Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A note to wingers: You're not helping us

I'm going to disappoint everyone here and not taunt anybody. Yes. That's right. I won't taunt anybody. I'm not going to taunt anybody because it was a great election on both sides. Brown and Walls fought hard and kept it close to a sliver of just 175,000 votes. They did far better than they, or anyone, ever expected. Your wildest dreams will come true if you just work hard and never give up.

I know, Zorn, 'Big' Ben Joravsky, and Ray Hanania are all out right now celebrating as we speak @ the bar in the mall parking lot in Orland Park. For today, they have sent a message: That they and all Chicagoans, will not tolerate the Mayor's skulduggery. Enjoy your victory, for I shall not taunt today.

Instead I want to talk about Paul Richardson and why he hates the unborn by correctly assessing that the stem cell research resistance is positively futile and ultimately pointless - unless of course your point is to further emotionally exhaust the ILGOP base in Illinois. I thought the post was nicely punctuated with this:

Drifting further to the ideological right on a social issue that runs counter the vast majority of Illinoisans, is against the national tide, and has a pragmatic “out” to appease most moderate conservatives.

The state GOP can't afford to stay on the wrong side of this one.

If you really look at the Illinois GOP and you say to yourself: Here's a vital, fully functional, and healthy political organization, than you can go ahead and talk about stem cell research and HPV vaccines all day and all night. I mean, all 8 of you can sit back and marvel at the efficiency of the party, gawk at just what a credible threat we are anywhere in the state ballot and just yuck it up over the fake issues.

And oh yes. Yes they are. One of the cringer comments was, unfortunately, the good Dr. Baar's, as I generally respect him - though I don't always agree with him. It was a cringer because I really didn't think he'd fall for this one:

It shouldn't and isn't a partisan issue. Look at Cong Lipinski's position. Some Democrats try and pretend it is and use it as a club against the GOP as a party dominated by the religious right.

Ok. Reverse it. Change the polarization. Actually, near as I can tell the stem cell research faux 'controversy' really only made it's mark into the national discussion 'round abouts Bush Era. Maybe I'm wrong here. Wait, I'm not. The real steam here wasn't generated until 2001. And, in the midst of the social conservative revitalization, it's not hard to read between the lines. Wingers, on either side of the aisle, aren't very bright. Tell our wingers that somehow, doing research and destroying a cell that could one day be human life, should generate the same kind of outrage that abortion does, make it a partisan issue with "See? More democrat baby killing", and your wingers will be out in force. It'll make great news for your infotainers. Get'em all angry and out to the voting booths. All that, to essentially maintain the Clinton setstatus quo.

And the issue has lost whatever steam it once had. I'm sure it's good for a quick gag every now and again, but it doesn't have the fire power it once had when early Bush era high was in full force. The worst thing is, it's the pro-lifers that should understand more than anybody why it's this is a loser issue. Pro-Lifers can be wingnuts (Note, I am not dismissing all pro-lifers as wingnuts. I am saying that there are pro-life wingnuts).

I feel like I have to teach them a lesson as to why they're losing on this one. What those wingnuts get is that their wingnuttery can be overlooked for the reason that they're seen mostly as just strident advocates for a victim who can't defend itself. See image:

The issue of stem cell research there is no tangible victim. You don't have anything to elicit people to your side. With no victim, you're just back to being ideological zealots, because you're defending this:

And the bad news is, your wingnuttery can't justified by victim advocacy. Just to make it worse, the other side has their victim to advocate for and it's infinitely more powerful than you're flow chart.

Face it: You're advocacy on this issue is a waste of time and you're hurting the party more than you already have. You've been tricked by the big man. The sooner you get over it and move beyond this and the other fake issues, the better off we are.

As a party we have neither the time, the resources, the emotional energy, nor the surplus of swing voters to play up to yet another national dead end issue on the local scale. It didn't work with Jimmy the Milkman in '06 and it isn't going to work in the future.


JB Powers 9:37 AM  

"The issue of stem cell research there is no tangible victim" except for

1) The taxpayer who pays for it

2) The retirees who don't get their pensions funded

3) The state police who are not patrolling the tollways because of lack of resources

4) The University Researchers who are leaving the state because their pension contribution is being poured into the State deficit, rather than funding their retirement.


dan l 9:45 AM  

Hey, you want to object to it on fiscal grounds? Be my guest. But you have to seperate those objections from the religious loons.

NW burbs,  9:59 AM  


Your flow chart is missing Option B -- the garbage can.

The other major reason the conservative ideologues are "losing" this issue is that they are hypocritical.

The only frozen embryos in question at the Federal level are those already scheduled to be destroyed as IVF storage facilities clean out the abandoned, surplus embryos (and isn't a freezer in and of itself a truly humane place to lock up all these "tiniest humans" the conservatives are waxing so poetic for? ... not).

So instead of having fought for 30+ years against locking up what they call "tiniest humans" in freezers...

Instead of clamoring to end the medical practice of creating those hundreds of thousands of "surplus" embryos that go into those freezer tubes...

Instead of working hard to promote policies which encourage and create incentives for "snowflake baby" adoptions (tens of thousands more are needed per year) (let alone offering up their own uteruses to carry the tens of thousands abandoned surplus frozen embryos destined for that biohazard waste pile)...

Indeed, instead clawing tooth and nail to fund infinite, indefinite FROZEN storage of what they only just recently started calling "tiniest humans"...

THEY'VE DONE NOTHING for nearly 30 years. Only now, when scientists are hoping to conduct research on all available stem cell options because each type (cord blood, adult, embryonic...) offers varying and differing potentials... Only now when there is a possibility that cures may be discovered... Only now when Karl Rove decided to turn it into a money-making and vote-getting issue...

Only now do they pipe up.

Conservatives. Are. Hypocrites.


Mr. Powers must've been absent when the state legislature decided on a funding source in the last session (that source being an appropriate and fitting tax on plastic surgery and other elective cosmetic-medical procedures -- some people want to be beautiful, others don't want to live the last 20 years of their life with a rotting brain).

It was the social conservatives in the state senate who derailed that, forcing the governor's hand. Mr. Powers may want to redirect his anger toward those conservatives who negated the funding source.

As far as I know, if the legislature passes the proposal (funding and all) state pensions and cops will have little, if anything, to do with this.

Try again.

JB Powers 10:01 AM  

I am a "religious loon" though.

I take the 8th commandment seriously:
"Thou Shalt Not Steal" this case "Thou Shalt Not Steal" from retirees pensions in a campaign to discredit the pro-life movement.


NW burbs,  10:36 AM  

Mr. Powers,

Read my earlier post.

Until the state senate's social conservatives held up the legislation in the last session there was a funding source -- taxing elective cosmetic medical procedures (plastic surgery, botox, etc).

Since you claim to be a man of faith, you may also want to re-read the passages in the Bible discussing caring for the least of those among us: the sick, the elderly, the forgotten.

You worry about red herrings all you want, but at least be intellectually honest about it.

Pat Hickey 10:44 AM  


Got to go along with JBPOWERS on this one. I am anti-Abortion ( certainly not ProLife), but do not consider myself to be poor man's Aquinas like soem in the pro-life crowd, BUT . . .

When the jerkwads shilling for the old Margaret Sanger crowd like NWBURBs who is a pure progressive doctrinaire PITA - Pain in the ARSE! - I begin to get all warm and fuzzy again with the pro-life lead.

Here's the deal - get enough 'balanced' people from both side of the debate and close the door to 'wing-nuts' on both sides - propagate this ACLU! - and get a clear and smart approach to stem-cell debate and research.

Thus far the goofs on both side control the bullhorns.

JB Powers 10:52 AM  

NW Burbs,

No need for much faith on this issue. The arithmetic is pretty clear. This is a bad investment pursued soley for political points.

Yes, in 50 years there may be some treatments from this process. That is why we have the NIH and NSF to make research decsions rather than Jeff Schoenberg.

Given there are literally hundreds of stem cell treatments that are being implemented right now, but not earmarked by the State, the logical conclusion is that this is not a science issue.

Agreeing with Hickey here, there are more than enough sensible people to meet on this topic and come to some ethical conclusion (Doesn't UIC have a Insitute on this?). That will not happen as long as Gov Blago and Sen Schoenberg ramrod funding for the sake of demonization of political opponents rather than seeking treatments for the sick.


NW burbs,  11:54 AM  

Mr. Hickey, Grow up.


Mr. Powers, please list even just a handful of those "literally hundreds of stem cell treatments being implemented right now" you claim exist. Good luck.

The only reason adult stem cells or cord blood stem cells hold out "more" promise is because they've had a relative head start (it's odd how conservatives are generally against what they call "moral relativism" until it suits them).

The NIH and NSF are in favor of medical advancements, it's part of their missions.

Basing your opposition on some sort of 'return on investement' model is weak. So what if finding a cure for diabetes or Alzheimers takes 50 years or even more? It took longer to end slavery in this country -- and there were plenty of 'return on investment' arguments against ending slavery...

Finding those cures is the key, not the length of time it takes. Mankind was lucky enough to have found penicillin somewhat by accident... we likely won't be so lucky to find other cures for more complex diseases by accident.

And please explain why you think bi-partisan groups of legislators (whether Springfield, Washington or even Sacramento, etc) are "demonizing" opponents. Who are they demonizing? It's not Republicans -- many, many Republicans agree with working to find cures.

So far, none of your arguments hold water. Or perhaps you're one of those folks who simply like to argue for the sake of arguing....

Pat Hickey 11:59 AM  

Yes M'ame; immediately!

Why is it that the more heart-tuggingly sincere the progressive rant, the more you come off like Joan Crawford on Crystal Meth?

Never understood that.

Pat Collins 12:05 PM  

Adult stem cells such as blood-forming stem cells in bone marrow (called hematopoietic stem cells, or HSCs) are currently the only type of stem cell commonly used to treat human diseases. Doctors have been transferring HSCs in bone marrow transplants for over 40 years. More advanced techniques of collecting, or "harvesting", HSCs are now used in order to treat leukemia, lymphoma and several inherited blood disorders.

The clinical potential of adult stem cells has also been demonstrated in the treatment of other human diseases that include diabetes and advanced kidney cancer. However, these newer uses have involved studies with a very limited number of patients.

Until recently, there was little evidence that multipotent adult stem cells could change course and provide the flexibility that researchers need in order to address all the medical diseases and disorders they would like to. New findings in animals, however, suggest that even after a stem cell has begun to specialize, it may be more flexible than previously thought.


And tell me why we want to fund basic research on unknown technology instead of investing in tech that is closer to commercialization?

JB Powers 12:07 PM  


So let the NIH and NSF decide rather than Gov Blago and Sen Schoenberg, Rep Coulson etc.

Republicans and Democrats alike are terrible decision makers when it comes to a wide variety of issues, but particularly bad when it comes to scientific research.

Of course, if actual Research Professionals managed scientific research, rather than politicians, it would pull the plug on your argument, as 50 years is not an acceptable time frame vs. others methods.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone would want to take longer to find a cure for diseases such as Parkinson's if only to score political points.


Pat Hickey 12:12 PM  

Well, said Mr. Powers!

dan l 12:14 PM  

And I get it Pat.

There are plenty of people who aren't wingnuts who are on the anti-ESCR bench. The problem is, the vocal part of that bench, is nuts. If you genuinely want to stand up to it on ethical reasons - and do not see this as a stretch from abortion - than do so. But as a state party, we do not have the political firepower to fight this war.....and if we engage in it, and we lose, it's help our prospects for fixing things.

Pat Hickey 12:25 PM  


With you all the way - but as JBP states maybe this is not the fight to make in the political arena. The Democratic Party has screwed the pooch on every moral position it gets behind due to the yam-heads it fronts for the cause.

You are young and full of fire, Bub! But as an old boy who knows pain's lexicon all too well, believe me - this one has 'butt kicking' written all over it and it willonly cut more fabric for the Planned Parenthood Hairshirts.

My wife died of brain cancer at 38 years old. She would have taken battery acid if could have helped her and I would of stolen the batteries. She took every violent and toxic treatment in the bullpen and went out like a champ. Let's give the people who really know the work give us the Cliff Notes version before we bring government into things.

steve schnorf 12:51 PM  

Seeing what you nmean appear as a direct response to explaining what you mean. Skinner couldn't have come up with a better example of positive reinforcement.


Dan: If you are a Democrat I have a bone to pick with you. We have the Governor, the State Senate and Legislature. Don't give the Republicans advice on how to win them back.

dan l 11:00 PM  

@Pat: At the very least this is the wrong time for ILGOP to go to war on this one. At the very worst we're digging ourselves into yet another moral whole. Ethical law making is about he practical application of moral issues to the political arena. I caste this into the "What good comes of this one?" category - and we shall agree to disagree. See you at the Daley Crony meeting tomorrow:)

@Steve: Google Randy Shufflebeam for your reinforcement.

@Oracle: Just call me resident republican malcontent.

JB Powers 9:39 AM  

How about this, the Republican's can declare that rubbing turpentine on a bald spot will make your hair grow back. They then demand $100 Million to invest in a study of turpentine, pine tar, and asphalt treatments for hair restoration.

When the Democrats complain, the Republicans can claim.."But it is a 50 year time frame, it took at least 50 years to abolish slavery, what is 50 years to get your hair back?"

Rock Ribbed Senator Schoenber will claim that turpentine treatments could acutally harm the bald, to which the Republicans could take the moral high ground showing their compassion to the hairless, and willingness to invest in progressive solutions to American baldness problems.

"With today's aging population, baldness treatments are not just an option, but a necessity in preserving man's dignity, virility, and appearance" Sen Coulson could claim, when investing the taxpayers loot in the cure.

Sen Lauzen chimes in "The NIH has no business telling a gentleman he must be bald. We, the political leaders of Illinois, will be making the scientific decision that effect the esteem of America's future. Plus, I am proud to say that we will create 4 jobs at the low cost of $25 Million per employee with this vital research"

Think about it: moral high ground, being on the progressive side of a divisive issue, and investing the taxpayers money in long term research could surely pull in the aging/balding voters of Illinois.

To hell with science and the taxpayers money, the Republicans need the votes!


NW burbs,  11:36 AM  

Ms. Hickey,

Why is that the more you post the more idiotic you sound? One would think you'd realize that at some point but clearly not.

I never understood why morons usually dig their own holes deeper. Takes all kinds to make the world go round I guess.


Mr. Powers,

Your arguments are getting sillier and sillier.

Let the commercial companies work on the treatments that, thanks to earlier government research and investment, are closer to market.

But if we left everything in this country "to the markets" instead of injecting some government investments every now and then we wouldn't have satellite communications, Interstate highways, or even this little thing you and I are using called the Internet...

I believe government can indeed be a force for positive change to improve the common good. You clearly disagree and are willing to post inane comments in weak attempts to "prove" whatever disagreeable point it is you're trying to make.

The difference between your turpentine and tar to fix baldness and conducting research for cures based stem cells is that there are logical theories which demonstrate the potential is there in stem cells, as opposed to your crackpot tar on the head ideas. ;)

PS: Let me know when baldness leads to death, then your arguments may have some semblance of rationality. ...On second thought, your ever becoming rational is highly doubtful.

NW burbs,  11:43 AM  

And PS, Ms. Hickey,

The "the people who really know the work" have given us the Cliff's Notes.

Scientists are indeed repeatedly saying with more research the potential cures may become actual cures... but you apparently missed that while watching Mommie Dearest over and over.

JB Powers 12:02 PM  


How dare you demean our balding populace! The plethora of Illinois baldies shows the market has clearly failed here in Cook County and government can be a force for positive hair growth.

So what if the neither science nor the market demands it? If the Republicans take the lead, the hairless public will follow a path to hairyness. Turpentine has shown real promise in tests performed in Korea. Are we going to let the Koreans take this lucrative market away from un?


Pat Hickey 12:02 PM  

Well, what's the matter with her, today? Sni -Pee!

. . . and she's usually SOOOOOOOO winning?

Naw, sweetie, it was Mildred Pierce - curtsey - exit!

steve schnorf 12:28 PM  

Oh my goodness! I should read more.

NW burbs,  12:57 PM  

You crack me up Mr. Powers.

Try Rogaine.

It works faster than turpentine and you can get it down at your local drug store, no Republicans or additional research needed.

And, again, let me know when baldness starts becoming a chronic condition leading to death.

(Mighty convenient how Powers and Hickey are proving Dan's original point...)

JB Powers 6:46 PM  

Nonsense NWB,

No extremism necessary to have some good fiscal sense. Dan's tolerable point is that the pro-life movement antognizes the pro-choice movement. I would assume that being pro-life antagonizes pro-choice people in general, but Dan is correct, the two sides differ on this issue.

My point (and Hickey's) is that this is first and foremost NOT a Life issue. It is a politicization of a science issue that has no business being decided by the great scientific minds such of Sen Schoenberg or Gov Blago.

Perhaps the Republicans can take the lead in asking Scientists to make Scientific decisions, and our juvenille Politicians can grow up and stop their schemes to polarize the electorate.


Pat Hickey 7:18 PM  

Indeed JBP. It would be nice to make some progress in society without the hairshirt progressives (on both sides of the issue) not murking the waters.

The delicacy of God's chemistry can stand pretty well without the Pink T shirt crowd or the "God told me" Ezekials crowding the pavement for once.

Charlie Johnston 8:56 PM  

Just a note to NW Burbs...

Au contraire, Adult Stem Cell Research did not get a head start on ESCRs.

Serious research has been being done on ESCRs for 26 years now. There was little excitement because there has been no progress. Research on Adult Stem Cells has been going on for only 11 years because it took a while for scientists to realize there was such a thing.

Unlike ESCRs, ASCRs did produce some startling and useful results very quickly. Over 80 specific therapies to-date helping sufferers of spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease, and others.

In one of the most amazing bait-and-switch tactics ever, the success of ASCRs after only a decade spawned cries for more money for ESCR research which, after a quarter of a century, still has not produced a single useful result.

Narc 9:44 PM  

Serious research has been being done on ESCRs for 26 years now.

26 years? Maybe in mice. Human embryonic stem cells were first isolated in 1998.

Why is this always cast as an either/or issue, as if we can only do research on one kind of stem cell? We should be doing research on both adult and embryonic cells. They're different things and will behave differently and will have different applications.

NW burbs,  10:24 PM  

Note to Powers and Hickey:

The people you decry (Democrats) as "politicizing" a science issue aren't the ones who politicized it. That is part nad parcel with Dan's point (or perhaps you didn't read his full post).

Governments (Federal, state, etc) routinely fund scientific research (as well as economic, social, and other types of research).

It wasn't until Karl Rove vis a vis George Bush decided to make a big deal out of not putting government funds toward one particular type of research that this issue truly became politicized. Again, re-read Dan's original post above.


Narc, thank you for clarifying.

I'd be interested to see if Mr. Johnston's ambiguous 'list' of "80 specific therapies" attributed to adult stem cell research is the same list Family Research Council's David A. Prentice, Ph.D., also has promoted (FRC being a conservative "think thank"). The Prentice List has been widely discredited as actually being only a list of potential therapies (indeed, a list of potentials very similar to those scientists see in embryonic stem cells).

So, please provide those "specifics", Mr. Johnston, because up til now conservatives making similar claims have been easily and swiftly discredited (again, proving Dan's original point).

And FYI, being able to receive research funds when requested with little problem or political hoopla is indeed a "head start" for adult and cord blood stem cell research (aka, "a leg up", "an upper hand", "a boost", or "an edge").

Try bringing some facts to the debate next time, Mr. Johnston. What you posted is more along the lines of something expected from Powers or Hickey and is beneath you.

JB Powers 9:40 AM  


You are making the point very clear. Lets identify the politicians that want to bypass scientific and market controls to further their social agenda, and defeat them. I would like to defeat them as Democrats, Republicans or LaRouchites.

You, Governor Blago, Sen Lauzen, Rep Coulson, Sen Schoenberg are campaigning to ignore the market, bypass the NIH, and shut out the great research Universities of the state so to make a political point.

The question is becoming correctly posed: Do we want really Tony Rezko's business partners making investment and moral decisions for the State?

Would it be better if the State made a cursory attempt at managing Highway Safety, Retirement Pensions, and Education before embarking on a high risk-morally dicey, 50 year project?

Perhaps the Republicans can make some hay concentrating on real issues such as pension reform, rather than acting as juvenille politicians.


NW burbs,  10:02 AM  


What don't you get here?

The research universities of this state are the ones that would be leading the efforts. The rest of your clap-trap is just as nonsensensical in comparison to the facts.

Are you really this ignorant, or are you just playing dumb for show?

And, as I've stated already, a funding source has been identified for these research initiatives. Now if you want to start taxing Botox injections and Saline implants to fund Illinois' highways just say so -- though that seems like a bizarre manner in which to fund the highways you are so concerned about.

And, seeing as how adult and cord blood research has already had the advantage of government funding ... it is all the more hypocritical of you to only pipe up and complain about funding one line of research instead of the others which already have had funding. Of course, now that I pointed out another of your inconsistencies you'll likely start talking about getting rid of the penny or some other complete non-sequitor distraction.

Again, not a single one of your arguments stands up in light of the facts.

JB Powers 10:22 AM  


"The research universities of this state are the ones that would be leading the efforts"
Nonsense. The politicians are leading, the researchers are just taking orders

"a funding source has been identified for these research initiatives"
Nonsense. The State is broke and stealing from pension funds to pay its bills. There is no money for pet political projects.

"adult and cord blood research has already had the advantage of government funding" that went through the standard funding mechanism rather than a political ploy to discredit the pro-life movement.

I thank you for identifying the core issue. You want politicans to decide priorities for our universities and researches. Governor Blago, Rep Coulson, Sen Schoenberg want more power placed in the hands of the state government, and less for research professionals and the free market.

The authoritarian left has got a real solid issue here, and it gets them votes. Lets just properly identify it as a power grab by the State vs. Science and the Market, rather than as somehow assisting science by making political points.



Congratulations to the Republicans that created adevisive issue out of stem cell research. When will these deluded right wing fools charge women going through their mestrual cycles with murder for failing to get this months egg fertilized. Pat Robertson is preparing his talk on this for the 700 Club as you read this. " These poor innocent eggs have Souls"! he will thunder. "These Godless liberal women end their short lives with a flush"! " Another sign of the moral decay of our society"! "These murderous women, and their selfish husbands, will burn in hell"! THE ORACLE believes in freedom of the internet. If the Most Reverend Pat robertson wants to use my parody as his actual sermon he is welcome.

NW burbs,  12:42 PM  


It's difficult, nigh impossible, to actually honestly debate you when you refuse to deal in reality let alone actually read my posts -- the facts and information I present aren't that hard to understand, yet you constantly fail to do so...

And again you politicize this by trying to blame "the left" for something when the reality is that these are bi-partisan efforts which vast majorities of Americans recognize as being not only relevant but also worthwhile.

Pat Hickey 1:32 PM  

Inner-ear ! That's it - it must be some kind of inner-ear disorder! What you say JBP? Inner-ear?

Wax you say? Deeper than that, I'll warrant!

JB Powers 2:29 PM  

I am agreeing with you NWB,

Authoritarian Statists, which include both the Democrat and Republican varieties have succeeded on using Politics to trump Science and the Market.

It is not a positive development, but yes you are correct, there is a bipartisan movement towards an authoritarian State unchecked by the Academy or the Taxpayers, fueled by demonizing the pro-life movement, in exchange for votes from those that want to be seen as progressive and pro-science.

Perhaps the Republicans could run against State power, rather than clamoring for more of it, and stand a better chance at election.


NW burbs,  3:04 PM  


The scientists are the ones requesting the money.

It is the so-called pro-"lifers" who are are the nanny statists trying to deny the money to them and Pres. Bush and other conservatives are the ones attempting to wring political benefits from their obstruction. It is backfiring, to the benefit of rational folks.

You've got it backwards, Powers.

JB Powers 5:17 PM  


There are plenty of researchers who want funds for pretty much anything. The NIH, University of Illinois, Univeristy of Chicago etc are set up to evaluate research possibilities, and have generally decided that embryonic stem cell research is not worthwhile.

It took the "best scientific minds of Springfield" to declare the merits of this research. Gov. Blago, Sen Schoenberg, Rep Coulson have declared their technological brilliance far beyond any research professionals by the basis of their vote total and pandering rather than science.


NW burbs,  4:36 PM  


You still have it backwards.

The scientists in Illinois (let alone elsewhere) are looking to do this research but nanny state obstructionists (such as yourself, apparently) have decided for themselves what type of research is ok for the gov't to fund or not... (And where is the policy paper from the NIH stating that this or that stem cell research is not worthwile? You've still not provided any evidence for any of your claims, only emotional hyperbole and ignorance of facts.)

  © Blogger template The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP