Katrina evacuees in Houston

Every time I hear people say, “The illegals are doing jobs Americans aren’t willing to do!” I think of stories like this:

Many had been holding out hope that they would be home in New Orleans by now, but the city’s rebuilding has been painfully slow, and about 100,000 are still here. They have settled in more or less permanently, some still on food stamps.

About 12,000 families are still getting federal aid for housing, the city said. Of that group, about 5,500 heads of households are unemployed, not counting those who are elderly and disabled, city officials said.

Sadly, Katrina evacuees, citizens of the US of A, are treated with less respect than people who willfully (and sometimes repeatedly) broke American laws to enter the country, and have no plans of assimilating or even learning English. What does Al Sharpton or Hillary Clinton have to say about all this?

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China and Taiwan crystallized

Uber-neocon Jay Nordlinger gets it right as he sums up the latest on the Pentagon announcement:

The Pentagon is certain — or says it’s certain — that China “lacks the power for a successful attack against rival Taiwan” (I have quoted this news story). Needless to say, I hope that’s right. But one can hardly have full confidence that it is, in fact, right.

By the way, isn’t “rival Taiwan” interesting? Taiwan is an itty-bitty island, and the PRC is a massive, sprawling police state. And yet, in a way, Taiwan is a rival — because it shows the Chinese a different way, a way extremely threatening to the Chinese Communist party and its exclusive rule.

Antidepressants in children: researchers vs. psychiatrists

A small handful of researchers, and the FDA, are skeptical about prescribing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors to children and teenagers. First, the point of view of the researchers.

Gingrich used mice that were genetically altered so that they lacked the ability to mop up serotonin. They were—in effect—born on Prozac. He wanted to see how depression was related to serotonin and norepinephrine, another neurotransmitter. “Our simple-minded idea was these mice would look like mice treated chronically with Prozac,” Gingrich says. They should have been free of anything like a mouse’s version of depression or anxiety.

Gingrich found quite the opposite. Because he could not chat with them about their feelings, he gave the mice stress tests. (An inability to handle stress is one hallmark of depression.) He put a small electric charge on the floor on one side of their cage. Normal mice will quickly learn to escape the tiny shock by running to the other side. These mice did not. “They have a tendency to freeze,” he says. “They stay on the same side where the foot shock is being administered, or they escape much more slowly.” The mice—­despite having lived their entire lives as if they were on Prozac—were afflicted with what looked suspiciously like an anxiety disorder.

Now, fair and balanced, the psychiatrists…

Even in the face of this evidence, however, many psychiatrists believe that antidepressants do far more good than harm in children and teens. Like Emslie in Texas, Harold Koplewicz, a professor of psychiatry at New York University and one of the city’s top child psychiatrists, has been using SSRIs aggressively in children and teenagers for more than a decade. “I am probably the first person to give these meds to kids clinically,” he says. As recently as a few years ago, most psychiatrists thought they should try talk therapy with kids before giving them medication. But that has changed, he declares.

He has seen what happens to teenagers who are not treated. “After they’ve had one episode of depression, they’re 60 percent more likely to have another. If they have two, they’re 90 percent more likely to have a third. And subsequent episodes are more difficult to treat…. Every good clinician will tell you the risk of not taking the medication is greater” than the possible risks of taking SSRIs.

Happy 90th, JFK!

Guess who would be turning 90 years old today? Below are some quotes from our former President:
–“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

–“When we got into office, the thing that surprised me the most was that things were as bad as we’d been saying they were.”

–“For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal.”

–“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”

The link will take you to the source of these along with a few more.

John F. Kennedy Quotes – The Quotations Page

Anyone miss Imus? I don’t.

Just in case any of you were wondering how the huge void left by Imus could possibly be filled, how a shock-jock/political commentator’s inaudible and thoughtless rants could possibly be replaced. Worry no more. In the DC market, it has been replaced by a decidedly less editorial and more journalistic show, the Wall Street Journal This Morning.

No “media-elite” guests, or political banter. Just business news coupled with a little shameless promotions by corporate sponsors. Although for a second (actually .63 seconds) I thought I would miss Imus’s mumbling babble to David Gregory, very quickly I felt my IQ points lift slightly as a result of Imuslessness.

The Wall Street Journal This Morning

Evidence for the inflammation hypothesis of Alzheimer’s

The inflammation hypothesis of Alzheimer’s, which suggests that inflammation in the brain triggers a cascade of cellular events that over time results in deposits and atrophy, and subsequent cognitive deficits, is still relatively controversial.

A Harvard researcher found a correlation between inflammation and future prevalence of Alzheimer’s.

The participants’ blood was tested for levels of cytokines, which are protein messengers that trigger inflammation. Those with the highest amount of cytokines in their blood were more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as those with the lowest amount of cytokines.

Time to end the Cuban embargo

“I challenge Mr. Bush to tear down this embargo,” said Mississippi cotton farmer John Newcomb, borrowing Ronald Reagan’s famous 1987 line to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at the Berlin Wall.

I am usually suspicious of the agriculture lobby but dropping the embargo makes a lot of sense. At this time, Fidel is pretty much rendered invalid, I doubt that ending the embargo would result in a more powerful, richer communist government. The influx of Cuban-American emigres would take care of that. Interestingly, the article points out that the US already exports more food to Cuba than any other. Cuba needs trade partners. If the US won’t let US businesses sell to Cuba, then China, Vietnam, and Venezuala will benefit from the Cuban market.