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

April 28, 2007
John Wilcock - April 28, 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

 

 


April 28, 2007

THROWING SOME LIGHT on the dark art of jury selection, Psychology Today says that hundreds of firms offering jury consulting rake in hundreds of million dollars a year. One Texan practitioner who claims to “get into the heart and soul” of each juror and seeks people with “a real sense of right and wrong—the kind of people who say ‘a deal’s a deal’” charges $8,500 a day for his expertise. About half of all trial consultants are psychologists and they begin their work months in advance of a big trial, randomly cold-calling people in the community to seek their views, organizing focus groups or mock trials to see how they react to parts of the case and creating questionnaires for the potential jurors. The questionnaire for the OJ trial ran to 75 pages with 300 questions. But nothing is guaranteed. “Nobody really has a crystal ball” says Howard Virinsky.  “There’s always that unknown of human unpredictability”.

Ann Coulter was named winner of the Judith Regan of Creationism Award by the New Mexicans for Science and Reason in its annual Best & Worst Awards. Other citations: John Humphreys, a sculptor for British TV productions for belatedly confessing he made the fakes for an infamous “alien autopsy film” (Better Late Than Never Award); and Turkey, the only other nation with more belief in creationism than the US (Thanks for Saving Us from being Total Losers Award).

LIKE MOST PAPERS the battling Manhattan tabloids have been losing advertising lately so what the New York Post has been doing is buying up local community papers to increase their reach. Doubtless, the Daily News will follow suit--if there are any papers not already in Rupert Murdoch’s clutches. The trouble is that bigger papers find it irresistible to replace local owners (who know the community) with more “efficient”--i.e.  more profit-hungry-- managers. “The flavor of these papers depends on decision-making in the community” observes the Queens Tribune’s  Michael  Schenkler, “(which) can’t stay the same if an accountant is in charge”.

DESPITE THE IMPENDING merger of the competing Sirius and XM radio satellite services, the rate of the industry’s growth appears to be slowing down reports Via Satellite magazine. So there are high level discussions on attracting customers by providing more services, one of which is to provide drivers with “the occupancy rate of parking garages in major metropolitan areas”.

ALTHOUGH 58 CEOs of U.S. public companies were paid more than $20 million each last year, any measures extreme enough to reduce CEO pay “would be self-destructive”. Or so maintains Jim Manzi,  CEO of a software company. Markets may well be “a school for selfishness” and unsentimental about forcing change, but they are “efficient at directing resources to their highest and best use” Manzi argues in the National Review. All attempts at narrowing the 100-1 gap between senior executive and worker pay (it was 20-1 in 1970)  have failed, because “markets don’t respond to shame, only to incentives”. And, notes Robert B. Reich: ”Depending on shareholders to rein in CEO pay is like relying on gamblers to rein in the owners of Las Vegas casinos” .

BY ALLEGING THAT wounded soldiers were already medically unfit, the Army could be doing it to save billions of dollars in disability pay when they are discharged. And over the lifetimes of the 22,500 who have been released so far because of “personality disorder”, a pre-existing condition,  a further $4.5 billion is saved in medical care. This is according to a Nation story that accuses the military of “purposely misdiagnosing” thousands of soldiers under Chapter 5-13, to cheat them out of benefits. “The Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t have to provide medical care to soldiers dismissed with personality disorder” the mag says, and so it is using Chapter 5-13 as “a catchall diagnosis, encompassing symptoms as diverse as deafness, headaches and schizophrenic delusions”. Why did this condition go unnoticed when the victims enlisted? Col. Knorr of Fort Carson’s Evans Hospital ‘explains’ that traumatic conditions [i.e. being shot in the head] can trigger a condition that has lain dormant for years.

WHEN WAL-MART FIRST moved north it took with it “the twin pillars of economic Ozark life: very low wages and very low prices”. So writes Harold Meyerson who alleges that the company consciously targets the kind of poor, non-union shoppers and workforce that it started with, sharing with Republicans a commitment to “the degradation of labor, to enriching the rich and to the global expansion of their power”. Meyerson, acting executive editor of The American Prospect says: “Refitted for our time, these are the same southern values that this nation once, at immense cost in blood, rightfully crushed…an indifference to economic justice (that is) the hallmark of southern thinking”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Challenges by civil rights organizations to the Defense Department’s “stop-loss” policies that call up servicemen for repeated tours have gone nowhere. But New York lawyers Stuart and Barry Slotnick have won five individual cases by claiming that the Army was denying their clients due process –“the right to be free”….As always, the presidential candidate who is most ignored, is the one with the most sensible questions. Dennis Kucinich asks why, if the so-called Democratic Congress is anxious to end the war, did it agree to an additional $300billion to finance it?….. In an essay for the May Popular Mechanics, Jay Leno says he has two electric cars, a Baker Electric (1909) and an Owen Mechanic (1915) and both still run, but he closed with Thomas Edison’s alleged 1896 quote: “The electric car is dead”….Fox TV’s Roger Ailes headed TelevisionWeek’s annual Top 10 Most Powerful last week with Keith Olberman (ratings up 76% first quarter of this year) in sixth place….When a developer plans to do something dastardly with hitherto-unspoiled land, it would be fascinating to learn how he acquired the land in the first place….. Originality is the art of concealing your sources explains Franklin P. Jones…..One of the hottest current words, avatar, is also the title of the new 3D sci-fi film that James (Titanic) Cameron has just started shooting……….The title of Sonia Shah’s new book says it all: The Body Hunters: Testing New Drugs on the World’s Poorest Patients…..Merle Streep is the current favorite to portray Margaret Thatcher in the BBC’s projected film about the Iron Lady….. All is ephemeral—fame and the famous as well—Marcus Aurelius (AD120-180)

APRIL 21/07

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