Archives for category: Parasitology

Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine where the practitioners produce remedies for ailments by serially diluting substances that would normally cause the observed symptoms. The more diluted the resulting mixture, the more effective it is believed to be. For example, if a practitioner of homeopathy were to blame the malaise of our country on Washington D.C., they might try dumping it in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, then drinking a tablespoon of the – now highly dilute – city. From this example, one can immediately see the utility of this form of medicine.

Another application of this medicinal theory that has great potential is in the music industry. Take an artist or genera of music that you are not fond of, say Justin Bieber, and dilute it multiple times with music that you find acceptable. By playing this highly dilute mixture of Bieber music, you counteract the harmful effects of the undiluted substance. (Perhaps it is no accident that love of his music is known as “Bieber Fever“.)

Other benefits could also soon be realized. Anyone who has sampled a bit of the radioactive waste from the Fukushima Daiichi – hyper-diluted by the Pacific Ocean – is now protected from the hazards of radioactive contamination. Diners at Chinese restaurants can now take a highly diluted MSG solution to keep from getting headaches. Girls, tired of being hit on by the wrong sort of guy at the bar? Try a couple drops of 40X diluted jerk sweat.

As can be seen from this brief post, the manifold benefits of homeopathy are bounded only by the imaginations of the practicioners. There is no need to wonder at it having become a multi-million dollar industry. Now, fellow bloggers, perhaps I could interest you in a 400X dilution of Troll dung?

My wife and I are getting ready to take our 2.5 children on a road trip. This caused my thoughts to wander, as they often do, to the price of gas. If the prices of gas continue to rise, will my children be able to take their children on road trips. The answer I came to was “Of course they will.” The recent surge in gas prices is due to inflation from Quantitative Easing and zero interest rates enacted by Congress and the Federal Reserve over the past few years. I suppose in the long-run the only people who will be hurt are those who have invested in US currency, like retirees and The Peoples Republic of China. Inflationary policy is effectively stealing from them. (This is also why there is no love lost between China and our current government.)

What is perhaps more interesting to the average person is how manipulating the supply of currency can be used to bypass congress in raising our taxes. With the graduated income tax system we have in the US, people are divided into a number of tax brackets based on income. The higher the income, the higher the percentage of it taken by the government. During inflationary times, employers generally increase their employees’ salaries to maintain their standard of living. This results in a number of them being placed in a higher tax bracket. Although people’s standard of living drops as they pay more in the higher bracket, inflation results in good publicity for the government. The numbers on the stock market go up, the dollar-value of homes increases. Congress may, occasionally, adjust the brackets a little bit higher for “middle-class tax relief” and still come out ahead. All the president and congress have to do is wait as more money is dumped into the system by the Federal Reserve.

So how did the federal government end up with this obfuscated power structure, with no accountability to the voters? Happy coincidence? No, it was thanks to the foresight of the loathsome Wilson Administration, which enacted both the Federal Reserve and the income tax.

So as you prepare for your next vacation, or the next time the news starts talking about the Fed keeping interest rates at 0%, or congress passing another round of quantitative easing, let us remember that it means sneaking through a tax hike and stealing from the elderly. If more people realized this without their eyes glazing over at financial talk, perhaps we could vote for a few more party faithful to take a road-trip back home…

I spent a bit of time today trying to figure out this Sandra Fluke controversy. The gist of it seems that she attended a Catholic school, was overcharged for contraceptives by a factor of ten, and wants the school to pay for them. (I suppose some pharmacy rep. got a raise for wining and dining her doctor.) Why this is news is beyond me, but it does provide a good opportunity to talk about a field of personal interest, parasitology.

Few people realize it, but parasites are some of the most highly evolved organisms on the planet. Thanks to all of their needs being met by their host, and their extreme specialization, many parasites have evolved to the point that they are little more than a digestive system and a set of gonads. They are so highly evolved that it is difficult to discern where many parasites fit into the phylogenetic scheme of things. Lacking the more complicated traits and identifying genes of their nearest cousins, there is nothing to suggest where to put them in a tree.

That is the trouble with big government. It is becoming a progressively better host on which the moochers feed. If this health care nonsense is allowed to stand, we can be certain that the drug companies will sell more $1000 non-generic prescriptions (contraceptive and otherwise). More and more people, like Sandra Fluke, will become incapable of making or unwilling to make sensible healthcare decisions. Without competency as a need, fewer people will have it.