The Real Coconut

By Sophia Pilot

October 19, 2020

   I was sitting underneath the umbrellas at the patio of the newly-opened Real Coconut Restaurant, snacking on a plate of decadent, gooey nachos, hard to believe it’s all, gluten, dairy, grain, corn, soy, oil, and refined sugar-free, but 100% delicious. Surrounded by happy families, six feet apart, of course, eating yucca fries, tacos, avocado toast, and ice cream shakes; this new Malibu eatery is a welcome addition. I followed the nachos with the Macho Pancakes with sides of organic maple syrup and berry compote to create the perfect end to a meal that will leave you feeling satisfied, but not sluggish.

   The Real Coconut opened its second location in Malibu on October 1st. Owners Daniella Hunter and husband Charlie are thrilled to bring their passion for sustainability and health to Malibu. In my conversion with Charlie, he explained that developer, Steve Soboroff approached the company with the idea of a second restaurant in the Park Complex, due to the success of their Real Coconut Co. products sold in Whole Foods, “We live close by and have been in the community for 30 years and it was important for Daniella and I that our first USA Real Coconut Conscious Kitchen had our presence as our Tulum, Mexico location in our hotel Sanara has had for the last six years.”

   The couple uses their knowledge of healthy digestion to construct a sustainable menu. Their fish is wild-caught, and they source all of their ingredients organically and locally. The owners recognize the impact ingredients have on the environment, “Weʼll always choose organic produce, wherever possible, and make no compromise in the sourcing of our animal proteins, using only organic, pasture-raised eggs and chicken, or wild-caught fish and seafood, from local farmers & fishermen.” The Real Coconut menu is centered around coconut, cassava, plantain, hemp, and marine phytoplankton which are nutrient-dense grains. 

   Daniella experimented with coconuts in her cooking as opposed to grains, rice, corn, and wheat, cultivating her love for sustainable cooking. Their organization works with the Influence Foundation (IF) as a resource for developing countries. The IF, along with the support of The Real Coconut, plan to feed 11 billion people by 2020. This goal will be achieved by reducing food waste, going on a plant-based diet, returning land to indigenous people, and supporting cooperatives to produce more tonnage per hectare (2.4 acres) on their lands. Charlie explains that “it’s going to require persistence to recognize how we feed 11 billion people by 2050. In our restaurants, our conscious commitments are to use low-impact crops that don’t require irrigated water and at the same time serve healthy yummy food for all the family.” 

   An assortment of Real Coconut Co. products is sold in Whole Foods and a variety of retailers. Their selection of products will also be offered in their market within the Restaurant. The restaurant also offers catering and delivery to locals which is a great alternative to eating out during the pandemic. 

   As the weather cools, I’ll be happy to swing by for an apple cider donut and chai tea with fresh coconut milk. It’s not cheap, but fresh food that nourishes the body and the environment comes at a price. The menu items and hours will expand within the next few weeks, so be sure to check

Opinion: Trump and Fascism

By Claire Buran

October 5, 2020

Author Laurence W. Britt wrote the political novel Fascism Anyone? which describes 14 common signs of a developing fascist government. According to his piece, President Donald Trump falls under a majority of such signs. While this doesn’t mean that Trump is a fascist or we are in a fascist country, it is still very concerning. A review of the elements listed by Mr.Britt uncovers a striking fit between Trump’s views and actions to these fascist categories. 

    The first sign of fascism seen in Trump’s campaign is “Powerful and continuing Nationalism”, Trump’s entire message is about putting America first and “Making America Great Again”. Most recently, he has announced the “patriotic education” commission which criticizes history teachers for teaching children to hate America by focusing on negatives from our history about times when America was wrong, especially slavery. Under Trump’s view, a patriotic education should only teach about America’s aspirations and the promises in our founding documents. While using propaganda that we are the greatest country in the history of the world ignoring the true strength and resilience of our unique national ability to face the truth and adapt from our mistakes. 

    A “Disdain for Human Rights” is the next sign, demonstrated in many of Trump’s policies. His policies about religious liberties, reproductive rights, and issues affecting people of color, immigrants, and ingenious people have affected many people’s human rights all around the country. For example, his promotion of the “global gag rule”, which is a policy that blocks federal funding for organizations around the world that provide abortion counseling or referrals, advocate to decriminalize abortion or expand abortion services. Even though abortions have been legalized and protected by the Supreme Court and affirmed as a fundamental human right by U.N. bodies and 50 countries around the world    

    Trump also uses the “identification of enemies as a unifying cause”.  In Trump’s world and life view, you either agree 100% with him or you are labeled “stupid, slow, unpatriotic, or a loser”. He does this by telling people that they need to eliminate an identified enemy. Everyone who is not a cis, white, straight, Christian conservative has at some point been identified as an “enemy” or at the very least the cause of many problems. Trump has uniquely pitted Americans against each other to satisfy his need for an enemy to direct his anger and fuel his campaign of perpetual grievance. 

    Trump continues to exhibit “rampant sexism”. There have been countless sexual assault and allegations against him. He has said creepy and predatorial things about his daughter and other women around him. This element seems obvious but is inexcusable. 

    “Controlling mass media” is another area of concern. While Trump doesn’t have full authority over the mass media, he has convinced all of his cult following that anything other than Fox News is “fake news”. This leads them to believe everything Fox News says and reports is factual and any other news source is lying. He has also called the free press an “enemy of the people”. Sowing distrust in the media is a major red flag in any democracy as authoritarian leaders seek to position themselves as the only “true source of information”. 

    Following that is an “obsession with national security”. Trump’s entire campaign in 2016 was initiated with building the wall. A wall separating Mexico from the US, to stop illegal immigration. And in his own words, Mexican immigrants are “drug-dealing rapists”. The wall becomes a symbol, both physically and metaphorically that we need to protect ourselves and rally around the flag. 

    Moving onto “Religion and Government Intertwined”, the Republican Party has integrated religion in their views for a long time before Trump. Yet Trump has captured the (white) Christian patriotism as a basic aspect of his allure. He casts himself as the protector of this group of people. He portrays himself as a man of God, a good Christian man with Christian values, yet he doesn’t even follow these values. Trump tamps into Christian fears that their moral views and families are being stolen or lost by a mob of foreigners and godless liberals. 

    Next is the “corporate power protected”,  in which Trump has appointed the most wealthy cabinet in our history. Along with constant corporate-friendly policies, such as enacting tax cuts that overwhelmingly and disproportionately favor the wealthy over the average worker. At the end of the day, Trump is a billionaire helping himself and his other billionaire friends to keep their money, while falsely marketing and branding himself as a defender of the working class. 

    The ninth sign is a “labor power suppressed”. There are multiple examples of actions that Trump has taken that have consequently hurt workers.  One could point to how he rolled back regulations that protected worker’s pay and safety. He was also trying to take away affordable healthcare from millions of working people with relentless attacks on the Affordable Care Act signed into law during the Obama administration. 

    Another sign Trump has shown is his “disdain for intellectuals and the arts”. In a section of Trump’s 2021 budget proposal titled “stopping wasteful and unnecessary spending”, the activities financed by the National Endowment for the Art and the National Endowment for Humanities have been cut because they are not viewed as core Federal obligations. The NEA is an independent federal agency whose funding and support allow Americans to participate in the arts.

    Trump has also shown signs of an “obsession with crime and punishment”. This is another obvious one with his renewal of Nixon’s “law and order” rhetoric despite crime rates being at 50-year lows in the country. He has also made many comparisons to Black communities being violent hellholes. 

    Lastly “rampant cronyism and corruption”, such as the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without proper regard to their qualifications. Trump’s swamp of cabinet members, advisors, campaign managers, and attorneys that have been convicted of felony crimes and currently reside in prison is unrivaled in our modern political history. Nepotism has run amok as he has put many of his family members in positions of power despite having no qualifications.

   Trump may not have succeeded in amassing the full powers of a true fascist but it is extremely concerning that he shows so many of its early warning signs. Shame on us, the citizens of this democracy, if we fail to take seriously the words and claims made openly by Donald Trump. We are numb from the cumulative shock and disgust from the things he says and does but we become numb at great peril to our democratic experiment. Donald Trump is exactly who he says he is, and we need to believe him, take him seriously, and vote him out of power this coming election. 

How Much Money Does One Need?

By Luis Berg

September 14, 2020

   Through an economy-killing pandemic and 38 billion dollar divorce, Jeff Bezos CEO of Amazon is only getting richer, possibly becoming the first trillionaire by 2026. Jeff Bezos would be 62 with a seemingly endless fortune, richer than 150 countries. Jeff Bezos makes $2,489 a second, which is more than the average American makes in a week, once racking in more than 13 billion dollars in one day. 

   However, people are criticizing people like Jeff Bezos for having so much money. It begs to ask the question; does anyone person need a trillion dollars? The five richest people alone could solve almost all the major problems in the world and remain multi-billionaires. As a Forbes article has said, “He donated less than 25 million in 2018.” The Chronicle of Philanthropy has estimated that he donated 2.2 billion dollars since 2000. 2 billion dollars is a lot of money, but not to Jeff Bezos. It is just a sliver of his huge fortune, making more than he donated in 20 years in a day. There are currently 2,095 billionaires worldwide with a combined net worth of 9 trillion dollars. At the same time, there are 800 million people living in extreme poverty living on a dollar or less a day according to World Vision. Some point out how there are people that are malnourished and in horrible living conditions while 2,000 people with millions laying around living a luxurious lifestyle. 

   People wonder what good could be done with just a portion of that money. It’s estimated that it would take seven billion a year to end world hunger and 20 billion to solve homelessness in America. These sound like massive amounts of money, but if they were to each donate three million dollars for five years both those problems would be fixed and then some. People will keep criticizing the elites, but it’s up to them if they decide to donate a fraction of their fortune or keep it all for themselves. Jeff Bezos could spend 10 million a day for the next 40 years and still couldn’t come close to blowing his fortune, yet he seemingly has a difficult time donating a million a year.

Republicans Vilify Socialism

Lola Weber

September 14, 2020

The vilification of socialism is being taken advantage of by the Republicans once again

On August 27th, the virtual 2020 Republican National Convention wrapped up, and what was probably the most prevalent theme of the whole event was the condemnation of the Democrats’ ‘socialist’ agenda. 

This was honestly the most striking part of the RNC, not because red-baiting is anything new for Republicans, but because Republicans have been doing this to most Democratic campaigns and programs for the past century and it remains effective. The Democratic party has never once been socialist, and none of their proposals have ever represented socialism either. Even the most progressive members of the Democratic party still advocate for maintaining a capitalist economy, and at most, propose a more regulated vision for capitalism. 

The concept of falsely branding different parties and policies as socialist has been around for even longer than the original establishment of the Democratic and Republican parties. In Karl Marx’s ‘The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte’ he states that “Every demand for the most simple bourgeois financial reform, for the most ordinary liberalism, for the most commonplace republicanism, for the flattest democracy, is forthwith punished as an ‘assault upon society,’ and is branded as ‘socialism’.”

This was written in 1852, as part of an analysis of French revolutions in the 1840s. It specifically critiqued Napoleon III and the failure of the revolutions that he called “a farce”, which only worked to establish another bourgeois state. This sums up exactly what is occurring in the U.S. today. The word ‘socialism’ carries such a harshly negative connotation. The term has become such a taboo due to decades of propaganda which is what makes the red scare tactic so effective. 

By simply labeling any remotely progressive reform as “socialism”, it completely derails the entire narrative of the policy. Not only does the heavy-handed use of the word socialism hurt the narrative of simple bourgeois reform by the Democrats, but it actively damages actual socialist movements as well, by undermining the advocacy for a real alternative to capitalism. 

The bourgeoisie, the social class which includes and upholds the economic and political interests of the capitalist ruling class (including both parties), has a great deal of power in creating dominant worldviews through their control over the state, police, media, corporations, etc. . This allows them to completely disregard any and all calls for reform or revolution, and effectively alienate these movements. In doing so, they also work to maintain the status quo by keeping the masses in ignorance and in hatred of alternative viewpoints that may challenge the established dominating views. 

For both the Republicans and the Democrats, the term socialism has been used to fit distinct narratives, and this has obviously damaged the movement immensely. It is important that we work to subvert the dominant worldviews that are prevalent through all aspects of daily life. We must be sure to prevent ourselves from recreating this “farce” that Marx had warned us of, and we must continue our progression towards a new epoch.