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November 8, 2004

Aging Suckers

Michelle Malkin uses leeches in her response to an ignorant anti-religious sneer from Maureen Dowd. At issue is Dowd's quip that the Bush administration will turn back the medical clock to an era of leeching, illustrating that the MoDo isn't aware that leeches are, in fact, useful medical tools. But it was something in Michelle's evidence that caught my eye:

For many people, leeches conjure up the image of Humphrey Bogart removing the bloodsuckers from his legs in African Queen, but FDA reports that leeches can help heal skin grafts by removing blood pooled under the graft and restore blood circulation in blocked veins by removing pooled blood.

Umm. I remember that scene, although I'd forgotten what movie it was in. Can't say it was the first movie to come to mind, and it probably wouldn't be for a majority of people under thirty-five, as Google attests:

"african queen" leeches: 1,450
"stand by me" leech: 3,410

In contrast to my pop-culture reaction, Orrin Judd offers profundity:

Here's as good a definition of the difference between conservatism and liberalism as you're likely to find: liberals can't comprehend that leeches work, because we've used them for thousands of years, but they do think that Christopher Reeve would be walking around today if only they sacrificed enough lives at the altar of Stem Cell Research. And they think we're the fanatics.

Well said.

Posted by Justin Katz at November 8, 2004 7:25 PM
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