Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - March 22, 2015
Podcast: Updated weekly in the wee hours of Sunday night/Monday morning. Subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or iHeartRadio
Please note: These show notes may be in various stages of completion -- ranging from brainstormed notes through to well-polished monologues. Please excuse anything that may seem rough around the edges, as it may only be a first draft of a thought and not be fully representative of what was said on the air.
Time for a language checkTerrorist attack in Tunisia was carried out by Al Qaeda/ISIL
Two language checks: First, we shouldn't allow internal divisions among terrorist groups to determine what we call them. The group variously known as ISIS/ISIL/QSIL/Daesh is a splinter group of Al Qaeda, and we shouldn't dilute our attention to the hazard by diluting the name we apply to it. Second, we should reject the common phraseology "takes responsibility for" when talking about terror attacks. Civilized people "take responsibility". Barbarians just crave your fear.
Mental wellnessFailure to care for sick veterans is a national shame
It's probably time for us to stop using the phrase "mental illness" (which tends to connote something negative that is to be avoided) and instead talk openly about "mental wellness" as something positive to which we ought to deliberately commit resources like money and attention. At a level that is probably subconscious, the terminology "mental illness" perpetuates the stigma we have unwisely attached to it. It becomes something unpleasant-sounding, so culturally we are inclined to avoid it. But if we were to talk about a positive commitment to mental wellness, it would probably help to open the public conversation such that we would think of it as an affirmative state of well-being which we as a culture should be committed to preserving (or creating, as the case may be) for everyone. We all exist in various states of mental wellness, and improving that state for every person is a positive, affirmative goal. It's much too easy to think of "mental illness" as something that someone else has -- it's impossible to reject the notion that we are all in some state of "mental wellness." And words do matter, particularly on sensitive topics. Making them less sensitive by bringing them out of the shadows is something worthwhile to consider.
This weekGovernment is the leading employment sector in ten states and DC
Food for thought
US DOT infographic shows why it matters where you choose to live
The amount of lost time and added expense faced by people who choose to live in places where congestion and traffic are terrible really boggles the mind
The surging value of the US dollar
Reversed slightly by the Federal Reserve's discussion this week, the surging value of the dollar has to have made it more appealing for Americans to look at buying European companies with large volumes of dollar-denominated earnings. In other words, Warren Buffett really must be shopping hard for European companies to buy. The buying power of the dollar is just too great to ignore right now.
Non-profitismWe fail ourselves as a culture when we fetishize, professionalize, and corporatize too much of our charity.
By that, I mean to criticize:
- Fetishize: Too many people think of non-profit work as morally superior to for-profit work, when instead most of us are engaged in for-profit work and need make no excuse for it. We should all, though, also have a commitment to doing something charitable or civic with some of our non-working hours.
- Professionalize: By fetishizing non-profit work as something that the "morally superior" do, we create a class of people who become isolated in a non-profit labor force, where actually solving problems takes a back seat to perpetuating the job. That's not to say that there aren't plenty of devoted, caring, generous people who work in non-profit sectors. But the phrase "non-profit-industrial complex" isn't without some merit.
- Corporatize: Does anyone really believe that the really enormous non-profit organizations are in business to put themselves out of business?