Of Capps, Mallomars and Foreign Aid

Being a committed fan of FSU football keeps one on the road a bit during the fall. Since I am an early morning driver by preference I listen to a lot of early morning Sunday NPR stories on the return trips from Tallahassee. It’s just too damn early for Blues or Buffett on satellite radio.

The last several trips have found me driving through Capps during the middle of a couple of interesting feature stories. Capps is a stop light now , home of the historic Asa House and Avalon Plantation owned and protected by Ted Turner founder of CNN, former husband of Jane Fonda and current Florida resident and Philanthropist. It was once the largest center of Tung oil processing in the US. Now it is a stop light. It is quiet and just the place to listen to early morning radio, no traffic, just me and Ted.

Two weeks ago I listened to the history of Mallomars, a cookie I had heard about only in movies and never ever seen. There is a knock off on the shelves but it’s not the same. A Mallomar is a marshmallow cream sitting on a graham cracker covered in chocolate. The occasion of the story was the 100 year anniversary of the cookie. What? How could I have never ever seen or tasted a Nabisco cookie that’s celebrating 100 years? Well it seems that in 1913 there was no refrigerated trucking that was profitable enough to ship the cookies commercially to keep the chocolate from melting, so they were only sold between October and March in the Northeast; 95% in New Jersey where they were manufactured.  Nabisco kept the mystique alive all these years by maintaining that seasonal distribution, although they have now expanded the distribution, but still only October to March. So Mallomars are hard to find and harder to keep, friends and family don’t share. Even Tony Soprano threatens his Consigliore Paulie, in a scene reminiscent of Godfathers Michael Corleone’s deadly Fredo kiss. “ I know it was you Fredo.”


So first thing I did when I got home was stop at Publix and look for them. I bought both boxes. I’m not sharing. 

This past Sunday the best story I listened to was an interview with George Ayitte an African economics professor. He makes the case against foreign aid to Africa. He says it’s killing the African economy as 80% of it is encumbered to stimulate the interests and profits of the donors and not the bulk of Africans population. The other 20% supports corrupt despots who exploit their citizens for their own interests.  In this particular interview he is quoted speaking to a large audience of aid “experts” who are polled throughout the lecture as to their belief in the validity of African aid. AT the end of his presentation the approval rate had dropped from over 70 to 15%.


Don’t know why we continue to send foreign aid to folks that don’t want it. Its gazillions of tax dollars we feed to folks that don’t even vote.  Even the liberals will catch on pretty soon I’m betting. We should follow Nabiscos Mallomar example and allow the market to flourish independent of government intervention. Let them eat Mallomars:)