Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Just off the top of your head: what do we have little need for more of?

How about furniture, mattresses, light fixtures and loans, just to name a few?

How about what we could easily do without? How about exotic foreign travel, shopping excursions to N.Y., L.A. or S.F., ice cream, frappucinos, "fine dining" of the sort where main courses for $35 are considered "reasonable," hundreds of specialty wineries producing $40-$50 bottles of wine, artsy programs paid for by tax dollars, non-profits doing nice things with donations, gew-gaws for pets, spa treatments, lawsuits with unknown odds of success involving plaintiffs with no money, cosmetic surgery, "financial services," having your nails done, costly haircuts, house cleaning services, dog walkers, travel consultants, kitchen remodels, Mercedes vehicles, or indeed, any new vehicles, now that any decent vehicle lasts 10 years with minimal maintenance, 6-foot long BBQs, "entertainment centers," more iPods, kids' toys, or clothing of any sort or type or style, given that you can buy heaps of clothing for a few dollars at garage sales or thrift stores?

This is a tiny selection of literally thousands of goods and services we can easily do without, and indeed, did do without a mere generation ago, when now-commonplace luxuries like $100 per person dinners and hip surgeries for pets would have been reserved for flamboyant millionaires.

(Lifted entirely from Charles Hugh Smith, blogger and polymath at Of Two Minds.)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

A journalist questions Mr Gandhi....

Mumbai, India (CNN) -- For a man who used to hang a framed picture of Mohandas K. Gandhi in his Senate office, President Obama declared that checking out a museum honoring the Indian independence hero's legacy was "pretty cool" Saturday.
Shortly after landing here for his first stop on a 10-day tour of Asia, the president and first lady Michelle Obama quickly headed over to this city's Gandhi Museum, a three-story home where Gandhi stayed when he was in Mumbai. It's now full of historic photos and posters as well as a library with about 50,000 Gandhi-related works.
The president spent several minutes in the library, which has Gandhi quotations on the walls, such as, "Freedom is like a birth." 

(The President apparently did not see, nor comment on this quotation:)

Journalist:
"Mr. Gandhi, what is your thinking on Western Civilization?"

Mr. Gandhi:

"I think it would be a good idea."

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About Me

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Of the biblical allotment of three score and ten I have lived only three of them more than a bicycle ride from one of the Great Lakes. I grew up ten blocks from Lake Erie in the (once Irish/Italian ghetto, now newly-hip) "Near West Side" of Cleveland. I can still cycle to the Milwaukee lakefront in an hour and a half; but, a round-trip has always been more than I would (noror ever did) attempt. -0- I'm a "...somewhat combative pacifist and fairly cooperative anarchist," after the example of Grace Paley (1922-2007). -0- I'm always cheerful when I pay my taxes (having refused--when necessary--to pay that portion of them dedicated to war). -0- And I always, always vote.