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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Comparing Stem Cell Research to Hitler and Kissing Up to the Insane

To tell the truth, I have no idea how Ray felt about embryonic stem cell research. I mentioned yesterday that I'd attended the funeral of my uncle Ray. He died at 75 after spending nearly half his life suffering from Parkinson's disease. Like Michael J. Fox, Ray was diagnosed young -- he was 38. I knew Ray before the symptoms really set in -- he was a quiet man who liked deer hunting, cards, and a good joke. But I'll always remember him first as having an almost turtle-like slowness. If you told him something funny, you'd have to wait a few seconds before he smiled.

More truth-telling -- there's absolutely no way that embryonic stem cell research would've helped Ray. The advances wouldn't have come in his lifetime, but there's another patient out there, 38 years old, who's just been diagnosed and sees decades of life with Parkinson's stretching out ahead of them. That patient may be helped.

But the Bush administration puts politics above people's lives. We see it in a 'troop surge' in Iraq that no one believes will work and will only serve to extend the war until Bush is out of office. We see it in environmental rules that allow corporations to poison the environment. And we see it in denying federal funding for stem cell research.

Bush is putting the obsession of people who fetishize fetuses above the real needs of real people. Gary Dunbar, the Neuroscience Program and the Brain Research and Integrative Neuroscience Center at Central Michigan University, had this to say in response to Bush's position on stem cell research:

The views of President Bush, and those who support his position, on preventing federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research is misguided. First, the issue has nothing to do with abortion because only tissue from fertility clinics that would otherwise be discarded anyway would be used for stem-cell research. Secondly, the claim that adult stem cells work just as well, or better, than embryonic stem cells does not meet scientific muster. The ban on this type of research has been a significant setback to medical science, and potentially is costing the quality of life and, indeed, the very lives of our citizens. If the president is unable to change his mind on this issue, I certainly hope Congress has the wisdom to overturn his veto.

I don't know why supporters of embryonic stem cell research aren't hammering that point home -- banning funding won't keep a single embryo from being destroyed. Not one. Yet that's how opponents cast the argument -- that they're standing up to those who would 'kill' defenseless embryos. Asked to explain the president's position, Press Secretary Tony Snow answered, "The simple answer is he thinks murder is wrong." In other words, people who support embryonic stem cell research don't think murder is wrong -- screw you Tony, you sanctimonious intellectual lightweight.

Using an embryo for stem cell research is 'murder,' but taking that very same embryo and throwing it into a biohazard bin isn't. And that's exactly what will happen. Embryos are destroyed whether or not they're used for research. Banning federal funding won't do a damned thing to keep embryos from being destroyed -- and the Bush admin. knows it. They'd just rather kiss the asses of a bunch of biblebanging nutcases to get votes.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) may have put it best. "The choice is pro-research or pro-medical waste," he said, pointing out that the embryos will be destroyed regardless, "Which is the most pro-life?" Others have been more irresponsible.

Cox News Service:

Rep. John Linder, R-Ga., insisting that he was "not comparing anybody to Hilter," asked if proponents of the bill had a "hidden agenda" to desensitize Americans to the value of human life.

He said the first people exterminated in Nazi Germany were crippled children who had been cared for by Catholic nuns. The next, he said, were crippled veterans of World War I.

"When they started exterminating Jews, the German people had been "desensitized and accepted it."

"Is that what we are doing here today?" he asked.

Let me boil that down for you, "I'm not comparing anyone to Hitler, but people who want the research are like Hitler." Like Tony Snow, Linder can go screw off. You throw BS like that around long enough and the weakminded, the obsessive, and the insane will take it to heart.

Associated Press:

[James] Kopp compared abortion opponents to people who tried to kill Adolf Hitler and tried to protect Jews from the Nazis during the Holocaust. The tactic drew objections from prosecutors and warnings from the judge.

James Kopp shot and killed abortion provider Barnett Slepian in 1998. No doubt he, like the president, "thinks murder is wrong." So wrong, in fact, that you have to commit murder to prevent it.

The stem cell bill will wind up on the president's desk. Barring any sudden attack of rationality, he'll veto it. The House doesn't have the votes to override.

To lie and allow people to spend half their lives struggling with disease is unforgivable. It is the basest of political posturing and is pandering to the ignorant, the delusional, and the self-righteous. A solid majority back the funding and if these dicks think that this vote won't come back to them in a campaign ad next year, they're as stupid as the gawdsmacked morons they're catering to.They're playing politics with people's lives.


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Matthew Cochrane said...

I think you're missing the point here. One must remember that embryonic stem cell research is not illegal. In fact any private company could invest in this field if they chose to do so. The simple fact is, however, that there is significantly less promise in embryonic stem cell research than adult stem cell research. That is why all the private sector money is being poured into research on adult stem cells not embryonic stem cells.

Wisco said...

That's complete bullshit. Adult stem cells are set -- they can't be made into other kinds of cells. Embryonic stem cells are protean -- they can become any kind of cell.

Private sector money isn't being spent on research in the US, for the most part. Why should it be? There are plenty of countries out there subsidizing research.

You're buying the line of crap that antiscience flatearthers are selling. It's all lies.

amyhop said...

I read the excellent and life-afirming books by Christopher Reed.
It seemed that he was making some headway in his tireless campaigning and attracting significant funding for the cause of stem cell research in the USA.
Or am I wrong?