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

September 27, 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

 

 



September 27, 2008

“If ever there was a branch of government crying out for varying life experience, it’s the Supreme Court. And if any branch of government is in need of a mother of five who likes shooting wolves from helicopters, the court is it”—Dahlia Lithwick writing in Newsweek about how Sarah Palin would be great for “the ever more stuffy Supreme Court

A SELF-DESCRIBED "TRUE AMERICAN" is at it again. Before the 2004 election, 75-year-old George J. Esseff spent $104,600 for a full-page ad in the Washington Post trashing John Kerry and praising the virtues of George Bush and Rush Limbaugh. He said that when he asked people “What is a Republican?” he was told “a rich, greedy, egotistical individual, motivated only by money and the desire to accumulate more and more of it, at the expense of the environment … the working poor ….and all whom they exploit…”.  Sounds right to me but Esseff responds: “I am a Republican….I am none of those things….and I don’t know any Republicans who are”. (Obviously he doesn’t get around much). Anyway, Esseff has now placed the full-pager in The New York Times, adding Gore Vidal and Barack Obama  to his enemies list, directing the ad to the three major networks—pointedly excluding Fox—and accusing them of not giving their viewers the facts. Every sentence in his ad begins What I am but not one of them adds A Catholic, a rich Republican, an egotist.

NEWSPAPER CIRCULATIONS are going up and up in Asian and South American countries as education and better wages bring literacy to a growing workforce. In the past five years, readers have increased by 22% in Brazil , more than 30% in India and Pakistan and 7% last year in Argentina according to the Paris-based World Association of Newspapers. China’s 20% increase has enlarged circulation to 107m copies a day, more than twice the U.S. figure, and as China’s papers are all state-owned it’s likely those numbers will keep going up.

‘A TURKEY IN THE SKY’ is how the president of the British Royal Society, refers to the International Space Station which he suggests is not worth spending the $50 billion needed to complete. “Future expeditions to the Moon and beyond will only be politically and financially feasible if they are cut-price ventures, perhaps privately funded” declares Lord Martin Rees, professor of cosmology and astrophysics at Cambridge University. “(They could be) spearheaded by individuals prepared to take high risks-maybe even one-way tickets. Perhaps future space probes will be plastered in commercial logos just as Formula One racers are now”.

IT WASN’T UNTIL 1952 that L. Ron Hubbard invented Scientology. But before that he made a living writing novels with titles like Spy Killers and The Great Secret. Now, 22 years after his death and with a $2 million publicity budget, the cult’s publishing arm, Galaxy Press, is about to publish $10 paperbacks of 80 Hubbard’s fictions along with audio versions, some read by Scientologist Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson.

IS COLLEGE WORTH THE PRICE? is the provocative head on a story in Money which charges that many schools are “engaging in a luxury arms race”, installing expensive extras such as leaded windows, hot tubs and recreation centers to keep pace with their more affluent rivals. “The appearance of misguided spending…has prompted some lawmakers to question whether wealthy schools still deserve their tax-exempt status” the mag says, quoting an Education Sector spokesman as claiming that college rankings “are a measure of wealth, exclusitivity  and wealth, not quality”. The goal is to entice more students to apply so that by then rejecting more students the lowered acceptance rate “makes it appear more selective” Money says. “If college costs continue to escalate at this rate” says Charles Miller, chairman of a U.S. dept of Education Commission, “(parents) may reach a point where the investment simply isn’t worth it”.

ALL THAT ENDLESS FIGHTING between India and Pakistan over Kashmir could be brought to an end, predicts Vir Sanghvi, if India just let it go. Writing in the eastern Himalayan paper The Morning Express, Sanghvi says the determination to keep it, is based only on “machismo” and whereas Indian taxpayers prop it up financially, they gain nothing from retaining a burden that “drags us down and bleeds us dry”. Kashmir couldn’t make it as an independent nation but (could join) the “small, second-rate country” called Pakistan, which is what so many seem to want.

THE WILCOCK WEB: No matter how much obfuscation they employ in coming weeks, McCain and Palin are already proven liars….And why are Karl Rove and his White House cohorts allowed to defy a Congressional subpoena to testify? Wouldn’t an “ordinary citizen” be arrested?…..”The willingness to risk abuse for the sake of the truth is one of the writer’s obligatory chores” noted Edward Abbey ….Four of five car buyers from Max Motors in Butler, Montana, who were offered a bonus of $250 in gas or the same amount off a gun, purchase chose the latter…. In their never-ending quest for cheaper airline fares, more than a quarter of the 1,000 respondents tracked by Travelzoo.com said they’d be willing to pay half price for a standing-room only ticket. Airbus dreamed up a plane that strapped passengers to padded walls…My Gonads Roar is the title of a book by Richard Napier comprised of anagrams of celebrity names with the title itself the name of a famous angry chef….If Alaska had a $5 billion budget surplus last year and could afford to give all its citizens a $3,000 payoff, why can’t it finance its own bridges without seeking Federal gifts?….And speaking of greed, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson might find it easier to get their movies financed if they didn’t seek more than $100 million for their work….Dr. Zahi Hawass, boss of Egypt’s Antiquities department, says initial probes have discovered what may be burial place of Cleopatra and Marc Anthony and excavations will begin when cooler weather arrives next month…. A London security firm has invented a magnetic ink which would cause dollar bills or other paper currency to stick together and would be hard to forge but is initially more likely to be used in passports and checks….Pumping aromas into a movie theater’s air conditioning to add credence to a movie was tried before, 30 years ago, but a German firm, Cinescent in Hanover, is now testing it to accent the screening of ads by Nivea sun lotion and Dove soap…. The universe is change: our life is what our thoughts make it—Marcus Aurelius (AD120-180).

9/20/08

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