Saturday, November 28, 2015

Jobs Over Baghdad

Apparently there is little progress on stopping imperialism with our current Democratic candidates.

I was originally pretty hopeful for both. Coming out of the Iraq war and especially the horrors in Syria, I thought we'd see a more isolationist foreign policy. But while Clinton may be held back by the Iran Deal, she hasn't had to be held responsible for the disastrous war in Libya. In fact, she bragged how she hunted down even more of the evil foreigners during the debates.

And once the IMF said no to democracy in Egypt, we no longer care. Some of her best friends are dictators.

Bernie Sanders cannot escape criticism. Not only has he been weak at best on Palestine, he blocked efforts reduce weapons going into Guatemala and El Salvador as massacres were carried out:

"So when dozens of antiwar activists blocked the entrance to the local General Electric plant because it was manufacturing Gatling guns to fight the socialists in Central America, the protesters expected the mayor’s full support. Instead, he lined up with union officials and watched as the police made arrests, saying later that in blocking the plant, the activists were keeping workers from their jobs."

Obama did this too. From 2011 in The Washington Post:

The Obama administration on Thursday announced an arms deal with Saudi Arabia valued at nearly $30 billion, an agreement that will send 84 F-15 fighter jets and assorted weaponry to the kingdom.

In announcing the completion of the deal, the White House also touted its domestic benefits, saying in a statement that, according to industry experts, it would “support more than 50,000 American jobs.”
Have to commend Katharine Chris Floyd and Asad Abukhalil for the commentary here.

I think Sanders shouldn't sell out the cause of peace just because some people get paid to make guns.
 But unfortunately, he probably only knows what the media tell him.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Fragile X Review

Therapy or opposite protein or gene
Upregulated processes

S-Adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferase activity
tRNA aminoacylation for protein translation

Amino acid transport

Chaperone activity
protects from stress “triggered by elevated levels of FMR1”
Glucose catabolism

leucine and isoleucine improved glucosemetabolismin CCl 4 rats by promoting glucoseuptake in skeletal muscle”

upregulationof these glucosetransporters has been shown to be caused by acute
  • cytokines,
  • angiotensin II,
  • endothelin-1,
  • vascular endothelial growth factor,
  • transforming growth factor-beta,
  • and hypoxia
Green tea?

4. arganine
Gentiana manshurica
folic acid

5. Rhodiola increase in the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and TGF-ß1. - Rhodiola rosea
* *
sertraline therapy might have exerted immunomodulatory effects through a decrease in the proinflammatory cytokine IL-12 and an increase in the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and TGF-β

Ubiquitin cycle
In an attempt to get rid
of the excess of FMR1 mRNA, the cell might attract chaperones or elements of the ubiquitin/proteasome system.
Muscle repair?

Neuroprotective effect of silymarin in a MPTP mouse model of Parkinson's disease

J Pérez-H, C Carrillo-S, E García, G Ruiz-Mar… - Toxicology, 2014 - Elsevier
Abstract Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease secondary to the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) produces in mice and primates histopathological changes ...

Protein folding
Pre-50 upregulated? Purα, Rm62, CUGBP1,
hnRNP A2/B1, SAM68, and DROSHA-DGCR8,
Isomerase activity

GABA α1, 3,4; β2; γ2 cerebellum
GABA α3,
GABA α4;
GABA β2;


Downregulated processes

Oxygen binding (neuroglobin(Ngb) and cytoglobin
(Cygb) are supposed to be involved in oxygen (O2) storage and delivery )

stimulating energy producing, catabolicpathways (fatty acid oxidation, glucose transport, etc.).

Research in Britain has shown that the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelinalso affects AMPK levels

Cytosolic calcium ion concentration elevation
(Ashwaganda, Li+)
Nuclear pore
- Alzheimer's / memory

fisetin: Colophospermummopane mopane,[2]mopani,[citation needed] balsam tree,[2]butterfly tree,[2]or turpentine tree

kaempferolHYPERLINK ",14"and fisetinon thermotolerance, oxidative stress and FoxO transcription factor DAF-16 in the model organism Caenorhabditis …
Capers, canned26.74 mg100 gramsKaempferolKale, raw13.33 mg100 gramsKaempferolDill weed, fresh13.00 mg100gramsKaempferolCress, garden, raw10.30 mg100 gramsKaempferolDock, raw10.00 mg100 gramsKaempferolChives, raw6.16 mg100 gramsKaempferolBroccoliHYPERLINK "", raw4.80 mg100 gramsKaempferolTurnip HYPERLINK ""greens, raw

tea, broccoli, cabbage, kale, beans, endive, leek, tomato, strawberries and grapes) and in plants or botanical products commonly used in traditional medicine (e.g. Ginkgo biloba, Tilia spp, Equisetum spp, Moringa oleifera, Sophora japonica and propolis
Transcriptional activator activity

expression was decreased for some of
these same genes (for example, gad1, ssadh)

improved memory?: ,α1
overexpression ofgenes for several GABA A receptor subunits (for example,α1,3,4; β2; γ2) and proteins involved in GABA metabolism(gad1, ssadh) has been observed in the cerebellum, but
not the cortex, of CGG dut KI mice, which could be relatedto the motor phenotype observed in FXTAS [82,83].

In BD, however, a suppression of transcription factors involved in cell differentiation may contribute to GABA dysfunction. \par
Glycoprotein biosynthesis
reexposing dark-reared mice to light rapidly upregulatesArc/

Lipid catabolism
Alpha lipoic acid?
Omega 3?

Transcription initiation

Serpina3, a serine protease inhibitor that is released during inflammatory responses, was up-regulated and may reflect the increased prevalence of autoimmune disease (for example, lupus, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, thyroid disease)

Involvement of hippocampal Arc in amnesia and its recovery by alcoholic extract of Ashwagandha leaves

A Gautam, R Wadhwa, MK Thakur - Neurobiology of learning and memory, 2013 - Elsevier
... 2.6. RNA in situ hybridization. ... through different receptor system, like NMDA-R, mAChR and TrKB leads to PKA, PKC or ERK dependent increase in Arc mRNA and protein ... Further, NMDA-R activation leads to increase in the transport and translation of Arc mRNA in dendrites. ...

vitamin e?

Whey protein, as exclusively nitrogen source, controls food intake and promotes

NAC, an antioxidant
that promotes glutathione The cruciferous family of vegetables is one of the richest food sources of glutathione. The most potent vegetable is Brussels sprouts. Others include cauliflower, broccoli (particularly the flowers, not the stem), cabbage, kale, bok choy, cress, mustard, horseradish, turnips, rutabagas, and kohlrabi.
  • In addition to the cruciferous vegetables, both garlic (Allium sativum) and the ripe seeds of the common green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) help make glutathione and its dependent enzymes more effective.
  • In the Slovak Republic, researchers discovered in animal studies that eating red beets not only reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but also decreased cholesterol deposits in the aorta and increased GST enzyme levels, making the animals less susceptible to chemically induced colon cancers.
  • At the University of Illinois, researchers found that including the herb rosemary in the diet could increase GST enzyme activity. The strongest activity resulted when an extract of the herb was given by injection, but ingesting the herb extract orally (at concentrations of 0.25 to 1.0 percent of the diet by weight) showed a 3.5- to 4.5-fold increase in GST activity, which is very significant.

selenium, which promotes glutathione
peroxidase synthesis and activity

Lipoic acid increases glutathione production


Intermediate filament

Epidermal differentiation
LemonGrass !

Centella Asiatica?

** In BD, however, a suppression of transcription factors involved in cell differentiation may contribute to GABA dysfunction. \par

Cell cycle arrest
TNFα, contributing significantly to translation upregulation of these mRNAs upon cell cycle arrest
Symporter activity


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Ideology of violence in mainstream US

Chicago is said to be increasing in violence. The solutions to this violence unfortunately are decided more by ideology than an honest reading of the scholarship.

When countering the fear-mongering about crime, people will typically cite the book The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker. The book is hundreds upon hundreds of pages long, written by a Harvard psychology professor, and is almost universally taken to be gospel by the mainstream left. Outside of the mainstream, such as in the International Socialist Review, some of the conclusions about foreign policy have been rightfully debunked, a mirror of past faux-scientific studies of terrorism that Noam Chomsky, another lefty critic, had debunked.

In my own research, Pinker has done more than only mishandle US foreign policy and attribution of blame. He's also mishandled the scientific understanding of violence.

Pinker attributes drops in violence to what he calls the Leviathan, an enlightened hegemon imposing its power. He cites a major study on American homicides by Randolph Roth.

I've placed above the black bar the Elias civilizing process as summarized by Pinker, and highlighted in red the stripped re-interpretation done by Pinker (emphasis mine):

The two civilizing forces, then, reinforce each other, and Elias considered them to be part of a single process. The centralization of state control and its monopolization of violence, the growth of craft guilds and bureaucracies, the replacement of barter with money, the development of technology, the enhancement of trade, the growing webs of dependency among far-flung individuals, all fit into an organic whole. And to prosper within that whole, one had to cultivate faculties of empathy and self-control until they became, as he put it, second nature.
_________      [snip snip]     ________________
Figure 3-12 superimposes Roth's data from New England on Eisner's compilation of homicide rates from England. The sky-high point of colonial New England represents Roth's Elias-friendly observation that "the era of frontier violence, during which the homicide rate stood at over 100 per 100,000 adults per year, ended in 1637 when English colonists and their Native American allies established their hegemony over New England." After this consolidation of state control, the curves for old England and New England coincide uncannily.
The rest of the Northeast also saw a plunge from triple-digit and high-double-digit homicide rates to the single digits typical of the world's countries today.

Note "the growth of craft guilds." The summary of Elias is the only reference to labor power in the book. Pinker has, in his interpretation of Roth and Elias, missed their similarity. What Elias described as "guilds" today are called unions. On page 440 of American Homicide, Roth observes:

Obsessed with proving his Leviathan theory, Pinker not only glosses the eventual genocide on the continent, usually done with some help from "Native American allies" warring on behalf of colonial hegemons, but omits the more recent evidence by Roth that it is not only power from above but below that civilizes a country.

Whatever the cure is for violence should be, the debate is far too narrow. Why are colonial practices prized more than labor power? Steven Pinker and others in the mainstream practice what is at best greedy reductionism. Pinker has since gone on to research how IQ makes people rich, attracting the interest of young technocratic racists. Modern eugenics.

Assuming violent crime is on the rise, Chicago cannot be a better example of Pinker's Leviathan failing to reduce violence. Rahm Emanuel and his business allies consider a de-centralized Chicago to be a "risk" to regional growth. The recent commission to decide whether to build a George Lucas museum on the gorgeous Chicago lake was "composed of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s appointees and three new members." The plan to modernize Chicago with a manufacturing school on the West Side was hampered by high dropout rates, an absurd dumbed-down curriculum, and did nothing to check the skepticism of continuing control through racist domination in the workforce.

The one single program that reduced violence, by about a third where it was put into force, was axed after the police "suggested the anti-violence group undermines respect for police in some neighborhoods, as it sometimes mediates conflicts without police involvement." The announcement to ax the program was only a little over a year after the police complaint (June 12, 2012). Emanuel denies police input in the decision instead citing charges aimed at one of its members, which looks a lot like a hand-wave to me. They were indeed dropped. Regardless of the motive, Leviathan won.

As can be seen by his treatment of people in Section 8 housing, mayor Rahm Emanuel buys into the platform of "New Urbanism" which argues that the ills of society are cultural. Violence is coded racially, often hiding behind terms like "schools," "neighborhoods," and "traditional morals." The mayor has since blamed the Black Lives Matter movement for an increase in violence, a debunked trope sometimes called "the Ferguson effect."

Black people, like Native Americans and most people who have been conquered or considered enemies, are seen as culturally backward, refusing to integrate middle-class values. White people I know, even while dealing drugs, will often tell a story illustrating the correct behavior around cops to explain why black people are so harassed by the state. The ideology runs deep. But, white people commit crime too. And sometimes white people most responsible for continuing  violence are far from poor.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Just learned how to batch image search!

Went on Google and found this as a result for batch image searches:

I am using Google Sheets to generate image URLs on a list of things by using ImportXML function.


Cell A1 = Flower

Cell B1 =""&A1&"&source=lnms&tbm=isch"

Cell C1 =transpose(importxml(B1,"//img/@src"))

Really cool! This is what happens:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Politics in Twitter vs Blogging

"What was I doing before Subway? Was I tilling wheat?" -- Pete Holmes

I'm going back to blogging.

I've been running my Twitter page lately as a propagandist and not a researcher. I'm talking at people and not talking from the heart anymore. I think Twitter is suited well for this purpose, to clarify a fact or two, or to get the ball rolling with a hashtag although I'm not very experienced with that. Twitter  also involves some wonderful libertarian ideals -- there's very little hierarchy, it serves as a kind of public record -- but I fear for me personally it is becoming what Noam Chomsky and Adam Smith have warned about. I am becoming as stupid as possible as it is to become. My feed is becoming a dizzying source of obsessive stimulation.

What was it like for me before Twitter? I wanted to puzzle out history like my heroes. I wanted to do research. I meditated on things, and looked forward to my next piece of writing. Nowadays I feel my goal is just getting a response. But while that's great, socializing is great, I think I would rather have people respond to a fuller expression of my thoughts.

I'm not trying to lead people away from Twitter. It's still the best no-nonsense tool to communicate with people instantly. But I do think it often brings out the worst in people I would like to have on my side.

The final straw for me was a tussle I had with Glenn Greenwald who is a passionate defender of civil liberties. The format of Twitter just did not allow me to discuss what I wanted to say about the issue. Rather we traded insinuations about the other and then went back to what we were doing. After the discussion my mentions started blowing up with people "favoriting" his most powerful tweets against me and my arguments. I'm grateful he didn't put his replies with a ".@" to hang me out to dry on his timeline, but this is not the first time this happened to me.

The format of Twitter resulted in a situation where I felt like I was seeing people cheer on a bully while I took a beating, and it could go on for as long as they want it to. On Twitter there's nothing better than a favorite or a retweet provided it goes your way. I am constantly asking myself what I'm doing wrong when my timeline gets no responses. I find myself feverishly tweeting more and more to this end. So you can imagine the frustration when I do get a thread going and I face the robotic jeers of the favorite button.

Needless to say this is not good for contentious human rights issues where multiple interests and grievances converge, let alone my nerves. There are some things that an animated GIF or a 10 word insult cannot and should not summarize.

And I think this is happening to others. Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch recently went on record asking why poor women should be denied the job of sexual prostitution. Putting aside just why that's stupid, it's pretty clear he's claiming ground on a contentious issue. He is anticipating flak. The flak has already changed people, that's the power of Twitter. It's not very different in this regard from Rush Limbaugh's crude jokes.

Another more enraging example is from the nationalists in the liberal world: How quickly did the followers of Jeffrey Goldberg dismiss the notion of feminist rights in occupied Gaza being Israel's responsibility? People gave him 418 retweets and 118 favorites. All he did was say "You'll never guess" and people filled in the motive of anti-Semitism. Suppose he's right, and most good propaganda is at least partially right. Did it educate anyone on the complex webs of responsibility involved in collective human rights? Something our mainstream newspapers are already failing to do? No. It simplified them to a standard rhetoric about enemies of the state -- in this instance a swipe at the UN -- being untrustworthy. It gave Goldberg and his followers a quick burst of endorphins.

I don't want to live for reweets anymore.And it should go without saying I don't want to be a Dittohead.

The passionate and the laconic have fewer problems. It seems they thrive on Twitter. But I don't want Twitter to become my social life, or worse, to replace a real one. At the very least I'd rather write full paragraphs again.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The American dream as seen by billionaires: Don't blow up our spot

I read the transcript from the debate and wouldn't you believe it that Donald Trump espoused what I'm supposing is a common belief among the wealthy.

Republican Billionaire Donald Trump this week:

Your brother -- and your brother's administration gave us Barack Obama, because it was such a disaster, those last three months, that Abraham Lincoln couldn't have been elected.
Democrat billionaire Jeff Greene two years ago:

“There are all these people in this country who are just not participating in the American Dream at all,” he says. This makes him uncomfortable, not least because they might try to take a piece of his. “Right now, for some bizarre reason, a lot of these people are supporting Republicans who want to cut taxes on the wealthy,” he says. “At some point, if we keep doing this, their numbers are going to keep swelling, it won’t be an Obama or a Romney. It will be a ­Hollande. A Chávez.”
Hat tip to Jon Schwarz for that one.

Each one in isolation looks like standard partisan bickering. But that's not really what's going on. Underneath, there's a very clear distrust that both share towards the population. They're not so much afraid of the opposing party's policies, but that such policies will go so far that people will have a reason to resist.

Pacify the population! Don't tread on me!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"Free Porn" is increasing the customer base

The educated feminist counterculture never fails to disappoint. I recommend you read Tyler's essay, especially towards the end where she debunks the idea of that the porn industry is doing anything else other than encourage more and more obsessive control over women through new branding.

Unfortunately it's a bit wordy, so I think I'll highlight the most readable part. Tyler cites this 2011 story on pornography:

According to some in the industry, free porn is actually driving up profits since it has expanded the consumer base for paid porn. Feras Antoon, CEO of Brazzers (owned by Manwin), told New York Magazine that free porn sites have "vastly enlarged the total universe of porn consumers that the number of those who pay has ballooned along with it." As an example, in one year Manwin's pre-tax earnings increased more than 40%.

I really don't have much to add to this, but it's definitely good to know.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

the US might need to return again and again

War isn't just great for Islamic radicals, it's also in the interest of hedge funds and military contractors.

I suspect this is why the person leading the attack on the Iran deal, Lindsey Graham, is bankrolled by them.

Here's what's in it for energy companies
 One particularly salient opportunity is for Iran to develop its huge natural gas resources to become a major supplier to energy-starved European Union (EU) countries as well as its immediate neighbors in the Middle East. Beyond allowing Iran to advance its goal of being a central figure in the Middle East economy, these developments would help insulate it from further U.S. economic or military attack.
 Much like ISIS, a forever war doesn't sound too bad to US mercenaries either. War with Iran would be the goose that laid the golden egg.
Via Zack Beuchamp's article on Vox:
If the first round of strikes didn't destroy every target, the US might need to return again and again. It would require the US to "continue a sustained campaign over a period of time and re-strike after an initial battle damage assessment [if] it is found that further strike sorties are required," defense analysts Anthony Cordesman and Abdullah Toukan write in a comprehensive 2012 Center for Strategic and International Studies report.

It should be noted that the main reason Israel opposes this deal harmonizes with the above contractors, but is deeper than that. Israel does not believe it can win through diplomacy, so it must unilaterally oppose it, without revealing that is the principle. Via Document 93B (PDF):

[Henry] Kissinger: "[...] Diplomatically you have not won the war. You have won it tactically.
[Israeli Prime Minister Golda] Meir: Diplomatically we will never win.
Kissinger: Exactly. That is the tragedy.