Tag Archives: War

Repost: Adult Stem Cells FTW

A colony of embryonic stem cells, from the H9 ...
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This is a repost in light of the recent news that the news media finally picked up on the fact that adult stem cells are cutting the butter and embryonic stem cells are still only a load of hype… er, tripe.

Anyway, here’s what we knew 3 years ago:

In case you didn’t know: adult stem cells have been used for years to successfully treat a wide range of conditions successfully. Private companies have seen the success and have poured large amounts of money into programs exploring the benefits of stem cells derived from adult adipose (fat) tissue, marrow, and other sources.

So what’s all the hubbub over skin cells? And why are embryonic stem cells such a hot topic?

In a chokingly self-important article which seems to further support Dennis Prager‘s assertion that liberals can go their whole lives without meeting a conservative, Time Magazine claims the recent discoveries about the ability of skin-derived stem cells to differentiate (grow into different organs, technically called pluripotency) will not benefit the GOP. Come again? What does good science have to do with politics? And do you even know the history of the issue? I thought not, the MSM conveniently does not read any medical journals unless their tipped off by some juicy tidbit they may use to further their own radical agenda.

The article’s author, Michael Kinsley, says he has Parkinsons, a disease for which stem cells hold great potential in curing. Current Parkinsons treatments using embryonic stem cells turns the patients into shaking, slobbering babes incapable of the most basic self-care. Embryonic stem cells have a more direct and immediate potential for pluripotency as that is what they do: they turn into cells for each organ and tissue in the body. Unfortunately their growth is uncontrollable right now and they end up turning effectively into tumors in the brains of those who are injected with them.

On top of this, the ethical and moral issues involving the harvesting of human embryos are staggering and I fall in with those myriad souls who fight to stop the harvesting and destruction of human life with the goal of bettering human life. How far removed are we from Nazi Germany, when diabolical doctors of death practiced upon innocents by the millions to further the happiness of the rest of humanity? Is that a worthwhile trade?

In fact, to date there has not been a single successful treatment of any condition or disease using stem cells harvested from embryos.

Private sector investment has shunned embryonic stem cell lines, which means the only group which can be coerced into paying for these death-dealers research projects is… us. The government largess is available to any who crow loud and long enough, and it comes from yours and my pocket books and paychecks.

Private sector research has all gone towards adult stem cell research which offers very potent benefits over embryonic stem cells.

  • Adult stem cells suffer no chance of rejection from their host. Adult stem cells are collected from the person they will be used on, meaning the organs grown from them carry the exact biological and genetic “fingerprint” of the rest of the body, there is zero chance of rejection of these treatments.
  • Adult stem cells are given voluntarily as part of treatment. There is no moral or ethical morass involved in the collection of the these cells.
  • Adult stem cells can differentiate under controlled conditions. Unlike embryonic stem cells, which differentiate wildly and which we are currently unable to control, adult stem cells pluripotency can be controlled in application with greater reliability.

So we have an issue where the successful treatment and therefore all the private money has gone in one direction, but a few stubborn souls insist on using disinformation and outright lies to promote a morally reprehensible treatment system which would have been likely looked upon with distaste by most of the Nazi death doctors in hopes of getting us to pay for a treatment process with no current success and little promise.

“If human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough.” ~James A. Thomson

UPDATE:

Hugh Hewitt references Charles Krauthammer’s article on the issue. Bush was right, technology vindicates morality:

Even a scientist who cares not a whit about the morality of embryo destruction will adopt this technique because it is so simple and powerful. The embryonic stem cell debate is over.

Which allows a bit of reflection on the storm that has raged ever since the August 2001 announcement of President Bush’s stem cell policy. The verdict is clear: Rarely has a president — so vilified for a moral stance — been so thoroughly vindicated.

Why? Precisely because he took a moral stance. Precisely because, as Thomson puts it, Bush was made “a little bit uncomfortable” by the implications of embryonic experimentation. Precisely because he therefore decided that some moral line had to be drawn.

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Short Reflections On The Nature Of God

What is the nature of God?
What is the nature of God?

It can be said that it is easier to accurately define and completely understand the concept of infinite that to even begin to comprehend God. Something I have wondered about for quite some time is how did God decide what the 10 Commandments were to consist of? Did He arbitrarily decide that these 10 rules were the ones He’d support? Are they so practical because He said so? If so, even despite their correctness and practicality in practice, their necessesity in all productive human interaction, they’re still arbitrary, and it would seem that God is cheaper than He really is. But God is not arbitrary. Just as He gives purpose to everything and everyone, He Himself embodies purpose. For us it is His will that guides our purpose, for Him, there is no higher being to guide His purpose. He is self-contained, unneeding. Instead it is His nature that defines His purpose. God is truthful, therefore we ought not lie. God does not covet (though, arguably He has nothing to covet, all things belong to Him, and anything existing apart from Him is against His nature), therefore we ought not covet. The 10 Commandments are Gods best portrait of Himself in the form of His basic will for us. God’s attributes are to be our goals.

Nothing true can contradict the nature of God. This is the most powerful argument we have against falsehood in the church and among believers. If it is against the nature of God, it is not true. And the admonition that we dwell on whatever things are true takes on a whole new meaning.

God is jealous. He can bear no equals, whether percieved or actual. God does not accept any sin in any form, no matter the reason. Men can only see the outside, the physical manifestations, the actions. But God knows the hearts of all mankind, He judges intentions. This is both a relief and a burden. There are actions that are misunderstood and maligned, causing pain and suffering to the actors, but which stem faithfully from correct intentions. There are actions hailed as heroic, but which stem from motives unpure, capricious at best and malicious at worst. God is the Just Judge and He will determine the reward or punishment.

Voltaire said: “It took 12 men to start Christianity, and one will destroy it.” He was referring to himself. God replies: “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls off, but the Word of the Lord endures forever. (1 Peter 1:24-25 NASB)” And Voltaire died, and Christianity continues.

Why is the battle so fiercely arrayed against the Christian standing firm in their convictions, faith, and belief? Because we have the Word, Christ in us, and “the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:12-13)”

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.

Husbands, Love Your Wives

I was talking to someone over the weekend about Ephesians 5:25-31, Paul’s instructions to married men, and he commented that he finds sermons on the preceding verses, Paul’s exhortations to married women, very common. Common to the neglect of the exhorting of married men. I’ve heard sermons on each, myself, and cannot judge either way as to which I’ve heard more of. But regardless of the issue, real or perceived, married men seem to me to not be learning much of this vital information prior to tying the knot.

In the blogosphere I found an older article detailing a practical but brief perspective on the Ephesians verses for men. And an even more explicit and holistic view of the requirements of the husband in marriage (note, this article is graphic, not pictorial, but graphic) as spelled out throughout the Bible.

Marriage is a beautiful thing, so I’ve been told and have observed. My parents have been married 28/29 years, or thereabouts. I’ve observed them learn to deal with things together as they’ve raised my siblings and myself (we did not make it easy). But together they have joy and I think they can say, looking back, that the love they shared on their wedding day was the least love they’ve shared since. Marriage is a joining, a merging of two different people into a single living unit. The joining and merging brings a broadened perspective, an enhanced effectiveness. In business classes we learned that a well-balanced relationship allows for a result greater than the sum of the individual parts. This rings true for a strong marriage. Individually we may attempt and succeed at great things, but together, standing on each others shoulders, in each others care and support, and in Christs love, there is little indeed that cannot be accomplished. And children. Not only are the effect tangible in this life while the two live, but their heritage continues in their children, surpassing even the memory of their own specific achievements.

Marriage is also a difficult thing. In the “Great Unified Theory of Everything” (GUTE) marriage falls under the category Power Tools. A powerful tool can be easy and difficult at the same time, both using and mastering. A power tool can do great good and great evil, usually not at the same time. I have seen my parents argue, mostly when I was younger, and I recall the fear and insecurity those arguments gave me. But with time I can see how my mom and dad worked to deepen conversation and communication between each other, setting aside time each day to spend together. Usually right when dad got home from work, if something else wasn’t going on right then, he and mom would go into a room alone and talk. That took dedication, creating a habit in what could be a very hectic time of the day. As dad made more money he had the time and means to get involved in several hobbies, one of which is Civil War Reenacting. He’s always enjoyed camping, but my mom was never much for camping. In the past camping usually ended up being a “just us boys” time, which was good. But with reenacting there were enough amenities around that mom could go and enjoy herself too. But he also sets aside weekends several times each year that he and mom will leave for a quick weekend. Sometimes they go to the coast, sometimes they go to the mountains. Dad spends lots of time looking up Bed & Breakfasts that are well recommended and off the beaten path and he and mom will spend a weekend away, another honeymoon. Their love is palpable.  Marriage is hard work, especially when children and life seem to be trying their utmost to pull you apart individually and as a couple, and making habits of togetherness and making the special effort to get away and be just together is of supreme importance.

Marriage is a wonderful thing, so I’ve heard. Like all wonderful things it takes a lot of work, hard work. The more work that is put in, the greater the potential. Realizing the potential is up to each of us individually, but for the couple the rewards are greatest together.