Archive for July, 2013

Obesity
July 29, 2013

Fat’s s all over the news. It’s all over the place. Even Michelle speaks about it. Walk through any American city, any town, any street, and you’ll see them, the waddlers. Not just adults. Kids. This is not normal body fat, this is, sick American fat.

On our discussion site on Kauai we have one very cranky gentleman who is overweight and suffers from hypoglycemia. Why is that?  is it a disease? We know the his grumpy attitude is a symptom of the dysfunction. What is he doing wrong? What does his doctor say?

I have a theory . Many, if not most, of these poor people are starving to death. What? Starving? Look how fat they are. Starving people are skin and bones, we’ve seen them in third world countries; and  that’s a bit like saying, “What global warming? Look how cold it is. See the snow.”

The kind of fat/starvation I’m talking about is often caused by a lack of money, just as in third world countries, but here, with some paper in their pockets, people buy cheap, fast foods. Fill the belly. Stuff the junk in the  mouth. Chew. Swallow. Go to McWhoever’s and buy a cheap hamburger-with a bite of lettuce-for a couple of those long green paper things. Bread and beef fills their bellys- that’s for sure, look at them- and they’re starving. Their bodies are screaming for food. More food. Feed me. Buy a Twinkie. Grab a soft drink. Ease the pain of starvation.

Every body has nutritional needs. Not just a need to fill the belly, and, if these nutritional needs are not met, the body screams for it. But it doesn’t say to the poor suffering victim of fat/starvation, “I need some B vitamins. I need some A. I need some C.” Well it does, actually, but the poor starving fellow doesn’t get it. Doesn’t hear it. He just stuffs some more stuff in his mouth, chews and swallows, and goes back for more.

How many of you eat microwave dinners?  Some quite delicious. Some quite expensive. Some even organic, so the label says. The label on the box lists all the vitamins, all the good stuff, but did you ever stop to read the fat content? Some of those ‘healthy choice’ boxes of stuff contain 30% saturated fat! Saturated fat! About the unhealthiest stuff you can stuff in your mouth, chew, stuff in your belly and-boy oh boy-watch that part of your anatomy bulge up a storm of sickness.

The answer? Find out what your body needs. In Adelle’s book, LET’S GET WELL,  in many books about nutrition, in the index you will find many obvious physical and emotional symptoms of vitamin deficiencies. Your body’s telling you something. Listen. Learn.  Don’t fall for fads. Or pills. If you fill your nutritional needs you won’t feel hunger. You can eat less. Be well fed and grow thin. Honest.

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THE DARK BIBLE
July 29, 2013

Jim Walker’s Excellent work…

“The Bible represents the best selling book of all time and serves as the sacred script for the Judeo-Christian faiths, it also stands as a book, by the majority, believed from ignorance. In the Middle Ages the Catholic Church forbade the reading of the Bible by its congregation for fear the people would misinterpret the texts. Many priests knew of the problematic and dark verses. Too much questioning could result in a loss of faith. Only the Church fathers had the right to make interpretations. This gave the early Church power over its people and prevented the majority of the populace from ever becoming educated.

One would think that with today’s practice of freedom of religion, education, free press and the availability of the Bible, the Bible and its history would result in common knowledge. Nothing could stand further from the truth. Most Church fathers today concentrate only on the “good” phrases. This represents an admirable approach as it serves to teach, stabilize and give meaning and morals to people in a society. However, Christians and Jews rarely hear about the dark side. Although most Christians own a Bible, few of them spend the time to read and understand it. Many Christians find it  blasphemous for someone to point out that the Bible contains, not only errors, but atrocities that no Christian in good conscious would ever think of acting out. How many Christians and Jews today would feel happy to bash a child’s head against the rocks? Any secular question of this nature, of course, would result in revulsion, yet just such phrases occur in the Bible as well obscenities, filth and many horrendous phrases.

I do not write from a Bible scholar’s perspective but rather from my personal studies from a skeptical point of view. Showing the problems with beliefs, especially religious beliefs about the Bible.  It represents selections that aroused my skepticism ranging from my early Christian beliefs to my present stage as a full blown skeptic. Isaac Asimov said, “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”:

The Dark Bible uses the King James Version  as its main source because more Christians use this version. Although various alternate verses come from other versions with a caption as to its source. It will help to use this text along with the reading of each verse with the complete chapter from the Bible so as to gain a better understanding of its context. Click on a verse and it will take you online where you can peruse the entire context. Many of the comments come paraphrased from scholarly published work.”

The Dark Bible, copyright © 2006 by Jim Walker. No one may use the contents of the Dark Bible without permission or without proper citation and with a direct link to NoBeliefs.com. Use a link to the Dark Bible rather than copying the html code. This way, updates will appear as they occur.

 

I edited to make this fit my column. It’s Jim Walker’s work. I hope, in presenting this, readers will turn to Jim’s work for more information. For me, it’s a valuable friend.

Banned in Boston
July 23, 2013

There can’t be anything less attractive than a man who throws a tantrum. I feel fortunate I’ve not had one in my-real-life. Met these curiously warped ‘male?’ creatures often on the web.

In print, they are usually no namers or silly namers. They are always chronically addicted name callers. They scream with caps and are often so long winded you fall asleep before you hit the second semi-colon.

Kurt Vonnegut, one of my favorite atheists, said “Don’t never use a semi-colon. It only proves you been to college.”

I met these tantrum riddled blokes daily on a small web site I was invited to join after the new editor-Bill Buley, a darling man-of the The Garden Island newspaper closed it’s discussion site. It was really getting silly stupid out there.

Before Bill, the Garden Island Island made it mandatory responders use real names. That got rid of a lot of the loons. No rabid ‘no name or silly namer’ would dare use his or her real name in such pathetic antics.

There is almost always-in fact I’d dare say ‘always’- a close connection between bible thumpers and the military mindset. Devout ‘believers’ in the authoritarian and critical god. It is a patriarchal thing they follow in  the goose-step order-thump, thump, thump-of that dreadful god of the Old Testament they invented, worshipped and mimicked.

These sillies know one book cover to cover. At least the relative good parts. They drag out the bad stuff when they need to scare the pants off some male bullied chattel or guilt or fear immersed male (?) follower.

I love to quote Richard Dawkins, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all of fiction, jealous and proud of it, a petty unjust, unforgiving control freak, a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser: a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” The only reason  he isn’t dubbed narcissistic is ’cause  he never fell in love with anybody. Anyhow Narcissus was mythical Greek.

I once said to this tangled web of  religious buffoons, “If this critter were to come back to earth today and find himself in an American Court of Law, he’d end up on death row.”

That went over like fire in a circus tent.

So I, the outspoken non believer-I’m not chattel-end up banned. Forbidden from entering hell ever again. I wept. I wailed.  I tore my hair The stench of hells fire, the taste of  escharotic, blistered my good sense. As it was supposed to do.

Then sanity and reason returned. The force was with me.. Well these blokes talk to themselves, or to others just like them and begin to believe their own lies. Talk back and “you’re screwed”.

I remembered a wag once said, during the Anthony Comstock censorship era, “If you want to write a best seller get banned in Boston.

Scam hasn’t been banned in Boston-yet-but the words I dared to speak were banned in TG**alk. I’m off to a good start.

Aging Damsels in Distress
July 17, 2013

Looking for an upside of any unpleasant issue is healthy. Aging? Nobody really wants to grow old. Couldn’t somebody have dreamed up another way to end our stay on planet earth?

Wouldn’t we all rather be 19 again? My mother used to say, “I’ll come back if I can come back in a 19 year old body.”

That always made good sense to me. She died young, but at 69 she was still a darling little old lady. She knew how to dress for her age. I have a picture of her driving a pony at the Phoenix A to Z Horse Show wearing a red velvet gown with winter ermine trim. Class.

It’s odd to think that I’m almost 14 years older than my mother. Eight years older than my father. Twenty-five years older than my husband. The oldest living member of my entire family- both sides of the house-I’m not a spring chicken but I’m not the family matriarch, either. Lucky me.

Like my mother, my silhouette’s still good. If I cover up the bad stuff and the light’s dim, I can reduce the damage. It was Gypsy Rose Lee who said, “I’ve still got what I came in with. Only my cargo’s shifted.”

May end up having to wear Chic Islamic Clothing. Sunglasses and red shoes.

Colette (1873-1954) French writer, said, “You will do foolish things but do them with enthusiasm.”

Leave it to the French. Don’t you just love it?

During WW11 Colette aided Jewish friends and when she died she was given a State funeral. I love her. Identify with everything but her sexual preference. She loved cats and dogs and her desk was as cluttered as mine.

Very gifted woman. She wrote and was a dance hall performer. My favorite book was Green Wheat. If she was a 10, guess I am a five? Four?

She didn’t age well. She knew it and was vain.

I kind of think I learned some tricks she didn’t though. Drama. Always works and never fails.

At 83-almost-I certainly can play the age card. Fun. Fun. Any little old lady can do it.

Look helpless. Fragile. Even if you’re wearing smelly sweats and no make up. “Sir? Can you help an aging damsel in distress?” A slight quiver in your voice. Hands delicately shaking. Kind of a forlorn smile. Shillelagh held half-mast. Gracefully stooped. Eyelids batting.

My goodness, ‘they’ come from everywhere. Carry packages. Open doors.

Introduce me to their wives and kids and dogs and girl friends. Give me a ride home- when I’ve had a misunderstanding with a companion-in the back seat of their patrol car. Open the gate. Light my way into the house. Stay for a cup of coffee.

Love men in uniform.

Chivalry is not dead – if you’re 82 going on 83 and know how to press the right buttons. Colette would have loved it. Healthy for guys, too. Try it.

Trees
July 13, 2013

Do you know it took the earth, our home, four billion years to make a tree? They are living sculptures and, listen to this one: they defy gravity. They grow up, not down, their heads toward the sky, their feet enriching the earth.

Playing around with my fantasies-which I love to do, hope you do, too-I imagine, when the world was young, I was a Druid. A born-again Druid. Druids loved-still love-trees. It’s part of their lore. They visit the woods and trees to meditate and stuff. I have a huge Banyan with enough room within its generous belly to climb inside and assume the lotus.

I love to climb trees. When I was just a kid a girl friend’s mother told me I would outgrow the urge. Grew up determined to prove her wrong.  My old puppy, Boots, loves to climb trees. My cats love to climb trees. My noisy Macaw loves-loved- to fly into tall leafy thick ones.  Birds, by the score, who sing sweeter than honey in a pot, make their homes there.

Tree surround me. My house is swallowed. They have to be constantly taught to stay out from under the roof. I mean they have all outdoors, for goodness’ sakes. Once I took a picture of our ‘new’ house from a steep green bank and my husband said, “It looks like a house buried in a jungle.”

A friend from the NTBG said he felt like he was in an Honduran rain forest.  He also said I had the largest elephant ears he’d ever seen. Elephant ears aren’t trees but the get along with them.

I have another Banyan who creatively resides in the middle of the house. Actually it’s a spot that was supposed to be an aviary dividing the barn end of the house from the people end.  He, or she- do trees have sex?- yeah, some do. Papayas are male and female-or something. The lady ones make golden fruit-that’s par-that tastes like kisses sweeter than wine.

On Kauai we have so many trees our island greenith over. Some of my favorites are the trees many others think of as pests. The African Tulip is one. I adore them. Their huge orange blossoms fall to earth creating a living, breathing, dancing, magic carpet. It lifts and falls with the breeze, with the patter of feet-canine, feline, human, avian-who do the walk about and stir them up.

Humans write poem about trees. Joyce Kilmer, “I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree…”

Carl Jung wrote, “Trees in particular were mysterious, and seemed to me direct embodiments of the incomprehensible meaning of life. For that reason, the woods were the place that I felt closest to the deepest meaning and to its awe inspiring workings.”

We would not be here today, if it were not for the trees. Wow!!! Run right outside- immediately- and hug and kiss one. That’s an order.

FRIENDS
July 10, 2013

My grandfather taught me, “True friends are like diamonds, precious but rare, false ones like autumn leaves found everywhere.” Does anyone remember autograph books? I used to quote  this little ditty in all the books I signed.

I’m not a people collector. Many writers are not. I was born a wordsmith-it’s the Irish in me.. My mother said I was “…born with my tongue tied in the middle and wagging at both ends.” It’s lucky for the world there’s ink and paper, otherwise you’d all be deaf.

But I love friends. I’m very proud of the friends I’ve made. So many wonderful people. New ones keep popping in. Old ones- not false ones-often take another path. We meet.  We smile. Exchange tid- bits. Wave. Move on.

I’m thinking of a wonderful  pair, Cynthia and Ed Justus at the Talkstory Bookstore in Hanapepe. Cynthia with her glorious  red hair is almost like a new one. She ‘s gorgeous. Always was, but today, holy moly. The last time I saw her, my hear skipped a beat.  I thought Ed had got himself a new wife.

These two started collecting awards for their book store years ago and never stopped. They need  a new wall and some more shelves to hold all the framed documents and  trophies.  I love sitting in Talkstory on a Friday Festival and Art Night.   I call it a ‘people’s party’. To sit there, signing books is a treat. People come from all over Kauai, all over Hawaii, all over the world. If you love and need to collect people-for a moment-take this in. Starts about 5:30.  Ends about 9:00.

The food. The aroma. Those scrumptious pies and the-I’m running out of adjectives- delicious girls who bake and sell them.  The fish photographer. The folk art.  The music. The sheer joyful moments that surround the place, like frosting on a cake, are to be devoured by the senses. It’s an emotional high that youngs the heart and the mind. Hanapepe is still old Hawaii. Roosters are a feature. Part of nature’s wonder. Artists paint them. Sweet, wonderful dogs- some free, some leashed- are part of this remarkable scene.

It’s like the old song, “Oh give me a street where the lap doodles meet, and the young and the old folks abound…”

Occasionally we even get a celebrity. On Kauai we smile and let them roam free, too.

I’m waiting for George Clooney. When his hat and his wig fall off, I’ll never tell. There’s a perfect part for him in The Scam. There’s even a swig of white wine in a honey bottle to quench his thirst.

I could watch The Men Who Stare at Goats until I go blind. My favorite line, I can’t even write about it-it wasn’t George’s-“…the silence of the goas,” always cracks me up.

It’s  rare to  see a film about the killing machine that’s full of humor, magic, fun.

Come to Hanapepe any Friday night and enjoy the humor, magic, fun and friends that are there.  For free.

Home
July 8, 2013

“Internationally renowned photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand makes his feature directorial debut with this environmentally conscious documentary produced by Luc Besson, and narrated by Glenn Close. Shot in 54 countries and 120 locations over 217 days, Home presents the many wonders of planet Earth from an entirely aerial perspective. As such, we are afforded the unique opportunity to witness our changing environment from an entirely new vantage point. In our 200,000 years on Earth, humanity has hopelessly upset Mother Nature’s delicate balance. Some experts claim that we have less than ten years to change our patterns of consumption and reverse the trend before the damage is irreversible. Produced to inspire action and encourage thoughtful debate, Home poses the prospect that unless we act quickly, we risk losing the only home we may ever have.”

Please go to youtube and watch this Documentary  HOME  Pass it on.

This is my entire column this week. I am seriously considering buying a large outdoor screen and inviting everyone to come and watch this. If it doesn’t touch a chord I doubt you’re human..

You have to go to youtube documentaries.

 Here is the link on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxENMKaeCU&wide=1
This is link  to Home.

 

Peace and love Bettejo

Forever Young on Kauai
July 6, 2013

To wake up on Kauai is to be happy.

If we could share what we have with the world, it would be a happier place. At the moment I am looking at a bank of Walking Iris, dappled with sunlight, brimming with joy and life’s perfume.  I walk though a screen door into a leaf-strewn courtyard and, standing tiptoe, on a hollow block, peer in to see the babies. The mother Thrush was in the nest and she gave me a look that said, “Can’t you knock?”  She and her mate work hard feeding these big mouth screamers.

Feeding my zoo is hard work, too. It’s a 24/7 operation. Hungry mouths-nine counting my own- must be fed.  It’s interesting that the eight others don’t seem to get it: I also indulge.  I’ve got the feeding end of it down to a science but convincing them I’ve got to eat is the hang up. Part of the morning routine is sharing. “See, guys,” crunch, sip, swallow, ”I eat, too….”

…A major distraction, within arm distance of where I’m working, a brilliant red cardinal is teetering on a leaf and tweeting. He wants a cracker.  If so he’s going to have get with the program and show up at the cracker station.

My husband, taught me to love the early morning hours. We were always up at 4AM, except on weekends, and I would be out in the fields at 6AM-horses have to be fed two hours before riding-and Bill would be behind his desk at five. But that schedule has shifted. No fields. No Bill. And the high cost of electricity has got me up and moving with first light. It’s beautiful then. Early morning light flatters my house.  Me, too.

The birds, roosters, too, have been singing and crowing for hours- I love them- but I wonder why. Dawn seems to have nothing to do with their early morning chatter. I think they’re just happy to be alive.

The first thing I do is get up. Stretch. Healthy animals always stretch when rising. Everybody stretches around here. For me, morning ablutions and bed making are a constant. Then a set up. All the animals’ bowls and pails and buckets are lined up where they belong. Spoons, measuring cups, oil and molasses for Ari’s mash. Warm in the winter, cold in the summer. My father taught me that trick.

Then it’s boots on tall and Boots and I are off to the races. My jungle jungles thickly abundant with cliffs and slides and slippery slopes. I carry my shillelagh and have several steep traverses where I’ve strung a rope to haul me up and ease me down. It’s an obstacle course. The most dangerous obstacle? Dodging Boots as she careens across my path.

If I get back, I’ll feed.  If I fall and break a leg, orders are to shoot me. I want to die with my boots on.

Waking up on Kauai is to be young. For a day.

The Time Machine
July 3, 2013

Once someone described me as ‘ruthlessly rational’. I don’t know if that’s a complement or not, but for today I’m going to consider it complimentary.

At 82, time is running out. Even if I live to be a hundred, I will not have as much time in the future as I have had in the past. As a devout non-believer, my rational mind refuses to ‘believe’ I will live forever. My rational mind also asks, “Would you want to be Bettejo forever?”

To which my ruthlessly rational mind says, “Good grief. I’ve loved being Bettejo but to be Bettejo forever? Forget it.”  To be sassy for a moment, there are many who ‘believe’ they will go to a place where they will live forever, and it is not a place I’d care to live forever. That’s putting it mildly. To put it very unmildly, to spend all eternity with these folks would be hell. A place fortunately my rational mind doesn’t think exists.

So, okay, time is running down. One day I’ll croak, but until I do, I’d like to live happily.

Manage time as you would manage money.

It’s fun. It’s fun. Buy a new stenographer’s tablet, a pencil and a sharpener, and date it. It’s not a journal, it’s a journey. Start with today. How do you spend your time? You can spend money unwisely, you can spend time unwisely.

What is it you do? What is it you have to do? Get out of bed is first on my day’s journey. Morning ablutions are second in my book of time. How do you begin the first day of the rest of your life?

It’s a strictly personal journey. Only you are putting one foot in front of the other.

What do think you must do that you really don’t have-or like- to do? Scratch it out. I hate to clean house.  My husband taught me, “If it’s clean in the corners, it’s clean.” So I clean the corners first. That works.

Further, since my eyes are dimming, I do not see the catastrastrokes that exist when I put my glasses on and faint. But know what? I haven’t croaked from cholera, typhoid or paratyphoid because there’s a smudge on a counter so the answer to that conundrum? Don’t put your glasses on. Out of sight, out of mind, my ruthlessly rational mind says. Whatever it is it’ll be there tomorrow. Maybe bigger and I’ll see it without glasses and then I’ll attack it with a scrubber. Than again, maybe I won’t.

Please don’t come to my house with white gloves. I won’t-I can’t, without my glasses-go to your house with white gloves.

I’m not telling you how to run your life. I’m asking you to figure it out for yourself.

Remember:  every minute you save on things you don’t want or need to do leaves you more time to do the things that keep you happy and healthy.

Happiness is always healthy.