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

January 16, 2010
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

 

 


January 16, 2010

John Wilcock
the column of lasting insignificance

*** Proposed 28th Amendment to the
United States Constitution:***

 

"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States".source unknown

CHEATING THE I.R.S. is turning into a bonanza for some people—not the tax dodgers themselves but the snitches who report them. Since Congress authorized rewards as high as 30% concerning tax debts over $2million, whistleblowers in that stratosphere have been able to garner half a million bucks or more for their tip-offs. In the past year, leads on 1,900 tax delinquents —many owing $100 million—added up to $65bn the Treasury was owed. “The entire game has changed on international tax evasion” Commissioner Douglas Shulman told Forbes.
     Sometimes the squealer is indicted for his own part in the tax fraud as, for example, Bradley C. Birkenfeld who told the Feds about all those dodgers with secret accounts in the Swiss bank UBS, which ended with the bank paying the U.S. $780m and turning over the names of 4,450 US taxpayers. Birkenfeld paid $52 million in back taxes and penalties, is currently in jail (unfairly, he says) but is now applying for his “reward”. Chicago tax lawyer Robert E. McKenzie has qualms. “I think we should enforce the law but do we want a Soviet-style society where neighbors turn in neighbors, friends turn in friends and employees turn in bosses?”

impossible war
 “Obama… has turned reality on its head by embracing the Pakistan  myth that stabilizing Afghanistan is the key to stabilizing Pakistan. But U.S. pressure on the Taliban in Afghanistan is pushing more militants into Pakistan with the potential for upsetting the delicate balance there…”—editorial in The Nation

************************************************

THE ONLY PRESIDENT who ever made a living as a writer was Teddy Roosevelt says historian Douglas Brinkley who believes “Obama’s in a league with TR. He created his political reputation through the written word”. GQ says that although Obama’s talent with words is widely  acknowledged, his writing has gotten surprisingly little attention.

“Obama believes more strongly in the magic of words, especially his own, than perhaps any of his predecessors”.

A TOPICAL IDEA would be to build 100 new nuclear reactors over the next 20 years suggests Lamar Alexander, pointing out that China already has 132 of them, Russia is doubling its nuclear capacity,  France gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear and Japan gets 36%. “The real problem with nuclear energy” Alexander writes in the National Review, “is that it is surrounded by unwarranted fear, (but) the nuclear renaissance is well under way. It just hasn’t reached our shores…there simply won’t be any other way to meet the energy demands of the 21st century unless we go on burning a billion tons of coal a year”.

“The population might be having a wonderful time, buying iPods and going to nice restaurants, but I still feel they’re all kind of under control” muses filmmaker Terry Gilliam (Time Bandits, Brazil). “I’m trying to escape that by forming my own kind of world. Basically I’m trying to encourage others to do the same. I’m more prone to anarchy than I am to control—even though I’m a film director”.

REVIEWING A NEW BOOK by Barbara Ehrenreich, the Columbia Journalism Review endorses her belief that positive thinking has become “the opium of the American masses.” In her book, Bright-Sided” How the Relentless Promotion of Thinking Has Undermined America the author emphasizes that the real problem with positive thinking is not only its “misguided optimism” but its focus on the lone individual. It’s a “supremely irrational creed” says CJR  reaffirming Ehrenreich’s argument that “instead of laboring so hard to change ourselves, we should be laboring to change the world”.

ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, that  colorful magazine out of Zihuatanejo, celebrates its tenth anniversary with an issue that pictures the new currency—a 200peso bill that marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of Mexico’s fight for independence from Spain, and a 100peso note that marks the centenary of the beginning of the Mexican Revolution.

100peso

 

 
200 pesos

THE WILCOCK WEB: Greece has imposed a 90% tax on bankers’ bonuses….And Whack-a-Banker, a new game at a pier arcade in Southwold, Sussex, has customers happily hammering away flattening heads… ...The Getty Museum stages a one-day class (Jan 16, $145) in creating illuminated manuscripts….Posing in her scanties for GQ, January Jones says that since she took on the role of Don Draper’s ice-cold wife in Mad Men, “all of a sudden I’m getting these lonely mom and wife offers”…. One BBC pundit forecasts that after about a year Tiger Woods will be back playing better golf than ever….Discerning viewers deserted NBC’s Tonight show by the thousands when the vapid Conan took over. TV Guide’s chart showed ABC’s Nightline moving steadily into the lead. And if NBC now has to pay O’Brien $40m to dump him, serves them right for signing such a stupid contract…….After imbibing lots of sake, hundreds of near-naked men will mingle at outdoor Hadaka Matsuri festivals across Japan next week. Mud and near-freezing temperatures are invariably involved…. Don’t bother writing to Robert Mankoff, the humorless New Yorker cartoon editor, asking him to explain even his own cartoons, because he doesn’t reply…. Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made is now a 3,000-page package of books offered by Taschen for $700…..Labeled as “anthropology”, Details describes its two-page definition of the douchefag as “a plucked, preened party boy who’s taken being gay to new heights of tackiness”…. Three women in Ireland, challenging that country’s strict anti-abortion laws, have appealed to the European Court on Human Rights….. Now that so many student textbooks are priced above $200, it’s taking 25 hours of minimum-wage work to pay for each one comments Publishers Weekly…. A lipstick-sized container called Le Whif, developed at Harvard, delivers the taste of chocolate vja the nose…. New York City’s 40,300 arrests for pot-smoking last year—at least twice as many as pre-Bloomberg years—were 87% blacks and Latinos….The spectacle of two of America’s greediest companies, Fox and Time Warner, battling each other would certainly make a good TV program….“Don’t let anyone tell you that lenders are villains and borrowers (aren’t)” wrote a Westport, Conn, reader to the Wall Street Journal. “It’s time to bring back debtors’ prison”……Finance is the art of passing money from hand to hand until it finally disappears—Robert W Sarnoff (1918-97).

1/9/10

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