Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Less Historical Megan

IMPORTANT CORRECTION! It seems that McArdle, like Kleiman, was merely being ironic and does not, in fact, dislike government interference in the free market after all! We are awed that McArdle has been able to pull the wool over our eyes for so long. All this time we thought she was a shameless boot-licker for the banking elite, when she was really being ironic and cleverly skewering them instead! Boy, is my face red!

Haha! Megan McArdle found a funny quote!

Quote of the Day

"When the people who built this country got bitten by bedbugs, they didn't go whining the the nanny state for a chemical fix. They scratched." ~ Mark Kleiman


Coincidentally, I recently read several houskeeping books from the early 1900s. They recommended fighting bedbugs by soaking the mattress in naphtha or fumigating the room with--I kid you not--cyanide. McArdle might like her ancestors' ways of fighting bugs but I prefer non-lethal methods, even if they are--gasp!--government-approved.


DVD BONUS MATERIAL;

EJDefilade
Their descendants used pyrethrum, and then invented DDT.

soylent green
...and then the descendants of the bedbugs sprayed with DDT developed resistance to DDT.
Natural selection in action, but don't tell Ken Ham.

McMegan
They're not DDT resistant. They're resistant to DDT's successors.


anirprof
Are you sure about that, Megan?

To quote a Texas A&M entymologist from 2008:

"While screening multiple populations of bed bugs against various insecticides we have found virtually all populations were 100% resistant to DDT. This is not a surprise given that the first observances of DDT resistance were noted almost 50 years ago. It is a little surprising that they continue to be so completely resistant to DDT."

Some of the quotes they include suggest that in the pre-DDT ban days, research was indicating that bedbugs were particularly able to develop resistance -- that bedbugs were becoming DDT resistant much faster than bugs like mosquitos and ants.

Source, including many other research links: http://newyorkvsbedbugs.org/2008/05/15/ddt-resistance-once-more-with-tables-and-sources/


McMegan
Apparently I stand corrected; the articles I read implied non-DDT resistance. I'd be interested in knowing what form that resistance takes; my understanding is that in the case of malaria mosquitos, it often consists of DDT aversion (staying away from DDT treated places) rather than ability to survive contact.


The right has a very bad habit of passing around bad information in the service of their corporate masters, to the point that they start believing their own lies. McArdle could start questioning her sources but her gullibility is her most marketable asset.

22 comments:

Clever Pseudonym said...

A friend of mine stayed in some cheap hostel in New York and got a case of bed bugs. It was not pretty. It wasn't just a matter of scratching. She had painful sores covering all of her body, required a lot of medical treatment, and won a settlement for thousands of dollars because her condition was so bad. They're nothing to joke about. I wouldn't leave it up to any of the libertarian "all gubment is bad gubment" crowd to actually find out what bed bugs can do to a person before screeching about government intervention in something so silly and small.

Downpuppy said...

She's getting no fans with this one. People actually think public health issues are public.

Her comment:

They're not DDT resistant. They're resistant to DDT's successors.

got instaslammed:

anirprof
Are you sure about that, Megan?

To quote a Texas A&M entymologist from 2008:

"While screening multiple populations of bed bugs against various insecticides we have found virtually all populations were 100% resistant to DDT. This is not a surprise given that the first observances of DDT resistance were noted almost 50 years ago. It is a little surprising that they continue to be so completely resistant to DDT."

Susan of Texas said...

Ha, I just saw that and added it to the post.

Clever Pseudonym said...

Megan stands corrected?!?!?!?! Ladies and gentlemen, do we have a first!?!?!?

Susan of Texas said...

Could she be learning that it's less painful to admit fault and get on with your life?!

Maybe she'll learn to check sources next!

Daniel Harper said...

And, you know, scratching those kinds of itches doesn't work -- it just spreads the infection around and makes things worse. Whereas the socialist scientific solution based on gathering evidence dispassionately and then using resources to make the world a better place for everyone (except, perhaps, the bedbugs themselves), actually works.

This reminds me of this article on Snopes:

http://www.snopes.com/katrina/soapbox/snowfall.asp

in which conservative assholes apparently expected flood victims to shovel water.

Anonymous said...

That Kleiman quote sounds fabricated or taken out of context. Bedbugs are a public health hazard and always have been in overcrowded and undercleaned areas--exactly the kind of places and people who rely on government intervention to protect them when the market can't offer any solution to their problem. For example: the sale of cheap, used, bedding. Libertarians are no doubt all for that but its one of the ways that epidemics of bedbugs are spread. Its also now illegal.

Also, many epidiemiological problems are not efficiently solved by individual action. As a country we spend millions, if not billions, a year on roach infestations. An infestation in an entire apartment building simply can't be ended by treatments in only one apartment. Putting the burden on the individual apartment owner is costly and ineffective. Just as a system of garbage collection that puts all the burden on rat proofing on the individual customer and which doesn't take into account the issues of scale and timing of garbage collection for the community would also be costly and ineffective. For example we have laws here that you can't put your trash out any time you want, and leave it out all week (say) or in open bins. That's because a longer lead time for garbage on the streets increases the rat population. Is that the "nanny state" interfereing with something that we would be better off handling one by one? Uh...no... its a systemic answer to a systemic problem. My rats are your rats.

aimai

Downpuppy said...

I'm pretty sure it was a joke by Kleiman.

http://www.samefacts.com/2010/09/uncategorized/the-socialism-of-the-mattress/

Susan of Texas said...

Did McArdle quote it because it was a joke or because she agreed with it?

Downpuppy said...

no sign at all that she got the joke, which is

In any case, we know that inefficient government science is less productive than the private sector; if we just cut capital gains taxes, small business would have the incentive to come up with a real, American solution.

KWillow said...

Megan (sneering):

"Apparently I stand corrected; the articles I read implied non-DDT resistance."

That's why accepted "research" requires more than 1 source.

El Cid said...

Many times throughout the 20th century people didn't go 'whining' to the Federal (or State) governments about pestilence problems -- the government(s) recognized the disastrous effects of these plagues.

The anti-malaria and anti-hookworm crusades, even the battle against housefly-born infections by helping the poor install screen doors (and windows when possible) so that in pre-air-conditioning days, leaving the door open didn't mean that houseflies would go into outhouses, walk all over shit, and then come inside and track the deadly diseases encountered all over food.

aw said...

They are quite content to allow our living standards to plummet; what really matters is that the Government is strictly forbidden to provide help (other than freedom bombs of course).

Here's a bizarre turn from a different, even more loathsome, M.M., who, in a blogpost celebrating Thanksgiving (traditionally about how a bunch of feckless Euro-Americans were bailed out by the Wamapanoags), she quotes a reader on the wonders of self-reliance:

I am writing to you to share my story of how one can survive hard times and land solidly on one’s feet... So here goes: My husband had an auto accident on 1 January 2005, and our lives and finances changed dramatically. Our income was cut in half as he has permanent injuries... We sold our lovely home and bought a run-down, fixer-up place and converted it into a farm ... I have learned out to make my own shampoo, toothpaste, soaps, cloth napkins, dish scrubbies, potholders, skirts....

A random accident made us much poorer, but we humbly descended to our true stations, therefore, ha ha liberals!

Of course, the silly hippies should have taken out disability insurance, so it's their own fault if hubby needs a CAT scan and the hospital refuses to barter vegetables for it.

Shampoo factories are collectivist. Pass it on.

KWillow said...

"...to share my story of how one can survive hard times and land solidly on one’s feet..."

Sounds an awful lot like the Playboy letters of yore.

Tommykey said...

It's like Megan is loathe to admit that bedbugs developed DDT resistance because she thinks that if liberals are against DDT use, then nothing can develop resistant to DDT.

Anonymous said...

Kwillow wins the thread. Yes, this is a penthouse forum letter "I never thought it would happen to me but after I lost my house, my car, my children, and my husband's left side to a disasterous stroke I discovered Jesus in my own backyard!...I was also in a maidenform bra."

aimai

Larkspur said...

Don't want no bedbugs. Don't want no diabetes unless I can get some insulin. Don't want to die of an abscessed tooth. Don't want to die of childbed fever.

Don't want crabs, syphilis (in any of its stages), facial scars from various poxes. Don't want rabies or tetanus. Don't want blood poisoning from a bed bug bite. Don't want malaria.

Don't want to get in an accident and be tended by some self-aggrandizing Super House Wife for the rest of my miserable days, specially if she writes about me (maybe with charcoal on the back of a shovel? Oh, she prolly makes her own paper) while she could be milking the cows or turning me over to prevent the bedsores I might get, that she would treat with herbs and poultices, all the while imagining what a beautiful widow she'd make.

Whoa. Guess that struck a nerve. It's okay; I don't need medical intervention. I can walk it off, much like the pilgrims must have done.

I'm probably being way too judgmental here. For all I know, she's rented a half-dozen Duggars to help out.

KWillow said...

ArgleBargle: Jeez-Louize, guys, I was only joking! Get a sense of humor whydoncha!

Anonymous said...

Megan is trolling hard today.

Susan of Texas said...

Who pissed in her cornflakes?

Susan of Texas said...

Her Ireland post is unreal. A total twisting of reality, to conform to her ideology.

Anonymous said...

Megan's always been prone to letting emotion rule her posts...and contrarianism for its own sake.

Honestly, the blogosphere has shifted even further into being a parody of the MSM it once railed against, but really, no one new is going to get popular in the blog world anymore. It's been largely the same 30 people that got together in the early 2000's commenting and still trying to pretend they're fresh or have a perspective worth listening to