Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - December 20, 2019 - Filling in for Jeff Angelo

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)

Home security cameras and porch pirates | Sgt. Dan Wade, West Des Moines Police Department

Segment 2: (8 min)

Totally Unnecessary Debate of the Day

Segment 3: (14 min)

USMCA and China trade deals | Bill Watson | R Street Institute

Segment 4: (5 min)

I'm going to run for President on a platform of banning studio audiences from Presidential debates.

My kingdom for a political movement that applies a serious 20-year time horizon to all of our big issues. It's been almost 20 years since 9/11 and we're still approaching almost every related issue on a month-to-month basis. It's madness. The appropriate discount rate on serious problems should be close to 0% over the first 20 years.

Website reminder

The moral of the story:

Segment 5: (11 min)

Business and Finance Create more value than you consume

That basic principle -- exercised not as a legal or regulatory requirement, but instead as the kind of thing enforced by social pressure and accepted mores -- would be really valuable for knocking down some of the dreadful and exploitative practices found in industries like money management. Customers get talked into management fees that are patently obscene: 1% or 1.5% on assets sounds small...but it's really a 10% to 20% cut of your returns in most years -- or even more. And for what?

Business and Finance Midwest's fastest-growing county had 71.2% GDP growth in 2018

Two observations on the BEA's latest data release: 1. It's pretty unusual for any county to be able to log 71.2% annual GDP growth, as Harlan County, Nebraska, did last year. That's...quite something. 2. The number of counties in the zero-to-negative-growth range is distressing.

Business and Finance "A skeptic's guide to Modern Monetary Theory"

Worthwhile reading. N. Gregory Mankiw is credible and his analysis is fair. MMT doesn't seem to lend any credence to real constraints in the economy. Playing games with the money supply doesn't erase those constraints.

The moral of the story:

Segment 6: (8 min)

Weather and Disasters Australia ablaze

Reuters quotes a fire official: "People should be under no illusion, we won't contain the fires by the time the weather deteriorates later this week". One might wonder whether an increasing frequency of devastating wildfires will tend to accelerate the pace of urbanization. There are only so many firefighting resources to go around. If the choices look like (a) move or (b) risk being abandoned, won't that nudge people to move?

The moral of the story: Disasters are probably going to push people into cities, and cities may become susceptible to more disasters

Segment 7: (14 min)

Boeing Starliner launch | Eben Brown | Fox News Radio

How are you feeling?

NIH | CDC | BBC | CNN | WebMD | Harvard

Health Antibiotic resistance ought to have us panicking

Straight from the CDC: "Antibiotic-resistant (AMR) bacteria and fungi cause more than 2.8 million infections and 35,000 deaths in the United States each year, according to a November 13 CDC report." 35,000 deaths is a huge number -- comparable to the number of deaths caused annually by automobile crashes (around 40,000). That's a number large enough that it should be treated like a serious public-health problem, worthy of lots of popular attention. It doesn't seem like it's getting that attention at all.

The moral of the story:

Segment 8: (5 min)

Broadcasting We need a "half-watching" mode inside Netflix

Netflix needs a "folding laundry/drying dishes/assembling toys" mode, where it randomly picks episodes from a preselected list of your favorite series and plays them haphazardly, like a low-wattage UHF station.

Your role in cyberwar

The moral of the story:

Unsorted and leftovers:

News Careless? Dishonest? Something else?

How, exactly, was the head of Chicago's city law department claiming a homestead tax credit on two residences at once?

The United States of America The government owns Blair House because Winston Churchill had bonkers sleeping habits

From the official Blair House website: "Franklin Roosevelt, Jr., recalls the morning his mother found the prime minister wandering towards the family's private quarters at 3 a.m., trademark cigar in hand, to rouse the sleeping president for more conversation. He met Eleanor first, however, who firmly persuaded him to wait until breakfast." And it was soon after that Churchill and others were to be put up at Blair House instead of the Presidential residence.

This week

BBC | VOA | Times | CNN | CSM

Hot (social) topics

Google Trends | Yahoo | Y-today | Yahoo Buzz | MSN | MSN UK | Alexa | Delicio | Lycos | Technorati | AOL | Google | Dogpile | Ask (wkly) | CBS | Bloglines | NYTLede | Twitter

By the numbers

Make money

Economist | Fast Co | WSJ | CB

Have fun

Clean up after yourself

Mind your business

Quote of the Week

Technology Three | The week in technology

Wired | Slashdot | CNet | ZD | Engad | Digg | TechRepublic | ArsTech | Tw/sci list | Tw/designandtech list

Iowa news

DSM | RadI | CID | DVN | ALO | SUX | DBQ | BUR | FOD | MCW | IC | DI | ISU | UNI

Contrary to popular opinion

Hyperbole is going to kill us all

What's the big idea?

21st Century conservatism

Cities and the people

Tw/cities | CityLab | StrongTowns

Curiosity, competence, and humility

Have a little empathy

How are you feeling?

NIH | CDC | BBC | CNN | WebMD | Harvard

Inbox zero

Stop the deliberate ignorance

Tin Foil Hat Award

Yay Capitalism Prize

Capitalist solution of the week


This day in history

HistCh | Infoplease | LoC | HistNet | NYT | Yahoo

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



Notes from the episode that aired on December 20, 2019
Listen to the full episode from December 20, 2019 here 🎧

Segment 1 | West Des Moines Police Sgt. Dan Wade has a police perspective on the doorbell cameras you're seeing practically everywhere these days.

Segment 2 | Totally Unnecessary Debate of the Day: Is your workplace closed for an extended stretch over the holidays?

Segment 3 | Where do we stand with the big trade deals? Bill Watson of the R Street Institute has updates on the USMCA (passed yesterday by the House) and the state of whatever deal it is we're trying to make with China.

Segment 4 | [skipped it!]

Segment 5 | I'm going to run for President on a platform of banning studio audiences from Presidential debates. Oh, and forcing ourselves to take a 20-year look ahead at all of our major issues.

Segment 6 | Listener comments and feedback on what it means to look a few years down the road.

Segment 7 | Eben Brown of Fox News Radio with an update on the Boeing Starliner launch this morning. What went a little bit wrong? And: Antibiotic resistance ought to have us panicking.

Segment 8 | Create more value than you consume. That shouldn't be a hard thing to ask.