Ginsburg’s got guts


Just finished reading a wrap-up of news in a magazine that offers a passel of newsworthy stories in tightly written packages from many corners.

You get to hear folks ranging from CBS anchors to Slate pundits nattering about events following a brief cooling period.

So the news isn’t as quick as instant coffee: it takes time to mellow.

A surprise package came in the form of analysts mocking (and in tiny doses, praising) Ruth Bader Ginsburg for remarks she made about Donald Trump.

The story begins when Ginsburg was interviewed by an Associated Press reporter on Thursday, 7 July. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, communication, journalism, native press, Native Science, press, ruthbaderginsburg | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The gift of world travel


Tear down the wall

Once, while eating supper at a restaurant in Germany, I over-heard an American visitor complain the menu was in German only: she wanted to see it in English.

How ironic to discover that nowadays menus in Europe often boast several languages, including English.

While I detested the woman’s tiny worldview, modern globalization demands a multiplicity of views and languages.

Learning foreign languages expands your perspective: it’s a wonderful mental and cultural exercise.  Continue reading

Posted in american indian, communication, science communication | Tagged | 2 Comments

Reliving the past

London of the sixties


You can’t help but visit London today and recall the 1960s: a bright and light musical kaleidoscope.

While I embrace London’s extraordinary changes–terrific food, good coffee, French pastries and an international human glow–the music scene of old permeates Soho.

We took in a performance of Sunny Afternoon, a tribute to the Kinks’ music replete with fraternal in-fighting and managerial wallet gouging. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, authenticity, native american, Soho, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Native science & rhetoric

Phrenologist’s mapping of Black Hawk’s skull

An elder once told me, “Traditional knowledge is thousands of years of applied science.”

Those words came from one of the speakers at the Indigenous Environments conference I was fortunate to attend this week in Norwich, England.

She points out a fundamental problem with the way we carve out our everyday understandings.

We understand–or we think we understand–that indigenous people ignore or reject science.


It’s a matter of semantics. Rhetoric. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, authenticity, communication, Indian, Indian remains, Kennewick Man, native american, native press, Native Science, repatriation, rhetoric, science, science communication | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

 Sari Saga

I was excited when Olivia telephoned to say I needed to be outfitted for an Indian sari and she wanted my measurements right away.

Olivia’s future mother-in-law was already en route to the seamstress so we couldn’t delay.

Silk fabric had been hand-picked and hand-carried from India for Olivia’s mum and me: an honor I earned by marrying Olivia’s father and one I poorly deserved. 
But what a swell gesture to include me.

I rummaged through my sewing box for a tape measure while Scott watched the YouTube video Olivia said described how to record the neck, bust, back, arm, shoulder and waist size.

We watched the video. Twice.

And then Scott measured each body part. Twice.

Do they want inches or centimeters, he asked me.

Inches, I said. They were having the garments made in California.

He texted the measurements and, a few days later, I received the hand-made skirt and choli (blouse) along with six yards of fire-bright orange silk fabric finished in golden trim for the sari wrap.

My colors.

With just a few days before the wedding I figured I’d better try on the choli to make sure it fit.

I squeezed into the blouse but couldn’t fasten it shut.

Scott grabbed each side–fabric stuffed in his left hand, fabric in his right–and tugged.

My bountiful–um–bounties just wouldn’t fit.

I re-examined the garment.

The blouse was carefully stitched and lined: I didn’t see anywhere to add more fabric to the bust and I couldn’t extract any slices from the sari–that would have ruined the drape.

Maybe I could find a choli pattern at the fabric store and sew a blouse?

Scott gamely accompanied me to the mall where I found some gold silk and a Simplicity blouse pattern with a round neckline (but nothing approaching a choli design).

With a damp cloth I dusted off my sewing machine and set to work.

In three hours the dining room floor was strewn with thread and pieces of silk but I had a serviceable blouse that covered my real estate. 

Daughter Rachel arrived for dinner and I showed her the sari, the skirt and the hand-stitched choli that didn’t fit. 

Try it on again, she said. Let me look. 

Rachel had just returned from India and knew how to rock the garments. 

I stuffed myself into the choli.

Mom, she said. 

You’ve got it on backwards. 

When she finished laughing Rachel showed me the fasteners are sewn into the front, not the back.

Alas, the blouse was still too small.

Try it on without a bra, Rachel suggested.

I don’t want to get arrested, I snapped. 

We set aside the sari and had dinner, which restored everyone’s humor.

But I wanted to take one more look at the choli before heading to bed.

And then I saw it.

The seamstress had sewn generous side panels that I didn’t notice earlier: I let out some fabric on each side and the choli fit.

I needed to take in a few tucks to smooth the back and now had in hand a well-fitted (albeit revealing) choli. 

We wore our saris to dinner on the evening before the wedding, and Olivia’s mother-in-law pinned and tucked and pleated my garments with an expert’s touch.

I looked stunning and, as far as anyone knew, everything folded and unfolded without a hitch. 



Posted in american indian, Indian sari | 1 Comment


compassionDid you spend part of your Sunday thinking about the shootings in Orlando?

I’ll bet folks who attend church services heard about grief and pain.

Our Buddhist friends here in Portland addressed the murders head-on.

What would be a thoughtful response?

Blame? Sorrow? Affirming it’s them, not us?   Continue reading

Posted in american indian, authenticity, Orlando | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Guns? Follow the money


It’s disheartening to see media coverage of politicos punching each other verbally while using human slaughter as fodder for their own gain.

This week a group of reporters spoke with John McCain in the hallway of the Senate building, where McCain claimed President Obama was “directly responsible” for the terror attack in Orlando, according to the Washington Post.

But what wasn’t reported is that McCain received more than $7.7 million in contributions from the National Rifle Association (NRA): more than any other elected representative in Washington.

Yet McCain blames Obama for the Orlando bloodbath enacted by a lone gunman who used weapons that should never be available to ordinary muggles; and most Americans agree. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, McCain, NRA | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments