October 22, 2008 archive

Does Laughter Cause Gene Expression?

I want to know: Does laughter cause gene expression?  This is a question I have never heard asked.  If there is a psychologist or neuroscientist in the audience who knows if this question has ever been asked, I want to know that, also.  The answer is certainly, Yes.  Of course, there are genes constantly activated by everything we do.  But are there specific genes associated with laughter?  This is not a subtle question, such as the difference between humor and laughter.  I am talking about Hee-Haw, robust, in yer face, I can’t stop laughing, lol catz!

AIG Freezes CEO Pay

From Market Watch:

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that American International Group Inc. … agreed to freeze payments under its former chief executive’s contract. Cuomo sent a letter to current CEO Edward Liddy confirming that AIG will freeze any payments under ex-CEO Martin Sullivan’s $19 million contract, and will not make payments out of $600 million in compensation and bonus pools of AIG’s financial products subsidiary. Cuomo said that taxpayers should be repaid before any executives and that new executive pay structures should eliminate improper incentives

Not sure that freezing means the CEO will never get any money, and it is also unclear to me whether all of the executives at AIG will have their bonuses frozen as well.

Finally, I question what it means to say “taxpayers should be repaid” — at this point the bailout plan is so murky, the phrase seems meaningless to me.  Will our taxes go down?  Will we all get checks in the mail?

What a circus.  Send in the clowns.  Oh … don’t bother.  They’re here.

You Are Crazy to Vote for Obama! What’s Wrong with YOU?


Why are the following people endorsing Barak Obama:

Colin Powell …who promoted the lies about Iraq and Sadaam before the U.N.

Ken Adelman: Extreme right wing architect of the Iraq war

Andrew Sullivan: Conservative columnist

Christopher Hitchens: Pro Iraq war columnist

Christopher Buckley: (William Buckley’s son)

“Interrogation Psychologists” and the Allure of “National Security Psychology”

Martha Davis Ph.D., a Clinical Psychologist and a Visiting Scholar at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, has produced an important new documentary, Interrogation Psychologists: The Making of a Professional Crisis”. The film premiered at a conference entitled “The Interrogation and Torture Controversy: Crisis in Psychology,” held at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Center on Terrorism in New York City on September 12, 2008.

Dr. Davis describes the documentary:

“In 2005 the American Psychological Association endorsed the participation of military psychologists in detainee interrogations. This policy incited a firestorm of protest within the profession and around the world, but APA officials held fast, contending that the involvement of psychologists insured that interrogations were safe, ethical and effective. With interviews of experts and documentation of communications between APA and government officials, “Interrogation Psychologists” traces the origins of the policy and why the APA risked massive defections for it. The search leads to the emerging field of national security psychology, which has far-reaching implications for intelligence gathering operations and U.S. treatment of prisoners of war.”

Four at Four

  1. Despite the rhetoric blatant lies and distortions from the McCain campaign and other Republicans, McClatchy Newspapers report, Obama’s tax plan is not socialism.

    Favoring higher tax rates for the wealthy than for the less fortunate isn’t socialism, and if it is, then the U.S. has been a socialist country for nearly a century, under both Democrats and Republicans.

    The answer is clearly no, Senator Obama is not a socialist,” said Paul Beck, a professor of political science at The Ohio State University. “We’ve had a progressive tax system for some time, and both Republicans and Democrats have bought into it.” …

    Socialism involves state ownership of the means of economic production and state-directed sharing of the wealth. America’s democratic capitalist system is neither socialist nor pure free market; rather, it mixes the two, and it has at least since the progressive income tax was introduced 95 years ago. Under it, the wealthy pay higher income tax rates than those who are less fortunate do. It’s a form of sharing the wealth.

    Government intervenes in U.S. “free markets” all the time. The deduction that homeowners get for mortgage interest is one form, for it subsidizes housing. The Pentagon procurement that sustains U.S. defense contractors such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics is another.

    For that matter, President Bush and many other Republicans, including McCain, backed a massive federal government rescue of ailing financial institutions this fall, one that’s committed more than $1 trillion so far to “private” banks, even taking partial state ownership of the nine biggest…

    Conservatives often charge that Democrats are engaging in “class warfare” when they want to raise tax rates on the rich – McCain and Palin have used the phrase to attack Obama – but they rarely find such fault when tax cuts disproportionately benefit the wealthy.

  2. The Seattle Times reports the U.S. is run by Wall Street “crooks,” Nader says in Seattle.

    Every agency of the federal government is controlled by corporate power, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader told reporters before a public speech at a packed Town Hall Seattle on Tuesday evening.

    Nader said the U.S. is essentially a “plutocracy” (government by the wealthy), run by “speculators and crooks” on Wall Street. He offered as evidence the $700 billion financial-rescue package that Congress approved, which, he said, rewards “deceivers” for the “looting and swindling.” …

    Tuesday night, Nader called for the prosecution of those on Wall Street responsible for the current financial crisis.

Four at Four continues with news from Afghanistan, Iraq, and concerning the 18 threats to beluga whales in Alaska.

Now Doggone It, Let Me Explain!

The liberal media is just goin’ positively goofy today about the $150,000 worth of clothes the Republican National Committee bought for me.  Well, gosh, what were they supposed to do?  Those nice men at the RNC didn’t want me goin’ around naked!  And I would look pretty stupid if Tina Fey looked better than me every week.  I’m not about to be caught lookin’ stupid, that’s for gosh-darn sure.  Besides, the Democrat Party does this kinda’ stuff all the time.  Why, I heard that Barack Obama spent $542,000 to have his ears pulled away from his head for that “liberal Harvard elite” look.

But let me address this directly without the filter of the liberal media.  First, I don’t plan to keep those clothes.  I’m going to donate them to charity.  You see, like all good Christian people I like to spread the wealth arou . . . errr, ummm, I like to help those less fortunate than myself.  So I’ll be giving all those clothes to the Salvation Army, where poor folks can go in and get something nice to wear whenever they have to give a speech in front of 10,000 people.


Docudharma Tradin’ Post Special Offer!

With two weeks to go and the polls still giving us good news, (despite McCains warning) it is time to prepare for election night. While we celebrate Obama’s victory and huge gains in Congress (c’moooon 60!) and dance in the streets clutching our chardonnay and latte’s, the poor Wingnuts will be experiencing quite a different evening!

I expect you will see quite a bit of ….this…


That’s right! We are anticipating a record number of Wingnut head explosions. This can be messy AND dangerous! While it has never been proven that you can “catch” Wingnuttery, can you really afford to take the chance of being infected while cleaning up little pieces of exploded Wingnut head??

And so, Docudharma Tradin’ Post is having a special pre-election sale! We are offering a full line of protective gear and cleaning tools for use on November 4th. If you live with, or even near, a Wingnut, order now!

First up: personal protective gear:


Letter to Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi

It has taken me some time to process my emotional reaction to the events of October 15th. On that day, a complete atrocity occurred. American blood was shed on American soil once more – not by foreign terrorists but by the soulless, brainwashed agents of Bush’s police state, acting against the very veterans who define this country’s freedom and swore to defend the US Constitution with their lives. US combat veterans returned from service in Iraq and Afghanistan came to petition their presidential candidates with legitimate and valid questions concerning the ending of the Iraq war and the treatment of veterans at home, only to experience disrespect and physical injury at the hands of Nassau County police officers and their shadowy, unidentified, badgeless Department of Hopeless Insecurity supporters.

A Pivotal Moment In History?

Historian and activist political scientist Howard Zinn talks with Paul Jay about the election, his perception of the meaning of the choice between McCain and Obama it presents for the future of America, and the pitfalls and opportunities that lie ahead.

Zinn says: “…vote against McCain, vote for Obama. Even though Obama does not represent any fundamental change, he creates an opening for a possibility of change. Obama will not fulfill that potential for change, unless he is enveloped by a social movement, which is angry enough, powerful enough, insistent enough, that he fills his abstract phrases about change with some content. We need direct action, because only that kind of indignation is going to have some affect on the people in Washington.

October 22, 2008 – about 11 minutes

Enough Joe the Plumber;

McClatchy carries one of the realities further in this article I just caught. The subject title above is the beginning of theirs and it finishes with this: here’s to Kareem the Soldier

Khan was a 20-year-old soldier from Manahawkin, N.J., who wanted to enlist in the Army from the time he was 10. He was an all-American boy who visited Disney World after he completed his training at Fort Benning, Ga., and made his comrades in Iraq watch “Saving Private Ryan” every week.

Non-Political Diary Alert: Melamine Now Found in Egg Products!

I wasn’t going to write anything until after the election (Go Obama!) but this is important, IMHO. Yesterday melamine was found in several egg products in South Korea following last week’s similar discovery in Japan, marking the first time the toxic chemical has been found in Chinese egg products.

Some of you have followed my pieces on the Chinese melamine scandal, here is the last one with a comprehensive list of the tainted products. Add egg products to this list now, and God knows what else! Egg products can be found in many items such as cake mixes, cookies and much more, see the list below. Having said that, don’t be alarmed, just make sure you know the provenance of your food products and read the labels carefully.

Open Thread


I’ll try to find you some threads and I’ll bring them to you.

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