Showing posts from June, 2011

Stand Up Next To Me

Somehow, a "Freedom Isn't Free" T-shirt
on an 80 year old Japanese man in his brick-lined garden
takes my breath away.

How to Know What to Eat

I have a recurring moment of crisis in the milk aisle. I waver between the ultra-pasteurized organic skim milk, 1.5 gallons for $10-- or rBST-free conventional whole milk, regular-pasteurized, 1 gallon for $5. Skim milk, organic or otherwise, is usually reconstituted from easily-oxidized milk powder. Ultra-pasteurization makes the calcium and vitamin D inaccessible for our bodies. And ultra-pasteurization wrecks the protein structure of milk, so cheeses and yogurts don't set. Skim milk lacks the fats essential to metabolize vitamin D. But whole milk is high calorie, full of dangerous but delicious saturated fats.  Organic milk is produced without pesticides but still generally raised on grain. but without growth hormones and excessive antibiotics. Conventional milk is generally raised on grain and sometimes the animals are overdosed with antibiotics and hormones. And then there's the cost! And the taste! There are too many variables-- the pro and cons list is too long and too …

Why Partisan Politics is Dumb

Last year I had a booth at a Lihue craft fair. It was just before the holidays and the little veteran's hall was full of beaded earrings, hand-made pet outfits, quilted aloha-print purses, sand-based accessories and hula angels made out of coconut husks. Every 4'5" grandma on the island turned out to get ideas for what to make for her grandkids. And apparently it caught somebody's eye as a prime spot for shakin' hands and kissin' babies.

We were visited by a throng of polished people in starched aloha shirts and dewy leis, handing out glossy brochures. First a polite and carefully coiffed Councilwoman Yukimura shook our hands and said hello. I hoped she was going to buy a T-shirt. I didn't realize she was politicking until she handed me a "Vote Yukimura!" pamphlet.  I lamely gave her my card anyway. Then I noticed a particularly striking couple-- Adam and Eve, Mr. and Mrs. Jesus-- bronze skin, in elegant cream-colored Filipino folk costumes, both…