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August 26, 2006
John Wilcock - August 19, 2006

 

  The column of lasting insignificance
     


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2006
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July 15, 2006

 

 


August 26, 2006

FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR Rudolph Giuliani may be "A number-one, top of the list, king of the hill" says Kate O'Bierne, "but Sinatra's catchy claim is turned on its head in the presidential sweepstakes. When it comes to winning over GOP primary voters, if you can make it in New York you can't make it anywhere else". National Review's Washington editor suggests that all the things that make "America's mayor" a big hit in the Big Apple —his support for abortion, gay rights and amnesty—are exactly why conservative voters will reject him as a candidate.

GLOBAL STARVATION is clearly in view if millions of the world’s farmers continue to extract their water from underground wells in the view of New Scientist magazine In India already, the water is running out due to 21 million farmers using electric pumps to plumb depths as deep as a quarter of a mile. It takes 3,000 liters of water to produce a single liter of milk, the mag explains; double that amount to grow one kilo of rice and 50 cups of water to produce a teaspoon full of sugar for your coffee.

BECAUSE POOR WATER circulation can allow ice to form along the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, a subsequent rainfall may create the impression that anybody walking on the surface is walking on water says a recent study in the Journal of Paleolimnology.

“Some say I am a good person, some say I am a charlatan—I am just a monk” says the Dali Lama. “I never asked Richard Gere to come, but it is foolish to stop them. I have Tibetans, Indians, backpackers, Aids patients, religious people, politicians, actors and princesses. My attitude is to give everyone some of my time. If I can contribute in any way to their happiness, that males me happy”

OREGON SWITCHED
to all-mail voting a few years ago and a poll by the state university reported that 81% of voters preferred the new system. Ballots are put into two envelopes with the signature on the outer one compared with the voter’s signature already on file.. “Vot(ing) by mail is nothing more than an absentee vote sent to everyone” comments The American Prospect in a 10-page survey reporting that both parties were satisfied with the new system which had increased turnout and avoided the “scary stories of botched balloting…fears of vote fraud, corrupt machines, crooked software and not enough accountability” that other states had endured. Postage and supplies, the major expense, were minor compared to the cost of buying machines, training workers and maintaining polling places. ”And there has never been a whiff of any scandal”

BIG WATER is starting to look like big oil is the head to a Utne story about how the privatization of water obliged Bolivia to spend one-third of their annual $800 average income on water until they rioted and forced the government to cancel its contract with a Bechtel subsidiary. “The wars of the 21st century will be fought over water not oil” says a World Bank spokesman.

BULGARIA IS BEING TOUTED as “the new Tuscany or Provence” according to the Christian Science Monitor which says that as the older inhabitants die off (the younger ones having left) country cottages are on the market for as little as $5,000. “Many villages are abandoned until ‘discovered’ by Westerners who relish tranquility at rock-bottom costs”. This happy situation will only last until January, the paper says, when Bulgaria’s entry into the European Union is expected to send prices soaring.

IN ADDITION TO sponsoring the best commercials on television —as part of a larger marketing plan—Target has been aiming at a slightly higher audience than Wal-Mart and thus causing a few worries for the world’s biggest retailer. Now Wal-Mart is going to have to compete with Target, reports DSN Retailing Today –and do so on Target’s own terms. “It’s the sincerest form of flattery when the world’s largest retailing company thinks they have to copy something you’re doing” says trade consultant Neil Stern. “(Target) always stay(s) one step ahead and there’s seemingly no shortage of ideas”.

COSMETIC TYCOON Lev Glazman has created a new perfume with “top notes of sandalwood, bergamot and black plum with a bouquet of vanilla, musk and chocolate”. Called Cannabis Santal it chemically duplicates the aroma of the blessed herb and seems likely to send any suspicious nark along an entirely false trail.

THE WILCOCK WEB: ….“History does not repeat itself” observed Mark Twain, ”but it rhymes”… With wine consumption in Europe falling, and increased competition from the West, the EU is paying for the elimination of almost 15% of its vineyards and spending $500 million a year to convert unsold wine into industrial alcohol….”I probably should have told the astrologer I wasn’t going to believe in astrology” wisecracked Harriet Hall, “because my horoscope said I shouldn’t be gullible”… .A new tent offered for under $100 by a British firm (www.millets.co.uk) comes with paint and brushes to create your own designs…. Interviewed about her domestic life by a German magazine, Sarah Jessica Parker confessed. “We are definitely not part of the glamour or gossip-column crowd. I like being a housewife and a mother and I like to clean”… ” LICENSE PLATE; Clinton, the president who did it between the Bushes…. Faulty Towers is the title of book published by The Independent Institute with the subtitle: Tenure and the Structure of Higher Education… Granted limited autonomy in a recent poll, the Catalan region of Spain has banned bullfighting”… The desire for fame is the last infirmity, cast off even by the wise—Tacitus (c.55-120AD)
AUG 26/06

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