There must be a positive Passion for the public good, the public Interest, Honour, Power, and Glory, established in the Minds of the People, or there can be no Republican Government, nor any real Liberty. And this public Passion must be Superior to all private Passions. Men must be ready, they must pride themselves, and be happy to sacrifice their private Pleasures, Passions, and Interests, nay their private Friendships and dearest connections, when they Stand in Competition with the Rights of society.

--John Adams, 1776

It's Sunday. The crazy-high triple-digit temps have subsided. Earlier this morning, puffy white clouds--a heaven-sent marine layer--sat atop the ridge near our house. With any luck the air should remain cool and breezy until about noon. On the coast the marine layer may linger throughout the day. But here, less than an hour from San Francisco, it's cool in the mornings and warm throughout the day.

I've been thinking about the Fourth of July, wondering how best to pay homage to a holiday which certainly has more meaning to me now than ever before. In reading John Adams's quote above, I'm struck by the selflessness that comes through. The public good. The public interest. Willingness to sacrifice private pleasures, passions, and interests--even friendships and "dearest connections"--for the common good.

How far have our American-owned multinational corporations moved away from those ideals? How far has our own government--through egregious corporate taxes and regulations--moved away from them as well, thus driving American corporations to leave the very homeland for which the colonists fought? Over 50,000 Americans were wounded or killed in the American Revolutionary War.

And for my part, has my passion for this Buy American cause been public enough? When I return the Pier 1 Imports cushions today, will I proudly state why I've decided they must not be in my home? Will I demure, too embarrassed, too afraid to speak up? Is there hesitancy or fear in John Adams's words? Hardly.


A few days ago I ordered a lovely, artistic {and yes, patriotic} shirt from a Los Angeles-based women's apparel company called Glima. I mention this company now, a week before the Fourth, because it was recently nominated for the Made in the USA Foundation's Hall of Fame (by the way, Bills Khakis is a past nominee). Glima was founded 12 ago by two Israeli businessmen who left their homeland to come to the United States. I spoke with Sivan Askayo, who works for the company and has known both men for many years. "These are self-made men who believe in their product, work hard to maintain great quality despite costs, and very much want to give back to society," Askayo said. The company is known and loved for its beautifully designed, colorful t-shirts, which really are like wearable art.

But it was September 11 that "put the company on the map," says Askayo. American women discovered Glima's patriotic tops, and revenues grew for the company. As a result, Glima's founders donated a percentage of each patriotic top's profits to the 9/11 Foundation (and continue to do so). Glima is committed to manufacturing its products here in the USA. It buys all the materials here, and believes in supporting its community by hiring local labor. Here's a company John Adams would proudly call truly American, don't you think?Thanks, Glima, for doing your part to manufacture here, create beautiful products, and equally beautiful jobs.

My Glima t-shirt will be my first really public display of affection toward our country since 9/11. Back then, I was unabashedly in love with my country and unafraid to show it. I bought a flag t-shirt at Gap (let's not talk about where it was made) and wore it like a badge of honor. But like an adolescent crush, my visible affection for my country waned. To his credit, Don / Richie C has been wearing his All American Clothing t-shirts to the gym for nearly six months now. He puts me to shame. Here I yammer on about this issue, and then feel a bit shy about going public with it. But it's time for me to out myself. I am proud to be an American. Period. And I'll soon have my artistic shirt to wear around town for all to see and comment on. Gulp. We'll see how it goes.

By the way, from now until the Fourth of July I'll be sharing info about American-made products related (however slightly) to the Independence Day holiday. Should be fun.