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

June 23, 2007
John Wilcock - June 23, 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

 

 


June 23, 2007

“This conflict (in the Middle East) should have been resolved long ago, and its continuation is an indictment of all involved….For peace to come, Israel must give up the West Bank and share Jerusalem; the Palestinians must give up the dream of return and make Israel feel secure as a Jewish state. All the rest is detail”.

                                             -- Editorial in the Economist

THAT VISIONARY TUNNEL under the English Channel to France was always perceived as a loser by most people from Day One. And, in fact, it was $12 million in debt by 1995, with not a penny of interest paid on that since. It’s incompetently run, its prices depending on how lucky you are to choose the right time to travel; the avariciousness of British railroads and the onset of cheap airlines which undermined its customer base.  But its unlucky shareholders hung on partly because along with their share certificates came the right of free travel for their lifetime. Now the debtor banks are finally ready to crack down and one of the threats they have made is that the free travel perks will be  abolished.

CREMATION CURRENTLY ACCOUNTS FOR 30% of deaths and is expected to rise to 50% by 2025 according to the Cremation Association of North America. As a result funeral homes—finding fewer and fewer people willing to pay up to $7,000 for the burial ceremony—are renting their facilities for “celebrations” of the deceased, business meetings, reunions—even weddings. One such place, the Musgrove Family Mortuary in Eugene, OR., has been converted into what Business Week describes as a multipurpose family center with catering kitchen and a 12-foot screen for business and memorial presentations.  The pews and stained glass windows have been removed. “They made it look like, well, a funeral home” says Mark Musgrove.

EXCESSIVELY HIGH PRICES for designer clothes are what first attracted the attention of Chinese counterfeiters in the opinion of a fashion reporter for Italy’s Il Messaggero which reported that Chinese hackers have found ways to steal and copy the designs even before the originals appear. “There already are many copies on the market all over the streets of Rome, and they often look very good” says Paola Pisa. “Counterfeiting already is an enormous problem and ..fashion houses’ computers are now at risk”.  

IT MIGHT BE RISKY for China’s leaders to promote the edicts of Confucius (d.479BC) among whose precepts  was that those at the top must prove their worthiness to rule. Confucianism was anathema to Mao and attacks on him ended only with his death 30 years ago. But since then a book by Yu Dan has sold 4 million copies, followed by a successful television series based on the sage’s musings. Now a Beijing professor has suggested that it be ratified as the state’s religion.  “The relevance of Confucian ideas to modern China is obvious” says the Economist. “Confucianism emphasizes order, balance and harmony. It teaches respect for authority and concern for others,…(it) seems to provide a ready-made ideology that teaches people to accept their place and does not challenge party rule”.

PRODDED BY DEMANDS from realtors, insurance companies and the increasing use of hand-held GPS devices, space satellites are growing in numbers and sophistication. “A few years back, people just saw line information on a black background”  DigitalGlobe’s Chuck Herring told ViaSatellite magazine, “Now people want to see natural landmarks like lakes or hills as well as images like hotels on these handheld base maps”. In the next few months another company, GeoEye, will be launching “the world’s highest resolution Earth imaging satellite” capable of locating images on the earth’s surface within 10 feet.

REVIEWING A TRIO of books about child soldiers, the Nation revealed that, in contravention of international law, more than 50 countries actively recruit soldiers under 18 and that at any given time more than 300,000 children are serving with unofficial armies around the world. With roughly half the world’s population—3 billion people—living on $2 a day or less, global poverty means that “becoming a child soldier is often the only way to guarantee some level of protection and livelihood”. Some child warriors are as young as seven. Armed groups are increasingly recruiting children, writes Fatin Abbas, “not only because they are cheap ad effective but also because their limited psychological development means that they can be manipulated more easily than adults”.

AN UGLY MUG could be the term for Rosie O’Donnell or it might also describe the $15.95 coffee mug bearing her picture (and those of the other participants on the ABC television show The View ) which, says an ABC spokesman, is selling six times faster than the previous mug on offer.

THE WILCOCK WEB: With exacting idiocy, British churches have been told to post No Smoking signs in their entrances….The Elvis Presley Taking Care of Business Tribute Revolver, a .357 Magnum bearing an engraved picture of the late singer, is offered for $2,195 by a Virginia mail order company…. Jack Kerouac’s home town of Lowell, MA, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his novel, On the Road…..The most popular new restaurant in Italy is inside the Fortezza Medicea prison near Pisa, where 120 carefully screened diners each night pay $33 for gourmet meals cooked by a convicted murderer and his fellow prisoners….. “The law does not content itself with classifying and punishing crime” wisely said Norman Douglas, “it invents crime ”…..A surgeon’s skill at playing video games made them more proficient at controlling the tiny instruments inside a patient’s body (laparoscopic techniques) according to a study by New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center…..In its ludicrous drive to be “eco-friendly”, the British weapons company BAE, says it is developing lead-free bullets… A letter writer to BusinessWeek  reveals that Starbuck’s keeps a “secret” stash of ceramic cups in which you can ask for your coffee to be served ….. London publisher Duncan Baird’s first fiction series will be imaginary conversations (Coffee With…) with such names as Marilyn Monroe, Oscar Wilde and Plato….”Politics is an honest effort to misunderstand each other’’ mused Robert Frost…..” We have entered the Me-lennium. All the world is screaming Me! Me! Me! “ writes TV critic Tom Shales. “And every me has a story they deem themselves entitled, even mandated, to share”--All is ephemeral—fame and the famous as well—Marcus Aurelius (AD120-180)

 

June 16/07

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