Sunday, November 19, 2017

Russian Propaganda and Influence: New or Old?

In early 1920, almost 100 years ago there was a Congressional Committee to investigate Russian interference with the US. The charge and conclusions were:

Resolved, That the Committee on Foreign Relations is hereby authorized Is/ directed, through the full committee or through any subcommittee thereof -? investigate as speedily as possible the status of said Martens; what aliped government or power in Europe he represents; what, if any, recognition of any kind has been accorded him by this Government; whether or not li ns an alien enemy ; what propaganda, if any, he is carrying on for the overthrow of governments; and all facts and circumstances relating to his activities in this country and his alleged diplomatic representation, and all facts relative to the activities of any other party, parties, or organization bearing upon or relating to Russian propaganda in this country, and make report to the Senate of such findings.

The said committee is hereby empowered to sit and act at such time and place as it may deem necessary; to require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance of witnesses, the production of books, papers, and documents; to employ stenographers at a cost not exceeding $T per printed page. The chairman of the committee, or unyjmember thereof, may administer oaths to witnesses. Subpoenas for witnesses shall be issued under the signature of the chairman of the committee or subcommittee thereof. Every person who, having been summoned as a witness by authority of said committee or any subcommittee thereof, willfully makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any question pertinent to the investigation heretofore authorized, shall be held to the penalties provided by section 102 of the Revised Statutes of the United States.

In sum the committee finds in obedience to the instructions of the resolution of the Senate that—
(1) Martens has no status whatever in this country in any diplomatic or other governmental representative quality.
(2) Martens assumes to represent the Russian Federated Soviet Republic—a regime established in Russia by revolution and functioning under a constitution which has been above summarized; a regime which has never been recognized by the Government of the United States and which in international law has no standing as a constituted authority.
(3) Martens has received no recognition officially or even provisionally by the Government of the United States.
(4) Martens, by the accepted practice of this Government or its treaty or other international obligations and usages, is a ( man subject, and in consequence an alien enemy.
(5) Martens’s propaganda in this country for the overthrow governments is established by his own testimony, as shown in body of the report, that he has publicly associated and sympathy with those advocating such a course. He admitted to the committing his persistent revolutionary character, his desire to see the establishment of the “ dictatorship of the proletariat ” in all lands, his opinion that it would be better for this country if the soviet government were established here. It was also proved that he tinned to employ in the staff of his embassy persons who have  publicly and in his presence advocated the bringing of bolshevism America and he admitted to the committee that “ any means w would produce this condition would be justified.”

Namely the individual Martens was placed in legal limbo utimately leading no where. So what is old is new again. It is worth reading this entire file if one is interested. This has been going on from the beginning.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Anchors Away!

Well the boys in blue did it again. Another destroyer collision. As USNI reports:

The guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG-65) was hit by a Japanese tug during a towing exercise on Saturday, according to a statement from U.S. 7th Fleet. The forward-deployed destroyer was in the midst of a towing exercise in the Sagami Bay when the tug lost power and, “drifted into the ship.” “No one was injured on either vessel and Benfold sustained minimal damage, including scrapes on its side, pending a full damage assessment. Benfold remains at sea under her own power,” read the statement from 7th Fleet. “The Japanese commercial tug is being towed by another vessel to a port in Yokosuka. The incident will be investigated.” The incident comes as the Navy is struggling with the aftermath of two fatal collisions between merchant ships and the destroyers USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) that claimed the lives of 17 sailors. The Navy found both incidents were preventable.

One wonders how many ships will be left if we ever need them. Having spent my youth in New York Harbor, my grandfather was the Harbor Master for a while, and knowing the tug owners pretty well, double dated with a daughter of the Moran line, this type would close the harbor. Perhaps the Navy needs a big shakeup!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Labor Force Participation

The above is the CBO labor force participation rate percents. This should be worrisome. There is a continual decline and thus we have fewer people capable of working actually working. The details behind this are nor complete but in the long term this must change. There are too few people bearing the total burden for those not working.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Show This to AMTRAK or NJ Transit, or MTA

In Japan they take things seriously. As the Guardian notes:

t was an admission that would no doubt raise a sardonic smile among many commuters, and perhaps have them dreaming of relocating to Japan.The operator of a private railway firm that serves the Tokyo suburbs has issued an apology after one of its trains departed 20 seconds ahead of schedule. Passengers boarding Tuesday’s 9.44.40am Tsukuba Express from Minami Nagareyama station, just north of Tokyo, were unaware anything was amiss when the train, which had arrived on time, pulled away from the platform at 9.44.20am. The train’s operator, though, believed the foul-up was serious enough to warrant an apology. “We deeply apologise for the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers,” the Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company said in a statement.

Having gone through AMTRAK's closing of Penn Station, multiple failures of NJ Transit and the ever occurring delays and breakdowns of the MTA, this is amazing. One enters the NY City subways and it is like entering Hell. Filled with various characters, filth, decay, collapsing infrastructure, and union employees perpetually delaying things, or worse AMTRAK, who could not get a watch to be correct twice a day, or NJ Transit who has the habit of stopping trains randomly and shoving all the passengers off to find their way home from some drug infested parking lot.

The new Tax Bill does not address any of this. In fact it makes the cost of living in this Dante like level of the Inferno just a bit more costly.

Thanks folks.

Ginkgo; Good or Bad

I have a dozen or more Ginkgo trees, all from seed from the New York Botanical Garden trees, which were allegedly grown from seeds from the surviving Hiroshima ginkgo. The seed have just dropped and they do smell a bit rancid but after a month or two they disappear almost over night, the squirrels. Now allegedly the ginkgo increases brain capacity. So am I allowing for the evolution of brilliant squirrels?

In a recent paper by Oliveira et al they note:

Despite the ancient use in Chinese popular medicine and, more recently, in western modern medicine in many European countries, the biological effects of extracts of G. biloba (GBE) are still not clearly known. In modern medicine GBE has been used for tinnitus, to reverse memory loss, for dementia, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases in elderly people. Besides reports on improvement of blood circulation in the brain, there are a number of studies pointing to complex cellular effects, involving signal transduction pathways and epigenetic modifications. Evidence are presented from recent reports concerning genotoxic and antigenotoxic properties and the corresponding mechanisms underlying such activities, mostly regarding the prooxidant and antioxidant activities of the extract. However, several examples of direct interaction of the extract and its components with specific proteins are provided, especially for DNA damage repair, contributing for antigenotoxicity. Evidence of epigenetic effects of GBE are also presented from approaches involving transcriptomics, detection of activity of histone deacetylases, and screening of plant extracts with cell-based systems for detection of posttranslational modifications. The modulation of chromatin-remodeling enzymes by GBE and their interaction with proteins involved in DNA damage repair, apoptosis, and signal transduction are discussed in the context of neurodegeneration.

It is not clear what the implications are. But I have noticed my squirrels borrowing some books from my library. The works all related to editing human DNA. Should we be concerned?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sent to Congressman

The proposed taxing of Grad School tuition for Research Students would drive the 20% of American Grad students to 0% It is the "Make America Last" Act. We would be left with 100% Chinese, Iranian, Indian, Vietnamese etc students who will get all of our ideas paid by Government dollars and take it home to demolish our economy. Frankly this is one of the dumbest ideas I have ever seen. I managed to succeed due to Eisenhower and his innovations. Remember Admiral Yamamoto went to Harvard, he then bombed Pearl Harbor. We do not want to repeat that!