Wednesday, July 19, 2006

An Interesting Choice Of Words For The Situation

I was skimming through an article on about Bush using his first veto on the stem-cell measure. Personally I think he has his head stuck up his born again ass on this topic but there was something that really caught my eye. About three quarters of the way down the article is a quote from Bush that made me pause for a moment...

"I'm disappointed that the House failed to authorize funding for this vital and ethical research," he said. "It makes no sense to say that you're in favor of finding cures for terrible diseases as quickly as possible and then block a bill that would authorize funding for promising and ethical stem-cell research."

The measure that he is complaining about not being passed is the one to try to find alternative stem-cell sources, including sources like placenta blood. Since it didn't hit the magic two-thirds majority, that one got left behind. The third measure, concerning the banning of what is called "fetal farming", passed 425-0 and was more or less a bill to make it look like they were standing up for the American family.

The quote above doesn't really fit in well when it comes right after he rejected a measure on a procedure that could save millions from all kinds of diseases. Even with the current questionable stock due to contamination of stem-cells that they are working with, the research is still pointing towards many possible discoveries. A veto of this measure is not an ethical thing to me.

It even goes into the photo-op that was played out around the signings and vetoing. They had invited parents of children that had received "adopted" frozen embryos that had been left unused at fertility clinics. This is all well and good but is there that big of a demand for these embryos? Is there such a backlog on these adoptions that the embryos can't be used for both? I'd go into the whole arguement of calling this "adoption" when there are still thousands of children in the foster care system that are treated like plutonium only because they happen to be older than what these families want. Kids are left to live their lives with no family relations because the adoptive parents must have a baby and not someone that they might have to learn and accept on their own terms.

When you have a good portion of the country being for a certain idea, it would stand to reason that the government would try to do what the people want. To destroy the chance at curing all manner of diseases, this veto is an even bigger red mark on the slate of this man's Presidential career. Not even the huge amount of doubletalk and backspeak can help to cover up this scarlet letter that will go right along with so many others.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Trying To Answer A Question That Shouldn't Be Asked

Like a good portion of the rest of the world, I've been watching the events going on along the Lebanon/Israel border with a mixture of disbelief and horror. I was brought up in a household that excepted everyone for their differences as well as their similarities. If you stop to think for a moment, even people with a huge amount of similar facets of their lives will still have a difference or two between them. The lack of cloning humans means that none of us are that alike just yet.

When you stir in a large spoonful of religion into an already volatile mixture, then it just adds to the possibility of explosion. The two main sides of this battle are some of the most firmly religious groups on the planet today which doesn't help the possibility of compromise like most religious theologians would seem to think. There are two groups of people that believe that they are right and won't back down unless their God comes down and says so.

Another view comes from the odd factors that led to this battle. Technically, Israel is fighting the Hezbollah but all they seem to be doing is blowing the hell out of Lebanon. On the other side you have Lebanon, a country that after nearly 20 years of civil war in some for or another, is finally getting back to being it's own country again but doesn't have the military strength to remove the Hezbollah from their borders right now. Israel could be helping them with this extraction but no Arab country wants to be seen as helping Israel in any way and the battles seem to be centered more on civilian areas of Lebanon. It's like the Israelis think that, if they can't tell if someone is a terrorist or not, they'll just blow them all up until they get all of the actual ones.

The whole situation seems like a stilt house built on top of quicksand. You might be safe for awhile but that doesn't mean that you aren't being sucked down into it. I'd like to think that the current US government had some ideas to help calm the situation down but that thought just melts away when you hear about Newt Gingrich already calling the current battles "World War III" on the weekend chat shows after getting a Republican talking points memo to make that statement if asked about it.

My brain could just be too removed from that situation to clearly come up with an answer either way. I was brought up in the California suburbs which is an easier life than most of the people that are directly effected by the battles. That being said, I'd like to trust in the idea of human nature and that it will move into the good and not the bad. As I've been thinking, there is a quote that has been popping into my head on a regular basis. It comes from the conclusion of the film WAR GAMES when the computer Joshua states, "A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."

That sounds like a good call to me.