Ever feel like you work harder and harder, but you’re just not getting anywhere?

This might be why:

Mother Jones

The blue line represents the average overall wages of the bottom 99% — you, me, neighbors, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Tea Partiers, etc.

The green line represents how productive we are.  If we’re lucky enough to have a job, our work load has tremendously increased, as in we’re doing enough work for two or three employees AND we’re not being paid more for the privilege.  Wages have been flat for over thirty years, and that’s insane!

The red line represents the average income of the top 1% in this country.  You know, the “job creators.”  Except what they’re really good at is buying political representation, whining for tax cuts (so they can create those mythical jobs), dodging taxes, checking the bank balance for their latest dividend payment, and TURNING THE REST OF US AGAINST EACH OTHER.

Sure, we have our ideological differences: abortion, gay marriage, religion in schools, social programs, racial issues, etc., but the one thing all of us in the bottom 99% have in common is the fact that we are hanging on by our fingernails (to one degree or another), hoping that our jobs don’t disappear, hoping we don’t get sick, hoping the car doesn’t break down, and on and on…

Our problem today is not Republican vs Democrat vs Tea Party; our problem is that the top 1% is waging a class war against the bottom 99%, and since they’ve managed to get us at each other’s throats over ideological issues (aka shiny objects), they are fucking winning!

We’re either going to find a way to work together to get things back in balance, or we can continue to fight among ourselves for the amusement of the super rich, while they continue to suck this country dry.

Frankly, it’s difficult to be optimistic…

The Watering Hole: June 23 – Defense

From evolutionary forbears, the human organism has been protected by mechanisms that prevent invasion from the outside or inside from the immune system. The four most prominent blood borne defense mechanisms are the blood-placental barrier (BPB, the blood-brain barrier (BBB), the blood-testis barrier (BTB) and the blood-retinal barrier (BRB). Each of these mechanisms functions as a shield against a specific threat either from within or without the body. For example the sperm cells in the testis would be killed early in puberty if lymphocytes were allowed to enter the testis or the embryo’s immune system could conflict with that of the mother if the two systems were allowed to come within direct fusion. I intend to dwell on the BBB. The other systems are easily available from Wikipedia.

First let us define the term ‘blood-brain barrier‘:

Noun: blood-brain barrier – a mechanism that creates a barrier between brain tissues and circulating blood; serves to protect the central nervous system; “the brain was protected from the large molecules of the virus by the BBB – anything serving to maintain separation by obstructing vision or access.

All Vertebrates have the BBB in their physiology. Some invertebrates have one as well. The general dividing characteristic seems to rest with animals possessing an immune system for Invertebrates.

The BBB is a separation of circulating blood and the brain extracellular fluid (BECF) in the central nervous system (CNS). It occurs along all capillaries and consists of tight junctions around the capillaries that do not exist in normal circulation. Endothelial cells restrict the diffusion of microscopic objects (e.g. bacteria) and large or hydrophilic molecules into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), while allowing the diffusion of small hydrophobic molecules (O2, hormones, CO2). Cells of the BBB actively transport metabolic products such as glucose across the BBB with specific proteins. This barrier also includes a thick basement membrane and astrocytic endfeet.

The BBB can be broken down by:

Hypertension (high blood pressure): high blood pressure opens the BBB.
Development: the BBB is not fully formed at birth.
Hyperosmolitity: a high concentration of a substance in the blood can open the BBB.
Microwaves: exposure to microwaves can open the BBB.
Radiation: exposure to radiation can open the BBB.
Infection: exposure to infectious agents can open the BBB.
Trauma, Ischemia, Inflammation, Pressure: injury to the brain can open the BBB. Injuries to any extremities is not a problem because the only connection to the central nervous system is via synapses.

Diseases involving the BBB include Meningitis, Epilepsy, Multiple sclerosis (MS), Neuromyelitis optica, Sleeping sickness, Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), De Vivo disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Encephalitis{Including HIV and Rabies). Each of these diseases affects a weak spot in the BBB. Typical bacteria and lymphocytes can only cross the BBB only if a weakness develops. MS in particular is an attack on the spinal cord or central nervous system by an individual’s immune system.

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.