"Rock star" embryonic researcher protests his photo in pro-life display at UCI

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The Center For Bio-Ethical Reform conducted its Genocide Awareness Project at the University of California, Irvine, on April 19 and 20.

There was an interesting flare-up. UCI is professional home to Dr. Hans Keirstead, co-director of the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. According to Wikipedia, Keirstead is spearheading the first FDA approved human trial of injecting embryonic stem cells into spinal-cord patients.

So Keirstead is all about human embryo experimentation, which is also his claim to fame.

Enter CBR with a provocative sign that included Keirstead's photo (click to enlarge)...

Continue reading ""Rock star" embryonic researcher protests his photo in pro-life display at UCI"

Help needed: U.S. lags on adult spinal cord injury treatments

Dan McConchie, stem cell, spinal cord injury.jpgIn 2007 I posted and updated on the hit-and-run motorcycle accident involving Dan McConchie of American United for Life.

Dan has emailed information and a request:

Friends,

As you know, I suffered a spinal cord injury 2 years ago and have no use of my legs. The most promising area of research to improve function in spinal cord patients is in the area of adult stem cells. But, as my friend Dr. David Prentice has said, treatments are not ready for prime time... yet.

There is great research being done. Unfortunately, thanks to the protective nature of the FDA, the best research being done on this is happening overseas. At this point, clinical trials in the US for spinal cord injuries may be years away.

You can help change this....

Continue reading "Help needed: U.S. lags on adult spinal cord injury treatments"

Breaking news: Federal lawsuit filed today to block federally funded human embryo research

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for breaking.jpgA group of plaintiffs filed a federal lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to "enjoin and overturn the controversial guidelines for public funding of embryonic stem cell research that the National Institutes of Health issued on July 7, 2009," according to a press statement....

Continue reading "Breaking news: Federal lawsuit filed today to block federally funded human embryo research"

ADULT stem cell contacts heal the blind, in almost the blink of an eye

In the latest edition of Science Matters, CA Right to Life's Josh Brahm describes a true miracle: restoration of eyesight in less than a month using contact lenses bathed in a person's own stem cells. But you wouldn't know this was an ADULT stem treatment if you rely on MSM headlines...

The Multiple Sclerosis Society's unscientific support of ESCR

MSlogo2.jpgby intern Anne Marie D.

One of the greatest contradictions in modern healthcare is the willingness of many health organizations to seek greater quality of life for patients with a particular disease, such as multiple sclerosis, at the expense of forfeiting the quality of life of human embryos. One such organization is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. For a list of other organizations supporting embryonic stem cell research, click here....

Continue reading "The Multiple Sclerosis Society's unscientific support of ESCR"

Is Al Gore converting back to pro-life?

by Andy M. (our newest intern, from New Zealand!)

al-Gore.jpgThis is the question many pro-choicers are asking, as revelations surface of Al Gore - former US VP and Nobel Peace Prize recipient - aligning himself with an adult stem cell research company.

Andy Coghlan at New Scientist writes:

Gore's venture capital company, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers is putting $20 million into a joint venture between iZumi Bio, a company in San Francisco, and the University of Kyoto where researcher Shinya Yamanaka discovered how to make [adult] iPS [induced pluripotent stem] cells in 2006.

The aim is to produce treatments for degenerative conditions including Parkinson's Disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [Lou Gehrig's disease, which Stephen Hawking has].

By the same token, many pro-lifers are rethinking their relationship with Gore, viewing him as a potential new ally for the pro-life cause. However this is an unfounded conclusion. [JLS note: At the beginning of his political career, Gore was considered pro-life.]...

Continue reading "Is Al Gore converting back to pro-life?"

Don't support the immoral and lying American Diabetes Association

I previously wrote a column saying not to give to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation because it supports human embryo experimentation. I don't know that I've ever outted the American Diabetes Association, but it presented the opportunity yesterday. Read this email, wherein the ADA pushes taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell research.

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BTW, DeLaGarza was outright LYING when she stated the ADA "strongly oppos[es] human cloning." From the ADA's website...

Continue reading "Don't support the immoral and lying American Diabetes Association"

Dr. to Oprah, Michael J. Fox: embryonic stem cells bad

Jivin J touched on this last week while I was on vacation, but I wanted to expound.

Oprah spotlighted Parkinson's Disease on her March 30 show, featuring her own doctor, Mehmet Oz, author of the best-selling YOU book series, and actor and PD sufferer Michael J. Fox.

Fox is well-known as a self-serving proponent of human embryo experimentation. One of my columns getting the most feedback was, "Michael J. Fox is a cannibal."

I can't imagine what Fox must have thought when Dr. Oz actually gave a visual demonstration with Fox's inadvertent help to show why embryonic stem cells wouldn't ever work as a PD treatment and, in fact, the fight over the stem cell issue likely ate up valid research time.

Dr. Oz went on to say he thought important PD treatment would be seen within the decade. The sad fact is Fox has thwarted his own help.

Josh Brahm has issued a Life Report on this Oprah segment, including the show clip:

The person writing Oprah's highlights was obviously either a Fox fan or escr proponent or both, dismissing the debate as only moral, thus ignoring Dr. Oz's scientific explanation why escr is bad and adult stem research is good....

Continue reading "Dr. to Oprah, Michael J. Fox: embryonic stem cells bad"

Mengele ahead of his time: post-Holocaust abortionist

A senate staffer doing research for her boss stumbled on the following February 11, 1992, New York Times article and sent it to me.

mengele 1.gifShe wrote, "So many people have referenced [Josef Mengele] recently with the stem cell decision, mostly along the lines of, 'Yes, let the scientists do whatever they want, and say hello to the next Mengele.'"

Yes, Mengele was ahead of his time on both the abortion and human experimentation fronts....

The Argentine authorities were either unwilling or unable to bring Nazi war criminals to justice even when they had them in custody, archives made public for the first time today show.

The archives on 5 Nazi war criminals that were made available by Argentina show a pattern that confirms what many have said for years, that war criminals found a safe haven here and that this country was probably one of the easiest in which to disappear and escape justice....

Continue reading "Mengele ahead of his time: post-Holocaust abortionist"

9 things the media messed up about the Obama stem cell story

Newsbusters reports:

Josh Brahm of Right to Life of Central CA has done the definitive dissection of the comprehensive media failure in reporting on President Obama's recent Executive Order allowing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

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Brahm's "9 Things the Media Messed Up About the Obama Stem Cell Story" is an exceptional magnum opus that must be read in its entirety to be fully appreciated. It identifies each of the 9 errors, links to well over 40 specific instances of media bias and/or ignorance, and tell us why those errors are significant. I thought I was reasonably knowledgeable in this subject area until I read Brahm's work....

Continue reading "9 things the media messed up about the Obama stem cell story"

Bill Clinton to Gupta on CNN: Ok to research embryos if they're not fertilized

UPDATE, 3/13 12a: Whoops, he said it before. Bill Clinton on Larry King Live February 17:

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But this stem cell research, if the stem cells are frozen embryonic stem cells, if they are never going to be used to be fertilized, to bring a life into being, then I think making them available for medical research is the pro-life position and I honestly don't understand - I would understand it if we were going and raiding stem cell banks, where these stem cells were going to be used to actually fertilize eggs and have babies.

A couple commenters thought Clinton meant to say "implanted," but never mind the fact he said "fertilized" 6x, the above interview makes clear he meant "fertilized," which he defined as "to bring a life into being."...

Continue reading "Bill Clinton to Gupta on CNN: Ok to research embryos if they're not fertilized"

Obama bails out another failed industry taxpayers can't afford: embryo research

On Fox & Friends Weekend yesterday Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life excellently debated Obama's plan to foist immoral and failed human embryo experimentation on taxpayers...

Not only does embryonic stem cell research kill humans to pursue antiquated research, America simply can't afford it. Three strikes, but Obama can't see past his ideological blinders to count. From today's Washington Times...

Continue reading "Obama bails out another failed industry taxpayers can't afford: embryo research"

Breaking news: Obama to ok taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell research

Thumbnail image for breaking.jpgFrom the Washington Post:

President Obama is planning to sign an executive order on Monday rolling back restrictions on federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, according to sources close to the issue.

Although the exact wording of the order has not been revealed, the White House plans an 11 a.m. ceremony to sign the order repealing one of the most controversial steps taken by his predecessor, fulfilling one of Obama's eagerly anticipated campaign promises....

Continue reading "Breaking news: Obama to ok taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell research"

Repeating: Embryonic stem cells are yesterday's science

I previously reported separate Japanese and U.S. "Nobel Prize worthy" breakthroughs, reprogramming adult stem cells to become the equivalent of embryonic stem cells. Jivin J reported this morning on something I think bears repeating. A Canadian research team discovery that actually predated the aforementioned is finally getting headlines, thanks to a paper published March 1 in Nature, as reported by the National Post (click to enlarge)...

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Presdient Obama's promotion of taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell research is completely unnecessary and even backward. Why is he pushing it?

Billions in stimulus package to fund embryonic stem cell research?

First I'll renote that embryonic stems cells can't be controlled and are well-known to cause tumors. Latest case in point, from the Associated Press February 17:

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A family desperate to save a child from a lethal brain disease sought highly experimental injections of fetal stem cells - injections that triggered tumors in the boy's brain and spinal cord, Israeli scientists reported....

Now on to a hopelessly biased Washington Post article yesterday that strongly implied escr hangs in the balance pending Barack Obama's blessing. Not true. Researchers have always been free to dissect away with private funds.

Then there's this little bombshell:

"If I were a smart scientist, I would be writing a grant right now," said [Story] Landis [who heads the National Institutes of Health stem cell task force], noting that some of the $10 billion the NIH will receive as part of the stimulus package could be used to expand stem cell research.

And another indicates there is a move afoot to allow experimentation on embryos created solely for that, not just the oft-mentioned "leftover embryos that will die anyway."

Among the issues the guidelines will address is whether funding should be limited to cells from leftover embryos that are destined for destruction at infertility clinics.

"We are assuming that what we will be asked to do is develop guidelines for stem cell lines derived from embryos produced for reproductive purposes in excess of need," Landis said.

The article also indicated the pro-death-controlled Congress may make a move to stop a future president from banning taxpayer funding of escr.

Jivin J's Life Links 2-10-09

web grab.jpgby JivinJ

  • In the Calgary Herald, Nigel Hannaford writes about another case of pro-choice intolerance in Canada. This time an event featuring JoJo Ruba was shut down by officials at St. Marys University after pro-choice protesters wouldn't stop shouting:

    You might get an intelligent rehearsal of both sides of an argument in a bar, but if it touches on feminism, Israel or the environment, the last place you'd look for it is on campus.

    As if to make the point, the Halifax Chronicle Herald records the reactions of Lesley-Anne Steeleworthy, chairwoman of the board at SMU's women's centre. The lecture topic, she declared, was "anti-choice" and offensive on "a number of levels."Not just Ruba's thoughts you notice, the topic itself. How dare he bring it up?

  • Another day, another incredibly misleading headline. This time in U.S. News and World Report - "Scientists heartened at prospect of end to stem cell ban." The story is even worse. Imagine being reporter Amanda Gardner and putting these two sentences in the same story...

    Continue reading "Jivin J's Life Links 2-10-09"

  • Rescued embryo

    I was just a guest on the Rob Schilling Show. Pro-abort caller Mike said he had proof no one believes embryos are human because if given the choice, firefighters would save people in a burning fertility clinic and not the frozen embryos.

    I said it's not true we do not consider frozen embryos human in emergency situations and told the story of the rescued embryos of Hurricane Katrina. I said I would post a YouTube video relaying the story. Love the baby's name, Noah. How appropriate! Here 'tis:

    After the show I also remembered the folllowing exact anological response to Mike's contention. This is an ad that ran during the CO Personhood Amendment campaign...

    Continue reading "Rescued embryo"

    Adult stem cell successes

    The Associated Press reported today:

    Doctors have given a woman a new windpipe with tissue grown from her own stem cells, eliminating the need for anti-rejection drugs....

    The transplant was given to Claudia Castillo, a 30-year-old Colombian mother of two living in Barcelona, suffered from tuberculosis for years....

    Once doctors had a donor windpipe, scientists... stripped off all its cells, leaving only a tube of connective tissue.

    Meanwhile, doctors... took a sample of Castillo's bone marrow from her hip. They used the bone marrow's stem cells to create millions of cartilage and tissue cells to cover and line the windpipe.

    frog cell.jpgThen here's another example of either media bias or stupidity. A Reuters story started today:

    Stem cells from tiny embryos can be used to restore lost hearing and vision in animals, researchers said Tuesday in what they believe is a first step toward helping people.

    But read on. Turns out scientists added genetic factors to frog stem cells and injected them into blind frog embryos. The born tadpoles could see.

    So here we have a case of adult stem cells helping embryos, the opposite of the liberal plan. They'll never learn - they don't want to - but will Americans?

    [HT: reader Kristie; photo of frog cell courtesy of Reuters]

    Adult stem cell therapy cures AIDS

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    Even as Barack Obama prepares to reward his liberal university friends by opening public coffers to fund new labs fronted by futile and morally bereft human embryo experimentation comes this news from Germany, as reported by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters:

    The startling case of an Aids patient who was cured after undergoing a bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia is stirring new hope that researchers might someday find a cure for Aids....
    Continue reading "Adult stem cell therapy cures AIDS"

    Biden's big mouth: birth defects vs. embryonic stem cell research

    The fear in naming Joe Biden as Barack Obama's running mate was his notoriously big mouth.

    Today the first big cringing oh-no came.

    Reports CBS:

    John McCain's campaign expressed outrage over comments made by Joe Biden, who used disabled children as an example to criticize Republicans who do not support stem cell research.

    biden columbia.jpg

    McCain spokesman Ben Porritt took the attack as being directed at GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who has a child with Down syndrome.

    "Barack Obama's running mate sunk to a new low today launching an offensive debate over who cares more about special needs children," wrote Porritt in a statement. "Playing politics with this issue is disturbing and indicative of a desperate campaign."

    Biden made the comment at a town hall style meeting in Columbia, MO, today, saying, "I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy, because there's joy to it as well, the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect. Well guess what folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research?"...

    Continue reading "Biden's big mouth: birth defects vs. embryonic stem cell research"

    Bopp promotes "therapeutic" embryo research at RNC platform meeting

    As an IN delegate to the Republican National Platform Committee, Jim Bopp, self-credentialed "counsel for the National Right to Life Committee," unsuccessfully fought a one-man show yesterday to weaken proposed language calling for an outright ban on human embryo and cloning experimentation.

    In the process Bopp endorsed "therapeutic" embryo research:

    The problem is, is that there is ethical human life affirming reseach on human embryos. That's called "therapeutic" research....

    [I]t may very well be in our future that there is therapeutic research that can be done on human embryos, and there is nothing unethical immoral, improper or... that disregards the sanctity of life if we are involved in therapeutic research.

    Placing the "or" here however, means that all "experimentation" on human embryos for research purposes should be banned, including therapeutic research, and that is wrong. So I oppose the amendment.

    See for yourself:

    Numerous sources tell me Bopp did not confer with any pro-life groups or platform delegates before dropping his verbal bomb (except NRLC's Co-Executive Director Darla St. Martin, with whom Bopp was seen). National Review Online's Steve Spruiell reported what Bopp was thinking...

    Continue reading "Bopp promotes "therapeutic" embryo research at RNC platform meeting"

    Scientists create 10 disorders from ADULT stem cells

    The good news is in the headline. The bad news is the mainstream media continues to obfuscate the fact that successes in the field of stem cell research are with ADULT stem cells, not EMBRYONIC.

    Note the missing word in the headline and elsewhere in the piece. The writer clearly knows when to add the word "embryonic" when wanting to promote those stem cells, just not "adult"? Come on.

    From the Associated Press via Live Science, August 8:

    live science 3.jpg

    This is a wonderful breakthrough....

    Continue reading "Scientists create 10 disorders from ADULT stem cells"

    Human egg "donations"

    What is wrong with the lead sentence in this July 30 Fox5News story:

    Now more than ever, women are donating their eggs to make ends meet.

    egg 4.JPGThe definition to "donate" is: "To present as a gift to a fund or cause; contribute."

    That, of course, is not what is happening. Women are being paid for their eggs, and handsomely. Continued the story...

    Continue reading "Human egg "donations""

    JivinJ's Life Links 7-31-08

    web grab.jpgby JivinJ

  • Scientists in CA are whining about not being able to buy human eggs for human cloning experiments:

    But researchers argue that a shortage of eggs fueled by the payment ban is what's kept them from making the advances that prove their technique's real potential.

    "You need to have enough eggs to make this thing work, and when you have enough eggs it does work," said Dr. Sam Wood, chief executive of La Jolla-based Stemagen Corp....

    Continue reading "JivinJ's Life Links 7-31-08"

  • JivinJ's Life Links 7-30-08

    web grab.jpgby JivinJ

  • South Africa is still trying
    to deal
    with numerous illegal abortionists:

    Dr. Kato, who at first said he did not do abortions and referred The Herald to other "doctors," later admitted to offering the service, saying it would cost R600 for someone who was 5 months pregnant.

    He promised the procedure was safe and quick.

    "They call it safe abortion. You won't feel any pain and you won't see any blood."...

    Continue reading "JivinJ's Life Links 7-30-08"

  • JivinJ's Life Links 7-29-08

    web grab.jpgby JivinJ

  • Denny Burke highlights a recent exchange on the Albert Mohler Radio Program between guest host Russell Moore and Tony Campolo on the issue of abortion reduction vs. abortion elimination. Robert George was also a guest on the program.

    [JLS note: I'm so glad Denny and JivinJ spotted this. I received an email about this radio show but couldn't locate the source. Tony Campolo is a Democrat evangelical pastor. On this show he proposed a tax-and-spend strategy to reduce abortion by up to 50%, he thought. My email friend reported: "The moderator made a brilliant comparison. He asked if this strategy was similar to someone leading a group of white supremecists to reduce the number of lynchings of the slaves. Campolo became enraged at this. Truth hurts."]...

    Continue reading "JivinJ's Life Links 7-29-08"

  • How far for "hope for the cure"?

    According to the Washington Times today, religious and pro-life Brits are furious with Parliament's May 19 decision to allow creations of human-animal hybrids as well as "savior siblings". Both are perfectly legal in the US, btw:

    Religious leaders and pro-life campaigners have angrily attacked the British government for its refusal to ban the creation of animal-human embryos and so-called "savior siblings" - research described by one Roman Catholic cardinal as a form of "Frankenstein" science....

    embryo nyt.jpg

    By a vote of 342-163, Parliament crushed one key amendment to Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Human Embryology and Fertilization Bill that was aimed at stopping the use of "hybrid" human-animal embryos in stem-cell research.

    The Brown administration has accepted claims by many leading scientists that such "human admixed embryos" are vital to the quest for cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, which the prime minister considers a key element of his embryo legislation....

    Continue reading "How far for "hope for the cure"?"

    Embryonic stem cell research not successful but alternatives are

    by Steven Ertelt

    Yet another very real confirmation that pro-life advocates have been right all along on embryonic stem cell research. We don't have to sacrifice human life to improve it.

    First, a report from England that its top stem cell scientist, Lord Patel of Dunkeld, is beginning to admit defeat:

    "In terms of embryonic stem cell therapy, there is currently no such therapy that is available in a large number of patients. It may not deliver therapy for anything. We may find that stem therapy is quite a risky business."

    Secondly, scientists in Boston used an ethical alternative, direct reprogramming, to alleviate Parkinson's in mice.

    They are once again proving we don't need to destroy human embryos (read: tiny unborn children who are unique human beings) to advance science and help patients suffering from diseases. We need cures, not clones.

    The new threesome

    by Jill Stanek

    From BBC News, February 5:

    ivf.jpg

    Scientists believe they have made a potential breakthrough in the treatment of serious disease by creating a human embryo with three separate parents.

    The Newcastle University team believe the technique could help to eradicate a whole class of hereditary diseases, including some forms of epilepsy.

    The embryos have been created using DNA from a man and two women in lab tests.

    Obviously pro-lifers will have a problem with this on many levels. But supporters of human embryo experimentation shouldn't. Right? The goal is human perfection, after all. Let not the means interfere. Question for supporters, though: What exactly is human perfection?

    [Photo courtesy of BBC News]

    Bush's State of the Union speech: Cloning

    Democrats sat on their hands during this section of President Bush's State of the Union address last night...

    On matters of science and life, we must trust in the innovative spirit of medical researchers and empower them to discover new treatments while respecting moral boundaries. In November, we witnessed a landmark achievement when scientists discovered a way to reprogram adult skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells. This breakthrough has the potential to move us beyond the divisive debates of the past by extending the frontiers of medicine without the destruction of human life. So we are expanding funding for this type of ethical medical research.

    How in the world could anyone oppose that, except, of course, if fixated on death?

    Meanwhile, almost everyone in the house gave him a standing o when calling for a ban on human cloning:

    clone%20standing%20o2.jpg

    And as we explore promising avenues of research, we must also ensure that all life is treated with the dignity it deserves. So I call on the Congress to pass legislation that bans unethical practices such as the buying, selling, patenting, or cloning of human life.

    But liberals were lying. They only appeared to support a ban on cloning because the American public does. Mark my words, no ban on human cloning will come from this Congress unless it is a sham bill outlawing "reproductive" human cloning but not "therapeutic" human cloning.

    Cloning is the only possible means to make human embryo experimentation work. It is the only theoretical way to provide an exact match between donor and recipient.

    McCain plays politics with embryos and us

    mccain.jpgSurprise. John McCain parsed words and made contradictory statements to reiterate support for human embryo experimentation last week, according to the Catholic News Agency, January 26:

    Sen. McCain called his decision to back the research "a very agonizing and tough decision."

    He continued, saying, "All I can say to you is that I went back and forth, back and forth on it and I came in on one of the toughest decisions I've ever had, in favor of that research. And one reason being, very frankly, is those embryos will be either discarded or kept in permanent frozen status."...

    Continue reading "McCain plays politics with embryos and us"

    Cloning dinner

    On January 15, the FDA announced it considered cloned meat and milk safe for human consumption. It also announced it would not require food labels specifying products were cloned or from cloned animals.

    Pretty much everyone is squeamish about this, particularly liberal vegetarian types.

    clone%20cartoon.gif

    Many, if not most liberals, however, consider cloning humans for research and potential use for human cures just fine.

    Another example of an upside down world.

    [Cartoon by Tony Auth for the Philadelphia Enquirer]

    Across the pond: Showing compassion for embryos

    stored%20embryos.jpgThis December 30 Times Online article was both upsetting and encouraging.

    It stated that in the last 14 years, 1.2 million embryos fertilized for in vitro fertilization have been destroyed, due to overproduction or damage:

    As many as 40 eggs can be [retrieved] in some treatments and all are fertilised in IVF.

    The embryos are then assessed for viability, with only about 20% usually considered strong enough to implant successfully in a woman.

    I'm not crazy about IVF and there's a new reason why....

    Continue reading "Across the pond: Showing compassion for embryos"

    Morals are timeless

    This cartoon is political satire but gives credit where it's due, so I'll laugh.

    And the credit goes to President Bush (in the scrubs) for withholding federal funding of human embryo experimentation based on ethical considerations. Meanwhile, 2 research groups announced independently last month they had successfully reprogrammed adult skin cells to become the equivalent of embryonic stem cells. Hence, the cartoon, by Joel Pett for the Lexington Herald-Ledger:

    pett%203.jpg

    The New York Times wrote today that 1 of those researchers, Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, was motivated to search for an alternative to embryo dissection based on his morals....

    Continue reading "Morals are timeless"

    Dallas saves himself

    This is truly an amazing story, of little Dallas Hextell. Doctors used Dallas' own cord blood stem cells to treat his Cerebral Palsy with miraculous results. Click on image to link to video of news story:

    cp3.jpg

    Three points to take:

    1. Cord blood stem cells are ethical. They are a type of adult stem cells.

    2. Adult stem cells are miraculously treating patients NOW.

    3. Save your baby's cord blood!

    [HT: friend Chris M.]

    The thrill (of the wedge) is gone

    stem-cell_240392a.jpgLast week came news of a huge stem cell breakthrough. How big? According to ABC:

    "It represents a phenomenal breakthrough, more important than cloning... or the discovery of human embryonic stem cells," said Dr. Markus Grompe, director of the Oregon Stem Cell Center in Portland. "This is a Nobel Prize worthy advance."

    And from the Associated Press....

    Continue reading "The thrill (of the wedge) is gone"

    New Jersey voters reject embryonic stem cell research funding

    Voters for the first time have rejected a referendum to fund human embryonic stem cell research, in New Jersey of all places, a liberal bastion.

    escr3.jpgThis came despite the best attempts by liberals and MSM to hide the paramount reason for the controversy, that it was about EMBRYONIC stem cell research, still on full display the morning after as evidenced by hidelines to the left.

    The stunning defeat, which betrayed all pre-election polls to the contrary, may or may not signal a turn away from this liberally created must have. The decision by NJ voters for the first time in 17 years to reject a ballot initiative, this one to allow the state to borrow $450 million to fund escr, may have been purely pragmatic: NJ's property taxes are the highest in the U.S., and it has the 3rd highest overall tax burden. NJ's state deficit is $3 billion and its debt load over $33.5 billion, making it the 4th most indebted state....

    Continue reading "New Jersey voters reject embryonic stem cell research funding"

    Adult stem cell research's silver-haired bullet?

    spin3.jpg

    The fog suddenly lifts when it's one's own life in question.

    A Tuscaloosa News article yesterday fascinated me, after I got past the so typically spun hideline (above):

    A Montgomery woman who said she recovered from significant heart problems with the help of adult stem cell research on Wednesday endorsed a resolution by the Silver-Haired Legislature calling on the state to fund the research....
    Continue reading "Adult stem cell research's silver-haired bullet?"

    Cures without cloning confusion

    robin.jpgCures without Cloning filed a lawsuit Friday against MO Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

    They want to add an initiative question to the next MO election ballot asking voters whether they want to ban somatic cell nuclear transfer, i.e., human cloning. Simple. Straightforward

    They're exposing and attempting to fix language deceptive human embryonic stem cell/cloning supporters added to the 2006 initiative, which was to say it banned human cloning, when it did the opposite simply by changing the definition of cloning.

    Carnahan's job as SOS was to review the new initiative and write a ballot summary. Here's what she came up with....

    Continue reading "Cures without cloning confusion"

    Kaiser funny

    kaiser1.jpgThe Kaiser Network is a pro-abortion, pro-embryo/cloning research organization that distributes a daily report on health policy from that slanted perspective.

    Today's was the funniest ever....

    Continue reading "Kaiser funny"

    Save yourcells

    healthy.jpgDomaniCell ("the leading service provider in the field of cell collection, processing, storage and therapies") accounced last week it is expanding its service to offer young, healthy adults the opportunity to proactively store some of their own stem cells now in the event they need them later for an unforeseen illness or accident.

    Great idea. Exact match, frozen, ready, and waiting....

    Continue reading "Save yourcells"

    Innovative way to care for aged parents

    family.jpgGot leftover embryos in cold storage? Now you can use them to keep you out of cold storage.

    According to ABC News, August 14:

    StemLifeLine, a California-based biotechnology company, is now offering a controversial but potentially life-saving fourth option.

    StemLifeLine allows families to "develop" remaining embryos into "personalized stem cell lines," the first theoretical step in creating cures for a host of debilitating and deadly diseases....

    Continue reading "Innovative way to care for aged parents"

    Lawsuit moves MI Gov. Granholm to remove embryonic stem cell petition from website

    granholm.jpgThe Associated Press reported August 9 that the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor is suing MI Democrat Gov. Jennifer Granholm for discrimination:

    Granholm, who wants to lift Michigan's restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, has a link on her state [taxpayer funded] Web site that encourages citizens to sign a petition asking the state Legislature to pass bills that would lift restrictions on such research.

    The law center says Granholm refused requests from its clients to place their own petition on the Web site opposing embryonic stem cell research....

    Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said the lawsuit is being reviewed.

    "Under no circumstances will the governor abandon her fight to lift the restrictions on stem cell research in Michigan," Boyd said.

    Apparently Granholm's people did a quick review, and apparently the governor is abandoning this part of her fight.

    A check today showed the link Granholm previously promoted, www.michigan.gov/stemcell, is gone.

    So is her taxpayer funded webpage promoting the petition.

    But sorry, Guv, it's cached. (Click to enlarge.)...

    Continue reading "Lawsuit moves MI Gov. Granholm to remove embryonic stem cell petition from website"

    Clone no MO?

    mjfox clone2.jpgWho can forget that shaky Michael J. Fox ad encouraging Missourians to vote to fund human embryo experimentation last November?

    One of the lies of Amendment Two was that it outlawed cloning, which it actually sanctioned.

    The amendment stated in one section, "No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being," which it could only say by redefining the word. Yet in another section it endorsed "somatic cell nuclear transfer," which is cloning.

    Pro-lifers even sued - and lost - over the misleading ballot language.

    MSM didn't help, of course, calling the valid argument - which anyone, even a reporter, could confirm by looking in a dictionary - a "claim."

    But Amendment Two squeaked by, 51-49%, and MSM no longer has to play dumb, either that or it has forgotten to aid and abet the cover-up....

    Continue reading "Clone no MO?"

    What was that about Alzheimer's and embryonic stem cells?

    aarp4.jpgAdvocates of human embryo destruction experimentation almost always list Alzheimer's as a disease they hope it will cure.

    This is a myth, a lie. As the Washington Post reported three years ago, "of all the diseases that may someday be cured by embryonic stem cell treatments, Alzheimer's is among the least likely to benefit."

    This is because Alzheimer's does not arise from a specialized population of brain cells. "[I]n contrast to Parkinson's, diabetes and spinal injuries, Alzheimer's disease involves the loss of huge numbers and varieties of the brain's 100 billion nerve cells - and countless connections, or synapses, among them," explained the Post article.

    That information was backdrop for this point.

    The June issue of AARP Bulletin, a publication by the American Association of Retired Persons, the largest American nonprofit advocacy group for those aged 50+, contained this....

    Continue reading "What was that about Alzheimer's and embryonic stem cells?"

    It's umbilical stem cells, stupid

    kos.jpgOrdinaryGal at Daily Kos has written an extraordinarily unintelligent post tying President Bush's veto of taxpayer-funded human embryo experimentation with her lament that a blind U.S. baby will have to go to China to participate in an umbilical cord stem cell study that may restore his vision.

    OG says she has "been reading up" on stem cell research. Well, she needs to read a little more, first learning the most basic fact: There are different kinds of stem cells.

    OG wondered, "Why couldn't the Bush Administration follow the lead of California and try to make a difference in the field of medical research relating to serious, chronic health conditions," after lauding the Golden State for passing Proposition 71, "which will provide ten billion dollars in state funding for human embryonic stem cell research."

    Actually, it was $3 billion, doubled to $6 billion with interest, but facts didn't figure into OG's post.

    And actually, not one taxed penny earmarked to fund human embryo experimentation could go toward sight-saving umbilical cord stem cell research.

    Since umbilical cord stem cell research is so important to OG, she may want to switch from supporting John Edwards, as she professed, to supporting Republicans and the Bush Administration.

    cord blood 2.jpgBecause in December 2005, President Bush signed the pro-life Republican-sponsored Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005, which authorized $79 million to establish a cord blood matching network and to add 150k cord blood units to the national inventory, so as to create a 90% patient crossmatch.

    The Act also authorized any cord blood deemed unsuitable for transplant to be donated for research. Bill sponsor, Rep. Chris Smith, noted, "Published studies have shown that cord blood stem cells have the capacity to change into other cell types, including nerve cells, heart cells and insulin-secreting cells."

    In fact, a study less than two weeks old found cord blood stem cells successful in treating children with Type I Diabetes.

    [Photo courtesy of Medical Journal of Australia. Retrieving cord blood is painless. It is drawn from the umbilical cord section still attached to the placenta after the cord is cut going to the baby.]

    Congress recycles embryo destruction bill

    What with wars, rumors of wars, the Social Security crisis, and border security, to name just a few issues our elected officials should be pondering, how instead are they spending their time?

    waste23.jpgBy recycling a bill President Bush has already promised to veto which would federally fund embryo experimentation.

    Today the House passed S. 5, the embryo destructive research bill, by a vote of 247-176, albeit with two more pro-life votes than in January, when the tally was 253-174.

    However, the change appeared due to absentees and deaths, not of heart.

    The bill has now cleared both chambers and will be sent to the President to veto. An override attempt in the House would fail. Only 146 votes are needed to uphold a veto, which we already have.

    Meanwhile, the front pages of the LA Times, NY Times, USA Today, and Washington Post all featured stories today about a research breakthrough that may render embryonic stem cells needless. Explained the LAT....

    Continue reading "Congress recycles embryo destruction bill"

    Clone and kill bill IV: Epilogue, defeat

    sad faces4.jpgFrom National Right to Life, tonight:

    The U.S. House of Representatives today rejected a bill, deceptively labeled as a ban on human cloning, that actually would have allowed large-scale cloning of human embryos solely for purposes of research....

    The vote on the bill, H.R. 2560, was 204 to 213 - short of a majority, and 74 votes short of the two-thirds majority that was required for approval under the fast-track procedure that the House Democratic leadership used to try to rush the bill through less than a day after its introduction....

    The bill... was introduced by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Co.) only Tuesday night, and brought to the House floor early the next day (today) under a procedure... usually employed for noncontroversial matters. The language of the bill was not even available on the official congressional website when the measure was debated on the House floor.

    Clone and kill bill III: What about a woman's choice?

    An excerpt from National Right to Life's letter against to congresspersons opposing DeGette's clone and kill bill, issued just a few minutes ago:

    Curiously, Congresswoman DeGette is a cosponsor of another bill, H.R. 1964, the so-called 'Freedom of Choice Act,' which among other things, says that the government "may not deny or interfere with a woman's right... to bear a child.... "

    Under H.R. 2560, however, a woman has a right to have cloned human embryos created with her genetic material and/or eggs, but not the right to "bear" the cloned child.

    tangled web2.jpg

    Does Congresswoman DeGette agree with those who say that a baby whose life was begun by cloning would not be a real human "child"? Does she believe that Dolly was not a real sheep?

    Oh, the complications of being a pro-deather.

    Clone and kill bill II: President to veto

    Re: Congresswoman Diana DeGette's phony cloning ban, President Bush issued the following statement a few hours ago (underline his):

    STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
    H.R. 2560 - Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2007
    (Rep. DeGette (D) Colorado)
    The President unequivocally opposes all forms of human cloning. The Administration is strongly opposed to any legislation that would prohibit human cloning for reproductive purposes but permit the creation of cloned embryos or development of human embryo farms for research, which would require the destruction of nascent human life. Thus, if legislation were presented to the President that permitted human embryos to be created, developed, and destroyed simply for research purposes, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

    About the statement, a DC source added, "It is noteworthy that the President is currently in Germany for the G8 Summit. G8 countries Germany, France, Canada and Italy have total cloning bans on the books."

    Clone and kill bill I

    Thanks to all who answered my question yesterday: What do you think cloning is? I asked for simple and technical definitions.

    clone.jpgCameron, our resident doctorate biology major, answered: "Asexual propagation. Recent attempts at animal cloning have been described as identical twins born years apart."

    SH answered: "'[Y]ou are genetically copying a life form, so the end result is a life form identical to the original."

    Heather4life answered: "Duplication."

    Jasper answered: "[T]o produce an exact copy of."

    SamanthaT answered: "[T]he process of replicating genomic material from one organism for the purpose of reproducing that organism in whole or in part."

    John M. answered: "[T]he popular (media) view is that a duplication takes place... a kind of living photocopy. The reality in science is somewhat different: each cell has a nucleus with DNA surrounded by a full-gel. Cloning then is the separation of these two... plunk in a DNA of choice and voila a clone."

    All good. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think all would agree with Wikipedia's definition:

    Human cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of an existing, or previously existing, human being or clone tissue from that individual. The term is generally used to refer to artificial human cloning; human clones in the form of identical twins are commonplace, with their cloning occurring during the natural process of reproduction....

    The most successful common cloning technique in non-human mammals is the process which produced Dolly the sheep.... The process is as follows: an egg cell taken from a donor has its nucleus removed. Another cell with the genetic material to be cloned is fused with the original egg cell. In theory, this process, known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, could be applied to human beings.

    Our understanding of cloning becomes important today.

    degette.jpgBecause today, pro-death CO Democrat Congresswoman Diana DeGette is expected to introduce the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2007 on the floor of the U.S. House.

    Will it be that? No. It is a sham, a phony, a lie.

    In fact and incredibly, DeGette's "ban" actually authorizes human cloning experimentation. It is a clone-and-kill bill that parses by allowing human cloning for scientific experimentation but not for implantation in uteruses.

    How so? DeGette has simply changed the definition of human cloning to suit her purposes.

    Here is DeGette's definition of cloning:

    (a) In General. - It shall be unlawful for any person -

    (1) to perform or attempt to perform human cloning....

    (b) Definitions. - For purposes of this section:

    (1) The term 'human cloning' means the implantation of the product of human somatic cell nuclear transfer technology into a uterus or the functional equivalent of a uterus.

    (2) The term 'human somatic cell nuclear transfer technology' means transferring the nuclear material of a human somantic cell into an egg cell from which the nuclear material has been removed or rendered inert.

    Of the 70+ comments received yesterday in response to my question, everyone basically agreed with the scientific definition of cloning, as explained in layperson's terms by Wikipedia.

    Is it acceptable to you that politicians in bed with the biotech industry change the definition? Why do they have to? Why the cover-up? Why not just say out loud what they want?

    You again

    clone.jpgBefore I get to the point of my next post, I'd like to ask a simple question:

    What do you think cloning is?

    Give me either your simple understanding of it or a technical definition.

    Are there ANY lines they are not willing to cross?

    By Bethany Kerr:

    From Commentary Magazine:
    Yuval Levin - 3.2.2007 - 11:44AM
    (copied in full)piccinini.jpg

    The stem-cell debate raging in the U.S. these last six years has hinged on a question of life and death - that is, whether destroying a human embryo should be permissible. But it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ethical quandaries in the age of biotechnology. The kind of debates waiting for us just past the next turn will be far more subtle and complex, and directed to questions of human dignity as much as human life....

    Continue reading "Are there ANY lines they are not willing to cross?"

    Latest on CA embryonic stem cell debacle

    In 2004 California voters passed Proposition 71, legislation to give human embryo and cloning researchers $3 billion over 30 years. The CA attorney general determined the final cost for taxpayers will be $6 billion, including interest.

    There will a couple huge gaffes in Prop 71:

    cat2.jpg1. It did not allow for the people to share in the profits. So pharmaceutical and biotech companies getting hand-outs from the state not only don't have to pay the people back but can keep any windfall revenues resulting from their research.

    2. If treatments are developed, Prop 71 did not mandate that corporations make them available at a cheaper rate to the state's poor or uninsured, or to anyone else in California for that matter. So corporations that have gotten grants from the good people of CA can charge them just what they would charge out-of-staters for treatment.

    Yesterday, negotiations via legislation were launched to fix all that. Not surprisingly, the biotech industry opposes it.

    All those supporting taxpayer funded human embryo and cloning experimentation should bear all this in mind, which is, legislators are stupid, and the biotech industry is greedy.

    Little Bo Sheep

    sheep.jpgFrom CCTV.com, today:

    BEIJING - Scientists have created the world's first human-sheep chimera - which has the body of a sheep and half-human organs, according to news report Monday.

    The sheep have 15 percent human cells and 85 percent animal cells and their evolution brings the prospect of animal organs being transplanted into humans one step closer....

    But the development is likely to revive criticisms about scientists playing God, with the possibility of silent viruses, which are harmless in animals, being introduced into the human race.

    Animal rights activists fear that if the cells get mixed together, they could end up with cellular fusion, creating a hybrid which would have the features and characteristics of both man and sheep....

    Does this mean animal rights activists will have to become pro-life activists?

    [Photo courtesy of CCTV.]

    75 brand new adult stem cell advances

    "For too long, the stem cell debate has been distorted by those who advocate exclusively for research in which human embryos are destroyed. They insist that any attempt to find ways to advance stem-cell science without harming nascent life - and, thereby, to serve both science and ethics at once - is misguided."

    ~ Georgia state Sen. David Shafer, as quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 19

    brand2.jpgAlso, a new document available on pdf, "75 new reasons to reconsider the alleged need for stem cell research that destroys human embryos," lists advances in adult stem cell research and other alternatives to embryonic stem cell research between June 2006 and February 2007.

    [Hat tip: Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity]

    Example of MSM stem cell bias; Catholics duped?

    New Jersey's Star-Ledger broadcast this headline yesterday: "Stem cell research gains ground in Catholic church."

    Of course, the ignorant masses, unclear that some stem cell research is morally acceptable and some not but aware of an ongoing ethical debate on the topic, may conclude from that headline - as the liberal mainstream media obviously wishes - the NJ Catholic church is coming around.

    Only five paragraphs into the story do we learn the Church supports umbilical cord and placenta stem cell research, which does not involve the killing of human embryos.

    Also of interest is the possible dupe of the NJ Catholic church by legislators brandishing money....

    Continue reading "Example of MSM stem cell bias; Catholics duped?"

    Obama and conception

    Where was Barack Obama when we needed him? While legislatures around the country have been debating when human life begins and the morality of experimenting on human embryos, who knew liberal luminary Obama would provide the answer Sunday in Selma?  From Obama's speech:

    We have too many children in poverty in this country, and everybody should be ashamed, but don't tell me it doesn't have a little to do with the fact that we've got too many daddies not acting like daddies. Don't think that fatherhood ends at conception.

    Belushi Actually, that last line makes no sense.  But I am reminded of John Belushi in Animal House when he shouted, "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!" and will just go with it.

    Obama was trying to say a man becomes a father at conception, which is fascinating.  You can't be a father to a newly created subhuman or nonhuman. 

    Liberal blogger Archpundit dared to contradict Obama by saying... Continue reading "Obama and conception"

    Chicago Tribune: "The incredible, sellable egg"

    Sunday's Chicago Tribune included a front page, above- and below-the-fold article on the "booming" human egg "donation" business. 

    Women are being paid $5k-$13k and up to $100k for 15-20 eggs and are using the money to pay off loans and credit cards and put down payments on properties.  So the word "donor" is incorrect.

    In the last eight years, the number of infertile couples purchasing human eggs has tripled, to the point where "some agencies find they have more donors than recipients," according to the article, which raised a red flag to me among many.

    Legislators across the country (CA, IL, and NJ, for example) are introducing bills mandating taxpayer funded human embryo experimentation that include flagrantly deceptive language appearing to prohibit human cloning while they actually authorize it. (From the bills: "somatic cell nuclear transfer"; Google that term.) 

    The rationale for escr so often given is to put human embryos to good use who would otherwise be discarded by IVF clinics.  Truth be told, only 2.8% of embryos are actually available for experimentation, but nonetheless, the day will come when legislators come clean about cloning, and they will use the same rationale to morally condone it that they now use for embryo experimentation.

    In fact, cloning researchers are already complaining about a shortage of human eggs, and they readily admit they go to IVF clinics for them.  (Read NPR, JournalLive, and BioEd, for examples.)

    Because of this, I found it remarkable that the lengthy Tribune article did not once mention the increasing demands by researchers for human eggs.

    Embryo terminology

    Penny Pullen, author of the weekly Life Advocacy Briefing, teaches pro-life terminology. From her I learned to say:

  • "pro-abortion," not "pro-choice"

  • "aborting "mother" (and "father"), not aborting "woman" (or "man")

  • "commit abortion," not "perform abortion"

  • "abortionist," not "doctor"
  • As part of her Briefing today, Penny gave a short lesson on proper terminology by which to frame the human embryo experimentation debate:

    IOWA's LEGISLATURE HAS SENT TO THE GOVERNOR a bill endorsing sacrifice of embryonic humans for utilitarian experimentation. The bill, which is likely to be signed by Gov. Chet Culver (D), would replace Iowa's human cloning ban and would authorize experimental cloning by another name.

    We at Life Advocacy have not been privy to the Iowa-specific debate or political changes which precipitated this about-face, but, observing the terminology used by much of the pro-life movement nationally, we regretfully predict that the fight over embryo killing is likely to be lost wherever it emerges.

    We cannot fathom why most advocates for Life speak about this issue in the same terms as are used by the amoral biotech lobby and its fellow travelers in the mainstream media. Calling this issue "embryonic stem cell research" is the equivalent of calling the abortion issue "choice," yet this obfuscatory terminology is used consistently by those same pro-life leaders who wring their hands over the seeming inability of the public to distinguish between "adult stem cells" and "embryonic stem cells."

    Could the confusion result from the fundamental fact that the ethical problem is not the pursuit of research on stem cells but with the killing of embryonic human beings in the process?

    Try consistently using the term "experimentation" instead of "research" and the expression "killing (or sacrificing or vivisecting or dissecting) embryonic humans" instead of "embryonic stem cells," and see the difference in the perception of those hearing the debate. Using precise, morally expressive terminology cuts through the scientific fog, identifies the issue for what it is, and brings the public into a proper understanding of what is at stake. Is this really so hard?

    Human eggs for sale

    Eggs As liberal legislators across the country promote taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell/cloning experimentation, a main argument is there are leftover embryos in in vitro fertilization clinics they can see put to good use that would otherwise be discarded.

    We have always maintained the number of embryos available for experimentation is minute, and women will soon be exploited for their eggs.  That day is here.

    The AP/Boston Globe reported yesterday....

    Continue reading "Human eggs for sale"

    George: Keep the main embryo the main embryo

    Princeton University professor Robert George gave great talking points about embryonic stem cell experimentation during a lecture last week at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, according to Towers Online, Feb. 15, the most important being:

    "The fact that... embryonic stem cells probably will not prove to be the therapeutic miracle that they have been hyped to be isn't fundamentally the reason we should be opposed to the use of those cells..... The reason we should be opposed is a moral reason. [Embryonic stem cell research] involves, at least for now, the destruction of innocent human life to obtain the cells."

    The fact is, someday escr researchers will get somewhere. The two fundametal talking points are, according to George: 1) the definition of human being; and 2) respect owed embryos.

    The article, not long, is worth reading.

    Why note age of embryonic stem cells?

    promise.jpgTwo of many good points Sarah Flashing, at the blog Flashpoint, made in her critique of a C-Span-covered interview of Gail Pressburg, co-author of The Promise & Politics of Stem Cell Research, were these:

    "Five-day old cells." Gail, are you afraid to use the word embryo? After all, the name of the research establishes that it is embryos from which the stem cells are being harvested. Let's not be coy.

    As well, since when do we allow an age category to be applied to what are just clumps of cells?

    This effort to disguise the personhood of the embryo by referring to it as just cells is disingenuous.

    And combining this cellular way of talking about the embryo and the fact of age with the admission "well they'll just be thrown away anyway" is nothing less than conceding to the fact that these are human beings at the beginning stages of life.

    Embryonic stem cells = hair follicles

    The Michael J. Fox/embryonic stem cell-cloning flak has apparently renewed interest in a column I wrote two years ago entitled, "Michael J. Fox is a cannibal." One person even advised I remove it post haste before Fox sued me for defamation. It's a little late for that.

    On page two is a fun exchange I had with a Megan Papesh, who posed an interesting question and who eventually equated early preborn humans with hair follicles....

    Continue reading "Embryonic stem cells = hair follicles"

    Michael J. Fox hasn't read Missouri's Amendment Two?

    Mjf From Michael J. Fox's interview yesterday with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week:

    Stephanopoulos: In the ad now running in Missouri, Jim Caviezel speaks in Aramaic. It means, "You betray me with a kiss." And his position, his point, is that actually even though down in Missouri they say the initiative is against cloning, it's actually going to allow human cloning.

    Fox: Well, I don't think that's true. You know, I campaigned for Claire McCaskill. And so I have to qualify it by saying I'm not qualified to speak on the page-to-page content of the initiative. Although, I am quite sure that I'll agree with it in spirit, I don't know, I— On full disclosure, I haven't read it and that's why I didn't put myself up for it distinctly.

    Fox doesn't "think that's true," although he hasn't read the language of the amendment?  Fox was apparently on the t.v. show Spin City too long.  He's been spun.

    And yes he has put himself up for it distinctly.  When he stated in his McCaskill ad, "Senator Talent even wanted to criminalize the science that gives us a chance for hope," he was speaking about Talent's opposition to human cloning, whether he understood what he was saying or not.

    Jesse Jackson on embryonic stem cells

    JjWith all these famous people entering into the embryonic stem cell debate, I thought it only fitting that Jesse Jackson insert himself into the melee. Here is a quote from an essay he wrote several years ago:

    Anything growing is living. Therefore human life begins when the sperm and egg join and drop into the fallopian tube and the pulsation of life take place. From that point, life may be described differently (as an egg, embryo, fetus, baby, child, teenager, adult), but the essence is the same. The name has changed but the game remains the same.

    MJFox: Explain what would be "criminalized"

    Michael J. Fox states in his McKaskill for Missouri ad, "Senator Talent even wanted to criminalize the science that gives us a chance for hope."

    MSM should ask Fox to explain what that science is, but it won't and he won't.

    For the record, it's human cloning.

    Reponse to MJ Fox misinformation ad

    The following ad is planned to play tonight during the World Series, although there are last minute details still being worked out. It features Jim Caviezel of "The Passion of Christ;" Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan, Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner, and Patricia Heaton of "Everybody Loves Raymond."

    And no, Caviezel is not saying, "This is Jesus Christ, and I approve this message," at the beginning, as is being nefariously blogged (although that's hilarious). According to the American Papist blog, Caviezel is speaking Aramaic: "L'bar nash b'nashak," which is "The son of man with a kiss." Continues American Papist:

    He is quoting the Gospel of Luke (22:48) which reads:

    [47] While he [Jesus] was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him; [48] but Jesus said to him, "Judas, would you betray the Son of man with a kiss?"

    By quoting this passage, Caviezal is making the point that just as Judas betrayed Jesus through a symbolic kiss of "friendship," the people of Missouri are being misled from the truth about amendment 2 by the false claim that amendment 2 will save lives (instead of actually harming innocent lives).

    No fetus farms in IL and NJ

    On July 19, President Bush signed the "Fetus Farming Prohibition Act of 2006," a law that prohibits growing human embryos in animals or humans for research.

    Did you think fetus farming was a figment of someone's imagination? A right-wing scare tactic, perhaps?

    No.

    Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's 2005 embryonic stem cell research executive order included "payment" for "transplantation, or implantation of [embryonic] tissue," with no age restriction. It also included "payment" for "cadaveric fetal tissue," or dead fetuses.

    In other words, Blagojevich was planning to harvest a new crop in Illinois, fetuses, in uterine farms.

    In October 2005, bioethicist Robert George of Princeton noted in The Weekly Standard that his home state of New Jersey had also passed legislation authorizing the harvest of "cadaveric fetal tissue."

    "What the bill envisages and promotes, in other words," wrote George, "is fetus farming."

    George theorized that because week-old embryos, the age currently being experimented upon, have a propensity to grow into cancerous tumors, researchers were beginning to look toward older preborn babies.

    At 8 weeks gestation, basic structures for all body systems are established. All remaining time in the uterus is spent growing and refining tissues and organs.

    "Because the developmental process stabilizes cells (which is why we are not all masses of tumors)," wrote George, "it is likely true that stem cells, tissues, and organs harvested from human beings at, say, 16 or 18 weeks or later could be used in the treatment of diseases."

    Those plans have now been shot to hell, where they belong, making embryonic stem cell research ever more implausible.

    Outting the IL GA's uberliberals: This year's test bill

    double left turn.jpgLast year, there were two test bills that outted the IL General Assembly's social uberliberals: the gay special rights bill, which attracted them like pheromones, and the Born Alive bill, which repelled them like, well, dead babies.

    This year's test bill is HB4156, the ban on taxpayer funded human cloning.

    I spent yesterday in Springfield lobbying for HB4156. We're up to 50 co-sponsors. Only hardcore liberals would oppose such a bill. Between 75-80% of Americans consistently poll against human cloning, never mind having to pay for it, which Blagojevich forced on us with his executive order.

    Only one rep yesterday flat-out refused to support HB4156. All others either said yes or that they'd consider it.

    The rep was Careen Gordon, and her opposition surprised me.

    Right before the 2004 election, Gordon wrote a letter to a constituent stating, "I was born and raised Catholic; as such I respect the rights of the unborn.... I have supported legislation advocated for by the Catholic Conference of Illinois and the National (sic) Federation for the Right to Life and promise to continue supporting legislation that protects the rights of the unborn."

    I handed Gordon her letter yesterday and reminded her that both aforementioned groups support HB4156. She still refused to support it.

    Perhaps the "rights of the unborn" Gordon planned as a candidate to protect were those of unborn clones.

    There's only one problem with that. Researchers create clones in order to dissect and kill them.

    Morally challenged cloning research

    wnd_logo.gif

    The headline was buried in the Jan. 21 NewScience article reporting another potential scandal in the cloning world.

    This one involved claims made in 2003 by researcher Hui-Zhen Sheng of China, who reported he had successfully harvested embryonic stem cells from rabbit-human embryos.

    Scientists now wary after being duped by fallen clone king Hwang Woo-Suk are sounding the alarm on Sheng, because no one has been able to duplicate his work.

    Scientists did not sound the alarm three years ago when Sheng inserted human cells into rabbit eggs. It only matters now whether Sheng lied about the products of that conception.

    In other words, the means weren't called into account, just the ends.

    ESCR and cloning researchers say they are an ethical bunch. For instance...

    Continue reading my column today, "Morally challenged cloning research," on WorldNetDaily.com.

    Bugs Bunny alive!

    The headline was buried in this NewScience.com article today reporting skepticism on London cloning researcher Chris Shaw's recent claims of success of finding a way around the shortage of human eggs needed for experimentation.

    While Shaw's boasts were called into question, his research wasn't, which was to "derive stem cells from embryos cloned using rabbit eggs."

    First s/he-males, then Mickey Mouse, and now this, a real-life Bugs Bunny.

    Dr. Doolittle once wished he could talk to the animals. Any day now, Dr., don't be surprised to converse with a live, 6-foot rabbit who asks, of course, "What's up, Doc?"

    Stem cell riddle of the day

    Question: Which type of stem cells do you think is being reported in this January 3 Australian Broadcasting Corporation story?

    "These stem cells have the ability to... change as they grow into many different kinds of cells. Already researchers have been able to turn them into cartilage, bone and fat. Now they believe they can make them grow into the kind of tissue found in the brain....

    "We think they have the potential to repair damaged muscle, like the heart after a heart attack, perhaps in the brain even after a stroke....

    "[M]ore recently we've shown that these cells can also become neurons....

    "Just two weeks ago we showed that they can be turned into nerve tissue. They can actually form what look like nerve cells and this, we think, is tremendously exciting for a whole range of neurological or brain diseases.... It's this ability that holds great hope for stroke sufferers....

    "[E]extensive research has already been completed to show ___ stem cells can aid bone marrow recovery. Scientists are about to begin trialing these cells on children with leukaemia.... Researchers claim the wider application for those suffering strokes and heart attacks is tremendous."

    Answer: Mesemkynal stem cells harvested from placenta and bone marrow.

    Meanwhile, reseachers of those other stem cells so full of "hope" and "promise" announced this week they may have finally found a way to grow them without contaminants, never mind develop treatments.

    CA's stem cell initiative grows more mired in the muck

    Not only pro-life and pro-fiscally responsible government groups are raising red flags about CA's $3 billion ($6 billion with interest) stem cell initiative.

    Read Capitol Weekly News' September 15 piece, "Stem cell research: cutting-edge science or corporate subsidies, courtesy of voters?" (reprinted on page 2).

    Also read a very strong editorial in the September 18 Sacramento Bee entitled, "Editorial: Stem cell oversight board is flying blind" (also reprinted on page 2).

    Also read what finally got the attention of California Democrat legislators: "Panel wants state to waive stem cell product royalties," published in the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Continue reading "CA's stem cell initiative grows more mired in the muck"

    Report from UK: Embryonic mutant ninja stem cells

    From today's News@nature.com:

    Embryonic stem cells that are cultured in the lab accumulate an alarming array of genetic changes, including mutations known to be linked to cancer. The finding throws into question whether such cells could eventually be used for therapy, unless they can be kept fresh and checked for mutations before use....

    In January, researchers announced that most human embryonic stem-cell lines... have been contaminated by animal cells used as a growth medium in lab dishes. Any cell containing such foreign proteins would presumably trigger a damaging immune response if transplanted into a human patient. Researchers realized they would have to grow their cells differently in order to use them for therapy.

    Now another difficulty has come to light. The longer the cells are kept, and the more they divide, the more errors they build up in their genetic code. "These mutations we are finding are a much bigger problem," says Aravinda Chakravarti of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

    Chakravarti and his colleagues decided to take a closer look.... Out of nine cell lines, eight developed one or more genetic changes commonly observed in human cancers, the team reports in Nature Genetics.

    The finding undermines a general assumption that stem cells remain unblemished until they are programmed to become a certain type of cell. "This is not good news. It suggests that the biological properties of the cells before and after replicating could be different," says Chakravarti....

    MSM editorial: "Blagojevich stands alone" on embryonic stem cell executive fiat

    Today's Daily Illini includes a strong editorial against IL Gov. Rod Blagojevich's recent executive order that circumvented the IL General Assembly, forcing IL taxpayers to fund embyronic stem cell experimentation.

    When a polarized issue is brought to the legislative table twice without a conclusion, it's takes some narcissism to make a call like this....

    Blagojevich has made a bold decision. But it does not appear that he considered the voice of anyone other than himself in this case. He was elected to make decisions on the behalf of the citizens of Illinois, but he appears to be making decisions based solely upon his beliefs. There is no excuse for circumventing the legislature and deviously allocating money from the budget to further his personal agenda. The issue should have been debated within the legislature and not solely decided by the Governor's views on the topic....

    Regardless of what the executive order brings in the future, Blagojevich's dereliction should not be forgiven or forgotten.

    New stem cell could neuter ESCR push

    Several news organizations, like the Washington Times and CNSNews.com, are reporting on a new stem cell that has been found in placenta.

    The new cell is "embryoniclike" in that it is "more versatile than [adult stem cells] while avoiding the ethical dilemmas surrounding [embryonic stem cells], according to CNS.

    Arian race Take II

    From today's TimesOnline.com:

    Clinics could soon be screening embryos for genes that carry a predisposition to breast cancer and other tumours.

    The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority announced yesterday that it is to consult the public about letting couples choose embryos free from genetic defects. The defects raise the risk of cancer but do not always trigger it....

    Angela McNab, the authority’s chief executive, said... "What we are asking people is whether it is appropriate to use embryo screening technology to stop children being born with faulty genes when there is a chance they may never go on to suffer the cancer."

    Who decides what is a "defect"?

    Hat tip: Reader Laura

    Forbes shows liberal bias on stem cell reporting

    Forbes posted an article yesterday, written by Health Day News reporter Steven Reinberg, that stem cells are helping children with the "worst cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia" better than traditional treatments.

    This is great news. But Reinberg neglected to report the most important component of his story. This is that the stem cells in discussion were ADULT stem cells.

    Given that the hot topic of the day is embryonic vs. adult stem cell research, omission of this fact can only be seen as purposeful, or the author is woefully ignorant of the topic.

    Reinberg used the the terms "stem cells," "stem cell transplant," and "stem cell transplantation" nine times (including the story title), with no mention of their origin. The only reference is the term "related donor hemopoietic-cell transplantation" in the article, which would provide no clue to the nonmedically educated reader that this is bone marrow - aka adult stem cells - from a child's relative.

    Because of what was left out of the story, and the word obfuscation that was not clarified, I must conclude the author purposefully intended to confuse the topic of stem cells in readers' minds.

    This is why people polled on the topic of stem cell research think ESCR is a good thing. They don't understand the difference, nor do the mainstream press or liberals want them to understand.

    Dobson to answer critics today

    dobson.jpg From Citizen Link update:

    Focus on the Family Action Chairman James C. Dobson, Ph.D., is devoting a special edition of his Friday radio broadcast to answer liberal critics who have lambasted him for his opposition to science that relies on the destruction of human life. [See Jill's blog entry yesterday.]

    Dobson was assailed today for comments he made on his broadcast earlier this week comparing destructive embryonic stem-cell research to Nazi "science."

    U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo, co-sponsor of a bill to expand federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, issued a statement condemning Dobson, while Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman sent a letter calling on Dobson to apologize and "immediately repudiate" his remarks....

    "What part of 'We condemn what the Nazis did and it was horrible'... don't they get?" Dobson asked. "The truth is these are ultraliberals who want the legal approval — and the federal money to experiment on unborn life — and don't care a whit about unborn life at any age."

    In a statement, Focus on the Family Action Senior Bioethics Analyst Carrie Gordon Earll — who will appear on Friday's broadcast with Dobson — said the analogy comparing the Nazi human experiments conducted during WWII and today's embryonic stem-cell research is "historically and ethically accurate and appropriate."

    "If any apologies are due," she explained, "it's the advocates of destructive research using embryonic humans who should be apologizing to their fellow members of the human family. It is never morally or ethically acceptable to intentionally destroy one human in the hopes of saving another — regardless of the age and location of the human to be sacrificed for research."

    To listen to the show on the Internet, go here.

    See action info on page 2....

    Continue reading "Dobson to answer critics today"

    Dobson compares embryonic stem cell experimentation with Nazi experiments

    On yesterday's Focus on the Family radio show, host Dr. James Dobson correctly compared embryonic stem cell experimentation with Nazi experiments conducted on live human patients during and prior to the Holocaust, and Nazi doctors with proponents of ESCR. Nazis also suggested that their experimentation would result in discoveries that "benefitted mankind."

    Said Dobson:

    You know, the thing that means so much to me here on this this issue [embryonic stem cell research] is that people talk about the potential for good that can come from destroying these little embryos and how we might be able to solve the problem of juvenile diabetes. There's no indication yet that they're gonna do that, but people say that, or spinal cord injuries or such things.

    But I have to ask this question: In World War II, the Nazis experimented on human beings in horrible ways in the concentration camps, and I imagine, if you wanted to take the time to read about it, there would have been some discoveries there that benefited mankind.

    You know, if you take a utilitarian approach, that if something results in good, then it is good. But that's obviously not true. We condemn what the Nazis did because there are some things that we always could do but we haven't done, because science always has to be guided by ethics and by morality. And you remove ethics and morality, and you get what happened in Nazi Germany.

    That's why to Senator [Senate Majority Leader Bill] Frist and the others who are saying, "Look what may be accomplished." Yeah, but there's another issue, there's a higher order of ethics here.

    Dobson takes up the topic on his show again today.

    Rush: Libs push ESCR to preserve abortion

    Rush Limbaugh, yesterday:

    ...The dirty little secret here, folks, if I may be so bold, is that the advocates of stem cell research are on the same side of the page as the pro-abortion crowd. Stem cell research is not... about stem cell research, it's about making sure that abortion keeps happening. Because if you can get people to go along with destroying perfectly fine embryos, the only way you can do that is to abort a fetus, by the way, then you can prolong abortion.

    The left knows it's losing when it comes to the moral and ethical questions involving abortion. They're losing ground, they're losing public support on this, and that's why the Supreme Court nomination is so crucial to them, or all of them will be, and so stem cell research is taking over as the lead item while the hidden agenda is pro-abortion. It's just that simple....

    More germane quotes on page 2

    Continue reading "Rush: Libs push ESCR to preserve abortion"

    Diabetes, Iacocca, Faustman, and the JDRF

    I received the following informative note from reader Petrina:

    As a Type I diabetic for 43+ years since age 9, I applaud your article
    about the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
    . I want a cure for diabetes, but not one derived from embryonic stem cells. Last year, the JDRF raised $85 million and spent $1 million in California lobbying for embryonic stem cell research (not exactly what people expected, I'm sure, when they gave their dollars for research to find a cure for diabetes!).

    What is even more disgraceful is that JDRF refuses to fund Dr. Denise Faustman's research in Boston.

    Iacocca.jpgDr. Faustman, whose research so far has been funded by the Iacocca Foundation [Jill note: Lee Iacocca, pictured right, refuses to allow his foundation to fund embryonic stem cell research], has been the first to cure diabetes in mice by stopping the autoimmune process that destroys the insulin-producing cells, and she didn't use embryonic stem cells. The beta cells regenerated in these mice and the mice were cured of diabetes, with no need for islet cell transplants or anti-rejection drugs!

    Faustman has FDA approval to do human clinical trials to see if this will cure diabetes in people, but the JDRF won't give her one red cent. They are more interested in promoting embryonic stem cell research than they are in curing diabetes!

    Lee Iacocca is trying to raise the $11 million needed to do the clinical trials in humans. He knows the tragedy of diabetes because his wife died from diabetes complications in the early 1980's. Please let your readers know about this very hopeful diabetes research, and ask them to help make it happen by giving donations to Join Lee Now. They can read more about it at and at www.iacoccafoundation.org.

    If we can cure diabetes in a morally acceptable way, we can put the JDRF out of business, which is not what they want.

    Mr. Iacocca was on ABC's This Week yesterday discussing his involvement with diabetes stem cell research.

    Weekend question

    What do you think of US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's July 29 public statement in support of embryonic stem cell research in light of the fact he considers himself pro-life?

    Frist twist

    I am disappointed in Senator Bill Frist, to say the least. His announced position in favor of embryonic stem cell research today is not only unethical but nonsensical:

    I am pro-life. I believe human life begins at conception. It is at this moment that the organism is complete -- yes, immature -- but complete. An embryo is nascent human life. It's genetically distinct. And it's biologically human. It's living. This position is consistent with my faith. But, to me, it isn't just a matter of faith. It's a fact of science.

    Our development is a continuous process -- gradual and chronological. We were all once embryos. The embryo is human life at its earliest stage of development. And accordingly, the human embryo has moral significance and moral worth. It deserves to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

    I also believe that embryonic stem cell research should be encouraged and supported. But, just as I said in 2001, it should advance in a manner that affords all human life dignity and respect -- the same dignity and respect we bring to the table as we work with children and adults to advance the frontiers of medicine and health.

    In the first paragraph, Sen. Frist negated his statements supporting the sanctity of life with his "but." (Definition of "but": "On the contrary; on the other hand; only; yet; still; however; nevertheless; more; further; -- as connective of sentences or clauses of a sentence, in a sense more or less exceptive or adversative")

    Sen. Frist is saying faith and science are at opposite ethical ends on the topic of embryonic stem cell experimentation, and he has chosen science.

    Sen. Frist rationalized his choice in the second paragraph by saying embryos should be killed "with utmost dignity and respect."

    And frankly, Frist's third paragraph makes absolutely no sense.

    The entire text of Sen. Frist's speech is on page 2.

    Continue reading "Frist twist"

    Federal embryonic stem cell bill has surprisingly stalled

    Although MSM has reported for months that passage of a federally-funded embryonic stem cell bill by the US Senate is a done deal, Reuters is now reporting otherwise. Specifically note the last paragraph, which gives a helpful hint in stopping this sort of legislation in the states:

    Despite a veto threat by President Bush, the embryonic stem cell bill cleared the House in May with a surprisingly broad bipartisan margin. Backers believed they had momentum in the Senate and a vote was tentatively set for this month.

    But now bill sponsors say there is only the slimmest of chances that the Senate can take up the bill before breaking for its August recess.

    It bogged down in a procedural morass involving a half-dozen other stem cell and cloning bills -- some written with the apparent aim of peeling away support from the House-passed legislation.

    But it will be back, so remain vigilant.

    As an aside, this article includes a few common mistruths. One and two are:

    Bush in August 2001 allowed research on a limited number of existing stem cell lines, most of which proved unsuitable and all of which turned out to be contaminated with mouse cells. But he has opposed further research on ethical grounds.

    This paragraph infers that President Bush banned new embryonic stem cell research in 2001, which he did not. He only banned federal funding. Private investors are perfectly free to finance ESCR.

    Also, all embryonic stem cell lines are contaminated with mouse cells, one of its unreported problems.

    A third fallacy:

    There are currently about 400,000 leftover embryos.

    Rand Research reported that only 2.8 percent - or 11,000 - embryos are available for donation nationwide.

    Editorials blast Blagojevich

    An editorial in today's Chicago Tribune entitled, "$10 million photo op," says Blagojevich's actions Tuesday were "incredibly devious, and they give legislators ample new reason not to trust anything he says or does."

    The people, too.

    A Daily Herald editorial today entitled, "Wrong way to start stem cell research," says, in part:

    [R]esentment is certainly reinforced by this regrettable comment from the governor found in an Associated Press story:

    "Anytime you do what is morally right... however you get there is immaterial."

    So the governor has anointed himself king. And what he has deemed to be morally right, the morally wrong shall abide by via his order. If you oppose stem cell research, because of religious beliefs, or because you think it takes life, or because you are not sure embryo cells are that much superior to umbilical cord cells in doing stem cell research, or that this might be going down a slippery slope, you're irrelevant.

    One positive that has come from all this is the press is verbalizing our points.

    Cross talk

    There is ongoing debate, of which I am a part, on IL House Minority Leader Tom Cross's blog re: his part in Gov. Blagojevich's underhanded $10 mil executive order forcing IL taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell experimentation/human cloning.

    Although I differ with Rep. Cross on his part in the deal, I respect his willingness to allow open debate on his forum.

    There's also quite a bit of chatter on Rich Miller's blog about this topic.

    The hardest word to say

    In his blog today, Jeff Berkowitz counts the number of times the media skipped over the word "embryonic" when reporting Blagojevich's $10 mil embryonic (and human cloning) stem cell experimentation executive order.

    Cook Co. GOP takes on Cross when it takes on Blago

    The Cook Co. GOP issued a press release less than an hour ago condemning Gov. Blagojevich for his underhanded $10 millions executive order yesterday authorizing ESCR/human cloning.

    Most noteworthy is the point that they not only are taking on Gov. Blagojevich by this release, but also one of the men standing behind Blagojevich at yesterday's press conference - House Minority Leader Tom Cross.

    Cross denies he knew anything about this. I find that just about impossible to believe.

    Read press release on page 2.

    Continue reading "Cook Co. GOP takes on Cross when it takes on Blago"

    Miller's take on Gov. Autocrat

    Rich Miller graciously gave permission to post this snippet from his subscriber-only daily fax of his thoughts re: the Blagojevich stem cell executive order yesterday:

    Technically, the pro-life members can say that the money had no stated purpose until the governor issued his executive order to spend it. But this was undoubtedly a secret deal cut by three Dem leaders and, perhaps, one GOP leader and, as a result, has to be the most well-hidden appropriation we've seen in a long time. If I were one of those aforementioned Dems, I wouldn't be very happy.

    (You can subscribe to Miller's Capitol Fax on his blog.)

    Miller is right. Both House and Senate members voting for the budget can be nailed as voting to fund ESCR/cloning by both constituents and opponents.

    Apparently leadership began talking about this in April.

    For pro-life Democrats to say they didn't know about this is an unacceptable excuse. They have empowered their leaders, who should not let them vote for something they didn't know about, particularly if it is concerning an issue that is so extremely close to the heart, like the pro-life issue. It is unconscionable to trick political colleagues who are supposedly on the same team to vote for something they are deeply, ethically opposed to.

    More on Blago stem cell lies

    Blagojevich's press release stated:

    Illinois joins New Jersey, California and Connecticut in providing funding for stem cell research.

    What did NJ, CA, and CN do that IL didn't? They went through the legislative process, which Blagojevich impeded. Is that ok with you liberals? As long as you get your way, damn the elected representatives of the people, damn the people?

    Blagojevich's press release also stated:

    "Since the federal government has chosen to stall the medical advancements that will come with stem cell research, it is up to the states to take action," said Gov. Blagojevich. "We cannot allow our citizens to suffer when relief may be available."

    "The federal government's inaction presented two options for Illinois," said Hynes. "We could either refuse to acknowledge the inevitability and worth of scientific progress, or we could embrace and find a means to harness it for the betterment of our citizens. We could be timid and reactionary, or bold and visionary. We chose to be bold."

    Blagojevich is blaming the federal government for IL's "inaction" on embryonic stem cell experimentation/human cloning? He says "it is up to the states"? Isn't IL's legislature controlled by Democrats?

    Rather, Blagojevich thwarted our state's political process in a tyrannical move. Of all people who should be insulted, it should be Democrat legislators who have been deceived and insulted by Blagojevich's power play.

    Blagojevich the deceitful, fraudulent, lying liar

    It's interesting that my two favorite IL liberal bloggers - Miller and Zorn - had nothing to say today about Gov. Blagojevich's $10 mil executive order authorizing taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell experimentation and human cloning.

    Perhaps they thought it was no biggie.

    Or perhaps, caught between their anti-life position and Blagojevich's tyranny, they decided not to say anything at all.

    I certainly have a lot to say. First, a specific, and then on to politics.

    On specifics, Blagojevich is a lying liar. His press release stated (and he also verbalized at the press conference), "The Executive Order also mandates that no funding will be authorized for research involving human cloning."

    That statement is so false (or to give benefit of doubt, utterly and incredibly ignorant) that I can hardly sit still. And this is a critical point, because most Americans are against human cloning. The executive order states, "The [IL Regenerative Medicine Institute] program shall provide funding for... somatic cell nuclear transfer," which is indeed human cloning. Look it up on google, Eric. Is this ok with you?

    On to politics.

    Blagojevich, and surely Madigan, Cross, Jones, and Schoenberg were all in on the intent of the generic $10 mil budget line-item that was tossed in the trough with other fine pork right before the budget deadline. That's why Cross, Schoenberg, and Hynes stopped fighting for their precious ESCR/cloning bill toward the end of session or any evil strain thereof.

    The line-item is an appropriation "for grants and related expenses of hospitals and universities for scientific research."

    Blago et al hoodwinked their own fellow Democrats, many of whom are pro-life and would never have voted for ESCR/cloning had they known. Instead, all Dem senators are now on record as voting to publicly fund ESCR/cloning, and I fully expect this will be used against them.

    When will downstate Dems wise up (or grow cahones) and revolt against Chicago Dems? Once again liberal Dems are forcing their ideology on conservative Dems. What good is it being a conservative Democrat, I want to know.

    Tom Cross? He was easy to spot at the press conference, standing on the podium brushing tears from his eyes as he looked at the purposefully placed innocent diabetic children - who had no idea they were being used as part of a huge political scam.

    I can only pity Rep. Cross for having been hoodwinked himself into believing ESCR/cloning can possibly help his daughter. Rather, it is adult stem cell research that is even today helping diabetics. Cross and other parents of diabetics are actually hurting their children's chances of recovery by diverting money away from research and treatment that is doing something now toward research even defenders admit is "highly speculative" and may never pan out.

    Politically, Cross has fallen into the hands of the Democrats and is dividing Republicans.

    Enough ranting for now.

    ABC 7 tonight

    I was interviewed this evening by ABC 7 Chicago re: Gov. Blagojevich's $10 mil public funded embryonic stem cell/human cloning executive order today. If I'm on, it'll be on the 10p news. See the ABC site for left-slanted video of Blagojevich's actions today.

    MSM minimizes

    What's interesting about this July 3 UPI story, entitled "Stem cell scientists mourn Frist's change," is the first clause in its first sentence:

    U.S. stem cell researchers are bracing for renewed debate and hopeful their former advocate, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., will rejoin them [emphasis mine].

    "Bracing"? "Renewed debate"? Are ESCR enthusiasts feeling the heat from under the magnifying glass of truth?

    [Complete article on page 2.]

    Continue reading "MSM minimizes"

    CA's ESCR hype hush

    Excerpt from Michael Hiltzik's column in yesterday's Los Angeles Times:

    Skepticism about the potential of stem cell research was wholly absent from the campaign for Proposition 71. As a scientific undertaking, the stem cell program is unique in that its sponsors, the state's voters, committed their money without receiving the slightest bit of professional scientific counsel....

    California voters received, instead, a TV campaign promising cures tomorrow for a host of diseases, some of which may never respond to stem cell therapy. The professional cautions are only appearing now, after the money is committed. The shock of discovery that "tomorrow" may be 20 or 30 years away (or may never come) could be severe....

    Two cheers for Joan Lunden

    gh2.jpgThe cover of the July issue of Good Housekeeping shows former Good Morning America host Joan Lunden showing off her second set of surrogate twins born within two years. At age 54, Lunden was pushing the Brave New World envelope, I thought.

    But, instead, pro-lifers should give her kudos. Reported GH....

    Continue reading "Two cheers for Joan Lunden"

    Embryonic and cloned hens coming home to roost

    There is so much to be infuriated about re: yesterday's Associated Press story on the embryo/cloning stem cell conference that opened June 21 in San Francisco. Like men going through mid-life crisis, embryonic stem cell proponents' own own hype has caused panicked insecurity with a public display of impotence and fessing up of the truth. Read for yourself....

    Continue reading "Embryonic and cloned hens coming home to roost"

    Don't buy cells: Investment adviser says to let taxpayers shoulder risk

    Yesterday, The Motley Fool reported:

    ... But when it comes to [private] investing, it's best to view the subject [of embryonic stem cell research] with as much detachment as possible....

    Sure, federal support may increase the chances that embryonic stem cells will yield novel treatments. But the path to success is still likely to be peppered with setbacks and failures over a period of years and at a cost of millions, if not billions, of dollars. Federal investment is not a magic wand that will produce cures overnight.

    Further, even if national legislation does fail, as seems likely, public investment in embryonic stem cell research will increase substantially anyway. California voters approved a referendum that will allocate $3 billion in state funding over 10 years to the field, and New Jersey is considering spending hundreds of millions on stem cell research and a research center at Rutgers University.

    Despite the promise suggested by early studies, embryonic stem cell research remains highly speculative. More concrete results, not the amount of cash being poured into research, are the best basis for investing decisions.

    Profitable stem cells sell

    Stem cells are the future of medicine, so private investers will indeed sink money into stem cell research they believe will pay off. Witness a report in the June 27 issue of Business Week :

    Doctors, patients, and quite a few investors are counting on ViaCell to unlock the therapeutic promise of umbilical cord stem cells. These have been used, on a small scale, to treat more than 30 different diseases. Now ViaCell would like to make such cells available on a much larger scale. Backed by a $20 million partnership with biotech giant Amgen Inc., it has launched clinical trials to test whether doctors could use its specially-prepared cells in transplant procedures, instead of bone marrow. And a big boost could come from Washington, which is weighing laws to fund a national storage system for cord blood, currently in short supply.

    What? You hadn't heard about a federal funding proposal that would aid umbilical cord stem cell research? All you've heard is that evil extremists are basically sentencing diabetic children and Michael Fox to death by banning embryonic stem cell research? Read on:

    On May 24, the House of Representatives passed a bill that proposes a federally funded system for storing umbilical cord blood. The bill got little attention because on the same day, the House also passed legislation that aims to free up federal funds for embryonic stem-cell research -- touching off a storm of controversy and a veto threat from President Bush. Amid the din, [ViaCell CEO Marc] Beer was quietly cheering the umbilical cord bill. "It's a great validation," the CEO says. "It's a shame no one heard about it." If positive news on cord stem cells continues, doctors, patients, and investors will be all ears.

    ... although I expect MSM will cover theirs.

    Hat tip: Reader MQuinn

    The embryonic fountain of youth

    From today's Electric New Paper, Singapore:

    Australian movie stars, sportsmen and entrepreneurs alike are shelling out A$40,000 ($52,000) a pop for stem-cell treatment in China.

    The controversial process is illegal Down Under, so they are queuing up for this 'fountain-of-youth' treatment overseas....

    The radical procedure that uses fertilised eggs harvested from genetically-perfect female Chinese donors is said to wind back the clock on a range of diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, arthritis and chronic fatigue [emphasis mine].

    How quickly the embryonic stem cell industry is morphing women into human hens. Where are the feminists?

    Editorial opposes taxpayer funded ESCR

    Ohio's Advertiser-Tribune.com editorial board draws stem cell ethics into its well-written opposition of public-funded ESCR today. Read the entirety for yourself, but here's the open and close:

    Politicians often prefer to delve into an issue that pulls heartstrings rather than engage in the often harder, much less glamorous work of doing things like building fiscally responsible budgets. So now we have congressional Republicans, who seem to have forgotten that voters put them in the majority to get busy on issues such as tax and entitlement reform, wandering into a needless confrontation with their own president over federal subsidies for morally perilous stem cell research.

    A casual observer could be forgiven for believing that the future of such research hinges on federal funding, or for believing that the debate is between "scientific progress" and flat-earthers. For that is how the issue is cast by the Beltway media hoard. The stem cell research lobby is more than happy to capitalize on well-intentioned emotional pleas for research funding, for the focus on the emotive handily distracts from what is really a classic effort to extract subsidies from taxpayers for things the private sector can do itself. It would be wrong to ignore the moral peril involved in stem-cell research....

    Meanwhile, private industry, which stands to reap huge financial rewards if stem cell research results in the development of new treatments for particularly dreaded diseases, has invested millions in research and is doing just fine without help from the government. That research will continue, with or without the fat subsidies proposed on Capitol Hill.

    US House could have stopped cloning tonight but didn't

    From DC source:

    A short while ago Dr. Weldon offered an amendment to cut off National Institutes of Health funds to any entity involved in human cloning, and the amendment failed by a vote of 29-36.

    This was an amendment offered to the Labor, Health, Human Services and Education Appropriations bill during committee, so only Appropriations Committee Members had the chance to vote for or against human cloning.

    I want to make sure you all have this list of how Members voted, because this was a critical pro-life opportunity that was lost. Because a few Members with pro-life records decided not to vote for this amendment, human cloning will continue to be legal in the United States.

    If the researchers who are tirelessly working in the US right now to clone humans are somehow successful in the next few months or year, these are the names you need to remember. Those who voted against the Weldon Amendment are responsible.

    Dr. Weldon and his staff are heroes for leading the charge. They have been working tirelessly for weeks on this and have endured incredible attacks and pressure. Even with all the attacks and threats of future penalties, Dr. Weldon was willing to do this for the cause, and for that he deserves a huge amount of credit. Reps. Wicker and Wamp also gave outstanding speeches in favor of the Weldon Amendment.

    Votes follow....

    Continue reading "US House could have stopped cloning tonight but didn't"

    I thought it never rained in California?

    By my count, this makes the third lawsuit filed by pro-family groups against the CA embryonic stem cell initiative.

    Kaiser Network reported yesterday that the National Association for the Advancement of Preborn Children has filed suit against the new law saying it violates an embryo's constitutional rights and freedom from slavery.

    Although naysayers indicate the lawsuit has little chance, the Chicken Little San Francisco Examiner warns a successful lawsuit "could end the whole practice of in vitro fertilization because of the liabilities surrounding 'murdering' an embryo or violating its rights," and "granting independent personhood to an embryo could nullify Roe v. Wade.

    We can only hope.

    Hat tip: IFRL News

    Related:
    "CA embryonic stem cell initiative: dying in the petri dish," 6-7-05

    What's to like?

    A Stanford University press release today, advertising an upcoming "first time ever"(!) "advanced"(!) training program on creating and maintaining embryonic stem cell lines, used the seldom used "prospects grim" sales approach:

    [I]t isn't as simple as just buying the [embryonic stem] cells and launching a new research program. The cells are in limited supply and are notoriously difficult to maintain in a lab. They can't be frozen easily, they are sickly, they quickly form new cell types rather than remaining as stem cells and the cell population changes over time.

    Elsewhere the release calls embryonic cells "persnickety," making them sound like rambunctious little children. Wait, they are.

    So what's the obsessive attraction to ESCs? It can only be Stem Cell Delirium in conjunction with Mad Hype Disease.

    A clump of condor cells

    Great cartoon... "A clump of condor cells"

    Hat tip: Jerry

    MSM's embryonic truths magnified II

    A major anti-life talking point when pitching embryonic stem cell experimentation is the "400,000" extra embryos number, which is misleading, as I have previously written about. In actuality, only about 2.8% of those embryos, or 11,000, are available for experimentation.

    An article in today's Detroit Health News lets loose with the truth...

    Continue reading "MSM's embryonic truths magnified II"

    Terminology watch

    The piece, "Bible gets workout in stem-cell debate," in today's Kansas City Star is interesting on its own merits: Christian ESCR proponents try to use the Bible as back-up. (Most galling is a Princeton ethics professor's use Jesus' "least of these" words in Matthew 25 to support ESCR, when actually one can't find less "least of these" than embryos.)

    But also note the use of "early" stem cell research in place of "embryonic" stem cell research throughout the piece, authored by the paper's religious columnist, no less.

    "Stem cell research is pro-life"

    My column last week was about anti-lifers' attempts to turn our verbiage against so as to put us on the defensive, particularly on the stem cell issue. This letter to the editor in today's Joplin Independent is an example. (It also contains inconsistencies and factual errors that a Show Me State pro-lifer could well take on.)

    Dissecting embryo-esque research proposals

    parth.jpgDaniel McConchie, of Americans United for Life, has written an article for The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity dissecting the ethics of four "imaginative" new ways researchers have proposed to obtain embryonic stem cells without destroying human embryos, so they say: the Parthenote proposal, the Morula proposal, the Organ Transplant (i.e., "brain dead embryo") proposal, and the Alternate Nuclear Transfer proposal. One other quote of interest....

    [Click graphic to enlarge Parthenote creation path. Credit: Redford Stem Cell Research Foundation

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    MSM's embryonic truths magnified I

    I said yesterday that MSM's pro-embryonic stem cell stories usually contain incredible, minimized truths for the beholding eye. Here are a few in a Houston Chronicle article today, entitled, "South Korean will urge research into customized tissue for patients (bold emphases mine)....

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    Embryonic stem cell research's best kept secret

    MSM does its best to slant almost every news story in favor of embryonic stem cell research, or at least not against it. But in the interest of "fairness," it is forced to quickly type - in teeny-tiny font size - little truths in the midst of its spin, expecting people not to notice. Most don't. But these embryonic truths are indeed buried in most stem cell stories, for the discerning eye to spot.

    Such as today....

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    Red pen for Life

    The Washington Times reported yesterday:

    Of President Bush's nearly 50 threats to Congress about vetoing legislation, only 17 contained explicit language that the president "will" wield his veto pen.

    Nearly all of those "will veto" warnings were for legislation involving what Mr. Bush has called "the culture of life," such as the stem-cell research bill that passed the House this month....

    Tough cell

    An anti-ESCR commentary in today's Washington Times includes this nugget:

    Weldon said some researchers have a selfish motive for focusing on embryonic stem cells. "If you developed a highly successful intervention for treating sickle cell anemia with cord blood, that is not really a patentable intervention under our current laws," Mr. Weldon explained. But, he noted, someone who developed the same treatment with embryonic stem cells would become a millionaire.

    CA embryonic stem cell initiative: dying in the petri dish

    Wired News reported June 5 that rifts over money and conflict of interest "threatens to hinder the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine even before it awards its first grant."

    Voters approved the $3 billion initiative ($6 billion after paying off loans) last November, but almost immediately it ran into trouble. Lawsuits were filed, and grants were halted. Forbes reported in February...

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    I'm anti-life

    In response to my WND column last week - discussing GOP House pointless passage on an embryonic kill bill (thereby betraying the base of the party and the President) - blogger Obiter Dictum complained yesterday that pro-lifers against ESCR are actually anti-life.

    She directly implied that pro-aborts like Mark Kirk - a previously untouchable Republican golden boy because of his naval service - is pro-life for his support of ESCR, stating, "Two weeks ago, these [Kirk, Judy Biggert] and other solons took the ultimate pro-life stand: passing HR810 (aka "the stem cell research bill") by a 238-194 margin."

    As Isaiah 5:20 says....