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Kinky Friedman

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"Poly" means more than one, and ticks are bloodsucking parasites.
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Friedman quoting an aphoristic "definition" of "politics" from "some guy in Corpus"
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Quoted in Arrillaga, Pauline (21 October 2006). "On the Road with Texas Candidate Kinky". Associated Press (via Yahoo! News). Retrieved on 2006-10-21. 

 
Kinky Friedman

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"Sexual reproduction exists solely as a means to defeat parasites. By mixing male and female genes, sex produces offspring not exactly like either the male or female—making each generation different from the last, and presenting a moving target to intruders intent on compromising this system. ... Even with this variation, parasites continue to pose a threat... and parasitism evolves and moves through any system—not just living things. The less variation there is in a system, the more readily parasites will evolve to infest it..."

 
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"Animal behavior has evolved to battle parasites. In fact, we have parasites to thank for the existence of sex. Sex is a costly and time-consuming method of reproduction. Experiments have shown that, in the absence of parasites, species evolve toward parthenogenesis—or cloning—as the reproductive method of choice. In parthenogenesis each individual is able to self-replicate. But this produces almost no genetic variation. In the presence of parasites, cloning, while more energy-efficient, is not a viable reproductive strategy. It presents a stationary genetic target to parasites, who, once introduced into such a system, will quickly dominate it. ..."

 
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"But if they're so successful, why haven't parasites taken over the world? The answer is simple: they have. We just haven't noticed. That's because successful parasites don't kill us; they become part of us, making us perform all the work to keep them alive and help them reproduce..."

 
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The clerical work is par for the course. "Keep on file in numerical order" means throw in wastebasket. You'll soon learn the language. "Let it be a challenge to you" means you're stuck with it; "interpersonal relationships" is a fight between kids; "ancillary civic agencies for supportive discipline" means call the cops; "Language Arts Dept." is the English office; "literature based on child's reading level and experiential background" means that's all they've got in the Book Room; "non-academic-minded" is a delinquent; and "It has come to my attention" means you're in trouble.

 
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"Let me tell you the story of the most successful organism of all time: this is the story of the parasite. ... Early on, evolution branched into two distinct paths: independent organisms—those that exist on their own in the natural world—and parasites—organisms that live on other organisms. And it was, by far, the parasites that proved the more successful of the two branches. Today, for every independent organism in nature, there exist three parasites. ... These two strains of evolution have been locked in a primordial arms race, constantly evolving to best each other for supremacy of this planet. As parasites evolve to perfect their systems against a species of host, the host evolves to evade their attack. Scientists call this theory of an eternal genetic struggle the Red Queen Hypothesis—a name taken from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass."

 
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