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July 25th, 2014

What About What’s Going on in Iraq? – July 2005

from John

This piece was written in July 2005 out of frustration due to the invasion of Iraq and published by “Thought Mechanics” then a vigorous national blog. After 9 years, have any of the issues changed?

This is what White House press secretary Scott McClellan said very recently when asked about the results of a new poll taken by the Pew Research Center “I think the American people understand the importance of completing the mission”…”Success in Iraq will help transform a dangerous region.” No doubt McClellan is speaking for President Bush and his entire administration. The PEW poll found that 43% said that the US would “win the war” while 32% said the US “can’t win the war.” A more important question to address might be – “Is the region more dangerous today than before the war?” If the region is more dangerous today then one has to wonder what “win” means. The statements by the Bush administration and the opinions of the polled public do little to reveal the severity of the situation in Iraq. It really doesn’t matter anymore if Bush lied about reasons for going to war, or whether or not we should back our troops. The real issue surrounding our presence in Iraq can be stated quite simply – what can we do to prevent Iran from taking over Iraq or, at least, the Shi’ite dominated, oil-rich provinces south of Baghdad?

I am not an expert on the Middle East. Perhaps naively, at this juncture I see Iran’s dominance of Iraq as the only issue of importance from here on. It seems unimaginable that our pre-war intelligence and the White House would not have considered this outcome as a risk to going to war. Yet I have not heard any commentary about this scenario in talk shows or by politicians on either side of the issue of the invasion of Iraq. Could it be that we invaded Iraq because intelligence indicated Iran’s intent to take over Iraq? In deed, it is commonly known that the US supported Iraq in its 8-year war with Iran (1980-88) because it became wary of the Tehran regime after the Iranian revolution. Then Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the US intervention, and subsequent sanctions against Iraq leading up to the US war in Iraq all but destroyed Iraq’s role in preserving military balance in the Middle East.

Now we have a situation where if we leave Iraq militarily, we face the real possibility that Iran will take a weakened Iraq by subversive force and/or military force. It could be that this is the reason we did not invade Iraq in the first US gulf war – that is, to maintain Iraq as a balance for Iran. Critics have suggested that the decision NOT to “finish the job” in the first Iraq war was an historic failure of the first Bush administration. I am just guessing, but the decision NOT to ‘finish the job’ was possibly strategic out of concern about Iran. Now that we are trying to “finish the job” in Iraq at great expense to the American taxpayer, what monster will we create? Will it be a unified Muslim state of Iran-Iraq? It’s not difficult to envision the economic and military potential of a combined Iran-Iraq. Will this unified state of Iran-Iraq dominate the Middle East and absorb the rest of the surrounding Arabic countries? Will we then be forced to defend other Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and perhaps even Israel? Or go to war simply on the principle of our need for oil? The answers to these questions could be “YES”. This is why the Bush Administration’s policy in Iraq is a resounding failure. If our intelligence had discovered intent by Iran to take over Iraq before the war, I am sure that this would have been revealed by now. So our policy in Iraq has made no sense and we are faced with the possibility a remarkable turn of events in the Middle East combined with a significant weakening of US economic power, military strength, and worldwide respect.

John Leavitt

July 23rd, 2014

My Grandfather, Arthur H. Leavitt’s Travels Between 1909 and 1927

From John

Click map to see the legend on the right.

July 4th, 2014

The Corrupt Business of War

From Con

It’s so incredibly discouraging that the single most important and expensive issue surrounding the Gulf Wars is constantly and consistently ignored by everyone involved – the money mis-spent on or relating to The Military Industrial Complex.

The massive amount of fraud, waste, over-charging, ‘cost-plus’ charging, abuse, etc. involving Billions and Billions of tax dollars accounts for enough money to basically revive the American Economy to incredible strength and accounts for enormous damage to the Economy, the Working and Middle Classes on an ongoing basis.

It’s obvious that virtually all of Government and the Media across-the-board are benefitting directly from the corrupt status quo (which has existed for decades and decades) – this is obvious by the fact that no one speaks about it, reports on it (with a few exceptions, like a few ‘Nightline’ expose’ Programs and the like). No one talks about it and yet it accounts for the biggest waste, fraud, abuse, etc. in History, accounts for Billions and Billions of tax dollars year in and year out and is all in plain sight for all to see.

Talk about the negative effects of ‘Cronyism’ (probably exemplified best by Dick Cheney and Haliburton) – I don’t think it can be over-stated. There is a blatant relationship amounting to a revolving door by and between Congress, the White House, the Pentagon and the Military Industrial Complex itself in the form of huge financial benefits for everyone involved – jobs in the executive teams and seats on the Boards of these huge enterprises that profit from war and corruption.

Estimates portray an annual amount of tax money so enormous that it exceeds the actual budgets of the Welfare and Food Stamps programs (never mind the amount associated with fraud and abuse of such programs). It is part-and-parcel of the inequality discussed so much recently – the wealthiest Americans are finding it easy to reach out and take as much wealth and power as they can grab, as facilitated by a cooperating Congress and Executive branch. I cannot think of anything more important or more discouraging. I have tremendous faith in America – far more than so many conservatives are showing with their doom & gloom predictions – yet with regard to this issue, I have no faith or hope and no basis for any optimism.

June 28th, 2014

We Carved Up Europe So What’s Wrong with Carving Up Iraq?

From John

Current European Countries

After World War I (second map)

Before World War I (third map)

My paternal grandfather, Arthur H. Leavitt, was a commissioned officer in the US Army at the Paris Peace Conference where he interacted with T.E. Lawrence representing the Arabic interests. Apparently Laurence expressed his concern to Grampa that the break-up of the Ottoman Empire would lead to many years of bloodshed. He was right – it led to 100 years of bloodshed in the Balkans and Middle East (1920 to the present).

June 26th, 2014

I Don’t Think We Are Getting Sucked into Iraq Again

From John

The US has a highly fortified, self-sufficient ‘principality’ in Baghdad that until vacated needs to be protected. There was no one more repelled than me when Colin Powell went to the UN with his tale of Weapons of Mass Destruction to justify the war in Iraq on behalf of Bush and Cheney. Then hundreds of thousands of people were killed not to mention 5000+ American soldiers, and many soldiers were maimed and further abused by the VA hospital system which would be a very good medical system if it weren’t for the burden of the two wars of the past decade. The Iraq war was all about advancing the Military Industrial Complex, a pet project of VP Cheney.

I can’t image flying sorties with our Iranian and Syrian allies. I say let the Syrian and Iranian regimes fight it out with ISIS. From the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003 it was my foregone conclusion that Iran would take over what they wanted in Iraq after the dust settled and this is what we are seeing. This current situation is not the fault of the Obama administration, regardless of outspoken political hacks like McCain, Palin, Romney, and Cheney.

There has been one good development that has come out of this fiasco – that is the autonomous self-sufficient state of Kurdistan. This new country even has a modern American university led by a Darmouth faculty member Dr. Dawn Dekle who has been successful in other university start-ups. Hopefully, Kurdistan will be recognized by Turkey and Iran in the not too distant future.

American University in Kurdistan

June 23rd, 2014

Are We Really Going to Get Sucked Into Iraq Again?

From Diane

Is anyone else sick to death of the United States squandering trillions of dollars fighting wars overseas against combatants that were not at war with us before we attacked them? It’s not as if we can actually win these wars. After all, they ARE in foreign countries that are controlled by their own nationals. The best we can do is create a puppet regime, like the one currently falling apart in Iraq.

I’m no huge fan of welfare but I’d MUCH rather have seen a goodly chunk of that money spent on domestic safety nets for Walmart’s employees who aren’t being paid a living wage instead of Congress cutting the budget for food stamps. And another chunk on rebuilding our crumbling highway infrastructure. AND adding to the number of USDA inspectors in poultry processing plants instead of relaxing inspection standards while simultaneously reducing the number of inspectors. Those expenditures would have created large numbers of jobs here at home and benefited almost all of us. How come the Republicans want to reduce spending in Washington on THOSE programs but want to keep growing the Military Industrial Complex (MIC)? Could it have anything to do with the fact that Big Business, their lobbyists and our Congress can’t make money off these programs while they CAN make billions in the armaments industry? Could it have anything to do with greed run wild?

Upon leaving office, President Dwight David Eisenhower warned us in 1961 about the MIC:

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment… Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry… Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. [Emphasis mine.] We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

So just when we thought there was going to be an end to our Middle East involvement, ISIS, that American funded (via our support of Saudi Arabia) bunch of Islamic radicals conveniently starts to make trouble in Iraq. And what is Obama’s response? Why to send in 300 advisers. Can anyone spell Vietnam? And what is his authority? The same unconstitutional granting of war powers to President Bush after 9/11 that Obama once so heartily condemned. Obama doesn’t have to get Congress to declare war (like the Constitution demands). Hell no. He can just send in the troops and Congress (and the American people) be damned. Did Bush sneak back into the White House when we weren’t looking? No. It is just that Obama is as bought and paid for as his predecessor.

June 13th, 2014

Prion Disease – Mad Cow Disease in Texas

from John

Steaks were recalled in Connecticut and a few other states after the Mad Cow Disease popped up in Texas. Should we have that steak we bought for Saturday night? No problem. I bought it in Southbridge. :-)

I first became interested in Prions when I met Carlton Gajdusek at a Pauling Institute meeting held at the Stanford Court Hotel on Nob Hill in 1986. Gajdusek, a former student of Linus Pauling at CalTech, was the most unassuming Nobel Prize winner (1976) I ever met, perhaps a couple of notches below Linus Pauling who was there also. So was Becki. Gajdusek’s interest in scientific endeavors started with entomology much like Darwin. In 1957 he went to New Guinea to study child growth and development in primitive cultures. He came away with the discovery of kuru, a debilitating neurological disorder among the primitive tribal natives of New Guinea who ate the brains of their victims. Basically you become deranged as the disease progresses. Gadjusek could not identify the infectious agent, such as a virus or bacterium, that caused kuru. Two things that I can think of that came out of Gajdusek’s discovery were the eradication of kuru in New Guinea because of the ending of cannibalism and the ending of the practice of feeding animal tissues and bone meal to livestock. Stanley Prusiner coined the term “prion” in 1982 and received the Nobel Prize in 1997 for demonstrating that the prion was a protein that we all have (PrP) that becomes “infectious” when mutated or misfolded. This was a hard concept for the scientific community to embrace which makes this even more fascinating.

As an aside, Becki wow’d everyone at the party held the night before the symposium with her stunning blue dress. In the morning before the meeting she came down the stairs to the entrance to the meeting room announcing that she had gotten the pictures from the night before. She was immediately surrounded by about 20 meeting participants who wanted to see the pictures…of her. I stood about 20 feet away and watched with amusement as Linus’ son Crellin Pauling was at the front of the crowd starring down at Becki’s pictures. 

A compelling case was built for the infectious prion protein when a ‘new variant’ prion (nvCJD) was found in human victims of Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease during the outbreak in England in the mid 1990’s. This variant prion was found to be structurally related to the BSE prion that was linked to the mad cow disease outbreak in England almost a decade earlier. But nvCJD was distinguishable from the spontaneous prion that is linked to classical CJD because the nvCJD prion had a different abnormal fold than the classical prion. There are other epidemiological features of the nvCJD prion that suggest its transmission from the BSE cattle. First, the BSE outbreak in cattle was followed by a similar localized outbreak of nvCJD in humans a decade later. Also, the average age of these British victims was 36 years, much younger than the rare spontaneous CJD victims. The development of CJD in young people argued for an external infectious source of the disease rather than a protracted spontaneous development of the disease.

Cloning and sequencing of the gene for the normal endogenous PrP protein revealed the existence of two different polymorphic forms in humans. One of the two allelic (polymorphic) forms of PrP contains the amino acid, methionine (M), at position 129 in the amino acid chain of PrP instead of valine (V) at that position due to an inherited mutation of at least one of the two possible PrP alleles. All victims of the nvCJD outbreak were from only one of the three possible human populations, those who carried the MM genotype (a methionine encoded at position 129 in both of their inherited PrP alleles). No incidence of nvCJD has been found in people with the VV phenotype or the MV phenotype, indicating, as of yet, that they are not susceptible to the ingested BSE prion. However, it was possible at the time that incubation periods may just be much longer for people with the VV or MV phenotypes.

Different populations of people have been examined for frequencies of occurrence of the normal MM phenotype that is associated with the rapid and early on-set of CJD. These frequencies ranged from 43% of a Caucasian population in one study to 50% of the French and 57% of the Turkish population in two other studies. Thus, a significant portion of the human population appears to be resistant to the fast onset of CJD. While rigorous proof of the direct link of the prion protein to “prion disease” is missing, it’s hard to ignore the rest of the story in favor of the prion protein as the etiologic agent of these diseases.

June 12th, 2014

Bungay Fire Department Grows

From Rich Dempsey

Dateline West Woodstock CT: The Bungay Fire Brigade in West Woodstock has begun construction of two additional apparatus bays and an new expanded meeting room. The Brigade recently received a check from the estate of Faith Withey, a well known retired teacher in Woodstock. Due to her generosity, Bungay Fire will be able to make significant capital improvements to the station without using any town funds.

In addition to the generous donation from the Withey estate, additional property next to the current station was donated by abutting landowners Alex and Nick Walsh to allow for parking and access to the rear of the station.

Also, a local resident and member of the Coachmen band presented a donation from the results of two benefit reunion concerts. Bass player Jodi Heidelberger thanked the Brigade for our efforts during a major fire at his residence in the middle of a blizzard. Those funds will be used to update the communication room in the station.

The Bungay Fire Brigade station was originally built in 1975 by members using rubble stones for the foundation. Much of that original station remains. Later, two larger apparatus bays were added to the right of the station to house the larger apparatus used today. The new space is desperately needed.

Chief Roy Chandler stated that “We never expected that the results of our hard work would pay out as it has with these three donations. We continue to work very hard to protect the lives and property of the residents in our district and beyond. Hard work and a caring smile at the time of an emergency is what we do, we never expected that smile to be worth all that we have received.”

Construction is expected to begin in mid June and be completed by mid November.

For more information ,please call Chief Roy Chandler at 860-234-2123.

May 20th, 2014

Woodstock Budget PASSES and a Brief History of Referendums

from Becki

The budget passed at today’s referendum.

There were 1260 votes cast, 46 of those were absentees. There are roughly 5000 registered voters in Woodstock so this represents a 25% voter turnout.

The vote was 900 voting yes, 360 voting no.

This year the Democratic Town Committee played an important supportive role in getting out the vote for this budget referendum. This is in sharp contrast to the negative role that the DTC played in June 2009 and in June 2008 under a different leadership in trying to recall the School Board on June 9th 2009 when 31% registered voters turned out to support the school board under the leadership of Lindsay Paul along with other past budget voting turn-outs recorded by the Cafe. On June 3rd of 2008 29% of the registered voters turned out to block the budget and then on June 24th 27.6% of the registered voters turned out to pass the budget (the Cafe never forgets).

Budget supporters below are left to right: Megan Morse, Dawn Morin, school board member Cliff Davis, 35th district State Senate candidate Bill Loftus, and Woodstock citizen Steve Smock.

From John

May 2013: Woodstock budget referendum passed by a 3 to 1 vote. The 2013-14 budget is $21.2 million budget.

The combined town and school spending passed 279-93, with 7.4 percent of the town’s 5,006 registered voters coming out. The budget represents a 0.5 mill increase to the tax rate.

The following votes come from the Cafe archives (a historical record fro October 2005 to the present):

2012
Yes votes = 333
No votes = 155
approx. 9.8% voter turnout

2011
YES votes = 352
NO votes = 286
12.6% voter turnout

2010
As predicted in the article below “Those days are over in Woodstock…” meaning the tumultuous years before 2010.
YES = 342
NO = 152
9.8% voter turnout

2009 budget referendum
Naysayers gave up after the crushing defeat on June 9 :-)
YES – 675 (85%)
NO – 123 (15%)

June 9th 2009 referendum to repeal the Board of Education
1447 voted – approximately 31% of registered voters..
No Votes (to repeal BOE) = 848 plus 32 absentees = 880 (61%)
Yes Votes (to repeal Boe) = 554 plus 13 absentees = 567 (39%)

2008
Voting on June 24th, 2008: Budget passed
Ballots Cast Voting YES …680
Ballots Cast Voting NO …646
A 27.6% TURNOUT

Voting on June 3rd, 2008: Budget rejected
Ballots Cast Voting YES … 530
Ballots Cast Voting NO … 864
a 29% turnout

2007
YES … 693
Vulgarians … 560

2006
YES … 920
NO … 200

What was happening then:

“The Ahmadinejads of Woodstock” published June 21, 2009

From John

What Mr. Powers, Mr. Rosendahl, and Mr. Shultz lacked for the June 9th referendum (when the populous rose up and defeated their attempt to recall the Board of Education) was Ahmadinejad’s approach. Simply deny the ballots and declare victory by a 2/3rds margin. Those days are over in Woodstock just like they are in Iran. Never again will things be the same in Woodstock.

Why do I say this? The Democratic Town Committee played their hand and lost. I don’t mean the Woodstock Democrats lost (that includes me), it was the DTC that lost. DTC Chairman, James Kaeding, played his hand with a last minute Letter to the Editor in the Villager advocating repeal of the Board of Education while Mr. Powers, the instigator of the petition, and Ms. Wholean (DTC Secretary) soon to be DTC candidate for First Selectman signed the petition together, possibly while holding hands.
signatures.jpg

May 10th, 2014

The Rowland Indictment

from John

During my drive home from work during the years that John G. Rowland conducted his political talk show on WTIC between 3PM and 6PM (July 2010 to early April 2014), I would tune in to hear his biased rant against all things Malloy and Obama. I was often disgusted by his twisted point of view. So when President Obama won re-election in November 2012, I made a special point of tuning in to hear him whine. In his commentary about state Republican campaigns – who was good and who was not so good – Rowland never disclosed that he was a paid consultant for one of those campaigns. A second Republican candidate, MG, wisely brushed off his solicitations.

Brian Foley and Lisa Wilson Foley pled guilty in a plea deal which imposed one-year in jail for each and substantial fines. Their acceptance of these sentences speaks strongly to the guilt of John G. Rowland in his political fraud. His trial starts in September down in New Haven. As a two-time loser, he will get jail time for sure.

Election Law
The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 limited financial influence in the election of candidates for federal office, including the office of United States Representative. The Election Act is enforced by the Federal Election Commission and the United States Department of Justice. It provides for public disclosure of certain contributions to and expenditures by federal election campaigns:

The Election Act limits the amount and source of money that may be contributed to a federal candidate or the candidate’s campaign committee; and In 2011 and 2012, the Election Act limited convention, primary and general election campaign contributions to $2,500 each for a total of $7,500, from any individual to any one candidate.

The Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) is an agency and department of the United States with jurisdiction to enforce the limits and prohibitions of the Election Act, and to compile and publicly report accurate information about the source and amount of contributions to federal campaigns. Federal candidates were required to file periodic reports with the FEC detailing, among other things, contributions made to their campaigns and expenditures made on the campaign’s behalf. In these reports, the campaign committees are required to identify each person who, during the relevant reporting period, contributed more than $200 to the committee, together with the date and the amount of any such contribution. These reports are made available to the public.

The Campaign Committee is required to and did file these periodic reports with the FEC.

COUNT ONE (Falsification of Records in a Federal Investigation)
Beginning in approximately October 2009, ROWLAND devised a scheme to work for the Congressional campaign of MG (referred to as “Candidate 2” in the indictment; identified in many media releases), and to conceal from the FEC and the public the fact that he would be paid to perform that work. To conceal the payments to ROWLAND, which MG’s campaign would otherwise be required to report to the FEC, ROWLAND proposed to be paid through a separate corporate entity, that is, the Animal Center. Further, to make the illegal arrangement appear legitimate, ROWLAND drafted and proposed to enter into a sham consulting contract with MG, pursuant to which ROWLAND would purportedly perform work for the Animal Center. By proposing to run the campaign related payments to ROWLAND through the Animal Center, ROWLAND sought to prevent actual campaign contributions and expenditures from being reported to the FEC and the public.

MG “Candidate 2” was a candidate for election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District during the 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 election cycles, and competed in a primary campaign for the nomination of the Repubiican Party during each of those cycles. Candidate 2 was also the owner of an animal rescue and adoption center, located in Bloomfield, Corurecticut (the “Animal Center”).

On or about October 18, 2009, ROWLAND emailed an attomey: “attached is a contract that I have put together I hope you will be impressed, then I thought I better run it by you.” Attached to the email was a document titled, “MG contract.docx.” The attached document was a contract to be signed by ROWLAND and MG that outlined fictitious duties that ROWLAND would perform for the Animal Center.

On or around October 23, 2009, ROWLAND met with MG at the Animal Center. At the meeting, ROWLAND provided MG with the fictitious contract, purporting to establish a paid consulting relationship between ROWLAND and the Animal Center. In fact, ROWLAND was proposing to perform paid campaign work for MG’s Congressional campaign.

On or about October 23, 2009, ROWLAND emailed MG with the subject line “working together.” ROWLAND wrote: “Let me know if you want to put your own proposal together. Unfortunately, it was very diffrcult to get into a long discussion this week in Bloomfield. Your wife was very patient with us and I didn’t want to push it. Let me know. Have a great weekend. Love, the Gov.”

On or about November 2, 2009, in furtherance of his scheme. ROWLAND emailed MG: “Do you want to meet again?”

On or about November 3,2009, Greenberg responded via email: “I always enjoy your company.” ROWLAND replied: “I appreciate that you enjoy my company, but do you want to negotiate a contract? By the way, there will be another Republican candidate or two after today’s election. Let me know, thanks.”

On or about December 16,2009, ROWLAND emailed a political consultant: “I have talked with MG about helping him, his little non-political friends tell him I would hurt him [maybe in the htfd. courant readership] but I don’t think in the 5th (district), and actually no one knows MG. I told his people that most political types would be more curious that I was helping MG and would be a help to his fledging campaign …. if MG is willing to spend his own $$ and raise some he could win.”

On or about May 23, 2010, ROWLAND emailed MG : “I’m unpopular as your campaign manager would lead you to believe !! especiaily , [sic] in the 5th district. I can get you elected …. If you are interested.”

On or about June 1, 2010, ROWLAND wrote to GM that other political consultants “can not get [sic] you elected .. none of them will want me involved for obvious financial self interests [sic] . .. I give you the only chance of winning and that is still going to be hard. [by the way what you don't understand is .. if I go with you I am going against alot [sic] of friends from 25 yrs ,, [sic] not easy for me to do[.]] Sorry about today , [sic] I thought I was coming over , for you to give me a pitch , not that I was supposed to sell myself to you, I tried that already.”

In July 2010, Rowland started hosting his political talk show in the WTIC 3PM to 6PM time slot. WTIC is the major radio station in CT but the show quickly became strictly focused on promoting right-wing Republicanism and trashing everything Malloy and Obama to an extreme and often citing opinions of “Rush” (Limbaugh).

On or about October 18, 2009, in the District of Connecticut, ROWLAND, in relation to and in contemplation of a matter within the jurisdiction of the FEC and the United States Department of Justice, did knowingly falsify and make material false entries in a document with the intent to impede, obstruct, and influence the investigation and proper administration of that matter, that is, ROWLAND falsified and made material false entries in a
contract for services between ROWLAND and MG inorder to conceal from the FEC and the United States Department of Justice that payments made pursuant to the fictitious contract would, in fact, be in consideration for work performed by ROWLAND on behalf of MG’s campaign for election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1519.

COUNT TWO – (Conspiracy)
Brian Foley (“Foley”), a co-conspirator who has been charged and sentenced separately, is the owner of a Connecticut nursing home company (the “Nursing Home Company”). Foley also owns a number of other related companies, including a real estate company (the “Real Estate Company”). Foley is the husband of Lisa Wilson-Foley.

Lisa Wilson-Foley (“Wilson-Foley”), a co-conspirator who has been charged and sentenced separately, was a candidate for election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District in 2011 and 2012, and competed in a primary campaign for the nomination of the Republican Party.

Background of the Conspiracy
On or about September 5, 2011, ROWLAND (while hosting his 3-6PM political radio talk show) emailed (Brian) Foley and Wilson-Foley: “I have an idea to run by you, what days are good?”

On or about September 12, 2011, ROWLAND, Foley and Wilson-Foley met to discuss ROWLAND’s idea. At the meeting, ROWLAND recommended to Foley and Wilson-Foley that they hire him to work on Wilson-Foley’s campaign. ROWLAND suggested that he could replace Wilson-Foley’s campaign consultant, who was based in Washington, D.C., and perform a variety of services for the campaign.

On or about September 14, 2011, ROWLAND emailed Foley: “I had a brief chat with Lisa” I get it, Let’s you and I meet.”

On or about September 16, 2011, ROWLAND met with Foley. At the beginning of the meeting, ROWLAND falsely stated that MG (Candidate 2) had offered ROWLAND a position on his Congressional campaign, but that ROWLAND would prefer to work for Wilson-Foley. In fact, MG had made no such offer.

The Conspiracy
From on or about September 16, 2011 to in or about April 2012 – the exact dates being unknown to the Grand Jury, in the District of Connecticut and elsewhere – ROWLAND, together with Foley and Wilson-Foley, who have been charged separately, and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, did unlawfully, knowingly and intentionally conspire, combine, confederate and agree with each other to:

a. knowingly falsify and make false entries in a document in relation to and in contemplation of a matter within the jurisdiction of the FEC (Federal Election Commission) and the United States Department of Justice with the intent to impede, obstruct, and influence the investigation and proper administration of that matter, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1519;

b. falsify, conceal, and cover up by trick, scheme, and device a material fact in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the United States Govemment by, among other things, causing the campaign Committee to create and file false and misleading campaign finance reports with the FEC, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections I 001(aX1) and 2;

c. make contributions and cause contributions to be made by Foley through the Real Estate Company to the Campaign Committee, which aggregated $2,000 or more (but less than $25,000) during a calendar year, in excess of the limits of the Election Act, in violation of Title 2, United States Code, Sections a41a(a)(1)(A), 44ra(f) md 437g(dxlxA)(ii), and title 18, United States Code, Section 2;

d. defraud the united States by impairing, impeding, obstructing, and defeating, through deceitful and dishonest means, the lawful govemment functions of the FEC, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 37.

Purpose of the Conspiracy
The purpose of the conspiracy was to conceal from the FEC and the public that ROWLAND was paid money in exchange for services he provided to Wilson-Foley’s campaign for election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Manner and Means of the Conspiracy
The manner and means by which ROWLAND, Foley, Wilson-Foley and others, both known and unknown to the Grand Jury, sought to accomplish the objects of the conspiracy included the following:

a. It was part of the conspiracy that ROWLAND, Foley and others created and executed a fictitious contract outlining an agreement purportedly for
consulting services between ROWLAND at the law offces of Attomey 1. It was part of the conspiracy that Foley made payments to ROWLAND for
his work on behalf of Wilson-Foley’s campaign in excess of the legal contribution iimits, and routed those payments from the Real Estate Company through the law offices of Attomey 1 and on to ROWLAND.

b. It was part of the conspiracy that ROWLAND provided nominal services to the Nursing Home company in order to create a “cover” or pretext that
he was being paid for providing consulting services to the Nursing Home Company, when, in fact, he was being paid for his work on behalf of
Wilson-Foley’s campaign.

c. It was part of the conspiracy that Wilson-Foley, ROWLAND and others concealed from the FEC and the public Folev’s unlawfull contributions to the Campaign Committee and the payments to ROWLAND, by causing the Campaign Committee to file with the FEC false and misleading campaign finance reports that failed to disclose these illegal contributions.

Overt Acts
In furtherance of the conspiracy and to accomplish its purpose and objects, ROWLAND, Foley, Wilson-Foley and others, both known and unknown to the Grand Jury, committed and caused others to commit at least one of the following overt acts, among others, in the District of Connecticut and elsewhere:

On or about September 27, 2011, ROWLAND emailed Wilson-Foley: “Does [campaign staffer] know I am ‘helping’ … should I work with him on delegate ideas/strategyl”

In or about October 2011, ROWLAND began working regularly on Wilson-Foley’s campaign.

On or about October 11, 2011, Attorney 1 emailed Foley: “[Executive 1] asked me to construct a consulting agreement between [the Nursing Home
Companyl and John Rowland. I would recommend that due to me [sic] Rowland’s background and the compliance issue that creates and links to
Lisa’s campaign that the contract be between my Law office and Mr [sic] Rowland – that way there is no connections.”

On or about October 12, 2011, Attorney 1 emailed Foley and attached a document titled, “Rowlandconsult.doc.” The email stated, “Attached is a
draft agreement b/t Rowland and my law firm. I have discussed with [Executive I and Executive 2] – please let me know if you have any revisions.” The attached draft contract referred to ROWLAND as ..the consultant.” ln a section titled “Duties,” the draft contract stated, “The consultant shall provide the following services (‘services’): a) provide education, opinions and information on the State of Connecticut and federal government’s election process; b) Assistance with the campaign of any candidate that the Nursing Home Company or its member(s) become engaged with.” A section titled “Restricted Activities” provided that, “During the Term and for a period of one (1) year after termination of this Agreement, consultant will not directly or indirectly: (i) Assist, become employed, consult or contract with any other candidate for federal or State of Connecticut office in which the [Nursing Home company] or its Managing Member is not engaged in.”

In or about the week beginning October 9, 2011, Wilson-Foley advised Campaign Worker 1 that paying ROWLAND through Foley was
advantageous to Wilson-Foley’ s campaign.

On or about october 13, 2011, Attorney 1 emailed Foley: “I spoke with [Executive 1] on the Rowland [sic] and your VM (voicemail). I’ll make the
Changes.”

On or about October 17, 2011, Attorney 1 emailed a copy of a second draft of the contract to Executive I and Executive 2. In a section titled
“Duties,” the draft contract still stated, “The consultant shall provide the following services (‘services’): a) Provide education, opinions and
information on the State of Connecticut and federal govemment’s election process.” The second draft deleted the previous sub-paragraph b). The
second draft also proposed deleting a paragraph entitled “Restricted Activities.”

On or about October 19, 2011, ROWLAND emailed Foley: “I think this arrangement is going to work out better than either one of us had
anticipated. I wanted to follow up because I think we left ‘our agreement’ a little up in the air regarding ‘term’ [sic], want [sic] to talk today or
tomorrow by phone?”

On or about October 21, 2011, Foley emailed Attomey 1: “Make the agreement for 6 months and put in language that the agreement in [sic] not
for political purposes – Lisa’s campaign.”

On or about October 24, 2011, Attorney 1 emailed Foley a draft version of the contract.

On or about October 24, 2011, ROWLAND emailed Foley: “Looking at Wed late morning with [a potential lobbyist for the Nursing Home Company. Would like to do a meeting with you, [sic] Lisa and [Political Advisor 1] at your convenience as well.”

On or about October 25, 2011, ROWLAND emailed Foley: “Meet [lobbyist] 10:30ish at tour office * meet with Lisa [political Advisor 1) after.?" Foley forwarded the email to Wilson-Foley, Executive 1, Executive 2 and back to ROWLAND.

On or about October 25, 2011, Foley emailed himself, ROWLAND, Wilson-Foley, Executive 1 and Executive 2: "OK for 10:30 at the [nursing home office. Lisa and [Political Advisor 1] at about 12:00.”

On or about October 26, 2011, Foley emailed Attorney 1: “Where is the language on Non political [sic].” Attorney 1 responded: “I left it out because it (in my opinion) draws attention to it. AIso since the contract is with my firm, I am not concerned it will ever be discovered.”

On or about October 27, 2011, ROWLAND emailed Foley: “Don’t remember if I put JGR Associates , LLC as the Company on the draft contract but that will give us more cover as well vs. individual.”

On or about October 27, 2011, Foley emailed Attorney 1 a copy of ROWLAND’s handwritten changes to the contract.

On or about November 7, 2011, Foley and ROWLAND finalized the contract. They dated the contract to October 1,2011.

On or about November 7, 2011, ROWLAND sent an email to Attorney 1 attaching an invoice for $10,000. The Invoice was directed to “The Law
Offices of [Attorney 1].” It stated, “Services: Consulting fee per our agreement: For the month of Oct. and November, $5,000 per month.”

On or about November 11, 2011, Attorney 1 paid ROWLAND $10,000 in funds originating with Foley.

On or about November 16, 2011, Wilson-Foley sent an email to ROWLAND and Political Advisor 1, containing the storyboard of a commercial that the Nursing Home Company was going to air to promote Wilson-Foley’ s campaign.

On or about November 30, 2011, ROWLAND emailed Wilson-Foley, saying, “I mentioned this to Political Advisor 1 as well … I am just a volunteer helping you and ‘many other Repubiican candidates’ in case anyone asks. I want to stay under the radar as much as possible and get the job done.. after Clarke [sic] gets out of the race it can be different , want to avoid a bad articie, will try to make Sat nite.”

On or about December 2, 2011, ROWLAND sent an email to Attorney 1 attaching an invoice for $5,000. The Invoice was directed to “The Law
Offices of [Attomey 1].” It stated, “Services: Consulting fee per our agreement: For the month of Dec. $5,000 per month.”

On or about December 6, 2011, Attomey 1 paid ROWLAND $5,000 in funds originating with Foley.

On or about December 18, 2011, Political Advisor 1 emailed ROWLAND: “At a party last night, [a political associate] said there was talk about your
role in [Wilson-Foley's] campaign being subsidized by [Foley] and [Wilson-Foley] enterprises. I said it was news to me as well as your role.

Not sure [political associate] believed me, but I gave it a shot. I have not completely reviewed Lisa’s response if asked, but we should have Something.”

On or about December 18, 2011, ROWLAND responded to Political Advisor I via email: “interesting, where do you think he got info?”

On or about December 18,2011, Political Advisor 1 responded to ROWLAND via email: “I didn’t ask but my gut tells me it came from [Campaign Worker 1]. [The political associate] brought his name up later, so that made me think of it. I don’t think [Campaign Worker 2] is the leak and he doesn’t know [the political associate].”

On or about December 20,2011, Political Advisor 1 emailed Wilson-Foley about commercials that the Nursing Home Company was going to air featuring Wilson-Foley. Political Advisor 1 informed Wilson-Foley via email that he believed the commercials would cause an opponent to file a
complaint with the FEC: “So, now, instead of talking about what we want to talk about we are in a story that has words like ‘illegal’ ‘skirting’ ‘violation’ and ‘wealthy.’ … While some people will see the ad, notice you and make the connection, most people won’t.”

On or about December 21, 2011, ROWLAND emailed Executive 1, copying Political Advisor 1 and forwarding Political Advisor 1′s email to Wilson-Foley from the previous day. ROWLAND wrote, “[Political Advisor 1] and I have been talking about the forwarded email, we have some real concems this is a lose/lose problem. Putting Lisa in the ads gets us nothing, no name ID no credit politically, but will raise alot [sic] of ‘issues’ use of corporate $$ etc. think if Linda McMahon, started doing WWF ads the press and the Dems will cream her, plus I know Brian thinks it gets her name out but it really doesn’t it just begs the issue. No gain. I know it seemed harmless but the more we think about it, it will bring legitimate criticism with no upside.”

On or about January 2, 2012, ROWLAND sent an email to Attorney 1 attaching an invoice for $5,000. The Invoice was directed to “The Law
Offrces of [Attorney 1].” It stated, “Services: Consuiting fee per our agreement; For the month of Jan. $5,000 per month.”

On or about JanuayT 7, 2012, Attomey 1 paid ROWLAND $5,000 in funds originating with Foley.

On or about January 16, 2012, Attorney 1 emailed Foley, copying Executive 1 and Executive 2, and attached a document created by ROWLAND to support the pretext that he was being paid for services rendered to the Nursing Home Company. Attorney 1 wrote, “This is the
quarterly report from John Rowland per the agreement he has with me.”

The “Quarterly Report” consisted of one page of hand written notes and a number of attached pages.

On or about February 6, 2012, Attorney 1 emailed Foley, copying Executive 1 and Executive 2, and attached a document to the email. The attached document was created by ROWLAND to support the pretext that ROWLAND was being paid for services rendered to the Nursing Home Company.

On or about February 6, 2012, Attorney 1 paid ROWLAND $5,000 in funds originating with Foley.

On or about February 27, 2012, Political Advisor 1 emailed Wilson-Foley, copying ROWLAND and Campaign Worker 2. Political Advisor 1 advised that a reporter claimed to know that ROWLAND “is ‘working’ for us, which I said was incorrect. I said John was offering advise [sic] and was supportive (he had the fact that [ROWLAND] was calling delegates but doing it freely and on his own time. I said he was not being paid.”

On or about March 1, 2012, ROWLAND emailed Attomey 1 an invoice for $5,000. The Invoice was directed to “The Law Offices of [Attomey
1].” It stated, “services: Consulting fee per our agreement; For the month of March $5,000 per month.”

On or about March 3,2012, Attorney 1 and ROWLAND engaged in an email discussion about extending ROWLAND’s contract.

On or about March 6, 2072, Foley directed Attorney 1 to extend ROWLAND’s contract for six months.

On or about March 6, 20l2, Attomey I paid ROWLAND $5,000 in funds originating with Foley.

ln or about March 2012, ROWLAND had a conversation with Foley in which ROWLAND asked for a bonus if Wilson-Foley won the Republican
convention.

On or about April 1, 2012, ROWLAND emailed Attorney 1 an invoice for $5,000. The Invoice was directed to “The Law Offices of [Attorney 1].” It
stated, “Services: Consulting fee per our agreement; For the month of April $5,000 per month.”

On or about April 7, 2012, Attorney I paid ROWLAND $5,000 in funds originating with Foley.

On or about April 10, 2012, Attorney 1 advised ROWLAND via email that ROWLAND’s check for the seventh month of payment was “going out tomorrow.”

On or about April 21, 2012, Political Advisor 1 sent a text message to ROWLAND: “Gov – we have to disclose the legal relationship between you and [the Nursing Home Company] as a subcontractor. Brian, [Campaign Worker 2], [Wilson-Foley] and I have talked and we need to chat but call Brian ASAP.”

On or about April 21, 2012, Political Advisor 1 drafted talking points designed to mislead the public concerning the true purpose of the payments to ROWLAND, and circulated those talking points to ROWLAND, Foley, Wilson-Foley and Campaign Worker 2.

On or about Aprll 25, 2012, Executive 1 circulated to Attorney 1 a proposed press release regarding the payments to ROWLAND. The press release was designed to mislead the public concerning the true purpose of the payments to ROWLAND.

On or about April 25, 2012, Executive 1 circulated to Foley and Wilson-Foley the draft press release.

On or about April 26,2012, responding to allegations by MG (Candidate 2) that ROWLAND had approached MG during the 2009-2010 election
cycle and proposed a similar illegal arrangement, Political Advisor 1 wrote to ROWLAND: “if you have anything to refute MG, I need it to start to f_ck this smuck [sic].”

All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.

COUNT THREE (Falsification of Records in a Federai lnvestigation)
On or about November 7, 2011, in the District of Connecticut, ROWLAND, in relation to and in contemplation of a matter within the jurisdiction of the FEC and the United States Department of Justice, did knowingly falsiff and make material false entries in a document with the intent to impede, obstruct, and influence the investigation and proper administration of that matter, that is, ROWLAND falsified and made material false entries in a
contract for services between ROWLAND and the iaw offices of Attorney 1 in order to conceal from the FEC and the United States Department of Justice the fact that payments made pursuant to the fictitious contract would, in fact, be in consideration for work performed by ROWLAND on behalf of Wilson-Foley’s campaign for election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1519 and2.

COUNTS FOUR AND FIVE (Causing False Statements)
On or about the dates set forth below, in the District of Connecticut and elsewhere, in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, ROWLAND knowingly and willfully caused the submission of a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement and representation, that is, the submission by an authorized campaign committee of a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives to the FEC of a report that was materially false and misleading in reporting contributions made to the campaign.

All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1001(aX2) and 2.

COUNT SIX (Illegal Campaign Contributions)
During the calendar year 2llt, in the District of Connecticut and elsewhere, ROWLAND caused contributions, which aggregated $2,000 or more (but less than $25,000) during a calendar year, to be made by Foley through the Real Estate Company to the Campaign Committee in excess of the limits of the Election Act.

COUNT SEVEN (Illegal Campaign Contributions)
During the calendar year 2012, in the District of Connecticut and elsewhere, ROWLAND caused contributions, which aggregated $2,000 or more (but less than $25,000) during a calendar year, to be made by Foley through the Real Estate Company to the Campaign Committee in excess of the limits of the Election Act.

MICHAEL J. GUSTAFSON et al
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ATTORNEY FOR THE UNITED STATES,
UNDER AUTHORITY CONFERRED BY 28 U.S.C. tilda 51s

May 3rd, 2014

Some History of Our Memorial Cannons

From John

I drive by the lonely Union cannon about every week day. A few weeks ago I parked my car and read the inscription on a plaque on the Union cannon and learned that it was acquired about the same time as the Rowayton cannon in my home town at the opposite corner of CT, the not so quiet corner. The Union cannon, no doubt has a similar history to the Rowayton cannon with its origin in the Civil War navy. Here is a piece of trivia that few will be interested in.

This is an article published The SEXTANT by the United Church of Rowayton in September, 1959, which I transcribed for the Rowayton Historical Society.

“MEMORIAL GUN,

Reminding of the Heroic Deeds of our Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Rebellion for the Preservation of the Union.”

So reads the principal inscription on the stone base of the cannon occupying the small triangle of land at the junction of Wilson and Rowayton Avenues. On the western side of the baseis a bronze plate that quietly records the names of 51 young citizens who never returned from World War I. This much of the cannon’s historyis obvious to the interested passer-by. But did you ever wonder where it came from and how it got there? We did.One of the least known and most unappreciated local landmarks is the great iron cannon that commands the northerly approach to our village center.

Establishment of the memorial dates back to 1900, when a group of Rowayton Civil War veterans, members of the Douglas Fowler Post of the G.A.R. in South Norwalk, prevailed upon their parent organization in Washington to provide the gun. As recalled by those familiar with the event, obtaining it was no great problem. Finding a suitable location and mounting the five-ton weapon, however, took a bit of doing.

A Gun Committee, which had been formed to accept and maintain the field-piece, held many meetings to work out these problems. The more serious one, obtaining a site, was solved when Elias Pennoyer, owner of the house at 168 Rowayton Ave., agreed to give the community a portion of his front lawn. According to the minutes of the original Gun Commity, know in the hands of Capt. Frank Stevens, the little park was deeded, without cost, “for the sole and only purpose of erecting thereon a memorial dedicated to the deceased soldiers and sailors of Rowayton.”

The deed specifies that the property shall be held by nine trustees, to be selected as required by those remaining or surviving. In addition to Captain Stevens, a member of the original group, the other trustees currently are Edgar L. Raymond, Edgar D. Lynch, and I. H. Kiggins. (Thus it is fitting that grand-daughter Kathy Kiggins is shown in the second picture below at about the time this Sextant article was published. JL).

The gun itself appears to be a coast artillery piece developed around 1860-63 by Robert Parrott, on of the nations first and most illustrious ordnance experts. With a bore of 6 1/2 inches and a barrel about 12 feet long, it fired a 100-pound prjectile a maximum of 8400 yards at a 5 degree elevation. Although there have been other less charitable explanations, its size seems to explain adequately why the gun points North, as that axis is the only one which permits a symmetrical placement and an attractive approach to the memorial.

The gun was originally mounted on the U.S.S. Tallapoosa, one of aclass of fifteen “double-enders” of 1175 tons, completed in 1863, apparently to enforce the highly effective Union blockade of Confederate commerce. The Tallapoosa carried two such guns, in addition to other lighter armament.

Little is recorded of the Tallapoosa’s naval career except that she did not have a climatic ending like her sister ship, the Otrego (this name is smugged so unsure about the “r”), which was set afire by Conferate guns in the Roanoke River in 1864. Her chief claim to recognition lies rather in the factthat she outlived her sisters, which were all retired by 1870, remaining in service until 1892. This explains the success of the Committee in obtaining the Parrott gun thirty five years after the end of the Civil War. How many other such cannon may still be found across the land is an interesting question.

They were, in any event, noted for their wonderful durability during the Civil War and added luster to the name of their inventor. A New Hamshireman, born in 1804, Parrott was a graduate of West Point in 1824, saw service aganinst the Creek Indians, and subsequently taught mathematics and physics at the Military Academy. In 1836 he resigned from the service to become superintendent of the West Point Iron & Cannon Foundry at nearby Cold Spring, New York.

In addition to his fame as an inventor and manufacturer, Parrott was noted – fittingly, in view of the destiny of the gun – for a rare lack of greed and evident unwillingness to take personal advantage of the needs of the Army. He severed his connection with the foundry in 1867 and died on Christmas Eve a decade later.

For all its notable history, the 97-year old gun (now 142 years old in 2014) has suffered a number of monumental indignities during its residence in Rowayton. Most especially it has been the target of youthful fun-seekers. On one occasion the gun was turned into a king-size teeter-totter when too many youngsters crowded onto the muzzle end. Another favorite halloween prank revolved around one William Huyler, an earlier occupant pf the white house on Bee Hive Corner.

Huyler had served in Hawkins’ Zouaves, a colorful Civil War regiment, and was something of a martinet. Although small in stature, he is remembered for his peppery personality, parade-ground voice, and distinguished shock of iron-gray hair. A military dandy, with a highly developed patriotism, he was prone to call to account anyone he observed showing the slightest disrespect to the flag or otherwise behaving in a manner which he did not approve. Every Halloween for years, the youngsters of the village painted “General Bill Huyler” in bold letters on both sides of the barrel.

In earlier days, pyramids of cannon balls (which incidently did not fit the gun) once graced each corner of the stone mounting. Youngsters have rolled many of them into the Five Mile River, and during World War II a junk man was caught trying to make off with some of them. Only a solitary sphere remains in place.

Interest in the gun and affection for it have been reviving recently, however. Following a report at the Civic Association meeting this Spring that it was in need of maintenance, an energetic feminine trio of Anne Henry, Otis Griffiths, and Grace Lichtenstein gave it a new coat of black paint, the latter together with brushes, donated by Jack Harding.

The top picture of the cannon was provided by Jane Smith Graham. The lower picture was provided by Kathy Wilmot Pinto. Here is Kathy Kiggins in 1959, granddaughter of I. H. Kiggins who was on the original committee which acquired the cannon.

April 26th, 2014

Vitamin C in the 1980s at the Pauling Institute and Now

from John

During my daily work for pharmaceutical and biotech clients I am continuously learning about developments resulting from my research at the Pauling Institute in Palo Alto CA in the 1980s, and new medically related developments with vitamin C an interest of Linus Pauling in those years.

With regard to our research on human plastins, a gene family of proteins that we discovered, cloned, and characterized at the Pauling Institute, it has recently been reported that plastin is a marker of carcinoma cells circulating in the blood (for example Yokobori et al). Our hypothesis was that when this protein was inappropriately expressed in cells from solid tissues as it is in many tumor types (e.g. carcinomas, fibrosarcomas, etc) these potential tumor cells become more like blood cells in that they are able to live and replicate in an anchorage-independent state, an essential property of metastatic tumor cells. It’s metastasis that kills us when we get cancer. Thus plastins, discovered and characterized at the Pauling Institute may turn out to be the ‘holy grail’ of cancer research.

I often run across new information on the medical importance of vitamin C without looking for it. Back in the 1980s we would receive an annual shipment of loose vitamin C from Hoffmann-La Roche as a way of saying thank you to Dr. Pauling for his advocacy of the merits of vitamin C. We received no funding from Hoffmann-La Roche though. One year I recall that two dignitaries from the company visited us, and Dr. Pauling with me and several others walked them to lunch a few blocks down El Camino Real in Palo Alto to Becki’s and my favorite restaurant, the Captain’s Cabin. While walking back to the institute one of them asked Dr. Pauling if he thought the perceived benefits of vitamin C were due to the placebo effect. I was amused because I had said something ill-advised like that to Dr. Pauling in my first few months at the institute. I mentioned to him that I had a vitamin C-resistant cold to which he replied “You’re not taking enough!” and told me that he takes 18 grams a day. No doubt, he had calculated this number based on the amount of vitamin C animals make in a day. He would stir 18 grams into a large glass of water and imbibe the glass full of water with no great rush.

A few months ago I heard a physician state in the national media that taking supplemental vitamins is a waste of money. This bold assertion reminded me of the announcement of discovery of cold fusion and another premature announcement of the discovery of a cure for AIDS. The progress of science is slow but relentless like the new developments with plastins 15 years after I left the lab. 

On October 31, 2013, Kim et al at Seoul National University in South Korea published their finding in a new strain of experimental mice. They knocked out the mouse gene encoding the enzyme, L-gulono-?-lactone oxidase, known as gulo for short. This is the gene that is missing in humans so that we can’t synthesize vitamin C like other animals. The lack of vitamin C in our diet causes scurvy caused by aberrant expression of collagen in our connective tissues because of starvation of vitamin C in our diet. In these mice the lack of this gene caused “vitamin C insufficiency” in an animal model – a model that can now be used to learn more about the importance of vitamin C.

As these gulo- mice matured they expressed known blood markers of liver damage. This damage, called fibrosis is basically the scarring of the liver, sort of like the scarring of the skin that is caused by certain types of skin damage. Concomitantly as the mice aged reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxides increased in the liver along with elevation of activated hepatic stellate cells which deposited abnormal collagen fibriles on the basement membrane of functional liver cells. Elevated vitamin C in these tissues will quench ROS. There is a wealth of evidence that elevated ROS in the lungs, liver, and kidneys is associated with pulmonary, hepatic, and renal fibrosis.

Currently in the United States there are no drugs approved to treat any of these forms of fibrosis. Fortunately Intermune’s drug, pirfenidone, is close to approval for treatment of pulmonary fibrosis and has already been approved in Canada, Europe, and Japan. This drug reduces ROS and inhibits other key targets that are suspected of playing a role in development of fibrosis. So who is to say that supplementing your diet with vitamin C is of no consequence? It is certainly not toxic in any way. Oh, by the way, pulmonary fibrosis is worse than cancer – it kills you in three or four years once diagnosed. You basically die of asphyxiation. 

In the last week I stumbled upon another interesting paper on the effects of vitamin C on humans. A 2011 paper by Juraschek et al at Johns Hopkins University Medical School reported their findings in a significant meta-analysis (a systematic review of multiple clinical trials) of 13 randomized clinical trials involving 556 patients who took a median dose of 500 mg of vitamin C per day (I take a full gram). The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of vitamin C supplementation on uric acid levels in the blood. Elevated uric acid levels in the blood causes gout because saturation of blood with uric acid causes urate crystals to form in the synovial fluids of joints (e.g. crystal arthritis). Drugs that lower uric acid in the blood are used to treat gout because lowering uric acid causes the urate crystals to dissolve to ameliorate the arthritic pain. Admittedly gout is not as bad as cancer but another systematic clinical review of multiple trials on humans published in 2012 by Lottmann et al at the IGES Institut GmBH in Germany has shown clearly that having gout is associated with both all-cause mortality and in particular, cardiovascular mortality. So what could be worse than death by gout?

I think I will keep taking vitamin C. 

April 23rd, 2014

Ranking of CT High Schools by USNews.com

from John

The embolden number is percent preparedness for college. Woodstock Academy is not ranked and NFA, Putnam and Parish are ranked higher in preparedness for college. Go to www.USNews.com to see how this ranking was determined.

State Rank Connecticut School Students / Teachers College Readiness Math Reading
    (Avg. Proficiency) (Avg. Proficiency)
#1 Academy of Aerospace and Engineering 14:01 100 3.9 4.1
 15 VERNON ST    
 HARTFORD, CT 06106 Larger than CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Capitol Region Education Council 390 Students 100% Tested (AP®) 90% Proficient 95% Proficient
  #15 Nationally Ranked 27 Teachers 100% Passed (AP®) 10% Not Proficient 5% Not Proficient

#2 East Hartford School District 15:01 95.8 4.1 4
 857 FORBES ST    
 EAST HARTFORD, CT 06118 Larger than CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 East Hartford School District 188 Students 100% Tested (IB) 96% Proficient 98% Proficient
  #31 Nationally Ranked 12 Teachers 94% Passed (IB) 4% Not Proficient 2% Not Proficient

#3 Weston High School 13:01 65.1 4.3 4.3
 115 SCHOOL RD    
 WESTON, CT 06883 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Weston School District 755 Students 68% Tested (AP®) 97% Proficient 99% Proficient
  #182 Nationally Ranked 58 Teachers 64% Passed (AP®) 3% Not Proficient 1% Not Proficient

#4 Amistad Academy 11:01 60.3 3.7 3.5
 130 EDGEWOOD AVE    
 NEW HAVEN, CT 06511 Smaller than CT Avg Above CT Avg Near CT Avg Near CT Avg
 Amistad Academy District 857 Students 100% Tested (AP®) 96% Proficient 92% Proficient
  #245 Nationally Ranked 78 Teachers 47% Passed (AP®) 4% Not Proficient 8% Not Proficient

#5 Conard High School 13:01 59.7 3.6 3.9
 110 BEECHWOOD RD    
 WEST HARTFORD, CT 06107 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Near CT Avg Above CT Avg
 West Hartford School District 1,451 Students 74% Tested (AP®) 88% Proficient 92% Proficient
  #252 Nationally Ranked 108 Teachers 55% Passed (AP®) 12% Not Proficient 8% Not Proficient

#6 Wilton High School 14:01 57.8 4.3 4.2
 395 DANBURY RD    
 WILTON, CT 06897 Larger than CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Wilton School District 1,292 Students 61% Tested (AP®) 98% Proficient 97% Proficient
  #277 Nationally Ranked 92 Teachers 57% Passed (AP®) 2% Not Proficient 3% Not Proficient

#7 Farmington High School 13:01 57.3 4.2 4
 10 MONTEITH DR    
 FARMINGTON, CT 06032 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Farmington School District 1,293 Students 64% Tested (AP®) 95% Proficient 94% Proficient
  #284 Nationally Ranked 97 Teachers 55% Passed (AP®) 5% Not Proficient 6% Not Proficient

#8 Ridgefield High School 15:01 56.6 4.3 4.2
 700 NORTH SALEM RD    
 RIDGEFIELD, CT 06877 Larger than CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Ridgefield School District 1,772 Students 60% Tested (AP®) 98% Proficient 97% Proficient
  #302 Nationally Ranked 121 Teachers 55% Passed (AP®) 2% Not Proficient 3% Not Proficient

#9 Staples High School 12:01 56.4 4.3 4.4
 70 NORTH AVE    
 WESTPORT, CT 06880 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Westport School District 1,824 Students 62% Tested (AP®) 97% Proficient 98% Proficient
  #303 Nationally Ranked 146 Teachers 55% Passed (AP®) 3% Not Proficient 2% Not Proficient

#10 Canton High School 13:01 55.9 4.1 4.1
 76 SIMONDS AVE    
 CANTON, CT 06019 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Canton School District 522 Students 60% Tested (AP®) 96% Proficient 95% Proficient
  #314 Nationally Ranked 39 Teachers 55% Passed (AP®) 4% Not Proficient 5% Not Proficient

#11 William H. Hall High School 15:01 53.9 3.9 3.9
 975 NORTH MAIN ST    
 WEST HARTFORD, CT 06117 Larger than CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 West Hartford School District 1,531 Students 66% Tested (AP®) 93% Proficient 92% Proficient
  #352 Nationally Ranked 102 Teachers 50% Passed (AP®) 7% Not Proficient 8% Not Proficient

#12 Darien High School 11:01 53.1 4.2 4.1
 80 HIGH SCHOOL LN    
 DARIEN, CT 06820 Smaller than CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Darien School District 1,315 Students 57% Tested (AP®) 96% Proficient 97% Proficient
  #362 Nationally Ranked 117 Teachers 52% Passed (AP®) 4% Not Proficient 3% Not Proficient

#13 Joel Barlow High School 13:01 51.9 4.2 4.3
 100 BLACK ROCK TURNPIKE    
 REDDING, CT 06896 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Regional School District 09 1,007 Students 57% Tested (AP®) 98% Proficient 99% Proficient
  #384 Nationally Ranked 75 Teachers 50% Passed (AP®) 2% Not Proficient 1% Not Proficient

#14 Simsbury High School 14:01 51.9 4.2 4.2
 34 FARMS VILLAGE RD    
 SIMSBURY, CT 06070 Larger than CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Simsbury School District 1,618 Students 57% Tested (AP®) 96% Proficient 97% Proficient
  #391 Nationally Ranked 116 Teachers 50% Passed (AP®) 4% Not Proficient 3% Not Proficient

#15 Greenwich High School 12:01 50.6 4 4
 10 HILLSIDE RD    
 GREENWICH, CT 06830 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Greenwich School District 2,656 Students 57% Tested (AP®) 91% Proficient 94% Proficient
  #413 Nationally Ranked 213 Teachers 49% Passed (AP®) 9% Not Proficient 6% Not Proficient

#16 Newtown High School 14:01 48.9 4.1 4
 12 BERKSHIRE RD    
 SANDY HOOK, CT 06482 Larger than CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Newtown School District 1,740 Students 57% Tested (AP®) 95% Proficient 96% Proficient
  #446 Nationally Ranked 126 Teachers 46% Passed (AP®) 5% Not Proficient 4% Not Proficient

#17 New Canaan High School 13:01 47.7 4.3 4.4
 11 FARM RD    
 NEW CANAAN, CT 06840 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 New Canaan School District 1,310 Students 50% Tested (AP®) 98% Proficient 98% Proficient
  #480 Nationally Ranked 102 Teachers 47% Passed (AP®) 2% Not Proficient 2% Not Proficient

#18 Fairfield Ludlowe High School 13:01 46.4 4 4.1
 785 UNQUOWA RD    
 FAIRFIELD, CT 06824 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Fairfield School District 1,537 Students 50% Tested (AP®) 92% Proficient 95% Proficient
  #522 Nationally Ranked 119 Teachers 45% Passed (AP®) 8% Not Proficient 5% Not Proficient

#19 Avon High School 14:01 45.8 4.3 3.9
 510 WEST AVON RD    
 AVON, CT 06001 Larger than CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Avon School District 1,114 Students 49% Tested (AP®) 96% Proficient 96% Proficient
  #536 Nationally Ranked 78 Teachers 45% Passed (AP®) 4% Not Proficient 4% Not Proficient

#20 Old Lyme High School 10:01 45.8 4 4.2
 69 LYME ST    
 OLD LYME, CT 06371 Smaller than CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Regional School District 18 412 Students 52% Tested (AP®) 92% Proficient 98% Proficient
  #537 Nationally Ranked 41 Teachers 44% Passed (AP®) 8% Not Proficient 2% Not Pr

#21 Brookfield High School 14:01 44.3 4.1 4
 45 LONG MEADOW HILL RD    
 BROOKFIELD, CT 06804 Larger than CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Brookfield School District 966 Students 50% Tested (AP®) 96% Proficient 95% Proficient
  #595 Nationally Ranked 67 Teachers 42% Passed (AP®) 4% Not Proficient 5% Not Proficient

#22 Fairfield Warde High School 12:01 41.4 4 3.8
 755 MELVILLE AVE    
 FAIRFIELD, CT 06825 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Fairfield School District 1,353 Students 45% Tested (AP®) 94% Proficient 93% Proficient
  #702 Nationally Ranked 111 Teachers 40% Passed (AP®) 6% Not Proficient 7% Not Proficient

#23 Amity Regional High School 13:01 41.2 4.2 4.3
 25 NEWTON RD    
 WOODBRIDGE, CT 06525 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Regional School District 05 1,657 Students 43% Tested (AP®) 96% Proficient 98% Proficient
  #712 Nationally Ranked 126 Teachers 41% Passed (AP®) 4% Not Proficient 2% Not Proficient

#24 Guilford High School 14:01 41 4.2 4.2
 605 NEW ENGLAND RD    
 GUILFORD, CT 06437 Larger than CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Guilford School District 1,131 Students 51% Tested (AP®) 98% Proficient 96% Proficient
  #718 Nationally Ranked 83 Teachers 38% Passed (AP®) 2% Not Proficient 4% Not Proficient

#25 Glastonbury High School 15:01 40.4 4.2 3.8
 330 HUBBARD ST    
 GLASTONBURY, CT 06033 Larger than CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Glastonbury School District 2,204 Students 44% Tested (AP®) 95% Proficient 94% Proficient
  #755 Nationally Ranked 150 Teachers 39% Passed (AP®) 5% Not Proficient 6% Not Proficient

#26 Suffield High School 14:01 39.8 4 3.9
 1060 SHELDON ST    
 WEST SUFFIELD, CT 06093 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Suffield School District 868 Students 46% Tested (AP®) 90% Proficient 94% Proficient
  #776 Nationally Ranked 64 Teachers 38% Passed (AP®) 10% Not Proficient 6% Not Proficient

#27 Litchfield High School 11:01 38.3 4 4
 14 PLUMB HILL RD    
 LITCHFIELD, CT 06759 Smaller than CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Litchfield School District 543 Students 42% Tested (AP®) 98% Proficient 96% Proficient
  #835 Nationally Ranked 49 Teachers 37% Passed (AP®) 2% Not Proficient 4% Not Proficient

#28 Metropolitan Learning Center 13:01 37 3.7 3.7
 1551 BLUE HILLS AVE    
 BLOOMFIELD, CT 06002 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Near CT Avg Near CT Avg
 Capitol Region Education Council 719 Students 62% Tested (AP®) 90% Proficient 91% Proficient
  #896 Nationally Ranked 55 Teachers 29% Passed (AP®) 10% Not Proficient 9% Not Proficient

#29 Bolton High School 12:01 36 3.9 3.9
 72 BRANDY ST    
 BOLTON, CT 06043 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Bolton School District 343 Students 41% Tested (AP®) 91% Proficient 88% Proficient
  #945 Nationally Ranked 28 Teachers 34% Passed (AP®) 9% Not Proficient 12% Not Proficient

#30 Valley Regional High School 12:01 34.3 3.9 4
 256 KELSEY HILL RD    
 DEEP RIVER, CT 06417 Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Regional School District 04 619 Students 45% Tested (AP®) 93% Proficient 95% Proficient
  #1035 Nationally Ranked 51 Teachers 31% Passed (AP®) 7% Not Proficient 5% Not Proficient

#31 Bristol Central High School 16:01 33.1 3.6 3.4
 480 WOLCOTT ST    
 BRISTOL, CT 06010 Larger than CT Avg Near CT Avg Near CT Avg Near CT Avg
 Bristol School District 1,317 Students 41% Tested (AP®) 90% Proficient 83% Proficient
  #1095 Nationally Ranked 84 Teachers 30% Passed (AP®) 10% Not Proficient 17% Not Proficient

#32 South Windsor High School 13:01 29.4 3.9 4.1
 161 NEVERS RD    
 SOUTH WINDSOR, CT 06074 Near CT Avg Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 South Windsor School District 1,458 Students 36% Tested (AP®) 93% Proficient 96% Proficient
  #1281 Nationally Ranked 116 Teachers 27% Passed (AP®) 7% Not Proficient 4% Not Proficient

#33 Daniel Hand High School 13:01 29.1 4.2 4.3
 286 GREEN HILL RD    
 MADISON, CT 06443 Near CT Avg Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Madison School District 1,257 Students 36% Tested (AP®) 99% Proficient 100% Proficient
  #1299 Nationally Ranked 99 Teachers 27% Passed (AP®) 1% Not Proficient 0% Not Proficient

#34 Southington High School 12:01 28.2 4 3.9
 720 PLEASANT ST    
 SOUTHINGTON, CT 06489 Near CT Avg Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Southington School District 2,028 Students 33% Tested (AP®) 94% Proficient 95% Proficient
  #1349 Nationally Ranked 166 Teachers 27% Passed (AP®) 6% Not Proficient 5% Not Proficient

#35 Hill Regional Career High School 12:01 27 2.8 3.2
 140 LEGION AVE    
 NEW HAVEN, CT 06519 Near CT Avg Near CT Avg Below CT Avg Near CT Avg
 New Haven Public Schools 703 Students 49% Tested (AP®) 68% Proficient 81% Proficient
  #1433 Nationally Ranked 57 Teachers 20% Passed (AP®) 32% Not Proficient 19% Not Proficient

#36 Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School 12:01 25 2.7 3.2
 177 COLLEGE ST    
 NEW HAVEN, CT 06511 Near CT Avg Near CT Avg Below CT Avg Near CT Avg
 New Haven Public Schools 655 Students 47% Tested (AP®) 58% Proficient 77% Proficient
  #1555 Nationally Ranked 55 Teachers 18% Passed (AP®) 42% Not Proficient 23% Not Proficient

#37 Northwestern Regional High School 13:01 23.4 4 4.2
 100 BATTISTONI DR    
 WINSTED, CT 06098 Near CT Avg Near CT Avg Above CT Avg Above CT Avg
 Regional School District 07 715 Students 25% Tested (AP®) 95% Proficient 98% Proficient
  #1640 Nationally Ranked 53 Teachers 23% Passed (AP®) 5% Not Proficient 2% Not Proficient

not ranked, order of performance based on preparedness for college (the second number):

Norwich Free Academy 15:01 24.3 3.2 3.2
Putnam High School 10:01 24.1 2.7 2.8
Parish Hill High School 10:01 23.8 3.2 3.2
Woodstock Academy 14:01 20.9 3.8 3.5
Tolland High School 14:01 17.7 3.8 3.6
Killingly High School 12:01 14 2.9 3.1
Tourtellotte Memorial High School 12:01 13.7 3 3.3
E. O. Smith High School 11:01 11.7 3.7 3.5

April 15th, 2014

Back From Another World

From John

I spent the last week in the San Francisco Bay Area enjoying memories with Becki who will be there another week. While driving south on El Camino Real (equivalent to the Boston Post Road out there) she asked, if cost was not an issue, would I want to live in the Bay Area. Although I like the Quiet Corner I said that I am not tied to Woodstock. We have settled all of the reasons for moving here in the first place - mainly the preservation and liquidation of my parents estate and father’s corporation. The issue preventing a move back to where we came from is cost, of course. I could not have imagined that I would find a job here that would last for 18 years - a job that’s still works for me. We have also been sustained by UConn men’s and women’s basketball, something they don’t have at Stanford. I also am reminded of the blimp that would hover over Stanford football stadium at UCLA games with a big sign stating ‘Important in your own minds only’.

I moved to Palo Alto CA in December 1981 to take a job at the Pauling Institute down the street from Stanford University. Stanford has the most picturesque campus I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t long before I realized that I had moved to a very special place that became like heaven as time went by. I had only been back to the Bay Area once around Christmas in 2003 after leaving in late December 1995 but we found ourselves up in Napa for most of that week.

There are only three ways to sustain a life on the pennisula: (1) either be rich, (2) be grandfather’ed in by living in properties handed down in the family, or (3) join the faculty at Stanford which doesn’t last for ever. Some locals find a way to survive like two of Becki’s talented brothers who developed serious skill as mechanical ‘engineers’ self-taught without degrees. Jim maintains a fleet of planes and cars for one of the richest men in the world. Tom builds special cars for the wealthy while maintaining the machinery for a well-known major engineering firm. It’s impressive what they do. Both have lived in the family home in Burlingame for a significant time but Tom has since moved to Pacifica just south of SF over looking the Pacific. Becki’s sister, Barbara who held the high school discus record for three decades, and third brother, David, have done well also. David and Gloria’s daughter, Hannah, is an impressive gymnast with possibly of an Olympic future. Chris, their son, is no less impressive.

Becki and I got together in September 1986 and were living together in the yellow house below by January 1987. I had made a risky move from a secure position in government at the National Institutes of Health to a high-risk senior position at the Pauling Institute spun off from Stanford. Linus Pauling basically supported the Institute staff with his fame which led to large donations. I wasn’t going to rely on that and managed to get NIH grants to stabilize my own funding like professors at Stanford.

The yellow house was our home for five years and then we moved next door (to the left) for four years where there was a brown house which was basically a replica of the yellow house. Mariah was born when we lived in the yellow house. After we left the brown house to drive to Woodstock, the new owners knocked it down and built the mini-masion that is there now and then sold it for $1.2 million. Between the two houses we had a grapefruit tree, an apple tree, and a loquat tree each loaded with fruit, and also a giant palm and large eucalyptus trees which were knocked down when the mini-mansion was built. This environment has a wonderful aroma. During our first winter in the yellow house we hardly ever closed the back doors to the gardens. Becki’s family home in Burlingame has orange and lemon trees. In this part of the world spring comes in January with the yellow flowering of the Acacia trees where the yellow pwtals fall instead of snow. November and December look like fall in areas where residents have planted eastern trees. On rare winters you will see some snow caps on the hills to the west and east.

My commute was to walk or bike to the Pauling Institute. There was no reason to leave town for anything except to visit the family in Burlingame. Later when I took a position as Director of Research at Adeza Biomedical I would ocassionally bike the 11 miles down to Sunnyvale.


The special thing we do out there is walking the Golden Gate Bridge; and then there is seeing my Rowayton CT (home town) friend Diane who has posted here at the Cafe. Diane found her way to Mariposa CA, south west of Yosemite many years ago. She sustained a life in CA that I could not.

So here is Becki’s family grandfather’ed in and enjoying life to the hilt. They have no idea what it is like on the outside but I am envious.

April 15th, 2014

Mariah Asks For Help for a Submariner Down in Groton

The Brian Osborne Fund.

“Hey Daddy, can you share this on the Cafe? He is a sailor on Zane’s boat and a single father of a 12 year old girl and an 8 year old boy. Their house is directly behind ours (in Gales Ferry next to Groton). They lost EVERYTHING in a fire that just destroyed their house. Mariah”

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