Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - November 5, 2016
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.
Noticing economic signals in the world around us:
- Hiring bonus at McDonald's (low unemployment, possible future inflation)
- Big, ambitious new developments (low interest rates, unappetizing capital markets)
Clean up after yourself
- Listened to "The Imperial Cruise" on audiobook this past week
- Don't think that consequences of today's actions stop tomorrow
- Things our country did in 1905 set the stage for World War II
- It's not unlike the way that British imperialism set the stage for today's Middle East
- Consequences often last much longer than you think
- The time to start fixing a mistake is the moment you recognize that it's wrong
Mind your business
Quote of the Week
The week in technology
Contrary to popular opinion
Hyperbole is going to kill us all
21st Century conservatism
If this election has you exasperated, then vote on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, make sure you're paying your civic rent.
- Something constructive for your civic community
- Not for your church (though churches can be good coordinators of civic activities)
- Not kids' sports
- Taking ownership of local needs, problems, and issues
- Schools, libraries, parks, human services, credit unions, Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Variety Club, hospital volunteers, mentoring, tutoring, etc.
- Most important part: Working with people of different political and religious persuasions to achieve the common interest
- We have too many civic dropouts
- Bipartisanship doesn't start in Congress, it starts in our neighborhoods
Curiosity, competence, and humility
Have a little empathy
Three awful things happened this past week:
- Two Des Moines-area police officers were killed. A suspect has been apprehended and charged.
- The 14-year-old boy who was shot near Methodist Hospital died last Saturday, and his funeral was held this morning
- Hundreds of refugees died when their boats capsized in the Mediterranean
- All lives have equal value
- None of these events should be considered "normal"
- Each of these events should provoke outrage and resolution
- We should challenge ourselves to think about what we *can* do in each case
- Justice must be done in the case of the police officers
- We can and should be proud of the community's support for the officers, departments, and families affected
- Justice must also be done for a boy murdered near one of our major hospitals
- But we also have to consider what we can do to bring about justice for the refugees, too -- there were babies and children who drowned
- You can donate to the police officers' memorial funds
- You can donate to the family of Yore Jieng (pronounced YAR YING)
- You can donate to the UN refugee agency
- Too many people have played a game pretending that the refugees are a categorical threat to us
- They are not; they are human beings just like ourselves, who happened to be in a bad place at a bad time
- There but for the grace of God go all of us
- As we rightly mourn two peace officers, as a community we need to also seek justice for a young boy from among us. And we should seek what we should do to bring about peace for the souls who are trying to escape war and deprivation instead of turning our backs on them.
Stop the deliberate ignorance
- It is totally fine if you're not satisfied with the Presidential candidates
- Democracy is imperfect; there is no way of satisfying everyone with the outcome
- We could have ranked-choice voting (Maine is voting this year whether to adopt it, and a version of this called instant-runoff voting is in place for some municipal elections)
- We could have cumulative voting, where you can allocate multiple votes among all of the available candidates
- We could have proportional represenation, like Germany and Ireland and many other European countries
- We could have electoral fusion, which is only legal in eight states and is best known in New York
- The point is that no matter what system is implemented, people will find reasons to be dissatisfied with the outcomes
- That doesn't mean the system is "rigged"
- Whatever happens on Tuesday, don't let it turn you against the democratic process
Why Deviant Donald must be repelled
- If a third party meets a 5% threshold, it gets Federal funding in the next Presidential election
- Deviant Donald must be turned back
- You can protest Clinton, but do so with honor
What makes him a deviant:
- Admits to being a sexual pervert (bragging about groping women; walking in on changing rooms)
- Admits to extreme business failure and tax avoidance
- Breaks contracts (non-payment of his pollster, most recently)
- Encourages violence
- Retweets racists
- Insults our allies and our military leadership (threatening to dismantle NATO)
- Promises to raise taxes on the middle class and the poor (tariffs are a tax)
- Guarantees a much bigger deficit and resulting debt (estimated to dramatically increase the national debt)
Last-minute election thoughts
Three things to bear in mind if you're voting on Tuesday:
- Look downticket at the polls. Even at things like hospital trustees.
- Don't mistake your own echo chamber for reality. We all think that "everyone" thinks the same way we do because it's pretty common to spend most of our time with people like us.
- Do not give up on the Electoral College. It is essential to federalism, it reduces uncertainty about election outcomes (by magnifying the differences in results), and it protects the interests of small states like Iowa. Anyone who opposes the Electoral College (especially if they're just angry about the outcome) is missing the point.
Tin Foil Hat Award
Yay Capitalism Prize
Capitalist solution of the week
Police memorial tonight
On Saturday, 05 November, at 7 pm there will be a candlelight vigil at the Des Moines Police Station, 25 E. 1st Street. We will gather near the memorial car. We would like to invite our friends in the community, as well as our media partners, to join us as we continue to honor Sgt. Beminio and Officer Martin.
The curse of Daylight Saving Time resumes tonight
- I don't see how anyone who's ever had children can support it
- It's the perfect example of a stupid government intervention
- We suffer jet lag twice a year, and for what?
- And for every hour we give, we get just an hour back. There's no interest payment.
- I like the concept of two time zones in the US and no more DST