Gongol.com > Archive > August 2004
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Gongol.com Archives: August 2004

The United States of America (8.17.2004)
NY Times Public Editor: Yeah, We're Liberal
"Start with the editorial page, so thoroughly saturated in liberal theology that when it occasionally strays from that point of view the shocked yelps from the left overwhelm even the ceaseless rumble of disapproval from the right." (from Opinion Journal)

Threats to Western Civilization (8.17.2004)
Al Qaeda Affiliates Promise "Bloody War" on Europe
The debate naturally continues to determine how the US can improve its world image in order to deflect future attacks

Science and Technology (8.17.2004)
Solar Panels on Garage Roof to Cut Apartment Complex's Power Bill By 50%
Other renewables, like energy recovery from anaerobic digestion, are also gaining ground. Municipal water and wastwater plants are huge users of energy, so as they get smarter about efficiency, the rest of us will benefit.

Threats to Western Civilization (8.17.2004)
Church Celebrates Symbolic Book-Burning
While we're in the middle of a war with fundamentalist Muslims, it's probably sensible to cast a cricital eye on fundamentalism in all its shades. We need more rational inquiry and open debate, not more theocracy. There's nothing wrong with rejecting things that might lead one "into temptation," but book burnings are a pretty universally-recognized act of hostility to free speech and thought.

The American Way (8.17.2004)
Free Trade is Good for You
WTO agreement will eliminate agricultural export subsidies in the long run. The US and EU both pour tons of tax money into propping up prices, and it leads to inefficient agriculture, among other problems.

The United States of America (8.17.2004)
NORAD Data to be Used for Missile Defense
Canada says it isn't getting into the missile-defense shield. It wouldn't be a bad idea, though: North Korea is developing missiles that could hit the US as well as Canada.

Science and Technology (8.17.2004)
Military to Try Collecting Intelligence from All Deployed Soldiers
System involves filling out a standard form on a satellite-linked PDA that fires the information off to a central headquarters for processing. See previous entry about a unified intelligence chief. Similar PDA technology is also being used to help teach basic health care to people in Afghanistan. In another related item, the Department of Defense is working on battlefield food including high-caffeine gum that can reduce the amount of food prep that has to be done during wartime. New uniforms that should cut the weight of combat gear in half are also being developed, and a containerized deployment camp is being refined as well.

Threats to Western Civilization (8.17.2004)
Eight Terrorist Suspects May Have Planned a Radioactive Attack in Britain
Included among the eight are two who are also charged with planning to attack the Prudential Building in NJ. Meantime, the British are requiring all immigrating imams to have a basic command of English before they're allowed to move to the UK. Another report says Al Qaeda is thinking of attacking merchant ships to cripple international trade.

The United States of America (8.17.2004)
USO Sends 300,000th Care Package Since September 2002
It's easy to send a care package

Business and Finance (8.17.2004)
Prices Staying Level
Inflation rate over 12 months ago: up about 3%. Over one month ago: down 0.2%. Energy prices are up, but durable goods prices are down

Business and Finance (8.17.2004)
Warren Buffett's Wife Leaves Most of Her Estate to Charity
She and the revered investor hadn't lived together for years, but supposedly remained friends. Most of her $2.6 billion goes to the Buffett Foundation.

Threats to Western Civilization (8.17.2004)
Why the UN Should Come Clean About the Oil-For-Food Program
The UN's own internal investigation is looking at "payoffs, bribes, kickbacks, overcharges, undercharges"

Business and Finance (8.17.2004)
Industrial Tourism
WSJ report says more companies are offering tours of their factories than have in a long time.

Business and Finance (8.17.2004)
European Union Membership a Bad Deal for Poland
Prices on all kinds of products rose, because the EU has some ridiculous customs duties and higher taxes that Poland didn't have before. The countdown to the failure of the EU continues.

The Looming Water Crisis (8.17.2004)
Kansas Water Congress Debates How to Stay Hydrated
The concept of tradable water rights (as discussed) sounds, at least on the surface, like a rational market-based way to go. Meanwhile, Texas is just a jumble of conflicting rules. The problems span from Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska all the way to Texas and Nevada. It's so bad that new front lawns are banned around Las Vegas.

Threats to Western Civilization (8.17.2004)
Another Ethnic Massacre in Africa
150 killed in Burundi. In the Sudan, they're threatening to fight UN forces sent to stop the genocide there.

Threats to Western Civilization (8.17.2004)
Terrorists Kill 15 at Independence Day Celebration in India
Another attack injured 17. India is presently the world's second-largest country, and Pakistan (which borders the locations hit by the attacks) is one of the fastest-growing.

Business and Finance (8.17.2004)
Case-International Harvester Closing Plant in Quad Cities
It once produced almost 12,000 combines a year. Today, that's nearly the entire annual demand for those tractors in all of the western world.

Aviation News (8.17.2004)
We Are French...It Is Our Job to be Nastaaay
Air France ticket agent tells woman with no arms or legs (her mother took thalidomide, causing a birth defect), "a head, one bottom and a torso cannot possibly fly on its own."

Aviation News (8.17.2004)
NBC Tries to "Hijack" Sightseeing Helicopter
Two men carrying weapons say they were there to "test the system" for an NBC News report. The charter company isn't laughing. At all.

Aviation News nt link"> (8.17.2004)
Delta CEO Thinks His Airline Needs to go Long-Haul
They have $2 billion in cash, and they're losing $4 million a day. That gives them 500 days to live. He apparently also wants to pull the plug on their low-cost sub-airline called Song. US Airways is in deep financial trouble, too. Some estimates give them 30 days to bankruptcy. United's also still in trouble; they can't get a government loan guarantee, so they're hoping to land some special financing deals with lenders.

The United States of America nt link"> (8.17.2004)
Military Says "So Long, Europe!"
Up to 70,000 uniformed servicemembers will be re-deployed from overseas to the US over the next decade. President Bush said it's a change to reflect the end of the Soviet threat. The Russian Defense Minister says that we're "certainly not enemies but, probably, not allies yet." Troops are also being withdrawn from the Seoul metro area in South Korea.

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updated 8.2004