Monday, August 23, 2010

Stem Cell Research Funding Blocked!?!

Oh, shit, they're at it again.

Those who would block embryonic stem cell research are once again rearing their ugly heads, out to sacrifice the lives of the adults that are, in order to save the children that never were.

This past Monday, a federal judge blocked the efforts of the Obama administration to expand ESC research, and the reasons for this blocking have me flabbergasted. You see, I (like all of you) had been under the impression that Obama had reversed the backward and scientifically illiterate meddling of the Bush administration on this issue. But apparently, that isn't the case, as the mass media failed to inform us.

You see, in 2005, during the Bush Jr. years, a bill somehow managed to get through Congress which banned federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. That bill, unfortunately, still stands. What the Obama administration and the National Institute of Health did to get around this, was to argue that federal funding for the research could be done, provided the embryos themselves were provided through private funding.

Not so fast, says a group known as Nightlight Christian Adoptions. According to them, the intent of Congress was to block federal funding of stem cell research altogether, not just the funding of the stem cells. Nightlight Christian Adoptions, by the way, is a group which buys up the excess embryos from fertility clinics and offers them up for adoption to Christian families.

Alas, it looks like these guys might have a case. Congress may have fucked up, but they did get the law on the books, and that's that. But this is just the sort of thing we might expect when our Trophy President does something like take the correct stand in an incorrect way. Rather than tackling the issue head-on and pushing through a bill reversing this previous act, he decided to try an end-around, probably hoping to undo the legislation after the onset of his second term (when all presidents decide to finally take on the tough issues with impunity). It may have worked for a little while, but now the loophole is closing.

This continues the general trend of those on the left being cursed with a limpness of spine while those on the right currently having vertebrae which remain quite turgid, particularly in the neck region. Instead of dealing with the issue now, while we have the power in the House and Senate to do it, we risk putting off this crucial issue until it's too late, when economic discontent has convinced those with little or no money to vote for the party of the wealthy -- just to unhorse the incumbent.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council called this judge's ruling "a stinging rebuke to the Obama administration and its attempt to circumvent sound science and federal law.

I have pointed out in previous posts how the brain, rather than conception, defines the being, and that's scientifically right. How dare this theocratic bastard falsely claim the ground of "sound science!" If ever there were a time for those within the scientific community to come down from the ivory towers and go to war, it's now, lest the emollient left and inflexible-as-a-crustacean right manage to throw away yet another generation of sick people to the ravages of Alzheimer's, spinal injuries, and cancer -- to name just a few maladies ESR promises to cure. Scientists have typically not spoken up for fear of losing their federal funding, but with the funds taken away regardless, what is there really to lose?

Nightlight claims that the Obama administration's guidelines on embryonic stem cell research will decrease the number of human embryos available for adoption.

Interesting. Since when was that any of the government's business?

They have two scientists who work with adult stem cells as part of their lawsuit. As such, they are also saying that ESR increases the competition with adult stem cells for limited government funds.

Hang on, isn't greater competition in the free marketplace a good thing?

This just goes to show, when it comes to limiting big government, "conservatives" don't really believe in it. They want big government even more than liberals do when it comes to their religious agenda.

Frankly, folks, that does it. I'm pissed off! I've put off the publication of my book dealing with this issue for far too long. I intend to raise the hue and cry on this issue. And if you think that the reason I'm doing so has partly to do with the fact that I'm currently living with a mother whose Alzheimer's developed after Bush blocked the stem cell research which might have saved her, well, all I can say is...

You're damned well right I am!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tori, Women's Rights, and Porn

Ah, yes! Once again I see how Facebook loves to ignore my blog posts, until at last I post something which is highly critical of their absent-minded bot, and three posts appear at once. I would be inclined to simply remove the offending news-feed program and simply post things by hand, except that Facebook has moved this feature to some dark corner of the technosphere, where none but experienced staffers can find it. Ah, such sweet betrayal.

Anyway, I was listening to Tori Amos the other day, and thinking about some of my dearest friends who enjoy her music along with me, such as my sister, or my former neighbor, Marie. And suddenly it occurred to me that one of the issues I'm most passionate about, namely porn vs. women's rights, is something I haven't blogged about yet. Strange that I've missed this! But here it is, and I hope it's not misjudged.

My problem isn't with porn itself. What really bugs me is how the industry is run. Over and over again we see poor girls who are sucked in by evil thugs, given enough cocaine to make them do whatever they're required to do on camera, and then spat out again, with barely a couple thousand dollars for their dignity -- and that's if they're lucky. Many young women get nothing after they've bared everything.

I, for one, think this shit needs to stop! There are a few enterprising women who have shown the ideal -- Nina Hartley and Jenna Jameson, just for examples. These are women who control their own bodies as their own franchises. But they've been lucky enough to have withstood the slings and arrows of one of the most trap-ridden industries, and also been smart enough to have navigated the reef-filled waters of "The Lifestyle" as it's called. Most are not so fortunate. But in my book, all should be.

Many say that women are belittled and demeaned in pornography. Bullshit, that. Women are worshiped in porn. And the tragedy of it is that these goddesses, in spite of being worshiped by hundreds of thousands of (very!) happy men, do not reap the well-earned financial rewards of this stardom. The money instead goes to the cocaine-dealing, hairy-bodied thugs, who are about as popular as BP, and as ugly as Ron Jeremy.

What we need are some laws which protect the women who strip down and/or have sex on camera for a living. These women need guaranteed compensation for what they do, in clear-cut terms of percentage of product sales (not profit on sales, or the books get cooked), especially if and when footage becomes re-syndicated in a new compilation. At least 75% of that money should go to these women. They've earned it!

Unfortunately, we are so sexually immature and backwards in this nation that this may never happen. Rights for porno women? No politician will even touch that! And because of this, our own prudishness ensures that thousands of young women get taken advantage of, used up, and cast aside again, penniless, likely hooked on drugs, and without hope. ("Children of the Night" as they're called by a cause my friend Marie and I both support.)

If we ever stop being such Puritans, and develop a positive, healthy attitude towards sex (like every adult ought to have anyway), we can start seeing porn stars in a positive light, especially when they turn to the Law. Then we can finally make sure that the profits of the porn industry go to its TRUE stars -- those young women whom we all adore. And that the money stays out of the hands of useless middlemen whose presence is scarcely needed.

Well, I can dream, can't I?


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mosque Near Ground Zero

The new 13-story Islamic center, which is set to be built just two blocks north of ground zero where Islamic extremism destroyed the twin towers, just cleared a final hurdle recently. the building needs to modify a historic landmark structure, and the approval for this was voted in, 9-0.

This has ignited tempers all over New York, and indeed, the entire world. I therefore thought I'd weigh in on it, since, as usual, people's hearts and minds are in the wrong place.

First, let's understand right off that the debate is in the wrong place. It should not be we, the American public, who are arguing over this Mosque-slash-Islamic-Center. As far as We The People are concerned, such debates are already over. Religious freedom is our founding principle, and that's that. Muslims may build a Mosque whenever, and wherever, they like. The right is theirs. Period. And in a land of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and a free market economy, that's the way it should be.

The debate ought to be among the Muslims!

Yes, the Muslims have the right to build their Mosque near ground zero. But FUCK what a bad P.R. move! Terry Pratchett's fictional engineer, "Bloody Stupid Johnson," could not have designed it worse! There should not be one, NOT ONE, Muslim in favor of this travesty! Every Mohammedan should be in near-riot outrage stage over allowing this big, fat, middle finger to be erected at every New Yorker, and the entire U.S. These Muslim leaders should be asked to step down. These Immams should be defrocked. Any other Muslims behind this should be -- whatever the Mohammedan equivalent of excommunicated is.

So where, oh where, are the enraged Muslims?!

According to the New York Times, certain moderate Muslims are showing "some ambivolence" about the choice of this location.


Okay, I won't join with those who are trying to get legislative and civic leaders to violate religious freedom in order to stop this Center from getting built. But I WILL join with them in voicing my own freedom of speech, and calling this an outrage, an insult, and a deliberately-aimed spit in the face of the families of lost loved ones on 9/11. The sheer stupidity of this is something to behold, and the universality of the myopia among Muslims is staggering. If the popularization of Islam in the West were to be likened to a ship, then it's captain is Peter "Wrong-Way" Peachfuzz! (Go brush up on your Rocky & Bullwinkle, if you don't follow.)

I'll admit it, I would probably be one of those legislators who approved the measures needed to allow this building to be erected. Why? Because Mayor Bloomberg is partially right, we need to show the Islamic world that America stands, if nothing else, for religious tolerance. But the Center will forever be for non-Muslims a wart upon Islam's face. It's spire will be it's first great coffin-nail. It's minaret, a wooden stake through the heart of this vampire-esque religion. These Muslims in New York have raised a Jim-Jones-like glass of poisoned Kool-Aid to their lips.

And the beautiful tragedy of it is, that they don't even realize it.