The Neocon / Theocon Axis (Winning and Losing)

I. Introduction

We can lose the Global War on Terrorism. If we lose it will be because of lack of will. Osama bin Laden and Musab al-Zarqawi are enemies who can win. Likewise, Leftists perceive that they can lose the political battles in the United States and be politically destroyed. If they lose it will be because of a real correlation of forces arrayed against them. They correctly identify the correlated forces, but lack use extremist rhetoric that masks their meaning from nonbelievers. Ironically, poor choices by the American Left may make their defeat by the correlated forces a part of a larger national victory in the Global War on Terrorism,

II. The War That Can Be Lost

We can lose.

America is in an epic struggle against a bitter enemy. We have been here before. The First World War, the Second World War, and the Cold War saw titanic struggles against a hated foe. And in each case our cause was on a knife-edge. If Imperial Germany would have exploited its own doctrine of maneuver trench warfare, the Allied lines would have broken and the Empire would have marched on Paris. If Hitler would have listened to his own generals the War in Russia would have gone to Berlin and Europe would be a Nazi Empire. If the mob of fellow travelers, journalists, activists, and idiots in the 1970s had been marginally stronger the position of America would have been substantially weakened and a clean victory in the Cold War impossible.

An enemy worthy of great struggle is worthy of great victory. The Islamists like Osama bin Laden and Musab al-Zarqawi can fight us for decades. They can win.

Osama bin Laden, Enemy

The greatest danger we face is loss of political will. In his book Colossus, Niall Ferguson writes…

Those who wish to perpetuate American primacy by achieving and maintaining
full-spectrum dominance are, in short, facing the wrong way. For the threat to America’s empire does not
come from embryonic rival empires to the west or to the east. I regret to say that it may come from the vacuum of power—the absence of a will to power—within.

If we lose to our enemies it will be because we do not have the will to victory.

III. The American Left’s Paranoia Against Neocons and Theocons

But other people are concerned about a different way of losing, and different enemies

From the netroots:

I remember when the US had principled conservatives. They stood for what they believed in and argued forcefully for their position. Most were pragmatic, all were committed to their country.

Hah! That is like so totally Enlightenment.

Once the right decided to trash the word “liberalism” by piling up slander upon slander–“liberalism”, which in its small-L form sums up the philosophical basis for the western democracies–they willfully destroyed both principled conservatism and principled liberalism, in the pursuit of pure power.

The innovation of the Neocon/Theocon axis is that it manages to wrap a Nietzschean will to power and a Post-modernist’s radical moral relativism in the apparently all-too appealing cloak of “Christian” values. Pretty deadly combination–especially when backed by gobs and gobs of corporatist cash.


Boomers came of age in the late 60’s and indulged in the worst of the hippie movement, which shares much with the current corrupt theocon/neocon greed fest:

– Self centered, I can do whatever I want and damn the consequences:

Hippies: Freelove, recreational drug use, freeloading.

NeoCon/TheoCon: Tax cuts for you and your friends while leaving the fall out for Gen X and Y. Government corruption, cronyism. Wars of choice fought by Gen X and Y.

– Blinding following rigid idiology, despite available facts:

Hippies: Communes, drug culture, radical movements.

NeoCon/TheoCon: Supply side economics, middle east “liberation” policies, religious fundamentalism.

I believe it was easy for the hippies of the late 60’s to become the greedy, religious conservatives of today. They never were that far apart.


While some may have been non-evil in the past, they continue to ratify the evilness and cunning of the Rethugs, and they willingly take the Theocrat money for their election campaigns.

Thus, by association, all Republicans are evil.

For them to become non-evil again, they must leave the Republican Party and form an honestly conservative party on their own.

Otherwise, so long as they associate themselves with the evil that is the Neocon Theocon Rethug agenda, they will also be evil.

From a scholarly look at Neoconservatism and Theoconservatism:

Heilbrunn’s thesis is that the neoconservatives (the necons) are mostly New York-based Jewish intellectuals who broke with leftist politics in the 1970s. They remade conservatism by articulating serious intellectual critiques of liberalism and the welfare state. When the conservative revival began about 25 years ago, the concerns of cultural conservatives were not much represented among this group. Therefore, they were not much represented in government or the academy, despite the fact it was cultural conservatives, mostly evangelicals and ethnic Catholics, who provided the growing electoral muscle of the Republican Party. Latterly, however, the neocons have been joined by a new breed of conservative intellectual, for whom Heilbrunn has coined the nifty term “theocon.” The theocons, by his account, are predominantly Catholic, and unlike their Jewish colleagues have a tendency to frame political questions with a theological twist. The theocons, in fact, are seeking to restructure American society in accordance with Thomistic natural law. Their efforts are intellectually sophisticated, far more so than anything conservative populists from George Wallace to Pat Buchanan have been able to formulate. However, according to Heilbrunn, “Thomism is an ideology to which only the faithful can subscribe. It is not so much anti-American as un-American.”

From Professor Juan Cole:

AIPAC is not all that rich or powerful, but politics in the US is often evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. Because many races are very close, any little extra support can help change the outcome. AIPAC can provide that little bit. Moreover, most Americans couldn’t care less about the Middle East or its intractable problems, whereas the staffers at AIPAC are fanatics. If some congressman from southern Indiana knows he can pick up even a few thousand dollars and some good will from AIPAC, he may as well, since his constituents don’t care anyway. That there is no countervailing force to AIPAC allows it to be effective. (That is one reason that pro-Likud American activists often express concern about the rise of the Muslim-American community and the possibility that it may develop an effective lobby.) Moreover, AIPAC leverages its power by an alliance with the Christian Right, which has adopted a bizarre ideology of “Christian Zionism.” It holds that the sooner the Palestinians are ethnically cleansed, the sooner Christ will come back. Without millions of these Christian Zionist allies, AIPAC would be much less influential and effective.


Franklin is a reserve Air Force colonel and former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst. He was an attache at the US embassy in Tel Aviv at one point, which some might now see as suspicious. After the Cold War ended, Franklin became concerned with Iran as a threat to Israel and the US, and learned a little Persian (not very much–I met him once at a conference and he could only manage a few halting phrases of Persian). Franklin has a strong Brooklyn accent and says he is “from the projects.” I was told by someone at the Pentagon that he is not Jewish, despite his strong association with the predominantly Jewish neoconservatives. I know that he is very close to Paul Wolfowitz. He seems a canny man and a political operator, and if he gave documents to AIPAC it was not an act of simple stupidity, as some observers have suggested. It was part of some clever scheme that became too clever by half.

even (kind of) tdaxp guest blogger Aaron!

I can’t say that I think it’s natural. I know that in my eyes, Republicans are the enemy so their deviousness may be exaggerated, but it seems like I have seen time and again that the mainstream right is willing to use what resources are at its disposal

As I’ve told Dan many times, I’m quite concerned about the coming theocracy in America. My only hope is that Falwell and Robertson are indicted in some awful child pornography scandal before the next election so McCain can win the primaries.

William Kristol, Enemy?

A lot of talk about “Neocons” and “Theocons” — even an Axis! One mostly Jewish, one mostly Catholic, somehow involved in Middle Eastern Wars, doubtless frighteningly powerful.

Now, the question: Is Juan Cole, et al, stupid? Are they losers who have lost connection to reality.

IV. American Right Criticism of American Left Perception of American Right

An earlier conversation on tdaxp expresses conservative skepticism of the reality and strength of the so-called Neocon/Theocon Axis.

TM Lutas agrees there is an actual alliance between the two branches of conservatism, but argues it’s a weak alliance of necessity in our political system

There is nothing secret about the neocon alliance with the christian right. Both are part of the general center-right coalition that generally votes Republican in the US. The religious right is there pretty much by definition as long as the Republicans are the center-right party and the neocons have been in alliance since they realized that Ho Chi Minh wasn’t a lovable land reformer and were excommunicated by the left for their apostasy.

While Mark Safranski is agrees with Lutas’ “weak alliance” thesis

Third, I’m not sure it is an alliance so much as a set of congruent objectives held by two very dissimilar demographic groups. Outside of Ralph Reed, I can’t think of too many Religious Right leaders who are culturally comfortable schmoozing at a Bill Kristol cocktail party. They are simply two groups gifted with the same enemies.

… while he argues that Juan Cole is less-than-reliable

Second, I’ll start by saying that you should throw out everything that Juan Cole has ever said about neoconservatism – he’s just flat-out wrong in his analysis and views the movement only through a ME -Israel-Palestinian prism. Which is,frankly, ahistorical ( and I’ve told him so in online debates).

V. The Reality of the Correlation of Forces Against the American Left

So what is going on?

Over and over and over again, the American Leftist complains of “neocons” and “theocons” and how powerful they are. Over and over again he blames them for the wars in the Middle East and how we are “over there.” Over and over again he hopes they would go away.

The geostrategist Tom Barnett has said that the terrorists “do know better”

That is the lawyer with three kids who straps a belt on with dynamite in the West Bank because that looks like the best option for him after going to law school: that is the best future he can come up with. But if you can give him a job a law firm somewhere I guarantee you, he does not get on that bus. The terrorists are not the ones who are so poor they do not know better: it is the ones who do know better, that have an education they are never going to use, and dreams they are never going to fulfill. Nothing kills people more than the sense of a dead-end life.

To put it slightly differently, Your enemy is not stupid. He knows what he is doing. He sees the world he lives in. He feels where it is going. And he wants to make it go someplace else. A corollary: If your enemy is stupid, he wouldn’t be your enemy. He would be an irritation.

In the same way I believe the American left does know better. The “Neocon / Theocon Axis” is not just convenient for two factions. It is a powerful motivation axis with decades-long staying power.

The “Neocons” and “Theocons” have different histories, but share common beliefs: suspicion of government social activism and belief in horizontal controls. For different reasons neocons and theocons want to control individual behavior through cultural norms. They are a real Fourth Generation Political Movement that is ready to peaceful use PISRR and the three stages of insurgent struggle (Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3) to get what they want in a decades-long effort. Additionally, the Christian right have fused fourth generation struggle and family networks in an original and extremely powerful way.

Fighters struggle for a happy ending — a future worth creating. What does this future look like? Where is the revolution headed?

Concluding a historical anylsis of neocons and theocons, Reilly writes

The task of today’s conservatives is the relatively modest proposition of repairing the damage many of them did themselves 20 or 30 years ago. On the other side of the victory of today’s cultural conservatives, there is a world sort of like the Eisenhower Administration but without racial discrimination. Many people might not like this outcome, but it not hard to visualize and few people find it actually repulsive. Thus, we may be in for a larger than average historical irony. The very attitudes and rhetorical style that did so much to institutionalize the ‘60s in our law and popular culture may also be among the chief instruments by which that era is finally dismantled.

Intellectually, their future is a system of strong horizontal controls. But the movements do not abandon the non-ideological. They give them a clear picture of their objective. Every movie of visual representation of the 1950s — from the humorous past of Back to the Future, to the “rebels” in Greese, to Normal Rockwell paintings, show even the least educated exactly what they are fighting for.

A Past Worth Re-Creating?

Juvenile rhetoric (calling Republicans “rethugniks”), anti-Semitism, and a blind attempt to find historical analogies have prevented the American left from spreading knowledge of their enemy. But perhaps taht is a blessing. To repeat a portion of the Reilly excerpt, “few people find it actually repulsive.” Agitation-Propaganda against a racism-free 1950s would fall on deaf ears. Clearly explaining who they hate would isolate the American Left more, not less.

VI. The Utility of Political Ideology in Winning Wars

I sympathize with the Republican program, and I am a registered Republican, though I voted for a Democrat for governor and have never voted for Bush in any election. While on some issues I am “to the right of Attilla the Hun,” I do not find God in Church, I strongly agree with “liberals” like Barnett and Friedman on most issues, and I think Clinton was a pretty good President. I do not self-identify as either a neocon (I could not stand the Weekly Standard) or a theocon (in my view they are more useful than right). What I am about to say should be put in that context.

If we lose the Global War on Terrorism it will be through lack of political will. America needs a strong, rooted, outward-looking ideology to win. It must be a revolutionary ideology.

Revolutions naturally try to export themselves. Until they are subverted by conservative elements, revolutions try to disrupt the world and clone themselves in anyplace they can. Article XI of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union forsaw the Revolution coming to Canada, the French threw Europe into a nightmare of liberation, while Communist infiltrations are well known. While criticizing the Islamic government in Tehran, a dissident nails why revolution ideologies must be expansionist

In the above mentioned article, covering the Revolutionary Guard’s role in Lebanon as far back as 1982, Ayatullah Rafsanjani said “We have weapons and forces there (in Lebanon); initiative and decision making is ours alone; we shall act ourselves and we shall never agree to reconciliation and surrender”. The article also quotes RGC General Haj Ahmad Motavasselian (sometimes referred to as the innocent Iranian diplomat kidnapped by the Israelis in 1982; executed by the Lebanese Phalange militia) regarding IRI military involvement against Israel :“… we shall fight and we believe that we must export the Islamic Revolution to the world … we shall fight with our faith, the army of God fights with its belief (exporting the revolution is called ‘Defensive Strategy’! because any alternative ideology anywhere is considered to be ‘confronting’ Islam).

The neocon / theocon ideological network is a perfect motivating force for the United States in the Global War on Terrorism. It provides tremendous internal energy and is very outward looking — the religious right agitates for System Administration in Darfur, Sudan while secular right sees classic enemies in Syria and North Korea. Their enemy lists overlap almost perfectly.

This has not always been the case. The Kosovo War was much more popular among neocons than theocons. But as they say, “9/11 Changed Everything.” The neoconservatives turned the theoconservatives toward nation building, and that is why we are in Iraq.

America would not be the first country to harness internal ideology for external gain — Communist China has been doing it for years

Their military tactics such as raid, the ambush, and sabotage – are just a means to the end
of eroding the enemy’s will to continue the war

The lasting legacy of the military philosophies of Liu Chi and Mao Tse-tung is reflected in the fact that the People’s Republic of China, alone of the major powers, lists “political mobilization” as one of its principles of war

Stupidly, the American Left has unilaterally disarmed and cannot contribute such an ideology. The netroots — Daily Kos, MyDD, CCK, Atrios, &c, along with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, do not have plans for America. This is because there is no Democrat ideology — there is only opposition to Republicans. A short civil war within the Democrat Party, between reformers like Senator Joseph Lieberman and Representative Harry Ford and establishment forces like Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt, was won by the establishment. While Daschle and Gephardt are gone, the instutitionalism they fight for stays on.

Democrats chose not to have an ideology. They chose poorly.

The furthest left viable ideology I can think of for the GWOT is the 1990s Washington Consensus of low spending, low taxes, and few wars. That an agreement by Washington insiders with little popular support that calls for small government is the “Left” alternative is a gong for the death of non-Right choices for American ideology.

VII. Conclusion

There is a real Neoconservative / Theoconservative marriage that is very influential on American politics. It is the reason we are in Iraq, and it is the reason that we will continue to aggressively shrink the Gap. That is why the American Left opposes that axis. That is why we should support that union.

VIII. Works Cited

Neocons, Theocons and the Cycles of American History,” by John Reilly, Culture Wars, February 1997

Have a Clarke Bar,” by Pundit Pap Team, American Politics Journal, 22 March 2004, (from Smirking Chimp).

Introduction,” by Niall Ferguson, Colossus: The Rise and Fall of America’s Empire, 1 April 2004, pg 29,

I remember when the US had principled conservatives,” by Mondo Dentro, Political Animal, 10 June 2004,

Israeli Spy in Pentagon Linked to AIPAC,” by Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 28 August 2004,

Pentagon/Israel Spying Case Expands: Fomenting a War on Iran,” by Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 29 August 2004,

HTML Version of interview with Raeson,” by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 8 November 2004,

History of Non-Linear Warfare,” by Sean Edwards, Swarming and the Future of Warfare, 2005, pg 65, (from Global Guerrillas).

Boomers, Hippies and GOPers,” by adventuregeek, MyDD, 12 April 2005,

All Republicans are evil,” by Deleware Dem, Daily Kos, 31 May 2005,

Official Launching of New Suicide Terrorist Organization in Iran Promises “Holy Terror”,” Compiled by the Intelligence Council, Marze Por Gohar Party: Iranians for a Secular Republic, downloaded 9 June 2005,

There is nothing secret about the neocon alliance with the christian right,” by TM Lutas, tdaxp, 28 May 2005,

hey Dan,” by Mark Safranski, tdaxp, 1 June 2005,

I can’t say that I think it’s natural.,” by Aaron, tdaxp, 1 June 2005,

Tampered Voynich Manuscript and Other Strange Scripts

Evidence of text retouching on f1r,” by Jorge Stolfi, stolfi, last updated 22 July 2004,

Was the Voynich Manuscript been tampered with centuries ago? Dr. Stolfi thinks so

It has long ben suspected that the Voynich Manuscript was modified in some way after it was first written.

That conjecture was often made about accessory items: the colored paints that were applied to the drawings, the page numbers, the bits of European script (such as the “michiton” text and the Zodiac section month names), and the various “key sequences”.

In the new high-resolution color scans made available by the Beinecke Library, one can now see clear evidence that the main text of the VMS was itself touched-up or corrected at a later time.

Evidence of Tampering

A page from the mysterious itself…


For those interested in unreadable works (besides tdaxp, heh 🙂 ), there’s also




And, of course, the one and only


tdaxp flickr tags: ,

Republicans Waterfall Judicial Subversion

Janice Rogers Brown Confirmation Vote (Live Blogging),” by Matt Margolis, Blogs for Bush, 8 June 2005,
By Matt Margolis at 04:56 PM

Janice Rogers Brown: CONFIRMED: 56 – 43

Now that the filibuster debate is shown to be a waste of time and the 4GP Republican attack on the courts steams ahead, what does this mean?

It is a waterfall attack.

A Mighty Waterfall

Imagine that the world is one long valley. You want to change that world, to dam up the river and flood the valley to make lakes. But the people in the valley will oppose you, because if you win and have lakes they lose and no longer have their land. So how can you build your lakes in the face of this opposition?

First, build one damn near the source of the river. The once that is built, open the floodgates. Wash away the nearest concentration of enemy forces — the closest settlement — and build your second dam there. The first damn is the hardest to build. But once one dam is built and one lake created, the next is easy. Just open the floodgates – start a waterfall attack – and gravity destroys your enemy for you. After that, repeat.

The Opened Floodgates

The same thing is happening with judges. Seizing and controlling the senate is a 4GPS3/Subvert-Reorient attack. Once that is done, the Senate itself launches a 4GPS3/Subvert-Reorient attack against the Courts. A waterfall attack at work. Classic PISRR-4th Generation Politics.

Pueraria Mirifica Efficacy and Safety

Dear Mr. Conant,” by Susan Walker, Food and Drug Administration, 2 March 2004,

7. Female-Specific Cancers,” Women’s Health and Asian Traditional Medicine, downloaded 9 June 2005,

Ever since writing about B2Up gum, made from pueraria mirifica / kwao kura, I have been getting a lot of “pueraria mirifica” comment spam. Then I found there are spam blogs and incomprehensible posts too. I decided to do some research. The upshot: The FDA does not know if Pueraria Mirifica is safe. But it may fight cancer. Maybe it fights you, too. Apparently, no government study shows that pueraria mirifica works for breast augmentation, To show this I am excerpting a report by WHAT Medicine and a letter from Susan J. Walker, a medical doctor working for the FDA. In both cases, hyperlinks and emphasis have been added by me where appropriate.

Does It Actually Work?

Dear Mr. Conant:

This is to inform you that the notification you submitted, dated December 18,2003, on behalf of your client, Smith Naturals Co., Ltd, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 350b(a)(2)(section 413(a)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act)) was filed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 19,2003. Subsequently, on January 14,2004, we received copies of the “PM Validation Package” section of your notification clarifying the numbering sequence. Your notification concerns the substance called Pueraria mirzjka extract that you describe as an extract of Pueraria candollei var. mirifica Airy Shaw & Suvatabandhu root powder that you intend to market as a new dietary ingredient.

According to the notification the suggested daily intake on the product label is 80 milligrams (mg) a day, in two servings of 40 mg. The serving size is one capsule or tablet containing 40 mg of Pueraria mirzjka extract. The suggested use is “Take one capsule/tablet two times a day with food.” You state that the product will be marketed to post-menopausal women as a dietary supplement for maintenance of normal body function.

Under 21 U.S.C. 350b(a), the manufacturer or distributor of a dietary supplement containing a new dietary ingredient that has not been present in the food supply as an article used for food in a form in which the food has not been chemically altered must submit to FDA, at least 75 days before the dietary ingredient is introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce, information that is the basis on which the manufacturer or distributor has concluded that a dietary supplement containing such new dietary ingredient will reasonably be expected to be safe. FDA reviews this information to determine whether it provides an adequate basis for such a conclusion. Under section 350b(a)(2), there must be a history of use or other evidence of safety establishing that the new dietary ingredient, when used under the conditions recommended or suggested in the labeling of the dietary supplement, will reasonably be expected to be safe. If this requirement is not met, the dietary supplement is considered to be adulterated under 2 1 U.S.C. 342(f)(l)(B) because there is inadequate information to provide reasonable assurance that the new dietary ingredient does not present a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury.

FDA has carefully considered the information in your submission, and the agency has concerns about the evidence on which you rely to support your conclusion that a dietary supplement containing Pueruria mirfica extract will reasonably be expected to be safe. It is unclear to us how the history of use information you submitted in your notification relates to the Pueraria mirifca extract that you intend to market as a new dietary ingredient. The history of use evidence primarily relates to traditional use of the roots of Pueraria mirzjica rather than an extract of Pueraria mirijka root powder. Further, it generally lacks details on the amount, frequency and duration of use and whether the plant part and preparation used are the same as what you intend to market as a dietary supplement. These details would have helped FDA to determine how this information relates to your product.

The relationship between the composition of the materials used in the various test reports and the composition of the substance you call Pueraria mirifica extract is unclear. For example, the information in an article provided in Section V, Tab 20 stated that the Smith Naturals Co., Ltd is the only company in Thailand “to achieve standardizing Pueraria mirzjka extract by controlling the quantity of miroestrol in both the powdered and liquid extracts.” The nature of this standardization is not stated. In addition, miroestrol is not quantified in the “Validation Package” included in Section V, Tab 22. However, miroestrol is clearly present as a major component inthe submitted chromatograms of your product, Pueraria mirzjka extract. A description and specifications of the method or process of obtaining your product, Pueraria mirzfka extract, may have helped FDA clarify the identity of your product.

The animal and clinical studies submitted were insufficient to support the safety of the daily consumption of your product Pueraria mirzjka extract. For example, in the clinical studies submitted, it is unclear if the test substances used were the same qualitatively or quantitatively as the substance that is the subject of the notification. The relationship between the dietary supplement containing Puerariu mirzjka extract and the materials tested in the studies mentioned in the notification is not clear. Although an unpublished clinical study was mentioned, there was insufficient information to evaluate safety.

For the reasons discussed above, the information in your submission does not provide an adequate basis to conclude that your product containing Pueraria mirifica extract, when used under the conditions recommended or suggested in the labeling of your product, will reasonably be expected to be safe. Therefore, your product may be adulterated under 21 U.S.C. 342(f)(l)(B) as a dietary supplement that contains a new dietary ingredient for which there is inadequate information to provide reasonable assurance that such ingredient does not present a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury. Introduction of such a product into interstate commerce is prohibited under 2,l U.S.C. 331(a) and (v).

Your notification will be kept confidential for 90 days after the filing date of December 19,2003. After the 90-,day date, the notification will be placed on public display at FDA’s Docket Management Branch in docket number 953-03 16. Prior to that date, you may wish to identify in writing specifically what information you believe is proprietary, trade secret or otherwise confidential for FDA’s consideration.

If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Victoria Lutwak at (301) 436-2375.

Sincerely yours,

Susan J. Walker, M.D.
Division of Dietary Supplement Programs
Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition


Antiproliferative activity of Chinese medicinal herbs on breast cancer cells in
Anticancer Res. 2002 Nov-Dec;22(6C):3843-52
Campbell MJ, Hamilton B, Shoemaker M, Tagliaferri M, Cohen I, Tripathy D.
Department of Surgery and Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California,
San Francisco, CA, USA.

Chinese medicinal herbs are traditionally used to prevent and treat a variety of diseases, including cancer. These herbal preparations are purported to have many biological effects including direct antiproliferative effects on cancer cells, antimutagenic activity, and stimulatory or suppressive effects on immune responses. The present study investigates the effects of aqueous extracts from seventy-one Chinese medicinal herbs on the growth of five breast cancer cell lines (SK-BR-3, MCF7, MDAMB- 231, BT-474 and MCNeuA). Twenty-one percent (15 out of 71) of the extracts demonstrated greater than 50% growth inhibition on at least 4 of the 5 cell lines. Dose-response curves were obtained for several of the most potent crude extracts and demonstrated IC50 values ranging from < 10 micrograms/ml to > 1 mg/ml. Six of seven herbs tested induced high molecular weight DNA fragmentation, an early marker of apoptosis, while one of these also induced low molecular weight DNA fragmentation. Flow cytometric analysis of breast cancer cells exposed to one of these herbs (Rheum palmatum) suggested that it arrests cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. These results indicate that many of the herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of cancer have significant growth inhibitory effects on breast cancer cells in vitro.

The differential anti-proliferation effect of white (Pueraria mirifica), red (Butea superba), and black (Mucuna collettii) Kwao Krua plants on the growth of MCF-7 cells.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Aug;93(2-3):255-60

Cherdshewasart W, Cheewasopit W, Picha P. Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Phyathai Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.

The differential anti-proliferation effect of white (Pueraria mirifica), red (Butea superba) and black (Mucuna collettii) Kwao Krua plant extracts on the growth of MCF-7 cells was evaluated after 4 days of incubation. The percent cell growth comparison was based on protein determination of the harvested cells in parallel with the control group and Pueraria lobata treatment group. Pueraria lobata led to no proliferation and a mild anti-proliferation effect on the growth of MCF-7 cells. Pueraria mirifica caused proliferation at 1 microg/mL and an anti-proliferative effect on the growth of MCF-7 cells at 100 and 1000 microg/mL with an ED50 value of 642.83 microg/mL. Butea superba led to no proliferation and an anti-proliferation effect on the growth of MCF-7 cells at 10, 100 and 1000 microg/mL with an ED50 value of 370.91 microg/mL. Mucuna collettii led to no proliferation and an antiproliferation effect on the growth of MCF-7 cells at 100 and 1000 microg/mL with an ED50 value of 85.36 microg/mL. The results demonstrated that only Pueraria mirifica showed an estrogenic effect on MCF-7 cell growth and a clear antagonistic effect with E2 at high concentration. Butea superba and Mucuna collettii exhibited only antiproliferation effects on the growth of MCF-7 cells in relation with a possible antiestrogen mechanism or a potent cytotoxic effect.

Note: There appears to be some variation in spelling of Mirifica. Apologies for the confusion.

Patent Reform Coming?

Patent Reform Bill Introduced in U.S. House,” by Zonk, Slashdot, 9 June 2005,

Is reform coming to America’s insane patent system? Let’s hope so.

kanad wrote to mention a ZDNet article covering the introduction of the Patent Reform Act of 2005 to the U.S. House of Representatives. From the article: “Probably the most sweeping change would be the creation of a process to challenge patents after they are granted by the Patent and Trademark Office. ‘Opposition requests’ can be filed up to nine months after a patent is awarded or six months after a legal notice alleging infringement is sent out. The bill is supported by the USPTO and Microsoft who have been recently asking for patent reforms .” More details of the bill are available at the Congressman’s website.”

I’ve supported patent reform before. The current system not only retards the software industry. It hurts America in the Global War on Terror.

Oops I Wrote That Book

Ah yes, the Jewish Holocaust book I forgot I wrote . . .,” by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 9 June 2005,

A humorous post from our favorite geostrategist:

1988 was such a weird year for me. I mean, have you ever had the feeling of waking up and realizing you co-wrote a book in your dreams . . . except it was true!

On Amazon that is…

Read it and weep here:

At first, I thought is was about . . . you know . . . burning Bush in effigy or something!

Somehow I think A Computer Model of National Behavior will end up like that…