What's everyone think about the MJ Fox deal and R. Limbaugh?

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    What's everyone think about the MJ Fox deal and R. Limbaugh?


    Just catching glimpses of the ordeal but it's basically coming down to whether or not Fox was exaggerating his illness for politics and whether or not Limbaugh should of made the statement he did.

    My take? Fox has the disease and will most likely die regardless if they find a cure or not so the research will benefit someone hopefully. I don't know if he overdid his symptoms but if it were me and I had a voice loud enough to make a difference for those who couldn't get the care I did, I would have no problem doing just that.


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    I'm not sure I've got this right, but the way I understand it is that when MJ Fox testified before Congress asking for stem cell research, that he purposly did not take his medication beforehand, so that his symptoms would be more pronounced during his testimony. I believe he has admitted to doing this.

    I think Limbaugh was more or less saying if he'd done it before, maybe he was doing the same thing again.
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    Yeah, even if he did it's not like he's faking the disease and those less fortunate to have the medical aid he has would probably function just like he did. He'll even probably die from the disease.

    So did he overstate his problems to help move along research? yeah but does this cover up the central theme he was trying to get across?

    Just asking.
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    I think he did it with good intentions, but when it comes out it blows his credibility. I don't pay much attention to him anyway, but, I think anything else he says now would be suspect.
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    MJF is an actor, so actors act a certain way to express a point. The man has a disease and wants to be cured of it. He is really just trying to improve his position in life to follow his dreams and live long enough to make sure his children can do the same. I can't imagine why anyone would not want him to achieve that goal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedwolfWV
    I'm not sure I've got this right, but the way I understand it is that when MJ Fox testified before Congress asking for stem cell research, that he purposly did not take his medication beforehand, so that his symptoms would be more pronounced during his testimony. I believe he has admitted to doing this.

    I think Limbaugh was more or less saying if he'd done it before, maybe he was doing the same thing again.
    Doesn't the medication make you more shakey, for want of a better word? That's why he didn't take it before filming during the last series of Spin City
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    Not taking his medicine to display the true nature of his disease is nothing but honest. Rush should have just taken some oxy's and stayed out of it. Perhaps it is possible that MJF exaggerated to some degree, so what? He has the disease and anybody that has witnessed it in other people knows what it looks like. He didn't make the #$%@ up. Rush of all people knows how to exaggerate the facts, let alone get creative with fiction.

    Think about it, if you were trying to show people your condition (one you hope can be treated in the future thanks to stem cell research) would you do everything you can to look normal and hide all of the symptoms??

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    Just watched it and I don't think he was acting, if you look at a few of the other videos of him in an interview he'll start having involentary movements within minutes. Whether or not he had taken his medication...who cares? It get's the point across.
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    I was just watching his interview w/ Katie Couric and he stated it was more of a case of over-medication. A condition called Descinasea (sp??), which results in the slow-rocking motion. I honestly think it is entirely pitiful for Rush Limbaugh of all people to accuse Michael J. Fox of faking his condition.
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    You said what I was thinking 100% TSC. When I go to the doc I overstate the condition just enough so I know it won't be ignored.
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    Yep, he HAS Parkinson's and you can't take that away from him. Rush is just being Rush..and that's to say an apalling huckster who's living is made by making a stink.

    It's just pathetic that in this day and age, people would stoop to question the veracity of a dying man..and in such a classless way.
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    Smile


    Quote Originally Posted by bioman
    Yep, he HAS Parkinson's and you can't take that away from him. Rush is just being Rush..and that's to say an apalling huckster who's living is made by making a stink.

    It's just pathetic that in this day and age, people would stoop to question the veracity of a dying man..and in such a classless way.
    Rush has a disease as well, he suffers from chronic A*s*s*holism, and its not pretty. Unfortunately, there is no cure except death. He needs our love and understanding, just don't accept anything he says as a true opinion because its really just the disease talking.
    Sadly his condition is exasperated by exposure to any broadcst medium.
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    I know your going to get me for this jayhawk but WTF! I think it was best , If he would have takin his meds it would have masked his problems. I think they need to seethe truth of problem. And as for Rush , I won't even waste the time. OK let me have it Jayhawk!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by anabolicrhino
    Rush has a disease as well, he suffers from chronic A*s*s*holism, and its not pretty. Unfortunately, there is no cure except death. He needs our love and understanding, just don't accept anything he says as a true opinion because its really just the disease talking.
    Sadly his condition is exasperated by exposure to any broadcst medium.
    LOL...and whats the sickness called where people actually hang on his every dispicable word?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zbtboy
    LOL...and whats the sickness called where people actually hang on his every dispicable word?
    I believe the latin name is Gullabulus Douchebagus
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    Everyone knows he has Parkinson's and admitting to not take his medication to induce a more dramatic effect isn't the most honest things to do when you are trying to effect an election. Its just as bad as the fear tactics used by the Republicans to play on voters emotions. Yes he is trying to find a cure but even the latest studies show that in Parkinson's disease that embyonic cells caused brain tumors but they won't tell you that.

    What I also find disturbing is the ad implies that Jim Talent doens't care about Fox and/or research which is also misleading. Talent is against the federal government FUNDING embryonic stem cell research. He is in favor of adult stem cell research and/or the private sector further enhancing research but he doesnt want the federal government to fund a research method in which many people believe its cloning human embryos for their "parts".

    So when it comes down to it he is supporting a research method which has shown almost zero advantages in his particular disease, is severely challenged by those who view this as cloning human embryos for their parts, and wants the federal government, not the private sector, to fund it.

    Do you want your tax dollars going to a research method like this? That's the question and its a tough answer because you have a financial and a moral question to answer for you to really make the decision.

    IMO I don't know. For all the reading I have done I simply don't know and in my case I wouldn't pass a law if I was that unsure.

    I see a lot of truth in what Rush said because its based on words that Fox has used himself and admitting to using these tactice but he could have done it in a much less abrasive way. The gyrations he mimicked are way over the top.
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    When he dies will they say he is just acting?
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    Quote Originally Posted by anabolicrhino
    MJF is an actor, so actors act a certain way to express a point. The man has a disease and wants to be cured of it. He is really just trying to improve his position in life to follow his dreams and live long enough to make sure his children can do the same. I can't imagine why anyone would not want him to achieve that goal.
    I agree, but the problem I see is running an ad that implies, "If you vote for Talent, Parkinson's won't be cured and since he doen'st support embyonic (which they don't mention) stem cell research that he doens't care". Playing on the emotions of lawmakers for a political agenda (a $6 billion dollar political agenda in wihch the tax payers will fund) isn't always the wisest of moves. I just wish he could have said "embryonic" stem cell research and brought in the federal funding part.

    I don't think anyone in their right mind doens't want him to be cured and to imply otherwise with a political ad doens't sit right with me. THis is why people hate politics and polticians.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryano
    When he dies will they say he is just acting?
    What point does that make?

    Is it wrong to doubt him because he has Parkinson's? Is it off limits to bring up the fact that Fox admits to manipuling his meds to get a dramatic effect?

    Thats how we went to war. Playing on emotions and lack of evidence in which both are present in abundance on this issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    What point does that make?

    Is it wrong to doubt him because he has Parkinson's? Is it off limits to bring up the fact that Fox admits to manipuling his meds to get a dramatic effect?

    Thats how we went to war. Playing on emotions and lack of evidence in which both are present in abundance on this issue.
    I agree with alot of the issues you brought up. I do believe using peoples emotions to push a political agenda is a careless approach. However I also believe that this is an effect to push his real reason for doing the ad.

    What did you mean by "Is it wrong to doubt him because he has Parkinson's?" Doubt his reasons for doing the ad? Or not taking his meds or possibly overacting his condition? Maybe $$?

    As far as manipulating his meds...I believe ( I might be wrong..please correct if I am) he admitted to NOT taking his meds so people realise the debillatating(spell) effect of this disease.

    Comparing the war to stem cell research is like comparing apples to oranges. As far as the lack of evidence that is not present...I believe that is what the research is for.

    In short I guess the point I was trying to make is one that has been already stated by everyone else. Just in a different way. It doesnt matter if he is dramatising his condition or not. This man and others have a deadly disease that can be possibly be cured by research that is being held back and will possibly continue too by a certain candidate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryano
    I agree with alot of the issues you brought up. I do believe using peoples emotions to push a political agenda is a careless approach. However I also believe that this is an effect to push his real reason for doing the ad.

    What did you mean by "Is it wrong to doubt him because he has Parkinson's?" Doubt his reasons for doing the ad? Or not taking his meds or possibly overacting his condition? Maybe $$?

    As far as manipulating his meds...I believe ( I might be wrong..please correct if I am) he admitted to NOT taking his meds so people realise the debillatating(spell) effect of this disease.

    Comparing the war to stem cell research is like comparing apples to oranges. As far as the lack of evidence that is not present...I believe that is what the research is for.

    In short I guess the point I was trying to make is one that has been already stated by everyone else. Just in a different way. It doesnt matter if he is dramatising his condition or not. This man and others have a deadly disease that can be possibly be cured by research that is being held back and will possibly continue too by a certain candidate.

    Actually, no he specifically stated he did not take them in front of Congress to have a more dramatic effect.

    See I think it DOES matter if he is trying to dramatize the issue especially when he is not being completely honest in his message. If he actually stated what Talent's position was, actually identified embryonic stem cell research, then my only problem is if he didn't take his meds to get a more dramatic effect because when it comes to judicial law, your lawmakers should not pass and/or reject laws based on emotion. There has to be some sort of logical debate and exchange of facts and there isn't anything close to that with his ad.

    Yes he does have a deadly disease but where does he mention that is will cost $6 billion dollars in federal funds in which all taxpayers will pay for? Did he mention the cure is probably at least 15-20 years away and that the current research on embryonic stem cell cells for Parkinson's showed it actually HURT the condition?

    What did you mean by "Is it wrong to doubt him because he has Parkinson's?" Doubt his reasons for doing the ad? Or not taking his meds or possibly overacting his condition? Maybe $$?
    It means that people automatically assume there is no truth in what Rush says and let their sympathy for an illness blind them to the facts of the amendment.

    Comparing the war and this is not apples and oranges because its the same political tactic used. Play on your emotions to achieve a political agenda. You don't get an 80% approval rating of going to war by the general public if you aren't pulling the emotional strings. In this case, use a victim to get your point across because if you even criticize him you look like an a$$hole. They played it, and the public opinion, very well.

    Everyone wants a cure, nobody wants to see him die, but to some people you are funding research that is basically cloning for the body parts and that isn't even mentioned. It also implies that if you don't believe in stem cell research then you don't care and that's wrong. This is pure politics and the exploitation of a disease and victim to get a law passed. It just doesn't sit well with me. They do the same on the other side when they have these doom and gloom war ads. Both sides take it to far.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier
    I was just watching his interview w/ Katie Couric and he stated it was more of a case of over-medication. A condition called Descinasea (sp??), which results in the slow-rocking motion. I honestly think it is entirely pitiful for Rush Limbaugh of all people to accuse Michael J. Fox of faking his condition.
    I agree, it's more than a bit ironic when you think about it. If Fox was faking, at least it was for a cause other than his next fix.

    In the end though, who gives a **** about whether Limbaugh was an ******* or Fox was exagerating his symptoms? Isn't the real issue the legislation/politicians in question and what it/they will and will not do?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    What point does that make?

    Is it wrong to doubt him because he has Parkinson's? Is it off limits to bring up the fact that Fox admits to manipuling his meds to get a dramatic effect?

    Thats how we went to war. Playing on emotions and lack of evidence in which both are present in abundance on this issue.
    I certainly agree with the lack of fact based debates in politics. Playing on emotions is all that seems to work unfortunately. However, I don't find MJF's actions offensive, as I don't consider not taking one's medicine as "manipulating" them. The medicine only controls some of the symptoms, it is certainly not a cure. If you want to demonstrate the condition, doing it while controlling the symptoms is pointless. Whether or not you find the message appropriate is a different story. I find Bush more offensive after his veto, as he did the obligatory 'surround myself with kids' photo op to give the fake appearance that he is saving the babies. The embryos that are not used are rarily ever "adopted" out as the donors more often that not don't want them to be adopted out and would rather them go to research. In addition, most considering adopting want a baby or young child as they can't or don't want to go through the pregnancy.

    My problem with not allowing federal funds is that often this is the only source for funding. This doesn't just cover stem cell research, but research in general. If there is a huge commericial potential or enough public interest in something, the funding MAY be available from the private sector. The money for "basic research" needs to be there. There is no telling what will come out of it, and when congress gets involved the end result is never good. People will easily protest research done on animals, with stem cells etc. etc. However, these same people will be more than happy to benefit from the end result is a cure is found. I think people would think differently on the issue if laws were passed to forbid any public funding for treatment with any medicines or therapies that have come out of research that public funds were not allowed for.

    TSC
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDB
    In the end though, who gives a **** about whether Limbaugh was an ******* or Fox was exagerating his symptoms? Isn't the real issue the legislation/politicians in question and what it/they will and will not do?
    And playing on the emotions of the public makes them forget that and gets someone elected.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsc
    I certainly agree with the lack of fact based debates in politics. Playing on emotions is all that seems to work unfortunately. However, I don't find MJF's actions offensive, as I don't consider not taking one's medicine as "manipulating" them. The medicine only controls some of the symptoms, it is certainly not a cure. If you want to demonstrate the condition, doing it while controlling the symptoms is pointless. Whether or not you find the message appropriate is a different story. I find Bush more offensive after his veto, as he did the obligatory 'surround myself with kids' photo op to give the fake appearance that he is saving the babies. The embryos that are not used are rarily ever "adopted" out as the donors more often that not don't want them to be adopted out and would rather them go to research. In addition, most considering adopting want a baby or young child as they can't or don't want to go through the pregnancy.
    Yes but its ultimately up the parents of the extra embryos what is to be done with them. Then you go into the area of "is an embryo a human person" and what is and where does the essence of life originate? Do the parents have the right to authorize such research on embryos? Some major questions that should be answered by people that can actually debate the topic, not an emotional ad to sway public opinion.

    My problem with not allowing federal funds is that often this is the only source for funding. This doesn't just cover stem cell research, but research in general. If there is a huge commercial potential or enough public interest in something, the funding MAY be available from the private sector. The money for "basic research" needs to be there. There is no telling what will come out of it, and when congress gets involved the end result is never good. People will easily protest research done on animals, with stem cells etc. etc. However, these same people will be more than happy to benefit from the end result is a cure is found. I think people would think differently on the issue if laws were passed to forbid any public funding for treatment with any medicines or therapies that have come out of research that public funds were not allowed for.
    Well, many of the companies that will benefit form the federal government funding such studies are pouring money into to getting these bills passed. Why? Because they make money. There is a huge industry for this in the private sector as you already see in England and Japan. I think there is also some wording in this amendment would could be a loophole for human cloning as the definition is somewhat vague in this bill. I haven't seen it though.

    So you really have one extreme not agreeing because of their moral and ethical values and youhave some very large corporations that want to fund such research because the profits are enormous. So either way, its a tough decision that should not be swayed by emotion IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsc
    I find Bush more offensive after his veto, as he did the obligatory 'surround myself with kids' photo op to give the fake appearance that he is saving the babies. The embryos that are not used are rarily ever "adopted" out as the donors more often that not don't want them to be adopted out and would rather them go to research. In addition, most considering adopting want a baby or young child as they can't or don't want to go through the pregnancy.
    What would you find more offensive, someone holding their moral ground and not profiting from it, or companies pouring money into getting this bill passed so they could make enormous profits if and when their is a cure?

    Just curious.

    I think both are wrong so it doens't matter to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    What would you find more offensive, someone holding their moral ground and not profiting from it, or companies pouring money into getting this bill passed so they could make enormous profits if and when their is a cure?

    Just curious.

    I think both are wrong so it doens't matter to me.
    Could you clarify this? What do you mean by holding their moral ground? by 'pouring money into ...bill' do you mean in political donations, payoffs, advertising?? I'd be happy to answer... just not sure exactly what you are asking. Perhaps an example for each, as I can see a couple different ways to read what you were asking??

    until then, your other quote :

    Yes but its ultimately up the parents of the extra embryos what is to be done with them. Then you go into the area of "is an embryo a human person" and what is and where does the essence of life originate? Do the parents have the right to authorize such research on embryos? Some major questions that should be answered by people that can actually debate the topic, not an emotional ad to sway public opinion.

    My view on this is it from a legal standpoing, creating an embryo in this fashion is perfectly legal. Since multiple embryos are developed and rarely all are used, extras are made. This is fine. However, if using these for research is considered wrong, than why is destroying them acceptable? If this is destroying a life, then are the "parents" required to go through X amount of pregnancies so that they all develope?? Should it be illegal to destroy them, and then they must be required to be stored until some other couple wants to use them? As the "parent" must you be forced to allow some other couple to use your creation since you don't want any more children? What is the appropriate use for these unused embryos? As to your last line, therein lies the problem: Those questions, and that debate will never be handled without emotions as much of the "when life starts" question is tied into religious and moral view (which of course vary widely among "believers" themselves). That said, I agree I would much rather see the removal of all emotional pleas from politics and everything else for that matter. If critical thinking was given a little more (ok, a hell of a lot more) attention in our education system this might be more of a possibility. In all reality though, where in the world is anything presented to the masses done so in a cut and dry fact based fashion?? Its human nature to only see the presentation and not the intention.

    Here's one for you: Which is worse; A politician votes against his moral views to allow this research because his constituents support it (in the majority at least). or This same man votes against the research for due to his moral issues, but later benefits from the research in any form (financial from stocks, medical treatment for himself of family members etc.).??

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    No where in the ad does Fox mention anything about embryonic stem cell research. He does mention stem cell research. Is this entire 6 billion dollar budget going towards just "embryonic" stem cell research or stem cell research in general?

    I also wonder how much of our tax dollars will be saved as a result of the 200 or plus diseases that can be treated or cured with this research. How many new jobs will this create. How many people sitting around at home collecting our tax dollars will be able to return to work?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    What would you find more offensive, someone holding their moral ground and not profiting from it, or companies pouring money into getting this bill passed so they could make enormous profits if and when their is a cure?

    Just curious.

    I think both are wrong so it doens't matter to me.
    Manipulating people's emotions for anything is offensive. It happens to be the most effective method for achieving political goals. I don't have to look any further than my ex-wife to prove it.

    I thought that there was some research on molecular manipulation of adipose tissue(fat) to retrieve stem cells from a less "morally conflicting" source. Perhaps they could create a temporary" phase I type" rule : whereas they would permit the use of "embryonic" tissue until the "fat cell" method evolves to fruition?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryano
    No where in the ad does Fox mention anything about embryonic stem cell research. He does mention stem cell research. Is this entire 6 billion dollar budget going towards just "embryonic" stem cell research or stem cell research in general?

    I also wonder how much of our tax dollars will be saved as a result of the 200 or plus diseases that can be treated or cured with this research. How many new jobs will this create. How many people sitting around at home collecting our tax dollars will be able to return to work?
    Tax dollars are never saved, only spent. Even if by some miracle stem cell research funding turned into the one government program that verifiably achieved its goal efficiently, the money not spent on those diseases in the future would be spent on something else. So it's not going to save us anything.

    There's already a massive industry surrounding stem cell research. Why do we need the government to, for lack of a better analogy, to throw **** at the wall and see what sticks when there's already a bunch of private firms researching the most promising techniques in this area?
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    Some of the things we have to keep in mind is that this an a thirty second ad. The main reason Fox did this spot was the reason we are talking about it right now. People need to be educated on a topic before they vote for or against it. I admit this thread has got me thinking about things I really did not take into consideration before. So thanks fellas.

    I see nothing wrong with Fox not taking his meds or taking to many wich are both effects of his disease. He is being himself a man with parkinsons who is trying to inform people, get them thinking, and get some votes to further his cause.

    Now if he were hiding his true intentions ...say WMD and 9/11 to push a war then I would say tear him apart if he shakes like a leaf or not.

    Otherwise I say we are comparing apples to oranges.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsc
    Could you clarify this? What do you mean by holding their moral ground? by 'pouring money into ...bill' do you mean in political donations, payoffs, advertising?? I'd be happy to answer... just not sure exactly what you are asking. Perhaps an example for each, as I can see a couple different ways to read what you were asking??
    Holding their moral ground as in Bush not supporting it because its viewed as killing a human being based on his religious beliefs compared to the companies who fund candidates to get an amendment passed because in the end they will benefit greaty form the profit if a cure is found. They also get federal funding to find this cure meaning they won't have to spend any money on R&D.

    I mean in this scenario, Bush can be seen as limiting research based on his religous values in wihch he has nothing to gain but heavy criticism compared to a company who wants a bill passed for monetary reason masked around the arguement that they "want to find a cure"

    until then, your other quote :

    Yes but its ultimately up the parents of the extra embryos what is to be done with them. Then you go into the area of "is an embryo a human person" and what is and where does the essence of life originate? Do the parents have the right to authorize such research on embryos? Some major questions that should be answered by people that can actually debate the topic, not an emotional ad to sway public opinion.

    My view on this is it from a legal standpoing, creating an embryo in this fashion is perfectly legal. Since multiple embryos are developed and rarely all are used, extras are made. This is fine. However, if using these for research is considered wrong, than why is destroying them acceptable? If this is destroying a life, then are the "parents" required to go through X amount of pregnancies so that they all develope?? Should it be illegal to destroy them, and then they must be required to be stored until some other couple wants to use them? As the "parent" must you be forced to allow some other couple to use your creation since you don't want any more children? What is the appropriate use for these unused embryos? As to your last line, therein lies the problem: Those questions, and that debate will never be handled without emotions as much of the "when life starts" question is tied into religious and moral view (which of course vary widely among "believers" themselves). That said, I agree I would much rather see the removal of all emotional pleas from politics and everything else for that matter. If critical thinking was given a little more (ok, a hell of a lot more) attention in our education system this might be more of a possibility. In all reality though, where in the world is anything presented to the masses done so in a cut and dry fact based fashion?? Its human nature to only see the presentation and not the intention.
    I agree with everything. The questions and answers shouldn't be politicized in the way they have for a candidate.

    Here's one for you: Which is worse; A politician votes against his moral views to allow this research because his constituents support it (in the majority at least). or This same man votes against the research for due to his moral issues, but later benefits from the research in any form (financial from stocks, medical treatment for himself of family members etc.).??

    TSC
    I would say the second because you have to make decisions on what you think is right at the time. The second scenario means he did what he thought was right but in the end, maybe received treatment in a sitatuation in wihch he was wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDB
    Tax dollars are never saved, only spent. Even if by some miracle stem cell research funding turned into the one government program that verifiably achieved its goal efficiently, the money not spent on those diseases in the future would be spent on something else. So it's not going to save us anything.
    Good point. I guess we could then "allocate" that money to other things like education and more war toys.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDB
    There's already a massive industry surrounding stem cell research. Why do we need the government to, for lack of a better analogy, to throw **** at the wall and see what sticks when there's already a bunch of private firms researching the most promising techniques in this area?
    err uhh..umm... here read this I thought this was a good article.

    stem cell research
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryano
    Good point. I guess we could then "allocate" that money to other things like education and more war toys.
    Another problem: The scope of the government never shrinks, only expands. It's always running a deficit. Allocating funds to this or that program when you're constantly running in the red is an accounting insanity. If you were a few trillion in debt and someone did you a favor and took one of your expenses off your hands, allocating the money you would have spent on that to something else kind of ignores the underlying problem.

    err uhh..umm... here read this I thought this was a good article.

    stem cell research
    Indeed, very informative. The basic bent of the article is that apparently the private sector sucks and even though the private sector is free to pursue ESC, researchers would rather go elsewhere to do so. It said the private sector was not peer reviewed, but last I'd heard private studies can get submitted to any peer reviewed and refereed journal. Last I'd heard private firms still need to submit potential treatment options to the government for approval, and all this allowing for the idea that somehow the government is truly the font of all objective research which is pretty arguable.

    Sounds to me like an article written by an out of work scientist who wants his funding back and would rather get it from the government than the private sector for some reason. Nor does the argument about nervous system development or utility wash. The greatest good that delivers the least harm is purely subjective, and whether or not the nervous system has developed in the embryo or not is of no concern to people who for moral reasons (reasons I don't share) don't want their money funding this research.

    Don't Politicize Stem Cell Research

    by Michael D. Tanner

    2004

    Ron Reagan addressed the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, calling on the federal government to support fetal stem cell research. His plea was heartfelt and eloquent, but ultimately missed the point.

    First, this is not a debate about whether stem cell research should be legal. It is, and no one in Congress or the Bush administration has proposed banning it. In fact, there are at least nine private stem cell research centers across the country. The largest, at Harvard University, employs more than 100 researchers and recently unveiled 17 new stem cell lines.

    No, this is really a fight about money, about whether the federal government should fund the research. And, as such, it is a perfect example of how science becomes politicized when government money is involved.

    For example, all the political rhetoric may have led people to believe that stem cell research is on the verge of producing a cure for Alzheimer's disease. In reality, stem cell research has produced far more promising results in areas such as Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy and spinal injuries. But researchers and other supporters of government funding have attractive advocates in Ron Reagan and his mother, Nancy. If the Reagans care about Alzheimer's research, that's what the media will pay attention to, never mind the science.

    This has long been the case with government health care spending. Find a "mediagenic" spokesperson and get him on television and you can get your disease funded. Thus we see an endless stream of television and movie stars trooping to Capitol Hill to testify about scientific and medical issues that they know nothing about.

    Opponents of stem cell research are just as disingenuous. Every study of adult stem cells is hailed as a miraculous breakthrough, though most scientists believe that fetal stem cells hold far more promise. Opponents have downplayed or ignored studies that go against their views. Even as Ron Reagan was addressing the Democratic convention, the Family Research Council was issuing a press release highlighting "the failures of embryonic stem cell research." Theirs is ultimately a moral position but they insist on portraying it as a scientific one.

    Both sides in this debate have the best of motives. Supporters of fetal stem cell research see it as saving lives and curing horrible diseases. Opponents object to having their tax dollars used for practices that they believe are morally offensive. In the process, both sides end up distorting science.

    By its very nature, government politicizes everything it touches. Science is no exception. Stem cell research needs neither government money nor politics. It is better is to get the government out and let the private sector continue its good work. Those people calling for increased funding could take out their checkbooks and support it. Those who oppose embryonic stem cell research would not be forced to pay for it.

    The vast majority of medical and scientific breakthroughs in this country's history have been accomplished by the private sector. There's no reason for stem cell research to be any different. Let's end the political debate, and get back to scientific research.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    Holding their moral ground as in Bush not supporting it because its viewed as killing a human being based on his religious beliefs compared to the companies who fund candidates to get an amendment passed because in the end they will benefit greaty form the profit if a cure is found. They also get federal funding to find this cure meaning they won't have to spend any money on R&D.

    I mean in this scenario, Bush can be seen as limiting research based on his religous values in wihch he has nothing to gain but heavy criticism compared to a company who wants a bill passed for monetary reason masked around the arguement that they "want to find a cure"

    .
    It is the nature of industry to push their agenda on the government. Almost every large industry has lobbyists, and countless corporations donate to candidates that they feel will support their goals (or easier to payoff.. however you look at it). The stem cell research is not different, so one can't fault them for doing something every other industry pushes for (that is, without faulting every one else). The elected officials are SUPPOSED to represent their constituents, if they fail in this and push something forward for the industry that goes against the people, it is ultimately their fault. You can't really fault someone or group trying for whats best for them, but you can fault the one that makes the vote if he is doing so for the wrong reason.

    I find the president's actions in your example much more offensive as he VETOED a bill that made it through the normal process of government. His veto as you say was based on his own personal religious belief. There is a reason why the US is supposed to have separation of church and state, and the presiident should understand this and respect it. If his veto was for instance based on the knowledge that company X basically bought votes and that the passing of the bill does not reflect the people at all, I would be for it. Realistically however, Bush is one of the last people that would ever consider something like that, and numerous bills that were passed over the last several decades should have been vetoed using that logic.

    As for funding in general, no good comes out of politics trying to decide what is worth funding and not. Politicians, in general, are idiots that don't have the background and mental capacity to understand the research that is being questioned. The private sector can not fund everything that needs to be researched. In addition with this particular case is that there has to be a check for the private sector. When a new drug or treatment goes up for approval, often public research institutions are called upon to do the testing. Even afterwards, there is still a need for non-biased groups to research safety and other issues down the road. What private sector group that is not involved in the profits of a product is willing to do this?? very few if any, most likely none.

    If stem cell research is to be the new wave and truly has awesome potential, there should be a publicly funded aspect to the research as well. The private sector firms do not develope their methods for all to use. These companies will benefit from the publicly funded universities etc., but that is the nature and purpose of such funding. The rate of progress will always be faster when both the private and public sector are involved. While private groups can publish in journals, this doesn't guarantee the published info is complete. IE, the public sector is the most likely to adequate expose all aspects on these projects, including safety, success/failure rates etc.


    TSC
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsc
    It is the nature of industry to push their agenda on the government. Almost every large industry has lobbyists, and countless corporations donate to candidates that they feel will support their goals (or easier to payoff.. however you look at it). The stem cell research is not different, so one can't fault them for doing something every other industry pushes for (that is, without faulting every one else). The elected officials are SUPPOSED to represent their constituents, if they fail in this and push something forward for the industry that goes against the people, it is ultimately their fault. You can't really fault someone or group trying for whats best for them, but you can fault the one that makes the vote if he is doing so for the wrong reason.

    I find the president's actions in your example much more offensive as he VETOED a bill that made it through the normal process of government. His veto as you say was based on his own personal religious belief. There is a reason why the US is supposed to have separation of church and state, and the presiident should understand this and respect it. If his veto was for instance based on the knowledge that company X basically bought votes and that the passing of the bill does not reflect the people at all, I would be for it. Realistically however, Bush is one of the last people that would ever consider something like that, and numerous bills that were passed over the last several decades should have been vetoed using that logic.

    As for funding in general, no good comes out of politics trying to decide what is worth funding and not. Politicians, in general, are idiots that don't have the background and mental capacity to understand the research that is being questioned. The private sector can not fund everything that needs to be researched. In addition with this particular case is that there has to be a check for the private sector. When a new drug or treatment goes up for approval, often public research institutions are called upon to do the testing. Even afterwards, there is still a need for non-biased groups to research safety and other issues down the road. What private sector group that is not involved in the profits of a product is willing to do this?? very few if any, most likely none.

    If stem cell research is to be the new wave and truly has awesome potential, there should be a publicly funded aspect to the research as well. The private sector firms do not develope their methods for all to use. These companies will benefit from the publicly funded universities etc., but that is the nature and purpose of such funding. The rate of progress will always be faster when both the private and public sector are involved. While private groups can publish in journals, this doesn't guarantee the published info is complete. IE, the public sector is the most likely to adequate expose all aspects on these projects, including safety, success/failure rates etc.


    TSC
    You can argue all you want about the semantics of why you think my decision is wrong but its not going to change anything or change my mind. I already know the points you have made and I still don't know what is right. We can see you don't like Bush. We can see you want embryonic stem cell research. That's fine. Nobody is saying you are wrong.

    Bottom line and answer to your question, give me the devil who's agenda I know rather the one who hides it under righteous thoughts.

    EDIT: I don't think all politicians are idiots either. That's a bit presumptuous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anabolicrhino
    Manipulating people's emotions for anything is offensive. It happens to be the most effective method for achieving political goals. I don't have to look any further than my ex-wife to prove it.

    I thought that there was some research on molecular manipulation of adipose tissue(fat) to retrieve stem cells from a less "morally conflicting" source. Perhaps they could create a temporary" phase I type" rule : whereas they would permit the use of "embryonic" tissue until the "fat cell" method evolves to fruition?
    There is also some research suggesting that adult stem cell research is much more promising than what was previous thought and in line with embryonic stem cell research in terms of results. I read an article about it a while back but it was very vague. It would seem logical to exhaust the options that wouldn't cause the moral dilemma than to pass bills and federally fund ones that will obviously divide a large part of the population.

    ..but logic and politics usually don't go hand in hand.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    You can argue all you want about the semantics of why you think my decision is wrong but its not going to change anything or change my mind. I already know the points you have made and I still don't know what is right. We can see you don't like Bush. We can see you want embryonic stem cell research. That's fine. Nobody is saying you are wrong.

    Bottom line and answer to your question, give me the devil who's agenda I know rather the one who hides it under righteous thoughts.

    EDIT: I don't think all politicians are idiots either. That's a bit presumptuous.
    I didn't say your decision is wrong. I'm bringing up points I think are valid, some are directed to the points you've brought up, some to the general discussion.

    Yes, I don't like Bush. That is not the point though, I would still have major problems with any president using his veto power to promote his religious views (even if I shared the exact same views). That is one issue.

    My other concern with this issue is less involved with stem research than with politics getting involved on the research funding decisions. There is a serious lack of understanding and appreciation for basic research and with poor support its funding has decreased. This has shifted the focus of many researchers to go after projects that are more likely to be funded. I don't think politicians are qualified to decide what is worth research or not. and yes, not all are idiots, but the majority regardless of how skilled in their profession they are, are not scientists, nor do they understand the the research. That is why others have always done the decision making in this area.

    The stem cell issue is just another case. I'd feel the same if animal rights activists gained more power and had the president and half of congress etc. wanting to end all animal testing. The same aspects of emotional appeal have gone into play here, and would again.

    On a side, I do have some issues with stem cell research as well other new technologies on the horizon. I'm getting off work in three minutes so i'll wait to post on that

    TSC
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsc
    I didn't say your decision is wrong. I'm bringing up points I think are valid, some are directed to the points you've brought up, some to the general discussion.

    Yes, I don't like Bush. That is not the point though, I would still have major problems with any president using his veto power to promote his religious views (even if I shared the exact same views). That is one issue.

    My other concern with this issue is less involved with stem research than with politics getting involved on the research funding decisions. There is a serious lack of understanding and appreciation for basic research and with poor support its funding has decreased. This has shifted the focus of many researchers to go after projects that are more likely to be funded. I don't think politicians are qualified to decide what is worth research or not. and yes, not all are idiots, but the majority regardless of how skilled in their profession they are, are not scientists, nor do they understand the the research. That is why others have always done the decision making in this area.

    The stem cell issue is just another case. I'd feel the same if animal rights activists gained more power and had the president and half of congress etc. wanting to end all animal testing. The same aspects of emotional appeal have gone into play here, and would again.

    On a side, I do have some issues with stem cell research as well other new technologies on the horizon. I'm getting off work in three minutes so i'll wait to post on that

    TSC
    I shouldn't have said wrong. It sounded like you were trying to convince me of something but that's besides the point now.


    I understand the points being brought up, and have read both sides of the story and I still don't know! This is one of those areas in which you could have several right or wrong answers whenever you bring into the question of the "where does life begin". And for the points about finding research, who benefits, who should make the decision, you will still have that underlying wall of morality, ethics, religion, etc....

    The problem that will always exist with embryonic stem cell research is the "pro-life" vs. "pro-choice" argument. Then you have the problem, as you brought up, if the parents are aloud to discard the extras then why are they allowed to sacrifice them for research, much like organ donors (yes its a stretch but applies). So many questions, very few right/wrong answers because morality is subjective.

    I actually believe that embryonic stem cell research shouldn't be illegal and further researched but to exploit the disease and emotions of the general public without bringing up the sole reason WHY it hasn't gone forth was irresponsible, especially to benefit someone being elected.
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