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March 20, 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

 

 


March 20, 2010

John Wilcock
the column of lasting insignificance

“By being the first and largely the only publication pursuing the (John) Edwards (sexcapades) story. The Enquirer is under consideration for a Pulitzer Prize…..The success has Mr. (Barry) Levine (its executive editor) considering opening a Washington bureau to look for more dirt among politicians.” —from a New York Times story

HITLER AND THE NAZIS are ridiculous metaphors that are being recklessly tossed around by Obama’s foes right now, complains the media watch group Extra!  and most of the accusations make no sense. For example, Glenn Beck suggests that President Obama is a “brutal dictator” and compares the Germans living under Hitler, to Americans with Obama as president. And Rush Limbaugh declared that this country’s healthcare plan “mirrors Nazi Germany’s health plan … the foundation from which they built the rest of their socialist paradise”. FAIR’s newsletter adds that such ideas have “leapt to the corporate megaphones of the extreme right in their attempts to invalidate Obama and his policies while simultaneously trivializing the Holocaust, one of mankind’s most heinous crimes”.

IT WAS SACCHARINE, promoted as Sweet’N Low that came first in 1957; aspartame sold as Equal in the 1980s; sucralose marketed as Splenda in 2000; and now it’s stevia, a shrub with a bitter taste that all the major food processors are currently working with under different names such as Purevia and Truvia. That’s the timeline outlined  by the Economist which reports that artificial sweeteners have become a $1.1bn business in the U.S.

THE COMMON TERM ‘Afro-American’ should be consigned to history declares John McWhorter, a controversial UC Berkeley professor, who says that like himself only about one in 30 black Americans were born in Africa and thus have more in common with white Americans than “a man three years out of Senegal”. Writing in the New Republic McWhorter, 34, says that at this point in history, “true black pride” should no longer have to call itself “African” and that Black is a more accurate term.  Because of his earlier lectures, the writer has alienated many in the Black community, even being reviled as an “Uncle Tom”. Ishmael Reed, a writer who also teaches at Berkeley, has called  McWhorter a "hustler", adding, "You have these academics who are removed from the African American community who use anecdotes and gross generalizations to make a career for themselves."

A MAJOR SETBACK for Britain when it joined the European Community, was losing the ability to legislate its own affairs. Even its newly-installed Supreme Court is not the final word if people feel they have been unfairly convicted in the courts and seek to appeal. “Laws passed in Westminster can be vetoed by a group of appointed judges in Strasbourg with little understanding or respect for British tradition:” points out an editorial in the Spectator. “We now have a situation in which our laws are being made by a distant court drawing on vague principles laid down in a 60-year-old human rights convention”.

impossible war
     “In its attempt to stamp out the Taliban insurgency and Al Qaeda, the US military has been arresting suspects and sending them to one of a number of secret detention areas on military bases, often on the slightest suspicion and without the knowledge of their families. These night raids have become even more feared and hated in Afghanistan than coalition strikes”

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FLYING IN FORMATION is the way that  birds reduce drag on their wings thus using less energy. After studying this, Stanford researchers now believe the same principle could be applied to aircraft. Say, for example, that flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas could rendezvous over Utah and fly in V-formation for the rest of the journey? It could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 15% estimates Professor Ilan Kroo, although he admits it might be hard to co-ordinate destination times. It’s a plan perhaps more practical for military aircraft. A government agency is now studying the idea.

“At least in your head, your fire burns as brightly. Let’s not kid ourselves. But God bless her that she likes older guys. And some wonderful enhancements have happened in the last few years—Viagra, Cialis—that can make us all feel younger”

THE DISMAYING TALE of Nazia Quazi, a mid-20ish woman with Canadian-Indian citizenship, who’s being held in Saudi Arabia by her father and not allowed to leave is told by Katha Pollitt in the Nation.
In that oppressive land, Nazia’s father is regarded as her guardian (mahram ) and has total and absolute control over her life. Under this system  she is required to seek his permission to do anything—go to school, marry, rent an apartment. “In effect” writes Pollitt, “it makes women children for life—there are middle-aged Saudi women who are under the legal control of their own sons”. Apparently, Nadia’s father doesn’t approve of her boyfriend and thus won’t let go of her.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Presumably Dave Letterman’s blackmailer would have gotten more than six months if he hadn’t agreed to keep his mouth shut about Dave’s love life ….Now that the Yucca Mountain solution is a write-off, maybe the problem of how to dispose of radioactive waste might be solved by consulting the French, some of whose 59 nuclear power plants date back as much as 40 years…. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart…. One way to diminish the influence of lobbyists, would be for people who seek to bribe politicians to just give them the money directly, thereby cutting out the K Street middlemen…..And when billions of dollars of farm subsidies were passed out in Mexico, who could possibly have dreamed that most of it would have been ripped off by the agriculture minister and his family? Along with a few drug-trafficking farmers… After bankrupting its former colony Haiti for centuries, by enforcing “repayments” for kicking them out, and then sponsoring the coup against its first elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, France has donated $230m to help with earthquake costs…. Padma Choling, the Tibetan-born stooge who’ll run Tibet for his Chinese masters, is a familiar figure in history—a Quisling, a Petain, the national equivalent of an Uncle Tom…. Chief Justice Roberts said he didn’t understand why so many people were contemptuous of his band of merry men and perhaps his cabal should stay away from future State of the Union gatherings because (unlike himself, of course) it had become too “political”.…. Who wouldn’t like to see Clarence Thomas and John C. Yoo tortured, just so they could reassure us it didn’t hurt?….. Considering how short-tempered everybody seems to be these days,  more gun-toting caffeinated phreaks is not a cheerful prospect…. Former mime Robin Williams and fire-eater Pierce Brosnan both began their careers as street performers but won’t be attending San Diego’s  annual Buskers Festival next month….A short fortune-teller escaped from prison to become a small medium, at-large….. To simulate the Milky Way, reports  the ‘zine Geneva13 , shake out the contents of 26,000 canisters of salt and spread the grains on a velvet sheet so that each one is seven miles from the next (the velvet sheet needs to be bigger than the earth)…… After all is said and done, more is said than done – H. H. Munro “Saki” (1860-1917)

3/13/10

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