5 Aug 2011

Anything but water


Mr. Kurtz said...

We have bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, too. It does not follow that antibiotics are bad. In the US, we try to control antibiotics through the drug prescription system (and yes we should get them the hell out of our food) and patient education. Many Americans are still irresponsible and take them as prophylactics on foreign trips, do not take all the pills in their course of treatment once they start to feel better, etc. There are no fines or penalties for these behaviors.

Any educated person using insecticides or herbicides has long understood the problem of resistance. This is managed by using materials with different modes of action, and by using no less than the minimum application rate set by the EPA and manufacturer. Just as with not taking *all* of the pills in the bottle, going below the minimum rate allows the the most resistant individuals of the target species to survive.
At least in California, the regulatory framework governing agricultural chemicals is similar to that governing prescription drugs. A certified, licensed Pest Control Advisor must make a written recommendation that is filed with the Ag Commissioner of the county stating the place, date, and amount per acre of every chemical to be used, prior to application. A licensed applicator is the only person who can apply these materials. Both can lose their licenses and be subject to fines or even imprisonment for violating these laws. Roundup is so cheap it hardly seems worth it to cheap out on application rates, but some chiseling clown will always try to get away with something. Here is another example of the "tragedy of the commons" phenomenon in agriculture.

David Zetland said...

@Kurtz -- exactly. The problem -- identified by Rachel Carson -- is over application of checmicals by people who do not suffer the consequences of such actions.

The other problem, here, is the widespread misperception that products from Monsanto (et al.) have "taken care" of problem X. Maybe the scientists @ M. will say that, but the marketing people are not nearly cautious enough...

RM said...

Full disclosure: I am, to purloin the words of Milton Friedman, a big R Republican and a small l libertarian. So when it comes to the issue of parties cheating in elections, I cannot be completely fair and dispassionate.

That being said, your link “how the GOP Hacked, Stole 2004 Election” ticks me off a little for a couple reasons. The first is that, skimming through the article, I find a lot of innuendo but no hard evidence to support the accusation that Republicans stole the Ohio election. The innuendo raises the possibility that it could have happened, to be sure (and I hate saying that), but doesn't come close to the level of proof. But maybe I missed something in my skimming. At any rate, it seems unfair to categorically state that Republicans stole the election.

The second reason I get get ticked is that Democrats have institutionalized electoral cheating on their behalf. The push for easy voter registration, against voter ID at the polls and for bilingual ballots to me seems aimed at one goal, having people vote who are ineligible and can be relied on to support Democrats. There is no other rationalization for being against verification of voters and having ballots in other than English. In the case of English, native born citizens should have no excuse for not knowing enough English to vote and learning English is a requirement for becoming a naturalized citizen for those folks who come from out of country. There is absolutely no reason why a citizen should need a bilingual ballot. Such ballots are for non-citizens.

In addition, the whole Democrat program strikes me as a giant vote-buying scheme. It really is a stroke of genius on their part. Instead of one-time payments of money or whiskey or maybe government jobs, in the name of fairness they have instituted a system of recurring payments to various groups who then become backers of the Democrat party or at least against any program Republicans might bring forward to reduce or end those payments. Then they convince those folks that they're entitled to have those payments and that they are just getting back what they put in.

From my admittedly partisan view, I think that Democrats nearly stole the Electoral College votes in Florida in 2004. The Democrat plan it seems to me was to keep recounting votes and plausibly adding more votes until they got enough to declare victory. Which is how Al Franken went from telling jokes on TV to being a joke in the Senate, if you ask me. Not that I'm a fan of Richard Nixon, but some think that Democrats stole the 1960 presidential election through widespread fraud in Illinois. And don't get me started on ACORN and why the entire Dallas Cowboy cheer squad got registered to vote in Nevada.

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