The Don on Simplicity
I enjoy living simply and healthy at less than half the U.S. poverty level for me as a single person. I lived well for all of 2008 on $3,539 for my total expenses—rent, food, etc. I have no right to more than I need while others in this world have less than they need.
I would not trade my 12-foot by 14-foot apartment for the world's most luxurious mansion. I have owned no car for 30 years. I have ridden in no car for eight-plus years. I enjoy walking most places I go. Sometimes I ride the city bus.
I have no refrigerator, no TV, no cell phone, no DVD or CD player, no computer, no business suit, no credit or debit cards, no airplane travel, no microwave, no cooking stove, no gun, no big house ... and I do not want them! I would not keep them if you gave them to me free! Freedom is not having and not wanting these things!
I have washed my clothes by hand since 1998 and I hang them up to dry.
I receive $383 per month from retirement social security, I am 63. I have never received food stamps.
I enjoy having a food garden. I eat only raw plant foods—greens, seeds, grains, fruit and vegetables.
I buy used clothes, etc. at thrift stores, yard sales and the flea market. I buy nothing at McDonald's, Wal-Mart, Kmart or large shopping malls. I write down every penny I spend every day. Most of the money most Americans spend is for crap no one needs!
I have never used a swamp cooler or air conditioner to cool my home since I moved in 21 years ago. I open the door and three windows at night for cross ventilation. I use a small fan. I live naked inside when I am warm enough.
Last winter was my fourth winter I did not turn on my apartment's gas heater—not even the pilot light, although the fuel cost is included in my monthly rent. I am committed to saving energy and reducing catastrophic global climate change. My part is a drop in the world's bucket, but I am responsible for my drop! The temperature was usually 50 to 60 degrees. I dressed warmly and slept under many blankets.
The U.S. is 5 percent of the world's people but steals and hogs 25 percent of the world's resources. I refuse to live that way!
As long as most Americans believe they deserve more than poor multitudes worldwide, and as long as most Americans crave and buy crap no one needs, the U.S. Empire will rob, exploit, injure and murder millions.
Regardless of what others do, the main person I am responsible for changing is myself! I pledge publicly to live simply, to own no car and to pay no federal income tax for war for the rest of my life!
Because the Bible Tells Me So
The last time I read the City Charter, I did not see any requirement of religiosity to be an Albuquerque city councilor. Yet, Mr. Don Harris, District 9 city councilor, today in a mail piece set religious affiliation as a preferred qualification for a city councilor; implying that his opponent is an atheist. Is he trying to lead us lambs of District 9 to the choice of a pious leader? Is Mr. Harris telling us lambs of District 9 that we should indicate our religious affiliation or lack of it to assist his judgment of us?
The two campaigns for city councilor in District 9 had already presented two very different and clear choices before this piece arrived in our mailboxes. Sadly, with numerous glowing endorsements in his back pocket, Mr. Harris decided to pull this stunt. Our District 9 councilor’s innate ability to drum up conflict in the past has resulted in one costly recall election for Albuquerque voters. I suggest that Mr. Harris revisit the Bible lesson of what a real religious leader said regarding casting the first stone in the story of Mary Magdalene. I suggest that he revisit the Golden Rule. I also suggest that Mr. Harris get used to having an opponent in every election. His juvenile behavior will drive future political opponents to run against him from the diverse constituency which he is supposed to serve.
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to email@example.com. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.