Thursday, July 20, 2006

Don't look at me, I didn't vote for him.

First, there is a great article with opposing editorials from Mike Reagan and Howard Dean here. It's nice to see a source give both sides. Dean made a great point in an email though.

"If George Bush truly believed his rhetoric about stem cells, he would do something about the processes that create the excess embryos in the first place. But he won't."
So rather than encourage the creation of "biomass" in the pursuit of designer babies, I guess I can expect to see "principled" Dems and Reps walking hand in hand down the aisle to pass legislation to make adoption of children, especially those with special needs the ones that have survived "the abortion debate that wasn't" which no politician is willing to talk about anyway less expensive, as well as the follow on healthcare insurance premiums, and the often required attendant care.
It is interesting that politicians attempt to divide American's based on different "kinds of marriages" but when it comes to the most difficult "kind of parenting" they are all strangely silent."

So, yeah, why hasn't Bush and the supporters of the veto offered a plan to address the extra embryos? My eighteen-year-old cousin recently expressed his surprise that these embryos are actually destroyed rather than used - a sentiment which is echoed from many Americans. This debate is shrouded in religious issues and Bush likes to misuse science to support his claims.
In Bush's words he states that there is "no such thing as excess life, and the fact that a living being is going to die does not justify experimenting on it or exploiting it as a natural resource." Is using these embryos to possibly find cures for debilitating and fatal diseases exploitation? In my opinion (and many others, including crazy old Bill Frist) it is simply an efficient use of potential garbage.
According to those that oppose stem cell research the tiny clusters of cells are human life, but a scientific advisor to the president told him that a stem cell "has the potential for life, but it is not a life because it cannot develop on its own." Instead of accepting an opinion based on years of scientific research he headed the advice of an "ethicist" (how does one become an ethicist anyway? Are ethics not subjective?). Someone that would simply support Bush's own opinions.
Some supporters of a stem-cell band suggest that we use adult cells for such research, but according the the National institute of Health,

"Human embryonic stem cells are thought to have much greater developmental potential than adult stem cells. This means that embryonic stem cells may be pluripotent that is, able to give rise to cells found in all tissues of the embryo except for germ cells rather than being merely multipotent restricted to specific subpopulations of cell types, as adult stem cells are thought to be."

Instead of funding research that helps find cures and treatments to serious conditions we'd rather spend $500,000 on the teapot museum in North Carolina, 1.3 million for berry research, 2.3 million for the International Fertilizer Development Center ... the list is not exhaustive give my thanks to the state reps. that voted for the line-item veto. How did yours vote?)
For the Missourians, according to the St.Louis Post Dispatch our state is likely to pass the stem-cell intitiative (but we still need federal funds). If you live in Missouri - get your ass to the voting stations this fall! (Well, really everyone should be voting!)

To put it simply: This veto is a tragedy. Bush is a moron. I rest my case.

Fight against the misuse of science here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

If Einstein only knew...

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction.

Albert Einstein

I get by with a little help from my friends...

As part of my slow morning routine I watch the Today show. Yeah, it isn't exactly the best source of current events, but I find that war, disease, and shameless politicians simply starts the day off with negativity ... I definitely don't need any more of that. So, apparently there was some scandalous rumor that Oprah and her bestfriend, Gayle, were gay (By the way, I hate hollywood rumors and try to know as little as possible about the lives of the rich and famous - damn the Today show). This made me think of M.
Ask me who my bestfriend is and I can think of a couple of people. J. is my partner and no doubt a "bestfriend" but its comforting to have my girls. My cell phone minutes are actually determined by how much I speak with M. My mom and I talk for often and long, but M. and I talk, literally, for hours.
We met in Human Sexuality. She was (and is) a fun loving hippy girl, sitting in the back row near me. We met another friend and so there was three. M. and I have a platonic love affair though. Now, we're thousands of miles a part and as close as ever. She has taken me to the hospital, sat with me for hours when J. was having so many problems, let me live with her for a week, and has always, always been there to help me feel young again.
Today there are mounds of Hallmark greeting cards and a list I carry in my purse of all the things she loves about me. There are text messages of song lyrics and movie lines. When I do drink (which is like twice a year) it is with her and there is no crying or sentimental drunkeness - just a good time.
Then there is Sam. In fourth grade there was only one cool person in Mrs. Ogle's class - Miss Samantha. We made an exploding volcano for the science fair, our first training bras, an introduction to swearing, and then band practice. I moved away soon, but by the end of junior high I traveled back a few times for some of the early days of partying. We were able to share music and politics - both of which she rocks. Years went by and then she got me a job. This job changed my life because I met J there. Now there is a little one and a husband, but the emails continue and she even got me to start blogging. I am ridiculously excited when I see her name in my inbox and check her blog nearly daily. No matter how long its been we seem to pick up right where we left off.
When I was first married I just went through dad's tragic death and was battling the shock - my social skills have been hindered ever since. I lost myself in J. for a while, becoming one of those women that define themselves by their husbands. As the past three years have gone by I have slowly been able to stand on my own. We've become partners instead of "one." Without my friends I don't think I could have done it. I get by with a lot of help from my friends...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A quote for the politically inclined.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
- Upton Sinclair

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Annie, Annie, Annie ...

Has Coulter been taking lessons from Jason Blair?

I suppose it was overdue for Coulter. Plagiarism? Could it be true? The New York Post seems to report that it is so. How can someone so despised really think they can get away with plagairising others' work? Isn't it obvious that she is going to be the target for intense scrutiny? Does she know how to cite other authors or is she intentionally using the words of other organizations and journalists? With such a distinguished resume one would assume that she would be capable of citing references and even prepared to supply them.
Coulter's website doesn't seem to have any defense in this accusation. Instead, her July 5th entry is an attack on The Post for not running an interview she did with them. Is this her feeble attempt at slinging mud? In my opinion, when the guilty party doesn't have a defense it tries to throw in a distraction. Being an attorney Coulter is probably a professional at such strategies.
Unfortunately, Coulter supporters will ignore the charge and the rest of us will despise her all the more.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Depressive Realism: Is there a way to reason it out?

Warning: Not a lighthearted kind of post!

I first heard of depressive realism from my mentor in college and later discussed it's personal meaning with a like-minded professor. Basically, depressive realism is the hypothesis that mildly depressed individuals are more realistic than happy or clinically depressed people. This gave me a concept. I was no longer the pessimist, but instead, the realist.
Great! Now I'm average and the pressure is off. Or is it? I still have the burn to do something beyond a bachelor's degree. Ah ha. Now my friend depressive realism enters the thought process. Maybe i should settle for a Master's degree. Can I really hack 4 more years and an internship?
My practice at positive thinking then enters the conversation. "Settle" no you can't settle. If you can get through those hellacious years of undergrad then you can get through any academic challenge.
And so it seems I am weighing depressive realism with positive thinking and it is always stagnant to some degree. That's where I'm at. No where. Does being depressively realistic help me? In the end will it protect me from failure? Is there any protection from failure? What good does the truth do when it is holding me back?

What do I benefit from knowing reality, that is, from intellectually knowing the truth?

Fideism is the newest of J's terms. Interestingly enough fideism can be interpreted in one way as to contend that faith and truth cannot be reasoned. Whoa. This little agnostic perked up at the introduction of this philosophy. Here's the deal, I have read the research, I have researched the rebuttals, I know there is no intelligent design and believe Christ and Siddhartha may have been the same person - or even two cool dudes. That's it though - no saviors or Gods. I want to believe in something so badly, but organized religion is the epitome of my disgust. My mentor is active in organized religion and has told me that he believes because he wants to - and leaves all reason at the door.
Can I release my grasp on reason, reality, & intellectual truth in hopes of finding a more comforting and possibly meaningful life?
There are no epiphanies as of yet and it seems like more than just making a choice.