Parasite Attack! Flesh-eating Worms in the United States!


 

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.

220px-Cochliomyia_hominivorax_(Coquerel,_1858)220px-Screwworm_larva

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.”

pirsig

Here’s a passage  from Zen  that I always found interesting.

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.

Shavuah Tov. Impeach Drumpf.


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.dog protester

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.

Stupid GropenFuehrer Supporter Quote of the Day


From Facebook:

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

Another Old News Clipping: How We Are Just Not Getting Afghanistan


While we hate to serve as mere aggregators, one of our editors came across this article from 2012, courtesy of The Daily Beast.

I Reenlisted to Return to Afghanistan, Only to Find Myself in Kuwait.

I wanted to do the right thing, to go back to the winding-down war to bring the rest of the guys back home.

by Jonathan Raab

The soldier who wrote the article–five years ago–reenlisted so he could help with the “winding-down” of the war. He was sent to Kuwait instead, and we don’t need to point out that the war shows no sign of winding down.

soldier

Stupid GropenFührer Supporter Quote of the Day


From InfoWars.com:

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.)

Shavuah Tov. Impeach Drumpf.


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.

 

And this from New York Magazine on the devout Christian physician

14-willie-parker.w710.h473.2x
Dr. Willie Parker, AP photo.

who travels the South performing abortions for women who need them, which he feels is a moral obligation.

The Wall Won’t Be Built


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.

 

Viscerally, I’m Glad We Bombed Syria, BUT…


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.

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