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

November 24, 2007
John Wilcock - November 24, 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

 

 


November 24, 2007

“The characteristic that modern politicians have in common, apart from ambition of course, is self-importance. Once they have won an election, even if only narrowly, they come to think of themselves not merely as the elected but the elect; that is to say as people endowed with the duty and therefore the right to mould society and citizens according to their own views. Modern politicians do not think of themselves as servants but as the masters and saviors of the public, even of the entire world”.

                 —Anthony Daniels in the Daily Express

POLITICIANS DON’T LIKE to allocate funds to anything that doesn’t produce immediate, flashy results but, with fully a quarter of the country’s 153,000 bridges needing replacement or repair, writes Stephen Flynn, we’re increasingly “a superpower that is rotting from within”. China spends five times a much on its infrastructure.

“Our transportation system, once the envy of the world” says Popular Mechanics, “is now known for congested highways, second-rate ports, third-rate passenger trains and a primitive air traffic control system”.

RATHER THAN RELY on the simple paper ballot, that needs only a pencil to complete, most U.S. states were obliged to invest millions of dollars in electronic voting machines made by Diebold and other companies which have contributed more millions to the Republican party. The machines can be readily manipulated, as has been proved, and most of them are still in place so why do we expect that the GOP won’t steal the 2008 election, too? And so, for the millionth time, why not just have paper ballots?

HAGGLING WITH YOUR CAR DEALER is on the way out according to Business Week even though "most dealers still consider fixed prices heresy". But, along with the rise in women buyers (who hate haggling) consumer psychology is changing, the mag says, and besides the average car sale takes hours too long. "Negotiating isn't in our culture" declares consultant Mark Rikess. "Some dealers are slowly coming around to the fact that one price is a better way to do it".

ESQUIRE’S  EXECUTIVE EDITOR Mark Warren loathed Dinesh D’Souza’s book, What’s So Great About Christianity, describing it as “soul-killing pseudo-academic cant”, referring to the rightwing author’s “Dartmouth term-paper research skills”  and charging that he possessed “the creative imagination of a clerk”. Yes, Dinesh, Warren wrote, “you’ve written another vulgar book. You regard your religion as a rabid fan would regard his football team. And you use God for the most tawdry and temporal of purposes to make a political argument. How pathetic”.

WHAT’S BEING TERMED as “the final frontier of human resources” is the outsourced termination, i.e. a company hiring another company to fire its surplus employees. ”Companies are so scared of wrongful termination lawsuits, that they can’t afford to be personal”. says Inc, “Cold seems (too) careful”. The magazine features Rebecca Heyman, 31, whose Bay area firm TriNet represents 1,500 companies. “I work with some folks who have never fired someone before” she says. “They look to me to pull the trigger”. And now there’s software available in to which managers can file reports rating workers on a scale of one to five. These are coordinated with age, race and union status (“to see who among the low scorers might be a lawsuit risk”) before the program spits out a list of people who can be smoothly off-boarded (i.e terminated).

SAVING THOUSANDS of dollars while improving their health, 150,000 Americans went abroad for medical care last year, and that figure’s likely to increase as more and more countries open classy facilities. Medical tourism isn’t new, Forbes Life points out, having been in vogue since pilgrims flocked to Greece to attend the Epidaurus shrine of the healing god Asklepios. But today, having the doctors attend to you while staying in hospitals resembling 5-star hotels is an irresistible draw. India, Thailand, Costa Rica, Hong Kong (to name but a few) offer medical vacations.  “Patients here get beaches, snowcapped mountains, great waterfalls and in Buenos Aires they can have a good time at night—see a show, go dancing” says a spokesman for Argentina’s Plenitas hospital. But, the magazine warns, excellent though the treatment might be, patients should be aware that once back home, post-procedure care might be limited to phone calls and emails.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Why not put a tax surcharge on the people who want the war to continue, thus allowing them pay for it and not the rest of us? …..With 20 million motorcyclists on the streets--and a traffic death rate double that of the US--Vietnam is making a second attempt to make motorcycle helmets mandatory..... Pity that the US and Pakistan can’t trade Supreme Courts with results that would benefit both countries… If you can afford to pay the $425 that Chanel is asking for its new luggage tag, your taxes aren’t high enough…. Once the butt of jokes as Liza Minelli’s ex-hubby, David Gest is now cheered everywhere he goes after his appearance on a Brit TV show, I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here. “I’m living a second childhood and loving every minute of it” he says….Trading on the superstition that anybody touching female undergarments is robbed of their power, the human rights group Lanna Action for Burma has asked women around their world to mail their panties to Burma’s ruling generals….. When you’re sending someone Styrofoam, what do you pack it in?….Tokyo women are flocking to the new “butler cafes” where they are treated with exaggerated politeness by white-gloved man-servants in formal ties and tails….Manhattan’s famed 2nd Ave. deli, forced to close by a huge rent increase last year, has reopened on Third Avenue…. Eating diseased cattle, among other reasons, has reduced India’s vulture population to such a degree, that the Parsees are rigging their mortuary towers with solar reflectors. These shrivel the corpses that the flesh-loving birds would normally dispose of…. Space solar power systems 30,000 kms above the earth, transmitting by microwave or lasers, are five to ten times more efficient than ground based ones according to experiments announced by Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency….Operated by hydrofoils which lifts it above the water at 100mph, the SeaFalcon (which can be driven on land like a car) will go into production in Singapore next year…. The best way to get praise is to die—Italian proverb

11/17/07

comments? send an email to John Wilcock

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