George Graham

Let’s All Turn Off the TV and Eat More Chocolate

It’s getting to the point where I don’t care how the health care debate turns out. I have Medicare (Advantage) and it’s kind of goofy but it keeps me out of the poor house. From what I have managed to hear above the tumult, Medicare isn’t scheduled to go bankrupt until after I’m dead. So let the unruly mobs scream and shout. I’m turning off the TV until the “debate” is

So the insurance companies and health care providers involved in Medicare are robbing the government. And I’m supposed to be shocked? Isn’t everybody robbing the government? You want to see robbery? Check out military spending. How about Wall Street? The Federal Reserve? Development contracts? Any government contracts? Have you ever seen a government contract come in under budget? Of course not!

Not that private enterprise is any better. In my motley career, I worked for governments and big corporations and both were corrupt and inefficient. Favoritism was rife in both cultures, and hiring of family and friends was the norm. Promotions came from the alliances you formed, not from the way you did your job. And being generous with your sexual favors didn’t hurt your prospects either – if you picked the right beneficiaries.

I think they call such tactics “networking” and “mentoring” nowadays. But call it what you like, it’s corrupt. The bottom line is that human beings are – surprise! – easily tempted.

As it turns out, however, not all temptations are bad. Today’s news includes more evidence that chocolate is good for you!

Here’s a news flash from – where else? – Paris:

chocolateHeart attack survivors who eat chocolate two or more times per week cut their risk of dying from heart disease by about threefold compared to those who never touch the stuff, scientists have reported. Smaller quantities confer less protection, but are still better than none, according to the study, which appears in the September issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Earlier research had established a strong link between cocoa-based confections and lowered blood pressure or improvement in blood flow. It had also shown that chocolate cuts the rate of heart-related mortality in healthy older men, along with post-menopausal women.

But the new study, led by Imre Janszky of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, is the first to demonstrate that consuming chocolate can help ward off the grim reaper if one has suffered acute myocardial infarction – otherwise known as a heart attack.

cocoaSo we might as well turn off the TV and hunker down with a big box of dark chocolates and  a book or magazine. In addition to protecting our hearts, we will be generating revenue for cocoa growers in Jamaica and other Third World countries. Is that a win-win situation or what?

The way I see it, if enough people are dissatisfied with health care in America, it will get changed. There are elections coming up in 2010, and whatever happens in Congress between now and then, the voters will have a chance to give their verdict at the polls. If they don’t take advantage of that right, they will get the government they deserve, as they always do.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for