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

April 26, 2008
John Wilcock - January 5, 2008

 

  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 26, 2008

"Bankers are paid so much that they often end up owning big chunks of their firm--as a reward for gambling with the shareholders' money. Says one critic:
"Wall Street is arranging management buyouts by stealth"--
Fortune

"Though the behavior of banks can seem incomprehensible, the behavior of bankers never is. We all know what City Boys are like. Masters of the Ruddy Universe; shouty, show-off suits; arrogant drunks who live their lives--their work--like spoilt teenagers with too much pocket money"--Miranda Sawyer in the Observer Magazine


THE WATER WARS have gone global with citizen groups in half a dozen countries mobilizing to fight against giant water companies who, backed by the World Bank, seek to turn what should be free into a commercial commodity--"a common heritage of people and nature, a fundamental human right" as Maude Barlow puts it in the Nation.

In many parts of Latin America, only the rich can buy water; in Mexico less than 10% of the surface water is fit for drinking and 37 million Mexicans either have no access to water or village taps run only for a few hours each week. But the solution offered is privatization, backed by right wing former president Vicente Fox and current president Felipe Calderon and where already in effect it has brought "exorbitant water rates, broken promises and cut-offs to whose who cannot pay" writes Ms. Barlow.

After Bolivia gave the water contract to the U.S. company Bechtel, prices tripled and peasants earning less than $60 a month found themselves facing $20-a-month bills. Riots forced the government to cancel the contract and then that of another gouging conglomerate, Suez, which was charging $450 for hook-ups ("equivalent to the food budget of a poor family for two years").

In both of these countries, and others where the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank have been pushing for privatization, citizens' groups have formed to fight back--"a highly organized international water justice movement...shaping the future of the world's water". (The World Health Organization says 80% of all illnesses worldwide and 5,000 children a day are killed by unsafe water).

IF AN ITEM in a store isn't scanned there's no record of it, and that's what happens all-too-often when cashiers give away merchandise to friends or family without ringing it up. Sweet hearting is what the industry calls the practice and Stores magazine estimates that it costs $20 billion a year in lost sales. Such sweet hearting behaviors as stacking items atop each other to conceal the bar code are being increasingly detected by new video technology called StopLift which presents retailers with a daily update of suspicious incidents.

Sponsored by a Ford Foundation grant, Bryon Hurt's critical movie, Hip Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes, will tour black colleges and universities this year and next. The film, six years in production, condemns the negative portrayals of women, stereotypical images of black masculinity and homophobic references that pervade hip hop music videos. "People are starting to tire of these very narrow and limiting representations not only of Black men and Latino men but also of black women" says Hurt, 37.

  ================================  

                                         Dec 16, 2000

SHOULD CHINA HOST the next Olympics in 2008 despite its suspicious record on human rights? Jay Nordlinger posed this question in National Review, answering in the negative.  The 1938 Olympics did a lot to legitimize Nazism, he argues, and those who love the Olympics "should choke on the idea of watching tyrants and butcherers preside smilingly over the Games just as Hitler did. The other contenders for the 2008 games are Paris, Toronto, Istanbul and Osaka. Any of them would do. Beijing would be a disgrace."

================================

THE FEDS ARE getting worried by the growing use of the virtually untraceable "stored-value" cards which they suspect are being used by drug dealers and terrorists. Forbes suggests that it would have been a much safer way for former New York governor Eliot Spitzer to have paid for his prostitution revels. Stored-value cards, explains the mag, can be bought without identification and used to access cash via ATMs worldwide without bank account or face-to-face identity verification. "It's an almost untraceable instrument" says Gregory Calpakis, a money-laundering investigator.

THE WILCOCK WEB: A writer in Delhi's Outlook magazine claims that as part of an internal power struggle in China, the "Tibetan monks" that initiated the violence were actually disguised Chinese soldiers.... Abu Dhabi paid $525 million for use of the Louvre name on a museum that will share a cultural complex with the Guggenheim on Saadiyat Island.... After only two sightings of the Loch Ness monster were reported last year, local observer Steve Feltham suggested there used to be more monsters, "but I believe we're now down to the last half-dozen".... Financial columnist Avi Tiomkin, a hedge fund adviser, forecasting that within three years several countries will drop the Euro and return to their old currency, writes: "The euro zone has never existed except as a construct in the minds of bureaucrats and politicians".... Supermarket (Gristedes)magnate and oil refinery owner John Catsimatidis, 59, a lifelong Democrat, says he is willing to turn Republican and spend $100 million to become New York's next mayor. Greek-born son of a lighthouse keeper, he has no political experience apart from being a Clinton fundraiser....Even if it's only from self interest/greed, Fox TV is doing the right thing by refusing to pay the puritanical FCC's fines for alleged on-air indecencies...."Most problems do not get solved. They get superceded by other concerns" elucidates economist Thomas Sowell.... Although too polite to say so, last week's study of Supreme Court confirmations (published in the U of Minnesota Laws School's Constitutional Commentary) clearly suggests that Justices Antonio Scalia and Clarence Thomas lied about their intentions when they sought affirmation.... After yet another temper tantrum, this time aboard a plane, Naomi Campbell has been banned from British Airways for life... Why did kamikaze pilots wear helmets?.... "April 23 is so-called Tax Freedom Day. the day by which you have theoretically earned enough from working to pay all local, state and federal taxes....The lack of money is the root of all evil--Mark Twain (1835-1910)

4/19/2008

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