Friday, October 24, 2008

quote of the day

Avarice in old age is foolish, for what can be more absurd than to increase our provisions for the road the nearer we approach our journey’s end?

– Cicero, Roman statesman, philosopher (106-43 BC)


I went shopping yesterday. I had a list. Shampoo was on the list. When I turned the shopping cart down the shampoo aisle I was confronted with shelves stretching to the horizon loaded with every brand and variety of shampoo. I found Dorothy's brand but there were many types within the brand. For example: classic care, moisture renewal, texture conditioner, ice shine (ice shine?), volume conditioner, brunette expressions, blonde expressions, and color renewal. That didn't exhaust the list of types of shampoo/conditioners. When I was a kid shampoo was just shampoo. I remember White Rain, and Halo, in fact I can still hear the old radio jingle, "Halo everybody, Halo. Halo shampoo Halo!"

I called Dorothy. She talked me through it and I successfully secured the bottle into the cart, or so I thought. When Dorothy came home from work the bottle was sitting on the kitchen counter, a trophy of my quest for the precise product. She picked it up and said, "I'll have to take this back. This is conditioner only". Doh!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

quote of the day

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.

--Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Friday, October 17, 2008

what i'm reading now

The Dhammapada is one of the ancient Hindu scriptures. This book presents the text of the scripture along with commentary by Eknath Easwaran.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

quote of the day

The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little.

--Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Sunday, October 12, 2008

quote of the day

For too long we seem to have surrendered personal excellence and community value in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product now is over 800 billion dollars a year, but that gross national product, if we judge the United States of America by that, that gross national product counts air pollution, and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic squall. It counts Napalm, and it counts nuclear warheads, and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our city. It counts Whitman's rifles and Speck's Knifes and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet, the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play; it does not include the beauty of our poetry of the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate for the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country it measures everything in short except that which makes life worth while. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

--Robert F. Kennedy - 1968

Friday, October 10, 2008


Winter is just around the corner. If you find yourself in the dumps from the cold weather and dark days, you may need a vacation in the Caribbean. When Dorothy and I were in St. Thomas this summer we took the day trip below. Of course, for us it was outing with Rachel and Bob. They've decided to make a commercial venture out of taking tourist on day long trips to Water Island where they can snorkel in the lagoon, swim, or just lay on the beach sipping a cold drink. The price will include all meals and drinks.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

quote of the day

“I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.”

--Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

Friday, October 03, 2008

the bailout

I was encouraged this week by the House of Representatives' refusal to accept the 700 billion dollar bailout proposed by the president and the Treasury secretary. Why should we fork over that much money just because the people who drove our economy over the cliff tell us it's necessary? But now congress has approved the new improved bailout that is costing 150 billion more dollars than the first one. Were our congressmen just waiting for more pork to be added to the barrel? We're in trouble. We cannot trust anyone in government. There has been a tremendous transfer of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy and powerful. I don't understand why Americans are not rioting in the streets.

Members of congress, can I speak to you for just a moment? You're gonna have to quit taking money from lobbyists. I know it's going to be hard, especially since you are so morally weak. If a representative from a corporation sends you on lavish vacations, contributes to your campaign, or extends any other favor, they will expect something in return. They will want your influence and your vote in matters that will help them get an advantage in the marketplace. There was a time when that was called bribery. You can call it by anything you want, but it's still bribery. You're gonna have to quit it. The American people expect you to be honest.

Lobbyists, your gonna have to quit taking advantage of our ethically challenged public servants. You might think what you're doing is legal, but that's only because you have influenced the legislators to pass bills whose language make it legal, but it's still wrong. I know you have bought and paid for our congressman and insist that they belong to you, but I'm asking you to set them free. For the good of the country. Isn't that what your asking to taxpayers to do? To bailout the corporate incompetents for the good of the country?

And voters, we have some hard work to do. I would never presume to tell anyone how to vote. But, I urge all voters to investigate, read, study the issues. If we are uninformed voters then we are all fools. Write your congressman and tell him how you feel. And next month, vote.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

quote of the day

"A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It is a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity."

Jimmy Carter