Thursday, December 8, 2016

Keith Ellison & Bernie Sanders | Our Revolution

Our Revolution


Keith Ellison is the right person to be the next leader of the Democratic Party, and next week Our Revolution is hosting a livestream event featuring Bernie Sanders and Keith Ellison to outline Keith's vision for the party.

If Democrats are going to win power to help advance a progressive agenda, we need a leader who will prioritize young people and grassroots organizing for the future of the Democratic Party. That's why our livestream event this Wednesday with Keith Ellison is something you need to see.

RSVP to watch this Wednesday's livestream event with Keith Ellison to talk about his platform for the Democratic Party's future.

The event will also include a call for unity from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, who will stress the importance of coming together to oppose the Trump Administration.

This a crucial moment for the future of our country. We hope you'll join Bernie, Keith and Randi this Wednesday.

In solidarity,

The Team at Our Revolution

Mystery Lady Sent a Field of Buttercups

Back in October, I wrote "Finding Heaven in a Field of Buttercups" (Ithaka) and Mystery Lady was moved by the story to the point where she painted what she saw in it.  Not only that but she made a series of them to tell the story her way and the result was gorgeous.  Thank you so much and sure I got emotional seeing it.

Yevette said, and I quote, "You are fucking amazing!"

She also said she does not know how you do it and I know it must involve your new techniques but I have no idea how you do it either.  The result is Palo Duro right in front of me and the colors fit perfectly with the Impressionist nature of the work.  It's brilliant.

I'm deeply touched as no-one ever undertook such a thing before in translating a virtual vision from what I did to make something real out of what you saw.  It's touching that anyone would see the vision and you most of all.  In a time which is so deeply-critical, you never seem to succumb to it and that will by itself is a beautiful thing.

It's quite likely I was high when I wrote the story and others have their opinions on such things but the only important question to me is whether it makes a difference for something like this.  I really don't know and I'm not even sure it matters since you know already how it works with your own visions:  let it flow and see what happens.

It's an incredible thing to me since my vision of it is something I see but I really don't.  If that makes sense to anyone then you're the most likely one.  I've always had trouble seeing myself as an artist but there's no trouble recognizing it in anyone else and it truly got me misty as I went through it.

Writing about politics or science is an easy thing for me but generating visions on demand is more complex and you seem to do it effortlessly.

You're a marvel!

Mystery Lady specifically requested me not to upload a copy of the work and of course I will honor that.  Quite apart from anything else, if I shot a photograph of it and uploaded the result it wouldn't capture the delicacy.  This is something which needs to be in front of you so you can see it, feel the paper, and take yourself to Palo Duro Canyon.

I would love to share the work but definitely not without permission and also definitely not without an image which is true to the original.  A photograph doesn't work for that and probably could not.

I've been lying down most of the morning, in part because it's so damn cold and also because things aren't so good.  I did get some food into me this morning and it's still fighting but I'm winning so far.  So I'm on-station for a phone call and look forward to it.


Mystery Lady, it's looking less likely for a call today and the next opportunity is on Saturday but it seems weekdays work better for you so Monday then.  If not today then hopefully soon.

Russia is Almost Even with America on Ithaka

How about this for unusual:

United States
United Kingdom

They're coming here to spread propaganda.  Hmm ... that doesn't work as they come here to read my propaganda.

By the way, the Washington Post has admitted the article they ran regarding Russian interference in the election to bias it in favor of Trump was based on a fake research group.  (RT:  Washington Post admits article on ‘Russian propaganda’ & ‘fake news’ based on sham research)

That's the Whoops, We Made a Mistake cop which is to imply they don't propagate fake news just as much as CNN and Fox, all of which go on like suffering martyrs on the matter of fake news even when they're the primary promulgators of it.

I rarely look at American news anymore since it's as dishonest as the politicians they so brazenly promote.

"I Believe in Father Christmas" - Greg Lake

"I Believe in Father Christmas" wasn't exactly characteristic of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer but it's a lovely song.

Donald Trump and the Cabinet of the Damned

Bill O'Reilly asks if Trump can unite the country.

Maybe O'Reilly is having a third or fourth childhood and wants to be a comedian now, a really bad one.

This one really did crack me up as it presupposes the idea anyone would ever want to associate with Bill O'Reilly or Donald Trump in the first place.

You will have to go to Fox News to get a link for O'Reilly's performance as I had no interest in seeing it since I've seen his act previously.  I'll stick to what I do best (i.e. writing) and O'Reilly can stick to what he does best (i.e. sexual harassment).

Trump plans to kill Medicare, Ryan plans to kill food stamps, and there's a raft of ways in which they're determined to make lives for the poor just as bad as it's possible to get.  For that it seems they want respect.  I couldn't even get to the end of the sentence without laughing.

It's never going to happen.  The best deal Trump will get is if we don't hate him.

The opening position with Trump was to give him a chance but he used that chance filling his Cabinet with ringers, most of whom have no particular expertise in anything and are no more than the simple destroyers we have seen for years from Republicans.

The EPA now has a Secretary who has been actively working against the organization for years.

Education now has a Secretary who wants to 'advance God's kingdom.'

The beat goes on and the key point is it does not change.

The corporate tool he manifests is clear in that such types regard the EPA as an expensive waste of money which inhibits unrestrained corporate growth.

Any education which focuses primarily on religious dogma is no education at all and the need for it shows the total failure of the parents to do their jobs, if it's their wont to instill a religious upbringing in a child.  If they actually go through with that, I would pull my kid, assuming I have one, from the school the same day since I would be absolutely mortified if my kid turned out to be an opportunistic horror like Mary Fallin who is more lacking in empathy than the average rock in your garden.  (Ithaka:  American Religion and Mary Fallin Want Big Oil)

Note:  I don't know if it's official yet but Fallin is apparently high on the list of candidates for Secretary of the Interior.  Ain't that perfect, the sub-queen of fracking will be put up to manage the country's land.  Perhaps some see a difference between that and putting a rapist in charge of a girl's school.

It's the hope from Cadillac Man that Trump has more balls than Obama in standing up to the Pentagon and he sees his Cabinet as advisors rather than givers of orders to him.  It's conceivable he can rise above the swamp he is creating around him even when it seems extremely unlikely.

I'm not going to see it but there are multiple kids whose lives I don't want to see degraded by Trump's pack of vandals so the only move just now is to hope for the best.  Conceivably, there could be unity with Trump if he Does the Right Thing even when that looks highly-improbable now.

Note:  there will never be unity with Bill O'Reilly; he's wasted too much of our precious oxygen already.

Does Chocolate Come from Chocolate Cows

Cat was talking about how city kids know so little about anything outside the city and she described the marvel it was for her to see children as they listened to an egg which was just about to hatch.  She said their eyes would get huge the first time they heard a sound from within the egg but she said specifically they never asked questions since they knew intuitively what was happening.

To see the full beauty of this, you would have to hear her description since seeing them sounded like it was enrapturing for her.  She had thought she might like to try, as has been done on a limited basis in America, to bring city kids out to where she lives so they can see how life really works.  That didn't work out as it would have cost a significant amount for insurance so it wasn't financially possible.

Note:  unknown to what extent it still exists or, hopefully, the program got even bigger in America in which inner city kids were taken out in groups to farms so they could really experience life around them.

It doesn't seem city kids even know where we get the milk and that led to the chocolate cow since that's been a popular symbol in Germany for 115 years.  Do the kids now think chocolate comes from chocolate cows when many have no significant awareness of anything beyond a market and maybe some time with pet dogs or cats.  (Milka web site - auf Deutsch but you will likely understand it anyway)

If you ever go to Germany, ask about 'die Lila Kühe' (the lilac cows) and you will probably find they know exactly what you mean.

Here's the chocolate:

So, yah, you get it from Lilac Cows.

The Coming War with China

The United State encirclement of China has been criticized multiple times here on Ithaka and John Pilger has made a documentary to illustrate how U.S. provocation will inevitably lead to a war due to the increasing threat to China's homeland.  (RT:  US provoking China into nuclear war? RT to air new Pilger documentary)

The graphic shows the extent to which U.S. bases are deployed in the encirclement and we have seen Obama provoking them one time after another as he tries to show them why he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

The graphic is just a screen grab because there was no way otherwise to obtain it.  You will need to go to RT to play the video and it's worth the trip.  If you did not know how Washington manages to spend more on the military than anything else, the graphic should go some distance toward explaining it.

The beauty part is after starting a nuclear war with China, the winds will probably bring the fallout to America.  In the context of nuclear war, we call that poetic justice.

Obama has been moved from being as bad as a President as George Bush up to being as bad as Harry Truman who started the Cold War with aboveground nuclear testing.  If you didn't understand Manifest Destiny previously or the Divine Right of White People to Kill Everyone They See, the graphic should do it.  America thinks it has a right to do this and the more sanctimonious of them think of it as a duty.

Don't come crying to me when the bombs start dropping since you could have stopped it and didn't.  Oh, wait.  I won't be here.

Clinton would have been more dangerous than Trump in this regard since she intended to follow Obama's lead on practically everything and the provocation can't have any other outcome; it never does.

There is only aspect of Trump's platform which is not vicious to low-income Americans and destructive to the country as a whole (i.e. killing EPA by installing a ringer in the Cabinet position, installing another ringer who will 'advance God's kingdom' as Education Secretary, etc).

Trump reiterated yesterday he would stop the 'interference' by America in the affairs of other countries.  He said something similar previously and that's the only reason the Rockhouse was not advocating open revolution as the campaign got worse and worse.  If in the unlikely event he is true to his word, he may just keep America and the world out of a nuke war.  Beyond that, he's just another GOP termite but there's high value in that single aspect alone of preventing a nuke war.  The rest we can fix after he is gone.  With Clinton, there would not have been anything left.

Using Light to Mitigate Effects of Alzheimer's

Although the medical aspect will have a major application in the lives of various people, the interest is in how the researchers did this with LED lights.  (Science Daily:  Unique visual stimulation may be new treatment for Alzheimer's)

It seems so ludicrous that lights could have such an effect on the body and who knows how the researchers came up with the idea for trying it.

Using LED lights flickering at a specific frequency, MIT researchers have shown that they can substantially reduce the beta amyloid plaques seen in Alzheimer's disease, in the visual cortex of mice.

This treatment appears to work by inducing brain waves known as gamma oscillations, which the researchers discovered help the brain suppress beta amyloid production and invigorate cells responsible for destroying the plaques.

- Science Daily

You're the scientist and you see the horror of Alzheimer's so what makes you think, hmm, if I flash the lights then maybe that will help ... and it really does.

After an hour of stimulation at 40 hertz, the researchers found a 40 to 50 percent reduction in the levels of beta amyloid proteins in the hippocampus.  Stimulation at other frequencies, ranging from 20 to 80 hertz, did not produce this decline.

- Science Daily

The doctor cautions us that researchers have found successful treatments in mice previously which did not work in humans so there's more research to be done but the results, thus far, are remarkable.

"This important announcement may herald a breakthrough in the understanding and treatment of Alzheimer's disease, a terrible affliction affecting millions of people and their families around the world," says Michael Sipser, dean of MIT's School of Science.  "Our MIT scientists have opened the door to an entirely new direction of research on this brain disorder and the mechanisms that may cause or prevent it. I find it extremely exciting."

- Science Daily

Fortunately in my life I've never been in a face-to-face situation with anyone afflicted with Alzheimer's and it didn't take my parents.  However, I know from others how hellish it can be and I've seen how it can continue for many, many years.  Assuming this treatment really does work in humans, there may be substantive hope on the way.  Even when there is no personal association with the disease, I find it extremely exciting as well.

If You Want to Spread Cancer Faster then Go to McDonald's

Researchers have isolated a protein in fatty food which is significant in the metastasizing of cancer in the body.  (Science Daily:  Cancer spread is increased by a high fat diet, ground-breaking evidence shows)

That shows one immediate advantage in poverty since greasy fast food is the worst and also the most expensive so none of that hog slop ever comes near here.

New research shows that the metastatic process (cancer spread) is enhanced by fat intake. Mice given a high fat diet, including palmitic acid (a major component of palm oil which is found in lots of household products) developed the most aggressive cancer spread.  The study identifies for the first time a protein called CD36 which has an essential role in cancer spreading.


Professor Benitah's team found CD36 was present on metastatic cancer cells from patients with a range of different tumours including oral tumours, melanoma skin cancer, ovarian, bladder, lung and breast cancer.  To confirm its essential role in cancer spread, they added CD36 to non-metastatic cancer cells which then caused the cells to become metastatic.

- Science Daily

It seems the protein is a trigger for metastasis but it's also a marker to identify it.

"Although we have not yet tested this in all tumour types, we can state that CD36 is a general marker of metastatic cells, the first I know of that is generally specific to metastasis," says Professor Benitah, Head of the Stem Cell and Cancer Lab at IRB Barcelona.

"We expect this study to have a big impact on the scientific community and to further advances in metastasis research, and we hope to be able to validate the potential of CD36 as an anti-metastasis treatment.  Things like this don't happen every day."

- Science Daily

The point of this exercise is not doom and gloom.  We're not finished yet so here's the beauty part.

Using mice with human oral cancer, the researchers were next able to show that blocking CD36 completely prevented metastasis.  In mice with cancer cells that had already metastasised, CD36 blocking antibodies led to the complete removal of metastases in 20% of the mice, whilst in the others it caused a dramatic reduction of 80-90% of metastases and reduced the size.  Importantly, this was all achieved with no serious side effects.

The researchers are now developing new antibody-based therapeutics against CD36 that could potentially be suitable to treat a range of cancers in patients in the future.

- Science Daily

Do we find the cool stuff or what.  Who loves you, baby?

Watching a Game of Football ... on Another Planet

Astronomers have developed a computer chip which allows them to take pictures of planets orbiting stars other than the Sun and the cleverness is the chip balances all light from the star with the opposing level of darkness to cancel it out of the image to reveal only the planet.  (Science Daily:  New telescope chip offers clear view of alien planets)

According to the developers, one primary interest is to see the planet well enough to determine if there is ozone in the atmosphere since they see that presence as a strong indication of life.

"This chip is an interferometer that adds equal but opposite light waves from a host sun which cancels out the light from the sun, allowing the much weaker planet light to be seen," he said.

PhD student Harry-Dean Kenchington Goldsmith, who built the chip at the ANU Laser Physics Centre, said the technology works like thermal imaging that fire fighters rely on to see through smoke.

"The chip uses the heat emitted from the planet to peer through dust clouds and see planets forming. Ultimately the same technology will allow us to detect ozone on alien planets that could support life," said Mr Kenchington Goldsmith from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.

- Science Daily

Likely the resolution of such telescopes will continue improving and maybe you will be able to watch football games through the interstellar medium ... but I don't watch them now so we can move on to what will you do if life is detected.  Does this mean the planet becomes a candidate for a colony or it does not.  If something is already living there then presumably it does not unless you're really sure what that something may be.

Unless there's some fundamental change in the physics of time dilation, any trip to another star has to be one-way so that's a bit of a problem if there are BEMs (i.e. Bug-Eyed Monsters) there already.

Here, at the Liberal Desk, we have observed the ethics of space as presented in a blue million sci fi stories and almost all of them mandate leaving existing life forms alone.  However, that ethical standard has been abandoned in the weaponization of space and taking that to another star isn't just a colony now; it's an invasion force which will use possibly / probably antiquated weapons.

As to dealing with those space weapons around Earth, it's one thing to shoot down a drone but you will only have to shoot down another one.  It's much better to take out the satellite(s) from which they get their GPS information and cause a large explosion on or nearby to take out all of them.  Without GPS, the drones become nothing more than museum pieces.

It seems it would be relatively simple since such rockets wouldn't even need to be that sophisticated so likely it would be inexpensive to saturate the area of the satellites(s) with explosions, possibly like the flak from WWII back when aerial bombardment actually did anything.  It works the same for the shrapnel from the explosion since that will wreak havoc on everything at that orbital level.

Ed:  they will take out their own GPS that way as well!

Most likely the country being attacked is less-advanced technologically and has less to lose by doing all that damage to space traffic.  Long-term, they screw themselves as well but, in the context of a war, likely that won't matter to them.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"The Pain Merchants" - Where is the Short Story?

"The Pain Merchants" is, I believe, a short story I read in the sixties or seventies but I'm coming up dry on searching for it.  There are two books with the same name but one was published in 2011 and the other in 2014, the former by Jack McDonald and the latter by Janice Hardy.

Note:  McDonald uses quite a bit of relatively hard-core black slang.  It didn't sound so convincing so I'm not sure what he thought he was doing.  Maybe he's not black and was just guessing but D.H. Lawrence, he ain't.  Lawrence's use of the dialect of the lower working class in England is stunning and I've referred to that multiple times.

The premise was television or some futuristic alternative was used to present pain, much like today but more honestly.  There's a huge business in vicarious pain and the leader of the outfit was making the big bucks on the suffering.

There was some kind of reversal and the leader ended up as the one feeling the pain ... to the thunderous applause of the audience.  Someone else was running the show now and it must go on.

It's possible I imagined that and it never happened but I don't think so.  My memory of such things is usually excellent so it's puzzling.

Maybe I should write the story myself as CNN's lust for plane crashes is a case study.

American Religion and Mary Fallin Want Big Oil

We're going to burn some crosses, kill some Indians, it'll be great, really great.

How about if I thank God for L.A. smog, earthquakes, oil spills, and the way Oklahoma has been transformed into the nation's leader in botched executions because of Mary Fallin's vengeful and willful lust for blood and money.  Trump is putting this hypocritical corporate monster up for Secretary of the Interior as he sets fire to every existing aspect of the Federal government.

If there's any question on what went wrong with America, that pic should answer it.  America is becoming as despotic as Iran and these types of people are why.

If I could stick a knife in my heart
Suicide right on stage
Would it be enough for your teenage lust
Would it help to ease the pain? Ease your brain?

- Stones

Note:  the pic is not fake to trash her.  She really did that.  (Washington Post:  Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says all faiths, not just Christians, should observe ‘Oilfield Prayer Day’)