Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - June 22, 2019

Brian Gongol

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.

Breaking news to watch

Segment 1: (11 min)

BUT FIRST: The opening essay

I don't think that the framers of the Constitution made a whole lot of mistakes. There is certainly something to be argued over whether the direct election of senators is a mistake we've made in revision, and it's also worth asking whether they should have said something more about expanding Congress to keep up with a growing population or ending slavery permanently and Swift play. But the one area I think definitely deserves reconsideration in today's day and age is there omission of an actual head of state. We've taken it by default that the president are to be the head of state, and we have George Washington's Stellar performance to blame for that. But not a whole lot of presidents were going to end up being George Washington. And the country needs a central figure, a central moral Authority, someone who can represent the country without intermingling with the country's politics. England has her Queen, separate from the prime minister, as do many other countries. Separating the ceremonial role of a head of state from the political role of a head of government makes a whole lot of sense. And we haven't done that. But by making the head of government by default the president, we've undermined the legislative branch which is in fact the article one Authority. It also means that we fail to have a central moral Authority, a figure representing our feelings of the times, and I think that's something we ought to reconsider. A head of state with no political Authority, but acting in a ceremonial role as the person embodying the spirit of the times for a year add a term might make a real difference when it comes to the occasional issue that we as a country depend upon having some kind of moral voice to speak to. Sometimes our country is feeling like Oprah Winfrey, sometimes were feeling a little more like Morton Downey jr. Maybe sometimes we're feeling like

Flabbergasting arguments from the Federal government about what constitutes sanitary

The moral of the story:

Segment 2: (8 min)

Totally Unnecessary Debate of the Day

Segment 3: (14 min)

Tin Foil Hat Award

News The gender-reveal pseudo-industry is running out of ideas

First came the idiotic escalation of the "prom-posal". Then it turned to the nonsense of extravagant "gender-reveal parties". What happens when people start making public affairs of their colonoscopies? That may be the only greenfield left. Jokes notwithstanding, there are those who turn even the earliest stages of romance into a big display. We expect adolescence to be a time of learning and practice for all kinds of important things (e.g. internships, drivers' ed, student government), and we should. It ought to be that way for relationships, too -- a time for low-risk practice and failure.

Iowa news

Iowa Former AIB campus slated for housing redevelopment

Great news that something better will come of the site. But the failure to really get something off the ground (as was originally intended) with a serious, on-the-ground presence in Des Moines with one of the big three state universities is a giant missed opportunity. From a strategic perspective, the state of Iowa could use the economic boost from research universities, which need campuses.

Iowa news

Speaking of development, how about the state's stunt in New York City?

Almost seems cruel to get people's hopes up like that

21st Century conservatism

Threats and Hazards Illinois deploys state troopers to undercover semis

The good achieved by busting distracted drivers is at least partially offset by the bad in making the roads just a little bit more of an unaccountable, undercover, full-time surveillance state.

Segment 4: (5 min)

Hot (social) topics

Dog OD's on pacifiers

Congress punts on marijuana regulation

Mind your business

News A bold statement

Professor Qu Weiguo of Shanghai: "Freedom is not a handout, we need to earn it with our efforts." In his speech to a graduating class, he also, boldly, told them: "Today's civilization is a product of communication and fusion", and advocated against thinking in a "Western-vs-Eastern" binary. Heroic words.

Website reminder

The moral of the story:

Segment 5: (11 min)

George Will interview

Segment 6: (8 min)

George Will interview

Segment 7: (14 min)

George Will interview

Segment 8: (5 min)

Iran update

We have now been without a Senate-confirmed Secretary of Defense for 173 days. Senate-confirmed Cabinet secretaries are a basic manifestation of "advice and consent".

The moral of the story:

Unsorted and leftovers:

This week

By the numbers

Make money

Have fun

Clean up after yourself

Quote of the Week

Technology Three | The week in technology

Your role in cyberwar

Contrary to popular opinion

Hyperbole is going to kill us all

Curiosity, competence, and humility

Weather and Disasters Where Americans welcome refugees

The biggest mistake is to think of refugees as people without skills or agency. Just because you've been displaced from what was once your home doesn't mean you gave up your right to self-determination or somehow forgot your craft, trade, or profession.

Have a little empathy

Inbox zero

Stop the deliberate ignorance

Yay Capitalism Prize

Capitalist solution of the week


News Could Tampa Bay share its baseball team with Montreal?

Montreal and Tampa Bay are already the "Twin Cities" in the minds of most people, so this is hardly a stretch, right?

One year ago

Five years ago

Ten years ago

Programming notes

Live read: iHeartRadio app

iHeartRadio app

Live read: Contests

Live read: Smart speakers (hour 1)

Smart speakers

Live read: Smart speakers (hour 2)

Smart speakers

Calendar events to highlight



Listen to the full episode from June 22, 2019 here

The Framers of our Constitution got a whole lot right -- but they left out one thing: A head of state. They were probably so overconfident that Congress would dominate the government (remember, they were originally trying to fix the Articles of Confederation) that they didn't think the Presidency would evolve into the monster it has become. And it is a monstrosity today: The Imperial Presidency might befit a President with the restraint and self-discipline of a George Washington, but it's too much for almost anyone else. And by merging the head-of-government functions of the Presidency with the ceremonial duties of a head of state, we really don't have an agreeable representative of our country. And that's why we ought to have a Citizen of the Year: A head of state to do all of the ceremonial things, elected to a single one-year term of office, with exactly one political power -- the right to introduce a single piece of legislation to Congress. It's the job I think President Trump really wanted in the first place.

Listen to segment 1

Totally Unnecessary Debate of the Day: Which month is the best part of summer?

Listen to segment 2

Gender-reveal parties have gone too far, just like prom-posals. I don't want the people who have taken these things too far to start getting colonoscopies. Also: It's a good thing to try to get distracted drivers off the road, but Illinois is going too far by putting state troopers in undercover semis. Enough with the surveillance-state tactics.

Listen to segment 3

Congress punts on marijuana regulations. A small victory for federalism, maybe?

Listen to segment 4

⑤ ⑥ ⑦ An interview with George Will about his new book, "The Conservative Sensibility"

Listen to the full interview with George Will

The world knows we're strong. We need to remind them that we're good, too. That's why restraint with Iran and an emphasis on enforcing rules of international behavior have to come first, with our more belligerent tendencies taking a back seat for now.

Listen to segment 8