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March 14, 2009
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

 

 



March 14, 2009

“If we learned anything from the British and the Soviets, it is that Afghans fiercely resist outside powers and that some in Pakistan are eager to prevent outsiders from controlling its neighbor, especially if those outsiders have good relations with India. Afghanistan is called ‘the burial ground of empires’ for good reason”—from the Nation editorial, Don’t Escalate in Afghanistan

THAT RIDICULOUS TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY needed by California legislators to pass the budget is just one of the reasons why a Constitutional Convention is needed to change the way things are done declares the San Francisco Chronicle. (Some of the other reasons are the traffic-clogged highways, the worst education system in the country, the overcrowded prisons, the expensive health system and the anticipated “catastrophic failure” of the water system). “California is broken. Our Constitution has been amended more than 500 times, leaving it more like the Winchester Mystery House with rooms and stairways leading nowhere…In this system nothing can get done…we can’t fiddle around the edges anymore”, says the SFC editorial.  Columnist Jon Carroll comments that a recent poll showed the California Legislature with an approval rating of minus five per cent, so in the next election “we should vote for no incumbents, none at all. Let’s not try to apportion blame. Let’s just give them all the boot”.

SOME MIGHT THINK it odd that in the recent Los Angeles Times stories about indicted (for allegedly manipulating stock options) CEO Bruce Karatz there was no mention of his former partner Eli Broad, 75, who first appointed Karatz to be chairman of KBHome, the huge building firm. After all the “B” still stands for Broad, the Los Angeles philanthropist said to be worth almost six billion dollars and who (according to business commentator Mike Lacter) felt that the KB board who fired Karatz had acted “too hastily” after paying him $135.6 million in 2005.

WITH ALL THAT STIMULUS money being tossed around, now would be a good time to invest some of it in mass transit suggests the Nation which says it would “the greenest way to lift the country out of a deepening recession”. Ben Adler says it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that if you build highways, increased inefficient sprawl will beget more traffic, and thus the need for more highways. “Build mass transit and you see high-density, efficient housing construction and people living without cars….To reduce our contributions to climate change we must also reduce our driving”.

IN THE SAME WEEK, National Review made a similar request for investing in the  country’s shopworn infrastructure, but it added a caveat. Standing in the way, it charged, was not only the National Environmental Policy Act which added two or three per cent to the cost of every project but the ensuing red tape which delayed transportation projects that received federal funding. “All told, major highway projects take an average of 13 years, start to finish, according to the Federal Highway Administration”.

“There is only one creed we are allowed to follow in modern Britain”  wrote Peter Hitchens in the Daily Mail, that of “equality and diversity. It is a religion that preaches tolerance while silencing dissenters (it is) slow-motion Stalinism”.

WHEN YOU SOBER UP you might regret it if you’d sent that angry, befuddled e-mail last night. But Google has a solution if you’ve already registered with ‘mailgoggle’. Before transmitting, it will ask you a few simple mathematical questions to make sure you have your wits about you. And there’s a free service at 24HitMeLater.com to which you can forward e-mails you aren’t ready to send. (They’ll send them back to you the next day).

What happens to former Cold War spies when they become superfluous?  Well, according to the Utne Reader, they become corporate spooks, plying their dark trade by infiltrating companies, and advocacy groups, to acquire knowledge about protest plans or lobbying agendas.  Do-gooders rarely have the time or inclination to do background checks on their volunteers.  “Any time involved in corporate espionage is (well spent by) those who are more than happy to spy on activists or organizations. Because frankly they see very easy pickings” says one observer.

THE INHUMANITY OF Homeland Security was clearly illustrated on last week’s TV documentary. A bereaved English lady, about 30, was denied admission because her luggage included family pictures indicating to the Feds her intention to “stay” with relatives rather than visit. The valiant gatekeepers boasted about their impeccable judgment in sending her home. They filmed the sobbing lady, in real time.

“EXCITED DELIRIUM” is the weasily phrase the taser industry has managed to get accepted as explanation for deaths of victims jolted by their electric stun gun. Such fatal encounters, according to Amnesty International, have totalled 334 since tasers were first used by police in 2001. In 69 of these cases, autopsy reports blamed excited delirium (ED) which one Chicago surgeon defined as mere conjecture. “People are looking for an explanation for some of these deaths” the University of Toronto’s Matthew Stanbrook told Mother Jones, “and this syndrome provides an answer that is convenient”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Why are the Feds so scared of taking over failing companies into which they’re pouring billions? They are allowing Neanderthal Conservatives to define what socialism is instead of the now-generally accepted meaning: what comes along to take charge when  capitalism fails…. Cover story subject Kanye West, (“The Ego Has Landed"), claims he has given up music for fashion in the March issue of Details, which contains 123 pages of males, modeling…. Ironic if the death penalty gets abolished because states say they can’t afford it (which wouldn’t be the case if they didn’t allow 20 years’ of appeals)… Instead of doubling and tripling the prison population, don’t judges have the authority to impose pubic service tasks? So why don’t they?…. Anybody know why  Bernie Madoff is still roosting in his lavish penthouse?….Safety experts, still raising concerns about the made-in-China movement, reports Smart Money, are questioning the reliability of imported automobile spare parts after serious accidents stemming from engine fuses, windshield glass and rubber valve stems….. Attempting to lure teenagers from the Internet back to print media, France is spending  $700million  offering them a free one-year subscription to the newspaper of their choice….If you want to help Zimbabwe, check out www.zbf.org.uk....Fraudulent abuse of the “returns” policy cost retailers $15.5 billion in 2007 according to industry researchers….. Sports don’t build character, they reveal it” suggested Heywood Brown…..Details magazine devoted a page to what it described as The Vanity Album ranging from Clint Eastwood singing cowboy songs (1963) and Leonard Nimoy presenting ‘Songs from Outer Space’ (1967), to The Best of Hilary Duff (2008) and  Lindsey Lohan pretending to sing (2009)… London department store Harrod’s, famous for its gourmet food section, installed a champagne bar adjoining the luxury fashion displays….… For almost a decade, says Details, California’s Slade Fiero has made a living repairing damaged  sex dolls, “spending his time surrounded by sex dolls that turn him on only aesthetically”…. Hoping to avoid any more collisions, NASA and other bodies that monitor space activity are asking operators to ensure that satellites burn up at the end of their lives or are moved to safer “graveyard” orbits….Nearly half the women shoppers polled for Fitness magazine admitted that trying on clothes in stores pushed them to take up exercising….. No one lies so boldly as the man who is indignant—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

    If you can answer any of the  questions above, email me at johnwilcock@ojaiorange.com

3/7/09

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