It's 14 paragraphs long and says, basically, Michael J. Fox has Parkinson's. And did a political ad.
So many good angles to explore in the story. And so little courage to do so.
Jason Lewis is highly regarded as the Twin Cities right wing’s local radio hero and spokesman. So much so, they call him “Mr. Right.” So what does “Mr. Right” have to say about Michael J. Fox and the embryonic stem-cell debate?
This evening, Lewis lambasted Fox, whom he described as a liberal since long before he got Parkinson’s disease. Some people want to give Fox a break because he has Parkinson's, Lewis said. I’m not. (sorry, I was in the car when I heard this abomination and couldn’t get many direct quotes). But, he charged, Fox “went off his meds for effect” when he made that tv commercial.
Mr. Right said stem-cell research advocates want to “harvest the stem cells, take their body parts and then throw them away.” Huh?
And then this bombshell. Lewis said Fox was trying to say in the ad, “If only we had federal funding for stem-cell research, I’d be rid of these shivers and shakes.”
There you have it, straight from “Mr. Right.” Parkinson’s disease is nothing but a little “shivers and shakes.”
Lewis went on to blast Fox for his “me, me, me” attitude, placing himself above the rights of embryos. Because, according to Lewis, Fox says “I don’t care how many body parts I have to harvest” to stay alive. He said people die all the time from lack of organs to transplant, but we don’t force people to donate organs to save them. And then he ripped liberals in general for their “cavalier” attitude toward life.
So have I got this right? Jason Lewis and his followers believe that embryonic stem-cell research entails stem cells having their “body parts harvested.” And that that’s equal to forced donations of human organs. And making use of stem cells derived from embryos that will be thrown out anyway is somehow a “cavalier” attitude toward life. And we can’t do that just stop a little “shivers and shakes.”
You wonder why people on the left are so goddamn angry about the direction this country is headed.
There’s your stem cell discussion from the right, Bob. How can you argue with that?
The whole "stem cell discussion" is going EXACTLY as I said it would.
And in this case, Republicans are playing right into the Democratic strategists hands.
How do I argue with that?
I don't. *If* the goal is NOT to win a stem-cell debate but to cure Parkinson's, I do what i said we should do. I find out where we agree on Parkinson's research and we go from there.
It just depends on whether people really want to make progress on finding a cure for Parkinson's, or use the "stem cell debate" to gain a political advantage.
But, I am a realist. I realize there's no cure coming anytime soon for Parkinson's. People who have it are going to die in a horrible process.
OTOH, one of the interesting things about Congress, is there's really only a few people who pull the strings. Take the Mental Health Parity Act. It's a model of bipartisan support. No Democrat is added as a co-sponsor until a Republican is added.
But as long as leadership doesn't want something, it doesn't matter.
It's an ugly process, and politics is a lousy venue for finding cures for disease.
Which is probably why there's underground research happening.
Like it or not, you can't have progress on curing any disease as long as irrational theocratic opinions are substituted for science. And just because someone says that is their religious belief doesn't make it immune to criticism as being irrational. Equating embryonic stem cells with living, breathing human beings is irrational.
If one group says the earth is round and the other insists it is flat, you can't simply find areas of agreement to work on solving, say, global warming. The most valuable work on stem-cell research isn't being done on umbilical cords, or adult stem cells, much as the "Mr. Rights" of the world would like you to think so. It's good research but it's not enough.
If you want to stick only with "where we agree" and go from there, then you are taking the Bush position and prohibiting the research on embryonic stem cells to go foreward. Because everyone does agree that non-embryonic stem-cell research is valid. It's just the vast majority of us believe that is not enough.
So is that your position--that the Bush position is adequate? If not, you better be doing everything you can to elect candidates who believe in doing everything we can to end this wretched disease and others equally pernicious--not just research that everyone agrees on. Candidates who believe in real science, not faith-based science.
In the 6th CD, where you live, Bob, that would be NOT be Michele Bachmann.
We don't know what the cure for Parkinson's is, so we don't know for sure where it's going to come from.
We're not going to reach agreement today on stem cell research. We're just not.
George Bush is in office and there's nothing you can do about it. So for two years, you're not going to get embryonic stem cell research.
So is the answer to wait for two years and then take another crack at it? Or is the answer to focus -- for now -- on areas of research that can be buttressed.
Is that enough? Of course not. We don't have a cure yet.
I think medical research is like a maze. if you're blocked down one road, turn around and find another.
Practically speaking, right now, there's no alternative. That might not be the case in '08.
And, as I said before, if someone wants to stand up for embryonic stem cell research, that's great. But I'd like to hear a politician outlining a measurable plan for success on the broader issue.
Otherwise, they're just looking for an issue to win a campaign.
See Parity, Mental health.
"So for two years, you're not going to get embryonic stem cell research."
No, you're not going to get federal funding for it. And President Bush has not proposed outlawing the destruction of human embryos.
Embryonic stem cell research has been and is legal.
In 2004, for instance, California passed a $3 billion proposition that included human embryonic stem cell research.
UW-Madison and UCSF have prominent embryonic stem cell research programs.