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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Treating Cancer with Ecstasy

Who says I write only about doom and gloom.

New research shows that a modified form of the drug has 100 times more cancer-busting properties than the popular designer drug itself. And scientists at the University of Birmingham say they hope to redesign it to treat leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

The study, published online in the journal, Investigational New Drugs, builds on the scientists’ discovery six years ago that revealed that ecstasy and anti-depressants such as Prozac had the potential to stop cancers growing.

At the time, the team stressed that translating their findings into a useable clinical compound would present significant problems, mainly because the dose of MDMA - the scientific name for Ecstasy - required to treat a cancerous tumour would have proved fatal to the patient. So, they began working towards breaking down the actions of the drug to isolate its cancer-killing properties from its general toxicity.

On the university's website, lead author professor John Gordon, said, "This is an exciting next step towards using a modified form of MDMA to help people suffering from blood cancer. While we would not wish to give people false hope, the results of this research hold the potential for improvement in treatments in years to come."

So now with your baby aspirin a day for your heart, you can take a baby XTC pill for your health.  It would certainly put people in a better mood.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Red Sky At Morn - Be Forewarned!

Ok, I like cliches. Red sky at night, sailors delight; red sky at morn, sailor be forewarned.

Looks like we have serious economic troubles ahead.
Panic mode is fully back with stock plunging to Friday lows, while both gold and bonds are at records, 10 Year touching a record low 2.03%, the S&P plunging to Friday's lows and gold as is well known, back at all time highs. The catalyst: the same thing Zero Hedge reported yesterday, namely that one bank in Europe has a dire dollar squeeze (note not EUR) to the tune of $500 MM. The real market is thus now pricing in both hyperinflation and hyperdeflation at the same time, while the Fed's policy instrument, stocks, is now pricing in Lehman part deux (but don't nobody mention SocGen or the black choppers will come after you).
The market is now at a very simple crossroads: bonds are pricing in the hyperdeflation that the resumption of the global depression brings in, while gold is pricing in the central planning policy response to that hyperdeflation, which is nothing but print, print, print.
Elsewhere confirming that as expected the unemployment situation is deteriorating, with 408K initial claims printing, on expectations of 400K, and making sure we don't have a revised 19 out of 19 weeks of consecutive 400K+ prints was last week's revised 395K claims to, hold on to your seats, 399K. That's right: a 1K in jobs breaks the trend, huzzah! Just as importantly, those on EUCs and Extended benefits continued to plunge, dropping by 43K in the last week. And most frightening, the one year change in Americans receiving Emergency Compensation (EUC) has plunged from 4.7 Million to 3.1 Million. That's 1.6 million Americans who no longer even collect any benefits from the government.
"Risk adversion" is the only term you need to know right now.  Cash, treasuries and gold.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Party Of No - Which Ultimately Leads to No Where

23 recent polls show that – by an average of 65% to 30% - the American public wants tax increases as part of the deficit reduction process. That's nice, but it does not matter. The GOP no-taxes agenda has been out of step with the public for 15 years or more, but public opinion, like unemployment, foreclosure and the economic struggles of the average voter, does not matter to the Republican Party.

When the eight Republican presidential candidates were asked “Is there any ratio of cuts to taxes that you would accept? Three to one? Four to one? Ten to one? Would you walk away from a 10 to 1 deal?” They immediately, as a group, all raised their hands.

Let's just eliminate all taxes and shut down government.  Anarchy sounds like a great GOP solution.  Everyone would be free to do whatever they wanted without any government interference and no taxes.  It will help if you have already started your own garden and drilled your own water wells, it may be difficult to get by without them.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Guest Post: Bread, Circuses, Spending Cuts, Unicorns And The Appearance Of Wealth

I write often about my fascination of hegemonic ideology - the presence of a Cultural hegemony which is the philosophic and sociological theory that a culturally diverse society can be dominated (ruled) by one social class, which manipulates the societal culture (beliefs, explanations, perceptions, and values through all of that which they control and own such as newspapers and media outlets, etc.). Through such control it is the ruling-class's worldview is imposed as the societal norm, which then is perceived as a universally valid ideology and status quo beneficial to all of society, whilst benefiting only the ruling class.

So I think this article below really nails this reality in our society.

By Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform
Bread, Circuses, Spending Cuts, Unicorns And The Appearance Of Wealth
“Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses” - Juvenal – 100 A.D.
Juvenal makes reference to the Roman practice of providing free wheat to Roman citizens as well as costly circus games and other forms of entertainment as a means of gaining political power through populism. Roman politicians devised a plan in 140 B.C. to win the votes of the poor: giving out cheap food and entertainment, “bread and circuses”. The Roman politicians realized this would be the most effective way to rise to power and stay in power.

With the revolting display of political theater in the last few weeks, I couldn’t help but consider the parallels between the Roman Empire and the American Empire. The entire debt ceiling farce was a circus on an epic scale – The Greatest Show on Earth. The American public was treated to high wire acts of near debt experiences, Senators putting their heads into the mouths of lions, and hundreds of clowns riding tiny bikes with squeaking horns. In the end, American politicians did what they do best - pretended to solve a spending problem without cutting spending. Only in America could politicians put the country on course to increase its national debt from $14.5 trillion to $23 trillion by 2021 and declare they are cutting spending. For those that need to visualize the lies of politicians, take a gander at this chart and try to find the cuts in spending.

The Roman authorities provided free wheat to the peasants as a superficial means of appeasing the masses and distracting them from the fact that public policy and public service had failed, as corruption and decadence engulfed those in control of government. Free bread, chariot races, and feeding Christians to lions kept the small-minded peasants satiated and ignorant of their civic duty. Today, the authorities don’t hand out bread they hand out EBT cards to 45.5 million Americans, or 14.6% of the entire population.

There are almost 5 million Americans on welfare. There are 50 million Americans on Medicaid. There are 8 million Americans receiving unemployment compensation. There are 10.5 million Americans on Social Security disability. This is the symbolic bread being provided to the masses to keep them tranquilized, pliable, satisfied and ignorant of their civic duty. The government has renamed bread as “social benefits” and now distributes $2.3 trillion of bread per year to the ”needy”.

English historian Edward Gibbon wrote his masterpiece The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in 1776, ironically in the year the American Empire was born. He detailed the societal collapse encompassing both the gradual disintegration of the political, economic, military, and other social institutions of Rome and the barbarian invasions that were its final doom in Western Europe.

Gibbon’s analysis captured the essence of what happens to all empires. It subsequently happened to the Dutch, Spanish and British empires and has been eating away at the greatest empire of all over the last several decades. Larry Elliot, writer for the UK Guardian, recently described the rot that has destroyed every empire in history:
“The experience of both Rome and Britain suggests that it is hard to stop the rot once it has set in, so here are the a few of the warning signs of trouble ahead: military overstretch, a widening gulf between rich and poor, a hollowed-out economy, citizens using debt to live beyond their means, and once-effective policies no longer working. The high levels of violent crime, epidemic of obesity, addiction to pornography and excessive use of energy may be telling us something: the US is in an advanced state of cultural decadence.
Empires decline for many different reasons but certain factors recur. There is an initial reluctance to admit that there is much to fret about, and there is the arrival of a challenger (or several challengers) to the settled international order. In Spain’s case, the rival was Britain. In Britain’s case, it was America. In America’s case, the threat comes from China.”

When you watch the talking heads and contemptible pundits on Fox, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN and the other mainstream corporate media spinning our economic situation in a positive way, remember that every person you are listening to is a member of the top 1% richest Americans. They have large portfolios of stocks and will not let reality or truth interfere with their ambitions of further wealth and power. This country is controlled by the few for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many. Less than ten banks control more than 50% of deposits and 75% of the lending in the country. One private banking organization – the Federal Reserve – controls the currency of the country. A handful of mega-corporations control the commerce of the country. Less than ten arms dealers dictate the war spending in the country. A few media conglomerates control the message fed to the masses. A few hundred corrupt politicians pay off their corporate and banking masters with laws, tax breaks, and pork. These people make up the ruling class of America.