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July 31, 2005

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Patrick R. Sullivan

'The charge by mainstream journalists that blogging lacks checks and balances is obtuse. The blogosphere has more checks and balances than the conventional media; only they are different. The model is Friedrich Hayek's classic analysis of how the economic market pools enormous quantities of information efficiently despite its decentralized character, its lack of a master coordinator or regulator, and the very limited knowledge possessed by each of its participants.'

Exactly, and I beat him to it by nine months.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Oops, the above obviously should have been put in the Posner post. Sorry.

SteveMG

This isn't that difficult, no?

Bush (and Congress) have placed limits on federal funding of research that uses stem cells taken from embyros.

There are no federal limits on states (e.g, California) or private individuals or companies using embryonic stem cells in medical research.

Yeah, those theocrats have really curtailed freedoms during the Bushco regime.

SMG

Davis

This issue is complex and evolving. Senator Frist has come under fire not only for expressing his opinion but for doing so on the last day of a session. It must be difficult for Frist - as a doctor and a scientist - to unquestioningly adopt the policies of the religious right. Mr. Dobson has accused Frist of speaking out for political reasons but that doesn't make sense; the politically expedient course for Frist would have been to either say nothing, or agree with the President's position. Bill Frist is showing courage in expressing his own opinion when he knows it will provoke anger within his own party.

kim

Go ask Boesky and Jeffries if Giuliani is meaner than the bad guys. Better yet, don't try to ask Boyd.
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Paul Deignan

Tom,

As something of a libertarian, there is a compelling reason to oppose any government involvement in embryonic stem cells--its our Constitution. You see, our government derives its sovereignty from the people. The people retain our natural rights to life, liberty, etc. giving up only what is absolutely necessary (as sepecified) to form this nation.

What do we have when there is no natural right to life or liberty? In China, the government holds itself to be supreme and can dictate when and if someone might live. Democracies can't work that way.

Some might look at this as an increase in liberty, but they would be wrong. There is no liberty without life. And if there is no natural right to life that the government cannot snuff out, then we are not naturally sovereign.


Frist is wrong.

Mike Veeshir

but is that really the first thing folks think of when they think of Rudy,

My ultra-lefty aunt still calls him "Benito Giuliani" without irony.
Liberals hate Giuliani, not only did he basically call them all nitwits for saying that "NY couldn't be governed", but he showed them to be nitwits by doing what he said.
Compassionate, intellectually elite, superior lefties really hate being made to look stupid so they lash out.

Doc Neaves

I could see funding of research if it had cures, but it doesn't. Not one target, not one specific hope, yet there are already cures, and better than that, methodologies, that are working today, as we speak, proven, that can't get funding because it's ADULT stem cells, or some other form. Wonder why these 'do-gooders' aren't pushing for more research where it's been proven to work? Because all they are really interested in is pushing back the definition of life so they can make abortion legal.
Go ahead, don't believe me. But everyone who pushes for this is pro abortion in some fashion or other, yet say nothing about the cures and trials we have going on all other stem cell research. Hypocrites.

mbranca

I am a born and bread New Yorker and I remember what my city was like before Rudy.
We had probably the worst Mayor ever, David
Dinkins, and when Rudy became Mayor it was like the clouds parted and the angels did sing, but there is absolutely no way that Rudy will be able to survive the GOP primaries. He has way too much bagage to over-come. He is pro-choice and for gay mariage, big no-no's for the GOP base. And all his foe's have to do is show Rudy in drag, talk about his divorces, his marriage to his cousin, adultery, living with a gay man when he split with his wife, etc. I absolutely believe that Rudy would make a fine President but I just don't believe he can make it through the primaries he would probably have a chance to become President if he were selected as VP first.

mark

It is funny to see the debate over government funding. A majority of the people favoring Federal funding of stem cells, are the same ones advocating privatization of the Space Program.

IT is the next world changing invention, on par with the advent of nuclear weapons. The potential for catastrophe must be examined in its full glory before we proceed.

If Bush is not anxious to accelerate the 'progress' by diverting federal tax money, so be it.

I anxiously wait the premiums of health care plan that includes stem cell treatment. I look foward to the debate over 130 years olds receiving and bankrupting the current social security program. The ethical debates that will abound over repairing organs in a man who is suffering dementia, because we can fix his body, but not his brain. The uniquely designed WBC, that are made in 2 months and will target a specified cancer, and that years later kill off the host body, because they didn't learn not to in those 2 months.

I used to believe that religion kept science down, and without it, we would be 200 years ahead of where we are scientifically. Maybe so, but then what would the world have been like if we had nukes in the 1800's? Sometimes, discovery needs to come slowly.

I have no doubt that there is over a 500 billion invested in stem cell study at this moment. I hold stock of many of these companies. If there are advocates of stem cell study, rather than pursue a policy of federal funding, buy the stocks, support your cause, and make your own money.

Steve Mertz

After a successful birth the umbilical cord, loaded with stem cells, is thrown away. Let's use our technology and promote a better quality of life. Full Disclosure: I'm headed to China for a stem cell transplant.

menlo bob

I must be missing something. The Dickey Amendment has placed restrictions on federal funding to produce or destroy embryos. Reporting that may result in a dampened enthusiasm for bashing Bush. Go ahead...google the Dickey Amendment.

Dave

This is sort of what I've been feeling about Rudy, but haven't been able to put it into words.

Yes, Rudy is sort of an anti-hero to conservatives, and perhaps to America as well. A good example of an anti-hero can be found in the most recent Batman film. There we see Batman portrayed as a troubled soul who is basically out for revenge and motivated by anger. Yet we cheer him on. Similarly, Rudy is seemingly cheered on by many southern red meat conservatives despite their disagreement with him on key issues.

What's so interesting is that, to many of these conservatives, Rudy's social positions and lifestyle make him an apostate. If it were anyone else, they'd be writing his political obit. But because it's Rudy, they're overlooking these things. And it's not even that they're overlooking his faults. It's almost as if they're embracing him even more because of his faults. Unlike, say, Bill Frist, Rudy doesn't have the image of a squeaky clean white collar guy from the south. He's a tough Brooklyn native with blue collar roots who has done battle with Gotham's most vile creatures, including institutional liberalism. And at the end of the day, he's come out victorious. I don't think I'm the first one to point out that, psychologically, that carries some water with regular people. Rudy is sort of the tattered, scarred anti-hero who seems best prepared to lead America in a time of spineless politicians at home and radicals who want to kill us abroad.

Slartibartfast

Bold begone!

Geek, Esq.

Anyone dreaming of a Giuliania nomination ought to keep in mind the stuff at this link:

http://politicker.observer.com/2005/03/quotable-rudy.html

"Some ask, How can the Liberal Party support a candidate who disagrees with the Liberal Party position on so many gut issues? But when the Liberal Party Policy Committee reviewed a list of key social issues of deep concern to progressive New Yorkers, we found that Rudy Giuliani agreed with the Liberal Party’s stance on a majority of such issues. He agreed with the Liberal Party’s views on affirmative action, gay rights, gun control, school prayer and tuition tax credits. As Mayor, Rudy Giuliani would uphold the Constitutional and legal rights to abortion.
--N.Y.S. Liberal Party Endorsement Statement of R. Giuliani for Mayor of New York City April 8, 1989"

Rudy said all of the following:

"My choice is Mario Cuomo."
Mr. Rockefeller represented “a tradition in the Republican Party I’ve worked hard to re-kindle – the Rockefeller, Javits, Lefkowitz tradition.”

“If I take three or four days off from city business, I want to do it for a substantive purpose. It didn’t seem to me any substantive purpose could be served by going to the Republican convention.”

“most of Clinton’s policies are very similar to most of mine.”

[Ruling out a tax increase is] “political pandering.”

Crank

Isn't the "big meanie" theory also a part of Hillary's appeal?

Geek, Esq.

Yes--Hillary's reputation as "one tough beeotch" would help amongst swing voters.

Jim Glass

Giuliani is a lot more liberal than a lot of Republicans think. When this gets out to the Republican base (if it hasn't already) I doubt that he'll have any chance for the Repub nomination (if he does now). He'd be a DLC Democrat anyhwere but New York.

McCain is a lot more conservative than a lot of Democrats think. If he gets the nomination and then gets elected in '08, a lot of Democrats who have spent years thinking of him as their favorite Republican will be in for a shock.

BTW, the fact that Kerry offered someone as conservative as McCain the vice-presidental nomination, and that so many Dems were salivating at the thought of him accepting it, shows the utter vacuuity of Dem politics today and how willing they are to deep-six their supposed principles for a shot at winning an election.

George Pataki is the Republican whom Democrats should root for. Pataki! Pataki!!

Geek, Esq.

I don't know of many Democrats who were salivating over a McCain VP-nomination, but I could be wrong.

Spot on about Kerry.

I remember McCain from 10-12 years ago--struck me as a rightwing blockhead.

Greg D

The problem with Frist's position is that there's no scientific or medical justification for it.

Scientists thought embryonic stem cells would be a miracle cure, so they transplanted some into brains of Parkinson's patients. And some of those cells turned into brain cells. Great!

Unfortunately, others turned into muscle, and, IIRC, bone. Not things you want in your brain.

This established that we don't understand the basic science behind embryonic stem cells. And when you want to do basic science research, you do it on animals, first.

When someone can cure Parkinson's like symptoms in an animal using animal embryonic stem cells, then you can start talking about using human embryonic stem cells to do the same in humans. Until then, the only reason to push using human embryonic stem cells is because you have a political agenda, and don't give a shit about curing people (research goes much faster, and is much cheaper, when you do it in animals).

Federal rules do not block funding for research using animal embryonic stemm cells. Bush is doing the right thing. I don't care why.

And I find it realy funny that the same people who bitch about the evil drug companies are now bitching because President Bush won't pay to do those companies' research for them.

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Wilson/Plame