Posts Tagged 'politics'

Understanding the Gift Economy

Iconic Tiffany's Box with Question Mark

I received an interesting assignment a couple weeks ago: write an explanation of the gift economy. Since the request came from my dear friend Nipun Mehta, to whom I can refuse nothing, I agreed; but I knew from the outset how challenging this seemingly straightforward task would be. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously observed about pornography, some things are easy to recognize and yet quite difficult to define.

The essay, now completed, is included in a new online reference, The Dictionary of Ethical Politics, a joint project of Resurgence and openDemocracy.

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The Pathetic Comedy of Dana Perino

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino as Hello Kitty

Each week, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino seems to claim a new “personal best” in unintended irony. Today, however, she set a new world record. (One can almost hear the partisan fans chanting, “USA! USA! USA!”)

Here is a verbatim exchange from this afternoon’s press conference, in which Ms. Perino answered questions concerning the “state of emergency” declared by Pakistani dictator, Pervez Musharraf, to crack down on his political opponents:

QUESTION: Is it ever reasonable to restrict constitutional freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism?
MS. PERINO: In our opinion, no.

In Ms. Perino’s defense, she may have dispensed with the concluding caveat, “…unless we do it,” because she thought it so obvious as to be hardly worth mentioning.

Continue reading ‘The Pathetic Comedy of Dana Perino’


Blasts from the Past

... because the idiocy of manliness is an evergreen topic.

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... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.

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... because everyday is Mother's Day.

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... because the American Dream seems but a distant memory, given the country's dominant ethos of small-mindedness.

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... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.

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... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.

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... reprised because military strategy seems more cruel and less effective than ever -- and certainly there is a better way.

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... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?

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... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

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