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Monday, November 19, 2012


Where have all the Twinkies gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the Twinkies gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the Twinkies gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Watch the original by Pete Seeger, but this time this is not about war, but how unions have driven our companies out of the country.

I heard that Hostess Brands were entering bankruptcy, and they were the ones who sold Twinkies, Ho Ho's (left), Ding Dongs (right) and Wonder Bread, so went to Long's and Safeway to get one of them.  Actually, I don't remember ever eating any Hostess products, but I recall Pearl mentioning having them during her nursing school days.  I figured if Twinkies lasted forever, then there must be something chemically dangerous about it.  However, having one for nostalgic purposes would be experienceful.

This "golden sponge cake with a creamy filling" has the following ingredients:

Enriched wheat floursugarcorn syrupniacinwaterhigh fructose corn syrup, vegetable and/or animal shortening – containing one or more of partially hydrogenated soybeancottonseed and canola oil, and beef fatdextrose, whole eggs, modified corn starchcellulose gumwhey, leavenings (sodium acid pyrophosphatebaking sodamonocalcium phosphate), saltcornstarchcorn flourcorn syrup, solids, mono and diglyceridessoy lecithinpolysorbate 60, dextrincalcium caseinatesodium stearoyl lactylatewheat glutencalcium sulphate, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, yellow No. 5, red #40.[10]

The product is not kept on the shelf for more than ten days, although you can hopefully still consume Twinkies after a month, but that's pushing it.  Oh, by the way, I couldn't find any of the above in local stores.

Those ingredients are bad enough, but deep-frying it in grease (found in county fairs) makes this snack lethal.  Finally, don't try it, but college professor Mark Haub went on a Twinkies, Oreos and Doritos diet over a two month period, and lost 27 pounds.

Anyway, no need to be nostalgic already, as all of them, after a short vacation, will continue to be sold, and this time the 18,500 jobs and 33 factories will probably be in Mexico.  How appropriate, but Groupo Bimbo, a Mexican company, which already owns Sarah Lee, a few years ago offered to buy Hostess for $580 million.  It's now a fire sale at $135 million, so you can expect GB to outbid any American firm.

Unions were essential through most of the past century, but have now become part of our economic problem.  There will continue to be a role for them, but they need to re-think how they can become part of the solution.

HOLD ON, HOLD ON.   The judge has suggested that Hostess and the union (to be more specific, it is the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union) try mediation.  All this brinksmanship is getting intriguing.

Oh, well, mediation failed.  But that was quick.


A Celebration of Paul Chan Yuen's life was held at Hosoi Garden Mortuary today.  Reverend Kiyo Itokazu presided with the reverent messages, Barbara Watanabe the family remembrances, Jessica Ito some words of appreciation and  I gave the eulogy (you can read my tribute, which I largely repeated today from my posting of 12November 2012), with former University of Hawaii presidents, Fuj Matsuda, Al Simone and Ken Mortimer providing statements of condolence.  Joseph Vadus, formerly of NOAA, also sent a some kind words, Tony Kuh, chairman of the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Hawaii, read a note of appreciation and Donald Umemoto contributed a message that reflected the feelings of hundreds, if not thousands of others.  "If" by Bread was played, a song Paul apparently listened to practically every day.  I had a chance to re-acquaint myself with many friends following the services.  I purposefully chose not to take any photos.  


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