Monday, December 18, 2006

Old Fogey's Quotes for Monday

". . . suddenly, we decide we're not going to buy a bunch of new stuff for a year? And that's international news? Doesn't that say something?"
John Perry, one of a group in San Francisco who entered a Compact to buy used items where possible
Nothing New Here -- And That's the Point
[What an appealling idea! Bargain shoppers would really excel, already having the patience to shop for the lowest price. I'm much better at the other end; I can't stand to throw away anything that is still usable. Nevertheless, I think I will at least try to buy fewer new items. I can't make any promises, however. Shopping online and Diet Dr. Pepper are the only addictions I currently have. Going cold turkey on either seems impossible.]

"That's how you surge. And that surge cannot be sustained."
Colin Powell, referring to the fact that there are no more additional troops to be sent to Iraq, to increase troops on the ground in Iraq will require current forces to stay longer or go back earlier
Powell Says U.S. Losing in Iraq, Calls for Drawdown by Mid-2007
[One of the many lousy things about this damn war is that the only people making sacrifices for the common good are the troops and the poor who find less aid available. I've been working against poverty, but perhaps I also need to find ways to show my appreciation for the troops doing such dirty and dangerous work far too often.]

"The big story in the immediate aftermath of Katrina was the way the government failed to rush to the aid of people who were obviously in desperate trouble. What we’re witnessing now is an extended slow-motion replay of that initial failed response."
Bob Herbert, in NYTimes Select editorial
Out of Sight
[The problem many poor people face is they are out of sight. Income segregation makes it ever so much easier to enjoy excessive wealth without guilt. Katrina forced us to look at povery, and many seemed appalled to discover that it still existed. Now we have forgotten even the Katrina victims, who still live in small, overcrowded trailers without much money or hope. Shame on us!]

"Of course, as in any large-scale human enterprise, some aid can be ineffective. But provided that aid isn’t actually counterproductive, even relatively inefficient assistance is likely to do more to advance human wellbeing than luxury spending by the wealthy."
Peter Singer is the Ira W. DeCamp professor of bioethics at the Center for Human Values at Princeton University and author of “The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter.”
What Should a Billionaire Give – and What Should You?
[This exceptionally fine op-ed piece in the NYTimes discusses the role of philanthrophy from numerous angles. Check it out!]


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