Thursday, September 10, 2009

What Is All This Hoki Stuff?

One of the most popular fish on the market today is the hoki, or whiptail, a bug-eyed specimen found far down in the waters around New Zealand This fish has transformed into a major export. McDonald’s alone at one time used roughly 15 million pounds of it each year. 

I guess this answers the eternal mystery of what makes up a Filet-O-Fish sandwich. This well known sandwich turns out to involve an ugly creature from the sunless depths of the Pacific, whose bounty, it seems, is not limitless.

The hoki may be extremely unattractive, but when it reaches the consumer it’s just fish cut into filets and sticks or rolled into sushi. It's moist, slightly sweet and very tasty and the hoki fishery was thought to be sustainable, providing New Zealand with a reliable major export for years to come.

But the arguments over managing this resource are flaring not only between commercial interests and conservationists, but also among the environmental agencies most directly involved in monitoring and regulating the catch. 

And without formally acknowledging that hoki are being overfished, New Zealand has slashed the allowable catch in steps, from about 275,000 tons in 2000 and 2001 to about 100,000 tons in 2007 and 2008 — a decline of nearly two-thirds, according to the World Wildlife Fund. The scientific jury is still out, but critics warn that the hoki fishery is losing its image as a showpiece of oceanic sustainability.

Hoki rose commercially as orange roughy fell over the recent years. Its shorter life span (up to 25 years) and quicker pace of reproduction seemed to promise sustainable harvests. And its dense spawning aggregations, from June to September, made colossal hauls relatively easy despite the decline in the fish' population. But what bothers me the most is that most Americans have no clue that hoki is often what they’re eating in fried-fish sandwiches despite chain restaurants using hoki included McDonald’s, Denny’s and Long John Silver’s.

And even though most American restaurants have lowered their fishing of this particular species of fish, ominous signs of overfishing, mainly drops in hoki spawns, still occur. All I ask is for the government to regulate this shady type of industry better.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Is is wrong to encourage students to get an education?

"Every single one of you has something that you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer, and you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is."

 This is what Obama told students at Wakefield High School in suburban Arlington, Va., and children watching his speech on television in schools across the country.

This speech came with controversy despite the positive message as several conservative organizations and many concerned parents warned Obama was trying to sell his political agenda. That concern was caused in part by an accompanying administration lesson plan encouraging students to "help the president," which the White House later revised.

So why is this speech considered so controversial? Many believe that with in the wake of the Health Care debate, Obama is attempting to sway the youngsters into siding with his reform. The uproar over his speech followed him across the Potomac River, as his motorcade was greeted by a small band of protesters. One carried a sign exclaiming: "Mr. President, stay away from our kids," even though Obama is not the first President to speak directly to the youth population.

I'm amazed at the fact that conservatives can make an act like encouraging youth seem so devious. Such things as discussing with students about being careful with what you post on Facebook' isn't such a horrible thing to say. 'Whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later somewhere in your life." 

And even if the President showed some signs of somehow influencing our youth for a political gain, is it so bad that he is bettering the future of our country in the process by just helping students better themselves?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Garrido Story: Why is the Justice system letting these criminals get away?

Katie Callaway Hall has thought about Phillip Garrido every day since November 22, 1976 when he asked her for a ride at a supermarket in California, before handcuffing her, binding her and taking her to a mini-warehouse in Reno, Nevada, where he raped her. 
Garrido was convicted for kidnapping and raping Hall, but was released after serving just over 10 years of a 50-year sentence. He was labeled a sex offender and put on lifetime parole. So why is it that Garrido and his wife, Nancy, were charged last week with crimes relating to the abduction of 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard in 1991 and her captivity in a hidden shed-and-tent compound in the couple's backyard in Antioch, California?

Imagine the thought that your rapist and potential killer is out on the loose after your terrible ordeal and then finding out that this same person caused pain to a little girl and the two children she was forced to have with him. 
Not only should you be terrified for your life because of this situation, but you should also be pissed off at our legal system for letting this pervert slip through the cracks. I for one wonders how this could ever happen. But because this guy slipped through the system, Jaycee Dugard was held captive for an avoidable 18 years.

I just find this story to be ridiculous for the fact that this could have never happened. I Just hope that we use this tragedy as a warning to change some laws in our Justice system.

First Garrido victim speaks out ..CNN's Larry King