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October 11, 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

 

 



October 11, 2008

“The American Revolution was fought so that the people could have sovereignty. Imagining that our president will be our savior makes us re-imagine democracy in opposite terms. The president has all the power and we get our power as a people from him, which is the way of a monarchy”—Dana D. Nelson, author of Bad for Democracy; How the Presidency Undermines the Power of the People in an interview with the Utne Reader

CLAIMING HEALTH BENEFITS for relatives who either don’t exist or who are not entitled to them has apparently reached epidemic proportions in some big companies according to Forbes. It reports that General Motors hopes to save as much as $100  million a year from eliminating such claims when it has completed its audit. By cutting 10,000 people who don’t qualify, says the mag, AT&T will save $40 million and Chrysler $50 million. Two years ago, American Airlines denied further coverage to 10,000 ineligible employees with similar allegations.

A WORRYING PARALLEL between the overthrow of socialist president Salvador Allende in Chile 35 years ago and the opposition against Bolivia’s leftwing president Evo Morales today is presented by the Berlin’s DieTageszeitung. Morales, the country’s first indigenous leader, has been trying to break the stranglehold of the rich landowners as he tries to redistribute the country’s wealth more fairly. Just as earlier in Chile, the rightwing is fighting back with death squads and the U.S. has been accused of meddling on the wrong side (the US ambassador was just expelled) the paper says.

POPULAR MECHANICS’  OCTOBER issue devotes 30 pages to listing “100 Skills Every Man Should know” with the ones on the cover—Fix a Leak, Pilot a Boat, Weld Steel, Shoot Straight, Mix Concrete, Drive Off-Road, Work with Wood and Escape a Sinking Car.  Unable to handle a single one of these, this columnist will have to settle for some of the easier ones such as Drive a Stick Shift, Shoot a Home Movie, Parallel Park, Iron a Shirt.

BURMA HAS BECOME “the world’s largest prison camp” declares the Guardian Weekly pointing out that the legally-elected--but never allowed to serve--Aung San Suu Kyi is now in her 13th year of detention, one of 2,000 Burmese held as political prisoners and half a million displaced others. “The UN has been a complete failure” charges Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK and he called for the resignation of special envoy Ibrahim Gambari “seen as biased towards the regime”.

SHIPS THAT DISAPPEARED without trace in the Bermuda Triangle may have been hit by waves 50 or more feet high, all the rubble disappearing in an area where the sea is as much as five miles deep. That’s one of the theories advanced by the October issue of BBC Knowledge which says that if northeasterly winds cut across the Gulf Stream (straddled by the 62-mile Triangle) huge waves could sink pretty well any ship. However, the theories don’t explain what happened to aircraft—at least eight of them—which also vanished between 1945 and 1954.

THE IRONY IS rarely mentioned about how the Boy Scouts were once regarded with suspicion because of the alleged proclivity of some scoutmasters for fondling their charges, but how today the politically correct shun them because they reject homosexuals. “Probably no other organization in America volunteers as much time—seven million hours since 2004—improving public property and assisting public programs” says National Review in a story headed Thifty, Brave, Clean and Persecuted. The mag points out that the Supreme Court ruled that, as a private organization, the Scouts were entitled to choose their own members. Even though the ACLU lost that argument, they won’t leave the Scouts alone: “(Scout) programs are under attack all over the country”, NR concludes.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Senior Centers in Germany have discovered that placing a fake green and yellow bus stop sign outside their facilities has helped to corral Alzheimer’s patients who tend to otherwise stray far from the facility….. Men who drive more than three hours a day are likely to overheat their testicles leading to sperm damage reports New Scientist magazine…. Russia plans to clamp down on gambling next year, banning casinos from everywhere except four remote regions where the infrastructure needs funds….”Name one thing we’ve learned from the International Space Station” challenges Bob Parks in his syndicated science column…..”Drugs” muses P.J. O’Rourke,have certainly managed to teach American youth about the metric system”…. Why don’t term limits apply to senators and congressmen who often seem to be there for life?….As a turncoat independent with a rightwing bias, Joe Lieberman won’t have many friends in the Senate after November nor will his solitary vote help the GOP enough, even if they trust such a snake in the grass….”Conceit is God’s gift to little men” proclaims Bruce Barton…. Several companies are working on schemes to bring 3-D television to living rooms within three years…. Harper’s publisher John R. MacArthur is the author of You Can’t Be President which lists all the reasons why the old myth just isn’t true….The stock of America’s four major railroads have jumped as much as 34% since oil prices made bus and automobile transport so much more expensive….. Los Angeles Times circulation is dropping so precipitately they are now offering, for $39, a year of Thursday thru Sunday papers plus a $20 supermarket gift card….. Cornell University researchers discovered that dropping the $ sign from menu prices—20 instead of $20, for example—meant that diners were willing to pay bills as much as five bucks higher….“Young men think old men are fools”, says George Chapman, ”but old men know that young men are fools…Adolf Hitler’s personal bodyguards had their own set of inscribed dinner plates which are going up for auction this month…. Once again an independent company, after shucking off ownership by Cadbury-Schweppes, Texas-based Dr Pepper (since 1885) hopes to extend the drink’s popularity from the South (where folks imbibe almost 11 gallons of the drink a year) to the East and West coasts where the average is around one six-pack….“Posterity is as likely to be wrong as anybody else”—Heywood Brown (1888-1939)

10/4/08

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