A Meta-Bug News Roundup
Screwworms in Florida
The New World screwworm, Cochliomyia homnivorax, isn’t probably something you think about. Fortunately, you don’t have to. The screwworm, a larval form of a fly, has been eradicated in the United States since 1982.
Unlike maggots, which eat only dead flesh, the screwworm eats live tissue. When I was in Haiti recently, I saw what they are capable of. Any wound, any abrasion, any cut is an invitation for the flies to show up. Then the larvae come out, and work their way not just into the necrotic parts, but the actual live tissue.
Screwworms obviously present a serious danger to livestock. I can even find you a gross story where they went into a woman’s ear. But since the ’50s, researchers began experimenting with the release of sterile male flies, first on the relatively controlled setting of an island, and then on the mainland. By 1982, there were no more screwworms in the US.
Naturally, flies don’t recognize international borders, so in partnership with Mexico and the nations of Central America, the screwworm has been restricted to south of the isthmus of Panama, a bottleneck that is relatively easy to defend. The breeding of sterile males is ongoing in Panama.
Recently, 40 endangered Key Deer had to be euthanized in Florida when it was discovered that they were infested with screwworms. Sterile males were introduced, the Florida Department of Agriculture set up inspection stations in Key Largo for animals leaving the keys, and the outbreak was contained.
Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, has died.
“When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.”
Things are getting worse.
Twittler has proposed huge tax cuts, and naturally they benefit him and those in high income brackets the most. They propose eliminating the inheritance tax, which is probably the best tax we have: WE’RE TAXING DEAD RICH PEOPLE! They’re decomposing, they can’t complain, and if their whiny little offspring think it’s just horrible that they have to be just a tiny bit like the rest of us (which they won’t, they’ll still be stinking rich), well, they can commiserate in their gated communities and in their country clubs, just like they always have. The Great Unwashed will be able to perhaps feed and educate their children a little better. It’s understandable how those at the top don’t really want a level playing field, but keeping the “Paris Hilton” tax–or maybe we should call it the Trump Kids Tax–is a good thing. Just ask Teddy Roosevelt. Whatever you name it, don’t let anyone get away with calling it a “death tax.” It’s not. It’s a tax on plutocracy and oligarchy.
I can’t write anymore today. A buffoon is fucking up or determined to fuck up so many things at once–relations with Canada and Mexico, military policy, health care, foreign trade– that it’s overwhelming. As I’ve written before, there’s a good chance that the American Experiment has failed, and the wise will at least be keeping an eye open on an exit strategy. While I’m here, I will work to make this a better and safer place, but I do not believe that this is the best place for my children to plan their future in.
Marched for science today. We all got together and spent over four hours outside on a ridiculously cold and drizzly late April day agreeing that we like science, that we are sorry that the current administration doesn’t, and that we wish that would change. The only hope that anyone saw was that Tangerine Jesus might get a chronic disease for which there is no cure, in which case he might fund research for it. It wouldn’t cover much, but it’s a start.
I was there with a street band, and I have to admit that if you’re gonna protest, it’s more fun playing music than it is listening to speeches. Google “march for science signs” if you’re in need of a laugh.
What a disgrace. Wrong call boys. O’Reilly is one of your best news outlet. You let two women’s that have no bussiness or experience to dictate you boys how to run your company. I hope O’Reilly, Greta and maybe Hannity create their own bussiness and pull your Network down. Shame on you boys. Your lost
I am not saying that he is or will be [The anti-Christ]….but you know we just came out of a dark place where Obammy was accused of being a Muslim, and no one had the balls to stand up to him because He WAS a Muslim. You got to admit someone who is Jewish having a 666 number for an office is kind of creepy….
No, I have to admit you’re a moron.
(Note: The quote refers to the fact that Jared Kushner’s office address was 666.)
Back to the workaday world.
Just a few links about our ever-crumbling separation of Church and State. And I do mean Church, because it ain’t gonna be synagogues, mosques, or temples.
This from the Washington Post on repealing of the ‘Johnson Amendment, ‘ which would allow tax-exempt houses of worship to become mouthpieces for politicians.
who travels the South performing abortions for women who need them, which he feels is a moral obligation.
That’s a prediction, but if I were a betting man, I’d definitely bet against.
Mexico’s not paying.
The residents near the border don’t support it.
The Pussy Grabber is losing popularity, therefore power and clout.
Caveat: If he builds a wall like the Stonehenge replica in Spinal Tap, it doesn’t count.
you do realize that without boots on the ground we are not going to save the innocents caught in the crossfire of warring bad guys? Is there a follow up to this? Do we even have a Syria policy?
Prediction: We will not have an informed and constructive debate about how we use our military. We don’t have informed and constructive debates about anything any more. Look at the morally challenged maroons who now control all branches of government, and the cause is obvious. Lasciate ogni speranza, boys, we’re headed on a bad trip.
Remember, it’s official Urinate on Mitch McConnell Day!
A Picture Worth Reprinting.
I hate wishing people dead or disabled (most of the time). However, I believe that Mitch McConnell is so bad for the future of the United States and its institutions, so toxic, so blatantly immoral, that unless he quits (unlikely) or quits being one of the biggest, greediest, hubristic, partisan, and hypocritical assholes to ever disgrace the Senate (even more unlikely), the rest of us are better off with him in a wheelchair, wanting to “spend more time with his family” (maaaaaaaaa, do we have to visit Grandpa again?), or being a treat for nematodes. Sad, but true.
Since we can’t dance on his grave yet, I’d like to propose the next best thing.
Copy out one of the following pictures onto a small but of easily degradable paper (we don’t want to gum up the works). Place it in a flush toilet, latrine, or a pile of composting manure. Take a photograph, if you care to. You can decorate the picture yourself, or leave it as a crafts project for whomever follows you. If you want, send the photo to email@example.com, and let me know if you want acknowledgement.
Yes, this is totally gratuitous.
We don’t care. Desperate times call for immature measures.
NB: These pictures were put here without the permission of the artist. If you are the artist and want them removed, I will cease and desist with the use of your picture immediately upon request.
Start drinking that coffee!