Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio
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.
Segment 1: (11 min)
BUT FIRST: Girls in the Boy Scouts
It's about time. Three cheers for it.
Segment 2: Struggle is the price of things worth having
Quote of the Week
One of the reasons I'm proud to have earned my Eagle Scout award is that it was hard. And that's one of the reasons I applaud the Boy Scouts' decision to create a path to Eagle for girls, too. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes -- one that appeals simultaneously to the conservative and the libertarian in me:
"What I am working for is a free and responsible society. But freedom is not synonymous with an easy life." - Margaret Thatcher
There are too many Pied Pipers in America today -- people who promise to make things better in an easy way
I think the way that "struggle" is defined and understood marks one of the big differences between philosophy on the left and philosophy on the right.
For the left, struggle is usually defined as something people do in groups against whomever they believe to have power. Senator Bernie Sanders wants people to join a group he's calling "Our Revolution" -- straight out of the marketing playbook of Chairman Mao. It's always about having to link arms with everyone around before you can stand up.
For the right -- at least historically -- struggle is a personal challenge. It's every woman and man struggling against their own internal limitations and shortcomings. It's about the struggle to overcome human frailty by aspiring to refine one's own character.
What I'm tired of hearing is the modern-day corruption of all this into a sloppy blend of the two -- a sort of philistine philosophy of everyone-for-themselves, but also it's-never-your-fault -- a myth that someone else is trying to take away your birthright not to have to struggle against yourself. That's the worst of both worlds, and there's a lot of it going on right now...especially from people who put more energy into finding someone else to blame for bad things than into helping people see for themselves that, most of the time, we're responsible for our own bootstraps.
Teddy Roosevelt once said, "Help a man to help himself, but do not expend all your efforts in helping a man who will not help himself." Please think of those words the next time you hear anyone -- on the left or the right -- try to tell you that they can make everything better for you with more power and more control over you. Please push back every time -- whether that's a new regulation, a new tariff, or a new restriction of any other sort on what people can choose to do. The really good ideas should be justified enough to overcome the resistance, but we have to first offer that resistance.
Look instead to those who propose a model that says: If you put in the effort to improve yourself, we'll do what's reasonable and proper to help match that effort.
Segment 3: (14 min)
Segment 4: (5 min)
Segment 5: (11 min)
Segment 6: (8 min)
Segment 7: (14 min)
Segment 8: (5 min)
Unsorted and leftovers:
By the numbers
Chicago-area pop tax might be repealed
A penny an ounce on sweetened beverages adds up to $200 million a year in government revenues.
IKEA plans an aggressive retail expansion
Showroom stores and sales through online outlets both come into the plan
Clean up after yourself
Puerto Rico's governor opens door to Tesla to restore power
Elon Musk claims an island-wide power system "can be done for Puerto Rico" to recover from Hurricane Maria
Mind your business
The week in technology
AOL Instant Messenger to close on December 15th
20 years -- a good enough run for a one-time cutting-edge technology?
"160 terabits of data every second"
New undersea data cable between Virginia and Spain will move almost incomprehensible volumes of data for Facebook and Microsoft
Your role in cyberwar
"Protecting the digital homeland"
Head of signals intelligence agency in Britain argues that cyberwarfare is as big a deal to them as spying
Contrary to popular opinion
Hyperbole is going to kill us all
21st Century conservatism
"He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation."
The words of the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee speaking about a head of state. His own. That's frightening. In particular: "He's hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway." The really shocking thing about all of this is the degree to which the national conversation about the President seems to take place as if he's in the next room, and all of the competent adults need to have a whispered conversation out of earshot. It's no way to run a country.
Does the President really want to censor the press, or is he just hopelessly glib?
Either way, it's a problem that the person whose job is to lead the free world is so dismissive of the individual rights most central to our way of life that he thinks they can be either abrogated entirely or joked about recklessly. The only bright spot in this debacle is the thought that it might force sensible people to recommit themselves to the principles that matter.
Curiosity, competence, and humility
Have a little empathy
Stop the deliberate ignorance
Tin Foil Hat Award
Yay Capitalism Prize
Capitalist solution of the week
Calendar events to highlight
- Podcast of this episode (forthcoming)
- Official station page for this episode (forthcoming)