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GEORGE BUSH KILLED CHRISTOPHER REEVE

GEORGE BUSH KILLED CHRISTOPHER REEVE

This didn’t take long…already it is being insinuated in the press and elsewhere (including the statement by John Edwards) that somehow Christopher Reeve would be alive and walking around today were it not for the mean old George Bush banning federal funding for stem cell research. By the way, you do know that prior to George Bush being elected, there wasn’t any funding for stem cell research at all?

You should also know that there is no ban on stem cell research. Never has been. The only restriction is that federal funds cannot be used for new lines of embryonic stem cell research. That’s it. This is no different than banning federal funds for say, abortion. You can still have one, it’s just that the state isn’t going to pay for it. But in the world of the liberals, a lack of federal funds equals a ban. And so it goes.

But perhaps we should see what Christopher Reeve himself had to say on the subject. Earlier this year, Reeve was interviewed by Reader’s Digest. He was asked where he stood on federal funding of stem cell research. “I advocate it because I think scientists should be free to pursue every possible avenue. It appears though, at the moment, that embryonic stem cells are effective in treating acute injuries and are not able to do much about chronic injuries.” In other words, embryonic stem cell research wouldn’t have helped Christopher Reeve.

But that won’t stop the left from shamelessly hijacking the legacy of a man who is no longer with us.
http://boortz.com/index.html
Neal Boortz

That might be overstating it just a tad, but Edwards’ comments were also overstatements – One would think that the idea of politicizing deaths would have taken a hit after it completely backfired w/r/t former Senator Norm Coleman, RIP.

At any rate, the WSJ had an editorial on the subject today:

Man of Steel
October 13, 2004; Page A16

Christopher Reeve, who died Sunday of complications brought on by his paralysis, inspired Americans on many levels. As an actor, he brought to life a character blessed with tremendous powers who confronted situations in which he struggled to figure out how to use them for good. As a victim of spinal-cord injury, Mr. Reeve refused to give in to despair in a situation that many would have found hopeless. And as an activist, he appealed to Americans to invest in the power of science to create medical miracles. For all of these contributions, we mourn his passing.

Mr. Reeve’s rich legacy, however, is in danger of becoming one-dimensional. It’s true that he was a political figure, championing stem-cell research. But one can embrace his vision of progress without agreeing that the road he proposed taking was right in every respect.

At issue is one of those gray areas on which there is room for disagreement and ought to be vigorous debate, the killing of human embryos as a source of stem cells. Some, however, seem eager to use Mr. Reeve’s legacy to shut off the debate. For instance, Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards promised Monday, “When John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve will get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.”

First off, Senator Edwards assumes that research using embryonic stem cells will lead quickly and inevitably to a breakthrough for spinal cord injuries. If only science were that simple. The experts say that getting nerve cells to regrow and form new connections over significant distances is probably one of the most difficult challenges in the field. And even if a breakthrough is made, it may take much longer to turn it into a workable therapy.

More important, the ethics of this research is not as black and white as Senator Edwards implies. Taking an embryo that has the capacity to become a human being and cannibalizing it, quite literally, for spare parts may prove to be the beginning of a slippery slope that leads to human cloning for the purpose of growing new organs. While human cloning is banned for now, private citizens are still free to use embryos for stem-cell research. Private financing is unhindered, and voters in California are being asked to vote on whether they should finance it next month.

President Bush has drawn the line at using federal government money to promote such work, with the exception of research involving existing colonies of cells. This happens to be similar to the compromise that the U.S. political system has reached on abortion rights, in which abortion is legal but taxpayers who object on moral or religious grounds aren’t obliged to pay for it. So it’s especially ironic that the image of President Ronald Reagan, a staunch opponent of abortion rights, has also now been hijacked for the cause of steamrolling over all moral objections to the unlimited taxpayer-financing of stem-cell research.

While Christopher Reeve lent his name to this cause, his legacy also speaks to the need to consider the ethics of our actions before we deploy our powers. Like the morality plays of medieval times, comic book characters introduce us as children to the notion that life’s decisions are not always black and white. That part of Christopher Reeve’s legacy also deserves to be remembered.

I think Stem Cells will eventually prove to be a useful therapy, though limited to a narrow ranges of patients and conditions. I see it as more of an adjunct procedure, rather than a primary. I think it also bears noting that the private sector, ie, Pharmaceutical Companies have hardly touched this field of study, because they feel its very limited-if stem cells could do even 10 percent of what some (ie liberals) claim, it would be the largest and most profitable therapy in the history of health care and I suspect that Merck, Lilly and others would be all over it–but they are not.

We still need to do the research-even if its just to rule it out.

Great Initial Post

keith w.

[quote]Navin Johnson wrote:

In other words, embryonic stem cell research wouldn’t have helped Christopher Reeve.

[/quote]

Anyone who knows anything about stem cells and how they work (rather then just using quotes from what other people say and reinterpreting it) can tell you that there are endless possibilities when it comes to advancements in modern medicine. Not many companies would be willing to fund stem cell research because you can’t exactly patent it and anyone can come along and make a profit without the investment once they make a discovery. Therefore, government funding is almost necessary to see substantial progression in this feild.

Also the comparison to an abortion is pretty rediculous. Abortions don’t save lives, whereas stem cell research can and that is why people look to the government for funding (it is our money the government is using, they just get to choose what happens to it). You can compare the government paying for an abortion to the government paying for your doctor bill, but not stem cell research.

And on a last note, I don’t think George Bush is at fault for Christopher Reeves death because Bush doesn’t know anything about stem cells or biology in general and you can’t blame the ignorant. He just does what the religious conservatives ask him to do, and they are also ignorant to the endless possibilities at hand. Stem cells are some really cool stuff (specifically embryonic) and they could be an integral part of modern medicine if the doors of opportunity are opened.

Right on Brotha!

ugh, dude.

we dont even know if stem cell research will pan out, and already ppl are praising them as the end to all desease.

“Endless possibilitis” often end up as nada… And I do know about biology, so dont try that card.

We have yet to figure out how to even use them in ‘therapies’, much less use them succesfully or with any kind of efficiency. Its not like you just inject some stem cells or pop a stem cell pill and everything is fixed. Far frome it. And sure, a cure is great, but if Bill Gates cant even afford it, what the hell good does it do? I think that there may be a great thing in stem cells, but that is based on hope more than science.

He died falling off of a horse.

[quote]ArnldNaledUrMom wrote:
Anyone who knows anything about stem cells and how they work (rather then just using quotes from what other people say and reinterpreting it) can tell you that there are endless possibilities when it comes to advancements in modern medicine. Not many companies would be willing to fund stem cell research because you can’t exactly patent it and anyone can come along and make a profit without the investment once they make a discovery. Therefore, government funding is almost necessary to see substantial progression in this feild.

Also the comparison to an abortion is pretty rediculous. Abortions don’t save lives, whereas stem cell research can and that is why people look to the government for funding (it is our money the government is using, they just get to choose what happens to it). You can compare the government paying for an abortion to the government paying for your doctor bill, but not stem cell research.

And on a last note, I don’t think George Bush is at fault for Christopher Reeves death because Bush doesn’t know anything about stem cells or biology in general and you can’t blame the ignorant. He just does what the religious conservatives ask him to do, and they are also ignorant to the endless possibilities at hand. Stem cells are some really cool stuff (specifically embryonic) and they could be an integral part of modern medicine if the doors of opportunity are opened.[/quote]

Leave it to the left wing dumbasses to demagogue a subject that has no place in the political arena, yet.

You say you know something about this subject? It looks to me like all you know how to do is swallow whatever shit the left is shoveling. You have not said a thing that even remotely resembles a fact.

If your gonna play, use facts or else just shut up and color.

On a totally different tack, not necessarily political, the British have been able to implant and grow a new tooth (a molar) using stem cells. This would beat the heck out of dentures!

I know there are concerns raised, but at the same time, growing a lung or a liver without growing an entire spare clone doesn’t seem much different than growing a fungus. It’s just cells.

There has been research on the use of stem cells and it is striking at times. For example, stem cells have been shown capable of repairing a heart. They “add themselves to it” or some such and it becomes healthier. No new organ was grown at all, just cells.

Right now, while we are young and healthy, this is an abstract issue. However, older generations are greatly in need of and greatly desire this technology. If a way can be found to offer it, without violating the sanctity of life, shouldn’t it be done?

So lets find a way to do it without growing clones…

At the same time, look at the money we invest in researching new ways to kill. New ways to conduct warfare. New types of nuclear weapons. This type of research has very little upside in terms of benefits to humanity, is all about death, and we don’t bitch about this. Strange.

I’m not trying to rile anybody politically, but its interesting to consider.

We tend to go from order to disorder - Newton’ 2nd or 3rd law of thermodynamics…

It’s easier to make shit to kill people - it’s what we humans do better than anything else.

vroom - is this whole stem-dell research thing as much of a hot potato up there as it has been made out to be down here?

I’m all for the research - but to politicize something as new and fragile as this field is - just smells petty to me.

It’s easy to bash something when you are in perfect health. A lot of people don’t have that luxury, and if there is even a .01% chance that stem cells could lead to a cure for even one disease, in my opinion, it is worth it. By the way, my dad has a neurological disease similar to Parkinson’s. I don’t want to have to go through that bullshit.

Now I’ll admit that I don’t know a lot about stem cell therapy but I don’t believe you can patent medical procedures. Can you patent the instruments of which to complete a procedure, I believe so.

“Don’t take away my hope, that’s what keeps me going.” -Michael J. Fox

[quote]rainman wrote:
If your gonna play, use facts or else just shut up and color. [/quote]

Damn good advice, rainman.

For you, especially.

The main problem with embryonic stem cells is that all the wimmen will be goin out and gettin theyselves knocked up so’s they can sell their embryonics to the highest bidder. And that ain’t right. Er that there is what the preacher says, anyways. I don’t knows, seems to me like if the ol lady could earn her some money just from fuckin and selling the embryonics maybe we could afford to put a porch on the trailer.

George Bush for president!

Wow. I can’t believe Edwards said what he did. That was weak. But I have to agree with the pro-research guys on this one. True, there’s no “ban” on stem cell research, but let’s face it, no company is going to aggressively research something that they can’t patent later. They are businesses, and investing a whole bunch of time and money on something that has no monetary payoff makes no sense. And whoever was saying that the research is in its infancy is right. It is; and that further hinders selling the idea of developing stem-cell research to anybody but a pure-science government-funded institute. Let’s cut the political BS here, and just face facts. It’s gonna take a lot of work time and a lot of money to develop anything from this promising new technology. Without government funding, this ain’t gonna happen.

[quote]tme wrote:
Damn good advice, rainman.
For you, especially.
[/quote]

I ain’t the one spewin party line bullshit on stem cell research.

Do you have any facts on the issue? Didn’t think so - all you’ve got as far as an argument is your own special flavor of left-wing feces.

Sit in the corner, grab a crayon, and try to stay in the lines.

I didn’t know Charles Krauthammer was parapalegic, nor that he went to medical school:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A34167-2004Oct14.html

An Edwards Outrage

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, October 15, 2004; Page A23

After the second presidential debate, in which John Kerry used the word “plan” 24 times, I said on television that Kerry has a plan for everything except curing psoriasis. I should have known there is no parodying Kerry’s pandering. It turned out days later that the Kerry campaign has a plan – nay, a promise – to cure paralysis. What is the plan? Vote for Kerry.

This is John Edwards on Monday at a rally in Newton, Iowa: “If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.”

In my 25 years in Washington, I have never seen a more loathsome display of demagoguery. Hope is good. False hope is bad. Deliberately, for personal gain, raising false hope in the catastrophically afflicted is despicable.

Where does one begin to deconstruct this outrage?

First, the inability of the human spinal cord to regenerate is one of the great mysteries of biology. The answer is not remotely around the corner. It could take a generation to unravel. To imply, as Edwards did, that it is imminent if only you elect the right politicians is scandalous.

Second, if the cure for spinal cord injury comes, we have no idea where it will come from. There are many lines of inquiry. Stem cell research is just one of many possibilities, and a very speculative one at that. For 30 years I have heard promises of miracle cures for paralysis (including my own, suffered as a medical student). The last fad, fetal tissue transplants, was thought to be a sure thing. Nothing came of it.

As a doctor by training, I’ve known better than to believe the hype – and have tried in my own counseling of people with new spinal cord injuries to place the possibility of cure in abeyance. I advise instead to concentrate on making a life (and a very good life it can be) with the hand one is dealt. The greatest enemies of this advice have been the snake-oil salesmen promising a miracle around the corner. I never expected a candidate for vice president to be one of them.

Third, the implication that Christopher Reeve was prevented from getting out of his wheelchair by the Bush stem cell policies is a travesty.

George Bush is the first president to approve federal funding for stem cell research. There are 22 lines of stem cells now available, up from one just two years ago. As Leon Kass, head of the President’s Council on Bioethics, has written, there are 3,500 shipments of stem cells waiting for anybody who wants them.

Edwards and Kerry constantly talk of a Bush “ban” on stem cell research. This is false. There is no ban. You want to study stem cells? You get them from the companies that have the cells and apply to the National Institutes of Health for the federal funding.

In his Aug. 7 radio address to the nation, Kerry referred not once but four times to the “ban” on stem cell research instituted by Bush. At the time, Reeve was alive, so not available for posthumous exploitation. But Ronald Reagan was available, having recently died of Alzheimer’s.

So what does Kerry do? He begins his radio address with the disgraceful claim that the stem cell “ban” is standing in the way of an Alzheimer’s cure.

This is an outright lie. The President’s Council on Bioethics, on which I sit, had one of the world’s foremost experts on Alzheimer’s, Dennis Selkoe from Harvard, give us a lecture on the newest and most promising approaches to solving the Alzheimer’s mystery. Selkoe reported remarkable progress in using biochemicals to clear the “plaque” deposits in the brain that lead to Alzheimer’s. He ended his presentation without the phrase “stem cells” having passed his lips.

So much for the miracle cure. Ronald D.G. McKay, a stem cell researcher at NIH, has admitted publicly that stem cells as an Alzheimer’s cure are a fiction, but that “people need a fairy tale.” Kerry and Edwards certainly do. They are shamelessly exploiting this fairy tale, having no doubt been told by their pollsters that stem cells play well politically for them.

Politicians have long promised a chicken in every pot. It is part of the game. It is one thing to promise ethanol subsidies here, dairy price controls there. But to exploit the desperate hopes of desperate people with the promise of Christ-like cures is beyond the pale.

There is no apologizing for Edwards’s remark. It is too revealing. There is absolutely nothing the man will not say to get elected.

letters@charleskrauthammer.com