Sunday, November 25, 2001
M o n d a y ,  N o v e m b e r  2 6,  2 0 0 1
Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Cloning Ban?

Bush issues upside-down assertion
that cloning is immoral

With the advent of technological advances which may, some day, offer hundreds of millions of people cures and treatments for otherwise incurable diseases, naysayers and fearmongers are parading their "just say no" mentality, a most unfortunate display of luddite denial of human ability to improve our condition, free of traditions, religions, and beliefs in deities.

Excerpt from an editiorial by the editors of Scientific American, responding to efforts of politicians, the religious right, and the vatican to ban therapeutic human cloning:

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... If the comprehensive ban does pass, its opponents can take faint consolation in this: it won't last. Suppose that scientists elsewhere
eventually use cloning to develop a treatment for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes or paralysis.

Does anyone believe that the American public would let its own suffer and die while the rest of the world gets well?

That it would do this out of concern for laboratory-bred cellular specks?

This is the tragedy of a comprehensive ban: that many of those now against cloning will someday embrace it, when their misgivings--like the patients who could have benefited earlier--are conveniently buried.

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My comments:

Having had type 1 diabetes for over 41 years, since age 5, I have not the luxury of time ... per studies, my lifespan is expected to be about 15 years less than the average Joe. My risk of heart attack or stroke is several times higher than the man on the street.

And there's more, but enough about me. The long list of persons harmed by those who
endeavor to "hamper/slow/kill" stem cell research and therapeutic cloning runs into the hundreds of millions.

In the world, right now, a figure I'm quite attuned to, 18 million type 1 diabetics (0.03% of the world's population) ...

And the clock is ticking, and life is slipping away, and there are those of us who dare to say, "this is it, folks, it's now or never, sink or swim, all or nothing - stop killing us, stop slowing / demonizing research into cures. Start holding sentient human life in esteem, rather than religion / church / un-holy documents stock full of authoritarianism and ancient mindsets of deceit, intolerance, and ignorance of our naturalistic state of being in a world ruled by nature and human efforts, not gods and demons."

As for the effort of President Bush to kill therapeutic human cloning, it's to his shame
and the shame of his interpretation of faith at all cost, the cost in this case being that cells are considered of more value than human lives.

He claims he's pro-life, but in the case of hundreds of millions of suffering human beings, he's pro-suffering and pro-death.

When it comes to therapeutic human cloning, Bush is supporting opposition to science in a manner similar to the way the catholic
church once opposed Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei.


Scientists Use 'Virgin Birth' Technique

Excerpts from article describing a novel method used to create the first human cloned embryo:

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In many ways the most interesting announcement from Advanced Cell Technology was not that its scientists had produced a human embryo clone - significant though this was - but that the researchers had also got a human egg cell to start dividing on its own just like an embryo.

It sounds something like the virgin birth. Technically, it is called parthenogenesis.

The human egg cell develops into an embryo without the addition of any genetic material from a sperm cell. The embryo would be a clone of the mother.

It, too, could be a source of useful stem cells to grow into replacement tissues and organs to treat degenerative diseases.

And for some scientists, it overcomes the ethical dilemmas of "conventional" cloning - for others, it will be just another example of science going too far. ...

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US Troops Secure Airbase Near Kandahar

Excerpts from article describing the securing of an airbase in southern Afghanistan by hundreds of US marines:

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(click for large size image)

Hundreds of US Marines were setting up defences around an airfield close to the city of Kandahar yesterday after seizing it as a forward operations base for the final battle against the Taliban.

Amid continued reports that Osama bin Laden had chosen to make his stand alongside the Taliban leader Mullah Omar, American special forces are expected to use the base as a springboard for attacks on Kandahar.

A total of 1,200 US marines will be on the ground by the middle of the week, most of them brought in by Chinook helicopters.

"You'll have one thousand-plus Marines in the back yard of the Taliban within two days," said Marine Brig Gen James Mattis, the commander of the operation, codenamed Swift Freedom. ...

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