Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Saturday, March 7, 2009


Obama To Reverse Funding Ban On Stem Cell Work
by The Associated Press

March 6, 2009 · President Barack Obama is expected to sign an executive order on Monday reversing restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

The long-expected move is likely to stir up not only the promise of scientific breakthrough, but also the controversy over where government crosses a moral line.

Obama will hold an event at the White House to announce the move, a senior administration official said Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the policy had not yet been publicly announced.

Many people believe that using embryonic cells even from placentas is morally wrong, and use the highly emotional but inapt argument that it's "killing a baby." An embryonic cell is potential life, no one argues that, but it is not a "baby." A stem cell is not a fetus. It does not have a neurological system, a brain, any organs, or a cirulatory system. The stem cell is composed of approximately 100 cells, a blastocyst. Does that make it a "baby?" No. Does it make it a potential life? Yes. It is a potential life. An apple seed is not an apple, but a potential apple.

Some religions teach that at the moment of conception there is a soul present. But that is a religious idea, not a scientific one. And few religions agree on exactly when this soul is manifest in the blastocyst.

The question is can we really deprive thousands of people from a cure to their devastating ailments because we want to play a game with semantics?

A collection of cells without a brain or any other organs is really not a fetus, afterall. And, it is unreasonable to sit by and let a war of words hinder the health of living, breathing human beings whose only hope for a normal life is in the hands of stem cell research.

Here is a site that gives the pros and cons of this issue.

UPDATE: ABC News' Karen Travers reports that Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del, co-author of the stem cell legislation that President Bush vetoed twice, welcomed the White House decision.

"I could not be more excited to hear that President Obama will finally lift the stifling restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research -- something I have actively fought for over the last five years," Castle said in a statement. "This single action symbolizes a new day for scientific research and highlights the importance of a strong federal role in promoting potentially life-saving science. I look forward to learning the details of the executive order, and immediately working with the President and colleagues in Congress to codify the policy to ensure that scientists are deciding what research to pursue from here."


The Vatican has defended the excommunication of the mother and doctors of a nine-year old girl who had an abortion (the child was pregnant with twins) in Brazil after being raped by her step-father (who had been abusing her, it was reported, for 3 years).

The step-father and rapist was not excommunicated.

Well at least they are consistent in not excommunicating child rapists.

"God's law is above any human law. So when a human law ... is contrary to God's law, this human law has no value," Cardoso had said.

BTW, One of the 10 Commandments warns that "Thou shalt keep holy the Lord's day." And in the OT, God commands that if you see your neighbor working on the Sabbath, you have the right to kill him/her.

It appears that human law in this case has superseded God's.

But we never look for rationality in irrational places.


phyl said...

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TRUTH 101 said...

The stem cell issue has been one of the biggest crocks of sh%t purpotrated by the right wing ever. They feign outrage that this fertilized egg in a freezer would be used to save God knows how many lives instead of having eight of them implanted in hopes that one of them takes. It's okay with these jokers to play roulette with an egg but not save lives. They worry that it's a human being with rights so they want to keep Junior frozen. Of course these same idiots want to torture people because something bad happened and the guy has a funny Arab name.

BB-Idaho said...

"The stem cell issue has been one of the biggest crocks of sh%t purpotrated by the right wing ever." It fits well with that other crock: creationism: had science been replaced by it, we need not worry about stem cells.
Or medicine, or computers, or...

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dmarks said...

Ray: Does it mix well with spam-sold Human Growth Hormone and c1alis/VI4grA?

Ruth said...

The winger obsession with pre-natal syndrome is particularly silly in view of the myriad heroic stories in their accepted Word of God, the bible, that involve killing. Judith beheading her enemy after inviting him in is a real quandary. If the grown man she killed had been an embryo, maybe the wingers would have a better idea of their own disconnect.
Judith 15:4-11 NRSV

Time said...

These religious based pro lifers, turn around and vote for State sanctioned killing. It's "eye for an eye" bible justice.

They are happy to push for war in the Middle East, to have their bible prophecies come true. The end of the World is what they seek.

They can't wait to end life as we know it, to experience an afterlife promised by their God.

Of course, that only happens after their peace loving, life preserving God reigns for 1000 years killing off all the "bad" people.

The Jesus look a like holding an AK-47 seems apt for this son of their God.

dmarks said...

In the interests of peace, I give Time a free vial of StemTech powdered stem-cell nutritional supplement. Take 4 times a day.

Time said...

I don't take anything from conspiracy theorists, liars, or people who live in a delusion.

dmarks said...

I hope you enjoy the gift, because from reading the above comment, it is clear you took it.

Unless it turns out that you don't take things from Trekkies. Since I actually am one of those, that might require you to refuse your fine multi-level-marketing neutraceutical gift.

My Liberiel Blog said...

You Republicans are the arsonists who burned down our national home. You combined the failed ideologies of the Religious Right, so-called free market deregulation and the Neoconservative love of war to light a fire that has consumed America. Now you have the nerve to criticize the "architect" America just hired -- President Obama -- to rebuild from the ashes. You do nothing constructive, just try to hinder the one person willing and able to fix the mess you created.

I used to be one of you. As recently as 2000 I worked to get Senator McCain elected in that year's primary. (McCain and Gen. Tommy Franks wrote glowing endorsements regarding my book about military service, AWOL.). I have a file of handwritten thank you notes from Presidents Ford, Reagan, Bush I and II. In the 1970s and early 80s I hung out with Jack Kemp and bought into his "supply side" myth and even wrote a book he endorsed pushing his ideas.) There's more, but take it from me; my parents (evangelical leaders Francis and Edith Schaeffer) and I were about as tight with -- and useful to -- the Republican Party as anyone. We played a big part creating the Religious Right.

In the mid 1980s I left the Religious Right, after I realized just how very anti-American they are, (the theme I explore in my book Crazy For God). They wanted America to fail in order to prove they were right about America's "moral decline." Soon after McCain lost in 2000 I re-registered as an independent in disgust with W. Bush. But I still respected many Republicans. Not today.

How can anyone who loves our country support the Republicans now? Barry Goldwater, William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan defined the modern conservatism that used to be what the Republican Party I belonged to was about. Today no actual conservative can be a Republican. Reagan would despise today's wholly negative Republican Party. And can you picture the gentlemanly and always polite Ronald Reagan, endorsing a radio hate-jock slob who crudely mocked a man with Parkinson's and who now says he wants an American president to fail?!

With people like Limbaugh as the loudmouth image of the Republican Party -- you need no enemies. But something far more serious has happened than an image problem: the Republican Party has become the party of obstruction at just the time when all Americans should be pulling together for the good of our country. Instead, Republicans are today's fifth column sabotaging American renewal.

President Obama has been in office barely 45 days and the Republican Party has the nerve to blame him for the economic and military cataclysm he inherited. I say economic and military cataclysm because without the needless war in Iraq you all backed we would not be in the economic mess we're in today. If that money had been spent here at home on renovating our infrastructure, taking us toward a green economy, putting our health-care system in order we'd be a very different situation.

As the father of a Marine who served in George W. Bush's misbegotten wars let me say this: if President Obama's strategy to repair our economy, infrastructure and healthcare fails that will put our troops at far greater risk because the world will become a far more dangerous place. So for all you flag-waving Republicans who are trying to undermine the President at home -- if you succeed more of our troops will be killed abroad.

When your new leader Rush Limbaugh calls for President Obama to fail he's calling for more flag-draped coffins. Limbaugh is the new "Hanoi Jane."

For the party that created our crises of misbegotten war, mismanaged economy, the lack of regulation of our banking industry, handing our country to rich crooks... to obstruct the one person who is trying to repair the damage is obscene.

Just imagine where America would be today if the 14 to 20 million voters -- "the rube base" who slavishly follow the likes of Limbaugh -- had not voted as a block year after year thus empowering the Republican fiasco. We would have a regulated banking industry and would have avoided our current financial crisis; some 4000 of our killed military men and women would be alive; over to 35,000 wounded Americans would be whole; we would have been leaders in the environmental movement; we would be in the middle of a green technology boom fueling a huge expansion of our economy and stopping our dependence on foreign oil, and our health-care system would be reformed.

After Obama was elected, you Republican leaders had a unique last chance to send a patriotic message of unity to the world -- and to all Americans. You could have backed our president's economic recovery plan. Since we all know that half of our problem is one of lost confidence and perception, nothing would have done more to calm the markets and project resolve and confidence than if you had been big enough to take Obama's offered hand and had work with him -- even if you disagreed ideologically. You had the chance to put our country first. You utterly failed to rise to the occasion.

The worsening economic situation is your fault and your fault alone. The Republicans created this mess through 8 years of backing the worst president in our history and now, because you put partisan ideology ahead of the good of our country, you have blown your last chance to redeem yourselves. You deserve the banishment to the political wilderness that awaits all traitors

Shaw Kenawe said...

To the writer who posted under "My Liberal Blog,"

Thank you for you comments, you're welcome here.

If you are who I think you are, I've read your work on the internet and over at Huffington Post.

I don't think we'll get any cooperation from the Republican Party as it is today.

The Democrats stood with George W. Bush on the Iraq War and on a lot of his legislation.

By voting as it has done and by slavishly following and being fearful of a demagogue(save for the three brave souls in the Senate) the GOP does not appear to be a thinking, rational group, but rather a rabid ideological party that will not gain the confidence of the American people.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

If killing blastocysts (collection of cells) then every time the doctor swabs your mouth you're killing thousands of potential lives.

They can't be both FOR in vitro and against stell cell research. Especially if those embryos will be throw away anyway. Why not use them for some benefit instead of wasting them and tossing them in the incinerator?

Arthurstone said...

Speaking of the sanctity of human life I read a great line on the Seattle Times website in re: Nadya Suleman and the octuplets.

March Breakfast Special at Denny's

Eight eggs. No sausage and the rest of the diners pick up the tab.

libhom said...

The stem cell controversy is due to the right wing not wanting to admit that they have lied about their reasons for opposing abortion and birth control.

They know that zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are not human beings. They have just pretended this because they want to deny women the freedom to choose on abortion. Now, their lies are affecting people with horrible diseases.

dmarks said...

"They know that zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are not human beings."

Are you so absolutely sure on all of this? I suppose then that newborns, especially premature ones, aren't human beings either, right? A 8 month premie is younger, after all, than a 9 month fetus about to be born.

"They have just pretended this because they want to deny women the freedom to choose on abortion."

I have yet to meet anyone who wants this. However, I have met many who outright oppose abortion.

Ill said...

I am ill, and doctors believe that one thing that will restore me to health is human stem cell research. I never cared about it before I was struck ill, but now it is the most important thing in the world to me. It holds the hope that I won't have to deal with this illness any more, and I am angry with anyone who stands in the way of that.

If a few babies don't happen, who cares? They are unwanted, obviously, by their parents and thus worthless. Their cells would go to much better use in restoring me to health and promising me a longer life.

I am so very glad that so many out there support this, and because of you, I will likely get the fetal cells that I require. I do not want to die, and these cells taken from otherwise unfortunate fetuses will keep me from that. Thank you.