Showing posts with label lifestyle choices. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle choices. Show all posts

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Florida Couple Penalized For Growing Vegetable Garden in Their Front Yard Redeemed

Source: Miami Herald, Lawns v. Crops in the Continental U.S.

A few years ago, a story broke about a couple in Miami Shores who were penalized by their municipal government for violating an ordinance against growing edible plants in front yards and were forced to remove their garden after an 11th circuit court judge ruled that they did not have a right to grow vegetables and that the city's preoccupation with certain aesthetics took precedence over their property rights. Well it seems the pendulum has swung the other way and they may be getting the last laugh because a bill to ban municipal and county governments from banning front yard vegetable (and possibly fruit) gardens has been introduced in both chambers of the Florida Legislature: one in the state's senate community affairs committee and a verbatim version has also been filed in the state's house of representatives. Elizabeth Fetterhoff, the Republican representative that introduced the House bill articulated very good reasons for allowing residential vegetable gardening on whatever side of the fence:
Just yesterday, I toured a garden in my district that is being set up to help educate and empower its community through self-sustainability practices like gardening, Fetterhoff said. Yet in some areas of our state, local governments place arbitrary restrictions on their citizens’ right to provide for themselves using their own private property.

It is also worth mentioning that Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll made more efficient use of their land by using it to grow vegetables instead of simply growing grass, which consumes more water without fulfilling any basic needs (you can't eat it or sell it at a farmer's market).

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Strangest Secret Synopsis

We become what we think about

  • Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.
  • The opposite of courage is conformity.
  • A successful person is anyone who is doing deliberately a predetermined job because that's what he or she decided to do.
  • Going through life without goals is like a captain navigating a ship without a destination.
  • The key to success and failure: we become what we think about.
  • If you think in negative terms you will get negative results; if you think in positive terms you will achieve positive results.
  • The most valuable things we have in life are free.
  • Familiarity breeds contempt.
  • For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction; we can achieve nothing without paying the price.

30 day test

  1. Each of us wants something, and each of us is afraid of something.
    Write down what you want more than anything else. Make sure it's a single goal that's clearly defined.
  2. Stop thinking about what you fear. Each time a fearful or negative thought comes into your consciousness replace it with a positive and worthwhile goal.
  3. Do more than you have to do.
  4. Ask and it shall be given to you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you.
  5. Act as though it were impossible to fail.

Friday, March 2, 2018

The 3 Kinds of Desires

'We must also reflect that of desires some are natural, others are groundless; and that of the natural some are necessary as well as natural, and some natural only. And of the necessary desires some are necessary if we are to be happy, some if the body is to be rid of uneasiness, some if we are even to live. He who has a clear and certain understanding of these things will direct every preference and aversion toward securing health of body and tranquility of mind, seeing that this is the sum and end of a blessed life.'
- Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus

The three kinds of desires are divided along lines of their ease to satisfy and their importance to our well-being. The category ‘natural and necessary desires’ encompasses desires for sustenance, protection from the elements, and anything else we would need to survive. They are relatively easy to satisfy and vital to our physical health. The category ‘natural and unnecessary desires’ encompasses all of those actions that are pleasurable and productive to our health, but which are not necessary to maintain our health. They are nonetheless aids to our health and mental well-being. I would include exercise/working out in this category along with the desire for friendships and romantic relationships. These are a bit harder to satisfy than natural and necessary desires. The desire for human contact itself could be considered a natural and necessary desire given the deleterious affects complete isolation has on mental and physical health. We are, after all, social animals. The category of groundless desires encompasses all vain and empty desires which are neither natural or necessary. By this I mean that their satisfaction is unnecessary to maintain our health and well-being and they do not aid our health and well-being. I would include in this category all the ornaments of wealth, the desire for popularity, fame, and fortune along with the desire to induce happiness through drugs or alcohol. Given that the average person will never obtain the objects of these desires, these desires are extremely difficult to satisfy and will most likely lead to despondency if you make your happiness dependent upon them. Substance abuse has its own set of dangers to mental and physical health on top of unhappiness. The aim of hedonists should be to direct their efforts towards those desires that secure physical, mental, and spiritual health. This would include all the natural and necessary desires and some of the natural and unnecessary desires. For instance, some relationships could be precluded if you believe that they wouldn’t be feasible in your current circumstances.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Epicurus On Worrying About The Future

The gist of it is live in the present moment, but I think it’s much deeper than that. It is like the stoic concept of prosoche or mindfulness, the practice of which consists in freeing your mind of value judgments about the future and past. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t plan, only that you should not become emotionally invested in your expectations, whether they are favorable to you or not.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Epicurus On Living Pleasantly

This quote comes from Epicurus in his Letter to Menoeceus, which succinctly explains the doctrines of hedonism. In hedonism, the virtues are seen as instrumental goods necessary for the obtainment of enduring happiness and tranquility, rather than ends in themselves as they are viewed in Stoicism and other schools of virtue ethics. This state of enduring happiness is called 'ataraxia' or inner tranquility. The practice of virtue leads us towards inner tranquility by limiting or eliminating the self-destructive behavior that often results from the pursuit of vain and empty desires. For example, the virtue of temperance keeps us from over indulging in sensual pleasures that may cause more pain for us in the long run. Similarly, the virtue of prudence guides us to make the right choices about which pleasures we should pursue and which pleasures we should avoid. Hopefully, this will help clear up any misconceptions about hedonism in mainstream society.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Red Tape Times (article 10)

Could there be anything stranger than the sentiment that governments should dictate the aesthetic values of their citizens? Imagine if a government were to prohibit certain styles of painting or certain genres of music. That would be fascism you say? But that is the same line of reasoning that municipal governments across the country use to prohibit their citizens from living in houses under a certain arbitrary square footage minimum. The Etowah City Commission amended an ordinance that prohibits houses under 600 square feet on the grounds that it is "not in Etowah's best interest to have 200 square foot housing on a lot that had two regular sized houses on either side"and the slippery slope argument that if allowed tiny homes (under 600 square feet) would become commonplace, instead of remaining the rare exception as they are in cities where they are allowed, and significantly lower property values, consequently reducing city revenue. The Wasilla City Council placed a temporary moratorium on the construction of single family dwellings smaller than 700 square feet. Their reason was an appeal to a time in the past when a tiny home tenement became crime ridden, which was really a result of their own policy failures. The drug epidemics that spur crime waves result from government policy failures, not anything that emerges organically from society. The same is true of poverty and all other social ills. Similarly, the construction code of Boise does not permit homes under a few hundred square feet because the city's central planner is concerned with "the health and safety" of their residents, even thought they are still much safer and healthier than Idaho's 2,247 homeless people and the rapidly growing unsheltered population in Boise, which has increased by 122% in the last year to be sure. In light of this abysmal failure, it seems to me that the wisest thing for these Boise bureaucrats to do would be to swallow their pride and step out of the way of entrepreneurial types who've thought up a new solution to the problem of finding affordable housing.