Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio

Brian Gongol - October 28, 2017

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.

Live read - 2:00 hour

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Segment 1: Someone's doing a perp walk

BUT FIRST: The opening essay

Last evening, it was reported that someone -- and maybe more than one person -- faces criminal charges next week as a result of the investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller.

This means someone could literally be in handcuffs as soon as Monday.

So today would be a very good time for all of us to take a deep breath and ask: What do we believe in?

Because the thought that someone -- anyone -- might be facing prison time because they did something dirty to win an election is a pretty big deal indeed.

To be clear: I think the odds that the President himself did something illegal are very low -- bordering on zero. But I think the odds that someone close to him did something illegal are very high -- bordering on 100%.

That's because the President is known for a management style that pits everyone against everyone else, and in which the last thing you want to be seen as is a "loser".

So in a high-stakes environment where the only thing that matters to the boss is winning, it's easy to believe that someone might have gone outside the lines in order to win.

You might have heard of the "veil of ignorance" proposed by John Rawls. In essence, it asks a person to test their designs for society as an outsider who would be placed into the society after their rules were put into place, without knowing in advance what class or status they might have when they get there.

We're under a certain kind of veil of ignorance this weekend. We don't know who's facing charges, or for what, or where else the Mueller investigation might lead. While the odds are pretty good that it's someone from inside the President's circle who's facing charges, there are those who think and hope that it's someone from Clinton-world.

So, since we all share this veil of ignorance, we should put it to good use. We should decide, *before* we know who's in trouble for what, what we value the most out of this process. Some people want political retribution. Some people want a change in the Oval Office. Some people want it all to just go away because it feels so dirty.

I want justice. I want an impeccable, by-the-books prosecution of anyone who broke the rules in an effort to win the election, get favors or special influence for their clients, or enrich themselves at the expense of the country.

I don't think that should be so much to ask. I don't think it should be controversial, either.

But it is essential that we decide what we want from behind the veil of ignorance -- not in the harsh light of day on Monday, when we might well know who's doing a perp walk.

If your idea of a good outcome is that people should be punished according to your personal animus, then you don't really believe in the rule of law.

The process matters as much as the results.

Tin Foil Hat Award - We're trying not to become China

Segment 2: (8 min)

Clean up after yourself 2 - prescription drug takeback

It's National Prescription Drug Takeback Day.

DEA points out its value as a tool for preventing addiction and abuse.

Also valuable in keeping people from flushing or throwing away those drugs. They get into water supplies (either through wastewater flushing or by leaching from landfills), and that puts our water supply at risk. Very hard to extract pharmaceuticals from the water. Almost no places are equipped to do it.

Have a little empathy

No one's life is disposable. Clearly, we have a problem.

If we're not digging deep to reach root causes, we're not going to solve the problem.

Drug abuse in general is a public-health problem. The pure criminalization approach has exhausted lots of resources, strained police resources, encouraged violent crime, and overcrowded our prisons.

Mind your business

Canadian finance minister forced to sell shares in a company because of conflicts of interest.

Segment 3: (14 min)


The week in technology - thin concrete

One for anyone who went to Iowa State: Ultra-thin concrete shells -- just 5 cm thick. Is this the New Brutalism?

The week in technology - Amazon locks

Santa is real, but he's kinda creepy: "Amazon to sell smart locks so it can slip packages into your home"

Reminds me a little of the gun debate. People in big cities have very good reason to have totally different attitudes on guns than people living in Ringgold County, where there are only 10 people per square mile. Here in Iowa, giving Amazon a key to your house looks patently absurd. Just put a locking box on your front porch instead. But that's because most of us live in single-family homes. But what about people who live in urban areas where there's no such thing as a front porch, no place for a locking box, and (crucially) not a lot of ways to haul your goods home from the store (so you have to get them delivered)?

21st Century conservatism

Weekly Standard editorial: Surrender in the Republican Civil War

Really principled conservatism asks for hard things, and right now it needs firm advocates.

Isn't one of the biggest problems right now that so many people are picking pro/anti positions on trade (and more) based on personalities?

Self-government depends in no small part upon the willingness of people to think for themselves.

Tim Miller: "The Republican Party cannot neutralize Trump and Bannon by coopting their worst qualities and then pretending the ugliness never happened."

Truly principled conservatism (a/k/a classical liberalism) has always been the underdog. We basically have to re-spawn in every generation.

Clean up after yourself

Jennifer Rubin: "Liberals and conservatives can debate size of government, but both must be prepared to pay for whatever size they choose."

A limited government means one that is properly restrained. And that means restraining government's reach into future generations' pockets.

Segment 4: (5 min)

Iowa news

Make money

A worthwhile question, demanding a serious answer. Someone made a bad decision. Capitalism and freedom don't exist in a moral vacuum.

Live read - 3:00 hour

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Segment 5: A crime wave? (11 min)

Arthur Rizer, Director of National Security and Justice Policy at the R Street Institute

Article in The Hill

Article in IBD

Article in Juneau Empire

Segment 6: (8 min)

Part 2 with Arthur Rizer

3:30 pm - Hawkeye football pregame

It's Floyd of Rosedale day

5:35 kickoff -- forecast temperatures

Unsorted and leftovers:

This week

Financial Times article on how the Communist Party tries to influence that which it doesn't fully control -- from regions to religions.

By the numbers

Have fun

Quote of the Week

Your role in cyberwar

Contrary to popular opinion

Hyperbole is going to kill us all

Curiosity, competence, and humility

Inbox zero

Stop the deliberate ignorance

Tin Foil Hat Award

It's almost as though they should be spending their time and effort recruiting candidates with broad appeal instead of stunting.

Yay Capitalism Prize

Capitalist solution of the week

Programming notes

Calendar events to highlight


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