So fish is good for you…again…

So, apparently it’s ok to eat fish again. Thank goodness. Mahi mahi in Lemon Pepper Mustard Sauce. Mmmmmm….

Most people should eat more fish because of its health benefits, the U.S. Institute of Medicine reported on Tuesday, but added that consumers must also consider the risks of chemically contaminated seafood.

Silly me, I never really thought it wasn’t ok to eat fish, what with wild salmon being one of the Fourteen SuperFoods That Will Change Your Life and fish being a big part of the Mediterranean diet, which is good for your heart and sure to make you Sexy, Fit, and Fabulous! (like those Lebanese babes). More importantly, my mother and grandmother told me fish was brainfood when I was a wee tyke. This, of course, resulted in my violating the restrictions currently touted by the US Institute of Medicine on fish consumption by those under 12.

Another food I was allowed to eat in excessive was the incredible edible egg, which was bad for us through most of the 70s, 80s and 90s, but recently became good for us again. (You know, eggs are full of cholesterol. Of course so are the myelin sheaths that insulate our neurons…hmmm….and now it looks like cholesterol might be an antioxidant. Confused? So are the bureaucrats.) And I was allowed my allotment of ice cream, which may or may not be good for us yet, but certainly deserves a place in the libertarian diet next to fat, salt, meat, hot peppers and alcohol on quality of life grounds. For as long as I can remember, I’ve washed all that now good for me, now bad for me, now good for me, food down with coffee, of which two cups a day may cause heart disease and five cups a day may prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

All these agencies, institutes and associations playing their games of bad science and political pull are the main reason that government should stay out of health care and nutrition. While it’s naive to think that government could be a truly neutral arbiter helping consumers decide what’s good and bad in medicine and nutrition, at least if it limited itself to that role only those consumers who believed in it would be hurt. (Hate to be social darwinist…ok, I really don’t… but sometimes people get what they have coming to them.) On the other hand, ceding control over our health care and our food to government puts us all at the mercy of the bad decisions of bureaucrats and lobbyists. Is it possible the discovery of the “fact” that eggs were bad for us was delayed by agriculture lobbyists? Is it possible there are pharmaceutical lobbyists with companies producing statin drugs, trying to keep the word that cholesterol isn’t the cause of heart disease under wraps? The trial lawyers making billions off tobacco settlements certainly have reason to delay the big news yet to come, that the Indians (that would be Native Americans to you PC palefaces) were onto something all those years using the powerful medicine of nicotiana rustica.

What’s really amazing is that those whose slogan when it comes to birth control, abortion and marijuana is “hands off our bodies” are so often at the forefront of movements to tax, restrict and even ban the things that are out of PC favor like tobacco, trans fats, corn syrup and alcohol.

Fish is suddenly relatively cheap and easy to come by here in the Midwest, too, thanks for flash freezing and vacuum packing. See my review of the Orca Bay brand.

Eat more fish, study urges, despite toxin risk


Memorial Middle School in Joplin, Missouri

I have a few thoughts to share after the shooting at Memorial Middle School in Joplin, Missouri that happened Monday. These are not thoughts on the cause or the solution for school violence. I don’t know if the cause is violent video games, the coming of the end times, overprescription of Ritalin to young boys, broken homes, too much sex on TV or media hype. I suspect the third and the last. On a bad day I consider the second. But I digress…

I work less than a mile from Memorial Middle School. I have friends and acquaintances who attended school there when it was a high school and friends and acquaintances whose children go to school there or will soon. My daughter is in middle school, though we live about 25 miles away, so she isn’t in the same school system.

I haven’t seen anybody saying “We thought it couldn’t happen here.” That seems to be the mantra when these things happen. Hopefully in Joplin, we knew it could happen here. After all, it happened in the much smaller town of Riverton, Kansas, fifteen miles to the west, less than a year ago.

Memorial doesn’t fit the “mold” of recent school violence. Violence at Memorial should come as no surprise (more on that in a minute), but it is surprising that it fit the suburban and small town mold, right down to the trench coat. We might have expected drug violence or gang violence. A drive-by shooting would have been less shocking.

Memorial is in absolutely the worst neighborhood in Joplin. To the north and east are busy commercial streets. Immediately to the west are two Catholic schools, McAuley Catholic High School and St. Peters Middle School. West of that is a residential neighborhood that has the lowest property values in town and some of the worst crime. To the north is a light manufacturing and warehouse area and railroad tracks.

Twenty years ago, Joplin was expanding primarily to the south. Since then it has started expanding to the north and historic neighborhoods in north Joplin have seen quite a bit of “rehabbing”. The established middle class neighborhoods and new neighborhoods in the south are served by South Middle School. The new neighborhoods in the north and most of the rehabbed areas are served by North Middle School. The inner city is served by Memorial Middle School.

Joplin is a small city, about 45,000 people in the city of Joplin and a few thousand more in the Joplin Schools. The metro area covers two counties and has less than 200,000 people. So the worst part of Joplin isn’t the worst of places, but it is bad enough. I’d say it’s comparable to the riverfront areas of Memphis and St. Louis, outside the brightly lit trendy areas and tourist spots.

There’s crime. Driving home this evening, about midnight, within a half mile of Memorial, I passed two incidents involving multiple police cars. Two is unusual, but one is not. Within a mile of Memorial there were multiple rapes of girls 15-20 years old in the late evening hours earlier in the year; a suspect was arrested. Meth labs are common and meth use is everywhere.

The homes are awful and the property values in the toilet. In 2004, when the Joplin housing market was hot, I listed a foreclosed home owned by Freddie Mac about 3 blocks from Memorial Middle School. (The sale including price is public record, or I wouldn’t discuss it.) It was on the market for several months before being placed on an auction. It was in bad shape, but I had sold similar homes in decent neighborhoods for $15-20,000 and often in a matter of weeks. This home spent months on the market, then sold at auction for $1500.

Memorial is not Columbine. It’s not Jonesboro. It’s the school in the poor part of town. It’s the school in the drug area, the high crime area. Of course it could happen there.

Memorial Middle School,school shooting

Alaskans Refuse Venezuelan Heating Oil Assistance

Several Alaskan villages refused a Venezuelan offer of free heating oil, despite temperatures of minus 70 degrees and heating oil prices of $5/gallon because of Hugo Chavez’s insults, calling George Bush a terrorist and the devil and criticizing the US action in Iraq.

“As a citizen of this country, you can have your own opinion of our president and our country. But I don’t want a foreigner coming in here and bashing us,” said Justine Gunderson, administrator for the tribal council in the Aleut village of Nelson Lagoon. “Even though we’re in economically dire straits, it was the right choice to make.”
The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, a native nonprofit organization that would have handled the heating oil donation on behalf of 291 households in Nelson Lagoon, Atka, St. Paul and St. George, rejected the offer because of the insults Chavez has hurled at Bush.The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, a native nonprofit organization that would have handled the heating oil donation on behalf of 291 households in Nelson Lagoon, Atka, St. Paul and St. George, rejected the offer because of the insults Chavez has hurled at Bush.

Alaska Villages Reject Venezuela Oil

Here are some products for sale by the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association. The article also noted that about 1/4 of the locals are out of work because the Alaskan salmon trade is facing competition from farmed salmon. Makes me feel even better about that wild Alaskan Keta salmon I bought last night. Wild salmon is better for you – more Omega 3s and less mercury; wild, not farmed, salmon is even part of the SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life.

Donations to help the villages affected can be made at a
Key Bank account titled:
“ Unangan Energy Assistance Fund” C/O Key Bank # 729681009001
Donations can be made at any Key Bank Branch Nationwide or Can be mailed to:

Unangan Energy Assistance Fund
c/o Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association
201 East Third Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska 99501


Unangan Energy Assistance Fund
c/o Key Bank
P.O. Box 110420
Anchorage, AK 99510

Donations are tax deductible as a contribution to a 501 c 3 Not For Profit TIN # 92-0073013

Aleutian & Pribilof Communities refuse CITGO Fuel Oil Donation.


Morality, Abuse and Corruption

That Mark Foley had illicit conversations with a young man barely of age may arguably have been immoral. That he did so as an elected official with a young man working in his branch of government, taking advantage of his position of power and respect, was inarguably corrupt and a symptom of much broader, thoroughly bipartisan corruption. The conversations themselves, whether immoral or corrupt, were noncommercial speech and should enjoy the protection of the First Amendment. They also come much closer than documents outlining the taking of $100,000 in bribes and their placement in a freezer to being covered under the umbrella of “for any speech…in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.” But I’m not particularly interested in any of that.

There’s another corruption, another abuse, happening here, an abuse more dangerous to the Republic. The media and the demagogues – Republican, Democrat and, even, Libertarian are abusing and corrupting the English language for political gain. The Cincinnati Enquirer refers to “Foley’s interest in young boys”, Stuart Richards of the Hummer of Truth refers to Foley as “an alcoholic child molester” and the talking heads are repeatedly referring to the 17-year old ex-page as a “young child” and now even using similar language to describe a 21-year old intern.

If a 17-year old man is a young child, somebody needs to alert the Pentagon that the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force are recruiting young children. After a week of this crap it’s time somebody said it – if the guy was old enough to go die in Iraq then he was old enough to have a sex chat with a Congressman if he could find a Congressman willing. He was not a child, let alone a “young child.”

Feminists want to classify a pinch on the rear as sexual assault. Talking about an episode of Seinfeld or hanging a Snap-On Tool Calendar (from before 1995 when they were worth hanging) in an auto shop may be sexual harassment. Now politicians want to classify vulgar chat with a 17-year old man as child molestation. This is akin to calling a playground fistfight “attempted murder” or a seat belt violation “vehicular manslaughter.”

This corruption of the language by all parties in the name of a transparently phony moral posturing is so ridiculous I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry. It’s well past time someone called them all on it.