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

July 7, 2007
John Wilcock - July 7, 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

 

 

July 7 , 2007

NO MATTER HOW WRETCHED and murderous a country can be, it will always be able to find an obsequious and greedy lobbying firm in Washington which, for a price, will burnish (or reverse) its image. Ken Silverstein’s report, Their Men in Washington, reminds us of past PR jobs that have whitewashed the (murderous) profiles of Saddam Hussein, Romania’s Nicolas Ceausescu, Angola’s Jonas Savimbi, Liberia’s Samuel Doe and the Burmese generals. “Lobbyists are the crucial conduit through which pariah regimes advance their interests in Washington:” writes Silverstein in the current Harper’s, naming some of K Street’s unscrupulous greed heads, most of whom apparently don’t even obey the law obliging foreign lobbyists to register. 

BOTH PORTS OF ENTRY at the Panama Canal are run by a Chinese company which was awarded the contracts despite cheaper bids by other firms. And most canal traffic these days comes from cruise liners or Chinese tankers, the latter illicitly shipping, among other things, chemical and biological weapons to North Korea, Iran and Syria. Panamanians benefit little from all this, says The World which claims a common view in the Central American country is that the canal is “the property of a cabal of carefree patrician families”. The firm that runs the ports at each end of the canal, Hutchison Whampoa, says the mag, also owns four of Mexico’s most important ports and is planning another on the Baja Peninsula, less than two hours from San Diego.

HAVING SUCCESSFULLY INAUGURATED NYC Run and a similar operation in Chicago, Michael Gazaleh plans to extend his running tours to Austin, Texas and Denver. Customers, 95% of them tourists, pay $60 for six miles (additional miles cost $6 each) on various routes and at various speeds and lengths, all of them customized by Mr. Gazaleh who is now trying to recruit more locals. Finishing up at a restaurant or bar might be an enticement he suggests. “I’m looking for places that will be happy to serve a bunch of sweaty people”.

THE FIRST CAR to be powered by compressed air is going into production in India, a $12,700 auto which can hit 68mph and which has a range of 125 miles. It is refueled in minutes (for about $2) at gas stations equipped with air compressor units, or--says its Luxembourg maker, the MDI company—can be refilled in four hours by plugging its own built-in compressor unit to the electric grid.

AGRICULTURAL TOURISM is growing and destined to be an increasing part of the travel business forecasts Group Tour Magazine, listing such popular destinations as cranberry bogs in New Jersey, an alpaca fiber farm in Massachusetts, New England maple sugar sites and New York’s wine-growing regions in the Finger Lakes. Peter Jorgensen, a tourist official in Northeast Ohio, explains; “People are increasingly concerned about their food and have a sense that the America they grew up with is slipping away. They experience these trips and leave thinking it’s okay”.

“The environmental movement has often been compared to a religion—the kind of religion that sets great store by self-denial, purity, and a personal route to salvation. But it is hard to think of a religion that spends (so) much time shopping”—Catherine Bennett in the Guardian Weekly

THERE’S A CERTAIN IRONY in the fact that the current conflict in Iraq has shot oil prices so high that it’s now become economic to develop the huge fields of oil shale in northern Canada which are estimated to contain 174 billion “economically recoverable” barrels. “The United States invaded Iraq at least in part to secure access to it oil. Now, thanks in part to…that disastrous decision, it has found the ‘security’ it was looking for right next door” writes Naomi Klein in the Nation. The oil industry has always known about the vast deposits of tar sands in Alberta but until the price of oil went up it cost most to retrieve it than it could be sold for.

THE WILCOCK WEB: For unexplained reasons, the Royal Canadian Mint has produced a small number of $1million solid gold coins, each bigger than a pizza and weighing more than 200 pounds….. One Manhattan developer is planning a 24-storey building in which some of its rooms will rotate, offering 360 degree views, and can project images of the skyline onto its windowsChildren can choose the shape of their sandwiches when their parents shop for them at NYC’s new store, Kidfresh….Two years after paying Damien Hirst $50,000 for a painting, director Sir Trevor Nunn was told that it had been painted by Hirst’s two-year-old son Connor. Recently Nunn sold the work for almost double the price…. When Big Pharma’s sales reps visit doctors’ offices, reports the AARP Bulletin, they search “for objects—a tennis racquet, Russian novels, ‘70s rock music—to establish personal ties, and some give doctors food and gifts”…..A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother, says Phil Proctor ….More than one million Chinese students have left the country to study abroad since 1978 but less than one-third have returned to China….Since telephone companies began charging for information (sometimes $$ a call) several free services have sprung up to request numbers, one of them being the easy to remember 1-800-FREE-411…..Noting that the country had achieved a world record of 12,000 suicides last year, the Korean government has reacted by closing down more than 700 suicide-related blogs ….”Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act”  bemoaned Truman Capote…..The locale for next week’s Rolling Stones concert in Belgrade has been moved from the local race track because animal rights activists said it would frighten the horses… Only a malicious person is always at his best--Somerset Maugham (1864-1965)

June 30/07

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