Why do we eat?

Ok, lets get rid of the obvious answer to this question. We eat to maintain our bodies, allowing us to grow and exist in the world. The more scientific answer is, we need energy to function.

Now lets think about the less obvious answers. Everyone knows that Americans, and actually most people in developed countries, are getting fatter. We Americans seem to be leading the way in this problem. In fact, here in my home state of West Virginia, we are one of the fattest places to live in the country, which means we are one of the more porky places to live on the planet!

Getting fat is a function of eating. In other words, eating too much or overly caloric meals causes us to get fat. So knowing this, why do we overeat? I have been told that some animals will eat themselves to death! I am wondering if that includes humans? Recently I was talking to one of my former students who is now a nurse, and she said it is routine to see at least one person a week at the hospital who weighs in at 600+ pounds, and there have been patients who weigh as much as 800 lbs!! Why would a person allow themselves to get that large?

Enough questions, let try and find some answers. Why do we eat too much? I think most of the time I eat because it is enjoyable, especially when it is a cream filled chocolate doughnut or a hamburger with all the toppings bulging out the sides. So tell me this doesn’t make you salivate, a tray of hot lightly salted french fries and a bottle of Heinz ketchup just waiting to be your friend. So tell me you are not salivating right now! I will bet your stomach is telling you to head for the kitchen stat!

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to do that to you, but if you think the people who make this delicious stuff will apologize for making you want to devour more food, don’t hold your breath. Lets face the facts, we are a decadent society with way too much calorie rich food available to us. And much of the food that tastes really good is cheaper. Contrast this with the fact that a large portion of our people who do not have enough food, should I say nutritious food, are starving in a new and different way. Like most of us they would rather eat a chocolate, cream filled doughnut which does very little good for the nutritionally starved body. Don’t give me that stuff that you would rather have an apple, that is just the cerebral part of your brain attempting to overrule the survival part of your brain. The doughnut may provide you quick energy for your escape from a wild animal but…it will also make you fatter, which in the long term, will make your escape less likely.

Who do we blame for this dilemma? Is it us, the consumer’s fault for eating so terribly? Is it the manufacturer’s fault for making such delicious bad foods so that they can increase their profits? Is it society’s fault for not educating its population on proper nutritional lifestyles? Is it the demise of the family and the traditional family meal? Is it Micky D’s and all the other fast food vendors? Is it the scientist’s fault for not yet having a consistent answer on what is the best way to eat? Is it the medical profession’s fault for not being more insistent on their patients eating properly? Has government dropped the ball in enacting legislation mandating food be more healthy? Should TV only show healthy nutritional advertisements? The answer is oh so clear to me. Everyone is at fault! We are all in this together! The advent of a modern industrialized world has left us all grasping for answers to so many questions. The simple truth is, our society cannot afford to get fatter. The medical cost of this fat epidemic is going to bankrupt this economy! I am all for the introduction of a single-payer health plan but in order for this to work, we are all going to have stop our visits to Dunkin Doughnuts. Writing this has made me terribly hungry, I have to go find something to eat. You all have a good day.

Razzle Dazzle

Sometimes I think of stuff that may seem a little off beat and I think this may be one of those times, but here goes. Most of us have been conned at least once in our lives. Like many life experiences we pack it away in our memories so as to try and avoid putting ourselves in a similar situation. I also believe that some individuals are more easily conned than others partly due to their upbringing or maybe even their genetic makeup.

Do you think it is possible to con a country, or at least a large portion? It has happened repeatedly throughout history. Populations have been told things that they know are not true, yet, because of the messenger’s ability to produce a gold coin from out of nowhere, they believe what he says without reservations. I do believe that deep in their souls they know they have been conned but who is ready to admit publicly that they drank the koolaid?

A good carny always creates distractions with one hand while they do their “magic” with the other. If someone pulls a coin from out of your ear, you can bet his other hand is attempting to distract your eyes to watch it rather than the magic hand. You have probably already figured out where I am going with this train of thought so I might as well get there.

As you probably know, a boat load of stuff has come out about Trump recently from the special prosecutor. Most of it is wrapped in hype and legalese so as to keep us less informed, less informed yet interested. Make sure you read that last sentence carefully. One of the statements I heard from the talking heads that really interested me and brought me to write this article was when Trump made this statement after Mueller was appointed to be special prosecutor, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m f#@ked”. This is the carny letting his guard down for a short moment and allowing us to briefly see the real person behind the scam. This is the carny exposing the fact that he is a scam artist and his act may be open to public viewing.

As to whether Trump is impeached or not, it is hard to say with all the corruption that exists in our government. But one thing is certain if you care to look, the carney is exposed and his act is no longer relevant. He has tried to pull the coin out of our ear too many times and we are learning to watch the other hand. I believe that many of us have taken the stance that Trump is crazy. This is a very comfortable place to hang out and it helps us explain his many political gyrations, but his above statement scares me even more. Yes he is crazy, crazy like a fox would be more accurate. We best keep our eyes on both hands as this drama unfolds.

The Redbuds

Often times in early spring

I travel down these mountain roads

The smell of spring consumes my being

The greening trees make spirits soar

A certain road I often travel

Not far from my home, I’ll take you there

A few short days come every year

As the universe unveils its care

The road is clear, the sun is bright

You must go there to see this sight

Up ahead , I see its splendor

The redbuds sing a song of vigor

A feeling wakes inside me strong 

The streams are flowing, the snow is gone

The bright fuschia of the flowers

Reaches deep and grabs my soul

I do believe in my heart

There are few sights that compare

The horns have sounded, the drums have played

The birth of spring is on its way.

Taxes are a pain in the …neck…or, who’s in charge?

Just like many of you I have procrastinated until now to do that laborious task we all dread…taxes! I had several choices to make; buy a program for around $40 to $100 that, despite answering several thousand tedious and useless questions, makes doing my taxes relatively easy, or I could find a program on-line and pay money to allow me to do my taxes on their site (after which you always end up paying more than you expected) or, pay someone a sizeable chunk of money to take all these papers and forms and magically figure it out for me.

I want to ask a very fundamental question. Why am I paying money to someone or for something, so that I can give money (pay taxes) to the government? Am I the only one who sees the craziness in this? I heard on the news the other day that our country is one of a very few countries with such a convoluted tax system. Most citizens of developed countries are able to do their taxes in a short period of time. The IRS has all this information in its computers already! They could push a proverbial button and tell you what you owe or what is owed to you in a millisecond!

Now, here comes the real insanity of this issue! Recently some silly congressperson proposed a law that required the IRS to provide free on-line access to a program to do your taxes. Now any sane person would think this would be a great idea, right? So why can’t the proponents of this bill get it passed? I will tell you why: money! Yes, money! Our government is up for grabs by the highest bidder. There is a multi-million dollar business surrounding tax preparation and these folks, in a self preservation mode, send millions of dollars to our elected officials so they will vote the way they want them to. In other words, our elected officials think they work for corporations and lobbyists! I have some very important information for our elected officials, THEY WORK FOR ME! THEY WORK FOR YOU! WE ELECTED THEM AND WE PAY THEIR SALARY! WE ARE THEIR BOSSES! Whether it be health insurance, tax reform or any government decision, we are the executives in their organization! We the people are the ones who enjoy their decisions or suffer from them. When we vote every couple of years we need to get these damn leaches out of government! This is not a democratic or republican issue, it is an “us and them” issue. Us being the 99% who make up this country and them, the extremely wealthy 1%. If my information is correct, this free tax preparation program is being opposed by BOTH PARTIES! Can you believe that? Believe it! All of them are in the pockets of big business!

Here is the answer to our problem. Do not vote for any politician who is not funded by private contributions. No corporate contributions allowed. I would write more but I need to finish my taxes…