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« How to Prevent SkyNet from Taking Over the World (Just Sue It) The RantsFrom the Depths of the Woo Mail Bag »

Chalk One Up for the Non-Asshats
2009.03.10 (Tue) 00:15

Okay, this one was a given:

President Obama has signed an executive order ending an 8 1/2-year ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

"At this moment, the full promise of stem cell research remains unknown, and it should not be overstated," Obama said Monday morning before signing the order. "But scientists believe these tiny cells may have the potential to help us understand, and possibly cure, some of our most devastating diseases and conditions."

The President's speech was equal parts hope for the new research and support for the scientists involved in such work.

"Today, with the executive order I am about to sign, we will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers, doctors and innovators, patients and loved ones have hoped for, and fought for, these past eight years: We will lift the ban on federal funding for promising embryonic stem cell research," Obama said. "We will vigorously support scientists who pursue this research. And we will aim for America to lead the world in the discoveries it one day may yield."

White House officials said Sunday that the president's order will give the National Institutes of Health 120 days to develop ethical guidelines for the research.

"Encompassed in [the executive order] will also be the requirements around guidelines that will be drafted by the NIH [National Institutes of Health] as they ... work with others around the country to make sure we're handling the issue responsibly," said Melody Barnes, the director of the president's Domestic Policy Council.

Well, yes — Obama promised he would lift this idiotic restriction, and he has made good on that promise. It's really a no-brainer — putting science back in the hands of the scientists — but we applaud it nonetheless. We talked in 2005 about how shitty this restriction was, and how it had no basis in actual science. All of those observations still stand.

And what's the opposition up to? The usual fucking dishonest, assheaded lies, of course. In fact, these tools can't even come up with any new material (which, of course, is the absolute hallmark of true science, right?). It's the same shit we heard back in 2005:

But Dorinda Bordlee of the Bioethics Defense Fund points out human embryo research has produced not one cure or treatment for diseases.

"Actually what President Obama is now doing is taking the very extreme and ineffective track of using our tax dollars to pay for obsolete research that destroys human embryos," she says.


Bordlee stresses that research on adult stem cells, which are readily available and do not involve the killing of a tiny human being, has already produced success in treatment of more than 70 diseases and conditions.

David Christensen of the Family Research Council (FRC) offers these comments regarding research on adult stem cells that do not involve killing a human embryo, and the success of those treatments.

"Even in the last week [there have been] three new studies using this very new type of technique to create what they call induced pluripotent stem cells -- which creates a stem cell that's very much like an embryonic stem cell but without destroying embryos," he explains.


As for the successes in medical treatments with embryonic stem cells? "The research hasn't treated any patients," says the FRC spokesman.


And Dr. David Stevens of the Christian Medical Association explains that these continued breakthroughs in stem cell research prove that killing human embryos is not needed.


Funding, he says, should be poured into adult stem-cell research. "These cells have tremendous advantage -- they're readily available, they are easy to reprogram, there's an unlimited supply, they don't form tumors, they're not expensive...and the list just goes on and on."

Wow, that's quite a list of scientifically qualified, unbiased individuals! First we have an attorney from the, uh, Bioethics Defense Fund which, it turns out, is a legal group dedicated to eradicating abortion rights, embryonic stem cell research, and doctor assisted suicide. Then we have a spokesman from the odious Family Research Council, whose slogan is "Defending Faith, Family and Freedom." And based on their anti-gay, pro-theocracy agenda, that slogan accurately portrays the fact that their bullshit faith is meant to trump everyone else's family and freedom. Finally, a doctor from the Christian Medical Association, a group whose stated purpose is to "motivate, educate, and equip Christian physicians and dentists to glorify God...." (Jesus totally gets a shout out in the Hippocratic Oath, as we all know.) Clearly, the Christian Medical Association would never, ever allow their religious biases to overtake their medical opinions. Right?

Huh. You know, now that we take a step back, it turns out all three of these fuckheads are part of bible-thumping religious organizations, and they aren't research scientists at all! Odd, that. It isn't possible that they have an agenda to advance, is it? Or that they would fucking lie to advance that agenda? Nah, perish the thought.

We like the bit about the promise of adult stem cells from the Family Research Council dipshit; he says that they are "very much like" embryonic stem cells. Oh, thanks — so they're "very much like" embryonic stem cells? Clearly, "close enough" will work out just fine in this field of study. Thanks, David Christensen! You know what's also fascinating? To someone who isn't an expert, O'Douls can seem "very much like" real beer. But at the end of the night, one will leave you with a pleasant buzz, and the other will only leave you with a shitty aftertaste. The bottom line, as any competent and honest person will tell you, is that we don't know all the differences between adult and embryonic stem cells, or where those differences will take us in our research. That's why it's important to do the research on both types of stem cells, and not just one. You stupid, dishonest fuck.

And how about that Bioethics Defense Fund flunky joining the same FRC cocksucker in pointing out that there haven't been any successful treatments based on embryonic stem cell research? Wow, that's a little bit like viciously hacking off your boyfriend's hands, tongue, and penis, and then complaining that he sucks in bed. Of course he does, jackass — you've rendered him impotent! You can't rest your opposition to embryonic stem cell research on the fact that it's been stagnant for the last eight years, when the ban that you backed has been directly responsible for this lack of results! Fuck you, you lying, ignorant sycophants.

Finally, amidst all the hand-wringing and ass-puckering from the religious fucks, we once again fail to see any mention whatsoever about those embryos that are slated for destruction — the leftovers from in vitro treatments, which can and will be used to populate new stem cell lines. This oversight is nothing short of willful misrepresentation of reality. As we said back in 2005, we can understand why some people oppose the creation of new human embryos for the sole purpose of scientific research. We don't agree with them, but we can understand their position. On the other hand, opposing the use of already created embryos, currently destined for the trash anyway, is just willful ignorance.

Now that this idiotic ban has been set aside, ethical standards can and will be written and enforced. That's how responsible scientific research is conducted, you fucks — let us get the fucking work done, and the people who understand it can keep it above board. If you're really concerned about how embryonic stem cell research is conducted, then ignore the ramblings of asshats like those we quoted above, and get involved in the discussion over how to best engage in this research, rather than whether or not we should. (Possibility of vastly improving the lives of living human beings versus a handful of fucking cells that will not be developing into a human child anyway? No contest!) If you're too blinded by Jesus Love to do that, then step the fuck aside and let the rest of us get on with the business of advancing humanity. Don't worry — you can still benefit from the phenomenal results, you little fuckers. Just like you always do.

— • —
[  Filed under: % Bush Watch  % Government & Politics  % Religion  % Science & Technology  ]

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.twopercentco.com/rants/tpc-trkbk.cgi/474

Comments (8)

Jason Spicer, 2009.03.12 (Thu) 01:02 [Link] »

I'm quite pleased with Obama's support of the scientific community. It's so refreshing compared to the Dim Ages we've just been thru. Though we're not out of those woods yet, by any stretch.

The "lack of results" argument is also used by the DEA/NRDC dopes (pun completely intentional): "No scientific research supports any medical use of marijuana." Well, duh. That's because any such research is illegal on account of Prohibition 2.0. But I guess that just goes hand in glove with Depression 2.0. Maybe this new Depression will end this new Prohibition, just like the old one did.

Akusai, 2009.03.12 (Thu) 05:34 [Link] »
The "lack of results" argument is also used by the DEA/NRDC dopes (pun completely intentional): "No scientific research supports any medical use of marijuana." Well, duh. That's because any such research is illegal on account of Prohibition 2.0.

It always kind of reminds me of an argument I hear sometimes from people regarding child services that usually goes something like "Child services are a waste of time and money because most juvenile criminals stop committing crimes after about 21 anyway." Well, duh. After 21, most of the stuff most of them are doing is no longer criminal, so of course they don't get arrested for it. Status offenses are called that for a reason.

It's just people trying to make a scientific statement (or at the very least a definitive statement about reality) based on legal definitions or data that is inexorably and heavily affected by legal definitions, and then trying to parlay that "science" into policy-making.

It's kind of funny how they start with policy that leads to the current data (or lack thereof) and use it to decide further policy based on that policy-created data.

Jason Spicer, 2009.03.13 (Fri) 02:14 [Link] »

And of course I meant the NDPC, not the NRDC. Big difference.

Verdigris, 2009.07.07 (Tue) 22:01 [Link] »

How about no bans on embryonic stem cell research AND no Federal dollars for anyone towards such research? If scientists want to do work in that field, let them find their own funding.

The Two Percent Company, 2009.07.12 (Sun) 11:15 [Link] »

We're not exactly sure what your position is, Verdigris, so we'll address the two apparent possibilities that we see.

If you mean that the government should fund research in general, but not this research, then we would disagree. This research is in the public interest (even the interest of those who oppose it). The government should absolutely be doing everything possible to further this research for the public good, the same way we treat other useful research. The irrational hang-ups of some people shouldn't be allowed to outweigh the greater good.

If, on the other hand, you mean that the government shouldn't fund any research, and that it should all be left to the private sector, then we would again disagree. The government gets involved in all kinds of things that they should keep their noses out of (legislating which sex acts between consenting adults are legal and which are illegal leaps readily to mind). But this right here is an example of a good, beneficial use of government funds. Scientific research is both expensive and quite important, and the results are almost invariably in the public interest (often even when the initial proposals don't seem particularly practical or useful). It's hard to think of too many issues (beyond safety, health and well-being, and civil liberties) that deserve our tax dollars more — that's exactly what the government should be involved in furthering.

Lori, 2011.01.29 (Sat) 16:29 [Link] »

I wanted to email, followed your suggestion to write you on a rant. Your site is truly kick ass~ I was led here by a link to the Allison DuBois rant. from 2005. I became fascinated with this quack after watching her on The Housewives show Anyway, I will be a frequent visitor, I love you style!!

you suck, 2011.08.03 (Wed) 22:10 [Link] »

you people are horrible! How can you live with yourselves? Your mothers should be ashamed!! Go to hell, all of you. You must make a lot of enemies on this site. YOU BASTARDS!

Laura Foster, 2011.08.10 (Wed) 14:28 [Link] »

*Somebody* forgot to take his meds. ^^

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