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G_j's Journal
G_j's Journal
March 5, 2022

Humanity's failure

How does modern humanity find it’s self able to helplessly watch human misery and war crimes daily on TV?

In perspective, leading up to the Iraq war, “Anti-war groups worldwide organised public protests. According to the French academic Dominique Reynié, between 3 January and 12 April 2003, 36 million people across the globe took part in almost 3,000 anti‑war protests, the demonstrations on 15 February 2003 being the largest and most prolific.”

But to no avail as the world then got to watch “shock and awe” live.

“Population-based studies produce estimates of the number of Iraq War casualties ranging from 151,000 violent deaths as of June 2006 (per the Iraq Family Health Survey) to 1,033,000 excess deaths (per the 2007 Opinion Research Business (ORB) survey). Other survey-based studies covering different time-spans find 461,000 total deaths (over 60% of them violent) as of June 2011 (per PLOS Medicine 2013), and 655,000 total deaths (over 90% of them violent) as of June 2006 (per the 2006 Lancet study). Body counts counted at least 110,600 violent deaths as of April 2009 (Associated Press). The Iraq Body Count project documents 185,000–208,000 violent civilian deaths through February 2020 in their table. All estimates of Iraq War casualties are disputed.”



March 31, 2013

An Important Petition for Montana's Wolves


ACTION ALERT for MONTANA WOLVES everyone, everywhere can sign this petition)!!!
Please sign and share this important petition, created by wolf biologist and advocate, Jay Mallonee to stop the unjustified killing of Montana's wolves!
March 27, 2013

GOP Senators Threaten Filibuster on Guns


Arlette Saenz (@ArletteSaenz) Mar 26, 2013, 10:29 AM

In the latest roadblock to passing gun
legislation, three Republican senators have threatened to filibuster next month's proceedings on the gun debate.

In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., warned that they might filibuster any legislation that restricts gun rights.

"We, the undersigned, intend to oppose any legislation that infringe on the American people's constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance," the senators wrote in the signed letter obtained by ABC News. "We will oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions."

Reid announced last week plans for the Senate to consider a comprehensive gun package after the holiday recess. The bill would try to crack down on gun trafficking and include a requirement for universal background checks, a component opposed by many Republicans and moderate Democrats.

March 23, 2013

Yoko Ono Details Why She Posted Lennonís Bloodied Glasses on Twitter


March 22, 2013, 6:32 pm

Yoko Ono Details Why She Posted Lennon’s Bloodied Glasses on Twitter

The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 33 years our son Sean and I still miss him. Yoko Ono Lennon http://t.co/PYigb2uJKT

— Yoko Ono (@yokoono) 20 Mar 13
On what would have been her 44th wedding anniversary Wednesday, Yoko Ono said, she walked through a park, remembering how much she and her husband, John Lennon, had laughed and smiled on their wedding day. “Then I felt the emptiness more acutely because of the beautiful memory,” she said.

That evening, Ms. Ono, 80, posted on her Twitter account four antigun messages with an image of the blood-splattered glasses that Lennon was wearing when he was gunned down outside their Manhattan apartment building on Dec. 8, 1980.

With the photo, once used on a 1981 album cover and in a 2000 antigun billboard campaign, she wrote: “The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 33 years our son Sean and I still miss him. Yoko Ono Lennon.”

She posted three other messages to her 3.7 million followers:

Together, let’s bring back America, the green land of peace. http://t.co/Al3PWTC4aZ

— Yoko Ono (@yokoono) 20 Mar 13
31,537 people are killed by guns in the USA every year. We are turning this beautiful country into war zone. http://t.co/vT2gLjwUZV

— Yoko Ono (@yokoono) 20 Mar 13
Over 1,057,000 people have been killed by guns in the USA since John Lennon was shot and killed on 8 Dec 1980. http://t.co/xxXU3gSlaD

— Yoko Ono (@yokoono) 20 Mar 13
From Wednesday night through Friday afternoon, the four posts on Twitter were shared at least 43,000 times around the world, according to a data analysis by Gilad Lotan, vice president of research and development at Social Flow.

President Obama’s @barackobama Twitter account, managed by his former campaign team, retweeted it Thursday night to his 28 million followers.

March 20, 2013

This cheat sheet will make you win every climate argument


“I don’t see what all those environmentalists are worried about,” sneers your great uncle Joe. “Carbon dioxide is harmless, and great for plants!”

OK. Take a deep breath. If you’re not careful, comments like this can result in dinner-table screaming matches. Luckily, we have a secret weapon: A flowchart that will help you calmly slay even the most outlandish and annoying of climate-denying arguments:
March 19, 2013

Iraq War Timeline: From "Shock and Awe" to Civilian Toll, to Billions in Reconstruction, Vet Health


Iraq War Timeline: From "Shock and Awe" to Civilian Toll, to Billions in Reconstruction, Vet Health

Use this interactive timeline to see highlights from a decade of Democracy Now! coverage of the Iraq War. It was 10 years ago on March 19, 2003, that the United States invaded Iraq on the false pretext that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction. Six weeks later, President Bush stood under a banner reading "Mission Accomplished" and declared an end to major military combat operations. But Operation Iraqi Freedom would lead to an almost nine-year U.S.-military occupation.
March 16, 2013

UN official: drone attacks violate Pakistan's sovereignty, Obama admin. repeatedly told to stop

Friday 15 March 2013 09.43 EDT

US drone strikes in Pakistan 'carried out without government's consent'
UN official says drone attacks violate Pakistan's sovereignty and Obama administration has repeatedly been told to stop

US drone attacks on Pakistan's tribal districts are carried out without the consent of the government in Islamabad and are a violation of its sovereignty, a UN official has warned.

Returning from a three-day visit to the country's capital, Ben Emmerson QC, the UN's special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights, said he had been given assurances that there was no "tacit consent by Pakistan to the use of drones on its territory".


Islamabad's records showed that about 2,200 deaths had been caused by drone strikes and a further 600 people had suffered serious injuries.


Of those who died, at least 400 were said by the government to have been civilians and a further 200 were regarded as probable non-combatants.

March 11, 2013

Spanish sperm whale death linked to UK supermarket supplier's plastic


Spanish sperm whale death linked to UK supermarket supplier's plastic

Sperm whale on Spanish southern coast had swallowed 17kg of plastic waste dumped by greenhouses supplying produce to UK

A dead sperm whale that washed up on Spain's south coast had swallowed 17kg of plastic waste dumped into the sea by farmers tending greenhouses that produce tomatoes and other vegetables for British supermarkets.

Scientists were amazed to find the 4.5 tonne whale had swallowed 59 different bits of plastic – most of it thick transparent sheeting used to build greenhouses in southern Almeria and Granada. A clothes hanger, an ice-cream tub and bits of mattress were also found.

The plastic had eventually blocked the animal's stomach and killed it, according to researchers from the Doñana national park research centre in Andalusia.

March 8, 2013

Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer's Disease Pathology


Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer's Disease Pathology

Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia among the elderly, and with the ever-increasing size of this population, cases of Alzheimer's disease are expected to triple over the next 50 years. Consequently, the development of treatments that slow or halt the disease progression have become imperative to both improve the quality of life for patients as well as reduce the health care costs attributable to Alzheimer's disease. Here, we demonstrate that the active component of marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as well as prevents AChE-induced amyloid β-peptide (Aβ aggregation, the key pathological marker of Alzheimer's disease. Computational modeling of the THC-AChE interaction revealed that THC binds in the peripheral anionic site of AChE, the critical region involved in amyloidgenesis. Compared to currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, THC is a considerably superior inhibitor of Aβ aggregation, and this study provides a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which cannabinoid molecules may directly impact the progression of this debilitating disease.

Keywords: Cannabinoids, Alzheimer's disease, Acetylcholinesterase

Since the characterization of the Cannabis sativa-produced cannabinoid, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (Figure 1), in the 1960's,1 this natural product has been widely explored as an anti-emetic, anti-convulsive, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic.2 In these contexts, efficacy results from THC binding to the family of cannabinoid receptors found primarily on central and peripheral neurons (CB1) or immune cells (CB2).3 More recently, a link between the endocannabinoid system and Alzheimer's disease has been discovered4 which has provided a new therapeutic target for the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.5 New targets for this debilitating disease are critical as Alzheimer's disease afflicts over 20 million people worldwide, with the number of diagnosed cases continuing to rise at an exponential rate.6,7 These studies have demonstrated the ability of cannabinoids to provide neuroprotection against β-amyloid peptide (Aβ toxicity.8-10 Yet, it is important to note that in these reports, cannabinoids serve as signaling molecules which regulate downstream events implicated in Alzheimer's disease pathology and are not directly implicated as effecting Aβ at a molecular level.

We have demonstrated that THC competitively inhibits AChE, and furthermore, binds to the AChE PAS and diminishes Aβ aggregation. In contrast to previous studies aimed at utilizing cannabinoids in Alzheimer's disease therapy,8-10 our results provide a mechanism whereby the THC molecule can directly impact Alzheimer's disease pathology. We note that while THC provides an interesting Alzheimer's disease drug lead, it is a psychoactive compound with strong affinity for endogenous cannabinoid receptors. It is noteworthy that THC is a considerably more effective inhibitor of AChE-induced Aβ deposition than the approved drugs for Alzheimer's disease treatment, donepezil and tacrine, which reduced Aβ aggregation by only 22% and 7%, respectively, at twice the concentration used in our studies.7 Therefore, AChE inhibitors such as THC and its analogues may provide an improved therapeutic for Alzheimer's disease, augmenting acetylcholine levels by preventing neurotransmitter degradation and reducing Aβ aggregation, thereby simultaneously treating both the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer's disease.
March 7, 2013

Republican senator too lazy to use Google finally gets his answer


Republican senator too lazy to use Google finally gets his answer
by Jed Lewison Mar 07, 2013 8:10am PST

NBC's Chuck Todd reports what one Republican senator told him after attending last night's dinner with President Barack Obama:

"In fact, one senator told us that he learned, for the first time, the actual cuts that the president has put on the table. Leadership hadn’t shared that list with them before."

That list is here. Senators didn't need "leadership" to share it with them. They could have gotten it within ten seconds on Google. All it would have taken was a willingness to pay a little attention to the world outside the conservative bubble.

I know these guys are Republicans, but I guarantee you that each senator at that dinner last night has progressive constituents who were outraged when they saw some of the cuts President Obama proposed for a Grand Bargain. If their constituents were capable of figuring out what the president had proposed, the senators should have been too. But instead of doing something crazy like, you know, actually having a rational and factual basis for their political positions, these guys apparently just jam their fingers in their ears and chant "I'm against it".

And I'm not just picking on one anonymous senator, either. Last week, Ezra Klein reported that a high-ranking House Republican was completely unaware that Obama's Grand Bargain proposal includes a reduction in Social Security spending via Chained CPI. Then, a few days later, a top GOP consultant made the same mistake, in hilarious fashion.


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