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Ojai Orange | The Column of Lasting Insignificance | Books | Wait-A-Minute

January 13, 2007
John Wilcock - January 13, 2007

 

  The column of lasting insignificance
     


also posted:



2011
November 26 2011
November 19, 2011
November 12, 2011
November 5, 2011
October 29, 2011
October 22, 2011
October 15, 2011
October 8, 2011
October 1, 2011
September 24, 2011
September 17, 2011
September 10, 2011
September 4, 2011
August 27, 2011
August 20, 2011
August 13, 2011
August 6, 2011
July 30, 2011
July 23, 2011
July 16, 2011
July 9, 2011
July 2, 2011
June 25, 2011
June 18, 2011
June 11, 2011
June 4, 2011
May 28, 2011
May 21, 2011
May 14, 2011
May 7, 2011
April 30, 2011
April 23, 2011
April 16, 2011
April 9, 2011
April 2, 2011
March 26, 2011
March 19, 2011
March 12, 2011
March 5, 2011
February 26, 2011
February 19, 2011
February 12, 2011
February 5, 2011
February 5, 2011
January 29, 2011
January 22, 2011
January 15, 2011
January 6, 2011

2010
December 25, 2010
December 18, 2010
December 11, 2010
December 4, 2010
November 27, 2010
November 20, 2010
November 13, 2010
November 6, 2010
October 30, 2010
October 23, 2010
October 16, 2010
October 9, 2010
October 2, 2010
September 25, 2010
September 18, 2010
September 11, 2010
September 4, 2010
August 28, 2010
August 21, 2010
August 14, 2010
August 7, 2010
July 31, 2010
July 24, 2010
July 17, 2010
July 10, 2010
July 3, 2010
June 26, 2010
June 19, 2010
June 12, 2010
June 5, 2010
May 29, 2010
May 22, 2010
May 15, 2010
May 8, 2010
May 1, 2010
April 24, 2010
April 17, 2010
April 10, 2010
April 3, 2010
March 27, 2010
March 20, 2010
March 13, 2010
March 6, 2010
February 27, 2010
February 20, 2010
February 13, 2010
February 6, 2010
January 30, 2010
January 23, 2010
January 16, 2010
January 9, 2010
January 2, 2010

2009
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 12, 2009
December 5, 2009
November 28, 2009
November 21, 2009
November 14, 2009
November 7, 2009
October 31, 2009
October 24, 2009
October 17, 2009
October 10, 2009
October 3, 2009
September 26, 2009
September 19, 2009
September 12, 2009
September 5, 2009
August 29, 2009
August 22, 2009
August 15, 2009
August 8, 2009
August 1, 2009
July 25, 2009
July 18, 2009
July 11, 2009
July 4, 2009
June 27, 2009
June 20, 2009
June 13, 2009
June 6, 2009
May 30, 2009
May 23, 2009
May 16, 2009
May 9, 2009
May 2, 2009
April 25, 2009
April 18, 2009
April 11, 2009
April 4, 2009
March 28, 2009
March 21, 2009
March 14, 2009
March 7, 2009
February 28, 2009
February 21, 2009
February 14, 2009
February 7, 2009
January 31, 2009
January 24, 2009
January 17, 2009
January 3, 2009

2008
December 27, 2008
December 20, 2008
December 13, 2008
December 6, 2008
November 29, 2008
November 22, 2008
November 15, 2008
November 8, 2008
November 5, 2008
November 1, 2008
October 25, 2008
October 18, 2008
October 11, 2008
October 4, 2008
September 27, 2008
September 20, 2008
September 13, 2008
September 6, 2008
August 30, 2008
August 23, 2008
August 16, 2008
August 9, 2008
August 2, 2008
July 26, 2008
July 19, 2008
July 12, 2008
July 5, 2008
June 28, 2008
June 21, 2008
June 14, 2008
June 7, 2008
May 31, 2008
May 24, 2008
May 17, 2008
May 10, 2008
May 3, 2008
April 26, 2008
April 19, 2008
April 12, 2008
April 5, 2008
March 29, 2008
March 22, 2008
March 15, 2008
March 8, 2008
March 1, 2008
February 23, 2008
February 16, 2008
February 9, 2008
February 2, 2008
January 26, 2008
January 19, 2008
January 12, 2008
January 5, 2008

2007
December 29, 2007
December 22, 2007
December 15, 2007
December 8, 2007
December 1, 2007
November 24, 2007
November 17, 2007
November 10, 2007
November 3, 2007
October 27, 2007
October 20, 2007
October 13, 2007
October 6, 2007
September 29, 2007
September 22, 2007
September 15, 2007
September 8, 2007
September 1, 2007
August 25, 2007
August 18, 2007
August 11, 2007
August 4, 2007
July 28, 2007
July 21, 2007
July 14, 2007
July 7, 2007
June 30, 2007
June 23, 2007
June 16, 2007
June 9, 2007
June 2, 2007
May 19, 2007
May 12, 2007
May 5, 2007
April 28, 2007
April 21, 2007
April 14, 2007
April 7, 2007
March 31, 2007
March 24, 2007
March 17, 2007
March 10, 2007
March 3, 2007
February 24, 2007
February 17, 2007
February 10, 2007
February 3, 2007
January 20, 2007
January 13, 2007
January 6, 2007

2006
December 30, 2006
December 23, 2006
December 16, 2006
December 9, 2006
December 2, 2006
November 25, 2006
November 18, 2006
November 11, 2006
November 4, 2006
October 28, 2006
October 21, 2006
October 14, 2006
October 7, 2006
September 30, 2006
September 23, 2006
September 16, 2006
September 9, 2006
September 2, 2006
August 26, 2006
August 19, 2006
August 12, 2006
August 5, 2006
July 29, 2006
July 22, 2006
July 15, 2006

 

 


January 13, 2007

THERE ARE MORE CCTV cameras (an estimated 4.2 million) keeping an eye on Brits than all the rest of the EU countries combined, a fact about which critics are beginning to express alarm. The all-seeing eyes have proliferated in the past few years with the public scarcely noticing. They scan most major streets in towns large and small and are monitored in a Big Brotherly way by the police and other security agencies. In addition, reports the Daily Telegraph, Britain also has the world’s largest DNA data base containing about 3.6 million profiles with 400,000 more added every month. A surveillance society, wrote Henry Porter in the Guardian, is “one that necessarily reduces us all from citizens to subjects”. The government has plans to extend the snooping by introducing a biometric identity card system and computerize medical records making them available to police and security services.

“HAVING AN ACCESSORY to go with sex doesn’t mean you’re a slut” says Toys in Babeland’s Rachel Venning. “it’s a pretty normal part of life now”. Ms. Venning was quoted in Crain’s story about how lickable sweet almond massage oil, flavored condoms and vibrators are helping revive flagging sales at the Duane Reade drugstore chain. “Sex sells and it’s selling faster than ever in the corner drugstore’ the magazine comments.

WHAT RICHARD HOFSTADTER called “the paranoid style in American politics” is still alive and well in the opinion of Christopher Hayes writing in the Nation about the belief by one-third of Americans that the government either carried out the 9/11 attack or allowed it to happen.  He suggests that public cynicism has led people to reason that because the government “has acquired a justified reputation for deception…what else are they hiding?” Truth activists maintain they are merely asking questions and the commission report into 9/11 was clearly a whitewash so it’s hard to blame people for thinking we lack the whole story, Hayes writes, but a full scale investigation by a Popular Mechanics team in March 2005 found the most common allegations “almost entirely without merit”. Yet, the more this government’s cynicism and deception is laid bare the more people “will be led down the rabbit hole of delusion of the 9/11 Truth Movement”.

“One day we were being measured for our costumes” reminisced Tony Curtis about the time he spent working with Marilyn Monroe on  Some Like it Hot (1959), “and when the designer measured Marilyn, he (told her) ‘You know Tony has a better-looking rear end than you do.’ Marilyn opened her blouse and said, ‘Yeah, but he doesn’t have these’”.

Using mathematical formulae discussed to determine plausibility and probability, the German science magazine P.M. determined that (after examining such concepts as creation, evolution, good, evil and religious experiences) the probability of God’s existence is 62%.

Kidneys are the subject of  “a quietly growing global drama” says the Economist reporting on the way that Iran has become a unlikely model for the way that religious authorities encourage voluntary gifts thus making kidney transplants relatively accessible. In America, Canada and Britain, waiting time for a transplant is several years encouraging illicit—and sometimes “slap-dash surgery”-- in poorer countries. ”We’re against kidney sales; we discourage them” says a spokesman for Iran’s Association of Kidney Patients which nevertheless pays all donors $1,200 (a figure usually topped up by recipients).

“Science depends on openness; we expose our scientific findings, including details of how they were obtained, to the scrutiny of the scientific community. …(this) reinforces the idea that science is conditional—always subject to being replaced by better information. This can be frustrating to non-scientists, who ask why science can’t make up its mind, but the alternative is dogma” —-Bob Park in the New Scientist

Endorsing the principle of a voting option listed as “none of the above” (NOTA) Ralph Nader says only 10% or less of Congressional elections are competitive (no major opponent or the challenger greatly under-financed). Nevada is currently the only state with as NOTA option and although such votes can’t offer a winner, writes Wendy Girard in the Los Angeles Free Press, “they serve as a truly democratic referendum on candidates’ credibility with voters”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Finally bowing to international pressure, China has agreed to ban transplant tourism—the practice of selling rich Westerners organs harvested from executed prisoners….Calling it “a disgusting cruel and unregulated business:, animal rights organizations claim that as many as two million cats and dogs are slaughtered in China each year to provide furs for coats, boot linings and toys…. The British condom company Durex has created a new condom to contain Zanifil , a Viagra-like chemical that is rubbed directly onto the penis….“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” runs the adage known as Hanlon’s Razor….Saudi Arabia claims it spends $800million a year treating smoking-related diseases (with 22,000 deaths) and has threatened to sue the tobacco companies unless they pay the bill in future ….Using plastic resin instead of wood pulp for the pages, London publisher Charles Melcher will produce a series of waterproof books for reading in the bath or at the beach….Some Brazilians have launched an internet campaign to boycott the movie Turistas  in which a group of young travelers to that country are pursued “by a gang seeking to harvest their organs” …. Overwhelmed by road-clogging traffic congestion, Taiwan is investigating a plan to integrate cell phone users into a system that would charge tolls whenever a driver crosses into a region away from his home area….If hydrogen can so easily be extracted from water (H20) why can’t supplies of hydrogen and oxygen be delivered to barren regions to make water?….The only existing first copy of the Los Angeles Times (Dec 4, 1881) will be on show at the Huntington Library’s exhibition from Feb 4 to June celebrating the paper’s 125th anniversary…. The Hackett Group, a business advisory firm, says that if Fortune 500 companies sent many of their back office activities offshore they could save a combined $58 billion a year—with the attendant loss of 1.47 million U.S. jobs….“Behind every great fortune is a great crime” -- Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850).

JANUARY 06/07

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