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Faith or Sleep?

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By Gus Van Horn from Gus Van Horn,cross-posted by MetaBlog

Not long ago, I got a good guffaw at the expense of a bunch of Buddhist monks who were in the process of losing a battle royale with ... a bunch of fire-ants. Noting the ridiculous measures the monks were employing in an attempt to rid themselves of the pests without simply killing them, I said the following:

Well, faith may not be able to "move mountains", as some like to imagine, but behold its power to level the playing field between an intelligent being capable of space travel and a lowly social insect!

Well, no sooner do I get a good laugh at one group of insect victims than I learn that, thanks to our national religion, the Church of Gaia, I may soon get to join another such group, even though I myself am not afflicted with that particular superstition.

Nearly eradicated in the United States 50 years ago, resistant strains of "super" bedbugs are infesting mattresses at an alarming rate. In what's being touted as the biggest mystery in entomology, all 50 states are reporting outbreaks of the blood-sucking nocturnal critters.

Pest control companies nationwide reported a 71 percent increase in bedbug calls between 2000 and 2005. Left alone, a few bedbugs can create a colony of thousands within weeks.

"We never treated bedbugs until 2002. Now we have a dedicated bedbug crew working on this every day," said Luis Agurto, president of Pestec in San Francisco.

Agurto's arsenal includes a vacuum, steam heat to cook the bedbug eggs and targeted spraying of insecticides. It takes three, eight-hour visits and about $500 to $750 to exterminate one room. A whole house would cost closer to $5,000.

My goodness! We nearly eradicated the bedbug a half-century ago, and yet now are seeing infestations in every state and may have to pay a cool five grand to rid our homes of the bugs if our number comes up? How on earth did this happen? It's buried in the article and reported as if it were an unalterable fact of nature rather than the man-made -- and easily addressed -- outrage that it is:

Bedbugs were nearly eradicated after World War II, when exterminators and homeowners used DDT to get rid of the pests.

Not mentioned is why we banned DDT in the first place or the fact that we could just start using it again. Suzanne Fields recently attempted to jog the memory of the body politic.

After Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, DDT was banned nearly everywhere. Most of her "evidence" later turned out to be all wrong, but 2 million poor Africans die every year of malaria that DDT was on the way to eradicating. [my bold]

This outrage would be called "genocide" were it not motivated by a pet cause of the left.

Oh well. Perhaps if lefties can't see fit to make overturning this ridiculous ban a cause in the face of this horrendous yearly death toll, then perhaps when enough of the rest of us lose sleep because of it, we will consider the idea.

And should that occur, we will see "base" self-interest save countless lives in the name of a good night's rest, ending a needless slaughter caused by an altruistic crusade.

-- CAV

http://ObjectivismOnline.com/blog/archives/002444.html

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