Sunday, October 31, 2010

Epigenetic Inheritance Changes in Sperm Gene Carried Generation to Generation

Tags: Do not marry fat, very aggressive, paranoid, overly religious men Epigenetic Genes Can Change Your Life

The science of epigenetics is quite new and has been accelerated by studies in Sweden published in 2006 where detailed Germanic style record keeping of generation after generation health statistics helped the Swedes suspect that activation or deactivation of our genes is strongly influenced by our environment.

I have been using Epigenetics to help explain why the Scots-Irish which make up a large part of the Republican Party behave as they do. I have read the terrific book by Scots-Irish Senator Jim Web of Virginia and a Democrat about the history of the Scots-Irish in Southwest Scotland and Northern Ireland. After reading his well written and thorough book, I finally started to understand why they behave as they do.

Because their immigration to America started fairly early as indentured servants or soldiers to help the British in the 18th century, they are spread all over the South, Midwest, and the Western States. They are also found in the South in Appalachia states such as Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and all the Southern States. Mormons are Scots-Irish too explaining why Utah has always been a very conservative Republican State. I attribute this epigenetic effect to the 1,000 years of wars in Southwest Scotland which led the pagan tribes to come together to fight the Romans, French, and British.

As we have seen even in a relatively short war, the soldiers who come back have been severely traumatized.

Since Nixon, the Republicans have always used race as a ploy to win elections. Southern Democrats moved to the Republican Party after the passage of the Civil Rights Act in the mid-Sixties. Now the Republicans are also using gender politics. After to woman stomping incident, the Republican Senatorial candidate surged ahead and will probably win. Most pundits attributed it to Buddha campaign by his opponent. Resentment by White males to both women and Asians even exists in the colleges where the best colleges have ratios of 60 girls to 40 boys.

Jim Kawakami, Oct 31, 2010,

How Your Experiences Change Your Sperm and Eggs:

Sins of the Grandfathers, Fathers, and Mothers

What happens in Vegas could affect your offspring. How early-life experiences could cause permanent changes in sperm and eggs.

Sharon Begley, Newsweek, Oct 30, 2010, Michael Skinner has just uttered an astounding sentence, but by now he is so used to slaying scientific dogma that his listener has to interrupt and ask if he realizes what he just said. Which was this: “We just published a paper last month confirming epigenetic changes in sperm which are carried forward transgenerationally. This confirms that these changes can become permanently programmed.”

OK, so it’s not bumper-sticker-ready. But if Skinner, a molecular biologist at Washington State University, were as proficient with soundbites as he is with mass spectrometry, he might have explained it this way: the life experiences of grandparents and even great-grandparents alter their eggs and sperm so indelibly that the change is passed on to their children, grandchildren, and beyond. It’s called transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: the phenomenon in which something in the environment alters the health not only of the individual exposed to it, but also of that individual’s descendants.

The Evolution of Birth Control

The astounding part of Skinner’s statement is that this altered inheritance does not occur the way generations of biologists have been taught. Instead of changing the DNA sequences that make up the genes that ancestors pass down to descendants—the A’s, T’s, C’s, and G’s that spell out the genetic code—something more subtle occurs in epigenetic inheritance. A life experience—in Skinner’s study, exposing rats to a fungicide called vinclozolin—alters the on-off switches that control DNA in sperm or eggs. Biologists have long known about the switches, which are clusters of atoms called methyl groups. The cluster can silence a gene it attaches to; when the cluster is removed, the gene is active again. (This silencing is why the DNA for, say, insulin is turned off in brain cells but active in pancreas cells.) But biologists believed that when sperm and eggs grew up, as it were, and created an embryo, the tags were reset, nature’s way of scrubbing the sins of the fathers and mothers before they could afflict the next generation.

Skinner’s discovery that not all those marks are erased, but are instead permanently modified (at least as far out as he bred his rats: four generations), has challenged a decades-old tenet of reproductive biology … which, when it’s brought to his attention, he acknowledges with an Oh, right: “The ‘permanently’ does astonish me,” he concedes. “I guess it’s why we got such pushback from the medical community.”

Skinner’s findings are far from anomalous. For one thing, they’re not confined to rats or to the fungicide he fed them. Other labs, too, are finding that experiences—everything from a lab animal being exposed to a toxic chemical to a person smoking, being malnourished in childhood, or overeating—leaves an imprint on eggs or sperm, an imprint so tenacious that it affects not only those individuals’ children but their grandchildren as well.

Skinner and his team have gone the furthest in showing how this works. By analyzing the on-off settings of switches on every bit of sperm DNA, they found that 16 had been altered, turned on when the normal position was off, or off when the normal position was on. Those alterations appeared in the sons of mothers exposed to the fungicide when they were pregnant, in the sons of the sons, and in the sons of the sons’ sons. The tags on the sperm DNA did not vanish, as textbooks say. As a result, because some genes that were supposed to be dormant were instead active, and some genes that were supposed to be active were squelched, the sons and grandsons developed abnormalities in their testes, prostates, and kidneys. The point is not that this fungicide causes these problems in people—humans are exposed to much lower doses—but a proof of principle: by altering sperm in an enduring way, an environmental exposure can leave its mark on at least four subsequent generations.

The environmental exposure doesn’t have to be as extreme as chowing down on a fungicide. Scientists at Australia’s University of New South Wales fed healthy, svelte, male rats a high-fat diet (43 percent of calories from fat—a typical American diet). Not surprisingly, the rats put on weight and fat, and developed insulin resistance and glucose intolerance—basically, type 2 diabetes, the scientists reported last month in Nature. None of that was surprising. What made the scientists take notice was the daughters these rats sired: although their mothers were of normal weight and ate a healthy diet while pregnant, daughters of the high-fat-diet dads developed insulin resistance and glucose resistance as adults—even though they never ate a high-fat diet themselves.

Mothers’ diet while pregnant affects their children’s health as adults because of how nutrients and toxic compounds pass through the placenta. But fathers have no contact with their daughters except through the sperm that created them. These rat fathers were not genetically diabetic. The conclusion is therefore inescapable: the fathers’ high-fat diet altered their sperm in a way that induced adult-onset disease in their daughters. (The next step is to see whether grandchildren develop it, too.) Emma Whitelaw of Queensland Institute of Medical Research, who has found similar transgenerational effects, has called it “a molecular memory of the parent’s experience—in this case, diet.” Reminiscent of Skinner’s finding that sons and grandsons of his fungicide-exposed rats had abnormal on-off switches in their sperm DNA, the Australian team found that 642 genes in the pancreas (which makes insulin) of the daughters of the high-fat-diet fathers had on-off switches in the wrong position. The result raises the intriguing possibility that the childhood-obesity epidemic is at least in part due to alterations in sperm caused by fathers-to-be eating a high-fat diet. After all, while it’s fine to blame kids’ couch-potato ways and fattening diets, that does not explain why obesity in babies has risen 73 percent since 1980.

Transgenerational effects do not have to be harmful. When 15-day-old female mice frolicked for two weeks in an enriched environment, one filled with exercise wheels, novel objects, and lots of other mice for social stimulation, it strengthened the brain mechanism that underlies memory. That much had been shown many times before: animals raised in an enriched environment remember mazes better. But last year, scientists led by Larry Feig of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago reported in The Journal of Neuroscience that the neuronal effect shows up in the mice’s offspring—even when those offspring never lived in an enriched environment, and even though those offspring were not so much as a gleam in their mothers’ eyes when they lived in the enriched environment. “The idea that qualities acquired from experience can be transmitted to future offspring has long been considered [heresy],” Feig’s team wrote. If something similar occurs in humans, how good your memory is during adolescence “can be influenced by environmental stimulation experienced by one’s mother during her youth.”

One reason that is not so farfetched: transgenerational effects are showing up not only in lab rats but also in people, as if the ghosts of our ancestors haunt our very genes. In 2006 scientists announced the findings of a study in a town in Sweden called Överkalix (chosen because it keeps excellent birth and death records). If a father began smoking before the age of 11, found Marcus Pembrey of the Institute of Child Health in London, his sons had a greater body-mass index, on average, than did sons of men who took up smoking as adults. In this same population, if a man suffered food shortages as an 8- to 12-year-old child, his sons’ sons were more likely to die young; if a woman suffered food shortages as a child, her son’s daughters were. Another study in Överkalix found that if a man overate in childhood, his sons’ children were four times more likely to develop diabetes and cardiovascular disease, found scientists at Sweden’s Umeå University.

Immigrating Can Be Bad for Your Health

For some immigrant populations, the United States is more than just “the Land of Opportunity.” Moving to America has presented a long history of health challenges for America’s immigrants.

At the time these studies were done, it cost about $10,000 per sample to scan DNA for changes in the on-off switches that show this sins-of-the-grandfathers effect. But the cost is dropping fast, says Skinner, making it feasible to see whether life experiences leave indelible marks on the sperm or eggs that give rise to children and grandchildren. Since the answer so far is yes, consider it a warning to hold off on your unhealthy behavior until after you have kids.

Financial News Bloomberg Business Week Nov 1-7 Bullish Loans Stocks Bonds Up

Tags: Economy Up or Down Depends on Who Wins the House Positive and Negative Facts

Projected 4th Quarter Growth GDP + 3.0%, GDP Earnings Growth +43%, S&P Growth since 1/2/2009 +27%.

Corporate performance fueled by increased productivity and exports bodes well for 2011.

Higher airline traffic, rail loadings, and cargo freight miles all positive helps CSX, Ford, GE.

Retail sales going up at 0.7% in August and 0.6% in September. Wal Mart expects a positive 4th quarter. UPS raised its annual profit estimates in October after posting an 80 percent gain last quarter on higher international shipments.

The bad news is that the Republicans, if they win the House, will counteract the stimulus bill which helped by cutting taxes for 95% of Americans by reducing monthly tax bills of up to $800 for families and $400 for singles. Our economy may slump in 2011.

Also bad news for Americans is that a Republican win will stop needed infrastructure spending to keep the economy from tanking and will causes misery and possible deaths from bridge collapsing, sewers breaking down, electrical grid failures, and weakens our ability to deal with disasters because a Republican House will control spending on these projects.

Corporations who are similar to psychopaths who lack human emotions so will do anything, even commit crimes, to increase their bottom line. Psychopaths as we have seen in the worst type of serial killers can behave normally until they go in for the kill.

In this month’s psychologists interviewed serial killers in prison and were shocked at how normal they seem! The CIA chooses spies who either don’t have emotions or can control them extremely well. So they can kill without any psychological problems in many ways similar to corporations.

Harvard University’s Kenneth Rogoff said that one of the consequences of uncontrolled globalization is that it has had a terrible consequence on American workers whose pay and salaries of professionals and blue collar workers alike has gone down taking into account inflation. It brought us the Financial Crisis and exacerbated income inequality. As Harvard’s economist during the 1980s said, Reagan is trying to cause a Great Depression with his policies favoring just the rich.

A large disparity in income incurred during the 1920s is considered the major factor causing the Great Depression if we forget Ideology in our analysis. If the bottom 80 percent has no money to spend and no longer cannot get easy credit unless they are willing to carry 29% interest on their credit card. The increasingly poorer Middleclass can no longer afford to do this and keep our economy going with 70 percent of our economy dependent on just this factor alone. What we need is another Mr. Ford who tripled the income of his workers so they could afford the model A and T freshly coming off the assembly line.

One of my favorite financial reporter, Steven Pearlstein at the Washington Post said in the Bloomberg article that:

“As more and more of the income gets concentrated in the top, people at the top might use some of that money to essentially buy the political process, to buy politicians, to buy lawyers, to frustrate regulatory efforts, and essentially turn government into an instrument in which they can get yet more. … The reason (in the Progressive Era) they wanted to bust up the (monopolistic) Trusts was because the trusts would use their money to essentially use government as a club against everyone else.”

According to Mike Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo, “We are likely to see bank lending increase, but at a very modest pace … The recovery will be very slow. We have a long road back.”

Finally my philosophy in investing:

Back in 2005, I was urging everyone who would listen to not buy a home but consider selling your home or condo. I did not like the heated market which I knew would collapse in several years or so. The Democrats tried to get the Republicans and Greenspan to pass a bill to control what is happening to the mortgage market but failed. I did not anticipate how bad it was going to get.

I would stay only in short term bonds, corporate dividend stocks, and be weary of investing a lot in Emerging markets which too many people are doing. If you want to stay in, be conservative. Popular trends may not stop quickly, but they will go down and more sharply if they keep going up. Lemmings follow the crowd over the cliff.

Obama early in 2007 as Senator tried to get the Republicans to act. They did not.

Bernanke tried to get the Bush administration to act early in 2008, but again they did not.

So why are the Democrats getting the blame? We have too many voters who call themselves Independents, but I would rather call them Dependents on political commercials to let them know who to vote for! Sharon Begley of Newsweek recently said that the lying Republican commercials may get the Independent voters to the polls because they feel they know something. I am hoping they will change their minds and vote for their own economic interests.

Jim Kawakami, Oct 31, 2010,

Genes Patents Challenged by ACLU Supported Justice Dept Breast Cancer Genes

Tags: Natural Genes Patents Breast Cancer Challenged by ACLU and Justice Dept District Court Says Gene Patents Invalid Corporate Supreme Court a Problem

With our corporate Supreme Court so-called conservative majority, the suit makes sense because patents on genes makes further competitive research difficult or impossible. We shall see where this goes.

Jim Kawakami, Oct 31, 2010,

Patenting Genes Challenged by ACLU with Justice Dept Support Andrew Pollack, NY Times, Oct 29, 2010,

Reversing a longstanding policy, the federal government said on Friday that human and other genes should not be eligible for patents because they are part of nature. The new position could have a huge impact on medicine and on the biotechnology industry.


  1. pastedGraphic.pdf Document: Friend-of-the-Court Brief (pdf)

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  1. Myriad Genetics Incorporated

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The new position was declared in a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Department of Justice late Friday in a case involving two human genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer.

“We acknowledge that this conclusion is contrary to the longstanding practice of the Patent and Trademark Office, as well as the practice of the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies that have in the past sought and obtained patents for isolated genomic DNA,” the brief said.

It is not clear if the position in the legal brief, which appears to have been the result of discussions among various government agencies, will be put into effect by the Patent Office.

If it were, it is likely to draw protests from some biotechnology companies that say such patents are vital to the development of diagnostic tests, drugs and the emerging field of personalized medicine, in which drugs are tailored for individual patients based on their genes.

“It’s major when the United States, in a filing, reverses decades of policies on an issue that everyone has been focused on for so long,” said Edward Reines, a patent attorney who represents biotechnology companies.

The issue of gene patents has long been a controversial and emotional one. Opponents say that genes are products of nature, not inventions, and should be the common heritage of mankind. They say that locking up basic genetic information in patents actually impedes medical progress. Proponents say genes isolated from the body are chemicals that are different from those found in the body and therefore are eligible for patents.

The Patent and Trademark Office has sided with the proponents and has issued thousands of patents on genes of various organisms, including on an estimated 20 percent of human genes.

But in its brief, the government said it now believed that the mere isolation of a gene, without further alteration or manipulation, does not change its nature.

“The chemical structure of native human genes is a product of nature, and it is no less a product of nature when that structure is ‘isolated’ from its natural environment than are cotton fibers that have been separated from cotton seeds or coal that has been extracted from the earth,” the brief said.

However, the government suggested such a change would have limited impact on the biotechnology industry because man-made manipulations of DNA, like methods to create genetically modified crops or gene therapies, could still be patented. Dr. James P. Evans, a professor of genetics and medicine at the University of North Carolina, who headed a government advisory task force on gene patents, called the government’s brief “a bit of a landmark, kind of a line in the sand.”

He said that although gene patents had been issued for decades, the patentability of genes had never been examined in court.

That changed when the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation organized various individuals, medical researchers and societies to file a lawsuit challenging patents held by Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation. The patents cover two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, and the over $3,000 analysis Myriad performs on the genes to see if women carry mutations that predispose them to breast and ovarian cancers.

In a surprise ruling in March, Judge Robert W. Sweet of the United States District Court in Manhattan ruled the patents invalid. He said that genes were important for the information they convey, and in that sense, an isolated gene was not really different from a gene in the body. The government said that that ruling prompted it to re-evaluate its policy.

Myriad and the University of Utah have appealed.

Saying that the questions in the case were “of great importance to the national economy, to medical science and to the public health,” the Justice Department filed an amicus brief that sided with neither party. While the government took the plaintiffs’ side on the issue of isolated DNA, it sided with Myriad on patentability of manipulated DNA.

Myriad and the plaintiffs did not comment on the government’s brief by deadline for this article.

Mr. Reines, the attorney, who is with the firm of Weil Gotshal & Manges and is not involved in the main part of the Myriad case, said he thought the Patent Office opposed the new position but was overruled by other agencies. A hint is that no lawyer from the Patent Office was listed on the brief.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Banks Put Economy Underwater Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism Mortgages Done with Purpose Not Accidentally

Tags: Banks Put Economy Underwater Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism Mortgages Done with Purpose Not Accidentally

The banks and Wall Street are not willing to fix what they did to the economy but are now going full speed foreclosing on mortgages before an investigation can find that they do not really legally own these mortgages due to deliberately faulty documentation.

Who do you think the Tea Party and Republicans are getting their election money from? The same people who caused the problems. One hedge fund billionaire is supporting one candidate for the House against the Democrat. Let's hope he does not succeed. He does not want to pay regular investing taxes for his profits.

Democrats may not be perfect, but the Republicans showed you how to destroy our country financially.

We run on loans to pay salaries, buy homes, buy cars, and need loans to make the economy grow again. The big banks and corporations refuse to use their billions of cash for helping our economy by providing liquidity. We will never recover until the banks are forced to pay a price for Americans bailing them out.

In the latest issued of has one article where we can easily equate Wall Street to Psychopaths who kill people without any emotional response, but they can still act or lie or steal without feeling guilty. They are the Psychopaths of Wall Street.

Jim Kawakami, October 31, 2010,

How the Banks Put the Economy Underwater Yves Smith October 31, 2010, Yves Smith is the author of “Naked Capitalism and Econned: How Unenlightened Self-Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism”

IN Congressional hearings last week, Obama administration officials acknowledged that uncertainty over foreclosures could delay the recovery of the housing market. The implications for the economy are serious. For instance, the International Monetary Fund found that the persistently high unemployment in the United States is largely the result of foreclosures and underwater mortgages, rather than widely cited causes like mismatches between job requirements and worker skills.

This chapter of the financial crisis is a self-inflicted wound. The major banks and their agents have for years taken shortcuts with their mortgage securitization documents — and not due to a momentary lack of attention, but as part of a systematic approach to save money and increase profits. The result can be seen in the stream of reports of colossal foreclosure mistakes: multiple banks foreclosing on the same borrower; banks trying to seize the homes of people who never had a mortgage or who had already entered into a refinancing program.

Banks are claiming that these are just accidents. But suppose that while absent-mindedly paying a bill, you wrote a check from a bank account that you had already closed. No one would have much sympathy with excuses that you were in a hurry and didn’t mean to do it, and it really was just a technicality.

The most visible symptoms of cutting corners have come up in the foreclosure process, but the roots lie much deeper. As has been widely documented in recent weeks, to speed up foreclosures, some banks hired low-level workers, including hair stylists and teenagers, to sign or simply stamp documents like affidavits — a job known as being a “robo-signer.”

Such documents were improper, since the person signing an affidavit is attesting that he has personal knowledge of the matters at issue, which was clearly impossible for people simply stamping hundreds of documents a day. As a result, several major financial firms froze foreclosures in many states, and attorneys general in all 50 states started an investigation.

However, the problems in the mortgage securitization market run much wider and deeper than robo-signing, and started much earlier than the foreclosure process.

When mortgage securitization took off in the 1980s, the contracts to govern these transactions were written carefully to satisfy not just well-settled, state-based real estate law, but other state and federal considerations. These included each state’s Uniform Commercial Code, which governed “secured” transactions that involve property with loans against them, and state trust law, since the packaged loans are put into a trust to protect investors. On the federal side, these deals needed to satisfy securities agencies and the Internal Revenue Service.

This process worked well enough until roughly 2004, when the volume of transactions exploded. Fee-hungry bankers broke the origination end of the machine. One problem is well known: many lenders ceased to be concerned about the quality of the loans they were creating, since if they turned bad, someone else (the investors in the securities) would suffer.

A second, potentially more significant, failure lay in how the rush to speed up the securitization process trampled traditional property rights protections for mortgages.

The procedures stipulated for these securitizations are labor-intensive. Each loan has to be signed over several times, first by the originator, then by typically at least two other parties, before it gets to the trust, “endorsed” the same way you might endorse a check to another party. In general, this process has to be completed within 90 days after a trust is closed.

Evidence is mounting that these requirements were widely ignored. Judges are noticing: more are finding that banks cannot prove that they have the standing to foreclose on the properties that were bundled into securities. If this were a mere procedural problem, the banks could foreclose once they marshaled their evidence. But banks who are challenged in many cases do not resume these foreclosures, indicating that their lapses go well beyond minor paperwork.

Increasingly, homeowners being foreclosed on are correctly demanding that servicers prove that the trust that is trying to foreclose actually has the right to do so. Problems with the mishandling of the loans have been compounded by the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, an electronic lien-registry service that was set up by the banks. While a standardized, centralized database was a good idea in theory, MERS has been widely accused of sloppy practices and is increasingly facing legal challenges.

As a result, investors are becoming concerned that the value of their securities will suffer if it becomes difficult and costly to foreclose; this uncertainty in turn puts a cloud over the value of mortgage-backed securities, which are the biggest asset class in the world.

Other serious abuses are coming to light. Consider a company called Lender Processing Services, which acts as a middleman for mortgage servicers and says it oversees more than half the foreclosures in the United States. To assist foreclosure law firms in its network, a subsidiary of the company offered a menu of services it provided for a fee.

The list showed prices for “creating” — that is, conjuring from thin air — various documents that the trust owning the loan should already have on hand. The firm even offered to create a “collateral file,” which contained all the documents needed to establish ownership of a particular real estate loan. Equipped with a collateral file, you could likely persuade a court that you were entitled to foreclose on a house even if you had never owned the loan.

That there was even a market for such fabricated documents among the law firms involved in foreclosures shows just how hard it is going to be to fix the problems caused by the lapses of the mortgage boom. No one would resort to such dubious behavior if there were an easier remedy.

The banks and other players in the securitization industry now seem to be looking to Congress to snap its fingers to make the whole problem go away, preferably with a law that relieves them of liability for their bad behavior. But any such legislative fiat would bulldoze regions of state laws on real estate and trusts, not to mention the Uniform Commercial Code. A challenge on constitutional grounds would be inevitable.

Asking for Congress’s help would also require the banks to tacitly admit that they routinely broke their own contracts and made misrepresentations to investors in their Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Would Congress dare shield them from well-deserved litigation when the banks themselves use every minor customer deviation from incomprehensible contracts as an excuse to charge a fee?

There are alternatives. One measure that both homeowners and investors in mortgage-backed securities would probably support is a process for major principal modifications for viable borrowers; that is, to forgive a portion of their debt and lower their monthly payments. This could come about through either coordinated state action or a state-federal effort.

The large banks, no doubt, would resist; they would be forced to write down the mortgage exposures they carry on their books, which some banking experts contend would force them back into the Troubled Asset Relief Program. However, allowing significant principal modifications would stem the flood of foreclosures and reduce uncertainty about the housing market and mortgage securities, giving the authorities time to devise approaches to the messy problems of clouded titles and faulty loan conveyance.

The people who so carefully designed the mortgage securitization process unwittingly devised a costly trap for people who ran roughshod over their handiwork. The trap has closed — and unless the mortgage finance industry agrees to a sensible way out of it, the entire economy will be the victim.

Mortgage Foreclosures Continue Even Though Deal Reached for Lower Payments

Tags: Mortgage Bank Foreclosures Deals Ploy for Bank to Take House Away by Trickery

Each day that passes indicates that the crooks have taken over both the elections and may have purposely instituted mortgage fraud to steal homes at a few cents per dollar value.

Americans who do not vote while registered are also committing a crime by allowing these bandits to take over our country.

Jim Kawakami, Oct 30,2010, 2010,

By Dina ElBoghdady

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, October 30, 2010; 12:53 AM

After Valarie Stovall fell behind on the mortgage on her home near Hagerstown, her lender agreed in April to slash her monthly payment by $300, and she immediately started paying the reduced amount.


  1. Amid mortgage mess, owners blindsided
  1. Thousands of foreclosures are put on hold
  2. Full coverage: Foreclosure system in chaos

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That's why, Stovall said, she thought nothing of the yellow flier she ripped off her screen door as she returned from the grocery store one afternoon last July.

"Then I read it and went 'Oh my God,'" she said. "It was a notice of eviction."

Across the country, struggling homeowners are increasingly tripped up by mortgage lenders that press ahead with foreclosures regardless of any effort they make to provide borrowers with relief on unaffordable mortgages.

Amid the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression, mortgage companies have established a dual-track approach toward troubled homeowners, negotiating with them over loan modifications while trying to seize their homes.

Top government officials have been urging lenders to redouble their efforts at modifying burdensome loans and have barred lenders from foreclosing on homeowners who are seeking to rework their mortgages under a federal program. Mortgage companies, however, have continued to pursue this two-track strategy, with a widening toll especially on those homeowners who have been trying to resolve their mortgage difficulties before they snowball, according to federal and state officials and consumer advocates.

During the last month, several major lenders have temporarily halted thousands of foreclosure cases amid reports that fraudulent court documents and improper procedures have been used to evict people from their homes. But disarray within the mortgage industry goes much further. And the foreclosure pause has done little to address the common industry practice of taking homes from people who'd been led to believe they could save them.

"It's still happening everywhere," said Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, who has tried to bar the dual-track process in his state, one of the hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. "It's one of the largest complaints I get. . . . The lenders need to make a choice. What do they want: a foreclosure or a loan modification?"

In Centreville, Woodrow Roberts III said he enrolled last October in a loan modification program with Bank of America. At the time, he was still current on his $3,000-a-month payments but wanted some relief until he could find a second job. The bank agreed to trim the monthly payment by $600 for a three-month trial period and consider Roberts for a permanent modification, he recalled.

After three months, he said, he heard nothing from the bank. "I called in every week to see the status of my loan," Roberts said. "After a year of phone calls and no real information, I received a letter in the mail." It said he had been rejected for a modification and that he owed more than $8,800 - the total he'd thought his payments had been reduced over the course of the year plus fees. If he didn't pay, the letter warned, his home would be sold at a foreclosure auction Nov. 12.

"If I knew this type of program could risk everything, I would have never entered into this program," Roberts said. He explained he can't afford to pay the sum demanded all at once and hasn't been allowed to spread it out over time.

In response to a reporter's question about the case, Bank of America spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens said Roberts was turned down for a permanent loan modification under the federal program because his income was too high to qualify. But she said the bank is now reviewing whether he is eligible for alternative relief. …

Friday, October 29, 2010

Vote or Go Back Repub Crooks Thieves: BP Oil Spill Contractor Fraud Ignored 9/11 Warnings

Tags: Vote or Go Back Repub Crooks Thieves: BP Oil Spill Contractor Fraud Ignored 9/11 Warnings by Clinton Many Warnings Summer of 2001 Passed Tax Cuts for the Rich Record Congressional and Corporate Crooks

Americans spend less time and effort to decide who to vote for than buying a new car. Less than half of Registered Voters vote in the Midterm elections. Republicans vote in mass because they include seniors, college educated, and right wing nuts.

Your future and the future of your children and grandchildren may be decided whether corporate and nutty Republicans rule or less corporate and more sympathetic to the plight of the Middle-Class and half of American families making less than $50,000 a year in income.

Politicians and all of us are not perfect, but if you don't vote, we will certainly go down the sewer. Stop being scared. Things are getting better because of Democratic Bills passed largely with almost complete Republican opposition to bills no matter how many actually supported most of them. This was not an accident. Most Americans don't pay attention to what is happening in politics and get all their information from lying ads, almost completely on the Republican side who lie to scare us. They want to keep the abortion and other issues on the table rather than making a serious attempt to stop them completely so they can win elections. How much longer are we going to be fooled.

In 2004 Bush put the marriage amendment by states to help get their voters out and won the election with the help of serious election fraud in Ohio where Republicans in charge hid their crimes. Some went to jail but most escaped prison cells.

Are we going to allow the criminals to take charge again?

Jim Kawakami, Oct 29, 2010,

Headline News of the Day from

Panel: BP, Halliburton Ignored Cement Flaws

The White House panel investigating the Gulf Coast oil spill says BP and one of its main contractors, Halliburton, ignored critical design flaws weeks before the explosion at the Macondo well. On Thursday, the National Oil Spill Commission said multiple tests showed the cement slurry used to seal the well was unstable and unlikely to hold. The companies still went ahead with their cementing work despite the findings. Halliburton has previously claimed the tests had proved the cement’s reliability.

US Intelligence Spending Tops $80.1B

The Obama administration has disclosed US intelligence agencies spent some $80.1 billion during the previous fiscal year. It’s the first time in over a decade the US government has disclosed its intelligence budget. In a statement, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, said intelligence spending has reached an "unacceptable level."

Audit: US Can’t Account for $17.7B in Afghan Spending

A new government audit shows the US can’t account for nearly $18 billion earmarked for the Afghan war. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says the government doesn’t know how some $17.7 billion obligated to over 7,000 contractors has been disbursed.

Inquiry: Pentagon Official Misled on Spy Program

A Pentagon inquiry has found a senior official deliberately misled top military officers when he established a spy program run by private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The official, Michael Furlong, established the off-the-books operation to help track and kill suspected militants. Furlong has claimed his superiors authorized the program.

... Mr. Furlong received a regular Army commission in May 1977 as a distinguished military graduate from Loyola University, serving for 25 years. During his military career, he held assignments with the Joint Staff, Army Staff, U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. European Command. Mr. Furlong was also a defense contractor for eight years. He was the project manager for the establishment of three U.S. government-funded independent television and radio networks on the ground in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq. He also served in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict and in the Secretary of the Air Force's Space Policy Office. As an on-site contractor for the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Mr. Furlong received the Secretary of Defense's Exceptional Public Service Award for his strategic influence work following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. ...

Report: Prison Industry Helped Draft Arizona Anti-Immigrant Law

A new investigation has found the private prison industry played a key role in the drafting and passage of Arizona’s notorious anti-immigrant law.

According to National Public Radio, the bill was formulated at a Washington, DC meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, last December. The group brings together state legislators and major corporations, including the nation’s largest private prison firm, the Correction Corporation of America, CCA. Attendees helped write the bill, gave it a name, and then voted to approve it.

The bill’s eventual sponsor, Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, then brought it back to his home state. The ensuing months saw a frenzy of lobbying to enact the bill. According to NPR, thirty of the measure’s thirty-six co-sponsors received campaign donations from lobbyists working for CCA and two other major private prison companies. In an internal document last year, the CCA predicted that contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement would bring in "a significant portion of our revenues."

Poll: Latinos See Widespread Discrimination

A new poll shows nearly two-thirds of Latinos in the United States think they experience discrimination fueled by anti-immigrant sentiment. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, the number jumps to 70 percent for Latinos born abroad. Half of respondents say the US has become less welcoming to immigrants in the last five years, and over half say they’re worried they or their family members could be deported.

US Life Expectancy Falls to 49th

A new study says life expectancy in the United States has plunged over the last decade. According to Health Affairs, the US now ranks forty-ninth in the world in life expectancy, down from twenty-fourth place in 1999. The study authors cited what they called the United States’ "uniquely inefficient" healthcare system as the primary cause.

Clinton Pressures Meek to Drop Senate Bid

And former President Bill Clinton has acknowledged he tried to convince Democratic Congress member Kendrick Meek to abandon his Senate bid. Polls show Meek is running a distant third behind Florida Governor Charlie Crist, an independent, and Republican front-runner Marco Rubio. A Clinton spokesperson said the former president told Meek to drop out of the race and endorse Crist. Meek has denied receiving any pressure from Clinton. He is trying to become the first-ever African American to win a statewide vote in Florida.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dementia Prevention Large Doses B-complex Vitamins Reduce Rate of Brain Loss

Tags: Dementia Prevention Brain Shrinkage Large Doses B-Complex Vitamins Explains Paranoid Repub Seniors

Pathological ideology among Americans is useful in forgetting facts that don't conform to our irrational fears about Democrats when Republicans caused the problems. We encounter cognitive dissonance when we encounter facts that counter our fear induced pre-conceived beliefs.

Perhaps vitamin B-complex will help them think more clearly or is it too late. Strongly religious individuals tend to be more susceptible to scare tactics based on my observations.

Jim Kawakami, Oct 28, 2010,

ScienceDaily (Oct. 28, 2010) — Large doses of B-complex vitamins could reduce the rate of brain shrinkage by half in elderly people with memory problems and slow the progression of dementia.

A two-year clinical trial in England has shown that B vitamins, including B-6, B-12 and folic acid, slow down mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition which is a major risk factor for Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia.

Dr. Gustavo C. Román, medical director of the Alzheimer & Dementia Center at the Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, said that patients who already exhibit signs of dementia and test positive for high levels of homocysteine are more likely to respond well to the large doses of B vitamins. Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood, and high blood levels are linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer disease.

Román has seen the impact of these B vitamins in his patients and found that injections of B-complex vitamins are more effective than oral supplements.

"I'm not saying that everyone who takes B vitamins will prevent dementia," Roman said. "But in the right dosage and for the appropriate patients, the vitamin B-12 treatment could be a step toward modifying disease progression."

Approximately 50 percent of people diagnosed with MCI go on to develop Alzheimer disease within five years. More than five million Americans are estimated to have Alzheimer disease, the most common form of dementia. Román said it is time to seek a medical professional if you notice the following signs that could be symptoms for Alzheimer's:

  • Forgetting recently learned information
  • Problems with planning and/or solving problems, as working with numbers becoming increasingly difficult
  • Great difficulty in completing daily tasks
  • Losing track of the time or day; confusion about being in a particular location, like not remembering how they got there
  • Difficulty reading and/or judging distances, depth perception, etc.
  • Language problems that arise when speaking or writing
  • Misplacing items and not being able to retrace steps to recover them
  • Loss of skills in judgment making
  • Social withdrawal
  • Noticeable changes in mood and personality, irritability, aggression

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Glucosamine Excess Causes Death of Pancreatic Cells Increase Diabetes Fructose

Tags: Glucosamine Death of Pancreatic Cells High Fructose Corn Sugar Overweight High BP Uric Acid

Seniors who use glucosamine for knee pain may need to consult your doctors showing this article to determine whether you should continue its use.

Americans tend to be in an overdose culture where if little is good for you, using much more means it is even better. For example using large amounts of calcium supplements without about half of it being magnesium will tend to diminish the amount of magnesium in our body.

Our optimum healthy body is a balance of many chemicals, hormones, vitamins, and other nutrients, especially water in abundance. Tea colored urine means you are not drinking enough water. Don’t forget that any sweetener activates our hunger pangs. For example eating your desert first may help you enjoy your meal better.

Sugar from corn tends to makes us eventually hungry all the time. Cane or Beet sugar does not do that. Don’t believe the so-called experts who say both sugars are the same metabolically because High Fructose Corn Syrup goes more directly to our liver which produces 30 percent deadly very low density lipoproteins cholesterol.

They are not. Going on a complete a fructose fast for two weeks to clear out the high concentration of fructose enzymes will stop you from craving this sugar. It makes you fat because you eat a lot more. Limit yourself to no more than one or two fruits a day and some vitamin C tablet, maybe 250-500 mg.

Uric acid raises your blood pressure by generating nitric acid and inflames your blood vessels. It results from the metabolism of fructose by the consumption of your energy source ATP in cells which produces purine which goes on to uric acid. It may also prevent White blood cells from entering your brain and possibly precursors to form the enzyme needed to get rid of excess proteins which I think causes dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease by blocking the synaptic connections in the brain.

High purine foods such as sardines or other dark meat fish and all shell fish have high amounts of purine and should be eaten only once a month. Tuna only once a week.

Levels below 5.5 mg/dl uric acid are recommended. Each increase of 1 mg/dl uric acid increases weight by 10 pounds, increases cholesterol by 46 mg/dl, and a 10 mm rise in blood pressure. With this low fructose diet, I am never hungry and I have easily lost ten pounds. I could lose more by not eating hard cheese, but I still do. Drinking milk seems to lower fructose in the blood. Not sure why. Read The Sugar Fix: The High-Fructose Fallout that is Making You Fat and Sick by Richard J. Johnson, MD with Timothy Gower. Easy to read and well organized.

Jim Kawakami, Oct 27, 2010,

Glucosamine Excess Causes Death of Pancreatic Cells Increase Diabetes

ScienceDaily (Oct. 27, 2010) — High doses or prolonged use of glucosamine causes the death of pancreatic cells and could increase the risk of developing diabetes, according to a team of researchers at Université Laval's Faculty of Pharmacy. Details of this discovery were recently published on the website of the Journal of Endocrinology.

In vitro tests conducted by Professor Frédéric Picard and his team revealed that glucosamine exposure causes a significant increase in mortality in insulin-producing pancreatic cells, a phenomenon tied to the development of diabetes. Cell death rate increases with glucosamine dose and exposure time. "In our experiments, we used doses five to ten times higher than that recommended by most manufacturers, or 1,500 mg/day," stressed Professor Picard. "Previous studies showed that a significant proportion of glucosamine users up the dose hoping to increase the effects," he explained.

Picard and his team have shown that glucosamine triggers a mechanism intended to lower very high blood sugar levels. However, this reaction negatively affects SIRT1, a protein critical to cell survival. A high concentration of glucosamine diminishes the level of SIRT1, leading to cell death in the tissues where this protein is abundant, such as the pancreas.

Individuals who use large amounts of glucosamine, those who consume it for long periods, and those with little SIRT1 in their cells are therefore believed to be at greater risk of developing diabetes. In a number of mammal species, SIRT1 level diminishes with age. This phenomenon has not been shown in humans but if it were the case, the elderly -- who constitute the target market for glucosamine -- would be even more vulnerable.

"The key point of our work is that glucosamine can have effects that are far from harmless and should be used with great caution," concluded Professor Picard.

The results obtained by Picard and his team coincide with recent studies that cast serious doubt on the effectiveness of glucosamine in treating joint problems.

This study was co-authored by Mathieu Lafontaine-Lacasse and Geneviève Doré.

Brain High Ability to Read Emotional States Predicts Strong Job Performance

Tags: Brain High Ability to Read Emotional States Predicts High Job Performance

I suspect it takes someone with a high level of emotional intelligence to succeed in studying this phenomena.

We can see that the strong deviation of BCS football of computer rankings of college football from people rating football teams. This probably relates to factors that our brains can process that computer programs neglect. Football rankings are too difficult for computers because of the range of factors and nuances not detectable by assumptions made in programing computers. How about using computers to go to war? The input of information by the Neo Cons in the Bush administration would have had us fighting just about everyone.

I always wonder why many people think computers have the possibility of eventually thinking better than us. Computer Chess depends strongly on people inputing information and it cannot play checkers too! It looks at all the moves that humans considered, but does that faster. Just one neuron in our brain is a sophisticated computer. We have billions of these! We also have a parallel processor much more efficient than computers from complex thinking and conclusions. Computers will never be another Einstein, Newton, or Darwin.

Jim Kawakami, Oct 27, 2010,

Brain High Ability Read Emotional States Predicts Strong Job Performance

ScienceDaily (Oct. 27, 2010) — Emotional intelligence is a strong predictor of job performance, according to a new study conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University that helps settle the ongoing debate in a much-disputed area of research.

"The Relation Between Emotional Intelligence and Job Performance: A Meta-Analysis," which has been published online by the Journal of Organizational Behavior and will appear in a future issue of the journal, builds upon years of existing studies in the area of emotional intelligence, which is a measure of someone's ability to understand the emotions of themselves and others. The resulting analysis indicates that high emotional intelligence does have a relationship to strong job performance -- in short, emotionally intelligent people make better workers.

The study was conducted at the VCU School of Business by Ernest H. O'Boyle Jr., who received his Ph.D. in management at VCU and is now an assistant professor of management at Longwood University; Ronald H. Humphrey, professor of management at VCU; Jeffrey M. Pollack, who received his Ph.D. in management at VCU and is now an assistant professor of management at the University of Richmond; Thomas H. Hawver, a Ph.D. candidate in management at VCU; and Paul A. Story, who received his Ph.D. in psychology at VCU and is now a visiting professor of psychology at the College of William & Mary.

Humphrey edited a 2008 book in the field, "Affect and Emotion: New Directions in Management Theory and Research," and is the author of "Modern Leadership: Traditional Theories and New Approaches," which is forthcoming in 2011 from SAGE Publishers.

Richard Boyatzis, a professor at Case Western Reserve University and co-author of the bestselling book "Primal Leadership," said the study represented an important step forward in understanding emotional intelligence and its role in the workplace and elsewhere.

"Emotional intelligence is a field of study characterized by contradicting claims, models and methods," said Boyatzis, who has been studying emotional intelligence (EI) since 1970. "But the meta-analysis by O'Boyle, Humphrey, Pollack, Hawver and Story lends light where there has been darkness. They took an impressively comprehensive view of EI and amassed a much larger collection of studies linking EI to intelligence, personality and job performance. This will be a source of inspiration to scholars and a guide for those lost in the confusing morass of claims, critiques and posturing."

The study's authors summarized all published research in the field of emotional intelligence and used the latest statistical analysis techniques to examine the accumulated data and to control for publication bias. The study explored the three prominent testing procedures of emotional intelligence and found that each reliably predicts job performance based on empirical data.

"Emotional intelligence has attracted considerable attention in business settings as well as in the community at large, but many academic scholars dispute the legitimacy of emotional intelligence, especially some of the more exaggerated claims made about it," said Neal Ashkanasy, professor of management at the University of Queensland and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Organizational Behavior.

"By analyzing the numerous studies of emotional intelligence that have been conducted over the last decade, the authors of this article provide an evidence-based account of emotional intelligence, where it works and where it doesn't. And, most importantly, which of the various versions of emotional intelligence work the best. This will prove to be a valuable tool for academic researchers, as well as business consultants and managers."