Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 25, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

CONSERVATIVES AND STEM CELLS....Wingers are in a fantastic snit over Michael J. Fox's new ad supporting Claire McCaskill in the Missouri Senate race because of her stand on stem cell research. It's a remarkable reaction considering how little the ad actually says (video here). Here's the complete text:

As you might know, I care deeply about stem cell research. In Missouri, you can elect Claire McCaskill, who shares my hope for cures. Unfortunately, Senator Jim Talent opposes expanding stem cell research. Senator Talent even wanted to criminalize the science that gives us a chance for hope.

They say all politics is local, but that's not always the case. What you do in Missouri matters to millions of Americans. Americans like me.

Fair enough, right? Missouri has an initiative on the ballot this year that would guarantee researchers the freedom to conduct embryonic stem cell research, and McCaskill supports it while Talent doesn't. What's more, until recently Talent supported federal legislation to ban somatic cell nuclear transfer of human embryos, a promising form of stem cell research. It's a tough ad, but it addresses a legitimate issue that's important to Missourians.

So what happened? Rush Limbaugh, in his usual smugly obnoxious way, suggested that Fox was exaggerating his Parkinson's Disease in the ad, and Kathryn Jean Lopez leapt to his defense: "To make the point Rush made was not mean or heartless....It was an honesty check a worthwhile and fair one." Ramesh Ponnuru says Fox's charge is "flatly untrue" because get this Talent is not actually opposed to every single type of stem cell research in the world and Fox didn't acknowledge this in his 73-word ad. (Talent is opposed to Missouri's initiative, though, which is pretty clearly the context of the ad, and until recently he did support S.658, which would have banned some of the most promising advances in embryonic stem cell research.) Meanwhile, John Podhoretz is a voice of reason.

Actually, I'm sort of happy to see this. Too often it's been liberals who respond to tough ads with whining, but now conservatives are doing it instead and it's a sign of weakness. If conservatives want to defend Talent's position, they should go right ahead and do so. But accusing Michael J. Fox of faking his symptoms and then complaining that a 30-second spot isn't a Brookings white paper? That shows a kind of helpless desperation that it's nice to see on the other side for once.

Kevin Drum 1:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (180)

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Comments

Those idiotic pompous asses at the Corner do not deserve your attention.

Posted by: gregor on October 25, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

This is a terrible issue for Repubs, and they know it. When they talk about this issue, you can smell their fear. They know that Americans favor the Dems' position 2-1 and that their position makes them look like anti-science fanatics.

This issue isn't going away, and it'll be interesting to see how GOP presidential candidates handle it.

Posted by: david mizner on October 25, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

> They say all politics is local, but that's not always the case. What you do in Missouri matters to millions of Americans. Americans like me.

Isn't he Canadian?

Posted by: non sequitur on October 25, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Yea North American,So it would make him a terrorist according to the Neo-cons.

Posted by: Thomas2.0 on October 25, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK
They know that Americans favor the Dems' position 2-1 and that their position makes them look like anti-science fanatics.

Since the position exists specifically to appeal to anti-science fanatics, that's not surprising. The problem is this is an issue where the rest of the country notices and cares, not a pure dog-whistle issue of the type the Republicans like: they want to look like anti-science fanatics, but only to the anti-science fanatics they rely on for support.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 25, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

But accusing Michael J. Fox of faking his symptoms and then complaining that a 30-second spot isn't a Brookings white paper?

Also, Fox's Parkinson disease was probably caused by his constant cocaine snorting. If he wasn't such a horrible drug abuser, he wouldn't be having this disease in the first place.

Posted by: Al on October 25, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

To a conservative, facts are stupid things. An actor has a nasty disease that could be aided (if not cured) by a kind of research you oppose? The actor must be faking! 655,000 civilian deaths in Iraq? No way, Jose! A reason to go to war in the first place? WMDs--we know they're out there, somewhere north, south, east or west of Tikrit!

Tough to have an argument when veracity is negotiable.

Posted by: Chocolate Thunder on October 25, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

What's the point in whining over an ad when 37 million Americans are living in poverty? In the most prosperous nation in the world, it those of us who have time to complain about political ads that maintain such a high level of poverty. We need to be uniting against it and voting for those who will address this issue of poverty as well as the Millennium Development Goals. The Borgen Project is working for electing leaders who care about poverty. What are you doing???

Posted by: flagrl118 on October 25, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Al, you are a total asshole, and wrong.

Posted by: Ace Franze on October 25, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Limbaugh crossed a line of decency with his "he could be faking, after all he is an actor" meme and accused him of perhaps going off his meds for dramatic effect is beyond reprehensible.

The chorea, or uncontrolled movement, Mr. Fox displays is not from "going off ones meds" it is a side effect of the long-term use of dopamine agonists to treat the Parkinson's. His movements are attributable to the medication,

The basal ganglia is implicated in Parkinsons, and it can't just be turned on and off.

Although he might have odd movements OFF of his meds, they wouldn't look like the ones in the ad. They would resemble the Parkinson's Syndrome most notably typefied by Muhammed Ali, and his "punch drunk" tremors.

The jerking motions of chorea are are hard to imitate accurately because they stem from circuits between the basal ganglia and cortex that you can't just turn off or on. Those aren't volitional circuits. There is little chance he was acting, and if he was, he could only accentuate slightly movements he already had. Let me just say it: this is as tragic as you want to see it.

And by the way, there is plenty of regulatory control over us mad scientist types. Amendment 2 protects any research that is not prohibeted by federal law. It doesn't give us free reign.

But full disclosure: (Before I switched academic focus) Give me three good assistants, a state of the art lab, some uncontaminated stem cells and a decade, and I'll get something DONE.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Fox is a naturalized citizen.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on October 25, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, this is the rational way to do the debate that doesn't obfuscate any facts.

Go liberals.

Posted by: Frank J. on October 25, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. It makes the Republicans seem kinda mean, huh? Who'd have thought that.

Posted by: Tony on October 25, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Here is the Republican response ad.

Who knew that a handful of athletes, the guy who played Jesus in that movie, and the actress from "Everybody Loves Raymond" were experts in science and ethics?

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

How can anyone look into a microscope at a 16-cell blastocyst and not be moved to tears??

How can you possbily want to slaughter these innocent babies????

You monstrous liberals!

Posted by: Al's Mommy on October 25, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Jam it up your cornhole, Al.

What I want to see is some enterprising reporter trek down to the Dominical Republic and find the whores that Limbaugh regaled with his illegal Viagra.

Posted by: bgno64 on October 25, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Also, Fox's Parkinson disease was probably caused by his constant cocaine snorting. If he wasn't such a horrible drug abuser, he wouldn't be having this disease in the first place.

Al, killed any puppies today?

Posted by: Col Bat Guano on October 25, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Republican issues are best framed in the abstract. When Democrats personalize the issues and make them concrete, Republicans go ape.

Republicans had the same freak-out when Kerry mentioned that Cheney had a gay daughter. Was that an insult? Only if you think being gay is bad. Or if the person you refer to is trying to hide their sexual orientation. Mary was already out, for God's sake, and Kerry wasn't saying being gay was bad -- he was saying the opposite.

Republicans can't STAND having a human face put to their issues. They'll attack anyone who tries it by accusing them of exploitation. What a joke!

Posted by: lupe on October 25, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Limbaugh crossed a line of decency with his "he could be faking, after all he is an actor" meme and accused him of perhaps going off his meds for dramatic effect is beyond reprehensible.

But wait! There's more! The news reports include footage from Limbaugh's webcam with him jerking around trying to mimic Fox's movements.

You know, the kind of cruel bullshit your mama slapped you for when you were 6, if you've any kind of mama at all.

Posted by: hamletta on October 25, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

GC: What's your sense for how Amendment 2 is going to fare? I haven't seen any polls on it recently, and it seems like the "No" camp is saturating the St. Louis area with billboards, yard signs, and radio ads.

Posted by: Andrew Wyatt on October 25, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

And look at This Monstrous Ad!

How can you liberals look at yourself in the mirror, supporting things like that??

We know that the 16-cell BABIES are innocent, and that anyone who has Parkinsons or is paralized or has diabetes -- they are just being punished by God!

I bore my punishment (oh, Al, it OK, Mommy loves you!), so must everyone else!!

Posted by: Al's Mommy on October 25, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

So, Republicans are pinning their hopes on electoral victory on beating up on visibly ill Michael J. Fox. Hey, why not? They already trashed Christopher Reeve. Which other beloved national icon is next on their hit list?

The great thing about this sorry issue, though, is that it helps rip the mask off the Republicans for the rest of the country. The right wing can fool lots of people lots of the time, but when they do something this vile it causes those in the middle to step back and think a moment: "they're sliming Michael J. Fox? Can they do that? Isn't that just kind of...mean?" It exposes their hypocrisy, rank partisanship, and willingness to lie and smear for all to see.

Posted by: Stefan on October 25, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans can't STAND having a human face put to their issues. They'll attack anyone who tries it by accusing them of exploitation. What a joke!

A sort of related phenomenon is the way they become single-issue humanitarians when someone they love is afflicted with a disease or illness. There's one Republican Senator, Orrin Hatch, I think, who's a strong advocate for autism researchbecause he has a grandchild with autism.

Posted by: hamletta on October 25, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Look, Global, your claims about Parkinson's are all well and good. But we can believe the medical professionals like you, or we can believe a drug-addicted Viagra-popping junkie felon like Rush Limbaugh....after all, the man does know his pharmaceutical substances, doesn't he....

Posted by: Stefan on October 25, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's going to pass. There is a lot of eye-rolling going on every time the "No" camp sets their hair on fire over something.

I had a student try to argue the ethics of it with me last week. The rest of the class shouted him down. I had to calm them so he could continue digging his splendid hole.

He somehow thought it was better to discard embryos than to do research with those undifferentiated cells. I asked him if, by his logic, we should collect womens bathroom trash after every menstrual cycle and hold memorials, since fertilized eggs pass from the body with no hint of pregnancy all the time.

He had no answer.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, John Podhoretz is a voice of reason.

Truly, then, the End Times are nigh.....

Posted by: Stefan on October 25, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

the kind of cruel bullshit your mama slapped you for when you were 6, if you've any kind of mama at all.

Rush Limbaugh is our states greatest shame. The other 49 oughta get wise and kick us out.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

I just saw four horsemen top the horizon, Stefan .(or is it Stephan?)

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Rush Limbaugh is our states greatest shame. The other 49 oughta get wise and kick us out.

Naw, takes all kinds. Besides, y'all gave us Mark Twain!

We've got a sayin' down here in Tennessee...Fool me...naw, that's not it...oh, wait: At least we're not Mississippi!

Posted by: hamletta on October 25, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Also, Rush's deafness was probably caused by his OxyContin habit. If he wasn't such a horrible drug abuser, he wouldn't be having this disease in the first place.

thanks, Al! these things write themselves!

Posted by: benjoya on October 25, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it interesting how when a conservative makes a claim we are supposed to carefully parse it and respond only to what exactly was said, and that to respond in any other fashion is out of bounds, yet when a progressive makes any sort of claim we should all feel free to get hysterical over any possible implication or inference that can possibly, convolutely be squeezed out of it.

Add that to the wingnut law that says anything politically progressive that is uttered from the mouths of "hollyweird" is somehow tantamount to "cheating," but that it's okay for Republican movie stars to be Governor of California (and President of the United States) and the picture becomes clear: it's not a matter of what is or is not tasteless, but who has the right to be so.

Posted by: bryrock on October 25, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Too often it's been liberals who respond to tough ads with whining, but now conservatives are doing it instead

This should inform 'liberals' that being tough is the way to conduct political oppostion. The Daschle/Kerry milquetoast method leads to defeat.

Posted by: Hostile on October 25, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

There's one Republican Senator, Orrin Hatch, I think, who's a strong advocate for autism researchbecause he has a grandchild with autism.

Hatch is on record in favor of embryonic stem cell research. He doesn't care how many babies he has to kill!

Posted by: benjoya on October 25, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

That shows a kind of helpless desperation that it's nice to see on the other side for once.

For once? The Reptiles have offered nothing but helpless desperation for months now -- withness the deteriorating quality of even your resident trolls' talking points.

Posted by: Gregory on October 25, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

When Rush's hearing loss was first revealed, I looked at my husband and said "Big fat Idiot? Ha! He's a big fat Vicodin freak!"

Hamletta - we also came up with Harry Truman, and Wild Bill Hickock wasn't born here, but he earned his rep here.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

constant cocaine snorting

I believe incorrectly made synthetic heroin causes Parkinsons, not cocaine. Poorly made synthetic heroin kills the part of the brain that makes dopamine. Thankfully, the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan means there is a plentiful supply of real heroin now.

Posted by: Hostile on October 25, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Plus, what gregor said.

Posted by: Gregory on October 25, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

GC:

You can also ask him if every eighth birth in his family is accompanied by a memorial service for the vanishing twin that disintegrated early in the pregnancy.

Or if human chimeras have two souls?

Or if a partial molar twin has a soul? And if so, what does that say about God that he ensouls tumors inside the bodies of babies?

Or whether a polar body twin has a soul? Ask him to think hard on that one.

Posted by: Andrew Wyatt on October 25, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

If anyone is STILL listening to Rush Limbaugh they truly are an imbecile.

Posted by: Robert on October 25, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

He walked out and dropped the class when his religious bullshit didn't fly in my science lab.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

You know who else are "anti-science fanatics"

Germans!

Yep, Germany has (for years) banned embryonic stem-cell research!

(Why Germany? I wonder? Hmmmmmmm)

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Who gives a flying fuck what that little toad Ramesh Ponneru says?!

Posted by: Paul in KY on October 25, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Paul in KY,

At the risk of invoking Godwin's Law:

"Who gives a flying fuck what that little toad Adolp Hitler says?!" - Some German Jew, 1926

Posted by: Robert on October 25, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans have a charming way of kicking people when they're down. No, that's no right. They kick people because they are down.

May Michael Fox and Max Cleland could do a video together. They could hold hands, errrrr ... hand.

Posted by: Jim Ramsey on October 25, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

I think the Republican'ts just lost the Parkinson's vote.

Democrats have to make an ad of this to show in Missouri, and elsewhere for that matter.

Put up Rush's idiot (as usual) statement and follow that with a doctor discussing how Mr. Fox was displaying the effects of medication. Without the medication he would not have been able to speak at all. Rub their faces in this gross defamation.

Since I don't live in Missouri, maybe they already have done this. I hope. It's time to use the cruelty of Republican'ts to defeat them.

Posted by: Cal Gal on October 25, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

the human embryo was a whole human being at the very beginning of her life. The embryo possessed all of the internal resources necessary to guide herselfby a self-directed processthrough further stages of development toward the maturity of organismic life. In doing this, the embryo integrates herself so as to keep her unity, identity, and determinateness all intact. No mere part of some other organismas the sperm and egg cells whose union brought her into existence werethe embryo is both functionally and genetically distinct from any other organism, a whole and complete (though immature) human being. The term embryo is just a way of classifying the early human being, just as the terms fetus, newborn, infant, child, adolescent, adult, and octogenarian all refer to human beings at other stages. These terms, he concludes, refer to the same self-developing, unitary organism: the human being.

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Limbaugh's attitude of contempt toward anyone he can describe as a victim says everything you need to know about him and those like him.

People like this are a public health menace.

Posted by: cld on October 25, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Undiferentiated cells have the genetic cose, but no other hallmarks of humanity, or even life.

Saying a blastocyst is "human" is analogous to looking at a map of Africa i an atlas and announcing you have been to Kenya.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

GC

Prior to fertilization there are only gametes sperm and ova which are both genetically and functionally parts of larger entities, the father and the mother. But when a sperm and ovum fuse, the life of a new, unique, genetically complete and distinct human being begins. While none of us was ever a sperm or an egg, each of us was once an embryo or more properly, an embryonic human being just as each of us was once an adolescent, child, infant, and fetus. These terms refer not to different kinds of beings, but to stages in the natural development of a human being. Embryos, fetuses, infants, adolescents, and adults differ not in kind (or substance), but in maturity or stage of development. Regardless of how many people claim that an embryo is merely a "clump of cells," the facts of science prove that it is a human being. To have destroyed the entities that we were in the embryonic stage would have been to have destroyed us; it would not have been merely to prevent possible human beings from coming into existence.

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Eight years of college and no one ever made me understand the stages of life before. Thank you Fitz. I will return my masters in Biochem immediately. I want my parents money back.

Seriously, take that weak shit to the philosophy building.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Cancerous tumors also contain the ingredients that are complete human beings.

Posted by: Hostile on October 25, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz:

By that logic, gamates are human beings, too. We wouldn't be here if we weren't blastocysts first?

Well -- blastocysts wouldn't be here if they weren't sperm and eggs first.

Sorry. Your logic is hopelessly flawed. You can't demonstrate ontology -- only assert it metaphysically.

All you're doing is arguing for the existence of God by other means. Because to follow you out, we'd have to trace the causal chain all the way back to the very beginning, wouldn't we ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Or if human chimeras have two souls?

Brownback seems to thinks so:

Human Chimera Prohibition Act of 2005

Posted by: Disputo on October 25, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

GK

Use your education to refute the science then.

In the embryonic stage of our lives, each of us possessed the genetic constitution and epigenetic primordia to develop by a process of internal self-direction and self-integration from the embryonic into and through the fetal, infant, child, and adolescent stages of development, and into adulthood with our unity, determinateness, and identity intact. In other words, each of us came into being as a human being; none of us became a human being only at some point after coming into being. In the embryonic stage of our lives, we were not "potential human beings," for we were human beings already. We were potential adults. Our potential was, like the potential of a fetus or a newborn infant, to mature into adulthood.

If you have another scientificly based line to draw that you find ethically tenable, by all means ...draw it.

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

the link didn't survive.

Try this:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:s.659:

Posted by: Disputo on October 25, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz:

Just like a sperm's potential is to merge its DNA with an egg.

You were saying, Aristotle?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

each of us possessed the genetic constitution and epigenetic primordia to develop by a process of internal self-direction

LMAO!

Not every zygote is able to grow it own womb. You much be very special.

Posted by: Disputo on October 25, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo:

I especially like "epigenetic primordia." That's go over well with the Big Word crowd :)

Actually, it's a pretty good name for a geeky synth band :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to rain on your parade, but there's this line from Michael J. Fox's memoir, posted on his website that is quite telling.

"I had made a deliberate choice to appear before the subcommittee without medication. It seemed to me that this occasion demanded that my testimony about the effects of the disease, and the urgency we as a community were feeling, be seen as well as heard."

And here's the link: www.michaeljfox.org/news/article.php?id=5

So Rush said that a man who has doesn't take his medication to advance his political goals, um, did not take his medication to advance his political goals.

I don't like Rush's style & he's often guilty of being tasteless and borderline cruel, but the whole foundation of this mini-controversey crumbles with the above quote.

Posted by: T-web on October 25, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

They omit the no-too-minor fact that it was the Democrat party that presided over both slavery before the Civil War

The desperation emanating from the wingnuts is quite palpable.

Posted by: Disputo on October 25, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

I made a very apt analogy - a blastocyst is the roadmap, but it is not the journey.

What's your science background? How dumbed-down do I have to make it?

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

You to Bob - draw it

A sperm has no such potential on its own, it must be directed.

You cant take a consistent, scientificaly valid, ethical line and simply mock it.

It would seem incumbent upon you to draw your own consistent, ethicaly valid, scientifically sound line for respecting human life.

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Limbaugh, who is remunerated to the tune of $30 million/year for being such an abhorrence, was merely doing what the right-wing always does. It's just one more example of how the modern GOP is behaving more and more like a cult. What crime, what blasphemy did Fox commit to engender such a vile response? He publicly opposed a Republican. That's all you have to do. (Commiting the mortal sin of fact will also bring on the huns.)

Must be some of that special grace conservatives have that Peggy Noonan talked about.

Posted by: R.Porrofatto on October 25, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

T-web:

And Rush is lying.

You were saying?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Last night on NBC nightly news when they talked about this they showed a grainy clip of Rush in the radio studio making his statement. Rush was jerking and spasming while he was talking on the radio in a mock-Parkinson's moment.

It warms my heart to think several million people saw Rush "fake" Parkinson's while delivering a vile screed.

Of course I suppose it's possible that people will look at it and say "Oh my god! It is so easy to fake! Fox must be faking it!" but I don't think that's the first reaction.

Posted by: MNPundit on October 25, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Science is objective, while ethics are subjective. Where is this scientifically valid ethical line? Sounds like a misnomer to me.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen wrote: "Limbaugh crossed a line of decency ..."

No, Limbaugh didn't cross the line of decency with these comments, since he has been on the wrong side of the line of decency for a long time.

On Limbaugh's short-lived TV show, during the Clinton administation, he once commented that everyone was familiar with the Clintons' "White House cat" Socks, but not many people knew that there was also a "White House dog". He then held up a photo of Chelsea Clinton.

Rush Limbaugh is subhuman scum, and his fans, followers and admirers are worse.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on October 25, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz:

Since when are sperm not directed?

I'm not drawing anything until we can dispense with these arbitrary metaphysical categories.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

You were saying, Aristotle?

he's saying that in a burning building, he'd save the blastocysts and let the already born kids die. just like rush, just like corker.

Posted by: benjoya on October 25, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Bob & GC

Your both obviating & obfuscating around like circus performers.

Some people say that we dont knoweven cant knowwhen the life of a new human being begins. They depict it as a mysterya metaphysical or even theological question. But this is nonsense. Human embryogenesis and intrauterine development are, in their essentials, well understood. As to when life begins, every textbook of embryology and developmental biology currently in use in American medical schools gives the same testimony. The most prominent of these texts, The Developing Human (7th ed, 2003), by Keith Moore and T.V.N. Persaud, accurately defines the human embryo as the developing human during its early stages of development. It notes that human development begins at fertilization when a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual. This is not metaphysics or theology: it is elementary human biology.


Have some courage and draw a line

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Oh he crossed a lot of lines of decency. This one just seems to have pissed off his homies, the idiots at George Brett's sports bar on the Plaza.

Remember his short-lived career as an NFL commentator?

He is a racist and a rabid jerk - but this time he went too far even for the hometown crowd to accomodate.

(By the way and off-topic: The Missouri voter ID law was just smacked down by the MO Supremes. In a Six-to-Limbaugh decision. Go figure.)

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

This is all pointless wankery, IMO. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the medications do not cure Parkinson's. They merely control the symptoms.

Complaining about whether or not he was on the medication is like complaining when I take off my toupee to make a point about male pattern baldness.

Posted by: Anonymous on October 25, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Some people say...

BBZZZZTTT! That is not evidentiary. Gets a big fat zero on any exam I give in a science class. Stick to the objective please.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

In the embryonic stage of our country, each of us possessed the constitutional and eagalitarian primary rights to develop by a process of internal self-direction and self-integration, from the ebonic to the caucasoid, infant, child, and adolescent stages to develope, and into adulthood with our unity, determinateness, and human identity. In other words, each of us came into being as a human being; none of us became a human being only at some point after voting for Bush. In the embryonic stage of our democracy, we were "human beings," but now we are only human beings if we support inhumanity. We were potential adults, then we voted for Bush. Our potential was, like the potential of a fetus or a newborn infant, to mature into adulthood, but we voted for Bush and aborted our humanity.

Posted by: Will on October 25, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz:

Does life arise ex nihilo?

No?

Where does the embryo come from?

Gamates.

Are gamates sacred?

No. They're continually destroyed during menstruation and seminal discharge.

Why is this not a crime?

Why is every sperm not sacred -- but a fertilized egg is?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

GK (having trouble accepting, accepted science)

This is not metaphysics or theology: it is elementary human biology.

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz,

internal self-direction

Wow, you are a trickster. You prove the existence of a self by, umm, well, by claiming self-direction.

Do the chemicals in a chemical reaction have internal self-direction?

I'm sick to death of the stupid word games you abortion foes resort to. You constantly refer to the embryo's as a 'baby'. You 'prove' it is a baby by claiming that it has self-direction, and therefore must have a self, but conveniently forget to prove that it has a 'self.'.

I wish for once you'd be honest and admit you are making an emotional argument and would quit pretending you are making some kind of scientific or logical statement.

Posted by: Tripp on October 25, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

KLo's Corner defense claims that doctors were saying the same thing as Rush did off the record. She provides a link - to her own babbling which did not mention a single doctor. So KLo - did you just make up that comment about what some alleged doctor said off the record?

Posted by: pgl on October 25, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't a significant part of the entire debate what happens to embryos that are going to be destroyed anyway? I don't see anti-stem cellers arguing against in-vitro babymaking.

BTW, if anyone would like to read the stuff that Fitz is cutting and pasting from, go here and here. It's more of the same though, only much, much longer.

Posted by: R.Porrofatto on October 25, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Our opponents insist that embryos are not human beings, or if they are human beings, they are not yet persons. But it defies scientific fact to say that human embryos are anything other than human beings at a certain, very early, stage of development. And it is outrageous to relegate some human beings to the status of human non-persons.

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if the Repubs are getting their panties in a ringer because Micheal J Fox used to play Alex Keaton, a campus republican. I know that sounds silly but look at the people we are dealing with.

Posted by: Karl on October 25, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

They are potential human beings, but they have not yet realized that potential and many (most?) will not or do not.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

the in vitro fertilization point is a good one (that was the Rubicon that was crossed a long time ago).

however, I must take umbrage at Kevin using misleading language above:

"somatic cell nuclear transfer" is "cloning"
that is exactly the process that was used for Dolly, etc.

in fact, the only other conceivable method of cloning is "twinning"

now, I don't have a knee-jerk reaction to the cloning of human embryos (though I do have severe reservations)...I don't have an ultimate opinion on the subject...but I don't think there's any question that the general public opposes the cloning of human embryos and to call it "somatic cell nuclear transfer" in order to mislead them is exactly the kind of thing that liberals accuse conservatives of doing all the time.

Posted by: Nathan on October 25, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp:

Yep. As maddening as functionalist sociology.

Anything that doesn't fit the model -- create a requisite function.

Then use the requisite function to explain why what didn't fit before simply *has* to exist now.

It's a life because it has self-direction! It has self-direction because it's a life!

Ain't tautology grand?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, SCNT describes a specific procedure. "Cloning" is the emotion-laden buzz-word that has been attached to it and employed by those who wish to win an issue by emotional manipulation because the science is not on their side.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

October Surprise Guys
(not the kind you'll like though)

The N.J. Supreme Court just pulled a Massachustes out of its hat!

Bye Bye Menendez....

And Hello another 8+ Amendments!


(sometimes I love unprincipled secularists with good timeing)

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Globe:

What Fitzie has to do to ring my magic twanger is draw the *qualitative difference* between the complex, self-motivated cellular structures of gamates (sperm with that whippin' tail and such) and the complex, self-directed cellular structure of the newly fertilized egg.

Why is one just another clump of tissue and the other deserving of legal protection?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Oh fuck ...

Bob

Posted by: lynx on October 25, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Gimme a link, Bob.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

False alarm, Fitzie.

They didn't mandate gay marriage -- merely told the legislature to create a legally equivalent civil union law.

IOW, they pulled a Vermont -- not a Massachusetts.

Even Christian fundies have a hard time organizing against granting equal civil rights to a class of citizens.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Globe:

Just read it on the AP wire.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

"What Fitzie has to do to ring my magic twanger is draw the *qualitative difference* between the complex, self-motivated cellular structures of gamates (sperm with that whippin' tail and such) and the complex, self-directed cellular structure of the newly fertilized egg."

Ones a human being and the other is a sperm.

Some people think (unscientifically) that human life begins at birth, other say it begins when the mother decides to take the child home from the hospital.

I suppose, that means human life begins in the vestibule of the exit doors.

Draw a line Bob. You'll feel better about yourself.

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK
The high court gave lawmakers 180 days to rewrite marriage laws to either include same-sex couples or create a new system of civil unions for them.

The ruling is similar to the 1999 decision in Vermont that led to civil unions there, which offer the benefits of marriage, but not the name.

"Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this state, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our state Constitution," Justice Barry T. Albin wrote for the 4-3 majority's decision.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/gay_marriage


Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

The proposition has a lot of lawyers in Missouri talking. Explaining to them that the proposal is intended to block the crazy fundamentalist wing of the Missouri legislature from doing something stupid, I pointed out that a wrong turn on the stem cell issue could cost Missouri billions in lost research jobs. Our current legislature just can't be trusted with that kind of responsibility. Since many of them were Republicans that was kinda fun.

Posted by: Ron Byers on October 25, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen:

nice try. but SCNT is cloning. it is not the only cloning method (I said as much above)...but it is the method of choice. see Dolly.

http://www.mindfully.org/GE/GE3/Cloning-EfficiencyAug01.htm

http://science.education.nih.gov/home2.nsf/Educational+ResourcesTopicsGenetics/BC5086E34E4DBA0085256CCD006F01CB

http://www.bioedonline.org/slides/slide01.cfm?q=%22somatic+cell+nuclear+transfer%22&dpg=6

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000DC29D-AAAD-1C76-9B81809EC588EF21

Posted by: Nathan on October 25, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Spot on, Ron. The Missouri amendment is simply a pre-emptive effort to stop the luddites in the state lege that think pregnancy is just deserts and horrific disease is "God's will."

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

"Even Christian fundies have a hard time organizing against granting equal civil rights to a class of citizens."

Like polygamists, or single people, or realitives, or minors....
what a tangled web we weave....

Same benfits equels same thing.....
And two weeks before an election..
Should be good for plenty of news cycles.

remind people of the difference between the party of common sense (men & women make babies)
& the Party of "we cant say when lbegins or just what the hell marriage is!"

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Fitzie:

So what's your plan for all those tens of thousands of frozen embryos in fertility clinics?

Make every last one of 'em into snowflake babies, or what? :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

My dear old dad used to say "a fetus is viable when it leaves home and gets a job."

Needless to say, I was never quite comfortable with the location where that particular line was drawn.

But that aside, I still fail to see how people can argue that it's unethical to use 8 or 16 cell blastocysts to try to develop treatments for diseases, when the alternative is to flush them.

We're not talking about dragging newly pregnant women off the street to surgically extract the embryos that they carry to do the research in question.

Posted by: kenga on October 25, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz:

We're not talking about marriage. Marriage is a religious institution.

We're talking about civil unions for two consenting adults of the same gender.

Not polygamists. Not siblings. Not your freakin' cat.

Like I say -- even Christian fundies are going to have a hard time agitating against something which doesn't threaten the sanctity of marriage at all.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Creationism explained.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Why so limited Bob.

Why cant my Uncle who takes care of my Grandma, enjoy those same tax breaks?

You turn the purpose of the institution (and those "benifits") upside down.

Were not defending a word were defending an institution.

You rational positivists will never understand how human culture works.

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Or if human chimeras have two souls?

There was a program on tv a few months ago called (something like) I am My Own Twin, which was about people who are the result of twin embryos that merge in utero and subsequently have tissues with different sets of dna.

In the dramatic stories of two women described the different dna sequences ended up in their ovaries so in one case the state tried to take away a woman's children saying their dna didn't match that in a blood sample taken from her, and in the other a woman's son turned out to have a different x-chromosome from his two brothers.

Are religious people saying that people with two dna sequences like this have two souls?

Posted by: cld on October 25, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Ah hell. Try this one.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

BOB


cldhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/13/nsisters13.xml

It still constitutes significant overreaching and underscores the reason that so many states have addressed marriage equivalents in their state marriage amendments. Those arguing that these kinds of provisions in the pending amendments are unnecessary have been effectively rebutted by the New Jersey Supreme Court.


cld

"Are religious people saying that people with two dna sequences like this have two souls?"

Not that I'm aware of. (However science does consider human embryo's to be human beings)

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz' (cough, choke) argument is self-defeating. If all good embryos are destined to become human beings, how do we account for such inhuman creatures as Fitz and Limbaugh? What monstrous biology gave rise to these anencephalitic sperm-worshipers (and is there some correlation here with Foley and his ilk)?

Posted by: solar on October 25, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz:

G'head. Change the grounds from defending marriage to denying civil rights.

That'll play *real* well.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

science does consider human embryo's to be human beings

the religious tripe you try to pass off as science does. Science considers blastocysts potential human beings.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz:

Rational positivism is a way-old paradigm.

My scientific outlook is wholistic. Which is why I consider the question of when life "begins" to be essentially meaningless.

It's the rational positivists who are so hung up on establishing unidirectional cause-and-effect relationships in hierarchical chains.

Which makes them the scientific heirs to the ... Thomistic metaphysicians.

ROTFL !

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

People are not stupid Bob..

Vermont was thrown uopside down when the court did this.

The whole argument is if same-sex marriage IS a "civil right".

All the benifits without the word is the same thing. (plus) they want they word and ordered the legislature to either lump them under the same laws OR create the same rubric for same-sex couples calling it something else.

So the word is even in play...

Plus the gay lobbies whole argument in several states with amenments on the ballot was that they had overreaching/unnessesary language...
this cuts the legs out from that argument!

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

The state of "conservatism", 2006: Covering up for pederasts and making jokes about physical disabilities are all part of civil discourse.

Gotta say, I (fortunately) don't run into many of them, but nowadays, if I see anyone who self-identifies as a Republican, I consider it precisely equivalent to saying, "I am an ignorant moron and/or a repellent scumbag". Objectively true, as certified moron/scumbags like Kristol and Krauthammer like to drone.

Posted by: sglover on October 25, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz:

Defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman looks like a sensible, proper thing to do.

*Denying* a group of people the same rights as those who *can* get married looks about as noble as defending segregation.

Only the looniest of loonie tune fundies are going to get agitated by it.

Blacks aren't going to vote against civil rights.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

What glee you seem to take in the denial of civil liberties to a group of fellow citizens.

How does it damage my marriage if my Uncle Billy could finally make an honrest woman out of my Aunt Richard? Answer: Not at all.

And by the way, they have one of the most loving, committed and stable relationships I have ever witnessed, and they have been together for over 30 years.

(Yeah - big surprise there are fags in my family, and I am not even embarassed by them.)

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz wrote: Have some courage and draw a line

I have the courage to draw the line at your idiotic bullshit.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on October 25, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz:

Vermont was hardly "thrown upside down." It reelected the governor (Howard Dean) who signed the law.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

I'm going to organize a group of zygotes to go an kick Fitz' ass.

Posted by: Disputo on October 25, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Draw a line Bob. You'll feel better about yourself.
Posted by: Fitz

How about when the fetus can survive on its own? Works for me.

Fitzie, since you are so gung-ho on outlawing abortion, what will you do with women who have first trimester miscarriages? Try to sue them for reckless manslaughter?

C'mon, Fitzie, draw the line.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on October 25, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Again, I must ask, are there any male Republicans who are not closeted homosexuals, pedophiles, or both?

Another day, another revelation.

Posted by: Disputo on October 25, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Fitzie, since you are so gung-ho on outlawing abortion, what will you do with women who have first trimester miscarriages? Try to sue them for reckless manslaughter?

I imagine that in Fitz' perfect world, women will be caged like veal calves for the duration of their pregnancy.

Posted by: Disputo on October 25, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Like polygamists, or single people, or realitives, or minors....

You are truly an idiot. Can minors legally enter into a contract? Even so, can't hetero minors legally get married? How does the NJSC decision change anything?

Single people? WTF are you talking about? Can a person enter into a contract with him or herself? Geez, did ytou take stupid pills?

Polygamists? Personally, I have no opposition to polygamy. If that's what they want to do, and each adult is making the decision of his or her own free will, have a blast.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on October 25, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

We won't discuss what fate would befall Fitz in my deep dark fantasies that encroach on evil.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone consider that the 19th Amendment was adopted AFTER the 16th & why women ever needed to go to such trouble?

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK
The whole argument is if same-sex marriage IS a "civil right".

Well, no, the argument is there a compelling reason to differentiate by the sex of the applicants in the granting of access to marriage. This is the question whether or not marriage (plain, unmodified by any modifiers) is a civil right (which numerous decisions have found that it is, anyhow) or merely a public status conveying benefits on private parties.

All the benifits without the word is the same thing.

All the present benefits without the same categorization means that every future policy change affecting the benefits of marriage needs a separate campaign for equal treatment. The categorization matters prospectively, even if the immediate substantive consequences were indistinguishable.

Nevertheless, where there is recognition in foreign jurisdictions—an important consideration—the categorization by the home jurisdiction may play a big role in what is recognized. Since the name of the status may effect the practical benefits enjoyed in foreign jurisdictions, “separate but equal” is, as usual, inherently unequal.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 25, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo:

The GOP has the NJ civil union ruling to despise.

The Dems have FL GOP gubenatorial frontrunner Crist's homosexual tryst with a 21-year-old underling to, umm, celebrate :):):)

Gee -- who's winning the values war *now*, Fitzie :):):)

Oh, and BTW: I just read the NYT front page piece.

1) Gay groups oppose it because it doesn't go far enough.

2) The ruling explicitly stated that it could find no support for a right of gay marriage in the NJ Constitution.

Looks like you just lost another news cycle, Fitzie :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on October 25, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

T-web: "I hate to rain on your parade, but there's this line from Michael J. Fox's memoir, posted on his website that is quite telling.

'I had made a deliberate choice to appear before the subcommittee without medication. It seemed to me that this occasion demanded that my testimony about the effects of the disease, and the urgency we as a community were feeling, be seen as well as heard.' And here's the link: www.michaeljfox.org/news/article.php?id=5

So Rush said that a man who has doesn't take his medication to advance his political goals, um, did not take his medication to advance his political goals. I don't like Rush's style & he's often guilty of being tasteless and borderline cruel, but the whole foundation of this mini-controversey crumbles with the above quote."

You really should do a little more research. Fox was referring to his testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Hearing on Parkinson's Research and Treatment on September 28, 1999. The full transcript is here.

If you read it, you will see that Fox told the subcommittee that day -- as part of his testimony -- that they were seeing him unmedicated. Fox: "For many people with Parkinson's, managing their disease is a full-time job; it is a constant balancing act. Too little medicine causes tremors and stiffness, too much medicine produces uncontrollable movement and slurring, and far too often Parkinson's patients wait and wait (as I am right now) for their medicines to kick in."

So Fox TOLD the subcommittee that they were seeing naked Parkinson's symptoms. I see no intent to deceive. And those symptoms -- tremors, stiffness, etc. -- are NOT the same as the chorea Fox now displays after using prescribed medications for several years.

So you're wrong twice. Sorry.

Posted by: Mary on October 25, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Only a rightard like Fitz can argue for full rights to blatocysts while denying them to full-grown humans.

What if some of those blatoscysts end becoming *gasp* gay humans???!

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on October 25, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

If religious people are saying it's the morphology, the shape of things, the soul is attracted to not the dna, why aren't souls attracted to statues or barbie dolls?

And why would a soul be attracted to a blastocyst, which is just a bunch of little round things?

And if they are saying it's the blastocyst's potential that is the attraction, what of all the potential a woman sheds every month regularly, and sometimes just spontaneously without ever knowing it?

How can a Yawhist regard women as anything but a necessary evil?

Posted by: cld on October 25, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Some people believe an embryo is a human being. Most people accept these individuals' beliefs and allow them to act out reproduction without any interference, despite the fact many of them are not good parents.

A few people believe an embryo is a cancer and want it removed from their bodies like a tumor. Many intrusive personality types want to impose their beliefs on these people and force them, with state police powers, to carry out the pregnancy until the embryo develops and is born.

Since mandatory abortion or reproductive restrictions are not enforced, the interferring, intrusive, authoritarian personality types who want to outlaw abortion or stem cell research have no basis for imposing their beliefs upon those who do not subscribe to them.

Posted by: Hostile on October 25, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK
You are truly an idiot. Can minors legally enter into a contract?

Yes; while minors contracts are, in general (though there are exceptions where they are fully valid), voidable by the minor, they are not prohibited, and therefore void.

Even so, can't hetero minors legally get married?

The age of consent to marriage in many states is less than the more general age of majority, though sexual orientation isn't a factor in any jurisdiction that I am aware of (its quite possible, and known to occur, for people with a homosexual orientation to marry people of opposite sex, and where legal no doubt people of heterosexual orientation will sometimes marry people of the same sex—sexual orientation and sexes of marriage partners aren't the same thing, though of course one expects a certain degree of correlation.)


Posted by: cmdicely on October 25, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Come on folks, all Limbaugh did was mock a man with a disability for political gain -- it's not like he threatened to hit a wheelchair-bound man with MS.

Posted by: Disputo on October 25, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK
Science considers blastocysts potential human beings.

Scientific writers may conventionally label them that way, but since the question is not an empirical one, it is, at best, misleading to say that "science considers" anything on the subject, the issue is entirely outside the realm of science and fetishizing science to the point of taking the nonscientific conventions that direct usages with no scientific content within the scientific community as meaningful results is not helpful.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 25, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

WASHINGTON-House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) today issued the following statement expressing outrage at the New Jersey Supreme Court's decision to order the state to recognize same-sex marriage or its equivalent, taking the definition of marriage out of the hands of New Jersey voters:

"Beginning in 1996 with the Defense of Marriage Act and in subsequent years with votes on the Federal Marriage Amendment, House Republicans have fought to defend the will of the people each time a court has sought to redefine marriage.

"The Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has opposed each and every one of these efforts.

"Given the actions of the New Jersey Supreme Court today and the fact that similar cases are pending in four other courts, the American people deserve to know whether a Pelosi-led House would defend marriage."

45 states acting by referendum or through their legislatures have enacted state laws or state constitutional amendments blocking same-sex marriage. Yet, activists continue to seek to use the courts to overturn these laws. In fact, cases similar to the New Jersey case are currently pending in California, Connecticut, Iowa and Maryland.

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

The age of consent to marriage in many states is less than the more general age of majority,

Too bad Cut 'N Run Jay isn't here, or he could give us a state by state rundown of the age of consent for teenage girls....

Posted by: Stefan on October 25, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

What if some of those blatoscysts end becoming *gasp* gay humans???!

Simple. Gays don't have souls, so gay zygotes may be aborted.

When exactly does insoulation for hets occur? Fertilization is a process, not an event. Where exactly does Fitz draw this line?

Posted by: Disputo on October 25, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

57-43 = Oregon.
59-41 = Michigan.
62-38 = California.
62-38 = Ohio.
66-34 = Utah.
67-33 = Montana.
71-29 = Kansas.
71-29 = Missouri.
73-27 = North Dakota.
75-25 = Arkansas.
75-25 = Kentucky.
76-24 = Georgia.
76-24 = Oklahoma.
78-22 = Louisiana.
86-14 = Mississippi.


ADD +8
Rack em up, add N.J.

Should be a prime topic at the next SCOTUS hearing!

Posted by: Fitz on October 25, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Okay Chris. I cede your valid point and rephrase...This working Biochemist, science educator and member in good standing of theAmerican Society of Clinical Pathologists
considers blastocysts potential human beings, based on a personal working knowledge of biology.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz:

You have said that as soon as a sperm and an egg have joined, you believe that a human being has been created. I am assuming that you mean that the blastocyst now has a soul. So what do you think of twins or triplets or quads or quints? The division of the embryo into multiples can occur as much as, I believe, 72 hours post-conception. GC can correct me if I'm wrong.

So what happens, soul-wise? Do identical twins or triplets share one soul? I don't think so. They are clearly separate human beings with separate identities. So does this mean that the original soul stays with one embryo and other souls than "descend" to inhabit the other embryos?

Also, what do you have to say about polar body twins, molar twins, and chimeras?

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on October 25, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

why women ever needed to go to such trouble?

Hmmmmm. I dunno - maybe because they were systematically denied the protections thereof and had no fucking choice but to get exact wording?

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

As long as the embryo is in the pure blastocyst phase, consisting of undifferentiated cells, twinning can occur. Jury is still out on if it can occur after differentiation starts.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

what do you have to say about polar body twins, molar twins, and chimeras?

Electrons are whissing to the National Catholic Reporter to get the Official Position.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Heh. I made up a new word.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

So Fitz, what's your response to the buring lab question? You're in the burning lab and must choose between saving the 6 month old baby or the tray with the 100 blastocysts. Since you consider the blastocysts to be fully human, you must choose them over the baby, right?

Posted by: tim on October 25, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

With all the money the Republican Party has, you'd think for their "response video" they would have been able to hire a decent sound engineer. What a total hack job! (One more sign that the once-smooth Repub machine is losing oil quickly.)

Posted by: ami in deutschland on October 25, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

I think they wanted it to look bad because they want to paint the Pro-research camp as swimmin' in Stowers dough, while the poor Republican Party shill can't compete.

Like a teenager with $800 bucks of equipment couldn't have done better than that? Puh-lease.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

tim takes the day, So Fitz, what's your response to the buring lab question? You're in the burning lab and must choose between saving the 6 month old baby or the tray with the 100 blastocysts. Since you consider the blastocysts to be fully human, you must choose them over the baby, right?


I must remember that.

Posted by: cld on October 25, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK
Okay Chris. I cede your valid point and rephrase...This working Biochemist, science educator and member in good standing of theAmerican Society of Clinical Pathologists considers blastocysts potential human beings, based on a personal working knowledge of biology.

And I respect that: metaphysical positions informed by science aren't a bad thing, mistaking them for science is.

(Personally, I think "personhood" is ultimately unknowable, but that blastocysts are certainly not in the class of entities where it is appropriate to coerce others [i.e., through the law] to treat them as persons. I think a big recurrent problem with our politics is the failure to distinguish between what is desirable and what we should compel others to do.)

Posted by: cmdicely on October 25, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Anti-stem cell research nuts cannot be trusted -- even by their own supporters.

Jeff Suppan, a pitcher for the STL Cards who is scheduled to pitch tonight, was assured that the TV spot he made encouraging a "no" vote on the stem cell research proposition in MO would not air until after the World Series is over.

Well, Missourians Against Human Cloning is airing it tonight, during the game.

Suppan's lawyer is trying to stop it.

These are the kinds of nuts we are dealing with. They even stab their friends in the back if it suits their cause.

Posted by: Disputo on October 25, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

If a bullet is fired you have to jump out of the way, but if it isn't fired you can still talk the gunman out of it, or prevent the bullet from being loaded.

Likewise the blastocyst hasn't gone off yet and you don't have to jump or do anything. It's an issue for others only in flight.

We might ban guns, but only a certain kind of religiosity might try to ban women.

Posted by: cld on October 25, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK
If a bullet is fired you have to jump out of the way

If you try to jump out of the way after the bullet is fired, its not going to help much unless you are Superman (in which case, you don't actually need to jump out of the way, in any case.)

Posted by: cmdicely on October 25, 2006 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

I'm speaking metaphorically.

Posted by: cld on October 25, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

Let me ask you all a question? If the only hope for curing cancer, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimers and other diseases was to get the cure by killing 7-year-old children in America, would you support rounding up 7-year-old children and killing them for scientific research, even if their parents did consent? If any of you would then there is something wrong with you. Stop hounding those who voted against stem cell research, they did a brave thing. If you DO believe life begins at conception, as I do, then it makes perfect sense to oppose embryonic stem cell research. Those 37 Senators took a vote that they knew could cost them their job, but they did it because they thought it was right, and you have to respect that even if you disagree with them. I think those senators deserve their names to be engraved in a gold plaque for their courage.

Posted by: Jake Wilson on October 25, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

CMD:

If you try to jump out of the way after the bullet is fired, its not going to help much unless you are Superman (in which case, you don't actually need to jump out of the way, in any case.)

CLD:

I'm speaking metaphorically.

Like I've noted before, I'm afraid that law school is destroying CMD's ability to think creatively.

Posted by: Disputo on October 25, 2006 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

you have to respect that even if you disagree with them. I think those senators deserve their names to be engraved in a gold plaque for their courage.

That's your opinion, which you are entitled to. Too bad you don't feel the rest of us are entitled to our opinion, which is really the central issue that cleaves the two sides in this debate.

Posted by: Disputo on October 25, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK
I'm speaking metaphorically.

And I was deliberately ignoring your point and nitpicking you metaphor; both of those, I would have thought, were quite obvious and needed no explanation.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 25, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK
If you DO believe life begins at conception, as I do, then it makes perfect sense to oppose embryonic stem cell research.

And if you believe that rocks are "alive" in the same moral sense as human beings, it makes perfect sense to outlaw mining. Certainly, what you say is true if you believe that a conceptus ought to be treated in the law exactly as a born person; the question, though, is whether such a belief is reasonable.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 25, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

I got the joke Chris.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Al - Also, Fox's Parkinson disease was probably caused by his constant cocaine snorting. If he wasn't such a horrible drug abuser, he wouldn't be having this disease in the first place.

Hasn't the time come, Kevin, to ban this waste of breath?

Posted by: oldgreenguy on October 25, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

I got the joke Chris.

Stop sucking up. ;)

Posted by: Disputo on October 25, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

But I did!

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, but now Patricia Heaton comes to the rescue - If any liberal actor does any political commercial or testifies before congress, the right blasts them as grandstanding and says that they should stay in Hollywood and STF up. However, Patricia has become their darling regarding the stem cell and abortion issue.

And, you morons on the right wonder why I won't watch "Everybody Loves Raymond" any more. Won't even go into an Albertson Super Market in the west, because she does their commercials.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on October 25, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

The issue that slavery was in 1860, abortion is today. Both the pro-slavery folks and the pro-abortion and Emmbryonic stem cell research advocates try to justify their arguments by saying that some group, whether it be black or embryo, are not legitimate humans. It seems that both the Bible and science strongly point towards life beginning at conception. That I think makes for overwhelming reason to oppose this type of research. And also, I'm not saying that others are not entitled to their opinion. I think it is an opinion that ought to be changed, but I will certainly not verbally abuse or bang anyone over the head that doesn't agree with me. I do not "agree to disagree" with people but I DO "agree to not divide" over issues. There have to be differences among us for us to learn from each other what is truth. But I wish to show love to all people.

Posted by: Jake Wilson on October 25, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

Well jake, I can't hardly hand you your ass on a platter, now can I?

Well put.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

I will say this, I am upset with some Conservatives who call our governing officials bad names and wish evil for them. That is not a Christian action. These are seriously important issues thatneed to be discussed, but always out of respect and love for everyone.

Posted by: Jake Wilson on October 25, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

I want to sincerely apologize if I sounded like I was attacking anyone. GOing to our different tents and grumbling to ourselves about people who disagree with us is never going to get anything done. At times I have been guilty of that and I regret it. I sincerely care about this issue, but I understand where everyone is coming from who supports embryonic stem cell research, even if I disagree with them.

Posted by: Jake Wilson on October 25, 2006 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

Jake - I respect your position too, even though I disagree with it.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 25, 2006 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: mmf铃声 on October 25, 2006 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

I at first thought the ad would be a good boost for McCaskill that might turn the election, but polling since the ad so far shows a bost to Talent and a drop in support for Amendment 2 (which is a deceptive political trick, regardless of how you feel about embryonic stem cell research). I would be interested in an effort to judge the effect of the ad, but to me, the more I see it, the more it looks like McCaskill is trying to exploit the illness of Fox. I think in part it is because that ad is for the politician McCaskill and not for Amendment 2.

It will be relatively close vote, but it appears Talent will win.

Posted by: brian on October 25, 2006 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Look, I don't know whether anyone else has said this already in this long thread, but "stem cell research" and "embryonic stem cell research" aren't remotely the same thing, and Kevin's

Talent is not actually opposed to every single type of stem cell research in the world and Fox didn't acknowledge this in his 73-word ad

misrepresents the situation. There are stem cells not derived from embryos, and so far as medical treatments go, using these appears at least as promising as using embryonic stem cells. The difficulty with embryonic stem cells is just what makes them so attractive to researchers: In principle, they can become any human cell. In practice, they might not become exactly what you want. "Adult stem cells" appear more controllable.

Ponnoru is quite right, in other words. Opposing "embryonic stem cell research" isn't opposing "stem cell research."

Posted by: waterfowl on October 25, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Opposing embryonic stem cell research is opposing research.

Bush and the conservanazis have ALREADY agreed that stem cell research of all sorts is moral. Now they wish to make little idiotic barriers between current lines and future lines.

If you do any research, all should be allowed. Because it is all gonna be done. All that we are now debating is WHERE it will be done. The future, stem cell research, can be done in America or in Korea, in Missouri or in Ireland, in Illinois or in South Africa. If Americans forbid progress, Koreans are happy. They will get the Nobel prizes, the money for cures, and they will have the future scientific talent that the US is now driving away.

And yes, I do know more than most - I am in medical research. On Monday, I sit on an NIH advisory panel determining who gets money.

Posted by: POed Lib on October 25, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

McCaskill is up 3 in recent polls.

Stem cell research will drive many to the polls to support her.

Posted by: POed Lib on October 25, 2006 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

No one who has taken a close look at this issue can say that Bush has opposed all types of stem cell research. There are lots of stem cell derived from sources other than embryos. I know the facts on this issue becaue I watched both sides of the debate. What makes embryonic stem cells different from adult stem cells is they can change into any other type of cell, as opposed to adult stem cells which are already of one type of tissue or another.
However, Senator Tom Coburn, WHO IS AN EXPERIENCED DOCTOR says you can get stem cells that have all the same capabilites that embryonic stem cells have, not from embryos but from human reproductive organs. Not one person in the Senate or the House would say that President Bush opposes all forms of stem cell research. Please check the facts before you make such a claim.

Posted by: Jake Wilson on October 26, 2006 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

Some other things, embryonic stem cell research is not even illegal in the United States, it is just not federally funded. To present the facts on both sides, what makes them want to federally fund it is that some of the most experienced doctors in the nation, because they receive federal funds, are not allowed to join in researching embryonic stem cells because Bush will not fund it. I am against embryonic stem cell research, but I thought in these last two entries I would bring to light the basic facts about this issue, even those the other side offers, because I paid atttention to both sides when it was debated. I encourage everyone from both sides of this issue to learn the REAL FACTS about the issue before making a decision of opinion.

Posted by: Jake Wilson on October 26, 2006 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

Jake - Amdt. 2 on the Missouri ballot is to protect research that is legal under federal guidelines from being outlawed by our idiotic state legislature. Some day, the rest of the country is going to look hard at Jefferson City and the other 49 states will get together and kick us to the curb.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 26, 2006 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

I Love this from KJL's piece:

"And when its suggested in no subtle way that sick people will be sick if Democrats lose and cured if Republicans do its being done now in Missouri, among other places and its been done before (think John Edwards as snakeoil salesman in 2004 ) thats mean."

But suggesting that we will be attacked by terrorists if Democrats win but we will be safe if Republicans win - that's NOT mean.

Posted by: lostinswitz on October 26, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

mhr: They are experts in the art of victimology.

gop: majority rules..but don't blame us

Posted by: mr. irony on October 27, 2006 at 5:56 AM | PERMALINK

fitz: Have some courage


NUMBER OF EMBRYO'S STORED IN FERTILITY CLINICS: 400,000

NUMBER OF EMBRYO'S ADOPTED FROM CLINICS: 128

Posted by: mr. irony on October 27, 2006 at 6:02 AM | PERMALINK

brian: it looks like McCaskill is trying to exploit the illness

total bullshit...and i should know...

Posted by: terri schiavo on October 27, 2006 at 6:03 AM | PERMALINK

CALL YOUR MOM, GRANDMA AND UNCLE JOE...TELL THEM THIS:

GOP invented sickle-cell.

GOP and neocons invented Parkisan's disese and AIDS.

GOP and neocons support diesese and sickness.

DO THIS! IT'S HOW WE CAN WIN!!!

Posted by: STOP GOP AT ALL COSTS on October 27, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Q: What do you call an bunch of embryonic stem cells?

A: Liquified liberals...bad news for leftists from a birthrate perspective.

Posted by: Jow on October 27, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

jonny

Posted by: jonny on October 28, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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