old trellis and vines wallpaper, conservative economic policy a form of collectivism, sea vents and life origins

wallpaper

old trellis and vines wallpaper

Some things are impossible. I’ll never see a ghost because they do not exist. On the other hand I’ll never hear an honest public debate about taxes. Not because its is not possible, but because taxes might as well be ghosts as public debates about them are more superstition then reality. We do have socialism or collectivism in the U.S. and have for years. We redistribute income. We just happen to redistribute it upwards. As one pundit wrote a  after the Bush tax cuts, we reward wealth and punish work.

But isn’t taxing the rich a form of socialism? Since 1980, if the average working family had received compensation based on its relative contribution to America’s prosperity, it would be making an average of $45,000 a year instead of $35,000. Through 30 years of deregulation and financial maneuvering, the richest 1% have taken $10,000 a year from every American family. That’s socialism in reverse.

[   ]…But that isn’t even the main point. More significantly, our economy allows a tiny percentage of us to take an inordinate amount of money from society, at an increasing rate. Some people may have dropped out of this elite group, but those who have moved in are making even more! The result is a system in which one man (hedge fund manager John Paulson in 2007) can make more money than the total of the salaries of every police officer, firefighter, and public school teacher in Chicago, while another man stands hungry in the cold. And any attempt to fix the system is called socialism.

Brookfield Zoo, WPA era poster

New Research Rejects 80-Year Theory of ‘Primordial Soup’ as the Origin of Life

The team focused on ideas pioneered by geochemist Michael J. Russell, on alkaline deep sea vents, which produce chemical gradients very similar to those used by almost all living organisms today — a gradient of protons over a membrane. Early organisms likely exploited these gradients through a process called chemiosmosis, in which the proton gradient is used to drive synthesis of the universal energy currency, ATP, or simpler equivalents. Later on cells evolved to generate their own proton gradient by way of electron transfer from a donor to an acceptor. The team argue that the first donor was hydrogen and the first acceptor was CO2.

Modern living cells have inherited the same size of proton gradient, and, crucially, the same orientation — positive outside and negative inside — as the inorganic vesicles from which they arose” said co-author John Allen, a biochemist at Queen Mary, University of London.

This is interesting, but the idea that J.B.S Haldane’s primordial soup was some kind of holy writ is misleading. In college level biology they teach it or they did teach it as a strong possibility. In several of the biology courses I took we also considered the virus origins hypothesis and mud as a template for the first complex carbon chains. What has not changed is the requirement for water.

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