Wednesday, July 19, 2006

 

This One's Personal

My Dad is very sick. He has to use a walker, and has trouble lifting his arms.

Today, President Bush saw fit, for the first time in his Presidency, to use his veto power. To prevent research on treatments for the disease that makes it hard for Dad to breathe.

Shame on this President. Shame on him.

Were I a man of greater faith, I’d take comfort knowing that this smug son of a bitch is going to burn in hell.

As it is, there are no words.

Comments:
*sigh* I know, it's very depressing.

But this is what conservatives wanted. They want people to suffer and die from Parkinson's disease, diabetes, Alzheimers disease, etc. So, from this point forward, I will blame every conservative for every death that occurs from a disease that could be cured by stem cell research.
 
Vetoed until his wife or one of his daughters needs something resulting from such research; then, of course, the rules would be different.

Having lived in FL and been witness to the hypocrisy surrounding the Bush family--such as a daughter who forges prescriptions not once but twice and gets off scott free--I knew (sadly) this would happen.

I am very sorry for you and your family.
And, I believe in a hell with extra hot places for certain folks.
 
I am sorry to hear about your dad. I am no fan of this president and can't wait until his term is done.

There are people who oppose certain methods of medical research. This does not mean that they are opposed to researching cures for the particular ailment.

Ghandi was opposed to his wife receiving some types of medical care based on his Hindu beliefs. (I believe the belief is that one should not cut a living animal, not sure though.)

Personally, I cut the president some slack on this issue. (He is opposed to government funding of this type of research. Private funding can still occur.) I disagree with him on it but I understand his perspective.
 
As another person with a family member who would benefit from stem cell research (my dad is Type I diabetic), I find it particularly insulting that the government believes it can determine that money should be used to build bombs but not to do this research. I would say that I'm disappointed, but that would imply that I somehow expected more from the president. We're almost 3/4 through with the nightmare that has been this presidency! Maybe our dads will both make it.
 
"There are people who oppose certain methods of medical research. This does not mean that they are opposed to researching cures for the particular ailment."

Wrong. Denying the millions of Americans a chance at beating their debilitating diseases is opposition to cures.

If you're a conservative, then you have blood on your hands. It's that simple.
 
I follow your blog and enjoy your posts on academia. However, your occasional rabid partisanship is disturbing and makes me wonder if you are as levelheaded as you seem in other areas.

Personalizing the decsion by saying that he inadvertently harmed your father isn't logical . . . our president has beliefs and today he followed through with what he believed to be the right thing.

For one of the commentors to say that "conservatives" want people to suffer and die from a variety of diseases makes little sense and isn't true. Why can't "conservatives" have beliefs and follow through with their beliefs when they win elections?

If conservatives have "blood on their hands" for this decision, then the liberal democrats have "blood on their hands" and should be make to listen to the screams of the unborn children that have been murdered according to the laws that their politicians have given to society.

Finally, if you Bush is so evil and so stupid, as you democrats claim, why can't you beat him in an election?

Shame on you, Democrats. Shame, shame.
 
"our president has beliefs and today he followed through with what he believed to be the right thing."

What our idiot-in-chief believes is irrelevant. He is just another puppet of the repugnican culture of death.


"For one of the commentors to say that "conservatives" want people to suffer and die from a variety of diseases makes little sense and isn't true."

Because those conservatives who have elected or reelected our idiot-in-chief want to stop stem cell research. They want people (that they don't care about) to suffer. It's quite simple.

"If conservatives have "blood on their hands" for this decision, then the liberal democrats have "blood on their hands" and should be make to listen to the screams of the unborn children that have been murdered according to the laws that their politicians have given to society."

That might have been something that vaguely resembled a point if abortion had anything to do with murder.

Maybe.

"Finally, if you Bush is so evil and so stupid, as you democrats claim, why can't you beat him in an election?"

Because he is backed up by people (such as yourself) who dream of a theocratic culture of death and suffering.

You have blood on your hands, you warmongering theocrat.
 
I follow your blog and enjoy your posts on academia. However, your occasional rabid partisanship is disturbing and makes me wonder if you are as levelheaded as you seem in other areas.
Shame on you, Dean Dad, for actually being an engaged, passionate citizen. Don't you know your political activity is supposed to be limited to showing up at a voting booth once a year and pulling a lever. (If that.) Hey, American Idol's on!

-- Sara
 
*sigh*

What a person believes has everything to do with today's vote, and it has everything to do with the liberal position on this matter.

You "believe" that it is right to use stem cells in research. In doing so, you are claiming that it is morally right, and using reasoning that it would reduce suffering and eliminate diseases and death. (an incredibly huge supposition)

You people of the left can't see that other reasonable people can have strong beliefs and have the integrity to act upon them.

You believe that abortion isn't murder, so you've made it legal for a woman to terminate a healthy pregnancy--and it doesn't matter what the reason is.

Those who strongly disagree with you "are just wrong," or they are "theocrats." And dangerous--oh so very dangerous.

Today's veto is consistent with the conservative view of abortion. If you don't like it, elect one of your own to office (if you can). Or, elect enough legislators to override the veto (if you can).

If your overriding concern is to heal diseases no matter the cost to humanity, then for goodness sake let's use humans for all laboratory testing. Perhaps that will bring us cures much faster. Maybe we should use prisoners for the testing. Or the mentally retarded--if we don't abort them in the womb, that is.

If using humans in the laboratory would bring us the cure to disease faster, then we should use it . . . is that the view of the left? It is according to the post above, at least from my reading of his comment.

Or . . . perhaps we've already aborted the fetus that would have discovered the cure to Parkinson's, diabetes, or Alzheimer's.

You folks should pick an argument that follows a reasonable line of thought to support your assertions. Or, just keep blaming Republicans for all your problems.

We'll keep doing the right thing.

--the warmongering theocrat
 
I know of your personal response. My Dad too has a condition that, and I know with reason that it is only a possibility, might be helped by pursuing stem cell research. My reaction to the veto was right along with yours.

I also send my condolences that by posting an honest reaction to government policy that your comments are hi-jacked by vomitious, rhetoric-spewing ideologues.

The research may not be in time to help my Dad, only newly diagnosed. I hope it continues, though, even in a hobbled approach. Disease doesn't have a party affiliation.
 
"What a person believes has everything to do with today's vote, and it has everything to do with the liberal position on this matter."

Beliefs are irrelevant. It is actions that matter.

You even admit to being a warmongering theocrat!

You are also a waste of human life. I'm glad that I'm able to post anonymously so that hate-filled churchies like you aren't able to literally crucify me.
 
It is no surprise to me that the one calling me "hate filled" is the same one that calls me names.

I argue ideas, you sink to name calling.

A "waste of human life"--How "love filled" is that? A classy bunch here.

And ACTIONS, my friend, are a by-product of BELIEFS. Even your illogical and lacking-in-integrity beliefs.
 
I have so many things I want to comment. Perhaps, brevity is the soul of wit.

This *SUCKS*

If only there were people in power who would overturn this veto.

Oh, wait, they're all under indictment, right?

All good thoughts for your family.
 
I've never been made so sad by the computer news as I was by the nasty comments made here. Here's what the theocrats don't get: No one is forcing anyone to get an abortion. The democrats (crazy Laissez-faire freaks that we've become) say if we want our fathers to be saved by cells as equivalently differentiated as amoeba we should dedicate our embryos to that cause. No one’s making the conservatives give up their precious embryos to science. In fact, the only people making anyone do anything (such as suffer from debilitating disease) are those once very hands-off conservatives. How odd it is for me to be on Orrin Hatch’s side.
 
"A "waste of human life"--How "love filled" is that?"

I have no love for you, conservative.
 
And one final thing...

"And ACTIONS, my friend, are a by-product of BELIEFS."

If you can understand a single thing that I have written, then let it be this: You are most certainly NOT my friend. Do I make myself clear?

And now I wash my hands of you, churchie. I'll let you spew out your last words in this discussion.
 
I don't cut Bush slack on this. If he truly believed that stem cell research was a form of murder, he wouldn't deny it funding; he'd ban it. Instead, he has taken the patently absurd position that it's murder, so the states should have to pay for it.

That's not a moral position.

This isn't a clash of convictions. Bush doesn't have the courage of his convictions on this one. This is pure cynical political posturing, at the expense of some very sick people.

And I'll take any damn political view I want to, thank you very much.
 
I'm sorry, my friend. I'm sorry for your dad and the stress on your family of dealing with his disease; I'm sorry that trolls exist and seem to take our most heartfelt posts and twist them to skewer our words for their questionable purposes; and mostly, I'm sorry for all of us, even up here in Canada, that Bush can allow his ideology to so cloud his perspective that he could make a catastrophic decision like this.

It's a big day for my little embryo, and while I think bringing it home to my uterus is the best outcome, I would have been equally happy to know that embryo came to a noble end in the hunt for a cure for disease. Hopefully Stephen Harper learns from the mistakes of Bush and at least Canada will be allowed to continue a part of this important research.
 
I have learned three things from this exchange:

1. The left denies that they have beliefs and they fear/demonize anyone who has beliefs and the courage to legislate according to those beliefs.

2. The left demonizes and personally attacks anyone that has a contrary belief to theirs. (churchie, warmongering theocrat, blood on hands, etc.)

3. The only thing that is clear here is the left's hatred of the right. We are quite polarized.

Like it or not, liberal friends, we live in the same country and possibly the same city. I hope you are able to find some tolerance (and maybe even some respect) for the other side. If you can't, then you better find a way to elect some of your people to higher office.
 
Respect for the other side involves listening to the arguments they actually make, not the arguments you wish they would make.

Bush is not taking a moral position, and it's a flat-out lie to say that he is. If he were, he would have stem-cell research banned altogether. He's not doing that.

Instead, he's making the states pay for it.

How is that a moral position?
 
The stem-cell research that will someday help your Dad (or people like him) is happening, today, right now. It's just not happening here in the United States. But it's happening, and the treatments and cures will come. They just won't be American achievements. Too bad, but I can live with that.

What bothers me most about Bush's so-called convictions in this matter is that he states that he is opposed to destroying human life to do research. He believes that this is murder. However, these blastocysts that he is so gallantly shielding from the scientists' tools are instead going to be discarded. They will no longer be viable for implantation, so they'll be discarded in some fashion. If he were really concerned about the "murder" of these "humans," then the destruction of these no-longer-viable blastocysts should be, well, murder, right? I don't see this happening.

His position is inconsistent, and results in the total waste of this precious "human life" that he waxes about so eloquently.

One way or the other, Mr. President. it's murder or it's not.
 
Vicki made the same point I was going to: if stem cell research is morally wrong, then so is IVF. If IVF is OK, so is "Plan B" style contraception. In all cases, we're talking about a blastula. I used to teach embryology; I know what these embryos look like.

There are several logically and morally consistent positions available on this topic, but Bush's isn't one of them. I mean, if he feels this way about stem cell research, why not just go ahead and ban abortion, which is presumably more morally objectionable? At least stem cell work is aimed at curing people.
 
Dean Dad,

You are making a reasonable argument but the others were attacking me because a conservative had defiled their space and stated a position.

You argue that he is not making a moral decision since he isn't banning the practice outright. It's OK to disagree with him. In his statement following the veto, he used words that backed his moral disagreement with the bill and his desire for ethical research. Rove's comments preceding the veto shed light that the administration doesn't buy all the claims made by the scientists on the other side of the argument.

Should Bush really "burn in hell" for his beliefs and actions? Is he, indeed, worthy of great shame?

Not to me, one of the majority that elected him for the second time.

If the other side is right, why hasn't there been a cure (from stem cell research) from countries where this research is not banned?

Instead of discussing the issue, people here "comfort" themselves with ludicrous statements that conservatives desire pain and suffering in the world. I don't know why people have to dehumanize the side that disagrees with them. I'm a conservative--I don't want people to suffer and I desire peace with others. Our means of acheiving these goals are different.

If you want to change the policy, work to elect leaders that will institute your beliefs. If you can.
 
Dean Dad I posted the comment in which I said, "I cut the President some slack on this one." You posted a comment saying that you did not cut the President some slack on this. It appears to me that your comment, at least in part, was in repsonse to mine.

I agree with your response that the President is doing this for purely political reasons. The only time he and most "pro-life" Republican politicians rail against abortion is at election time. He does not use his moral authority as President to rail against it. This is certainly not the action of a man who truly believes that abortion is murder.

However, the constituency to whom the President's veto was meant to placate do believe this. Some of them believe that certain types of stem cell research to be morally wrong. They have a logically sound position in their belief (though the belief might still be wrong). They do not wish diseases to continue. They are not the cause of diseases. They have a different moral perspective than you.

As to why doesn't the President outlaw this particular form of stem cell research. The President is not a dictator (though he plays one in real life) and laws are not created at his whim. Such a law would never pass constitutional challenges.

At best the "pro-life" movement can limit federal funding. They can't ban private research.
 
Anon -- If Bush and his constituency believe so strongly in the value of human life then why was he such an aggressive death penalty governor in Texas? How many people did he execute? This is illogical and morally inconsistent. If a life is a life, then why protect blastulae but execute criminals on death row?
 
I'm sorry to hear about your dad, Dean Dad--and I'm sorry and surprised to see this hostile partisan (and personal) wrangling break out in your comments as well.
 
To borrow a quote from the great Ronald Reagan, "I notice that everyone who is pro-abortion has already been born."
 
Uhhh ... yes, the majority of the country did elect W ... but it wasn't a big majority. Plus, during the first election, Al Gore actually had the majority of the popular vote.

My point: Be careful about your challenges to the Dems to elect their own majority.
 
Where do the stem cells used in this research come from? Embryos from fertility clinics that would otherwise be destroyed.

How is destroying these embryos consistent with Bush's alleged beliefs? It's not and can't be.

So why isn't he advocating shutting down fertility clinics that destroy embryos that aren't going to be used? Because of the political ramifications of doing so.

So putting obstacles in the way of potentialy life-saving research is OK? The logic escapes me.
 
I find it interesting that anonymous uses a quote from Ronald Reagan to support their view - Especially so since Nancy Reagan is on the liberal side in this debate.

This veto is just one more brick in the wall of modern conservatism that shows that the party of Ronald Reagan isn't what it was in the Reagan era. I'd gladly take the Reagan era back considering what the Republican party has become if I my only choices were then and now.
 
Couple points to keep in mind:

There was no federal funding of stem cell research at all before 2001--all such funding has occurred under Bush.

He has opposed only federal funding of research involving embryos, not the research involving adult stem cells or placental cells.

There are no limits to private funding of any stem cell research in the U.S. Perhaps the Gates Foundation could advance this cause more quickly?

There are, I understand, 123 documented instances of "snowflake babies," the successful implantation of "leftover" embryos from IV treatment in nondonor women. This changes the debate in my mind, even though not all such embryos are viable. We are, therefore, talking about destruction of potential human life in medicine based upon embryonic stem cells.

That's a trade I am willing to make, but I can respect those who are not so willing.

This legislation was really, in my view, just a piece of political theatre, for both the left and the right to get excited about. This thread supports that conclusion as much as anything else I've seen.

I understand that Congress also enacted a ban on "fetus farms," and Bush signed it. Everyone OK with that?
 
"the others were attacking me because a conservative had defiled their space and stated a position."

Actually, it was because the conservative position on this issue is grossly immoral.

I'm not defending the tone; I'm a collegial sort of fellow. But I agree entirely with the sentiment. You were attacked because you advocated a tremendously immoral position.
 
Way above in thread:
"If your overriding concern is to heal diseases no matter the cost to humanity, then for goodness sake let's use humans for all laboratory testing. Perhaps that will bring us cures much faster."

I have to say, given the direction this discussion has gone, I would nominate the writer of that statement for such purposes.
 
Here's a relevant bit from this month's Harper's:

". . . the rhythm method may well be responsible for massive embryonic death.

Rhythm-method users try to avoid pregnancy by aiming at the period in which conception is less likely to occur and in which ovum viability is lower. So their success rate is due not only to the fact that they avoid conception but also to the fact that conceived ova have reduced survival chances. Just like in the case of pill usage, we do not know in what percentage of cases the success of the rhythm method is due to the reduced survival chances for the conceived ovum. Nontheless, one could argue that even if the mechanism has only limited effectiveness, it remains the case that millions of rhythm-method cycles per year globally depend for their success on massive embryonic death. Even a policy of practicing condom usage and having an abortion in case of failure would cause fewer embryonic deaths than the rhythm method."
 
re: Ronald Reagan quotation

An embryo is not a human being. It does not reason; it has no desires. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous.
 
"There was no federal funding of stem cell research at all before 2001--all such funding has occurred under Bush."

Stuff and nonsense. Federally funded stem cell research has been going on for at least 25 years. For example, Gail Martin's 1981 report of isolation of pluripotent stem cells from a mouse embryonic line (G. Martin, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 78, 7634 (1981)) was funded by a standard NIH R01 grant, and was performed at UCSF.

Also, the NIH began talking about funding of human embryonic stem cell research pretty much the instant it became an issue. The first isolation of stem cells from a human embryo was reported in November, 1998. Here's the director of the NIH, Harold Varmus, testifying before Congress in January 1999: http://stemcells.nih.gov/policy/statements/statement.asp. Notice that he is stating the opinion that DHHS funds can be used for some human stem cell research.
 
This is an illuminating and interesting thread. It could serve as a great illustration for a column that Dennis Prager wrote a few months back:

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=49588

With regard to the topic at hand, I can't speak for everyone who is anti-abortion and/or against the use of embryonic stem cells in research, but there are a great many conservatives who oppose these things on the basis of human rights alone. In our view, aborting an unwanted child or using a human embryo-- a nacent human life-- for research are both violations of the rights of that human being.

In our view, the ends do not justify the means.

Say what you will about Bush's motives. You can't know them. But know that he is not alone in opposing the use of embryonic stem cells for research:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060720/wl_nm/science_eu_stemcells_dc
 
Sad indeed that this thread has gotten out of hand. From where I sit, it was our theocrat-hating colleague who dragged it into the gutter. One can find the position supporting Bush to be "immoral," but Anon's rhetoric was way out of line, fwiw.

Of course Anon's nonsense should not be taken as typical of how the left views the right, but the lesser claim that those on the right, in general, don't really care about people etc. is all too common.

Can't we agree to start with the assumption that those we disagree with are neither evil nor stupid? Saying that conservatives don't care about healing others is just way out of line and, to me, in violation of the basics of good-faith discourse. If you're interested in bashing people over the head, continue. If you're actually interested in discussion and understanding, that ain't the way.

DD: sorry to hear about your father. As a libertarian, I'm generally opposed to the federal funding of just about anything, but I'd much rather we ended about 5 billion other things the federal gov't does before we end this research. We could start, say, with the War in Iraq, the conclusion of which might save more lives than would, in the view of the right, be destroyed through embryonic stem cell research funded by the federal government.

Last thought: one can believe that abortion etc are murder and still take the "no federal funding but don't make it illegal" position IF one is less than certain that one's belief that abortion etc are murder is correct. One could say "*I* believe it's murder but I recognize the contentiousness of the issue and that others may legitimately disagree. Thus, I don't wish to make illegal and I will leave the choice of engaging it up to individuals, but I also don't want to force those who *do* think it's murder to have to pay for it."

That IS a coherent position, in my view. As is the equivalent position for those less than certain that it ISN'T murder but who recognize that it might be wrong to force those who DO think it's murder to pay for it.
 
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