Wednesday, September 28, 2011


by Madeleine Kando

I have been spending an awful lot of time lately getting this blog ‘optimized’. It is, of course, a never ending process, especially for someone like me, who has an obsessive compulsive nature.

I am starting to feel the side-effects of too much web searching, too much sitting on my posterior. I have forgotten what blogging is really about – writing good stuff for those of you out there, who seem to enjoy it. Read more...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Language and Colors: Now you see Them, Now you Don't

by Madeleine Kando

Not too long ago, people believed that the ability to see colors was a trait that was inherited over generations. Even as recently as 1858, the British statesman William Gladstone theorized that Homer must have been color-blind because his texts don’t mention the colors blue or green. He concluded that full-color vision had not yet developed in humans at that time. Read more...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What do Christianity and Marxism have in common?

By Tom Kando

At the risk of offending some/many people, I would like to draw a comparison between two ideas/ideologies/"systems,"call it what you will, and point out some similarities:

2,000 years ago, one of the greatest men in history launched a new movement, based on admirable moral idea(l)s. Jesus Christ's revolution was incredibly necessary, as the Roman world had become increasingly cruel and unjust Read more...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Europe is Not in Decline

by Juliette Kando

I have just come from Amsterdam via London, back to Southern Spain and I do not see a decline in Europe apart from perhaps fewer Real Estate agents in Spain. Generally the people in Europe are almost as fat as in America, they drive new cars, I do not see any beggars or poor people. In Holland house prices have risen by 30% since last year! Yes everyone moans about the "economy", but isn't that to a great extend just talking about the news?
I repeat: The news bears little relevance to the reality we see around us. How can we, educated middle class Westerners moan about hard financial times when our bellies and shopping malls are bursting at the seams? I don't get it. Read more...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Has the 9-11 Attack Changed Anything?

By Tom Kando

It is incumbent to post something about 9/11, on the decennial anniversary of the attack. Let me try to come up with something non-superfluous, something beyond the platitudes uttered by the media at this time.

I am in Holland right now. (From where I flew back to California by way of Newark on 9/10, 2001, incidentally! Can you believe it?)

Maybe I can say something positive from this vantage point. In the US, of course, the commemoration is important.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Proof is in the Pudding

by Madeleine Kando

In his book 'The Tyranny of Guilt', Pascal Bruckner explains the causes of Europe's guilt complex vis-à-vis the rest of the world. The best approach to living conscious-free is to become a passive observer. Europe stands on the side-lines in fear of repeating the atrocities it has committed in the past.

Is there an analogy to be drawn here between nations and people? Does old age inherently imply that one is more careful, less adventurous, less confident about the future and one's ability to affect it? Read more...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Cancerous Growth of Capitalism

By Tom Kando

If there is anything regarding the western world’s current economic problems about which there is almost total consensus, it’s that economies must grow. No politician, economist or opinion leader questions this. But I do.

First, a personal note: why should I have to make and spend more money every year? I don’t need new things all the time. I don’t need a new car, even though the average age of my 2 Hondas is 12.5 years. They both run superbly. My friends drive BMWs and Mercedes, so the only reason I would need to upgrade would be to please them.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

America, the Beautiful

by Madeleine Kando

I have been sitting in this airplane seat for the past two hours, flying from San Francisco to Chicago. Mine seems to be the only window whose shade isn't down. Most passengers are either reading, watching t.v. or sleeping. What on earth possesses them to ignore this unique opportunity to witness one of the world's wonders up close? For me, flying cross-country is still an incredible adventure.

This plane is like a claustrophobic, smelly movie theatre, showing a super-sized, five hour long movie. The scene is continually changing. What is that, over there in the distance? A hazy yellow patch and next to it, tiny specks which must be houses. Is it sand, salt or just a dust storm the size of a small town? Read more...