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December 15, 2007
John Wilcock - December 15, 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

 

 


December 15, 2007

Since 1939, farm subsidies have rewarded the heedless overproduction of just a few crops, yielded unmanageable surpluses year after year and taken a heavy toll on the land. A tiny percentage of America’s farm families now produce almost all of the country’s agricultural output. The more these farmers produce, the more subsidies they receive. For this reason they frequently spend their government payments on more land, more seed and more equipment, churning out more food than they can profitably sell. Lawmakers, rather than solve this problem by reducing subsidies, have resorted to the alchemy of ethanol.

                                  -- Stephen  Spruiell in National Review

THE HUGE NUMBER of man made objects, space junk, drifting around in the stratosphere present a growing threat, according to the people who chart such things, who report that 80% of this detritus is either Russian or American and includes an abandoned space suit, a tooth brush, a camera and probably millions of fragments too small to measure. Because of the “high orbital velocity” of these objects they could be disastrous in the event of a collision. “The issue is alarming” says Marco Caceres, senior analyst for Fairfax, Va.’s Teal Group, who told Via Satellite magazine.. “Debris is going into space all the time. There is still a chance to be hit even though it’s a huge area.

BAGS OF COCAINE, tossed overboard by fleeing smugglers, have been washing up on the remote shores of Nicaragua and making villagers rich. Often containing hundreds of pounds of coke and known by locals as “white lobsters”, the bags are redeemed by Colombian traffickers who troll the villages of the Mosquito Coast offering finders $4,000 a kilo. In sleepy Tasbapauni the local church installed a new floor thanks to the donation of a lucky fisherman and another lobsterman, Ted Hayman, 37, who reputedly hauled in 220kg, has converted his shack into a three-storey mansion.

THE $50 MILLION home of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, financed by Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, won’t be completed until late 2009 but has been controversial since it was first announced. The museum’s executive director Robert Workman recently told Art News that Walton’s plan “makes the art elites a little jumpy”. Part of the reason may be that the museum is arising in Bentonville, Ark. (pop 28,600), Wal-Mart’s headquarters but it’s also the case that Walton’s big bucks are snatching away popular works from existing museums such as Durand’s 1849 Kindred Spirits (described as a “quintessentially New York picture”) from the New York Public Library. Ranked ninth on Forbes’ list of the wealthiest Americans, Sam Walton’s only daughter is reportedly worth $15.5 billion.

THE REPUTATION OF Robert Parker, the wine expert whose nose is insured for a million dollars, took a hit with the publication of a book by his former assistant Hanna Agostini who accused the famous aesthete of “contradicting himself” and being too much under the influence of Bordeaux chateau owners.  But his supporters are claiming the book, Robert Parker: Anatomie d’un mythe, is an act of vengeance by a woman dismissed over allegations of false accounting.

DESPITE BEING BEATEN at the polls in South Dakota in an attempt to cut back the power of bad judges. Ronald Branson’s deliciously-named Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (www.jail4judges.org) will soon take aim at California reported the California Courts Review. “We are no longer a country of laws but a country where laws are ‘creatively interpreted’” Branson declares, inviting victims of the corrupt justice system to apply to the website to become JAILers.

HITLER’S SONG WRITER is what History Today calls Horst Wessel, the brown-shirted leader of a Nazi Storm Division who was born 100 years ago last month leaving a marching song which became a Fascist anthem. He was only 30 years old when shot by a Communist pimp, the magazine says, but countless streets and squares across Germany were named after him and he was the subject of 250 biographies, novels and plays during the Third Reich. “After 1945, history performed one of its U-turns. All traces of Wessel were systematically eliminated and his once –ubiquitous song was banned”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Any magazine whose readers combine greed with stupidity would be a rewarding one for an advertising offering a “free” $1 coin in return for “delivery and processing”, but the full page ad in front of me is from the rightwing National Review….Outsourcing has been so rewarding to India, that the country is now itself outsourcing jobs, led by software giant Infosys which is spending $250,000 buying call centers in Mexico and China…. When one is in love, one begins to deceive oneself, mused Oscar Wilde, “and one ends by deceiving others”….Cute-sy title of the tabloid published at West Point’s military academy: Pointer View….. When you next have $80 million to spare you might consider buying the 213-ft long Phoenix, the latest model from U.S. Submarines, which can stay 1,000ft under the sea for two weeks and has a special pressure-locked chamber for exiting scuba divers….. People who know best advise removing the cotton from the aspirin bottle. It’s there to stop breakage in transit, and will attract unwanted moisture….With three quarters of the planet composed of oceans and seas, and drought predicted for most of the world in the future, it’s only a matter of time before somebody figures out the obvious solution….Farmers in North Carolina are prohibited from using elephants for plowing…. “I never think of the future” mused Albert Einstein, “it comes soon enough”….More than two million South Koreans pick up television beamed directly from the studios onto their cell phones or other portable devices…. With selective inbreeding, Japanese scientists have produced a frog with transparent skin to study the effect of drugs on its internal organs without killing it…. A study by the World Health Organization concludes there is little variance in the number of abortions between countries where it is legal and countries where it isn’t. The main difference is that it is safer in the former….We do not deal much in fact when we are contemplating ourselves—Mark Twain (1835-1910)

JOHN WILCOCK IS CURRENTLY CRUISING THE CARIBBEAN    

12/8/07

comments? send an email to John Wilcock

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