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.


the occasional cig... said...

i love how you document so well! you should also check out for some debunking of rove/bush arguments against the use of stem cells in research.
on a sidenote, it never ceases to amaze me the way the congress (and the pres. apparently, who issued his forst veto EVER yesterday--doesn't that say something about his rubber-stamp congress?) disregard the wishes of their constituents and vote the opposite on bills such as the one you talk about. i actually had this argument with my very conservative granpa over father's day--if the citizens of the respective congressman's state think the stem cell intiative should be passed then said congressman should vote to pass it, regardless of his beliefs. i'm sorry, but your fucking job is to represent my views (i'm assuming the senators etc. of this bible-belt state voted 'no') regardless of what jesus or anyone else tells you. if you don't like it, don't run for office! furthermore, if i wanted to live in a country that was governed solely by religion, i would move to iran...

girlymama said...

i believe that many conservatives (well, me anyway, but i'm no ann coulter. *shudder*) would support stem cell research on embryos that were going to be destroyed anyway. simply 'throwing them away' is clearly a waste. yes, i believe that an embryo is a human life, but i recognize that some fertility methods have left us with a zillion little frozen babies all over the country.

i know two couples who used these methods of conceiving. one couple (who felt every embryo needed a chance at life) had 6 kids (including two sets of twin boys. yikes) and had to move to another state where they could afford to house them all. another friend had 4 kids (including twins born at 27 weeks, one of whom has genetic disorders) and was left with 8 embryos she had to decide what to do with. so they, ahem, inserted them and she ended up not conceiving. and was very grateful. But not everyone feels this compulsion to try to have them all. So what to do?

i certainly think that using these embryos for research into curing terrible diseases is a much better alternative to throwing them in a trashcan. but what conservatives fear is when scientists start creating new embryos to conduct research. creating a life simply to conduct research on it is something i am very uncomfortable with and it has great potential for misuse. this fear, this potential devaluing of human life, is what has conservatives so scared.

personally, once i found out that stem cells were also in a baby’s umbilical cord, i officially threw out this whole ridiculous embryonic argument. there is a way to conduct all this valuable research without even touching on the abortion/religious/political debate. there is a way for both sides to be happy. federal dollars could be spent collecting donor cord blood instead of donor embryos. all the needed stem cells for research could be collected with no ‘threat to the embryos,’ no debate, no controversy. um, duh!

great cartoon, btw.