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The Stem Cell Flap

by Christopher Chantrill
October 27, 2006 at 4:37 pm

EVER SINCE they ginned up Ron Reagan to make a speech on stem cell research at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Democrats have been doing a land office business on the proposition that Republicans oppose stem cell research.

And that is what the flap over actor Michael J. Fox’s commercials in support of Democratic senate candidates, including U.S. Rep. Ben Cardin, the opponent of Republican Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele in Maryland, is about. It’s all rehearsed here.

As is usually the case in politics, the Democrats are trying to pull a fast one on the American people.

Republicans are all in favor of stem cell research. They just don’t want federal funds spent on new lines of embryonic stem cells.

And there’s an additional kicker. Adult and umbilical cord stem cells have already proved to have applications in a number of degenerative diseases.

But embryonic stem cells have not proved useful, at least not yet. So the issue, which the MSM has not highlighted at all, is this:

Mr. Steele supports stem cell research using adult stem cells and stem cells from umbilical cords, which have already been used to treat and improve several dozen degenerative diseases.

Mr. Cardin and Mr. Fox support stem cell research using embryos, which has not yet been proven to yield any cures for diseases, but which some scientists say could do so.

We wait eagerly for the MSM to make this clear.

They would be doing a public service. My personal researches indicate that my liberal friends have no idea that embryonic stem cells are a “risky scheme” whereas adult stem cells are already saving lives.

They just know that Republicans are against stem cell research because Pat Robertson is against it. Or was it Jerry Falwell?

And where are the environmentalists and their Precautionary Principle on all this?


Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican

Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District

Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State

Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization

Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph

Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self

Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion

Government Expenditure

The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

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©2007 Christopher Chantrill