Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bush, Conservatives Lying About Adult Stem Cells

President Bush and other conservatives keep bringing up to claim that adult stem cells are better than embryonic stem cells when it comes to research into curing diseases. But real scientists say that's misleading to the public because there's not proof.
When White House political adviser Karl Rove signaled last week that President Bush planned to veto the stem cell bill being considered by the Senate, the reasons he gave went beyond the president's moral qualms with research on human embryos.

In fact, Rove waded into deeply contentious scientific territory, telling the Denver Post's editorial board that researchers have found "far more promise from adult stem cells than from embryonic stem cells."

The administration's assessment of stem cell science has extra meaning in the wake of the Senate's 63-37 vote Tuesday to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. The measure, which passed the House last year, will now head to Bush, who has vowed to veto it.

But Rove's negative appraisal of embryonic stem cell research - echoed by many opponents of funding for embryonic stem cells - is inaccurate, according to most stem cell scientists, including a dozen contacted for this story.

The field of stem cell medicine is too young and unproven to make such judgments, experts say. Many of those researchers either specialize in adult stem cells or share Bush's moral reservations about embryonic stem cells.

"(Rove's) statement is just not true," said Dr. Michael Clarke, associate director of the stem cell institute at Stanford University, who in 2003 published the first study showing how adult stem cells replenish themselves.

If opponents of embryonic research object on moral grounds, "I'm willing to live with that," Clarke said, though he disagrees. But, he said, "I'm not willing to live with statements that are misleading."
Conservatives who oppose stem cell research on moral grounds are making up scientific claims to prove their point. Further proof that many conservatives will lie and cheat to get their way.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What is Fetal Farming?

Today, the Senate passed three bills dealing with stem cell research. The first two deal with embryonic and adult stem cells, but the third bans a practice called "fetal farming." Here's a description:
"Fetal farming" refers to the use of fetal tissue obtained from a pregnancy initiated for research purposes.

Many people think that fetal farming doesn't actually exist, and there is no evidence that proves it has ever happened. So they are banning something that they just made up. If they can do that, then I want to ban research on people who live in the 5th dimension. Poor Mr. Mxyzptlk has been through enough.

Where fetal farming comes from, I think, is the land of slippery slopes where a lot of right-wing conservatives live. It probably comes from the same place where people think allowing a gay couple in a loving, committed relationship to marry will lead to people marrying goats and kicking puppies (or something).

Gay Marriage Ban Fails... Again!

I thought the amendment to ban gay marriage had gone away last month when the Senate couldn't even get enough votes to send it to the floor for a real vote. But, it came back... only to fail again.

The U.S. House, in an effort in futility, fell short of the number of votes it needed to approve this amendment. Why do I call this futile? Because it already failed in the Senate, so there was no chance that this vote would do anything.

What was the point? To prove, once again, that Republicans want to suck up to their conservative base? Why are they wasting time doing that when they could be focused on something that might actually help the people of this country?

So thank God they weren't able to write discrimination into the U.S. Constitution.

Ku Klux Klan Opposes Gay Marriage

Read it here. (Yeah, I know it's a story from last year.)

Twelve members of the Ku Klux Klan clamored against gay marriage at a pre-election rally Saturday, struggling to regain relevance in a society that recoils from its racist past.

"We're asking Texans to support Proposition 2 because God supports it, not because the KKK supports it," said Steven Edwards, calling himself the Texas Grand Dragon of the American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
See, we can do it too.

Does Thune Want People to Die?

Senator John Thune opposes research that could save millions of lives. Like Bush, he doesn't care about people suffering from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and cancer. They claim the focus should be on adult stem cells found in bone marrow and other parts of the body. But how do they know adult stem cell research will give the same results as embryonic stem cell research? They don't, but they're still wiling to toy with people's lives.

In the Argus article I linked to, they interview a South Dakota woman whose life could be saved by this research.

The outcome of Senate debate this week over human embryonic stem cell research could mean the difference between life and death for Huron resident Bonnie Younkin and members of her family.

Younkin, 56, is fighting early onset Parkinson's disease and is the fourth woman in her family to get it. She worries about her three healthy daughters, who are in their 30s, and a granddaughter.

Younkin is hoping embryonic stem cell research leads to a cure for degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's - if not for her, at least for her family. For weeks, she has lobbied South Dakota's senators to support legislation that would lift the Bush administration's limits on federally funded research on human embryos. Tim Johnson, a Democrat, will vote for the bill today. John Thune, a Republican, will vote against it.

When Younkin was diagnosed five years ago, her doctor told her she could expect to have about nine years of good-quality life.

"I want a cure, and I want it yesterday," Younkin said Monday during a break from watching the debate on C-SPAN. "My time is running out."
But does Sen. Thune care about saving this woman's life? No. He care more about the embryonic stem cells that would just be destroyed anyway. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the Senator you voted for. Making South Dakota proud.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Sibby Can't Read

I generally don't like using my blog to comment negatively on another blog's posts, but Sibby rarely activates the comments feature... so he leaves me no choice.

In a post today, Sibby tries to claim that the Argus Leader wrote a bias into their article on last week's new sex education materials.

The Argus Leader showed its bias by using the subtitle, "Many parents who had sought change like new middle-school materials" for its report on the approval of the Sioux Falls middle school sex so-called education materials. But the report did not support that subtitle.
I see no bias in that title. It's reporting on the facts. Many of the parents who were unhappy with the previous materials are happy with the new stuff.

From the article:
The new books were received warmly by many of the parents who had asked the district to dump the sex ed materials that were to debut last year.

Tammy Cooper-Mosser said she was happy not only that there were "no offensive diagrams or pictures," but also that the new books strongly recommend students speak to their parents or guardians about sex, even providing activities that encourage discussions at home.
Sibby uses selective reading to pick out the two parents who were still unhappy. Those two, like Sibby, wanted sex ed to be "abstinence until marriage only".

But those two parents don't represent all the parents who were unhappy. So the subtitle that Sibby has a problem with is factually accurate... because many of the parents who wanted new materials are happy with the new materials.

Like other ultra-radical conservatives, Sibby likes to think that he's in the majority when that is clearly not the case.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Temporary Layout

I'm still trying to figure out how to make a three-column blog, but I'm temporarily changing the layout because of my poll results. Everyone (except the soup lovers) wants the blog to have brighter colors for easier reading. So until I can figure out three column fu, this will do.


Flag Burning Solution

There's an easy way to fix the flag burning problem that won't result in violating free speech rights. Just start making all American flags out of non-flammable material. We have the technology, so why don't we use it?

There. It's settled. Can we go back to talking about something else now?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sex Ed

The Sioux Falls School Board might vote on new sex education materials today.

I applauded the School Board's decision on sex ed standards a couple months ago. It was a smart decision that was inclusive to gay students and others. Yes it made some people mad, but they have the kids' best interests in mind.

Now there's no chance that every parent will be satisfied with these sex ed materials, but you can't please everyone. I hope the School Board puts their foot down. If they vote that this material is best for the standards they set, that's it. If parents still don't like it, they can have their kids opt-out of the class.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Poll: Blog Colors

I'm attempting to redesign this blog and one of the things I'm looking at is the colors. I'm wondering if the colors are too dark and hard to read. If you think they are, vote yes and I will make sure to change that. Thanks for you help!

Are the colors on this blog too dark?
I like soup.
Free polls from