Memes are those meaningful elements found in the members of a superorganic entity. They act like genes do in an organic entity to determine what the individual will look like and how they will act. Memes can be beneficial such "altruism" or they can be deleterious such as "suicidal".
In the current Deep Water Horizon disaster, where lives have been lost, careers and businesses ruined, the environment and way of life of the Gulf Coast threaten with permanent lose, we find that there is a meme which causes its infected host to be blind to the meaning and impact of the situation.
Here is an example of a politician infected by the meme "corporate capitalism." Ask yourself. "Is this politician's meme infection dangerous to the health and welfare of human beings and nature?" Or "Is it an example of a predatory parasitic meme blinding a good descent human being to the reality of his position?"
We can see from Rep. Joe Barton's statement that the "corporate capitalism" meme has lead to a misappropriate application of the "shakedown" meme in his speech. This lead to a behavioral reaction -- that of applying the "apology" meme inappropriately. The "apology" meme is normally applied by the guilty party to ask for forgiveness from the harmed party. In this case, Rep. Barton displays a pathological misunderstanding of the "apology" meme as it applies to this situation. This is evidence of how memes can be dangerous to human beings.