Chew On It [on Merely A Thought Monday]

The first and most important question of the day is, “What is nougat?” I’ve always been more of a peanut M&M’s guy or, these days, a straight-up almonds, sea salt in dark chocolate lover. I’m currently accepting donations of Chocolove’s Salted Almond Butter in Dark Chocolate. You should be, too.

So, what is nougat? Originally it was honey, nuts, and egg whites but in this era of “it’s-better-not-to-know-what-I-just-put-into-my-mouth-and-called-it-candy,” I wonder what passes for nougat? I only ask because I’d never heard of a Charleston Chew so, to understand the reference, I looked it up. When I read that a Charleston Chew is, “…flavored nougat covered in chocolate flavored coating…” I immediately spotted the word “flavored” twice in the same sentence. If the chocolate isn’t really chocolate then what are the odds that the “flavored” nougat is really honey, nuts and egg whites?

To borrow and bastardize a bit of Hamlet”To eat; perchance to savor: aye, there’s the rub.” Kerri assures me that a Charleston Chew is yummy. Who cares what’s in it if it makes my toes wiggle with satisfaction? It’s the inverse argument of all those nasty foods adults made us swallow as children: who cares if it’s good for me if it makes me gag? Make me go hungry and send me to my room! Please! Caring adults forget that kids squirrel away and hide Charleston Chews beneath the mattress so banishment to the bedroom for not choking down brussel sprouts is tasty a reward.

This is key to understanding why people do what they do: we know what’s in a brussel sprout*. We have no idea what’s in a Charleston Chew. We’ll clamp down our jaws or pitch public fits rather than eat what’s good for us. Yet, we’ll happily binge on mystery snacks that are certainly no good for us but, damn-do-they-taste-good. Insight: humans are not rational beings. We puff up and proudly defend all manner of thought-nougat but can’t be bothered to look up the source or verity of the dreck we’re feeding on.

Of our current dilemmas, there is one thing that is certain: we can’t Charleston Chew our way out of this.

Take heart. There’s always Chocolove.

[*now that I’m rumored to be an adult I love roasted brussel sprouts]

read Kerri’s blogpost about CHARLESTON CHEWS

Know The Matter [on Flawed Wednesday]

healthcare.gov copy

I’ve had this conversation twice in my life. The first time I was working in The Netherlands. The second time I was working in Canada. The conversation, both times, started with exactly the same question:  What’s the matter with you Americans?

It is an irrefutable fact: we (Americans) pay more than 7 times what any other nation on earth pays for healthcare and we provide poorer coverage for less people. Our life expectancy is shorter. We are an obese nation. Our infant and maternal mortality rate is higher than any other developed nation.

What’s the matter with (us) Americans?

Here’s another irrefutable fact: the top 1% of households owns more wealth than the bottom 90% combined. The gap is, in fact, growing.

We are being force-fed the fear of socialism* but, if you dare, take off the blinders, plug your ears to the noise of heated misdirection, and look at the data. It’s clear that our fear should be of the oligarchy.

What’s the matter with (us) Americans? We are too easily led, susceptible to diversion by division, and extraordinarily fact-averse. We are too lazy to question, research or otherwise investigate the easy tribal narratives of red or blue. We are (to borrow a great book title) a confederacy of dunces.

The stresses of “healthcare” are making most of us sick while making a very, very few of us as rich as Croesus. That is another irrefutable fact and is the crux of what is the matter with (us) Americans.

 

read Kerri’s blog post about HEALTHCARE.GOV

 

*try this experiment (I have and it is eye opening): To everyone who screams in fear the word “socialism,” ask them to define the word “socialism.” You will find, as I do, the screamers can’t define it. They don’t really know what they are screaming about. They (we) also are inordinately incapable of defining “oligarchy.” That is (sadly) why I’ve provided links. It is also an alternate answer to the question, “What is the matter with you Americans?” I decided in the final moment to exclude a link to the words “representative democracy.” Given the irrefutable but too often denied facts, it begs a whole other set of questions.

 

footprints in sunlit snow website box copy