Tag Archives: epic fail

Epic Fail: Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Epic Fail: For some things, there's just no excuse

Investors Business Daily reports the institute created by California Proposition 71 to research medical applications of Embryonic Stem Cells has quietly begun shifting it’s research focus to Adult Stem Cells.

Quick rehash: Embryonic Stem Cells are the result of abortions, the designer baby process, in vitro fertilization, and other procedures of a morally ambiguous to morally evil nature. Adult Stem Cells are derived from adult human adipose (fat) and other sources all given voluntarily, usually by the very person who will be benefiting directly from the treatment.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research (ESCR) = Morally murky, usually objectionable.

Adult Stem Cell Research (ASCR) = Morally good.

Now back to the story.

Five years later, ESCR has failed to deliver and backers of Prop 71 are admitting failure. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state agency created to, as some have put it, restore science to its rightful place, is diverting funds from ESCR to research that has produced actual therapies and treatments: adult stem cell research. It not only has treated real people with real results; it also does not come with the moral baggage ESCR does.

To us, this is a classic bait-and-switch, an attempt to snatch success from the jaws of failure and take credit for discoveries and advances achieved by research Prop. 71 supporters once cavalierly dismissed. We have noted how over the years that when funding was needed, the phrase “embryonic stem cells” was used. When actual progress was discussed, the word “embryonic” was dropped because ESCR never got out of the lab.

Alan Trounson, stem cell pioneer in Australia and director of the California institute says “If we went 10 years and had no clinical treatments, it would be a failure.”

In other words, as I’ve mentioned here before, Embryonic Stem Cell Research fails. Epicly. Again.

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The Real Anti-Terror

The latest face of terror: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
The latest face of terror: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab

The recent thwarted terror attack highlights two aspects of this war which I think deserve further emphasis.

First, government-run airport security is a joke at best, a catastrophic failure at best. Umar Farouk was on the all-important watch lists and his father had even sent a warning specifically to us regarding the threat his son posed.

The best the government can do is ban knitting needles, body search old ladies, and incarcerate people with unfortunate names and I believe it is completely reasonable that we criticize such paltry, misguided, and obviously insufficient systems as loudly as possible.

People: The real Anti-Terror
Average people: the real Anti-Terror

Second, private citizens foiled this attack without assistance from government-sanctioned law enforcement and despite their government-enforced lack of protective weaponry.

Government = 0
Citizens = 1

Perhaps the moral is, once again, don’t trust the government when you are capable.

Oh, and my bet for what the government will do as a result of the extensive and obligatory review they’ll carry out of the Transportation Security Administration is that they’ll fire a few lower level people and raise the fees charges for airport security. Cynical? Yes. Most likely true? I’m betting on it.

Government-Run Business, Epic Fail

As I’ve said before, several times, government involvement and control of business is a recipe for failure, disaster, loss, pain, hurt, evilness, etc.

In the Wall Street Journal, John Steele Gordon:

In 1913, for instance, thinking it was being overcharged by the steel companies for armor plate for warships, the federal government decided to build its own plant. It estimated that a plant with a 10,000-ton annual capacity could produce armor plate for only 70% of what the steel companies charged.

When the plant was finally finished, however — three years after World War I had ended — it was millions over budget and able to produce armor plate only at twice what the steel companies charged. It produced one batch and then shut down, never to reopen.

But epic failures on the Government’s part aren’t relegated to such ancient history.

Medicare is a prime example of government-run medical care:

Last year the Government Accountability Office estimated that no less than one-third of all Medicare disbursements for durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and hospital beds, were improper or fraudulent. Medicare was so lax in its oversight that it was approving orthopedic shoes for amputees.

And such failures through the history of government are not aberrations, they’re inherent to the system. John Gordon argues there are at least seven reasons government failure is the rule and not the exception when it comes to running things:

  1. Governments are run by politicians, not businessmen
  2. Politicians need headlines
  3. Governments use other people’s money
  4. Government does not tolerate competition
  5. Government enterprises are almost always monopolies
  6. Government is regulated by government

John Gordon ends his argument admitting that Capitalism isn’t necessarily pretty or perfect:

Indeed, to paraphrase Winston Churchill’s famous description of democracy, it’s the worst economic system except for all the others. But the inescapable fact is that only the profit motive and competition keep enterprises lean, efficient, innovative and customer-oriented.

In other words, Government hurts and harms. Damage and destruction are in it’s nature. Why else is government the best at war?

And private enterprise is the best there is at alleviating suffering and maximizing wealth to the most people most effectively and efficiently.

Read John Gordon’s whole article.