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Republican Obama?

Justin Webb | 20:19 UK time, Monday, 2 February 2009

To those who missed the Republicans' shameless discovery of their very own Obama, I would say keep an eye on Michael Steele, who is both able and ambitious.

But is he quite the moderate that he appears to be? It seems to me that on one social issue, stem cell research, he could be completely outside the mainstream - every bit as much as, say, Sarah Palin probably is.

This piece rightly focuses on an apology he had to give to Jewish-Americans, but his lack of thoughtfulness about stem cell research is mind boggling to millions of people whose relatives stand to benefit from this area of medicine (I am one - with my son's juvenile diabetes).

I remember a wise person during the Terri Schiavo affair suggested that Americans tended to throw off some of their moral caution when the social issue at hand might affect them or their loved ones.

In that case it was the right to die - in the case of stem cells, it is the chances of frightening diseases, even paralysis, being tackled.

If this wonderful chap could show some further progress over the next four or eight years, no Republican standing "against" stem cell research could win the presidency.

Much of what the Obama adminstration does a future Republican administration will undo: stem cell research is not such an issue. If it works, as with so much else in this nation, it will be enthusiastically adopted.

Of course a fair minded person would acknowledge that some of the research being conducted has NOT been hampered by the Bush restrictions (researchers used adult stem cells or those already in existence when the bans arrived) and that the whole field is still open to question as here. But I still don't see the clock going back on this one - not in America.

Comments

  • 1. At 8:46pm on 02 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 2. At 9:08pm on 02 Feb 2009, bravest1 wrote:

    I'm a conservative and in light of the election in November,

    Michael Steele made some comments that appeared to be liberal, you call his election shameless and your post is dripping with

    cynicism, I call it being pragmatic, even if I wanted someone else to be chairman or our party.

    About Me

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  • 3. At 9:17pm on 02 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    I may have misread misread the article on Justin's hero, Melton, but it seemed to say that the argument on use of embryonic stem cells (as opposed to adult) may have been made redundant by the ability to re-program existing cells. It would certainly appear ironic if Bush's 'dark ages' actually prompted an easier method to progress this research.

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  • 4. At 9:18pm on 02 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #1 - typical man!

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  • 5. At 9:42pm on 02 Feb 2009, The Law Man wrote:

    I put a post on the forum a couple of days ago criticising the lack of a blog on Michael Steele.

    Feel like a bit of an idiot now...

    Apologies

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  • 6. At 9:42pm on 02 Feb 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #2 bravest1

    What a coincidence that the RNC choose an Black man for it's Chair days after the first Black POTUS takes office. Is Justin being cynical? Never!

    This Michael Steele seems to suffer from Foot In Mouth disease, similar to Joe Biden; but I suppose what he says isn't that important.

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  • 7. At 10:04pm on 02 Feb 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    GOP has completely lost its identity. Its presidential candidate ran on a quasi reform ticket against its own party incumbent ...."hey, git me one of them 'change' signs, they workin' real nice"..."hey, find me a woman candidate too cuz' Hillary is actually pulling some votes but make it a hot one, heh heh"....."all right, that's it, find me a well-educated lookin' man of color cuz that seems to pull in some votes"...... too bad they can't just concentrate on getting the right things done and recognizing people for their actual worth...but maybe the old-timey party leaders only just realized women and minorities got the right to vote and that together they outnumber the 'average white joe'...maybe in 4 more years the party'll be run by people who know there's a right and wrong.

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  • 8. At 10:14pm on 02 Feb 2009, ketchemr wrote:

    I am dismayed at the misinformation put out concerning a conservative view of stem cell research. Republicans are very much in favor of stem cell research. They are opposed to embryonic stem cell research, but not at all opposed to adult stem cell research. As you may know, it is adult stem cell research that by far shows the most promise, has no rejection issues that embryonic stem cells have, and does not require harvesting human children. Or perhaps you are not aware of the distinction?

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  • 9. At 10:27pm on 02 Feb 2009, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    Justin thinks that "Much of what the Obama administration does a future Republican administration will undo: stem cell research is not such an issue."

    Fine. So stem cell research is safe. But what about health care? What about education? What about needless costly (both in money and lives) wars? What about the steady slow erosion of our "freedoms" that the Republicans like to crow so much about? What about abortion rights! You see Justin, while it is wonderful that for once in American life a personal desire looks to be sacrificed in the interests of the betterment of man, nevertheless there are so, so many other equally important issues that a future Republican administration will undoutidly reverse, and then where will we be? A near dictitorial, poorer, less educated, less healthy, unhappyer nation with the capability to cure debilitating diseases that's where!! And given these circumstances one has to wonder, why spend all this money and time on research if most likely the majority of our people won't probably be able to aford the treatments that the research will be able to provide in the first place?



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  • 10. At 10:35pm on 02 Feb 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    #6 dceilar

    I think you've hit the nail on the head. Michael Steele - coincidence ..... hmmmm!

    I'll admit I've never heard of Michael Steele until now, so I can't judge his competence (although his link between stem-cell research and Nazi experimentation shows, if nothing else, that he has very poor judgement).

    However, given that elements of the Right have being crying foul since 4th November that African-American democrats voted for Obama "because he is black", it seems mighty coincidental that a "relatively" unknown African-American Republican should defeat the front runner.

    What a boost for the USA's image for racial tolerance .... or is it a devious attempt to claw back the religious conservative African-Americans - thus implying to them that the GOP leadership really DOES think that black people only vote for other black people?

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  • 11. At 10:44pm on 02 Feb 2009, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    #5 hfc-knufc Don't apologise! You never know. Perhaps Justin read your suggestion and took it.

    And speecking of suggestions, Justin you may want to write an entry on the possibility of immigrants being allowed to run for president. Right now it is explicitly band in the constitution, but with 1/10th of our population consisting of immigrants and set to only increase, and with our nation bosting that it is a "nation of immigrants" all the time, it only seems fair and true to our ideals to remove this stipulation from our constitution does it not? Justin do you know of any efforts underway to reverse this stipulation in the works?

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  • 12. At 10:54pm on 02 Feb 2009, rodidog wrote:

    Great Biden Gaffes:

    "Stand up, Chuck, let 'em see ya." –-Joe Biden, to Missouri state Sen. Chuck Graham, who is in a wheelchair, Columbia, Missouri, Sept. 12, 2008

    "Look, John's last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number-one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs." --Joe Biden

    "When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened." –Joe Biden, apparently unaware that FDR wasn't president when the stock market crashed in 1929 and that only experimental TV sets were in use at that time

    (above quotes taken from Daniel Kurtzman's Political Humor Blog )

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  • 13. At 11:27pm on 02 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    What's really shocking is that Maryland still has a whites-only country club, or did in '06 when the Post article was written. Many years ago when I lived there, a country club gave up some sort of green-space-preservation public funds rather than admit women. Guess the place hasn't changed that much.

    Michael Steele joins Sarah Palin in the club of GOP tokens. No freethinkers admitted.

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  • 14. At 11:32pm on 02 Feb 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    8 ketchemr

    "Harvesting human children" .... now who is putting out misinformation ?

    You have your view and I respect that, but using deliberately emotive terms as above does not contribute to good debate. Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice a child is not a child until it is born. Until then it is a foetus. Please at least use correct terminology.



    Incidentally do you oppose IVF treatment? It is routine for many more embryos to be created than are used, and for multiple embryos to be implanted in the hope that one will "take". Is this murder?
    I see very few reports of protests outside IVF clinics.

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  • 15. At 11:45pm on 02 Feb 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    The selection of Michael Steele as Chairman of the RNC is a desperate attempt by a party in disarray to portray a more inclusive image to attract minorities and address the concerns of moderates who have been leaving the party in droves and registering as Independents.

    The result of the stem cell research restrictions imposed by the Bush II Administration resulted in other countries becoming leaders in that field, the same way that our insistence on abstinence undermined the effectiveness of aid to combat AIDS and other venereal diseases in Africa.

    The GOP needs more than just a Michael Steele to restore its credibility and become a viable alternative; it has to stop its tendency to let religious values influence its agenda, and it must embrace the values and aspirations of mainstream America rather than those of a rapidly disappearing minority if it wants to stay in business.

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  • 16. At 00:14am on 03 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    Rodidog, remember that Biden is a democrat, so is expected to have his brains somewhat scrambled. Steele does not have that excuse.

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  • 17. At 00:24am on 03 Feb 2009, AgreeableAmerican wrote:

    As a resident of the State of Maryland, I'm familiar with the former Lt. Governor's political standpoints. I even had the unfortunate experience of meeting the man once.

    Now let me make clear that there are traditional, fiscally responsible Republicans, with whom I have no problem, and then there are Moral-Right-Woefully-Dangerous-Republicans that represent everything wrong with the United States.

    The latter would seek to limit social rights, provide corporate tax benefits, create a US theocracy, and stifle scientific and environmental progress.

    Mr. Steele, along with Ms. Palin, are among the worst of said group. I think if they ran on the same presidential ticket and won, the US would see its own version of the European Dark Ages.

    I hope for all our sakes that scientific progress in Stem Cell research sinks him, for all our sakes, since he seems to be gaining power in a disturbingly quick manner.

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  • 18. At 00:43am on 03 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    May I please go off topic for a moment? This is really important. Do any of you Brits know the proper pronunciation of the name "Thirkell," as in Angela Thirkell? I need to know if the accent is on the first or second syllable. Thank you so much.

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  • 19. At 01:03am on 03 Feb 2009, chivalrousmichelle wrote:

    We are waiting the real change that the President Obama will do .
    The most important step to Change is to give knowledge of Humanitarian law in war scenes. Sir Marco Pizzorno ,an important expert of Humanitarian Law says "If We Change our mind , We can Change Our Life". So we can start to change, I hope President Obama can hear the Marco Pizzorno's words.

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  • 20. At 01:19am on 03 Feb 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    I apologize in advance for showing disdain for the topic at hand, but I am much more concerned about some of the items included by the House in the recovery plan and by the nomination of Tom "tax evader" Daschle than whatever Michael Steele does for the future of the GOP.

    BTW, it doesn't look like the meeting President Obama's had with Congressional Democrats today went very well. Looks like the President is very receptive to several Republican suggestions that the Dems are resisting.

    I accepted the excuses given by Geithner for an error involving somewhat obscure tax liabilities, but I find the explanations given by Tom Daschle disingenous at best. He should withdraw his nomination before President Obama's reputation and claims of change are damaged irreversibly.


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  • 21. At 01:31am on 03 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    The comparison between the party head and a president is a little off. Howard Dean was not of presidential material, but he undeniably did a good job as head of the dnc. Steele is not meant to be the republican Obama.

    It should also not be forgotten that, before Bush, there had no minority secretary of state, nor attorney general.

    To suggest that the dems lead the way and the republicans shamelessly follow is wide of the mark.

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  • 22. At 01:35am on 03 Feb 2009, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    bere54 #13: '"Many years ago when I lived
    there (Maryland) a country club gave up some sort of green-space-preservation public funds rather than admit women. Guess the place hasn't changed that much."

    What? Like there aren't raceist/sexist country clubs in other states or other countries? Yeah, Maryland is a phenominon. We're all biggots I tell you!

    In all sincerity, no such "club" should exist anywhere, but I think its a bit rushed for you to judge a part of the US or world's racial tolerance abilities based on one such club.




    Rome-stu #14: Some people believe that life begins at conception and that was where #8 was coming from. Although I agree their words were undoutidly unnecessarily harsh and devisive!!

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  • 23. At 02:24am on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #4

    Sean

    Except when I'm in a dress, yes.

    TV Sam

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  • 24. At 02:30am on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #2, 6 et al

    We should give the man a chance.

    That said, in the interview with Wolfe Blitzer earlier this evening he stated, in response to the stimulus package (I've still got my whip ready) (and I may be paraphrasing):

    'Never in human history has the government created a job. Not once'

    To which the obvious response should be:

    'President?'

    And now, the Top Gear Winter Olympics Special. Let us all give thanks for Tivo.

    Observer Sam

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  • 25. At 02:33am on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #12

    Biden prefers Beretta. Enough said.

    NSCA Sam

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  • 26. At 03:18am on 03 Feb 2009, ladycm wrote:

    It's about time the republicans step on board to stem cell research. Stop crying over lost lives. These are embyros that are literally being thrown out because they aren't used. Let's stop arguing so much over an undifferentiated cells and start curing some diseases.

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  • 27. At 03:47am on 03 Feb 2009, Granten wrote:

    Its true that if the research begins to show serious promise of results the US is very unlikely to try to cut back on it, however I urge the writer not to assume that immediate results will appear as quickly as ten years from now. As with all scientific research, a major discovery could be made next week, or it could be next decade. The real question is, when the discovery is made, which nation will have the infrastructure to take advantage of it.

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  • 28. At 04:11am on 03 Feb 2009, BraunSA wrote:

    Viewing from the hinterlands, I would say first Bravo! for the GOP electing Michael Steele, after all it is the party of Lincoln. Now Michael Steele and President Obama are a testament to the fortitude of Abraham Lincoln. Pause and think about this...

    Stem Cell Research is really about $$$. If this research is so promising, why is it dependant on Federal Dollars? Why haven't other countries grabbed the reins in the quagmire of U.S. politics of the issue? The end result of which is yet to be realized, but I predict a weaker GOP and another party, Libertarian perhaps, just as weak starting out. And the worst part is the fox will be guarding the hen house during this transition...

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  • 29. At 04:18am on 03 Feb 2009, ladycm wrote:

    24. At 02:30am on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    "Never in human history has the government created a job. Not once'

    To which the obvious response should be:

    'President?"

    We have a dam in Washington that would suggest otherwise to this comment. Actually we have a few of them. They were apparently built as I am finding out now, from spontaneous money that just fell out of the sky and not from the New Deal. You know, since the government has never created a job apparently. If the government has never created a job, ever; does this mean I can finally yell at the people at the DMV?

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  • 30. At 04:21am on 03 Feb 2009, BraunSA wrote:

    #14 RomeStu
    "Incidentally do you oppose IVF treatment? It is routine for many more embryos to be created than are used, and for multiple embryos to be implanted in the hope that one will "take". Is this murder?"

    Once they have "taken".
    Therein lies the crutch...

    Where is that line of morality drawn? A life once etched in he womb, is it in stone, or public opinion? Is eight enough? Or is it your prerogative to whittle down as you desire?

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  • 31. At 04:21am on 03 Feb 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    How will the Republicans find a majority? Is this how?

    Or will they have to wait until the Democrats loose the majority of us?


    KScurmudgeon

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  • 32. At 04:30am on 03 Feb 2009, ladycm wrote:

    The feds put PLENTY of money into all kinds of medical research: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/. There is no reason they shouldn't be venture into stem cell research and fund that too. It's in the best interest of this country to be innovators in this field. The only reason we aren't, is because of ridiculous republican logic. They don't want to upset their crazy base. We are throwing these embryos away people. Also, there are also potential therapeutic uses for stem cells.

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  • 33. At 04:39am on 03 Feb 2009, BraunSA wrote:

    #32 lady cm
    True, Federal $$ are spent on many questionable ventures! But if the value of stem cell research and first to patent, are such a certainty, why are the companies waiting? They should be in France or wherever else is acceptable to this research! It seems the money is more important than the goal, unless of course that is the goal...

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  • 34. At 04:49am on 03 Feb 2009, BraunSA wrote:

    “What a curious picture it is to find man, homo sapiens, of divine origin, we are told, seriously considering going underground to escape the consequences of his own folly. With a little wisdom and foresight, surely it is not yet necessary to forsake life in the fresh air and in the warmth of the sunlight. What a paradox if our own cleverness in science should force us to live underground with the moles.”

    William Fulbright quotes (American Senator who initiated the international exchange program for scholars, 1905-1995)

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  • 35. At 04:52am on 03 Feb 2009, ladycm wrote:

    Of course money is always the goal! I know a few things about stem cells but, what I don't know is if people/ companies have patents on certain cells/ stem cells? I mean there are companies that have patents on certain codes of DNA! That is insane to me but that's another story for another day. Maybe that could be the hold up? Also, I know that there have been issues in labs with not being able to grow stem cells in dishes thus not being able to actually get them to differentiate or use them. This is research is still really new but, it could be promising. But to be honest, I don't know the answer to your question. I just have more questions :/

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  • 36. At 05:15am on 03 Feb 2009, rodidog wrote:

    Many folks on this post are still not differentiating between embryonic stem cell research and stem cell research in general.

    Bush allowed Federal funding for embryonic stem cell lines currently existing in research. He put a ban on all future lines from Federal funding only. Research on embryonic stem cells with private funding and State funding are still allowed. Stem cell research, other than embryonic cells which could develop into a fetus, are not only still funded, but have had increased Federal funding under the Bush Administration.

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  • 37. At 05:16am on 03 Feb 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    The RNC blew it again. They should have outflanked
    the Democrats by appointing a Latino.

    Justin, you are right. Intelligence is not usually
    present in politicians.

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  • 38. At 05:41am on 03 Feb 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Is it the distance of time (it's been 8 years) or space when you were on the other side of the pond and didn't hear all of the words. The topic of embryonic stem cell research was the hot topic in America before 9-11. After 9-11 it was all but forgotten. The Bush Administration's policy was that the US federal government should not fund embryonic stem cell research except from stem cells derived from 8 existing genetic lines already in use. This was thrown up by the administration as a moral issue, by its opponents as a scientific issue. Many Republicans didn't agree with it, some Democrats did. On balance it was probably a policy most Americans I think disagreed with. Whether this hindered or retarded cures that might have been found sooner will not be known unless and until that research which now will be funded bears fruit. It was never illegal to fund such research privately. Once that research begins, I don't think there will ever be any going back. That's one genie that won't be put back in the bottle.

    Right, wrong, or otherwise, this is what happens when you elect a government...or have an election stolen. But at that time, both houses of Congress were still controlled by Republicans. That's one of the consequences of democracy Mr. Webb, a President who can't sign treaties without ratification of a Congress that may not be of his own party that has too be persuaded, and a Congress that may not fund your pet project no matter how worthy you think it is. The alternative is to have a queen...parliamentary system.

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  • 39. At 06:22am on 03 Feb 2009, ketchemr wrote:

    14. RomeStu

    Medically and scientifically a fertilized egg is a living, unique, human being. There is no argument that it is living, nor that it is unique. The part people stumble on is that it is human. If it is living and unique it has to be something. Its own DNA identifies it as human. It is a developmental stage of humanity. A fetus, a baby, a toddler, a child, an adolescent, an adult, a geriatric, are all development stages of human.

    Yes, I oppose IVF IF the fertilized eggs are discarded. If they are all used I see no problem with it. If some do not take that is a natural death, not very different from a miscarriage.

    What I do not see in this or most discussions concerning stem cell research is the distinction between embryonic and adult. Adult stem cells have had tremendous success in being coaxed to pluripotency and have shown the greatest medical promise. Embryonic stem cell research is not necessary.

    Even if embryonic stem cell research could provide medical help beyond that of adult stem cell research, should we harvest humans to do it? Really this is not much different than the Nazis performing medical experiments on Jews. Sure valuable information could be gained, but at what moral cost? Of course, some will say that an embryo and a grown man are quite different, but they are both living, unique, human beings. Should we reclassify them as less than human for our own interests?

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  • 40. At 06:45am on 03 Feb 2009, Jeebers76 wrote:

    "party of Lincoln" eh? Yo GOP, are you STILL waving a bloody flag? (party of the guys who opposed the expansion of slavery etc)

    Every time a Republican on tv says that, I wonder when they will get it in their heads that the same old spiel DOESN'T WORK anymore! They've been using that Lincoln bit for over a century now, one would think they'd come up with something new to bamfoozle the American public once in a while....

    Moreover, the very racial makeup and party platform can't be improved merely by trotting out a hyper conservative black man as party leader. Why doesn't the GOP understand that it's not just the visuals that need changing, it's the REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM that needs renovating from the ground up?

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  • 41. At 06:52am on 03 Feb 2009, rodidog wrote:

    30. At 04:21am on 03 Feb 2009, BraunSA

    Having gone through IVF, I'm of two minds when it comes to the question of when life begins. When you see a single cell begin to metastasize into a multiple cell system, embryo, it's really remarkable. Especially when it's yours.

    In the majority of cases, if you are lucky, only one of these embryo's will develop into a fetus. Sometimes the woman's body will reject everyone of them and flush them all out of the system. To me, that begged the question of when life begins. Yes, an embryo is a potential human life, but if it can be rejected naturally it no longer is or was.

    I suppose the same can be said even if the embryo has "taken" and has developed into a fetus. Many women have miscarriages. Right now, no one can predict a fetus will result in a miscarriage. So I believe I agree with you, that life life begins when the embryo has "taken". It's especially true when the fetus (read baby) becomes developed enough to live outside the womb.

    My son was born at 26 weeks and is completely healthy and the cutest kid in the world. It's hard for me to imagine that a similar boy/girl could have easily been aborted by someone else on the premise, he was still in the womb and thus his definition of life does not count.

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  • 42. At 07:02am on 03 Feb 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    Justin writes "In that (Terry Schiavo) case it was the right to die."

    Not exactly - it was whether her husband had the right to terminate her life. Her parents were emphatically against it whereas her husband wished it. Mrs Schiavo had not expressed her wishes in writing, so it was quite unlike those cases where an individual wishes to terminate their life - in the UK the Diane Pretty case comes to mind. Mrs Pretty was not permitted to have assistance and others, such as Craig Ewert and Daniel James succeed by going to Switzerland.

    "(Steele's) lack of thoughtfulness about stem cell research is mind boggling to millions of people whose relatives stand to benefit from this area of medicine (I am one - with my son's juvenile diabetes)."

    Of course, back in Blighty, research is well under way and it may well be that what is discovered there will be made available elsewhere. Contrary to what some (MAII?) may suggest, the United States is not the only country which has medical research; what would we do without penicillin, DNA or the CAT scanner? Justin's son may benefit from British research, not American.

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  • 43. At 07:34am on 03 Feb 2009, rodidog wrote:

    40. At 06:45am on 03 Feb 2009, Jeebers76

    Your right. Republicans are fools to believe in the individual over the state or in individual economic freedom for all, rights for unborn babies and the defense and promotion of democracy. I'm sure they were called fools for believing in Abolitionism, ending slavery, and voting for the Civil Rights Act. They were fools to believe that welfare undermined the human spirit and set a dependency trap that could last generations. They were fools to be the first to name a person of color as Attorney General, National Security advisor, and Secretary of State. Now they have really done it by naming Michael Steele, who shares these same foolish ideas, as head of the RNC just because he's black.

    You think they would learn, that in this modern world of ours, it's easier to be popular and get elected if you stand for anything and simply dole out the cash. What fools!

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  • 44. At 08:44am on 03 Feb 2009, hontogaijin wrote:

    #8 As you may know, it is adult stem cell research that by far shows the most promise, has no rejection issues that embryonic stem cells have, and does not require harvesting human children.

    the stem cell article provided by our fine mr. webb states otherwise about adult stem cells...

    Others who stayed behind but lacked private funding shifted their attention from embryos to the less versatile adult stem cells.

    then again, i'm no expert on this topic and i'm not positive what "less versatile" is exactly. what i do know is that the decision (well, "law") to not allow fetal embryos prompted other very talented scientists to leave the us in order to continue their research. i'd say that's a pretty good indicator that the research was being hindered to a great extent.

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  • 45. At 09:24am on 03 Feb 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    39 ketchemr

    Thank you for your response. As I stated in my earlier post, I respect your views although they differ from my own.

    However your use of explicitly emotive terms such as "harvesting humans" does not IMHO help debate on this very serious topic.

    For the record Embryonic Stem Cells are taken from a 5 day feotus consisting on about 100 cells (called a blastocyst, I think).

    This means that, whatever your view on exactly when "human life" begins, you are diminishing your own credibility wth comments like.....
    "this is not much different than the Nazis performing experiments on Jews".

    Actually it is very different - adult human being or 100 cell 5-day human foetus?
    You may not see a difference but I do.

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  • 46. At 09:34am on 03 Feb 2009, Ginger Warrior wrote:

    Maybe this is off-topic but, the difference between embryonic stem cells, and adult stem cells from the bone marrow is quite simple if you understand that:

    Cell -> tissue -> organ -> body.

    The cells in an embryo are more versatile because the organism hasn't yet developed any advanced organs (lungs, hearts, kidneys etc.). As the foetus gets older and organs develop, the cells start to "specialise" for those functions, and lose their versatility as a result.

    That's why, as harsh as it may be from an ethical perspective, it's far better for researchers to use embryonic stem cells than stem cells from an adult whose cells have already lost their totipotency.

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  • 47. At 09:51am on 03 Feb 2009, Young-Mr-Grace wrote:

    Off topic but hey why not....

    I see the Iranians have launched their first satellite. They have named it "Omid" which means "Hope".
    Are they being audacious?

    You're all doing very well !!!

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  • 48. At 10:42am on 03 Feb 2009, kiki_dread wrote:

    But Mike Steele does not represent black people,
    if he represents the republicans

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  • 49. At 10:50am on 03 Feb 2009, saintlymark wrote:

    I don't get why people are going head over heels about Michael Steele, as if Chair of the RNC is a big deal. I looked at a list of people who had done the job recently, and its hardly an inspiring list, full of party hacks and nobodies. So he has black skin, so what? He still comes off as a GOP hack who wont stray from the party line. Still seems that the Republicans want to listen more to Rush Limbaugh than anyone in the center.

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  • 50. At 11:32am on 03 Feb 2009, R-Snail wrote:

    42. David

    You correctly see the Schaivo case for what it was. Few people bother to do the homework.
    Terry went into a coma in February 1990. Her husband Michael was initially for all life support, but began his quest to have her life support pulled over 3 years later, shortly after he won a $1 million malpractice lawsuit against her physician for not diagnosing Terry's bulemia, (A frivolous lawsuit IMO as it likely had nothing to do with her coma) and rumor also has it was romantically involved with another woman.

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  • 51. At 12:13pm on 03 Feb 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 49

    The only aspect of this appointment - and topic of discussion - that I find interesting is that it demonstrates the desperation of the Republican party and what they are willing to do to regain some of the congressional seats they lost.

    You are absolutely correct in saying that Republicans are more likely to be influenced by the opinions of Limbaugh or Coulter than whatever their party chairman says. The likely consequences of this appointment, besides a feeble attempt to attract minorities, is the use of state-of-the-art technologies in future campaigns. Who knows, we may even see pictures of Rush with a Blackberry...

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  • 52. At 1:17pm on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #8

    Ketch,

    Totally aware of the distinction. Are you aware that the claim that adult stem cells show the same potential as embryonic stem cells has not passed peer review and as such is not a scientific claim?

    There are some papers that have been published, surprisingly at times of critical votes on funding this issue, but not in scientific journals and on scrutiny the claims have not held up. It was an interesting hypothesis but one which has no data to support it, despite 8 years of money being thrown at attempts to.

    As such, applying scientific principles, your claim is untrue. It is something put forwards by 'biostitutes', i.e. folks with science degrees who will 'research' and write anything, usually for money, to support a political position.

    As an aside, there is no such thing as a scientific fact. There are hypotheses (something which could be true), theories (something which is true based on the evidence currently available, observable and repeatable) and BS (something likely to be untrue). Any statement may be moved from one category to another.

    For example the biblical hypothesis that the sun went around the earth was replaced by Copericus' hypothesis of a heliocentric solar system which became accepted theory based on Galileo's observations. Theories may also be modified, Darwins theory of evolution based on survival of the fittest has been modified according to the observations of Stephen Jay Gould et al to be one of punctuated equilibrium with perhaps genetic change based on phyletic gradualism. In other words survival by chance event.

    So go on, have a beer. And a cheese omlet. And a cigar.

    It's good to have science back.

    Scientist Sam

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  • 53. At 1:25pm on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #38

    Marcus,

    All it actually did was push the research to Britain and draw some of our best geneticists, and the private investment dollars that follows them, to Cambridge, England. The research continued but the UK will benefit from the money any cures generate rather than New jersey.

    As for the allowed lines, they are hopelessly tainted with chemicals and useless for real research.

    It was a retarded policy. But you are correct, it was a moral one. It is better to flush unwanted embryo's created by a scientific process and donated by the 'parents' down the toilet than use them to help sick people.

    Brought to you by the same folks who gave you Alberto Gonzales, the incredibly ethically flexible attorney general, and Brownie, the sartorially elegant but clueless FEMA chief.

    All of which is another way to say if you pick your team from folks with the same narrow set of ethical beliefs as yourself, you typically get a few hopeless cases. Steele has promised to change that, at least on the moral front. We shall see.

    Bioethicist Sam

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  • 54. At 1:27pm on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #36

    Dog,

    They can't develop into a foetus without a womb.

    Pedant Sam

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  • 55. At 1:32pm on 03 Feb 2009, AnonymousCalifornian wrote:

    I like Michael Steele's stance on embryonic stem cell research (do journalists deliberately lop off the word 'embryonic' to portray opponents as being against all stem cell research?). Like many other social conservatives, I strongly support so-called adult stem cell research - there isn't anything I find ethically wrong with that, and a lot that I find good.

    Besides, news media, including the BBC, have been reporting a lot recently about adult cells being able to be converted into pluripotent stem cells:



    So why support embryonic stem cell research at all when many people find it unethical (except to spite the 'religious right'? If that's the case, embryos aren't the ones that deserve to be punished)? Unless there's something they're/you're (the BBC) not telling us... ?

    Even if those new conversions aren't quite as they're presented to be, what's so bad about having to make every type of cell from a few varieties of stem cell rather than getting all types of cell from a single stem cell type (embryonic)? That was the situation before the current advances (in the links).

    Sure, in theory it seems more convenient to go to one source to make everything, instead of a few sources. On the flip side, it seems easier to turn adult stem cells into the desired cell than using embryonic stem cells, because the 'adult' stem cells are already closer to the target desired cell to begin with.

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  • 56. At 1:36pm on 03 Feb 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Sam (52), Well clarified!

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  • 57. At 1:37pm on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #39

    Ketch,

    Absolutely not true. The question of humanity is philosophical, it cannot be tested. Sociopaths can be described as inhuman. A baby has an intellectual capacity less than a house cat until age 3.

    The only test science has come up with to define 'human' or member of the genus 'homo' (bet that upsets Republicans too) is 'a tool making primate' (note chimps use sticks and rocks as tools but do not modify them).

    All of which is to say, when you show me an embryo that can make a screwdriver, you can say it is scientifically human.

    Scientist Sam

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  • 58. At 1:37pm on 03 Feb 2009, kel_ang wrote:

    14. RomeStu

    I beg to differ.

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  • 59. At 1:38pm on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #38

    Marcus,

    We have plenty of queens here too. haven't you seen the Mummers parade?

    Observant Sam

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  • 60. At 1:39pm on 03 Feb 2009, AnonymousCalifornian wrote:

    kiki_dread wrote:

    "But Mike Steele does not represent black people,
    if he represents the republicans"


    What a racist statement!

    Michael Steele does not represent black people. No black person does. Just as no white person represents white people.

    But it's the "if he represents the republicans" part that is the most offensive.

    The insinuation is that if he were a Democrat he would represent black people. No, he wouldn't.

    [That stated, Michael Steele's election helps to show not racial minorities, but white racists that the Republican Party is not their party. The leader of the Republicans is now a black man - if we want to look at this from a racial angle. If this helps alienate the racists from the Republican Party, that's good for the party, and good for conservatism.]

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  • 61. At 1:41pm on 03 Feb 2009, AnonymousCalifornian wrote:

    For a supposed bioethicist (anybody else doubt the scientist/bioethicist claims?), SamTyler1969, is remarkably inconsiderate of all/opposing views.

    Hardly how a bioethicist should be.

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  • 62. At 1:46pm on 03 Feb 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Justin

    While I appreciate Irony a little by now, having been immersed in the Scottish version for some time, I do find it mildly offensive to imply, as your thread/subject title does, that the most distinctive characteristic of our new president is his pigmentation....

    Peace nd irony

    WORLD NEWS
    World Economic Growth
    Worst in 60 Years
    Six billion browsing, not buying.
    Provincial Elections Held in Iraq
    Shoe-Throwing Party makes strong gains.

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  • 63. At 1:59pm on 03 Feb 2009, kiki_dread wrote:

    60. At 1:39pm on 03 Feb 2009, AnonymousCalifornian wrote:

    .. If this helps alienate the racists from the Republican Party, that's good for the party, and good for conservatism.]

    +
    I'll agree with that because I did have/had my reservations about them republicans

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  • 64. At 2:02pm on 03 Feb 2009, AnonymousCalifornian wrote:

    RomeStu wrote:

    "Actually it is very different - adult human being or 100 cell 5-day human foetus?
    You [ketchemr] may not see a difference but I do."


    And there's the big point. I would like to hope that if everybody considered embryos (including blastocysts and fetuses [later-in-term embryos]) to be fully human, then support for embryonic stem cell research and abortion would be non-existent (except when the mother's life is in serious danger for the latter).

    Unfortunately (from my perspective), that is not the case, and many people do not consider a human consisting of a hundred or so cells (or fewer) to be equal to a human of roughly a trillion cells.

    It's easy to see why: the embryo does not have much of a brain or apparent intelligence, and many believe this is the defining feature of humanity.

    However, many people believe that humanity is determined by having a soul, and that souls are conferred upon humans at conception. If humanity is defined as having a soul, then a 100 day old embryo and a 100 year-old centarian are both equally human, with the same right to life. And in the case of embryonic stem cells being used (in future) to sustain the lives of 100+ year-old people, or the elderly in general, you have to ask, "These people have already enjoyed 100+ years of life, the embryos a few days - what right does the centarian have to take an embryo(s)'s life to continue his own when that embryo has the potential of being born, making friendships, getting married, having children of her own, and contributing to society?"

    The above also begs the question: do some people consider those (postnatal humans) of lower intelligence than themselves to be less human, less deserving of life, than themselves? If so, that is both sad and disturbing.

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  • 65. At 2:10pm on 03 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    "Justin's son may benefit from British research, not American."

    Justin' son has already benefited from Canadian research. Dr. Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin in 1922.

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  • 66. At 2:22pm on 03 Feb 2009, roylev wrote:

    I think of many things after reading the comments. First and formost. There is a very fine line between socialism and communism. The scarry thing about Government run health care is the control they have over you. Some Americans still value true freedom. The Democrats have done an excellent job of brainwashing people into beleiving the government can run the health care system. I for one would like them to mention one program they have handeled that has not become a disaster financially. I just to like going to the doctor back when it was between him and me. Now Big Brother is definately here in the US. As far as ethics and morals it depends on what side you are on. This does not make any one person right just dominant. I am waiting for the next law or tax that is for my own good to be forced on me. I wonder if nay one still remembers hte Boston Tea party and why it happened. Or does the Democratic controlled education system allow other opinions and the history of our country to be taught. Rewriting history does not change it.

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  • 67. At 2:22pm on 03 Feb 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 55, Anonymous

    "So why support embryonic stem cell research at all when many people find it unethical..."

    But that is the whole point, MOST people do not find it unethical and support scientific research that may lead to breakthroughs in health care and improvements in quality of life.

    Unfortunately, religious fundamentalists see stem cell research through the narrow prism of abortion, which is not the only source of embryos, and remain inflexible in their position. Most importantly, they insist on imposing their religious values on this and other issues over the majority, even when the result of elections demonstrate that most citizens are in favor of change and the abandonment of the domestic and foreign policies that contributed to the calamities we are now enduring.

    BTW, I only support abortion when the life of the mother is in danger.

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  • 68. At 2:25pm on 03 Feb 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Am I the only one that is not amused by President Obama's efforts to appoint Republicans to Cabinet and Advisory positions, while the appointees insist on being replaced with fellow Republicans? Is this what some people refer to as bipartisanship?

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  • 69. At 2:27pm on 03 Feb 2009, AnonymousCalifornian wrote:

    Justin Webb wrote:

    "but his [Michael Steele's] lack of thoughtfulness about stem cell research is mind boggling"


    In my opinion, you're at least as guilty as Steele for your lack of thoughtfulness about [embryonic] stem cell research. I'm wagering far more so.

    Do you believe that opponents of embryonic stem cell research are unaware or oblivious to the lives such research might save or make better? Do you think that there are no opponents of embryonic stem cell research (and development) who are not in your exact predicament, with a child afflicted with Type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes)?

    Your much-maligned Sarah Palin, has a child with Down's Syndrome. That child, too, could potentially benefit from embryonic stem cell research in helping to understand that disease.

    You have loved ones who might (or might have) benefit(ed) from embryonic stem cells. I have loved ones who might (or might have) benefit(ed) from embryonic stem cells. I can assure you that we both will have loved ones who might benefit from embryonic stem cells. I would bet that almost all proponents and opponents of embryonic stem cell research and development - the introduction of embryonic stem cell therapy as a mainstream therapeutic treatment will result in far more deaths/destruction of embryos than the research will - have loved ones who might benefit from embryonic stem cells.

    Yet the embryos will not benefit from embryonic stem cell research or development. If you believe embryos to be merely a collection of cells such as, say, a liter of blood for a transfusion, or a skin patch for a graft, and nothing more, then your support for embryonic stem cell research and development is understandable.

    But if you do not consider embryos to be just a bunch of ordinary cells, but a distinct human being (and all people, on both sides of the issue, have to realize that embryos have the potential of becoming as indisputably human as you or me), then you should be pushing to stop and end embryonic stem cell research and development, which would constitute mass murder.

    A life for a life should only be considered when the donor has the right to choose.

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  • 70. At 2:33pm on 03 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    8 ketchup

    I fully agree.
    would you agree that the death penalty is also equally wrong.?

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  • 71. At 2:42pm on 03 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    14
    stu
    "Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice a child is not a child until it is born. Until then it is a foetus."

    I'm in real full agreement here .

    That IVF treatment.
    I'm for the ludite manoeuvre.
    If they want abortion to stop remove all breakthroughs that have used foetus in the research.
    Get rid of all IVF (so no more multiple births)
    No more unwanted babies lurking in the system.

    Ivf takes the incentive away from adopting,(which they are going to need if they want to ban abortion.

    Oh
    reality check
    I"M SO FED UP WITH AMERICANS RUNNING AROUND THE WORLD PROMOTING THIS CRAPPY LETS FORGET EVERYTHING BECAUSE AN UNBORN READY TO BE MISCARRIED LITTLE BALL INTERNAL PARASITE NEEDS TO BE SAVED.

    Until it is born a "baby" or as stu points out a foetus, is just a PARASITE.


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  • 72. At 2:42pm on 03 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    biologically speaking

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  • 73. At 2:43pm on 03 Feb 2009, AnonymousCalifornian wrote:

    One more point:

    Another advantage (a big one) of 'adult' stem cell research over embryonic stem cell research is that such research will result in the donor stem cells being able to be sourced directly from the patient, thus there would be zero chance of rejection. Embryonic stem cell therapies could be rejected by the patient's body. A way around this would be to clone a patient, and use that embryonic clone's stem cells to treat the patient, but there would still be a greater chance of rejection by the patient's body than if she was treated with her own 'adult' stem cell-derived treatment.

    And in the case of Dolly, and other clones, they did/do not live as long or as healthily as their progenitor. So cloning does not seem such as great way out of the rejection problem.

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  • 74. At 2:49pm on 03 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    sam 57

    "The New Caledonian Crow is the only non-human species with a record of inventing new tools by modifying existing ones, then passing these innovations to other individuals in the cultural group. Gavin R. Hunt and colleagues at the University of Auckland studied tools the crows make out of pandanus (or screw pine) leaves:"

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  • 75. At 2:57pm on 03 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Funny because for real here. I can understand both sides of this argument.

    But that is because I understand the concept of religious people not being there to pander to the scientists.
    Equally the scientists are not there to pander to the religious folk.

    If I believed in a God I would assume destroying his creations would be a sin.
    (that would go for the death penalty as well though).
    I suspect that the destruction of the rest of his creation (man on the planet) may be high on his list of no no s as well.

    Personally I wish there was some way we could let people play in Pandoras box without opening it.

    Thats the problem.

    This same stem cell research . I hope there are no labs working on"stuff" that could lead to the creation of agents harmful to man and that the military might like.

    Science is fine as long as the scientists are fine.

    Look at our ED I believe he has been there and done that on the "when is science best left"

    Science needs ethics. there is the problem.
    so far the ethics are left out and so the over reaction.
    or the reaction, depending on the point of view.



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  • 76. At 2:59pm on 03 Feb 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    58 kel-ang
    "I beg to differ"


    Well that's what these discussions are for I consistently support debate over dogma and so I would be pleased to hear in what way your opinions differ, and perhaps some actual comment.

    Thanks

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  • 77. At 3:02pm on 03 Feb 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    Totally off topic, but I have just received my first "Obama memorabilia" .....

    .... a combination nail clipper and bottle opener key chain!


    I wonder if the Pres carries one for those crucial hang-nail / need a beer moments in his life?

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  • 78. At 3:12pm on 03 Feb 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    Anonymous Californian


    You are again confusing what you believe with the "absolute truth".

    This is fundamentalism, and given your accusations of intolerance at SAmTyler, also a little hypocritical.

    If your belief that using stem cells from a 5 day 100 cell embryo is equivalent to Nazi experimentation on Jews is that important to you .... either

    a) vow not to eve take advantage in future of such unethically sourced treatment

    b) try to convince by argument, not dogma, enough people that they vote in someone you agree with (that's democracy)

    But in general please accept that your views are not the views of the majority. You are entitled to yuor views, as are we. Ours stand up to scrutiny, and are able to change with new information (see Sam's post on science).

    Comparisons with the Nazis and unfounded accusations of intolerance do not further your credibility.

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  • 79. At 3:30pm on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #74

    Now that I did not know! Thank you!

    Happy Sam

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  • 80. At 3:35pm on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #69

    Always a good number.

    Anonymous,

    This comes down to the simple difference between US Conservatives and others.

    I would say let folks do whatever research they like. If there are benefits then they should have the choice to take them or decline based on their moral beliefs. If the benefits or potential are sufficient overall to justify it on an economic return basis then government should facilitate and fund it.

    The conservative view is 'I am right and you can't do that because I object. Even though the potential health and economic benefits are huge you can't do that because it offends me.'

    Kinda childish, d'ya think?

    Libertarian Sam

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  • 81. At 3:38pm on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #47

    PULL

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  • 82. At 3:45pm on 03 Feb 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 83. At 3:48pm on 03 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    22, NoRashDecisions:

    Get a grip. I did not say, nor even imply, that no other states have segregated country clubs. I was merely musing on Maryland, a state where I used to live, and expressing my surprise that all these years later, in the 21st century, a segregated country club would exist there. I had thought Maryland was more progressive than say, Georgia or Alabama.

    The state I live in now has no segregated clubs. Unless you count discriminating against the poor as segregation.

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  • 84. At 3:51pm on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #61

    Well, really!

    Mr. Californian,

    I am highly tolerant of your views. As you point out some believe Humanity is defined by the presence of a soul. Philosophically and on a religious level I agree with you. That does not make an embryo, or balstocyst, scientifically human. Science applies a different test.

    Regardless of my personal beliefs I cannot ethically object to research that uses embryo's which otherwise would not exist (created as a by product of IVF treatment) and would be destroyed to develop treatments for nasty diseases. That would be to force my beliefs on everyone, regardless of their own. Which would be unethical and unchristian.

    That is the job of a bioethicist (I'm not one, BTW I like to proffer views from a variety of perspectives and always try to let the blog know which one. Including the views of transvestites. OK, I do have those urges), to weigh up the harm caused by something scientifically possible vs the benefits to society as a whole.

    My views in this area tend to be a little more conservative than many bioethicists, for example I do not believe testing cosmetics on animals is ethical. This is why panels of folks are formed to debate these questions and come up with rulings. The ruling on embryonic stem cell research is in. From a scientific perspective it's ok. Religious and moral objections are put aside in that forum.

    Oh, I do have a science degree. In a biological science. And I am a devout Christian, but a mainstream one.

    Scientist Sam

    #73

    One advantage of running your car on cow pee is it is cheap and readily available. The disadvantage, as previously discussed, is that with current technology it doesn't work.

    Mechanic Sam

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  • 85. At 3:54pm on 03 Feb 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    I have been reading about the "potential" of stem cell use in the medical field for about 40 years. I have not read where stem cell treatments are being used in human beings on a daily basis to cure, rebuild, regenerate, or heal anything. There is little more than a constant flow of studies and reports about stem cell "potential". Very little reporting, it seems, on any actual results now put in practice and saving human lives.

    Stem cell research appears to be little more than a self-sustaining money pit that generates funding, both private and institutional, through the controversy the researchers, proponents, and opponents create in the media.

    How many new and different, shiny saddles can you put on a dead horse before you realize a dead horse is a poor means of transportation? Buy a Ford!

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  • 86. At 4:01pm on 03 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    79 I'm a bit of a naturist;)


    Nah I meant naturalist.

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  • 87. At 4:02pm on 03 Feb 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #84, Sam, you have described a technology
    which already exists: a "pissed-in" engine.

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  • 88. At 4:09pm on 03 Feb 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    "Dear BBC Blog contributor,

    Thank you for contributing to a BBC Blog. Unfortunately we've had to remove your content below

    This decision has been made because it contains material on which the copyright appears to be owned by someone else. ...
    If you wish to reference external sources of information, it's better to include a link to an appropriate external website....
    If you can rewrite your contribution to remove the problem, we'd be happy for you to post it again.
    ...Regards,

    The BBC Blog Team"

    Posting suitably redacted]:
    I heartily recommend "Life is a Miracle" for a very clear discussion of many of the ethical and spiritual issues surrounding reductionist Science.
    " Never forget: We are alive within mysteries [see link...]
    The essay linked was later expanded into a thin volume, which is well worth the cover price. It is perhaps best read in conjunction with E O Wilson's Consilience, to which it is a riposte.

    Happy moralising!
    ed

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  • 89. At 4:15pm on 03 Feb 2009, Iapetus wrote:

    #57: By that argument, a baby wouldn't be human until several years after it was born.

    #64: Some people believe the soul enters the body at conception.

    IIRC, some other people/religions teach/taught that it entered at birth. Others that it occured a few weeks after conception (I think during an event called the "quickening" - nothing to do with Highlander though;) )


    Other people don't believe in souls - but then that means that there can be no sudden moment when a mere collection of cells/tissue magically changes into a human being.

    Potentially, someone could be deeply religious and accept abortion/embryonic stem-cell research / etc, provided it happened before the moment they believed the soul enters the body.

    While an atheist might potentially conclude that as there is no magical transformation occuring at birth/whenever, that life must therefore begin at conception.

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  • 90. At 4:23pm on 03 Feb 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 85, Publius

    "I have not read where stem cell treatments are being used in human beings on a daily basis to cure, rebuild, regenerate, or heal anything."

    Doctors in a hospital in Barcelona, Spain, gave a Colombian woman a new windpipe with tissue engineered from her own stem cells not too long ago.

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  • 91. At 4:34pm on 03 Feb 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Justin, may I suggest that as your next topic
    you cover the "Buy American" clause in the
    Obama administration's stimulus bill, and the
    reaction of the EU and the Canadians to it?

    Clearly, this is the first major blunder of this
    new administration.

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  • 92. At 4:42pm on 03 Feb 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 90 saintDominick

    "Doctors in a hospital in Barcelona, Spain, gave a Colombian woman a new windpipe with tissue engineered from her own stem cells not too long ago."


    Bravo, St. Dom!

    I like the fact that the tissue was engineered from her own stem cells. I should think that removes the moral/ethical dilema from the equation.

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  • 93. At 4:43pm on 03 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #90, I see the example is one of using adult stem cells (which no-one opposes) and not of using embryonic cells.

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  • 94. At 4:47pm on 03 Feb 2009, ruralhills wrote:

    Barak's weaknesses are becoming distressingly apparent. He looks great, souve guy with a nice voice but, practically speaking, he knows nothing. No experience in finances, the military or international affairs.

    This puts him completely at the mercy of his advisors, a dangerous state of affairs for the president. Lincoln once took a poll of his cabinet on a measure, and they all voted "no."
    "Well, I vote yes," said Lincoln.
    "Looks like the 'ayes' have it," he concluded.
    During the Cuban missile crisis, Kennedy assembled an Executive Committee to deal with the crisis. One of its military members recommended an all-out nuclear attack on the Soviet Union and held that opinion to the end. After the Russian ships turned around and the crisis resolved, at the last meeting of the Ex Comm, that same member again recommended a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union because, as he stated: "now is when they will least expect it."

    The president will be advised by men in thousand-dollar suits with three-hunderd dollar haircuts that look profoundly credible yet give atrocious advice when they open their mouths. He needs the presence of mind, the wherewithall, savvy or whatever you want to call it, to determine who's beady little eyes have an agenda and whose advise is worthwhile.

    Time will tell but this bail-out package is not looking good. If Barak can't look 'em in the eye and tell who's who around him, they'll pick him apart like a Walmart rotissery chicken.
    We shall see.

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  • 95. At 4:57pm on 03 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:


    I have been too influenced by the 2000ad stories I read when a kid. It seems to me that bio ethics is something people should have a say in.
    Back to Pandora's box and the point made above that the present quest of making life longer without regard to what we do to the youth is worrying. Sometimes I write from the point of view that would give some cause to think I'm a Luddite,but this is not really the case. I think that thought has to be given to the "should we" from a wider point of view. That includes the fact that America does use so many resources to help so few in medical terms and environmental terms.

    The quest for longevity at the expense of LIFE .Living a rewarding life.
    All western nations are suffering from depression plagues . Recently because of the collapse of so many parts of the system, but even before the present economic woes Anti depressants were flowing.
    Something is not right when the way things are is normally depressed.

    Much may be self indulgence but the outcome of so much of the worlds resources has been a depressed nation.
    The science(political and "real") that led to the invention of so many things that were warned about.

    Ed consistently reminds us of the slower approach to life. the simple life(not"simple").

    Now I am all for doing our best by our kids, and the oldies. but not the Oldies at the expense of the Kids.

    Mice may eat their young when threatened(get back some of that energy,food) but they are not in the best position to say "stay away from my kids".

    We are better than that.
    But at the moment one of the biggest problems I see with the US is the hugely disproportionate amount spent on oldies care .(It seems to me.)

    Someone could probably argue that stem cell research could help people with nerves that are a pain in the back . Others would say try acupuncture .

    We have unfortunately not explored the more natural ways of curing and preventing diseases.
    Look at China.

    Mutations are up. More people to cure. Because of pollution , created in order to achieve the level wealth and prosperity we have and the perks we have.

    Personally I think the nature of Humans is being forgotten.

    It does not have to be that way.

    Looking for cures to problems created by man seems to be tail chasing.

    I'm not against curing but do thing careful attention has to be paid to what is causing some problems in the first place.

    Madam Currie was a help, Oppenheimer was not.
    ( bomb never ended the war just a demo to the Russians).

    Stem cell research will lead to some truly terrible science at some stage.

    Many new advances will.Unfortunately.



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  • 96. At 4:59pm on 03 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #91, Guns, you are right. It's a decision that may have made sense politically if elections were just round the corner. This says that pandering to what they think opinion polls will show comes ahead of what is actually better for the country. Not good.

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  • 97. At 5:04pm on 03 Feb 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #94, ruralhills, the bailout is "Dr. Strangelove
    meets economic policy." I can just see
    the character played by George C. Scott being
    replaced by Rahm Emmanuel.

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  • 98. At 5:10pm on 03 Feb 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 91 gunsandreligion

    I did not mean to spark a controversy on protectionism with my comment "Buy a Ford!" in Ref 85. I only meant that if intended results are not coming forth from decades long research; try a new approach.

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  • 99. At 5:15pm on 03 Feb 2009, neil_a2 wrote:

    Doesn't anyone Obama appoint pay their taxes?

    How is it that "retired" Democrat statesmen receive so much money after they stop meddling the in the affairs of other people? They are pretty savvy for being so "benevolent" with other people's money.

    Maybe they feel they have contributed enough of themselves that they should not pay taxes.

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  • 100. At 5:22pm on 03 Feb 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    "Madam Currie" Wasn't she the one that advanced the science of Indian cuisine?

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  • 101. At 5:29pm on 03 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    Happy, #95, a very lucid and thought-provoking post.

    Slightly off-tangent, but I remember many years ago someone trying to sell me a religious newsletter (WatchTower). Apparently if we all bought the newsletter, we'd live to biblical proportions- 100s of years. I didn't buy it. Most of life spent in long term care didn't appeal.

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  • 102. At 5:35pm on 03 Feb 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #91 guns

    I agree and you have highlighted a real concern. Obama is playing with fire with this 'Buy American' clause. The road of protectionism will lead us to global depression. It seems the EU and Canada have fired some warning shots. Let's hope the Senate and Obama hears them.

    I think it was Hegel who once said that history teaches us that no-one has learnt anything from history.

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  • 103. At 5:51pm on 03 Feb 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    neil_a2, I'm tired of paying taxes, too!

    I guess that means that I'm not "patriotic."

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  • 104. At 5:53pm on 03 Feb 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #98, publius, I did not take your remark that way.

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  • 105. At 6:06pm on 03 Feb 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 95 happylaze

    I just returned from a week long trip driving my 85 year old father to Cyberknife treatments at a cancer clinic. He was given 6 months to live before being enrolled in the treatment program. My father was content with having only 6 months, or so, to live. He has lived a full and rewarding life.

    His acceptance of the Cyberknife treatments and his participation was basically that of a lab rat. Not from any real personal desire to extend his life. Other health issues makes his quality of life dismal at best for a once active, productive person.

    Our three hours of drive time back and forth to the clinic gave us the opportunity for many conversations about longevity. Dad thought it ironic that so many people were doing so much at such an expense to keep him alive even though he had no fear of his own death. His only reason for going through with the treatments was so the doctors and medical technicians could practice and experiment on him in the hope others suffering from cancer might have a better quality of life.

    Dad told me longevity without being able to live a productive life is absurd. He felt by being a lab rat he was once again being useful.

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  • 106. At 6:12pm on 03 Feb 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    "The seeds of great discoveries are constantly floating around us, but they only take root in minds well prepared to receive them."
    Good discussion, and I do understand the doubters here with all their reservations.
    I believe stem cell research as a small intensive research field in the broad spectrum of all medical research is the way forward.
    Despite umbilical / bone marrow mature stem cell use, these cells are compromised in their ability to do much, and have limited flexibility.
    Embryonic stem cells are the "clean memory slate" allowing their use in limitless possibilities for research to find cures for different glands, tissues and organs. Similarity between these and the mature type is an unbridgeable chasm.
    Research guidelines means only a limited number will probably be necessary, to be used at super-dooper high tech research laboratories. Almost self generating / dividing to create a batch of usable material, very few basic embryos would be required, by the very very few, who are capable of research at this level. I do not envisage any successful outcome will produce a money-making gravy train comparable with the pharmaceutical branch.
    This is not bread and butter research that will be carried out by every Dr Tom, Dick and Harry and their associated laboratory staff, but equivalent with sending a group of men to the outer reaches of our solar system and getting them all back alive again.
    To discard valuable material obtained from the excesses of IVF treatment IMHO is criminal for the health of our younger generation who will receive the most benefit, in an already deteriorating population, and as Susan Martinuk in the Calgary Herald link states "if it works".
    Nothing is achieved without trying.

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  • 107. At 6:35pm on 03 Feb 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Preferences for US-produced steel in federally funded projects have been around for a long time. The House version of the stimulus bill is not much of a change in that regard. Apparently, the Senate has tarted up the bill quite a bit, something they did with the first bailout bill. I'm in favor of the House provision on steel, but not necessarily the Senate additions.

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  • 108. At 6:41pm on 03 Feb 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Here's an up-to-date report on the controversy about domestic preferences:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/02/02/MNP215LLOC.DTL

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  • 109. At 6:41pm on 03 Feb 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 84

    "This puts him completely at the mercy of his advisors, a dangerous state of affairs for the president."

    The best Presidents and managers are those who rely on the advice of experts. The last thing we need is a micro-manager like President Carter, who was intimately familiar with all the issues but had no vision to lead the country.

    President Obama does need to slow down and things things through before making decisions. A few of his Cabinet appointments were questionable and he simply can not afford any more Geithners or Daschle. Good thing the latter withdrew.

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  • 110. At 6:44pm on 03 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    95, happylaze:

    I so agree with you that too much is spent on the old at the expense of the young in the U.S. This quest for longevity is disturbing. Several years ago a woman wrote a letter to the New York Times in response to an article on medical care for the elderly. This woman, in her letter, complained that her 94-year-old mother's breast cancer was "not diagnosed in time" and her mother died. My thought was, "in time for what, exactly?" So she could go on and live a long, full, healthy life?

    I really have nothing against the elderly (I'm not too far from being an elderly myself), but my son has disproportionately large amounts deducted from his paychecks for Medicare and Social Security, yet cannot afford health insurance or health care for himself. He (along with many others) is paying for the ridiculous number of pharmaceuticals my 86-year-old mother takes every day, several times a day. She does not even seem to know what all these pills are for, but they and her doctor visits provide her with entertainment. Movies would be a lot cheaper.

    I sincerely hope I don't live that long. There is something wrong with a society that will spend any amount to prolong life but neglects the health of its children.

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  • 111. At 6:53pm on 03 Feb 2009, ketchemr wrote:

    45. RomeStu:
    The fertilized egg IS human. It is a living, unique creature, so how would it be classified? Is it an orangutan? A pony? No, genetically it is human. It's humanity is not really a point of argument. The debate is at what point killing that human is deemed murder. Since it is a living, unique, human, morally it is always wrong to kill it, regardless of what the majority thinks.

    46. Ginger_Warrior:
    We (humanity) have recently made profound progress and have been able to take adult stem cells back to pluripotency. See below.

    52. SamTyler1969
    Induction of Pluripotent Stem Cells from Adult Human Fibroblasts by Defined Factors [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]Induction of pluripotent stem cells from primary human fibroblasts with only Oct4 and Sox2

    I hold a PhD in Molecular Biophysics and have a severe understanding of life on a molecular level.

    57. SamTyler1969
    What? Are you saying it should be OK to kill children before they can make a screwdriver?

    71. happylaze
    A baby is not a baby until it is born? Breathing air somehow imparts humanity? If somebody intentionally punches a mother to kill her unborn child a week before it is born, is that not murder?

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  • 112. At 6:56pm on 03 Feb 2009, Scott0962 wrote:

    As I understand it Michael Steel's competition for the job consisted primarily of the state GOP chairman from Michigan--a state which slips further into the blue column with every election, and another candidate who had once belonged to a whites only country club.

    Given the choices available Mr. Steele was a good selection. He's conservative, intelligent, a good speaker and yes, it's about time the Republicans had a minority face at the head of the table. American demographics are changing and if the Republicans want to stay in the game they have to make themselves a party minorities can feel comfortable voting for.

    Liberals will argue that the choice of a black man for GOP chairman was a cynical ploy to attract voters; I heard many conservatives say the same thing when the Democrats selected Mr. Obama. But isn't that the business political parties are in, attracting voters? If the public showed an inclination to vote for race car drivers does anyone doubt party organizers from both sides would be scouring NASCAR racetracks in search of potential candidates? That's the nature of politics.

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  • 113. At 7:13pm on 03 Feb 2009, mary gravitt wrote:

    The Republicans are Goats among Sheep. They want to play hardball, when all they have is a Nuff ball. They were voted out as the majority because their time had past.

    Where was all the mouth and conservatism when George W. Bush was bankrupting the Treasury. They claim their is too much pork, but it is not the amount of money being spent that concerns them. But who the money is being spent on.

    The infastructure of America is falling apart. Robert Reich said on NPR's ON POINT SHOW that Clinton was forced by Greenspan to put off these repairs because they were inflationary. Yet we were flush then and could have done them easily. On the other hand Greenspan himself encourage the reckless spending that got US in this financial mess.

    If the people turn against the Republicans because their Class will not get the lions share of the incentives, then they will be out in the wilderness 40 years until the last Obstrutionist over 30 is dead.

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  • 114. At 7:21pm on 03 Feb 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #68

    I think Senator Gregg is being concientous.

    Better than than Jeffords in VT who ran as a Republican than switched parties after the election.

    Considering the irrisponsibility of the Dems in congrress in the last 2+ years the last thing we need is a filibuster majority in the Senate.

    Look at the waste in the stimulus bill not to mention payoffs to the parasitic unions.

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  • 115. At 7:23pm on 03 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    100 it's cold in unheated rooms but anyway I'm from devon if anywhere and we add r to everything.;)

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  • 116. At 8:01pm on 03 Feb 2009, joshkin2001 wrote:

    I was going to comment, but the realization that there are still people who are (I'll be kind here...) naive enough to believe anything said by a politician - any politician - is just so disheartening....

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  • 117. At 8:05pm on 03 Feb 2009, arclightt wrote:

    Re: life begins when?

    I see this issue differently. The abortion decisions, and stem cell debate, center around a different set if questions than what I have seen voiced to date: Do humans have the right to decide which products of a human female's womb are human, and which are not? If they do, what is the logical, non-emotional rationale for putting limits on that decision capability, if any?

    As of now, we have arrogated to ourselves the right to decide this, and are now arguing over what limits (if any) we put on the decision. Some folks want few if any limits, others want some more limits, and still others think the decision should itself be reconsidered. I'm in the latter category.

    I expect that sufficiently well-executed campaigns of emotional manipulation (as history teaches us have already been carried out) will ultimately win the day for at least a time, and all kinds of practices we say we abhor now we will legitimize tomorrow as simple extensions of the decision we have already taken. We will congratulate ourselves on our nuance and sophistication.

    Does anyone a famous person who called the unwanted ones "eaters"?

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  • 118. At 8:18pm on 03 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#106 watermanaquarious

    Very good post!

    I have a question. Where is the sense or even ethics in a woman who already has six children producing eight more through IVF while we do not allow embryonic stem cell research to improve the health and lives of our children?

    I do not have the scientific mind so do not know on average how many eggs a healthy woman could produce during her reproductive years but it seems to me that those who use IVF could also provide some extra eggs for research.

    Why is it necessary to produce 'litters' instead of a baby or two? Multiple births are difficult. One of my daughters had twins (through nature not intervention) and we know from experience the problems and logistics involved with this. I can not even imagine dealing with five, six, eight babies at a time.

    Sometimes I do not understand what people are thinking.

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  • 119. At 8:24pm on 03 Feb 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #99

    Similar to Al Gore and the Kennedy's preaching the virtues of the environment.

    Unless it incoveniences them.

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  • 120. At 8:31pm on 03 Feb 2009, Jeebers76 wrote:

    bere54, 110

    You should know that this problem will continue to grow worse with time. The Baby Boomers of WWII are getting to retirement age now, and they didn't have anywhere near enough children and grandchildren to cover their retirement expenses. People are living several decades past retirement these days, and that trend is continuing. It used to be that you'd die close to age 65 when this Social Security program was created. Now people live to age 80 with increasing likelihood. This means there are fewer children to support the elderly retirees, and the elderly in question are living longer at public expense.

    Me, I advocate upping the retirement age to 75, but I doubt that will go over well. The ironic thing is that when the elderly are cut off from active society, they rapidly fall apart. I see it time and again. I don't want to retire, ever! That loss of purpose is what kills the elderly more than anything else. I don't ever want to stop working, interacting, and generally being a part of active society.

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  • 121. At 9:02pm on 03 Feb 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    joshkin2001 (#116), the only persons for whom it more foolish to believe their pronouncements than politicians are those who post anonymously on blogs.

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  • 122. At 9:20pm on 03 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    114 MagicKirin:

    Mr. Jeffords did not switch parties; he was a long time "old-fashioned" Republican who could not stomach what the party became under Bush and so left the party and became an independent - NOT a Democrat. And most of his state cheered his action. We elected him for the man he was, not the party he belonged to. When he retired, Bernie Sanders was elected to fill his seat. Bernie is an independent, not a Republican. Mr. Jeffords knew his accountability was to the people of his state, not to the Republicans in Congress.

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  • 123. At 9:43pm on 03 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#120 Jeebers76

    I so agree!

    "Loss of purpose kills the elderly more than anything else."

    Anytime our children chide us for "working too hard" we remind them that this is what keeps us alive. We love working our land and promoting the family farm.

    You are very wise.

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  • 124. At 10:01pm on 03 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#122 Bere54

    I wish that we had as much 'Independent' spirit in my state as you seem to have in yours.

    Our politicians get elected, go to Washington and forget the state where they lived. Some of our new Representatives seem promising but I am reserving judgment.

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  • 125. At 10:03pm on 03 Feb 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    95 happylaze

    Thanks for that thoughtful posting.
    Logevity and the "right to life" is going to be a big issue in the next few decades as people live longer, and fewer children are born in most western countries.

    The cost of what is essentially simply keeping people alive without necessarily giving them any quality of life will eventually become too much for the working tax-payer to bear.

    Will we see a gradual acceptance of the right to die ideas of Dignitas in Switzerland?


    105 publiusdetroit
    Firstly my thoughts are with you as you care for you father. He sounds like a man with a healthy outlook on his situation. His desire to be "useful" even in his suffering is commendable.
    It is the life in your years that is important, not the years in your life.



    Adding to the stem cell thread ... my hope is that through this research cures can be found for the many conditions that may otherwise cause parents to seek abortion. As gene screening in IVF (designer babies is such a crap term) becomes more available, the idea of a cure is surely preferable to the religious, than an abortion, or simply discarding an embryo because it doesn't fit.

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  • 126. At 10:09pm on 03 Feb 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    arclightt 117
    "Do humans have the right to decide which products of a human female's womb are human, and which are not?"


    With embryonic stem cell research the embryos (blastocyst - 5 day old 100 cell embryos) are NOT the product of a human female's womb. They are the product of a laboratory, either specifically created for research, or donated as "spares" from IVF.

    No scientists are removing embryos from wombs for research.

    Like anonymouscalifornian earlier in this blog you are muddying already difficult waters with incorrect, but emotionally-charged information.

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  • 127. At 10:30pm on 03 Feb 2009, ladycm wrote:

    110 bere54:


    "I really have nothing against the elderly (I'm not too far from being an elderly myself), but my son has disproportionately large amounts deducted from his paychecks for Medicare and Social Security, yet cannot afford health insurance or health care for himself. He (along with many others) is paying for the ridiculous number of pharmaceuticals my 86-year-old mother takes every day, several times a day. She does not even seem to know what all these pills are for, but they and her doctor visits provide her with entertainment. Movies would be a lot cheaper".

    It's a lot of words but, I agree with all of it. I am one those people paying into the system and I am a student; I cannot afford health coverage. I agree about the comment about the 90 something year old lady who died because she didn't have her cancer diagnosed in time. 90s???? I should be so lucky to get there. Americans need to understand, you are going to die. There is no escaping it. I support Medicare, Social Security etc... but it just flat out sucks that my generation has no plan. and no way to obtain this ourselves. I will be working until the day I die. In fact, I would be willing to bet I will die at work. It's totally unfair but, I guess that's life? People who are near the end of their life get the care and people who are just beginning their life are paying for the very same care for others but can't afford it for themselves. Irony?

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  • 128. At 10:31pm on 03 Feb 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #107 & 108 Gary

    Thanks for the informative link. Obama though still must play his cards carefully.

    #113 Mary

    Clinton was forced by Greenspan to put off these repairs because they were inflationary. Yet we were flush then and could have done them easily. On the other hand Greenspan himself encourage the reckless spending that got US in this financial mess.

    Hear hear. If Greenspan put a lid on the reckless credit, because that was inflationary also, and recommended Clinton invest in the US infrastructure then I guess the US economy would be in much better shape then it is now.

    #115 Happy

    'Ohh R' indeed LOL

    #122 Bere

    It seems the old fashioned Right Wing are a slightly agreeable bunch, both in the US and the UK. They are socially liberal, progressive (with a small 'p' though), but fiscally conservative. However, today these people would be seen as being on the Left. Sad.

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  • 129. At 10:47pm on 03 Feb 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 113, Mary

    The Republicans expressing dismay at the size of a stimulus package are the same ones that have no problem with spending $700B a year on defense, billions in aid to Israel, almost a trillion dollars spent thus far in crusades, and tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. I guess middle class America is not worthy of attention...

    Having said that, I believe the package passed by the House needs to be changed. The $20 a week tax reduction is not going to do a thing to stimulate the economy, there has to be greater focus on real estate mortgages, spending on infrastructure, and more attention to education. We simply can not afford the neglect of the last 40 years if we want to remain a superpower.

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  • 130. At 10:57pm on 03 Feb 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    aquarizonagal # 118,
    I know that there was somebody who had octuplets recently but in all honesty I did not concentrate on that news. It is aeons ago that I ended reading all that type of "medical wonder" news.
    Was it IVF because they usually only return 4 of the 20 - 24 fertlised eggs to the womb not expecting all of the 4 to take, and the other 20 are thrown away. Seems to me that the patient probably recieved one or other drug to stimulate the ovaries encouraging her own extra eggs to come into play naturally, so indirectly she may have carried two sets of quads, or combinations thereof..Are all 14 kids boys? She has a soccer team with 3 reserves on the bench.
    Of the million or so eggs produced only 45 x 13 {45 year repro cycle]- approx 600 reach full maturity [ and many chauvanistic sexist men would tell you that's 600 too many] but there are those, that donate their eggs when undergoing various gyno procedures. You are correct it is another possibility but then produces a further controversial problem, along a parallel track.

    Found this great site which should be of help to all with everyone's doubts on 1001 religious and ethical hangups. It comes from "Ontario Consultants" but if that is yours- Canadian, or the Californian Ontario- who knows
    .A good read about a lot of things
    "We describe all sides of each controversial topic, from abortion, to physician assisted suicide, including capital punishment, evolution & creation science, and homosexuality."
    Read the "about us" part first , before diving in.
    It gives a Middle of the road sensible approach to both sides of the argument.

    ps. Mothers and fathers each needing two pairs of hands just to cope with one child perhaps with genetic engineering and stem cell treatment in the remaining term of a discovered multiple preganancy we could all grow extra arms and hands.
    But then this is one of the other major worries- Crazy research scientists going completely off the reservation and playing "evolution" games.

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  • 131. At 10:57pm on 03 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#95 Happylaze

    Excellent post!

    I believe that we cannot sacrifice the lives of our children to keep us old ones alive like some kind of mummies on feeding tubes and life support. How could anyone call that a life?

    Real life is doing, being, thinking, working, loving. It is not a matter of how long a person lives but the essence of the life is what really matters.

    I do think that stem cell research will help our children have better lives and not just preserve us old carcasses into mummiehood

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  • 132. At 11:03pm on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    All,

    I apologize, I should clarify my earlier comments.

    Adult stem cells are good for reproducing non specific cartilage and other cells to slather on a bit of cartilage to prevent rejection, as well as for the oldest stem cell treatment in common use, bone marrow transplants.

    They are however, as of today, utterly useless for gene therapy research and potential transplant growth.

    I apologize for my oversight.

    Apologetic Sam

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  • 133. At 11:06pm on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #126

    Womestu,

    You could let the foetus gestate though. Keep it in a box?

    Reg Sam

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  • 134. At 11:07pm on 03 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #29

    Yes, they don't exist.

    Helpful Sam

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  • 135. At 11:07pm on 03 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#127 Ladycm

    I agree with most of your post. You might care to know that my dear one and I have agreed to fall on our swords rather that become a drain on each other, our children or the system.

    Consider this, most of the stupidity of the medicare system is not the fault of the users but of greedy drug companies, insurance companies and our government who has enabled them.

    Also, maybe your mother is over-medicated. This is not uncommon for some elderly people. You might want to check it out.

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  • 136. At 11:34pm on 03 Feb 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    aquarizonagal # 118,
    I know that there was somebody who produced octuplets recently but in all honesty I did not concentrate on that news. It is aeons ago that I stopped reading all that "medical sensation" stuff.
    Was it IVF because they usually only return 4 of the 20 - 24 fertilised eggs to the womb not expecting all of the 4 to take, and the other 20 are thrown away. Seems to me that the patient probably received one or other drug to stimulate the ovaries encouraging her own extra eggs to come into play naturally, so indirectly she may have carried two sets of quads, or combinations thereof. Are all the 14 kids boys? They have a football team with 3 reserves on the bench.
    Of the million or so eggs produced only 45 x 13 {45 year repro cycle]- approx 600 reach full maturity so for some women, they must have a healthy reserve and there are those that donate eggs when undergoing various gyno procedures. You are correct it is another possibility but then produces a further controversial problem.

    Found this great site which should be of help to all with everyone's doubts on 1001religious and ethical hangups. Not sure if it's the Canadian or Californian Ontario. A good read about a lot of things
    "We describe all sides of each controversial topic, from abortion, to physician assisted suicide, including capital punishment, evolution and creation science, and homosexuality."
    Read the "about us" part first , before diving in.
    It gives a Middle of the road sensible approach to both sides of the argument.

    ps. Mothers and fathers each needing two pairs of hands just to cope with one child, perhaps with genetic engineering and stem cell treatment in the remaining term of a discovered multiple pregnancy we could all grow extra arms and hands. But then this is another one of the other major worries that some people have. Crazy research scientists going completely off the reservation and playing "evolution" games.

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  • 137. At 11:39pm on 03 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    127, ladycm:

    Irony? you ask. Yes, but a sick, sad irony. I'm really sorry that you are in the same situation my son is in.

    I don't think that with Daschle in charge of HHS we had a prayer of getting a solution to this health care problem. Perhaps now Obama will nominate someone (like Dr. Howard Dean) who has seen the situation from the perspective of those who suffer without coverage. I have health coverage thanks to Dr. Dean (or just plain Howard, as he's known in these parts).

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  • 138. At 11:40pm on 03 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    Addendum

    Old age, like pregnancy and menopause is NOT a disease!

    All three of these are life conditions not diseases that always require medical intervention.

    There is no magic pill that will cure everything.
    I am feeling very cranky today. I wish all a good evening and happy debate.

    I am finished here!

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  • 139. At 11:47pm on 03 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    131, aquarizonagal:

    You're my kinda gal. My own mother (and you're probably wondering what on earth kind of mother I have) was extremely annoyed a few years ago when there was a shortage of flu vaccines and it was decided, in her area at least, that small children would get them ahead of the elderly. Her attitude stunned me. I shouldn't dis my own mother, but she has been a lifelong Republican so perhaps that explains a lot.

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  • 140. At 11:51pm on 03 Feb 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #122

    Then lets not hear any more complaints about Joe Lieberman's independent and extremly principaled positions

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  • 141. At 00:48am on 04 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    waterman, #136, thanks for the link. Interesting and informative. I must admit to being a little thrown, though, on seeing the terms CE and BCE (replacing AD and BC). I know that there are different calendars in use around the world, but I'd never heard of PC version before.

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  • 142. At 01:02am on 04 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    136 watermanaquarius

    That site is from Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

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  • 143. At 01:30am on 04 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    140, MagicKirin:

    Excuse me? I haven't made any complaints about Joe Lieberman, and I don't recall seeing any on this thread.

    That said, it is a fact that Lieberman left the Democratic party only after he lost his primary, and then ran in the general election as an independent. He did it for expediency, not out of principle. It was his only chance of returning to the Senate. And he's made sure to take his revenge.

    Even when he was supposedly a Democrat, I never could stand Lieberman. I think it is largely due to him that the 2000 election was not a landslide for Gore, so one could argue that even then he was working for the other side. He's been good for the GOP all along.

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  • 144. At 01:40am on 04 Feb 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 140 MagicKirin

    Joe Lieberman is independent and principaled?

    Maybe if he were a member of the Knesset.

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  • 145. At 01:49am on 04 Feb 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Publius,

    (((((hug))))) and one for your dad too (((((hug)))))

    Peace and contentment
    ed

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  • 146. At 01:55am on 04 Feb 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref watermanaquarius

    Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance is based in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

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  • 147. At 02:02am on 04 Feb 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 142 timewaitsfornoman

    My Ref 146

    Sorry timeman. I should have known you would be on the job when it comes to anything Canadian.

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  • 148. At 02:14am on 04 Feb 2009, Jeebers76 wrote:

    bere54,

    I suggest you explain to your grandmother that small children catch the flu easily, and because their parents have to take care of them, this results in a lot of very sick people. Little kids don't have the capacity to think "Gee, maybe I shouldn't put my mouth on the water fountain." or "Never kiss a girl that has the sniffles."

    Inconsiderate or thoughtless behavior isn't endemic to Republicans or the elderly. (I happen to be neither, but I digress) It happens when you get nostalgic for your youth, and then look at it with rose colored glasses. This results in bitterness when they look at the modern day. That's assuming the behavior is intentional, but many times it's simply due to ignorance, a lack of awareness of the world around them.

    Don't let yourself fall in the same trap. IMHO, that's what "old" is, it's not a physical age.

    And, I agree with aquarizongal. Age isn't a disease, and shouldn't be treated as such.

    ladycm,
    Moreover, to stop being actively contributing to the community is to roll over and start dying. I have no desire to retire, ever. I've spent time on SS, and I have to say IT'S NOT FUN! You get depressed and emotionally isolated easily when you don't have to get out of bed each day to work. When you get "old", let's see what you think at the prospect of abandoning your productivity. You won't like it, trust me. Try not working for months at a time, years... Ever wonder why if one half of a elderly couple dies, the other soon joins them?

    It's the lack of purpose that kills most of the elderly. I remember the first Star Trek Next Generation movie where Kirk had a chat with Picard. He had something important to say about being Captain of the Enterprise. Maybe you should watch that movie, it might help.

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  • 149. At 02:33am on 04 Feb 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 125 RomeStu
    Ref 145 Ed Iglehart

    Thank you both for your words of support.

    I can tell you, RomeStu, that my father and my family ascribe to your words:

    "It is the life in your years that is important, not the years in your life."


    I will add that my father passed on to his children what his father had taught him.

    A person has 8 hours a day to sleep, 8 hours a day to make a living, and 8 hours a day to live your life. The way in which you live your life in those 8 hours allocated for that purpose is what defines a person.


    Peace

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  • 150. At 02:34am on 04 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #127

    Lady,

    Your post touched me in a surprising way (snark snark).

    I don't have the experience or wisdom of Aqua, Marby or others, I'm afraid I am a generation closer to you than those venerable folks.

    That said, our generations have an obligation to each other. Mine are becoming the stewards of the economy and our businesses just as we begin to hire yours. Your genration will pay my pension. I thank you for that in advance and want you to know I feel a duty of care to you.

    If I can, I would like to offer the advice I try to give on campus and I hope it helps lift you from the downer that the current economy is. It's a long, serious post for me but if you can stick with it I hope it is worth what you are paying for it:

    1. Yours is a lucky generation. Mine inherits the retirement of the baby boomers and a necessarily contracting economy. Yours lives on the cusp of the next demographic expansion. You will have many opportunities to lead and excel

    2. It is important to be pragmatic. Forget do what you love. Follow the money and you can do what you love

    3. I don't know your major so I can't be precise. If you are interested in business it is important in the US to pursue a potential career early. Attend information events with the organizations you want to work for. the speakers are likely to be interviewers and decision makers. Introduce yourself, and be engaging but not dominating. Be charming, don't be cute.

    4. Corporate America is small c conservative. If anything is pierced other than your ear lobes I do not need to know about it. Guys, same applies to you. If you think an ear ring is risque or cool, Shakespeare had one. You are as cool as Shakespeare. Think about that message.

    5. Mix up your applications. If you want to be a CFO apply for the big corporate finance positions. But apply to a couple of audit firms as well. A CPA after their name never did anyone any harm. Except those Madoff guys. Who sucked.

    6. Dress for the job you want when you meet the guys you want to work for. Every one of them is assessing you at every chance. We spot talent fast

    7. Your GPA is table stakes. get it as high as you can. Then do something else meaningful. One thing, not ticking 27 boxes

    8. Treat an internship as a long job interview. Getting that internship is at least as important as final year interviews, often you can lock in a career before that final year if you the right internship and excel

    9. If you get a gap year do something meaningful. Work for charity, feed the poor, travel. Don't bus tables.

    And finally

    10. Always be yourself. Cheesy but true, if you don't pass muster then that wasn;t the job for you

    And if you meet a middle aged fat bald guy with waxed legs in the NE talking about careers, say hi. I'll try to help.

    And keep the leather. Oh yeah.

    Lengthy Sam


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  • 151. At 02:37am on 04 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #138

    Amen to that.

    Sleep well.

    Sam

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  • 152. At 02:39am on 04 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #147

    On the job. Pssssssst. Kyack Kyack.

    Snark Snark.

    Phoaaaaaaarrrrrrr

    Finbarr Sam

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  • 153. At 02:46am on 04 Feb 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    On health matters, This

    "If you are going to deal with the issue of health in the modern world, you are going to have to deal with much absurdity. It is not clear, for example, why death should increasingly be looked upon as a curable disease, an abnormality, by a society that increasingly looks upon life as insupportably painful and/or meaningless. Even more startling is the realization that the modern medical industry faithfully imitates disease in the way that it isolates us and parcels us out. If, for example, intense and persistent pain causes you to pay attention only to your stomach, then you must leave home, community, and family and go to a sometimes distant clinic or hospital, where you will be cared for by a specialist who will pay attention only to your stomach."
    Including a personal story.

    Hugs all round
    ed

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  • 154. At 02:52am on 04 Feb 2009, amerika_first wrote:

    Some of us don't consider Bush to represent the "Dark Ages" and don't think that our taxpayers should pay for stem cell research. The HYS crowd as usual will criticize the US no matter what we do..so bugger off..

    We should send the detainees to the UK, becuase they would fit in so well, after all your own security chief has identified that you are full of terrorist but don't have the backbone to do what is necessary to defeat terrorist. You once did, but now you are soft and weak..

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  • 155. At 02:52am on 04 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    147 publiusdetroit

    "anything Canadian"

    I try. Got to keep up our side, don't you know! Often it's a lonely battle but I persevere. If I run into any difficulty I just ask Chronophobe to do the talking! Or call upon Ed's Canadian childhood. Or waterman, can't ask for better, he has a fondness for Canada. I've got my back covered.

    If things get really intense I call out our big guns, Interestedforeigner!!

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  • 156. At 02:56am on 04 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #118

    Aqua,

    They aren't.

    Sad Sam

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  • 157. At 03:01am on 04 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 158. At 03:08am on 04 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    150 SamTyler1969

    "middle aged fat bald guy"

    No! You don't look like that - that's not how I see you. You're the good looking guy with the quick wit, who from time to time has to go to Pittsburgh - don't ask me why?

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  • 159. At 03:19am on 04 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #105

    Publius, greetings.

    May my thoughts and prayers be with you upon this occasion of your need.

    Sam

    PS. Apologies, the Latin post I made earlier with the same sentiments was appropriately moderated. This is a poor English translation.

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  • 160. At 04:23am on 04 Feb 2009, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    David_Cunard #42: '"Contrary to what some may suggest, the United States is not the only country which has medical research; what would we do without penicillin, DNA or the CAT scanner? Justin's son may benefit from British research, not American."


    O no, trust me, I am willing to bet you that only about 1% of the people in the world think that the United States is the only nation to conduct medical research!! In fact, since those three inventions/discoveries you mentioned are a few of the largest things used in today's medical field, I wonder, what real contributions has America made to this field of late?

    Regarding stem cell research. Thanks to Bush's selfish narrow minded stupidity, as other posters have already pointed out, we are no longer (if we ever were) the world leader in stem cell research, having seeded our position to other nations (of which I wouldn't be surprised if Britain topped the list) who had the good sense not to limit their areas of research!! I sware! If we were to completely withdraw from the world in all fields of endevor would anyone even notice?




    timewaitsfornoman #65: Don't forget, as was already mentioned in one of Justin's articles, the Canadian scientests who made stem cell research possible in the first place through its discovery in 1963! So in fact we oe the very existance of stem cell research to Canada!

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  • 161. At 04:39am on 04 Feb 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #105, publius, I have to echo Sam on his
    thoughts and prayers for you and your Dad.

    I've been through this kind of thing twice now,
    and all I can say is that it shows us what is
    important in life.

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  • 162. At 04:42am on 04 Feb 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #160, NRD, and just think: where would we
    be without Canadian Club?

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  • 163. At 04:48am on 04 Feb 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 159 SamTyler1996

    Dear Sam,

    Your thoughts and prayers are welcome no matter what language you use to convey them.

    To those facing cancer,

    My father has been surviving different cancers for over 30 years. He was a young, vibrant man when we received the first diagnosis. It was difficult for all of us to handle. Cancer was all too often a death sentence in those days. Dad has since run the gauntlet of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, chemo-cocktails. Each of those resulting in miserable side-effects and long recovery times. Each time he resumed an active, productive life.

    We are a family that face life with a positive attitude with a wry eye on the negative. A positive attitude combined with a zest for life is key. A rock-faced mountain may look insurmountable when standing at the bottom of it. Why not climb the mountain to see if it is insurmountable?

    This Cyberknife process my father just completed is a wonderful advancement in medical technology. Precise, micronic pulses of radiation are "shot" from a robotic arm to vaporize the tumor. It is non-evasive and painless. Dad would emerge from each treatment with a smile on his face, and a "giddy-up" in his step. Dad called the machine a "nosy, one-eyed alien that examined him as if he was the first creature it discovered on earth."

    For those facing cancer, or with loved ones facing cancer; this is a wonderful advancement in the treatment of cancer. There is hope.

    I may be premature in my praises of this technology. We will know how initially effective it has been in three months. We all feel very confident of success.

    Be strong. Live well.

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  • 164. At 04:50am on 04 Feb 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    p.s. to #162, probably lying face-down in a
    gutter somewhere, having inbibed an inferior
    grade of whiskey.

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  • 165. At 05:01am on 04 Feb 2009, Jeebers76 wrote:

    154 amerika-first,

    Before you go to berate the rest of the world for ignorance, you might want to take a look at yourself. Even your spelling could use some work, and that isn't even mentioning your hostile attitude.

    BTW, I am born and raised American, and it's people like you that give the rest of our people a bad name worldwide.

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  • 166. At 05:03am on 04 Feb 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 162 gunsandreligion

    Throw in some ketchup-flavored potato chips (crisps), poutin, Molson XXX, and some Canadians to enjoy it with; we have a party!

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  • 167. At 05:21am on 04 Feb 2009, ladycm wrote:

    135. At 11:07pm on 03 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal:

    I agree with your comments about the medical/ Medicare system. It is abuse of the highest order; from the top all the way down to the person who thinks they need their meds or whatever to function correctly. I am not big on medication at all. I was referring to someone else's mother, but I agree with your advice. My own mother (I am pretty sure) is immortal and she is one tough broad. I don't think I will ever have to worry about her.

    137. At 11:39pm on 03 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    "Irony? you ask. Yes, but a sick, sad irony. I'm really sorry that you are in the same situation my son is in".

    For lack of a better word, it sucks. I am sorry your son is in the same situation. I agree with your comment about having a Dr. in charge of health care here in America. That stipulation is only second to some who will pay their taxes! What the hell? I am off topic. I have hope for the future and I know things will get better, let's just hope I don't get hurt before then. In a country as rich, as prosperous and as "giving and caring" as America, we shouldn't have to worry about not having health care. Everyone needs to be covered, period. Let's start off with all children being covered and go from there.

    148. At 02:14am on 04 Feb 2009,
    Jeebers76:

    I agree with everything you said. It's important to have purpose. When I said working I meant sort of the typical job, if that makes any sense. The job you work your way up to or go to school for. I hope to be lucky enough just like everyone else out there, to retire from that job and do something meaningful that contributes to the community for free and for fun.

    150. At 02:34am on 04 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    Go advice. I am majoring in biology currently, then nursing school. So, GPA is EVERYTHING. I am not cut out for wearing a suit to work everyday. I need to work in a lab or hospital.


    "And if you meet a middle aged fat bald guy with waxed legs in the NE talking about careers, say hi. I'll try to help.

    And keep the leather".

    Are your legs waxed so you can fit into your full head to toe leather suits? Oh wait, I am the one who likes leather. We'll say pleather, I am not huge on animal products typically. Plus, pleather is shinier ;)

    Now that's a lengthy post.

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  • 168. At 05:30am on 04 Feb 2009, ladycm wrote:

    Actually Samtyler, I meant good advice. Not go advice. You know, because go advice doesn't make any sense. Unless it's advice on the go, then it makes perfect sense. I proof read, but I am deprived on sleep and leather! Go verbs!

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  • 169. At 05:54am on 04 Feb 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    How is the picking of Steele to lead the RNC shameless?
    --It was very much a positive outcome and breathed life back into a leaderless national committee.

    But also realize that the national committee is less powerful than the individual state parties anyways.

    What is really shameless is the fact that Obama's cabinet nominations seem to have trouble paying their taxes like the rest of us.

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  • 170. At 05:55am on 04 Feb 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Sam, about the leather... You could always, even
    in the prime of your career, relocate to the
    financial district in the 415 area code.

    It's O.K. to come out of the closet... We're
    all friends on this blog and we accept you no matter
    what kind of current you use to recharge
    your batteries.

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  • 171. At 05:56am on 04 Feb 2009, hontogaijin wrote:

    ref #127:

    say sam,

    good advice! alas, what's your take on guys that wear earrings, but take them out at the appropriate times (ie: before work)?

    my choice to wear earrings is not of shakespearean influence; i went bald at a fairly young age and decided to shave my head (curly hair does nothing in concealing "patches" of scalp). furthermore, i have a baby face and cannot grow facial hair to save my life.

    please, don't deny me the only sort of "style" my cranium can provide!

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  • 172. At 05:59am on 04 Feb 2009, Jeebers76 wrote:

    Ladycm,

    Actually, ANY job would grant at least a small bit of purpose. You have to bear in mind that I haven't worked for nearly a decade now, and I know what it's like. Just got back into college again, and while stressful I do feel much better now that I've rejoined the world somewhat. Even COLLEGE is better than being isolated and jobless. SS is not as much fun as you'd think. Go to a retirement home and ask around. You will see the effects of being divorced from society on the residents there. It ain't pleasant, lemme warn you.

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  • 173. At 06:16am on 04 Feb 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    As for stem cell research, I fail to see how anyone can seriously justify the killing of innocent human embryos so that they can live more comfortably when adult stem cells, cells that dont require the furtilization and destruction of embryos, have been shown in labs to be just as viable for curing disease.

    It may be ethical for some (just as euthanasia and abortion are ethical for some) and thats fine, but I would prefer that the Feds not use my tax dollars for something I believe to be a crime against the rights of man and unnecessarily immoral.

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  • 174. At 06:44am on 04 Feb 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #160. NoRashDecisions: "I am willing to bet you that only about 1% of the people in the world think that the United States is the only nation to conduct medical research!!"

    You're probably correct, but by "some" I meant those writing here.

    163. publiusdetroit: "This Cyberknife process . . . Precise, micronic pulses of radiation are "shot" from a robotic arm to vaporize the tumor."

    It's a linear particle accelerator, the same as the machines made by Varian use - the design and (supposed) accuracy makes it unique. I'm undergoing the same treatment - quite painless and very swift.

    #170. gunsandreligion: "Sam . . You could always, even in the prime of your career, relocate to the financial district in the 415 area code."

    Folsom ain't what it was! But parts of the 323 area might interest him - although it's on a faultline.

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  • 175. At 09:27am on 04 Feb 2009, british-ish wrote:

    153. Ed Iglehart wrote:

    "It is not clear, for example, why death should increasingly be looked upon as a curable disease, an abnormality, by a society that increasingly looks upon life as insupportably painful and/or meaningless."

    Professor Winston (he of IVF) once remarked "After all, life is one hundred per cent fatal . . ."

    I've often suspected that stem cell research in the US will be 80 per cent dedicated to countering the natural effects of ageing, and 20 per cent to cures . . .

    (But you are quite right: I was very irritated being packed off for an MRI scan in one hospital because the doctor wanted nice pics of my abdomen, while I knew my consultant would be wanting a scan of my damaged spine a month or two later . . . so I asked if they would do both while I was there, but they wouldn't.

    So the NHS paid for two instead of one.

    It's like digging holes. . . British Gas dug a nearby main street up in the summer, and now Thames Water is digging it up again . . .

    As always, I am sorely puzzled by the illogicality of some posters' views. Seems that it's OK to deny 'life. . .and . . .happiness' to some people because they're old . . but might not live much longer, but OK to treat all children even if some might not live as long?

    BTW, in case anyone thinks research into foetal cells or embryos is a kind of scientific free-for-all in Britain, it isn't.

    The ethics and practice are regulated by the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority, not just groups of doctors, scientists, or politicians.

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  • 176. At 11:46am on 04 Feb 2009, DJRUSA wrote:

    Justin

    I think you are a breath of fresh air, compared to other BBC employees who don't have a clue regarding Americans, but I think you are being unfair to Mr. Steele.

    He won election in a blue state (Lt. Gov. I think) and has made the rounds in op-ed pages, talk radio and Fox gaining support from conservatives. His star was on the rise back when it looked like Hillary would be the next president.

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  • 177. At 11:50am on 04 Feb 2009, Tamarin wrote:

    Come off it - are you telling us Sarah Palin knows what stem cell research is?

    She problem thinks it is something to do with corn

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  • 178. At 12:16pm on 04 Feb 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 172, Jeebers

    "SS is not as much fun as you'd think."

    Hopefully people realize that Social Security income and benefits are not enough to satisfy anyone needs. The meager income I receive is barely enough to buy food and a few other essentials, and you must have supplemental insurance because MEDICARE does not cover all medical expenses.

    People must prepare for retirement by paying off their mortgage, car, and all personal debt before they retire; and should have enough money in savings to cover emergencies. Government assistance provides some comfort, but it is no substitute for personal responsibility.

    Regarding the long term solvency of the Social Security system, the most essential pre-requisite is to stop raiding the Trust Fund to make our federal budget deficits look more benign. This applies to both Republican and Democratic administrations.

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  • 179. At 12:24pm on 04 Feb 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 177

    Either that or some evil activity undertaken by the Russians she can see from her front porch. I hear Newt is rooting for her as champion of the GOP in 2012! I better don't laugh, there are enough nuts around for a replay of the last 8 years to take place...

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  • 180. At 12:35pm on 04 Feb 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 176

    The reason Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Michael Steele won the gubernatorial election in Maryland in 2002 had more to do with the hapless campaign run by candidate Kathleen Kennedy than with their qualifications or ideological shifts in the state where I lived (Montgomery County) for over 20 years.

    I have nothing against Mr. Steele, in fact, I would not be surprised if he introduces badly needed changes, such as the use of new technology to improve their chances in future campaigns, but I would not hold my breath regarding ideological shifts; the Republican rank and file is more apt to follow the direction set by Limbaugh and Coulter than listen to whatever Steele may say.

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  • 181. At 12:53pm on 04 Feb 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 160, No Rash

    "...only about 1% of the people in the world think that the United States is the only nation to conduct medical research!!..."

    I think you are underestimating the intellectual acumen and education of the people of the world. Conversely, I believe most Americans still believe that stem cell research is only being conducted in the USA, that most medical breakthroughs take place in the USA, and that we have the best medical care in the world.

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  • 182. At 1:40pm on 04 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    Oh you guys are too kind! Of course you are just trying to butter us up if the trade restrictions are passed.

    160 NoRashDecisions

    "So in fact we owe the very existence of stem cell research to Canada."

    Yes I read that and if I knew it previously had forgotten, but after bringing up Banting and Best a couple of times thought I would "lay off" for awhile - so thanks for mentioning it!

    162 gunsandreligion

    "Canadian Club"

    And Canada Dry to go with it, if desired.

    166publiusdetroit

    "some Canadians to enjoy it with; we have a party!"

    Canadians are often described as "boring"
    and I have met a few, but they are few and far between where I live. Quebec may be called many things, but boring is not one.

    Comments please - What are we to make of this?

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  • 183. At 2:01pm on 04 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    163 publiusdetroit

    My thoughts are with you. I have been down that road twice, so I know of what you speak.

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  • 184. At 2:46pm on 04 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #167

    A nurse. In pleather?














    Cold shower time.

    Deviant Sam

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  • 185. At 2:50pm on 04 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #171

    Honto,

    I would advise a small, conservative stud for daywear. Makes the statement without shouting it. But that's only true for corporate America. If you were in a creative role, go knock yourself out with whatever you like.

    GQ Sam

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  • 186. At 3:05pm on 04 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Lol thanks glad to let some sanity out. I will remember to keep it under control in the future, typing monkeys and all that.


    Aqua girl. that lady with the baby or eight .She would to me seem to be suffering from a mental condition of some sort.
    I have to wonder who paid for it.

    There is no way an underfunded NHS would pay for the fertility treatment.

    The donating eggs. It already happens but american politics stops them being used once fertilised i think.

    Probably some would say even the eggs should not be used.

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  • 187. At 3:07pm on 04 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    139 bere

    Interesting study was done in Japan.
    they stopped giving the flu vaccine to the elderly and only gave it to the kids.

    Result.
    Great.
    drop in infections better than if administered to the oldies.
    Cause the Kids did not visit them sick.

    But kids don't vote.

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  • 188. At 3:12pm on 04 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    140. At 11:51pm on 03 Feb 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #122

    Then lets not hear any more complaints about Joe Lieberman's independent and extremly principaled positions

    Oh gherkin I could hardly resist, in fact I couldn't.

    No one mentioned that lame Joe.
    but seeing as you brought him up. He was a traitor to his party and a rampant Zionist who it seems would commit the US to eternal warfare rather than allow justified grievances against the US to be aired.


    Again I would say that putting other nations before his own while running as an elected official is well , SAD.

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  • 189. At 3:17pm on 04 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    148 Jeebers I would not admit to being in the SS.;)

    (for clarification reasons, he didn't so 'someone' don't jump on him because of this joke)

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  • 190. At 3:36pm on 04 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    publiusdetroit

    good luck with your dad there.

    ------------
    And all good luck.

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  • 191. At 3:41pm on 04 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    timewaits, #182, my first thought was, what on earth are people from a chinese region doing getting caught up in this? I didn't appreciate quite how far west China spreads. Apparently the Uyghurs have settled in Toronto and Vancouver, so that's maybe where the awareness of Canada comes from.

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  • 192. At 3:42pm on 04 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    175 british ish
    "I've often suspected that stem cell research in the US will be 80 per cent dedicated to countering the natural effects of ageing, and 20 per cent to cures . . ."


    one of the first time I saw a discussion about the emerging technology of stem cells was in a "tomorrows world" episode,or maybe Panorama, about the centre for anti aging technology, in Chicago.

    It stuck with me because this was exactly it.

    They will figure out how to keep some looking young at the expense of other research.

    it stuck with me and was partly responsible for me writing my earlier post 95.

    I have thought about it through out life since then.

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  • 193. At 3:52pm on 04 Feb 2009, AgreeableAmerican wrote:

    http://www.cnsnews.com/Public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=40855

    Watch Steele avoid making any serious statement about any real issue. He's learned how to be a Washington-caliber politician rather quickly I must say.

    He was much more forthcoming in his local Maryland television interviews and on Bill Maher in 2005 while he was Lt. Governor, but I digress.

    The Republican factions in the United States are, as many of you know, divided between traditional fiscal conservatives (the Reagans) and Modern Moral Majority Republicans (the Bush Jr.s). Rove and other party leaders decided they would be able to hold a Republican majority by directing attention away from economic issues and uncontrolled spending and toward trivial social issues like embryonic stem cells, abortion, and gay marriage. That's right ladies and gentlemen: I said trivial. No-one will ever win those arguments, so having them is [politically] useless. There is only the here and now of majority opinion. Webb's point is that success in embryonic stem cell research would see a swing in that majority. Regardless, the misdirection worked for 8 years.

    In that time, the Reagan Republicans had noticed that biblical values had magically replaced traditional Republican economic values. Cue the Republican-Reform party, led by Senator John McCain. Sadly, he realized he couldn't win without the new Moral Majority, so he enlisted Sarah Palin to bring in the bible belt vote.

    Unfortunately the political move had the effect of once-again alienating moderate Democrats and Republicans that favored his economic policies over the hollow moral doctrine of Bush and his compatriots. (For instance, I, a Democrat, would have voted for him if not for her nomination)

    Result: President Obama.

    As a vice-presidential running mate, Steele would've been a horse of the same color. A minority appealing to the Bush-era moral Republican base. Though he would have and will certainly go over better with fiscal conservatives.

    The party has made an intelligent choice with Steele. So long as he keeps his mouth shut they'll be able to use him to pick which of the two directions they want to travel: Moral or Fiscal. Maybe, if they're very lucky, they'll get both, but I doubt it.

    I seriously doubt Steele is making any decisions here. He's nowhere near intelligent enough, and the Grand Old Boys of the Grand Old Party haven't died off quite yet.

    The Republicans have been playing 'Washington' for a very long time. Even if they don't win, it'll be a good game.

    On a trivial note though, since I can't resist. Adult Stem Cells have to be coaxed and cloned. They have to be specifically engineered after harvesting to apply to the areas they intend to treat. Stem cells from an harvested embryo do not. The process is far less complicated, and would make research in the United States, where there are, in fact, the largest number of biomedical research facilities in the world, a much faster process.

    Perhaps the results would eventually be the same, but remember that at least twice the number of people will suffer and die from diabetes, leukemia, liver disease, chronic heart failure (just to name a few) if stem cell treatments are developed in 20 years when they could be perfected in 5 or 10.

    Really, honestly, Stem Cells can be used to grow and regenerate ANY ORGAN for pity's sake! It is nearly impossible to wrap one's head around the incredible scope of medical progress that implies. I think the betterment of the health of the entire living human race is well worth some imperceptive lives. The quicker the better. If you disagree, how could you ever justify things like war, or torture, or any other thing that kills or hurts a live, thinking, feeling human being to achieve a "greater good."

    I leave you with this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0kJHQpvgB8

    Enjoy.

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  • 194. At 4:07pm on 04 Feb 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    time.. (#182), the Uighurs should be welcome anywhere, I would think, but it is solely an issue for Canadians whether they are welcome there. The first batch of Uighurs released from Guantanamo were resettled in Albania. I would be happy to have them here. In fact, there are Uighurs in the San Francisco Bay area.

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  • 195. At 4:09pm on 04 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    180, saintDominick: Hey, I once lived in Montgomery County, Maryland, too. Wonder if we ever crossed paths.

    182, timewaits: I've travelled in Canada a lot and always had good experiences (except for the time I was held at the border for two hours before being allowed to enter, but even then the border officials were very polite and friendly). But I have a question, legitimately (and please don't take offense): Why are tourists with Quebec license plates here in Vermont such really terrible drivers? They speed, tailgate, won't stop for pedestrians, and are second only to Massachusettsians in offensive driving. Is there an explanation for this?

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  • 196. At 4:17pm on 04 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    Also, for those who think my previous posts were somehow criticizing our system of the young paying for the elderly, that was not my point or my opinion. My objection is that the young who are paying for Medicare often cannot afford health care for themselves. I think everyone has just as much right to health care as the elderly do. Most of the money spent on health care in this country is spent on the very old, and this seems unbalanced and unfair. When young people can't even pay for preventive medicine, what shape are they going to be in when finally eligible for Medicare, if they even live that long? I don't think it's a stretch to say that life expectancy will steadily decrease here because of this.

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  • 197. At 4:36pm on 04 Feb 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    If I may comment on the youth cure versus pensioner help themes that run through some of the postings.
    I do not feel that anybody is suggesting that oldies be cast aside as "passed their sell-by date" articles. The key word here seems to be the waste of resources.
    Medical happenings whether through accident or bad luck can occur in life which requires everything from a plaster, to pills, potions, physiotherapy surgery etc, not forgetting the associated mental hangups that require a "trick-cyclists" help. All should receive the help possibilities available.
    We are all responsible for our own health if lucky enough to be born without a debilitating condition, but hopefully these too can be brought into balance.
    That said when the machine is running normally, [with or without pharmaceutical correction] it is our own responsibility to keep it functioning as it should by following a healthy lifestyle. Surely it is better to invest in youth where a change of oil, lithium powered spark plug or similar simple technical servicing is required, than to invest monies in a complete overhaul, new engine and set of shock absorbers in what is in many cases a scrapheap challenge. Hence my support for all modern research to restore the health of the young.
    The healing power of youth- 1-25 years of age is many times that of the veteran model, but accidents to both do occur, the former falling while playing games, the latter sliding out in the bathroom, with a much longer expected recovery time.
    To live a sedentary life as a grown up, behind a desk, no exercise and not making any attempt to move, walk, even a run at the gym in free-time is only asking for problems later on in life. Similarly, the wrong food, excessive bad habits via drink, drugs and smoking do not respect the body, our temple, whose self-repairing functions diminish as we get older. Mind stimulation while sitting in front of a computer or television does not make up for the loss of a functional body to accompany it.
    Apart from the simpler adult failures- cataracts, spectacles, hearing aids,corns, waterworks, etc it is the heart, liver, lung transplants and the joint replacements through decalcification or arthritic causes that sees the bulk of the money available going down the drain, all for a lack of exercise through the years.
    A long lifespan carries the extra risk of developing cancers as we get older, a situation that does not respect whether a body is healthy or not, but occurring in a body that has been kept in a vegetative state, despite surgery, it has a much poorer prognosis. Post surgical happenings takes more lives than the operation itself.
    With this in mind and the hopeful arrival of an American Health system encompassing all, should there be a compulsory policy for those over 45, that must be paid should they fall into this category?. Like a Ministry of Transport check for old vehicles to ensure they are not a danger to other road users, a walk through examination to sort out those who will be the burden on the rest of a reasonably fit society. The same could be said for the UK. We too are all living longer and many Brits are only fractionally fitter than Americans.
    We are not all Rolls Royces that go on for ever, hardly ever requiring small replacement parts.. Wear out by actions now, or look after yourself with rest and rust away? Fade away while drooling in your slippers and dressing gown, or fly, crash and burn.?
    " Too often man handles life as he does the bad weather, He whiles away the time as he waits for it to stop" Alfred Polgar.

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  • 198. At 4:53pm on 04 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    182 Timewaits

    I was thinking how, if I had taken a holiday to Afghanistan back when, I may have reached my goal. Canada. Courtesy of the US people.

    Now I will have to find some unguarded border.

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  • 199. At 4:57pm on 04 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #188, "He was a traitor to his party". Sorry, but the reason the country is in a mess is that both sides put the party first. I would prefer that someone put principles first rather than party line, whether I agreed with those principles or not.

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  • 200. At 5:04pm on 04 Feb 2009, Hal5145 wrote:

    At this point, anything is a vast improvement from "Joe the idiot plumber" Republican party. Thank goodness stupidity is in the minority and will hopefully remain so for a very long, long time.

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  • 201. At 5:20pm on 04 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #175 British-ish, #192 Happy. You've both hit the nail on the head on why any research needs to be done outside of the USA. Within the US, it will follow where the money is, not where the need is. Again, I suggest that Bush has (admittedly unwittingly) therefore helped.

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  • 202. At 5:28pm on 04 Feb 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    182, timewaits, I wouldn't worry about the
    trade restrictions. Obama probably thought
    that in the current economic environment he
    could get anything through. Now he knows
    that he can't, and his power is becoming
    limited.

    He'll be more clever next time. Instead of
    a frontal assault, he'll try to flank us somewhere.
    But, we'll be watching...

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  • 203. At 5:33pm on 04 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #193, AgreeableAmerican, I may not agree 100%, but a great post. So much so, I suspect you are really a Canadian!

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  • 204. At 5:43pm on 04 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    "Adult Stem Cells have to be coaxed and cloned."
    " It is nearly impossible to wrap one's head around the incredible scope of medical progress that implies. I think the betterment of the health of the entire living human race is well worth some imperceptive lives. The quicker the better. If you disagree, how could you ever justify things like war, or torture, or any other thing that kills or hurts a live, thinking, feeling human being to achieve a "greater good.""


    I disagree and do not justify any war and torture.
    Nah , I don't disagree but think.
    Any part can be replaced.

    With that tech and gene therapy just think where we could get.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_Trooper

    Sci Fi but getting closer.



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  • 205. At 5:54pm on 04 Feb 2009, timohio wrote:

    re. David_Cunard #42: '

    "Contrary to what some may suggest, the United States is not the only country which has medical research; what would we do without penicillin, DNA or the CAT scanner?

    The US and UK split the honors on DNA. Watson is American, Crick was British. Although their collaboration occurred at Cambridge and used research by British scientists.

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  • 206. At 7:08pm on 04 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    203 "I suspect you are really a Canadian!"

    198 "reached my goal. Canada"

    Is this "Canada appreciation week?" Or do you truly love us?

    My point about the Guantanamo detainees is:

    1. We like to think we are welcoming to all who legitimately want to be here.
    2. Our friends the Americans are asking this of us.
    3. The Chinese government will not like it!

    More on the subject.

    happylaze

    Bit of a roundabout way of doing things! Throw yourself on our mercy and apply for refugee status (it would help if your life is in danger) or try our point system. Having money really helps.

    bere54

    "really terrible drivers"

    I had to laugh. That's the way they drive, plus feel it is others who are the bad drivers. It is getting worse as we accept more immigrants who do not understand the Quebec driving style. Not to criticize American drivers but they do not seem to understand that the left hand lane is for passing - not dawdling! Tailgating means please move over. And pedestrians are on their own - that's why we jaywalk!

    I used to feel sorry for the people in LA when I would hear about their traffic tie ups until I drove there. My G-d they have no one but themselves to blame. Driving five abreast at the same speed! on an expressway. Using the carpool lane was no help. To us - bizarre!

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  • 207. At 7:26pm on 04 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    198 happylaze

    "Now I will have to find some unguarded border."

    If you hurry!

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  • 208. At 7:36pm on 04 Feb 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #205. timohio: "The US and UK split the honors on DNA. Watson is American, Crick was British. Although their collaboration occurred at Cambridge and used research by British scientists."

    Then I'd say the split was 70 - 30 in favour of Britain! However, the Nobel Prize was split three ways, Crick, Watson and Maurice Wilkins, who was born in New Zealand.

    Regarding youth, the elderly and medical research, presumably if the younger members of society benefit from stem cell research, by the time they are chronologically enhanced (by today's standard) their bodies may well continue to be ticking over nicely. In the meantime, I don't see that older people should not be the beneficiaries of whatever advances there may be. The elderly develop diabetes as well as those younger; why shouldn't they benefit as well? Equally, if not more important, dementia is one of the issues which requires greater investigation - diabetes can be contained but as yet there is no cure for Alzheimer's Disease or other forms of dementia. What is the point of making younger members of society physically healthy for, say, eighty years, if their mental capacity is to become severely compromised? If it becomes a question of which gets funded, I would opt for those end of life problems rather than conditions which (like diabetes) already have a solution.

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  • 209. At 7:47pm on 04 Feb 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 195

    "180, saintDominick: Hey, I once lived in Montgomery County, Maryland, too. Wonder if we ever crossed paths."

    Although my address was Rockville, my house was actually closer to Olney. It was a beautiful area when I moved in in 1978, but an expensive and crowded nightmare by the time I left in 2001.

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  • 210. At 7:52pm on 04 Feb 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    AgreeableAmerican, I understand and respect your opinion, but you are missing the point by suggesting that those that oppose stem cell research can not justify war, torture, and or capitol punishment.

    Reality is more grey and what it really comes down to is protecting the innocent and those that can not protect themselves. Babies can not prevent their abortion. Terri Schiavo had no say in her euthenasia death by slow dehydration and starvation. Ive also made my position clear on embryonic stem cells in #173.

    War is just when it is defensive or a response to atrocities. Torture is never just. Capitol punishment is just when individuals commit henous crimes making them a danger to a populous.

    The betterment of the health of the entire living human race is not worth the destruction of some imperceptive lives because, however imperceptable, they are innocent human lives that deserve protection.

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  • 211. At 8:26pm on 04 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    I am thinking that I should not have gone to sleep so early this past night.


    To #150 Samtyler1969

    I hope that you are reproducing or cloning yourself because we need so many more such as you. Your post was so encouraging, so kind and so wise.

    To#172 Jeebers76

    You are NOT old until you decide to be. It seems that you are finding new things to engage your mind and passion by returning to school. I wish you joy and great success in whatever you choose to do. Be active, be engaged in the process, choose life!

    "Live long and prosper!"

    To#175 Britishish

    I do not think myself contradictory. I will cling to the life my dear one and I have created in our 'retirement' until I can no longer hoe a weed, pick a vegetable, feed my stock, walk my land or shovel manure.

    I will not "go gently into that good night."
    However, I would not have my body in a hospital while my family grieves as I die by inches rather than give them the peace of going at once.

    I would not wish to take medical care from our little ones so that my rotting carcass could spend one more moment being kept alive by tubes. Would you?


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  • 212. At 8:31pm on 04 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    206, timewaits:

    Well, I have to differ about the tailgating. I'm talking about a two-lane road (one lane in each direction) where the speed limit is 50 (mph) and I'm going 55 or 60 and a Quebec license plate is five feet behind me. We just don't drive like that here (and it's here that I'm talking about). Also, it's the law in Vermont that drivers must stop for pedestrians. Vermonters stop whether one is in the crosswalk or not. Quebecers seem blind to pedestrians in the middle of the crosswalk.

    You're right about the left lane dawdling, but even that doesn't create a problem in this area because there's no traffic to speak of and one can zoom by on the right on the interstate.

    But I must say that once they park and come into our shops they are perfectly nice. So no one suspects them of deliberately trying to run down pedestrians. Us folks around here have been bemused and curious about this phenomenon.

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  • 213. At 8:34pm on 04 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#208 Davidcunard

    You have proposed some interesting points about Alzheimer's disease and dementia but I ask your to consider this:

    Are we only hearing about these diseases because the population, as a whole, lives longer or could it be that as a society we may consider our elderly to be useless?

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  • 214. At 9:16pm on 04 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    209, saintDominick:

    I was first in Takoma Park, then Bethesda, then back to Takoma Park/Silver Spring. I also arrived there in 1978, but left in 1989, at which time it was already a crowded, expensive nightmare. But, hey, I made a killing when selling my house. When last there, on a visit, I couldn't find my way anywhere and the Beltway was an even worse horror than I had remembered. I'll never go back.

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  • 215. At 9:28pm on 04 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To #210 Bienvenuelouisiana

    I agree that there are many shades of grey and that people can hold contradictory opinions but it seems to me that your idea of "imperceptive life" could mean every egg a woman produces each month in her cycle.

    Are we to believe that every month that a woman does not become pregnant she somehow participates in aborting a potential life?

    One of the reason that nature gives females a large quantity of eggs is to insure continuation of a species. It does not mean that each and every egg should be fertilized and gestated.

    Forgive me if I have offended you but there seems to me to be a very big difference between an egg and a baby. If I had to choose I would pick the baby and not just the potential for a baby.

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  • 216. At 9:30pm on 04 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    210, Bienvenue:

    While you have a perfect right to your beliefs, I have a right to say that your beliefs should not have any control over what my daughter or any other young woman does with her own personal body (and my daughter agrees with me). I will not force anyone to have an abortion, and I expect no one to try to force my daughter to carry forward an unwanted pregnancy if such should happen to her.

    The cells inside someone else's body, that you don't even know exist, are none of your business.

    Did you know that some 40% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, some so early that they're barely discernible from menstruation? Do you grieve over the loss of those cells? Would you advocate a law forcing women to prove that the miscarriage was in fact that and not an abortion? Because outlawing abortion could very well lead to that.

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  • 217. At 10:09pm on 04 Feb 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #213. aquarizonagal: "Are we only hearing about these diseases (dementia) because the population, as a whole, lives longer or could it be that as a society we may consider our elderly to be useless?"

    I certainly think that living longer is a contributory factor. A century ago the average life span in the United States in 1900 was 49; in 1998 it was 77 and no doubt higher today. People in 1900 just didn't live long enough for the ravages of dementia to be observed and even when it was it was dismissed as 'senility' or 'feeble-mindedness'. Now we know that Alzheimer's is not a part of the normal ageing process and thus a cure or preventative action should be possible some day.

    There's also a number of people who consider the elderly useless, forgetting that their wealth of experience could be helpful. In Britain, when my mother was in a psychiatric hospital, a senior nurse told me that, in his opinion, euthanasia would eventually be permitted because there were so many old people in care. Dementia is a horrible way to die - other than sedation there is little in the way patients can be treated. The matter of "chemical coshing" (knockout) has received a lot of adverse publicity in the UK. It's not only the sufferer who is affected, but their families. At least the pain of advanced cancer can be mitigated, but there's precious little that can be done for dementia sufferers.

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  • 218. At 10:23pm on 04 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#212 Bere54

    Vermont is one state that I have not visited. I really regret this except your winter weather seems really scary.

    Some of the things you say about your life style, the independence of thinking, and a slower pace seem to be how it is in my small part of the world but while we can get some snow you seem to really get SNOW. Sorry, I am what my grandchildren call "a wimp."

    Your posts have been very open minded and have given me some thoughts to ponder. I also envy what appears to be your state's ability to be both responsible and independent.

    Do you have deficits in your budget and if so how does your legislature plan to deal with this?

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  • 219. At 10:29pm on 04 Feb 2009, mdl-pa-us wrote:

    Interesting, Justin. However, I just have to ask one question, since we all know someone who might benefit from stem cell research: which research has been most productive, the life-affirming use of umbilical and adult stem cells or the death-affirming use of embryonic stem cells?

    http://kansasliberty.com/liberty-update-archive/2009/26jan/stem-cell

    I believe that those processes which value life over death will reap the greatest benefits. How much money will be funneled into genocidal embryonic research from more productive and less offensive methods? You've already made us aware of what was in the Calgary Herald in that ESC research was simply failing since it was still being done throughout the Bush years...

    I simply advise everyone to support the collection of umbilical stem cells (we all know there are enough to go around) and the manipulation of adult stem cells.

    Thank you.

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  • 220. At 10:44pm on 04 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To Chronophobe where ever you are:

    Have you seen the news that Hamas is confiscating aid packages donated to Gaza.

    I am so angry!

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  • 221. At 11:07pm on 04 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    212 bere54

    Tailgating. I do not like to see that myself. They should make an effort to drive as the locals do, but they do like to drive fast.

    It is so ingrained that pedestrians look out for themselves that truly, Quebec drivers do not even think about them. I am not excusing their behaviour but do know they do not mean to be rude or uncaring. While in Toronto where the pedestrian is God, we were making a right turn and all of a sudden there was a woman in front of the car. Slam on the breaks! Where did she come from? Here in Quebec we make eye contact with the driver, not just assume they will stop for us, then often go through a parody of, "You first, no you," etc. They have tried putting in pedestrian cross walks but unless there is a light involved pedestrians refuse to take the chance. Jaywalking is an art, not to be taken lightly.

    For the record, I do not drive like that.

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  • 222. At 11:13pm on 04 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    T0#216 Bere54

    Amen to that!

    Are women to be nothing more than breeders?

    My body belongs only to me as your daughter's body belongs only to her. I am ready to defend this with all I can say or do.

    I am so weary of the stupid rhetoric that pretends to own any woman's womb.

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  • 223. At 11:20pm on 04 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To the PTB's (Our Moderators)

    Long tea breaks are not appreciated by OUR posters who are really trying to have a DISCUSSION.

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  • 224. At 11:33pm on 04 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    Sorry, Forgive me!

    When it takes the moderators over an hour to release posts I may not be able to respond until a lot later.

    I do respect all opinions and do want answers to any questions I have asked. I will do my best to respond as I can to any questions or thoughts that posters may have.

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  • 225. At 11:58pm on 04 Feb 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Bere,

    "Well, I have to differ about the tailgating. I'm talking about a two-lane road (one lane in each direction) where the speed limit is 50 (mph) and I'm going 55 or 60 and a Quebec license plate is five feet behind me."
    Hint: turn on your fog lights and slow down (or even touch the brakes) Give 'em a bit of a shock, and if it doesn't work, just slow right down.

    That's defensive driving in an offensive kinda way.

    ;-)
    ed

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  • 226. At 00:07am on 05 Feb 2009, Andy wrote:

    #44 et al.

    The article cited by Justin Webb states that it is results (or lack of) that have hindered embryonic stem cell (ESC) research, or at least results regarding their application to cures, etc.. The extreme pluripotency of ESCs is perhaps their biggest drawback - they are hard to control. Adult stem cells (or even those taken from cord blood) are showing far more promise (and have done so for at least a decade) in the clinical arena. This is the main reason for the need for federal funding for ESC research (which was not cut off by the Bush administration but restricted to existing stem cell lines), since private research funds are primarily being directed towards the clinically more viable adult stem cell research. The message is clear - if your concern is the rapid provision of clinical cures for diseases then adult stem cell research is where it's at. Arguments for promoting federal funding of ESC research should not be based around their clinical benefit. Of course knowledge of the workings of ESCs will doubtless be of some benefit in the development of certain clinical techniques but the gain is by no means easy to quantify.

    I do not personally have a problem with the development of new ESC lines from discarded IVF embryos that would otherwise be destroyed. Allowing federal funding for research on such new cell lines seems an eminently sensible compromise. The only slight problem is that it is usually the most promising embryos that are selected for implantation and those that are unused may be 'weaker', i.e. not genetically representative of the population, and may also be less suited to developing strong new stem cell lines.

    As for Michael Steele being chairman of the RNC, this appointment is barely noteworthy in comparison to the offices held by Colin Powell & Condoleeza Rice. The most striking demographic voter trend of the past several elections has not, contrary to popular opinion, been that evangelical Christians vote Republican but that 90% of African-Americans vote Democrat. This has been the case for some time before Obama so I doubt that Mr Steele's appointment can be considered a race-specific response on the part of the GOP to the former's election victory.

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  • 227. At 01:14am on 05 Feb 2009, visiblebob wrote:

    Regarding stem cells; it is easy to take advantage of the defenseless when selfish needs are served. The unborn are not a natural resource to be fed upon with abandon. Those that oppose drilling for oil or the cutting of timber seem to gleefully support the mining of a woman's uterus for its potential (nothing has been proven) benefits. There is much that has been accomplished using adult stem cells, there is no reason to turn back the clock on the unborn and start reaping lives again. Even in court a strand of DNA is enough to prove individuality, why is a baby's DNA not enough to prove its life?

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  • 228. At 01:39am on 05 Feb 2009, smileytm303 wrote:

    For the Republicans truly to field an Obama, they would have to find an honest, powerful, noble person first. The comparison--based purely on race--is just appalling.

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  • 229. At 01:47am on 05 Feb 2009, amerika_first wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 230. At 02:17am on 05 Feb 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    To aquarizonagal #215,
    Do not get too hung up on the "imperceptive life" phrase; it was just a cute play on AgreeableAmerican's last paragraph because I thought the word was weird in that context. And while I dislike abortion and embryonic stem cell research, I most certainly am not so far fetched as to believe that menstration is in the same moral category as it serves the natural purpose of preparing the body for the positioning of a new egg; that is that shade of grey we were talking about. :)

    To bere54 #216,
    I think you might be getting a head of yourself a bit there with all that that you wrote; slow down and take a breath. We're talking about unnatural processess here, not what happens 40 percent of the time in a natural pregnancy. And that 2nd to last sentence was just off the wall crazy. But please realize that, given my beliefs on this subject of abortion and embryonic stem cell resreach, I am rightfully upset that my government now requires me to pay through taxes for something that I think is immoral. If you or your daughter want it that bad, pay for it yourself, not with my money.

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  • 231. At 02:51am on 05 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    225 Ed Iglehart

    I don't know that those defensive tactics will work in Quebec!! These drivers are already irritated by being "forced" to drive too slow. My advice - don't antagonize them.

    Although I do not know what they are doing driving so aggressively in Vermont of all places!! They are visitors and should ask accordingly.

    The last time we drove to NYC I thought, "We're never going to make it without getting a speedy ticket." And we didn't!! The State Trooper was so impressed with how polite we were - he reduced the fine!

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  • 232. At 03:26am on 05 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Time the having money bit was the reason I though of it.A cheap flight to Afganistan and a cheap water pistol. years in camp and "Voila,my cunning plan works"

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  • 233. At 03:26am on 05 Feb 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #226. UKexPat123: "The most striking demographic voter trend of the past several elections has not, contrary to popular opinion, been that evangelical Christians vote Republican but that 90% of African-Americans vote Democrat. "

    Was there ever a time when they voted Republican? The most striking thing about the last General Election was the number of African-Americans who voted, not that they voted Democratic. It is highly unlikely that, had Hillary Clinton been the Nominee, that the same number would have voted for her, if at all.

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  • 234. At 03:29am on 05 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Ed it seems to me that Fog lights don't seem to be that common here.
    A bank of lights on the front but no defensive lighting.
    At least not as standard.
    Even me old Chevy had one.


    Thats a Vauxhaul Chevette;)

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  • 235. At 03:34am on 05 Feb 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #230. BienvenueEnLouisiana: "I am rightfully upset that my government now requires me to pay through taxes for something that I think is immoral. If you or your daughter want it that bad, pay for it yourself, not with my money."

    I think we all have a governmental projects of which we disapprove. For myself, I disapprove of churches getting a tax break - why shouldn't they pay real estate taxes like the rest of us? I don't see why I and others should subsidise them - let their pastors and congregations pay. A great many people thought the invasion of Iraq was immoral, there being no attack on the USA, but taxpayers had to foot the bill. I'm afraid we can't pick and choose where taxes go.

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  • 236. At 03:42am on 05 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #227

    Bob (perhaps short for Kate?),

    Since the cells in question were created in a lab by in vitro fertilization and would be destroyed in any case it is hard to understand how their use would be 'mining a womb'.

    The real question is to flush or not to flush.

    Sad Sam

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  • 237. At 03:48am on 05 Feb 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #211

    Aqua,

    #167 was a reward worth the key strokes. In all sincerity any opportunity to share some of our mistakes and lessons learned is a reward in itself.

    Legacy Sam

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  • 238. At 11:05am on 05 Feb 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Extra information for all.
    The necessity for parallel Embryonic and Adult SC research programs!
    A top American in the research field. Using human guinea pigs?
    Coming in from the East, Under the Radar
    Meanwhile, down on the "farm", they are tackling the problem from a totally different angle.
    Cows are us

    Perhaps the latter link will make many feel that this is the "Frankenstein" approach that they are afraid of, but with a myriad of unknowns, any new information.is one small piece of the puzzel in the search for an appropriate path of treatment.
    For the record, Valve Replacement - open heart surgery is today accepted as an advanced but routine procedure.The operator makes the choice of a human [from a cadaver], pig, cow or mechanical valve dependant upon the patient's diagnosis, general health and age. All have their drawbacks.
    Animal blood vessels, tendons and bladders are used for humans as well, and as with all foreign body or mechanical repairs to keep them in balance or prevent their rejection, constant medicinal help is required. Less for the biological repairs, but is that enough?
    We are at a crossroads. Maintain the status quo, or advance following specific guidelines?
    Head in the sand or reach for the stars?

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  • 239. At 1:27pm on 05 Feb 2009, robloop wrote:

    235 David_Cunard
    Although I completely sympathise with BienvenueEnLouisiana's sentiments in 230, your last sentence was very good. 'One man's meat is another man's poison'.

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  • 240. At 1:32pm on 05 Feb 2009, PeterTripiotis wrote:

    What's shameless?

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  • 241. At 1:37pm on 05 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    232 happylaze

    "Voila, my cunning plan works"

    Yes, very cunning. There are other options - Marry a Canadian or apply for a job. I even found you one but the system would not accept the link.

    Go to working.canada.com/edmonton

    Wait 'til you see the pay and it's unionized! Of course in Cdn but you'll be in Canada so all relative.

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  • 242. At 1:37pm on 05 Feb 2009, PeterTripiotis wrote:

    What's shameless? Steele was elected not appointed by a party hack. There were several rounds with several competing candidates. Just because mainstream media just discovered Michael Steele does not mean he was quickly molded by some Republican Obamaclone Machine. He's been active in the GOP for a lifetime. You have been too busy professing your adulation for Obama and worrying about Palin's wardrobe to have put any depth in your reporting.

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  • 243. At 2:12pm on 05 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    218, aquarizonagal:

    It's not only the snow (so far at least two feet on the ground and more than two months to go!), it's the cold. Minus 5 when I got up this morning, expect a high of 13 today. I plan to stay home. Some of us are wimps too.

    Vermont does have a budget deficit. So far the gov has called for no increases in school budgets (note: not cuts, just no increases), freezes on state employees' salaries, cutting chiropractic benefits from state insurance (darn, just when I needed that), closing some interstate rest stops (not sure this will make a huge monetary gain), and the governor himself has taken a pay cut, 5% I think. I'm sure there are other things that I can't think of right now. Notably, he has not called for any cuts in children's health coverage.

    I heard on the radio this morning that tax revenue is down 14 million; I'm not sure how the legislature plans to deal with this. The thing about Vermont is that during financial crunches they don't rush to cut things that affect children and the elderly. The reason the governor asks for level school budgets is that numbers of student have decreased; the main reason for higher school budgets is benefits for staff - health insurance costs keep going up and whenever it is mentioned that teachers might pay more for their insurance there's a loud squawk.

    Well, that's enough for now. Thank you for your kind words.

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  • 244. At 2:37pm on 05 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    221, timewaits:

    Astute persons always check the license plate of a car before stepping tentatively into the crosswalk here. If it's Vermont, we progress. If it's New York, we try to make eye contact. If it's Quebec or Massachusetts we wait until the car has come to a dead stop (if it's going to) before venturing so much as a toe.

    223, aquarizonagal: again!

    Thank you for mentioning that. Very frustrating last night. That was pretty long for a tea break.

    225, Ed:

    Don't have fog lights (I drive a simple little Toyota Yaris), but I do always tap my brakes and then slow down. I figure that if I have to stop suddenly for a suicidal deer, I want the car on my tail to be going as slowly as possible when it rams into me.

    227, visiblebob:

    Um, I have never heard of a situation where women are deliberately getting pregnant and having abortions in order to provide stem cells, which is what "mining women's uteruses" sounds like.

    230, Bienvenue:

    My taxes pay for things I consider immoral: nuclear weapons, war, and now huge bonuses for financial criminals. My taxes also pay for things I consider unconstitutional: faith-based organizations. Don't I get to pick and choose also?

    235, David:

    Yes (per above), churches take up a lot of prime real estate, don't pay taxes, and the burden falls on the rest of us to subsidize them.

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  • 245. At 3:05pm on 05 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    240What's shameless?

    Rob

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  • 246. At 3:17pm on 05 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    water
    nice with the head in the sand or head for the stars. but this is not quite the same.

    The fear I have is what else will we do.

    Having shown so far how well we humans manage things.
    A lot of people think we cannot live without war or using others.
    until people stop thinking like that I suspect someone will take the improved tech to bring about some problems for others.

    like killing them.
    Now if we convince all the warriors of the planet to use sticks and stones great. but right now we are all wondering what will happen in Iran. because the Box was opened.

    Those biblical people that don't see humans "quest" for knowledge and the results should re read their Bibles.

    There was a forbidden fruit.

    Soon we will be able to unravel the human genome to the point of altering what we want.

    Designer soldiers was the example I brought up.

    The advances beyond those that actually help humanity(not just a few rich westerners) are abundant.

    We like luxury . in order to get it others suffer.

    What about the illness caused to the miner of the lithium the whatever.
    they die so some rich lawyer can go on for ever.



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  • 247. At 3:47pm on 05 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Time
    Thanks. That looks great.

    I will consider that one.

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  • 248. At 3:48pm on 05 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    "cunning plan" was one of those things that boldrick would come up with.

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  • 249. At 4:03pm on 05 Feb 2009, Andy wrote:

    #238 Not sure if you meant that regulated ESC research is needed to counteract the cowboy treatment centers. Medra Inc. are not exactly FDA-approved and deal with fetal stem cells which "come from Medra's laboratories in Eastern Europe". Again, according to their FAQ, "an embryo turns into a fetus at 8 weeks" in case you hadn't realized what they're using. I guess being based in the Dominican Republic protects Medra from FDA scrutiny.

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  • 250. At 4:53pm on 05 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    bere54, VT sounds very similar to ID in many ways (even if not in political colour). Traffic here has got way worse over the 8 years since I first visited here, but it's still light compared to metropolitan areas.

    My tip for keeping tailgaters back is to just put slight pressure on the brake pedal using the left foot while still keeping even pressure with the right on the accelerator. Result - you carry on at the same speed, the brake light is triggered even though the brake itself is not, and the vehicle behind brakes sharply to avoid perceived imminent impact. A gap opens up nicely.

    By the way, what are pedestrians? People who walk from car park to store as far as I can tell.

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  • 251. At 4:57pm on 05 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    Aqua, I wrote to the BBC yesterday asking why this blog is pre-moderated (leading to completely unacceptable queues) when their sports boards are not. The sports boards can get way more abusive - here posts are pulled (as opposed to subsequently reported) rarely. It doesn't make sense, and makes having a discussion very difficult. What odds a response from them?

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  • 252. At 7:23pm on 05 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    time, happy,I'm seriously looking at Alberta. Just up the road from me (although BC is even closer). Should BC be renamed BCE to be politically correct?

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  • 253. At 7:53pm on 05 Feb 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    happylaze # 246
    Forbidden fruit? Why were Adam and Eve not politically incorrect and eat the snake instead!
    Humans you say don't manage things too well. When did you ever get the crazy idea that medical research scientists might be humans? They are just dedicated workers, like ants in a hill, slaving away for the benefit of mankind.You are correct, It is big business and politicians who are the menace, who would bend the innocent lifesaving discoveries to fit their own oddball plans..
    Ironic that Nobel, of peace prize fame was an ammunitions manufacturer.
    Could medicine be the answer for all mankind?. Bomb all aggressive lands [Israel, M.E, Pakistan] with bacon sandwiches, and drop leaflets threatening
    them with non-halal pork valves for those requiring heart surgery.
    Our own lawyers and politicians would be told, all future implant surgery would be with the mechanical ones with parts made in China and Taiwan. Should the batteries keep working at least from the noise observed we could keep a better eye on them.

    UKexPat123 # 249
    Read the FAQ too.
    The treatments appear to show some success.

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  • 254. At 11:45pm on 05 Feb 2009, Andy wrote:

    #253 - I obviously read Medra's FAQ as I quoted from it twice. (Perhaps I should not have interpreted "Read the FAQ too" as a suggestion that I should read it but that you had also read it?) As it happens, there's nothing specific in their FAQ about their success rate. Irrespective, the company's own web site is hardly likely to be the most impartial source of information on such a topic. Which goes back to my original point (and, so I thought, yours), i.e. that regulated research is required in order to counteract (or verify) the claims of such companies. Of course there is also the matter of the not-so-subtle difference between embryonic and fetal stem cells, the latter being derived from anything but an undifferentiated mass...

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  • 255. At 00:17am on 06 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    252 seanspa

    "I'm seriously looking at Alberta."

    Wow!! Of course I think that is a fine idea. Given my druthers, I'd move to BC. Alberta is very conservative and a little "out of sync" with the rest of Canada. Our most un-beloved PM hails from there and you probably have some idea as to what we think of him. But... once in, you can move anywhere you like.

    If there is anything I can do let me know. If you want me to sponsor you I must insist on seeing your financial statements!! (just to be clear - I jest) But... other than that, I'm serious.

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  • 256. At 04:45am on 06 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    happylaze

    Did you read that? seanspa is thinking of moving to Canada. bere would like to come and you know so does gunsandreligion (even though I always want to call him roses!) Chronophobe is here and of course so am I. You'd better get a move on or you'll be left behind.

    Here's an idea - get the job in Edmonton and we'll all agree to meet there on a certain day. What do you think? Not that I had any intentions of going to Edmonton, but I'm sure it's a fine place. Don't know what will happen if everyone says yes, guess it means I'll be forced to go to Edmonton - of all places. But... a deal's a deal !

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  • 257. At 09:30am on 06 Feb 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    UKexPat123 # 254
    Do not shoot the messenger just because they bring news.
    Yes I "red" it too.
    Unfortunately their wording is a little ambivalent when answering an enquiry about cancer causing possibilities, quoting totipotent and pluripotent differences, and the site gives little information. I thought people would have jumped on the other link, animal / human hybrid testing that has produced results that in science would be regarded as an informative "negative".
    I "red" your remarks at 226 too, which as a gardener makes sense that the prime examples having been used for IVF, the lab is left with the weaker ones, though assuming they are the remaining 16 on a Petri dish of 20 of the same, there would be little differences. One wonders whether the laboratory is informed as to the success of the chosen 4 taken for the true reproductive event, confirming the viability of their own samples.But I digress..
    Unfortunately I believe we differ on our understanding of a life. I do not feel that a group of fertilized eggs sitting on a laboratory dish in a research incubator, whether kept for 8 weeks or 18 years, going in and out of a freezer is a life, or would be developing with the same eventual progression as those in a womb, or are we back to "mining" as was suggested here earlier.The acceptable work of their female laboratory assistants must be harsh.
    You almost make the comparison that my seeds, taken out of the packet and lovingly placed in a tray of compost which do develop into "real plants" should call me Dad because I talk to them lovingly throughout their whole life cycle. Laboratory cloned cells on a glass dish kept for any length of time are not an end product, though I do accept others will have their individual thoughts.
    If you read the 'about us' part concerning Medra Inc, you will see they report they are situated in Georgia in the East , Germany in Europe and California USA., not the Dominican Republic you suggest, though possibly you have more information. Not sure about the first one, though I do agree the last has great question marks against their location and possible qualifications.
    "Man on the moon", and Miners and Fortyniners coming to mind. Comics, buggies or gold-diggers. Take your pick.

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  • 258. At 12:52pm on 06 Feb 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    aquarizonagal, # 118
    BTW Congratulations on your daughter's natural twins.
    re my answer on the multiple birth saga.
    Reading the news it appears I was wrong with the mix of IVF implanted foetuses and combined drug induced ovulation giving rise to octuplets. All 8 were placed at one sitting, because the unmarried mother was a lonely only child.[ Fertilisation against official guidelines I hasten to add]
    Hope that other future "only child" adults, in less populated parts of the globe do not get the same ideas too, with the help of friendly medical IVF personnel.
    I find it extremely difficult to run with the wolves and the sheep advocating advances and excellence for the health of our population on the one hand, yet the necessity to rein in our built-in creativity urges on the other.
    We, as parents want the best for our children, who we hope will realise that our excesses of the past do not bode well for their futures, should they mimic our thoughtless behaviour. Hence my own retreat to a back to nature existence, having my head in mother earth more often than not, pretending everything is just a bad dream.
    An optimist Jules Verne imagination for good things on the one hand, and pessimistic nightmare thoughts, seeing a Mr Bean implementation on the other.
    I will do my best to remember to continue taking the anti-psychotic drugs to keep both the Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde parts locked in my MA III brain, but the cure is rapidly losing it's potency to diminish the resulting sickness that could raise it's head..

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  • 259. At 2:40pm on 06 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    256, timewaits:

    Canada would not admit me because as I understand your point system, I have no points at all. I'm not sure claiming to be a refugee from god-bothering would fly. My only hope is if one of my kids goes there first and drags me along behind. I think my daughter has lots of points. Does Canada need any chemical analysts? (I think that's what she is, or does, or whatever. It's all way over my head.) Myself, I'm an unemployable English Major - oh hey, perhaps Canada is in need of unpublished novelists? Or proofreaders?

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  • 260. At 4:14pm on 06 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    aquarizonagal, # 118

    Twins run in my family. I have fraternal twin sisters and my mother always used to say, "What one doesn't think of the other will."

    We were instructed not to call them "the twins." They had names and we were to use them. Which we did. So much so that out of the four sisters, people ask, "Who are the twins?"

    My opinion, eight babies through IVF is obscene.

    258 watermanaquarius

    "a lonely only child."

    Sounds like some payback to her parents for daring to have only one child. That will teach them - they now have 14 grandchildren and possibly still counting! Perhaps they should have used some of the money they saved having only one child on counselling!

    How does your garden grow? I envy you as I can only picture mine, sleeping under the snow.

    259 bere54

    "point system"

    Oh you must have some points.
    This site is from the UK but I don't suppose it matters.

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  • 261. At 5:11pm on 06 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    bere54

    P.S. If you read Interestedforeigner's comments on another page you learned we are a wee bit "god-bothered" ourselves at the moment. Our advantage, as it is a new theme we have the opportunity to nip it in the bud a.s.a.p.!!

    The advantage of Canada as I see it - it is easier for the majority of 33m to speak as one voice, than it is for 300m. And speak we do, generally saying "No!" Or "Non!" if you like.

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  • 262. At 6:33pm on 06 Feb 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    259. At 2:40pm on 06 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:
    256, timewaits:

    Canada would not admit me because as I understand your point system, I have no points at all. I'm not sure claiming to be a refugee from god-bothering would fly. My only hope is if one of my kids goes there first and drags me along behind. I think my daughter has lots of points. Does Canada need any chemical analysts? (I think that's what she is, or does, or whatever. It's all way over my head.) Myself, I'm an unemployable English Major - oh hey, perhaps Canada is in need of unpublished novelists? Or proofreaders?


    Canada has ferocious winters (oneo f my relatives lost some fingers knocking on a window) and even more ferocious grizzly and polar bears, and that is quite enough.

    Australaion the other hand has no serious predators or winters

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  • 263. At 7:43pm on 06 Feb 2009, Andy wrote:

    #257 - I'm not aware of having shot anyone. I'm just having a bit of difficulty understanding what your viewpoint is. I even stated that I may have misinterpreted your sentence and, after your reply, I'm still not completely sure if "Yes I 'red' it too" means "Yes, I meant that I had 'red' it too". As for differing viewpoints, I've said that I think using stem cells from embryos that would otherwise be discarded is acceptable and represents a sensible compromise. I don't think you disagree with this? I think most ESC researchers would be happy with the genetic diversity that this could provide, even if there is a potential problem with the relative viability of the discarded embryos.

    As for your suggestion that "I do not feel that a group of fertilized eggs... ...whether kept for 8 weeks or 18 years... ...is a life" doesn't help that much in the case of Medra because it is mining that we are talking about. A fetus is 8 (or more...) weeks into development - far beyond what can be sustained on a dish - and therefore by far the most likely source of fetal stem cells is from aborted fetuses, i.e. they have been taken from a womb. You must surely accept that a number of people would find this ethically problematic.

    As an aside, it is curious that reproductive medicine is the one area of medicine that admits to a decrease in knowledge with time. A century ago, any medical textbook would tell you that life begins at conception. Fifty years ago the message would be the same. Today the message is more along the line of "we don't know exactly when life begins". This indicates to me that it's no longer a matter of science but of ethics and politics. And yet there are those who decry the intrusion of ethical discussion in the matter - "It's anti-science! Stop bringing morals into it, et al." - without realizing that what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander...

    With respect to Medra's clinic being based in the Dominican Republic, well, that's where it is. Try [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]from Medra's "Patient Histories" section of their website, 3rd sentence after the heading "Post Fetal Stem Cells:".

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  • 264. At 8:43pm on 06 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    timewaits -

    There was an article a few years ago in the New York Times about religion being of so little interest in Canada that churches were being turned into recreation centers and such. So is this new god-bothering an infection creeping over the border? How distressing. Or is it due to Harper?

    Thanks for the points link. I get a few points for having an education, but they don't ask how many unpublished novels a person has written. Apparently literary endeavors garner no points. Guess I'll have to stay here and hide.

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  • 265. At 9:50pm on 06 Feb 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    timewaits # 260,
    Gardens fine. Getting a lot of rain but that is a lot better than snow, your end and in the UK.
    Liked the work permit link you sent for bere54.
    Do they give any credits if you send a picture in wearing a boy scouts Mountie hat?
    I seem to be 66 points short or the required minimum total.
    I suppose adopting me is out of the question.

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  • 266. At 11:45pm on 06 Feb 2009, Scott_From_Columbus wrote:

    I'm still angry at the failures on so many levels that the Republicans have left us. Bush was horrible, but he couldn't have done it without the supine Republicans in both houses of Congress.

    For the time being, there is no such thing as a good Republican.

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  • 267. At 00:25am on 07 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    bere54, silly question, but why not publish them? I'll post them on a web site somewhere for you. Or do you need to actually sell any to get more points?

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  • 268. At 02:21am on 07 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    264 bere54

    We are told Stephen Harper is "private about his faith." Sounds like he's hiding something and we don't like the sound of that. Especially knowing the influence of the church in the US.

    Fewer and fewer attend church and many are closing with some turned into beautiful condos with soaring ceilings, stained glass, etc.

    watermanaquarius

    Priority is given to those who are able to "integrate into Canadian society" so the mountie hat might be useful. You're being modest, you scored higher than that!

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  • 269. At 10:33am on 07 Feb 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    UKexPat123,
    Your post not passing the filter I re-read your previous input. Realise now I missed your earlier link.
    I believe earlier years in Holland where everything is recycled gives me a more relaxed approach to everything and anything.
    We fight on the same side, and googling extra info on the subject, would agree the criteria used to obtain material does not include a clear explanation. Unfortunately whether companies or individuals, some play their cards close to their chest, were financial reward or future academic kudos is king. Research regulation a must.
    Re-booting my English after many years of dormancy does not help any reply. I reacted with brain in neutral, and my visiting an optician will help too.
    Apologies for any misunderstanding.

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  • 270. At 1:54pm on 07 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    267, seanspa:

    I have tried publishing them. Got oodles of glowing rejection letters, and a few months ago my agent dropped dead in the shower so now I'm twisting in the wind, agent-less. Very inconsiderate of him, I thought. I've been advised to go the self-publishing print-on-demand route, but I don't think there's any money in that, so it won't get me any more Canadian points. I'm not web-savvy enough to understand about publishing on websites. Does one make any money that way? Sorry to sound mercenary, but I need to earn some money!

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  • 271. At 3:21pm on 07 Feb 2009, kiki_dread wrote:

    obama is a democrat
    what you probably mean is a black republican or an anti-obama

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  • 272. At 6:40pm on 07 Feb 2009, gareth423 wrote:

    To the Republicans saying that they're unhappy that their government is financing something against their morals...

    Now you know how we felt about Iraq.

    Now you know how we feel about allowing the statute on the ban of machine guns to run out.

    There are countless other things, but I'm also annoyed that you don't respect the opinion of those that think a dish of goo is not a 'life'.

    You had your 8 years of moralizing. Scientists across America felt betrayed by the last administration. We have stagnated on so many levels & gone back in time on others.

    Stop politicizing social issues any more than they need to be. Abortion, gay marriage, gun control, drug use and sex ed have been used by Republicans as a smokescreen for too long.

    Hopefully we can get back to economics, foreign policy, diplomacy and trying to make sure every American has health care, education and a job to go to.

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  • 273. At 03:27am on 08 Feb 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #270. bere54: "I've been advised to go the self-publishing print-on-demand route, but I don't think there's any money in that"

    But it might bring your work to the notice of a conventional publisher and if nothing else would be available to the public. Right now it's not doing a thing just sitting on your desk. The points might follow.

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  • 274. At 03:56am on 08 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    273 David_Cunard

    That's very good advice. And perhaps linking some to this site so we read them and offer our opinions. We could turn the site into a book club!

    Maybe they are political thrillers, doubtful, but if not we could occasionally throw in "Obama" or "Daschle" to keep the moderators happy.

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  • 275. At 06:15am on 08 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    bere54, this might be of interest.

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  • 276. At 12:51pm on 08 Feb 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Bere,

    Both David and Sean's Pa have made excellent suggestions. There is also the very easy route of getting a free blog from any of the numerous providers of such. You can then publish excerpts or whole works and invite comment and suggestion. I've forgotten how one goes about starting one, but try here

    There are a number of formats and layouts you can use. Mine is here and here are 946 Words in Your Ear ;-)

    Happy blogging!
    ed

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  • 277. At 2:22pm on 08 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    David, timewaits, seanspa, Ed:

    Thanks for the good advice. I'll continue to look into it. Helpful info on that link, seanspa.

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  • 278. At 3:10pm on 08 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    Ed Iglehart

    Re: 946 words.

    What a beautiful picture. Your place, I presume? It looks very much like the Quebec Eastern Townships, bere in Vermont would recognize it too. The Scots who settled the Townships must have felt right at home. Although no sleeping outside in February. Well they could, but would not live to tell the tale.

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  • 279. At 4:01pm on 08 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    262. At 6:33pm on 06 Feb 2009, Simon21

    Australaion the other hand has no serious predators or winters.


    lol but everything including the cute ikkle wikle duckbilled platypus' are poisonous.

    them cute dunny spiders

    that so pretty looking harmless ikkle octopus.

    And the south is burning.

    and droughts are common.

    Why go to a land of pleasant summers not too hot.where there are dangerous animals tend to be big enough to see.

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  • 280. At 4:07pm on 08 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    bere54

    I'm guessing you are aware of Writers House. But if not....

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  • 281. At 5:43pm on 08 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    279 happylaze

    I agree. Grizzly and polar bears are few and far between in Montreal! Winters we have.

    And we do have "beavers!"

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  • 282. At 8:23pm on 08 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    280, timewaits -

    Thanks for that link. I had heard of Writer's House, but had forgotten about them, as until recently I had an agent. The deceased guy's widow is now supposed to be my agent but I can't get in touch with her so perhaps I'll try Writers' House. Not sure, though, if the effort is worth it now because with the economy swirling down the toilet I don't think too many people are going to be interested in books unless they're written by Joe the Plumber and the like.

    My novels are definitely not political thrillers, but one is polemic against the creeping (or perhaps bounding would be more accurate) religious fundamentalism in the U.S.

    I was planning on camping on a trip through Canada a few years ago but after reading Bill Bryson on the subject of grizzly bears in Canada (he made them sound ubiquitous) decided on hostels and motels instead. We have brown bears here and I think they are dangerous only when they waddle into the road in front of one's car. But apparently they are squishier than deer and moose and cause less damager.

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  • 283. At 10:20pm on 08 Feb 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    279. At 4:01pm on 08 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:
    262. At 6:33pm on 06 Feb 2009, Simon21

    Australaion the other hand has no serious predators or winters.


    l"ol but everything including the cute ikkle wikle duckbilled platypus' are poisonous."


    Hardly, no one has been poisoned by numbats or Paddymelons

    them cute dunny spiders.£

    Only if you have a dunny

    "that so pretty looking harmless ikkle octopus.

    But it won't chase you up trees and eat you alive for disturbng its dinner, cubs, mate, contemplation or just for fun.

    Neither does it sit in your backyard grunting terrifying all and sundry.

    "Why go to a land of pleasant summers not too hot.where there are dangerous animals tend to be big enough to see."

    But where you need to dress like Bibendum for 6 months of the year and if you do encounter a large predator where you have little chance of escaping them.

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  • 284. At 01:22am on 09 Feb 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Sleeping outside in February is fine if you've got good bedding...2-3 inches of snow in the afternoon, and bright moonlight now...

    G'night all
    ed

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  • 285. At 8:39pm on 09 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    bere54, have you thought about script-writing? I know there is a company local to you who desperately needs help with their tv commercials - Vermont Teddy Bear Co. Their ads are truly awful!

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  • 286. At 10:53pm on 09 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    285, seanspa - Are they really? I don't have a TV and have never seen their ads, but I hear they make nice teddy bears. Is there such a thing as a good ad?

    There was a huge to-do here a couple of years ago (I don't know if went national or international) when they created a bear for valentine's day. The bear wore a strait jacket and the saying, "I'm crazy about you," and all the "advocates for the mentally ill" were outraged, demanding the bear be pulled from the market and the company apologize.

    Perhaps the commercials you see are meant to repair their image, but if so it doesn't sound like they're working. They'll have to do without my assistance. I haven't the faintest idea how to write commercials. Nor would I debase myself in such a way!

    Starving with standards, that's me.

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  • 287. At 00:08am on 10 Feb 2009, seanspa wrote:

    bere54, it is the valentine ads I am referring to. Apparently, if guys buy these bears for their ladies they will be so impressed with all the work gone into ordering them, they will do anything to show their appreciation. Personally, I don't believe it, so will have to think of something else to buy for my wife.

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  • 288. At 01:03am on 10 Feb 2009, bere54 wrote:

    seanspa, you could try the Pajamagrams I hear advertised on the radio. Although I wouldn't recommend it; they're probably pink polyester or something equally ghastly. I hear those ads constantly and wonder who on earth buys them. Better a teddy bear.

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  • 289. At 4:38pm on 10 Feb 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Simon
    the aussie big animals all got bitten by the spiders that's why they are gone?

    Time
    Beavers OK I got no problem with Beaver.

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  • 290. At 8:21pm on 10 Feb 2009, timewaitsfornoman wrote:

    happylaze

    But did you click the link re: Beavers #281
    We were so amused!

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  • 291. At 04:02am on 25 Feb 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Justin:

    I do not think that President Obama is turning like the term of words of the opener title...Since, he has not did everything that the Republicans wanted him to do..

    ~Dennis Junior~

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