Tagged: essay by michael konik

A Simple Plan to Save the World

Here’s how we feed everyone, repair our environment, and provide meaningful work: convert lawns into organic vegetable gardens. Imagine if all the property owners currently pumping water and fertilzer into their grass carpets used our precious natural resources to grow food — healthy, unprocessed, nutrient-rich vegetables. Imagine if vast swaths of public land currently serving...

A Lost War

On June 17, 1971, President Nixon told Congress that “if we cannot destroy the drug menace in America, then it will surely destroy us.” And thus was the war on drugs commenced. This week marks the 40th anniversary of another failed American war effort. The numbers, courtesy of the folks behind the next California “legalize...

Our Environment: Another Drug War Casualty

Our failed War on Drugs has cost us vast treasure, ruined the lives of harmless citizens, and fueled a growing empire of violent crime. To continue with this national folly would be stupid at best and catastophic at worst. It’s time to legalize marijuana, treating it as we do tobacco, alcohol, caffiene, and other widely...

Eating Animals

For more than three years I’ve enjoyed a vegetarian diet, which has left me feeling altogether better. Better energy, better sleep, better digestion, better physical fitness, better health and wellness. I grow a good portion of what I eat. The correlation may be circumstantial or fanciful, but farming my food seems to have made me...

A Royal Reminder

The recent nuptials of one of Britain’s crown princes to a commoner — yes, commoner without quote marks; this is the official style — taught a useful lesson, one that we learn early on and need to be reminded of with periodic regularity: some folks truly are better than others. No matter how kindly we...

How Propaganda Transforms Young Minds

If we can put aside millennial-old inquiries into the nature of Truth, assuming such a thing exists, we can agree that propaganda, which is less concerned with veracity than with delivering a particular message, is a kind of prevarication. A lie. A tendentious assertion that’s antithetical to our notion of Truth. I was reminded of...

The 85% Diet

Facing the physique-softening indignities of middle-age, a friend — call him Chumley, or Chum – adheres to a different diet-and-exercise plan every few weeks or months. He’s done them all, with varying degrees of success. (The old-fashioned “burn more calories than you consume” method doesn’t come with a glossy recipe book or 4-hours-a-month workout plan,...

Marathon Watching

This morning in the rain, a pounding torrential rain that punished the streets and those upon them, I walked a couple of blocks from my warm dry house to Sunset Boulevard, where I found thousands (tens-of-thousands?) of people in shorts and sleeveless shirts, splashing toward Santa Monica, more than twelve miles to the west. Most...

Transparency

Julian Assange says WikiLeaks is meant to promote it. The Obama Administration refused to demand it of the Egyptian regime. And John Boehner doesn’t think the American public wants it, at least not if it involves C-SPAN cameras in the House Chambers. Transparency is the word (and concept) presently on everyone’s mind. How demoralizing to...

The Food Truck Scourge

Los Angeles is lousy with food trucks at the moment. Thanks to a collision of social- and mass-media fawning, they’ve earned all the valuable trend labels (“hot,” “in,” etc.), transcending their utilitarian function and entering the lofty realm of Culturally Significant Phenomena. No longer do these Winnebago-sized mobile restaurants simply serve workers at construction sites...