Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Only Things Certain In Life Are Death And Taxes?

The old axiom has held true for several thousand years. It's as if it was meant to follow "We hold these truths to be self-evident". Yet, it seems there may be doubt.

Scientists at Pittsburgh's Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research have developed a technique in which a subject's veins are drained of blood and filled with an ice-cold salt solution. 3 hours later the blood is replaced and the subject is brought back to life with an electric shock. They have only done this with dogs at this time but they expect human trials in the next few years. (No word if they will still fetch or roll over on call.)

Meanwhile, a former IRS criminal-investigation agent Joe Banister (who learned of serious constitutional questions relating to the federal income tax systems and decided to share that information with others when talking to employees of CENCAL in 2000) has won a court battle defending his actions. The IRS sued Banister for violating certain laws governing conspiracy and aiding and assisting in the filing of false tax returns.

Do either of these remove the certainty of either death or taxes? No. But, they put interesting dents in them. Sure, the dogs may be great for a George A. Romero film. Sure, Banister's case may be overturned if it goes to the Supreme Court (we have no idea what they'll do nowadays.) But, what did Bill Murray call them? Baby steps.

8 comments:

Moose said...

Would you have to pay taxes while you were frozen?

RT said...

Oh Martin... You are sooooo tempting me. Are these subjects that you really want to delve into, or are they off hand comments?

BTW... Hi Martin! Martin. That is such a cool name. I don't think I know anyone named Martin besides you... Martin Martin Martin. It fits. Yeah.

But I hope you don't mind if I still call you Nut occasionally :o)

And please, call me Liv. (I think I told you guys that once, but Jenn's the only one that does...)

Vavoom said...

rt: Can I call you liv?
Martin: Can I call you Martin?

I'm not sure I believe the saline in the canine veins study just yet. When I get a chance, I'm going to look for a solid publication proving this is a reliable technique. Also, I'm sure those dogs suffered severe side effects that would probably contribute to a shortened life. Bullshit abounds in the world of science, I tell you.

Taxes -- now here's a realm where you can escape. Look at large corporate entities and the extremely wealthy. They're always finding some way to get out of paying their fair share of taxes. Bullshit abounds in the world of taxation, I tell you.

Interesting post, Martin. Me like.

Jenn said...

Oh, man. I can't get into these kind of things because I get all worked up. Then I have some lame rant and leave those that read it to believe I'm a serial killer.

But this was indeed a great post.

RT said...

Vavoom, of course you can call me Liv! Can I call you? Va Va Vavoom!

(I'm joking! Tell Mrs Vavoom, I'm just joking!)

Hey. You're there at Berkeley, do you ever hear anything about cloning? Now that's the stuff that scares me. (Not the cloning of animals for food purposes, but the cloning people...) Gives me the willies just thinking about it.

Also, if they do perfect the salt solution technique in humans, I wonder how that will effect the way we look at the afterlife.

Vavoom said...

Well, cloning in the scientific community has two definitions. The original use of the word was for taking a gene and overexpressing it in bacteria. That happens all around me. As cloning in the stem cell sense, in Boston I'll be just a hop, skip and a jump away from the world's best stem cell scientist. I don't really know anyone trying to clone a cat or monkey, per se.

RT said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RT said...

Yep, I was referring to stem cell research, but it was more in the sense of cloning living, breathing people and animals.

Although, all of it intrigues me... Probably because I don't know much about it. (How far have we actually come with it? How far will we go with it? What will be the impact on our society?) I just find it so interesting.