just assume that, you know what, they don't really use those desks on the floor of the House anyway, you could just put seats in and that would work, if you just seated them like that -- as other countries do all the time anyway -- we could certainly get a lot more people into the US House of Representatives and cut the influence of the money, take away each individual representative's power, because, you know, if you're one of fifty from a state instead of five, you personally, proportionally, have less power, less influence, but at the same time, it divides up the tasks that they can specialize in. If we had fifty members of the House from the state of Iowa, then you'd darn well better be sure that at least a handful of them are going to be experts in things like national defense, and a couple of them will be experts in subjects like agriculture. A couple of them will be experts in things like money and banking. And that would be great. As it is, we're just hoping, crossing our fingers, that the handful of people we send there, this tiny delegation, a delegation that is smaller than the number of people who do the morning show here on WHO Radio, is going to be enough to make the important decisions on behalf of the state of Iowa. I mean, once you count up Van and Bonnie, you count up a little bit of Mark Allen for doing some sports and you count in, you know, Dick Layman doing our news, and you count in Brad Ehrlich trying to do some traffic reporting, you've got Steve Locker there in the studio, I mean, once you count up the people just doing a morning show here, we have more than we have as representatives for this entire state in Congress. Don't you think we could use a little more brain power there? Wouldn't that make a little bit of sense? Maybe I'm off the wall, maybe I have gone off the deep end, but I think this solves the problem and it takes away that money influence in politics. Because the bottom line is, you know what, you can't just buy yourself an election every time, otherwise Mitt Romney could have easily bought himself the Republican nomination,
Brian Dean: Sure, but he did not.
Brian Gongol: But he didn't! I mean, the guy's wealthier than anybody. I mean, not anybody. But he's filthy rich. He wasn't able to buy that election even though he did spend a colossal amount of money. Okay. Now, frankly, I think the guy has some half-decent economic sense and we could use a guy who's got a lot of money and a lot of brains about money running the Federal budget. That would be a great thing, I would imagine. But he didn't win that. And clearly, if it were money alone that decided these things, then Bill Gates would be president and Warren Buffett would be vice president, or vice versa. I mean, if that were the only thing that mattered. But it's not. The ideas still matter, and we still care about these things, and I think that's important stuff. And speaking of caring about these ideas, and about this big government stuff, you would not believe what the Chinese government is getting its people to do right now, and that's the Tin Foil Hat Award that we will have right after this. I'm Brian Gongol here along with Brian Dean at 9:35 on Newsradio 1040 WHO.
Brian Gongol: And taking a peek at a more immediate version of that future, here's your Newsradio 1040 WHO, three-day weather forecast from TV 13 for tonight, day one, flurries, winds from the northwest gusting up to 35 MPH, giving us an overnight low of 22°, but for tomorrow, the winds get even stronger. We're looking at a wind advisory in effect tomorrow, gusts up to 50 MPH, so batten down the hatches. Light snow is possible tomorrow, and with winds that high, the wind's going to blow the snow all over the place and make visibility kind of difficult in some places. High tomorrow, 25°, and then for Tuesday, day 3, partly sunny skies, the high 22°. So, realistically, we're going to hover between 22° and 25° for maybe the next forty-eight hours or so, but the winds are just going to be insane out there.
Brian Dean: Well here's the other thing, there's some talk about, what, a couple inches of snow north of Highway 30 and...
Brian Gongol: Quiet, you!
Brian Dean: Northwest Iowa getting some of that, and if they're going to get that same kind of wind, imagine those conditions, you know, probably some white-out conditions and consider this: Our trees that have been weakened by the heavy ice, now we're getting 40 MPH winds. So there might be some more fallen trees or limbs coming off, that sort of thing, in the next twenty-four hours. Branches falling everywhere. So be careful with that as well if you're out on the highways.
Brian Gongol: Absolutely. I mean, for right now, across most of the state of Iowa, most places are just cloudy. We've got a couple of reports of flurries, including here in the Des Moines area. We're at 30° right now in Des Moines, westerly winds at 16 MPH, but that wind is making it feel like nineteen degrees right now, and of course, as those winds pick up, those temperatures are going to, the relative feeling for those temperatures is going to fall. So it's going to feel colder and colder outside as we get those winds kicking up. And fifty mile an hour winds, that's not something just to sneeze at, that is one heck of a gust. So we're looking at that happening, and in fact they've got a winter weather advisory also that's going to be in effect this evening, and actually, it's in effect until midnight tonight, for, really, including just to the western edge of the Des Moines metro, Dallas County is actually included in this winter weather
Brian Dean: Mmm. Yeah.
Brian Gongol: This winter weather advisory. Now it was really, just issued a little bit ago and it expires at midnight, but the brief version here is a winter weather advisory due to blowing snow and slick roads, is in effect until midnight tonight for Pocahontas, Sac, Calhoun, Webster, Crawford, Carroll, Green, Boone, Audubon, Guthrie, Dallas, Cass and Adair counties. So there is that winter weather advisory that's in effect. Also one that's in effect until midnight tonight, for Monona, Harrison, Shelby, Pottawattamie, Mills and Montgomery counties, all out in west central Iowa, so, be careful out there, there's quite a bit of it going on. Now there's a winter weather advisory also then for northwestern Iowa that includes Sioux, O'Brien, Plymouth, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Woodbury, Ida, Woodbury and Ida Counties, those are all also under a winter weather advisory until midnight tonight. And that's all of course due to that combination of snow and wind which creates the blowing snow, which makes driving difficult, and in some cases a bit dangerous, so we want you to be careful out there. Again, taking a look at the latest version of the road conditions, from the Iowa DOT and the Iowa State Patrol: Pretty much the northwestern quarter of the state right now, they're reporting those roads are completely covered with ice, so be careful anywhere north of Carroll and Denison, you know that Highway 30 corridor, anywhere north of that, and then pretty much anything west of Iowa Highway 4, basically anything like US 71, and west, those are all areas where they're reporting, completely covered with ice at least in northwestern Iowa, if you get to the west central, southwestern portion of the state, it's mostly snow right now but some of those roads are completely covered with snow so we do want you to be careful out there. And of course, if you do encounter anything out there, give us a call any time at 284-1040 or 800-469-4295. Now, we were talking about the influence of power in politics and the fact that it's, my problem isn't with money going into politics, it's with government having too much power and the more power that you give over to government, that's what really puts you at threat. That's what really makes me uneasy, it's not whether there's money going into it, because obviously, money can't buy all elections. It can be used to make somebody more likely to succeed than they would without money, but it doesn't make all the difference in the world. It's not the only thing that matters. And the reason that I get worried about the level of power out there is not that I think we're headed in this direction, but we should always keep in mind just how bad things can get. In Iran, you know they've got that situation where they've got a literally, the guy's title is Supreme Leader. If that doesn't tell you something's wrong, I don't know what else will.
Brian Dean: [laughter] We ought to give ourselves some titles like, that...Supreme Sunday night announcers, or you know, something more like that.
Brian Gongol: I like that, Grand Poo-bah, of the Sunday night announcers.
Brian Dean: Well you know you're part of the Wise Guys,
Brian Gongol: Right
Brian Dean: That's a good name to have, but there needs to be something, additional.
Brian Gongol: Grand Emissary, and [laughter] what is it? Plenipotentiary, potentate, I don't know, I'm going to have to look that up, figure out whatever that is. Yeah, something, good, something that sounds exotic, that would be kind of cool. I always wanted, you know when I was young, I always thought that it would be really cool to have one of those hereditary titles, so that you could be a baron. I always thought being a baron would be cool.
Brian Dean: Ooh, yeah.
Brian Gongol: Then I realized, you know, later in life that hereditary titles are stupid.
Brian Dean: Is that more important than a duke or an earl?
Brian Gongol: You know, I don't know the rank and file of all that stuff. Ever since then, I've always thought that Commodore was a cool title. That just seems, you know, cool as well.
Brian Dean: Well, you know a commodore is above a captain and a commodore has sort of multiple ships that he would be responsible for as opposed to an admiral who would have a fleet.
Brian Gongol: Which, I'm not joining the navy, so that's just not going to work at all, but I do find, one thing that I do find ironic, you do those, there's that one personality test, the Myers-Briggs inventory?
Brian Dean: Mmhmm. Sure.
Brian Gongol: Where they give you the different categories? The one that I fall under, they actually call a field marshal. [laughter] I've always thought that that was completely appropriate. I do feel like I needed a little Teutonic hat.
Brian Dean: Isn't that a little European, though, to be a field marshal?
Brian Gongol: I think it is.
Brian Dean: That's not an American thing.
Brian Gongol: No, not really, but I do think it would be kind of fun to get the German type hat
Brian Dean: Supreme Commander, wasn't that Eisenhower?
Brian Gongol: Yes, Supreme Commander.
Brian Dean: Or MacArthur? Anyhow. Supreme Commander.
Brian Gongol: So we should just work on these titles. If you have suggestions for the titles, you can give us a call at 284-1040 or 800-469-4295, but I'll tell you what the Iranian government is doing, in order to scare the protesters, the people who want them to make room for, you know, democracy and people actually making their own choices, expressing their free will, they have started doing this thing where -- it's ironic, here in US we are so desperate for fame, so desperate to be known. The people will go on the biggest loser and, you know, pretty much sacrifice any notion of privacy or anything that, I mean, dignity kind of goes out the window with many of these reality shows and you publicly sign up to be beaten up in a sense and you publicly sign up to put yourself out there for all the world to see largely because we want fame. In Iran, the government there has started taking pictures of people who show up at the protest against the government and publishing a magazine through the national police and distributing this not to support people on their interest of fame but rather to scare people and essentially saying, "Big Brother is watching you." I mean, that's what they are communicating here and I find that just terrifying but in reality it wouldn't be that hard for anybody to do. Given the amount that we are on camera everywhere we go I mean the same cameras that we have which are wonderful for telling us about traffic condition here in Des Moines. The Trip Guide cameras with the DOT, I mean realistically if you see those everywhere those could also be used for surveillance on the people we should always be...
Brian Dean: Oh yeah
Brian Gongol: ...concerned about what those things are being used for. I don't accuse DOT of doing anything nefarious with the Trip Guide cameras, and the wiring common that is really what's going on but should always be skeptical of government having things like cameras everywhere and of being able to promote those things deliver that information. In China, guess what they were doing. There, they've had -- We were talking, you and I were talking before the show, Brian Dean, about the space program...
Brian Dean: Sure, yeah.
Brian Gongol: ...that we have here in the US...
Brian Dean: Or lack thereof.
Brian Gongol: Which apparently involves not having a clue how are we going to get into space in the next year. Because we retire the Space Shuttle this year. That's the plan just put it in mothballs and we're done. I mean it is a 30 year old piece of equipment
Brian Dean: Yes, it is 30 years old
Brian Gongol: I mean there are probably better ways getting into space but we apparently haven't signed up for any of them here in US, now I saw this really exciting report that those on the Wall Street Journal reporting that the Obama administration, to its credit, is thinking of looking at hiring private contractors to get American astronauts into space much as was predicted on this very show, like, two years ago, when they won the X-Prize to do this...
Brian Dean: Sure
Brian Gongol: ...private spacecraft getting up in the space and back safely and everybody was ok said this is this the future turns out really it might be the future
Brian Dean: You know and the irony we talked about in the pre-show, which again that should be something that we record...
Brian Gongol: I have got the video camera...
Brian Dean: Yeah
Brian Gongol: I bring the video camera to the station with me and I forget to do that
Brian Dean: But anyway in the pre-show we were talking about some of that really really science fiction variety -- not that not that cheesy Hollywood movie science fiction
Brian Gongol: Right
Brian Dean: But the early science fiction writing, that beyond maybe Jules Verne -- beyond that, probably, but really science fiction writing from say that late 1940s and the early space travel as the science writers saw was going to be something done by the home inventor or the capitalist as opposed to a government program. And yet...
Brian Gongol: And yet, that's not what is being done now, or maybe it is now. Government took over space travel for ever and ever largely because it was a national defense issue its being. Yeah The space going over our heads and the US kind of went, "Aaahh! OK, we have got Russians got over our heads now...what are we are going to do about this?"
Brian Dean: But I think that businesspeople didn't necessarily see much of a profit, other than making the rocket.
Brian Gongol: Exactly
Brian Dean: Or the government
Brian Gongol: Exactly, and now you do see the growing movement there are now and this the funny part this is where you know government isn't paying attention: The FAA is still trying to figure out, as I understand it, how to register private launch pads for rockets they just because you do have to travel through regular airspace to get up into space.
Brian Dean: Sure
Brian Gongol: You know so the FAA's...
Brian Dean: I suppose filing a flight plan for your rocket would be wise, because you know suddenly a rocket can't just go up and then up there would be something else flying by potentially
Brian Gongol: Exactly. You don't want those kinds of collisions. That could be a bit ugly. Uglier than the bird strike that brought down the plane in the Hudson, you know, so I mean this could be pretty big challenge. But they are still trying to figure out how to do this even those been well know that NASA didn't know what it was going to be doing once the space shuttle was done and now they are scrambling to find another option which apparently may be private space flights some of which may launch from the US some which will launches already from the South Pacific. They have got a couple of launch places; there is a place in south America that is used as a launch site. It is a private space launch pad.
Brian Dean: Or maybe there is all kinds these private launch pads which we've really never known about.
Brian Gongol: Which we really never know. "Spacely Sprockets." But you know, it could be done. China, though, decided that it wanted to test out one of its rockets and it failed miserably. And when it crashed, this is what happens when a government can do too much. The government there has declared that in this mountainous area where this rocket crashed they sent out an estimated 50 or 100,000 people to go pick up the pieces of the rocket that crashed, saying that, you know, well, it's your duty to the country.
Brian Dean: Well, we've done that here. I mean that was 1947. [laughs] This was like the preshow for Coast-to-Coast A.M. [laughs] Wasn't that in New Mexico in 1947?
Brian Gongol: I'm not aware of us sending any people out to pick up the pieces.
Brian Dean: 50,000 soldiers probably. I'm not sure, but I think a number of soldiers went out there and picked up something.
Brian Gongol: Well, these aren't soldiers. This is the government telling the villagers who live [near]by, "Hey, we crashed a rocket. Now it's your job to go pick up the pieces, which may include things that of course have cancer-causing chemicals in it or whatever. But you're a villager. We get to tell you what to do." And again, it's not that I anticipate that the U. S. government would ever tell people to do this. But what I'm saying is when you hear a story like this and you go, "Huh? How can the government tell them to do that?" we should also take a look here whether people say, "I think that everybody should be forced to perform mandatory national service for a year in order to graduate from high school or in order to go to college." There are people who say it with a straight face: "There should be a mandatory year of national service here."
Brian Dean: Oh, yeah.
Brian Gongol: And these are the kinds of reasons we should be a little skeptical.
Brian Dean: Brian, there are schools that require some sort of service for earning a diploma.
Brian Gongol: And when it happens on the local level and you can easily vote out the school board that decided to put that requirement into place or go and call up the principal and complain directly to that individual, you have a much better chance of success than when you're fighting the U.S. Department of Education if they were the ones to set the rules, or U.S. Department of Defense that might decide to draft everyone into this kind of national service. See, this is the reason we should always be, I think, concerned about the amount of power that government exercises over us. I'm not saying you're going to have to go out and pick up cancer-causing debris from a rocket that crashes like they're making people do in China. But I am saying that it's the same mentality that says government gets to tell you what to do that applies there and that we should always be skeptical of when it arises here. And that is, of course, our Tin Foil Hat Award this week. I'm not giving it to myself. I am giving it to the Chinese government for this situation: "We blew up the rocket. You pick up the pieces, villagers. Because you weren't poor enough already, we want you to go pick up some stuff and get some chemicals on you. That will be great." When we come back, though, we'll redeem everything and make happiness and joy appear for everyone with the Yay Capitalism Baby Prize. And it is not the story about the bed warmers. But I'll explain the bed warmer story in a moment, too, because Goldilocks has nothing on what a Holiday Inn in London is trying to do. We'll talk about that in just a moment. 9:52. I'm Brian Gongol here along with Brian Dean talking about making money and having fun on Newsradio 1040 WHO.
Brian Gongol: Oh, skip the calls. We only have three minutes left to go on the show. [laughs] You can send it...
Brian Dean: Why does that run there?
Brian Gongol: I don't know. It's all supposed to be random, and it's not.
Brian Dean: Well, you know Judy Garland was singing, and I got Judy and Mark Bierman here saying funny stuff. [laughs]
Brian Gongol: Why is Judy Garland singing at you? [laughs]
Brian Dean: Oh, she was just singing away. Just didn't... [sings] "It's almost like being in love," and then there's... You can call now. [laughs] There are only two minutes to go.
Brian Gongol: How about if you text us if you like at 989-1040. This is the only way to get your ideas in here on last portion of the show.
Brian Dean: Three minutes to go!
Brian Gongol: We have new title recommendations though here. John has texted us to recommend or appoint us as Amplitude Mode Ambassadors, making reference of course to AM, the AM thing. That's a good thought, John.
Brian Dean: Well, Mark Bierman mentioned "Commandant."
Brian Gongol: That sounds very authoritative.
Brian Dean: Being the older one here, I guess oldest of the two of you, I was thinking of Hogan's Heroes. He was thinking more in the lines of Police Academy.
Brian Gongol: Oh, as though you are too old for Police Academy. [laughs]
Brian Dean: No, I'm not! But I was just saying...
Brian Gongol: OK. I'm just saying...
Brian Dean: And you know, the Police Academy guy was also the Punky Brewster guy.
Brian Gongol: Really?
Brian Dean: Yeah.
Brian Gongol: I didn't know that. The Commandant. Are you sure?
Brian Dean: Yes. Yeah. Oh. He was the old guy on Punky Brewster.
Brian Gongol: Because he looks vaguely like Leslie Nielsen, doesn't he? Vaguely?
Brian Dean: Mmm, he looks like the Punky Brewster guy. [laughs]
Brian Gongol: OK. I guess that works, too. [laughter] OK. Fine. Whoever he looks like. That's interesting. I'm going to have to look that up now. I'm going to have to check it out and check out Internet Movie Database. IMDB.com.
Brian Dean: Type that in under Punky Brewster guy. [laughs]
Brian Gongol: Punky Brewster guy, and they'll have the answer for me. And when I do this, I could do it with a brand new Firefox Version 3.6.
Brian Dean: Yeah, I've used that.
Brian Gongol: That is my Yay Capitalism Baby Prize of the week. It's free. Now, that's the beauty of this whole system, is that, in a capitalistic system, if you want to design something wonderful and give it away for free, like, for instance, a show, a radio show, you could create and give away for free, or a web browser that you could design and program and also give away for free, and if it's better than other things, then people will use it. It's amazing how this system works, is it not?
Brian Dean: Well, Microsoft did that with Internet Explorer originally.
Brian Gongol: Right, and it turned out that it's not necessarily better than all the rest, which is why competitors have emerged, and have not only done well themselves, but have also pushed Microsoft to build a better Internet Explorer. I think that's wonderful stuff, and I think it's wonderful that this progress keeps on continuing. It is -- and I will state this truth and we'll elaborate maybe on a future program here on WHO Radio -- I think the only way we're ever going to get our national debt which is a colossal problem under control is through radical levels of innovation. We're not going to be able to tax our way out of it, we're not going to be able to slow-growth our way out of it. We're not going to be able to cut spending out of it. We're going to have to create a colossal amount of new wealth in this country and the only way to do that is through massive new innovation. But it's not -- this is not the kind of innovation that I think will work -- a London Holiday Inn is offering a bed-warming service using real people.
Brian Dean: What?
Brian Gongol: They actually dress people up in full-body suits and stick them in your bed...
Brian Dean: That sounds wrong...
Brian Gongol: ...to warm it up for you...
Brian Dean: ...that's really wrong.
Brian Gongol: It is so wrong!
Brian Dean: Oh!
Brian Gongol: I mean, there are so many creepy things about hotel beds to begin with, you don't need to make it creepier!
Brian Dean: Stop!
Brian Gongol: Goldilocks, whatever. There's a creepy person in a onesie in my bed! We've got to check out for tonight, thank you very much, Brian Dean. We'll see you next week here on Newsradio 1040 WHO.