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7554 clicks; posted to Politics » on 06 Feb 2007 at 5:32 PM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite   |  Watch    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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  2007-06-21 08:59:03 PM
dottedmint: Maybe some unions have cleaned up their act .....

Mine sure the hell hasn't...


So what's your solution?

Do you think we can do without unions?


I have seen guys CEOs spend more time and energy trying to avoid work than simply doing their DAMN JOB.

And when these guys CEOs get in trouble for being slackers the union Company protects them.


Fixed that for ya.
 
  2007-06-21 11:10:46 PM
C-S: "Do you think we can do without unions?"

Well.....

In my case I would be more than happy to have to compete with the other employees for how much I get paid.

It is extremely frustrating when I am busting my @ss trying to finish a job and I see guys slacking off and wasting time who get paid more than I do.

NOT because they work harder.....

They get paid more because they have been working there longer.

UNION MENTALITY:

Don't pay a person based on what they are worth.
Pay them based on how long they have been employed.
 
  2007-06-22 12:21:51 AM
dottedmint: In my case I would be more than happy to have to compete with the other employees for how much I get paid.

So is that a yes?
 
  2007-06-22 04:18:47 AM
dottedmint: I really hate to have to point this out but I am a member of a UNION.

Well, I admit I did a double take on that one; I'm really leaning on calling shenanigans, but, there may be some companies that are still willing to squander their resources. Since you don't state what type of union you belong to it's kinda hard to respond. If you're affiliated with AFSCME or other gov't. unions, I would agree that some accountability is in order. Having said that, I'd like to point out that most of the apprentices I have run into, usually 3rd or 4th year, would say the same thing you did. Because they did not have a union mentality yet. Instead they were thinking only about themselves. Once they turned out,(received their Mechanics card) and got their first layoff, it occurs to them that no matter what you do, and LOTS of these apprentii would think they were company boys, ratting out everybody, working under the table, etc. it matters not to the suits. That's when it dawns on them that being a union man means giving a shiat about ALL the brothers(in general; there are douchenozzles everywhere) so that all boats rise.

By the way, let me show my brotherly love for you by pointing out that while you were ROLMYAO(?), those slackers are catching up to you.
 
  2007-06-22 05:01:23 AM
May I clarify something I've noticed about my posts? (Who said no?) I do not have a unwavering 'us vs them' mentality. I was quite fortunate to be hired by a company that treated most of their employees fairly. I stayed with them for the last 14 years of my career, 10 as foreman. When I was called about the hiring, I was informed by the superintendent that they needed a finish man; They had enough racehorses. I was lucky because I could remember layouts without looking them up in the book, which impressed him a lot. And I took the trouble to do the little things that made the work look good. I also thank FSM for making me the type that enjoys working hard. Not a big deal, I just didn't want to owe them anything, and I didn't need a babysitter to know what needed done. When people started work at my jobsites, I let them know what I expected, and that I would not be a babysitter; Once we signed the contracts the crying stops and assholes and elbows starts. I also had a pile of blank checks in my briefcase for anyone who had a problem with that. While my previous statements here have sounded very anti-company, I'm not strictly that. Like I said, I was very lucky to be with a good one, and there were some back-stabbing BS artists others had to work for in the same company, but I am also a 'personal responsibility' true believer. If the work standards or anything else about your working conditions aren't to your liking, go somewhere else! I sure did.
 
  2007-06-26 09:14:30 PM
Dammit trog you killed the thread! ;)

Nah just kidding, the Union discussion is an interesting one and I enjoyed reading your posts on the subject. Seems like everyone has been on hiatus recently though...

So... stem cells? Anyone think the feds shouldn't fund stem cells? (Because I don't want to touch the "ethical issue" with a ten foot poll).

I guess I'll throw my hat in the ring and say I am fully behind federal money being spent for health research. This is on the short list of what I consider every civilized government's responsibility...

One of the few relatively legitimate arguments against it is: "private research can do it, why waste government money?"

I'd respond thusly:
1) Private companies are, well, private. They don't have any strings attached to their research, nor do they have any obligations to the public whatsoever.
2) Private companies have been known in the past to perform some dubious and questionable tests before releasing their products, and sometimes these products are proven harmful after their release.
3) Government money funds the majority of research in this country and some of our most respected institutions rely on government funding. Without it, you simply have less people working on this important research, which means whatever secrets stem cells may hold will only take longer to unravel.
4) Private research seems geared towards pharmaceuticals. I don't think it's conspiratorial to say that companies have an active interest in creating drugs which people need to take for extended periods of time, even their whole lives, as opposed to researching all-out cures or relatively quick procedures.


That's my quick and dirty argument.
 
  2007-06-27 02:12:37 PM
Cleveland-Steamer: Dammit trog you killed the thread! ;)

Yeah, I take back everything I said. I'll even start giving my union dues money to the Chamber of Commerce if you'll just come back! (Even though I'm retired...it's the thought.)

While we're fighting over a tiny clump of cells, other countries are jumping out to huge leads in the stem cell research field. Not to mention all the patent monies being lost by our universities. Of course, Bush and his followers fail to see the irony in sending people off to die in war, or telling women that he'd rather they bleed to death in a backyard abortion clinic than let them decide what to do with their own bodies, yet say "I will fight for you, little clump of otherwise useless cells."
 
  2007-06-28 11:21:51 PM
Trog: "While we're fighting over a tiny clump of cells, other countries are jumping out to huge leads in the stem cell research field."

I haven't seen any evidence that we are somehow falling behind in research.

"Of course, Bush and his followers fail to see the irony in sending people off to die in war,..."

There's a huge difference between going to war and embryonic stem cell research....

"....or telling women that he'd rather they bleed to death in a backyard abortion clinic...."

I don't know of ANYONE who is saying they would rather see women bleed to death.....

"...than let them decide what to do with their own bodies,..."

I've always said that ultimately I don't care what women do with their bodies.

I've always been more worried about what they do with the body that is inside of theirs....

"...yet say "I will fight for you, little clump of otherwise useless cells." "

"useless cells"
?????

Hmmm.....

I would hardly call an embryo is a bunch of "useless cells".

C-S: "1) Private companies are, well, private. They don't have any strings attached to their research, nor do they have any obligations to the public whatsoever."

True. No strings. This means that they are not restricted by federal standards.

And as far as "obligations" go companies are interested in making a profit.

There is nothing wrong with making a profit.

"2) Private companies have been known in the past to perform some dubious and questionable tests before releasing their products, and sometimes these products are proven harmful after their release."

The same can be said of universities and other publicly funded groups.

"3) Government money funds the majority of research in this country and some of our most respected institutions rely on government funding. Without it, you simply have less people working on this important research, which means whatever secrets stem cells may hold will only take longer to unravel."

How many government dollars are spent on research vs private dollars?

You make an interesting claim. I'm just curious if you can support your claim.

"4) Private research seems geared towards pharmaceuticals. I don't think it's conspiratorial to say that companies have an active interest in creating drugs which people need to take for extended periods of time, even their whole lives, as opposed to researching all-out cures or relatively quick procedures."

Actually that is "conspiratorial".....

---------------------------------------------------------------

Now...

Nobody has called for an all-out ban on embryonic stem cell research.

There is only a limit on how much federal funding can be used and what 'lines' can be funded by federal funding.

I have seen articles that have said non-embryonic stem cells have been used to create heart valves (with the potential to create entire hearts), cure diabetis, create brain cells, as well as other breakthroughs.

I'm just curious what embryonic stem cells can/could do that adult stem cells can't/couldn't do.

And if non-embryonic stem cells can do everything that embryonic stem cells can do why would we continue to fund embryonic stem cells?

For the record.....

An embryo has all the characteristics of a living organism.

An embryo is a genetically unique entity.

An embryo is human.
 
  2007-06-29 08:32:14 PM
dottedmint

I wrote this big long post responding to you point by point, but I thought about it, and every time I do that I just get a long list of one liners with little to nothing behind them other than a question mark. So I'm taking a new route with you.

We spend plenty of money on health research as it is. What is wrong with spending a little more money on more research that offers promising results? Results which could potentially eliminate Cancer, AIDS, MS, and other largely incurable diseases and ailments?

It's the moral problem you have, as obviously apparent by your post. You believe stem cells are human beings. Obviously nothing I will say can convince you otherwise, so this element of our discussion is pretty much dead in the water. Someone else can try this one out but I don't like arguing with brick walls.

I'll only say this:

An embryo has all the characteristics of a living organism.

An embryo is a genetically unique entity.

An embryo is human.


That is illogical. Plain and simple. My dog has the characteristics of a living organism and is a genetically unique entity. That doesn't make her human. Your statement has no scientific or logical merit whatsoever. None.

You and the Catholic church are pretty much the only people that share your beliefs as to when human life begins. With that said, I am not touching this with a 500 foot pole from here on out.
 
  2007-06-30 07:07:55 AM
dottedmint: Now...

Nobody has called for an all-out ban on embryonic stem cell research.

There is only a limit on how much federal funding can be used and what 'lines' can be funded by federal funding.

I have seen articles that have said non-embryonic stem cells have been used to create heart valves (with the potential to create entire hearts), cure diabetis, create brain cells, as well as other breakthroughs.

I'm just curious what embryonic stem cells can/could do that adult stem cells can't/couldn't do.

And if non-embryonic stem cells can do everything that embryonic stem cells can do why would we continue to fund embryonic stem cells?


Hey, I'm gonna get a collection going, stat. We've gotta get you to DC before all those wrong headed scientists and such talk Bush into releasing those unneeded cell-lines. Just hope we're not too late...
 
  2007-06-30 07:18:25 AM
C-S: "What is wrong with spending a little more money on more research that offers promising results? Results which could potentially eliminate Cancer, AIDS, MS, and other largely incurable diseases and ailments?"

There is nothing wrong with spending money on promising research.

Bush is the first President to use federal money on embryonic stem cell research.

But NON-EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS are showing just as much promise for the cures that you talk about.

So why do we push for research that has so much controversy behind it?

Why don't you push to increase funding for research using adult stem cells, placental stem cells, umbilical cord stem cells and other non-controversial sources of stem cells that have shown as much (if not more) promise than using something that is controversial?

"You believe stem cells are human beings."

No.

I do not believe that stem cells are human being.

I believe that a human embryo is a human being and in order to collect embryonic stem cells a human embryo must be destroyed.

That is illogical. Plain and simple. My dog has the characteristics of a living organism and is a genetically unique entity. That doesn't make her human. Your statement has no scientific or logical merit whatsoever. None.

That would be because your dog is a dog.

A human embryo (that you think it is ok to destroy) is a living organism that is genetically human.

I think it is wrong to destroy a living organism that is genetically human.

Let me try it this way......

Tell me what is different between the following examples.....

A human embryo is destroyed and bits of it are placed into a person with heart disease to allow that person to live longer.

A newborn baby boy is killed and his organs are transplanted into other babies so that they can live longer.

A 50 year old man is killed and his organs are transplanted into other people so that they can live longer.

In each case you have a living organism that is genetically human being killed so that others can live longer.

The only difference is the age of the living organism that is genetically human that is being killed.

In the first case it is only a day or so old.
In the next case it is several months old.
In the last case it is several years old.

But it is still a living organism that is genetically human.

You and I are both examples of a living organism that is genetically human.

A human embryo is also an example of a living organism that is genetically human.

As soon as an egg is fertilized by a sperm it becomes a living organism that is genetically human.
 
  2007-06-30 07:28:17 AM
Trog: Hey, I'm gonna get a collection going, stat. We've gotta get you to DC before all those wrong headed scientists and such talk Bush into releasing those unneeded cell-lines. Just hope we're not too late...

So the scientists who found a way to cure diabetis by using non-embryonic stem cells are wrong headed????

I would say it is far more ethical to try to work for cures using non-embryonic stem cells and that is what many scientists are doing.

Oh...

And for the record those other cell lines are not blocked from scientists from using.

There is nothing banning scientists from using whatever stem cell they want.

They just need to find private funding for that.
 
  2007-06-30 05:18:51 PM
dottedmint: A human embryo is destroyed and bits of it are placed into a person with heart disease to allow that person to live longer.

A newborn baby boy is killed and his organs are transplanted into other babies so that they can live longer.


Blah blah blah. I already told you, this is pointless.

How about an embryo is not a newborn baby. There. That's a difference. Is that good enough for you?

You and I have different opinions on when a human life starts. It's as simple as that, and there is no way you are going to convince me otherwise, because it's impossible for you to prove what you are saying, and it's impossible for me to prove what I am saying. That's why I have repeatedly stated this is not an argument I would like to have, with anyone, ever. This is not an argument you can logically win, as proven by your attempts so far, and it's not an argument I can logically win either.

You can write stuff in bold type all day long but none of what you say really has anything behind it other than your own opinion.

It's an argument that is akin to an atheist and a Christian arguing about the existence of God. There is no definitive answer, only opinion and philosophy. Have you ever seen an abortion thread, or a God thread around here? Or anywhere? It's complete madness. Fools arguing with fools and everyone is dumber when they are done.


But NON-EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS are showing just as much promise for the cures that you talk about.

I wasn't aware that you could do the same kind of things which non-embryonic stem cells as you could with embryonic stem cells, but if they are the same thing then sure, ditch the controversial stuff, fine.

But from what I've heard, there are things that you simply cannot do with non-embryonic stem cells, and if embryonic stem cells are capable of doing more, they should be used. I have no moral problems with that, none whatsoever.
 
  2007-06-30 09:01:10 PM
C-S: "How about an embryo is not a newborn baby. There. That's a difference. Is that good enough for you?"

Right.

An embryo is not a newborn baby.

And a newborn baby is not a 50 year old man.

The only difference is the age of that living organism that is genetically human.

"because it's impossible for you to prove what you are saying, and it's impossible for me to prove what I am saying."

Actually it is very easy to prove what I am saying.

All living organisms have certain characteristics.

An unfertilized egg does not have these characteristics.

Once it is fertilized with a sperm cell it takes on these characteristics.

After that point it is a living organisms.

This is scientifically a fact.

You on the other hand cannot provide evidence that it is not a living organisms.

My statements are not based on opinion.

Yours are...

After all....

Can you provide one characteristic of a living organism that an embryo does not have?

"I wasn't aware that you could do the same kind of things which non-embryonic stem cells as you could with embryonic stem cells, but if they are the same thing then sure, ditch the controversial stuff, fine."

As I said earlier I have seen articles where non-embryonic stem cells have had actual successes.

A couple that I recall are....

using adult stem cells to create a heart valve with hopes of eventually being able to create a whole new heart

and...

using a persons own stem cells to help treat diabetis

"But from what I've heard, there are things that you simply cannot do with non-embryonic stem cells,"

Such as????

And where exactly did you hear there is ANYTHING that non-embryonic stem cells can't do that embryonic stem cells can?

"and if embryonic stem cells are capable of doing more, they should be used. I have no moral problems with that, none whatsoever."

So any treatment that can be done with non-embryonic stem cells should not get funding to experiment with embryonic stem cells???

And ultimately we don't know yet how much we will or will not be able to do with non-embryonic cells...
 
  2007-07-01 05:23:43 AM
Well, I am learning new stuff all the time. I was unaware that there was a scientist's union. You did say you were a union man, right professor dottedmint?

That's my bottom line to you, champ. Ya wanna say "no way, they's babies youse is killin'!", fine. When you put on the lab smock and start explaining why everybody else is stupid 'cause you read somewhere that embryonic cells aren't really needed, I call shenanigans.
 
  2007-07-01 07:20:21 AM
Wow Trog that was the second time where instead of posting an intelligent response that actually discredits anything that I said you post a childish insult that doesn't actually do anything other than suggest to me that you have no clue what you are talking about.

And for the record I don't need to put on a lab smock because there are many scientists that agree with me in saying we don't need to destroy an embryo (a living organism that is genetically human) to find cures.

This is why many of them are experimenting (and having success) with adult stem cells (from bone marrow, blood and even skin), stem cells from umbilicle cords and placentas.

And some researchers have gotten stem cells out of human fat....

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/04/10/tech/main284900.shtml

"Researchers at UCLA and the University of Pittsburgh have isolated stem cells from fat sucked out of liposuction patients, a breakthrough that could lead to cures for a variety of illnesses."

And in that same article....

"Dr. Ira Black of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School took stem cells from bone marrow and turned them into nerve cells."

IF you have something intelligent to say that discredits what I have said then by all means please share with us.

IF childish insults are the best you can do then don't bother....

Perhaps you should do a bit of research on stem cell research before you respond.

It might help you sound like you know what you are talking about...
 
  2007-07-01 02:44:00 PM
dottedmint:

You on the other hand cannot provide evidence that it is not a living organisms.

Gee maybe that's because I AM NOT TRYING TO SAY IT ISN'T A LIVING ORGANISM.

Please point out to me where I said human embryo's are not "living organisms." You are creating a straw man.

By the way, technically sperm is a "living organism." My blood cells are "living organisms." The brain cells I am currently wasting debating this are "living organisms."

The issue here is when human life begins. Not a "living organism"-- Human life, that unique and intangible thing philosophers debate about and religions are formed over. You believe it begins at conception, I do not, and never the twain shall these two ideas meet, but I respect what you believe and do not believe this forum is the proper place to debate it. I also think these sort of things aren't really debatable, and people just need to learn to agree to disagree about these things and try and find ways to work around them to get things done.

The problem here is that you keep using words like "living organism" or "genetically unique entity" in order to try and shield yourself from what you know is an essentially philosophical argument and thus hard to debate and hard if not impossible to win. Which is curious, because these definitions you are using are pretty much useless at getting your point across because they are irrelevant. Genetically unique organism? Living organism? What are those? Why do we care if those are sacrificed? We do that all the time.

Stop BS'ing and call it "human life." I already told you I am not going to argue with you over when life begins, but you keep pressing the issue with me with thse silly "logical" proofs (which are highly illogical), irrelevant definitions, and other claims of "proof" and so on. I have no option but to respond to these because they are insulting my intelligence.

Look dottedmint, this is what is boils down to:

You believe that a human embryo is a human life, such that it's destruction is akin to murder. Correct?

I believe that human life begins later. I.e., the human life which we as a society cherish and hold (at least in theory) sacred. I do not believe an embryo holds these same qualities.

You and I cannot prove at what point the human life begins, but I do firmly believe it is not conception, and it is not an embryo, at least at the stage at which the embryo is cultivated.

My statements are not based on opinion.

Yours are...


Just because you say something doesn't make it true. You haven't proved anything about when life begins because you can't.


Can you provide one characteristic of a living organism that an embryo does not have?

See above. You are creating a straw man and putting words in my mouth. The only person here debating over whether it's a living organism is you.

Such as????

And where exactly did you hear there is ANYTHING that non-embryonic stem cells can't do that embryonic stem cells can?


Well seeing how all you have shown me so far is your own memories and anecdotes and haven't actually backed up your own point, I'm a little shocked that you are holding me to a higher standard. You obviously aren't an expert and neither am I. So... here's something from Wiki.

* Embryonic stem cells make up a significant proportion of a developing embryo, while adult stem cells exist as minor populations within a mature individual (e.g. in every 10,000 cells of the bone marrow, only 10 will be usable stem cells). Thus, embryonic stem cells are likely to be easier to isolate and grow ex vivo than adult stem cells.[4]

* Embryonic stem cells divide more rapidly than adult stem cells, potentially making it easier to generate large numbers of cells for therapeutic means. In contrast, adult stem cell might not divide fast enough to offer immediate treatment.[4]

* Embryonic stem cells have greater plasticity, allowing them to treat a wider range of diseases.[4]

* Adult stem cells from the patient's own body might not be effective in treatment of genetic disorders. Allogeneic embryonic stem cell transplantation (i.e. from a healthy donor) may be more practical in these cases than gene therapy of a patient's own cell.[4]

* DNA abnormalities found in adult stem cells that are caused by toxins and sunlight may make them poorly suited for treatment.[4]

* Embryonic stem cells have been shown to be effective in treating heart damage in mice.[4]


Don't know if that's 100% accurate, but at this point I don't really care because you haven't done much research yourself.

Besides, as I already said, if there was stuff they could do that adult stem cells can't, then they should also be used. It's a hypothetical point that doesn't really require much other than argument.

So any treatment that can be done with non-embryonic stem cells should not get funding to experiment with embryonic stem cells???

There you go again putting words in my mouth. Did you even read what you quoted?

I said: "if embryonic stem cells are capable of doing more, they should be used."

More. IF they are CAPABLE OF DOING MORE. As in, if there are things only they can do which adult stem cells can't they should be used IN ADDITION to using adult stem cells to do whatever they can do. Maybe I should have used the word "also" but I thought it was clear. Sorry for any misunderstanding.
 
  2007-07-01 03:32:15 PM
Let's steer this back to more political, less moral and emotional subjects shall we?

Earlier I stated the following:

1) Private companies are, well, private. They don't have any strings attached to their research, nor do they have any obligations to the public whatsoever.

This article (pops)describes a potential horror story, which could not happen with government funded testing. The gist of the situation was a clinical trial performed on people went awry and they all nearly died, and were left with permanent and significant health problems:

"The manufacturer of TGN1412, a German company called TeGenero, has gone out of business. As a corporate entity, it no longer exists. An American firm, Parexel, was running the drug trial, but has refused to accept responsibility."

The company didn't carry enough insurance to cover the medical costs of the patients damages, so these people are essentially SOL.

Wouldn't happen with government trials.

This is from the NYT (pops)on the same incident:

"The experimental application filed with British authorities - released this week in response to a Freedom of Information Act request - showed that the companies at least realized the possibility of a devastating immune-system reaction, and that animal studies showed some signs of immune overdrive.

Those worries were set aside when monkeys infused with TGN1412 had no problems. Although Parexel technicians continued to draw blood in the intensive care unit, the companies have not been willing to share the medical data or even meet with the participants and their lawyers, Mr. Day, the lawyer, said."

The blogger who posted this story brings up a good point as well:

"...is a physician "primarily" a health-care provider, with overriding fiduciary obligations to the patients involved, or is she "primarily" a researcher, with an overriding obligation to the advancement of science? Or, again, is she "primarily" a corporate employee or consultant or contractor?"

He goes on to mention that perhaps the people who agreed to the study were swayed by the presence of doctors, who we as people pretty much trust naturally, when in fact these doctors may not have had the physician/patient relationship to these people which the trial subjects assumed they had. The subjects may have therefore thought things were safer than they really were.

This article talks about Drug companies power of the purse over Medical Journals (pops), and the manipulative way their ads appear in these journals:

...Consumers trust medical journals to be the impartial and "true" source of information concerning a prescription drug, but few are privy to what is truly going on behind the scenes at both drug trials and medical journals.

Scientists who conduct drug trials may be hard-pressed to stay impartial when the manufacturers so often pay them for lectures and consultations, or when they are conducting research that has been funded by the company. In addition, as stated by doctors Mark Hyman and Mark Liponis in Ultraprevention, since drug companies are so reliant on the word of doctors, they often visit doctors' offices to hand out free samples, take the staff out to lunch, offer free gifts -- including toys for kids, seminars at expensive restaurants and junkets to the Caribbean islands -- and frequently sponsor continuing education for doctors.


The above illustrates my point: private companies have obligations to their shareholders, not you or me. When we are talking about healthcare, I don't want any monetary issues or obligations clouding the relationship of doctor and patient, health care and health.


2) Private companies have been known in the past to perform some dubious and questionable tests before releasing their products, and sometimes these products are proven harmful after their release.

Your response was basically "well universities do bad stuff too." Like what? Definitely not in as great numbers as private companies. Here are some instances of what I'm talking about:

Pharmaceutical Company Whistle-Blower Tells of 'Illegal' Tactics
(pops)
"David Franklin, the drug company whistle-blower who has sparked federal and state investigations into the marketing of the top-selling drug Neurontin, said yesterday that he and his former colleagues engaged in a series of inappropriate tactics, including misleading doctors to persuade them to prescribe the drug for unapproved uses."


Pharmaceutical company to pay $2.9 million to settle Medicaid provider fraud lawsuit filed by Nixon
(pops)

"A pharmaceutical company sued by Attorney General Jay Nixon will pay $2,932,000 to settle allegations it engaged in a pricing scheme that resulted in the Medicaid program paying too much for certain generic prescription drugs."

Vioxx ring a bell? There are a host of others out there as well.


3) Government money funds the majority of research in this country and some of our most respected institutions rely on government funding. Without it, you simply have less people working on this important research, which means whatever secrets stem cells may hold will only take longer to unravel.

I can't find my original source on this so I won't belabor this once. Suffice it to say, taking money off the table only decreases the amount of minds you have working on this important research. I say the more the merrier.

4) Private research seems geared towards pharmaceuticals. I don't think it's conspiratorial to say that companies have an active interest in creating drugs which people need to take for extended periods of time, even their whole lives, as opposed to researching all-out cures or relatively quick procedures.

Your answer was simply "it is conspiratorial." Care to tell me why?

Here's an article (pops) summing up my point:

According to "AIDS: A Second Opinion" authors Gary Null and James Feast, the profits "stack up better" for pharmaceutical companies when people have to take treatments indefinitely for an incurable disease. HIV, for example, is a relative goldmine, since HIV-positive people have to take drug "cocktails" each day even before they develop symptomatic AIDS. Then, the profits add up even more after these people develop full-blown AIDS because they have to take drugs to treat opportunistic infections in addition to their regular drug cocktail.

Many people believe that pharmaceutical companies' hunger for profits triumphs over their desire to genuinely help the public, and that this blinded concern for profit above all has shaped -- and continues to shape -- mainstream medicine as we know it. The bottom line is simple: As Life Extension Magazine puts it, "Marketing issues frequently outweigh medical science in drug company decisions."

That's pretty much the bottom line IMHO. How is this conspiratorial? Drug companies are private entities that want to make money. They pay for research and products that will make the most money. If they could cure you of a disease over your life time and make 1 million off of you, or they could cure you in a month and make 10,000, which one are they going to do? Obviously the one that makes their wallets fatter. That's capitalism, and that kind of motivation and mindset has no place in the medical industry in my opinion.

If private companies control stem cell research, they hold the keys to its secrets. Although I don't trust the government all that much, I'd trust them more with stem cell research than private medical companies due to their abysmal track record so far.
 
  2007-07-01 08:25:29 PM
C-S: "By the way, technically sperm is a "living organism." My blood cells are "living organisms." The brain cells I am currently wasting debating this are "living organisms.""

Nice try but NO.

They would be cells.

There is a difference between cells and organism.

All organisms have certain characteristics.

The examples that you listed do not have all of those characteristics.

"The issue here is when human life begins. Not a "living organism"-- Human life, that unique and intangible thing philosophers debate about and religions are formed over."

So you don't think that a "living organism that is genetically human" is human life.

Interesting.....

It is a living organism.

This makes it a life.

It is genetically human.

This makes it (gee) human.

"The problem here is that you keep using words like "living organism" or "genetically unique entity" in order to try and shield yourself from what you know is an essentially philosophical argument and thus hard to debate and hard if not impossible to win."

My argument is not based on religion or anything intangible.

My argument is based on biology and science.

As soon as an egg is fertilized it becomes a living organism that is genetically human.

That is a biological fact.

"Stop BS'ing and call it "human life." I already told you I am not going to argue with you over when life begins, but you keep pressing the issue with me with thse silly "logical" proofs (which are highly illogical), irrelevant definitions, and other claims of "proof" and so on."

The problem is that you do not think a living organism that is genetically human is "human life".

I actually haven't quit figured out what you do think it is.

You admit that it is a living organism and there obviously isn't any question if it is genetically human.

You can't argue that it is just a clump of cells because it is more than just a clump of cells.

It is a living organism.

You could argue that my finger was a clump of cells but an embryo is a living organism.

As I said before there is a difference between cells and organisms.

"I believe that human life begins later. I.e., the human life which we as a society cherish and hold (at least in theory) sacred."

The problem with that sort of logic is that it is based on (basically) public opinion.

It is not based on biology or science.

Also I have to ask how much of society needs to "cherish" that life before you consider it life?

Obviously some of society agrees with what I am saying.

IF at some point over 50% of society agrees with me does that mean you're wrong?

http://poq.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/68/1/131#SEC10

I tried to find a more recent poll and I intend to keep looking but according to a 2000 LA Times poll 53% of people think life begins at conception 12% think it begins at birth and 29% said sometime between.

BTW...the table is about half way down....

Does this mean that society agrees with me???

"Well seeing how all you have shown me so far is your own memories and anecdotes and haven't actually backed up your own point, I'm a little shocked that you are holding me to a higher standard. You obviously aren't an expert and neither am I. So... here's something from Wiki."

First I don't consider Wiki the best sorce for info.

Second I posted a link to at least one article in the comment just before yours.

And since you wanted to use Wiki as a source here is what I found when I searched "Adult Stem Cells" in Wiki....

*Adult stem cells are being developed for use in treatments for a variety of human conditions, ranging from blindness to spinal cord injury

*Adult stem cells are available in high quantities in cord blood, which can be collected at birth and are not difficult to isolate and purify.

*While embryonic stem cell potential remains theoretical, adult stem cell treatments are already being used to successfully treat many diseases.

*Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) have also been isolated from human fat, usually by method of liposuction.

*Human ASCs have been shown to differentiate in the lab into bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, and might be able to differentiate into neurons, making them a possible source for future applications in the clinic.

*ASCs have been recently used to successfully repair a large cranial defect in a human patient.

*Mammary stem cells have been isolated from human and mouse tissue as well as from cell lines derived from the mammary gland. A single such cell can give rise to both luminal and myoepithelial cell types of the gland and has been shown to regenerate the entire organ in mice.

*Adult stem cells isolated from the olfactory mucosa (cells lining the inside of the nose involved in the sense of smell) have the ability to develop into many different cell types if they are given the right chemical environment.
These adult olfactory stem cells appear to have the same ability as embryonic stem cells in giving rise to many different cell types but have the advantage that they can be obtained from all individuals, even older people who might be most in need of stem cell therapies.


Gee....

I guess Wiki isn't that bad after all....
 
  2007-07-01 10:02:19 PM
I thought this was the 'politics' thread, not the 'uterine parasite' thread.
 
  2007-07-01 10:21:33 PM
Well...

Since embryonic stem cell research is a hot political topic I would tend to say it is a perfectly appropriate topic for this forum...

BTW....

I love the term 'uterine parasite'....LOL...

But it doesn't change the biological fact that an embryo is a living organism that is genetically human...
 
  2007-07-01 10:28:25 PM
BTW.... I meant to ask this earlier....

IF a living organism that is biologically human is not human life what the heck is it???
 
  2007-07-01 10:45:37 PM
parasitic life
 
  2007-07-01 11:03:15 PM
"parasitic life"

So???

IF you want to say that humans begin life as a "parasitic life" fine.

As I said before it does not change the biological fact that it is a living organism that is biologically human.

So an embryo is a "parasitic life" that is genetically human.

Gee....

life and human

Um....

human life???
 
  2007-07-01 11:07:29 PM
What are you getting at?
 
  2007-07-01 11:14:51 PM
You called it parasitic life.

Fine.

It is LIFE that is genetically HUMAN.

It is a living being....

a living organism....

that is genetically human....

What the heck do you think I am getting at???
 
  2007-07-01 11:17:28 PM
It actually appears that we agree. Human life and parasitic life are not mutually exclusive.
 
  2007-07-02 02:03:06 AM
dottedmint:


Is an embryo conscious?
 
  2007-07-02 02:31:25 AM
dottedmint: It is not based on biology or science.

You know this has kind of been bugging me a little bit. I hate posting twice but I thought it needed to be cleared up:

Any scientist who tells you they know when human life begins isn't a scientist. Rather, they are full of sh*t.

The following is from an article hosted on FREE REPUBLIC. Free Republic! Hotbed of conservative wackos. It's an interview with three scientists from something called the "Newton Educational Program- Ask A Scientist" which is a division of Argonne Labs, which is run by the Dep't of Energy. If I wanted to spend more than 5 minutes on google I could find something better, but this kind of sums up what I've been trying to say: (Yes these are real "scientists," click their names to see who they are.)

"The more critical question, I think, is when that life becomes "human", and that is not a question that science will be able to answer. Human-ness is a religious, or moral, or philosophical question that is not likely to have a single agreed-upon answer. Steve J Triezenberg (pops)

Answer 2: I agree with Steve on both points. Life is continuous from one generation to the next. The real question is when does the developing human organism (embryo, fetus, infant, etc.) attain the basic rights of a person? These rights include the basic right to life. I also agree that this is a question of philosophy, not science. Brian Schwartz (pops)

Answer 3: I also agree on both points. It is part of the job of scientists to educate people that science will not be able to answer all of the great questions that plague us. Some of those questions, including the exact definition of life, will always have a philosophical or even religious component. Life itself may be easier to define than the issue of what is human. Will we someday perhaps not care about what is human, but rather be concerned with "sentience" or the realization that one is alive and unique with respect to others? Fascinating discussion! (no name)
__________________________________

Take it or leave it. This is why I didn't want to get into this.


With that said, I'd still like an answer to my above question. Thanks.
 
  2007-07-02 04:27:20 PM
dottedmint What the heck do you think I am getting at???

You're trying to get us to admit that a fetus/embryo is a human being when it isn't.
 
  2007-07-02 06:55:19 PM
Libby gets his sentence commuted.

I guess that's the reward for being the fall guy for the administration.

Sickening.
 
  2007-07-02 07:09:31 PM
Sickening that Bush went ahead and did it, certainly.

Gotta love the Bush Crime Family™

They'll take care of you.
 
  2007-07-02 07:38:48 PM
C-S: "Is an embryo conscious?"

No.

It is not.

Neither is a person in a coma but they are human life.

A good friend of mine was in a coma for (IF I recall correctly) just over 6 months.

He was not conscious.

He was not sentient.

He was not self-aware.

He was not anything that you brought up in your last post.

He was a human life without possessing any of the standards that you mention.

I think the problem that we are having is that I am basing my argument on biological facts.

At what point is this living organism that is genetically human created?

The biological fact is that it begins it's life at conception.

You are trying to argue an abstract concept for determining life using standards that even in adult human life does not always exist. (as pointed out above)

There are all sorts of examples of injuries and illnesses that can rob a person of these very standards or properties that you seem to say an embryo must have before it is really human life and yet we don't say that when these people have these characteristics taken away from them that they are suddenly no longer human life.

As I said before as soon as the egg is fertilized it takes on all the characteristics of a living organism that is genetically human.

Neither the sperm or egg have the characteristics of a living organism.

Until that egg is joined to that sperm that organism does NOT exist.
 
  2007-07-02 08:20:40 PM
Whdbey: "You're trying to get us to admit that a fetus/embryo is a human being when it isn't."

I love that claim....

Websters define Human as

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of humans
2 : consisting of humans
3 a : having human form or attributes b : susceptible to or representative of the sympathies and frailties of human nature

And Being as

1 a : the quality or state of having existence b (1) : something conceivable as existing (2) : something that actually exists (3) : the totality of existing things c : conscious existence : LIFE
2 : the qualities that constitute an existent thing : ESSENCE; especially : PERSONALITY
3 : a living thing; especially : PERSON

An embryo is a living organism that is genetically human.

Right?

Do we all at least agree with that?

Frankly I don't know how anyone could because it is a biological fact.

Seeing how an embryo is a living organism this means that it is (obviously) a "living thing" and "something that actually exists".

This easily fits the definition of a BEING.

Now an embryo is also genetically human.

This means that it has "human form or attributes".

That is more than enough to fit the definitin of HUMAN.

Obviously it is not cow or dog or cat.

It is HUMAN.

A Human Being....
 
  2007-07-02 10:20:03 PM
dottedmint:

Well that is the obvious response.

I'll take that as a no.

Sorry about your friend, I hope they're OK. However, your friend was at least was conscious before he became unconscious, correct?

Onto Question 2:

Can an embryo survive independently outside of the womb? Can it be self sufficient?


Also, you didn't address any of my points about stem cell research that were unrelated to this whole "when life begins discussion." I posted some links to back up my original arguments which started this whole thing. Do you have anything to say about those?
 
  2007-07-02 10:31:21 PM
Onto Scooter Libby:

So 2 1/2 years in Club Fed is "excessive" for PERJURY and OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE by a top ranking government official? Someone whose position demands the highest level credibility and trustworthiness?

Unbelievable. It's like those mob movies where the guy takes the rap knowing his buddies are going to bust him out the next day.

I don't buy any of that crap about his sentence being enough due to his life being "ruined by a felony conviction" blah blah blah. I mean seriously, does anyone think this guy is going to have trouble finding a job with his connections? No. Is he going to be hurting for money? No.
 
  2007-07-02 10:44:21 PM
Libby is more interesting than parasites.

That said, it disgusts me that he's not in jail.
 
  2007-07-02 11:30:13 PM
C-S: Well that is the obvious response.

I'll take that as a no.


You're talking about the question about an embryo and consciouness????

I already said NO.

But I also pointed out that consciouness is not a determining factor for human life.

Sorry about your friend, I hope they're OK. However, your friend was at least was conscious before he became unconscious, correct?

That reasoning is a bit illogical.

An embryo is not human life because it is not conscious.

A human who no longer has consciousness no longer needs consciousness to be human life.

Can an embryo survive independently outside of the womb? Can it be self sufficient?


Nope.

Neither can a newborn baby and yet there is no doubt that they are human life.

Independence and self sufficiency is not a requirement for human life.

Also, you didn't address any of my points about stem cell research that were unrelated to this whole "when life begins discussion." I posted some links to back up my original arguments which started this whole thing. Do you have anything to say about those?

Are you talking about your (I guess I'd say) warning about private companies doing research?

No I did not resond to that.

Sorry...

Private companies are anything but perfect but if you think government research would be without any problems I would suggest rethinking that.

Tell me....

Do you think that a University that gets government funding for stem cells would want that funding to stop?

Also some of the government funding is going to private companies...

Or...

Are you talking about your posts from Wiki???

I responded to them with even better posts from Wiki pointing out that adult stem cells are better....

My favorite was....

*While embryonic stem cell potential remains theoretical, adult stem cell treatments are already being used to successfully treat many diseases.
 
  2007-07-02 11:47:42 PM
dottedmint: It is HUMAN.

A Human Being....


Only in the sense that my skin is "human."

An embryo is a living organism that is genetically human.

Right?

Do we all at least agree with that?


Whether we agree or not is irrelevant to the discussion. And you're certainly not going to twist the definition to mean an embryo is a person. I don't think you're going to have the majority of science on your side, either.

While embryonic stem cell potential remains theoretical, adult stem cell treatments are already being used to successfully treat many diseases.

Someday very soon that potential will prove beyond theoretical and in the real realm of possibility to cure diseases and have a host of medical uses.

I can't help but think that decisions like Bush made only push that day back even farther, that such decisions are irrational.
 
  2007-07-03 12:13:28 AM
Whidbey: "Only in the sense that my skin is "human."

Well....

Except that your skin is nothing more than an organ whereas an embryo is a living organism.

Also one of the definitions of human is:

: having human form or attributes

and as much as you may hate to admit it an embryo fits that definition.

I don't think you're going to have the majority of science on your side, either.

I don't know if I would or not.

I do know that I have a majority of americans on my side.

Polls show that a majority of Americans think life begins at conception.

I can't help but think that decisions like Bush made only push that day back even farther, that such decisions are irrational.

I find that comment funny and somewhat ignorant.

Before Bush there was a total of ZERO federal funds going to embryonic stem cell research.
 
  2007-07-03 12:24:01 AM
dottedmint: I do know that I have a majority of americans on my side. Polls show that a majority of Americans think life begins at conception.


The only majority you should be considering is what science says. I'm well aware that Americans have some crazy ideas about the significance of conception. Why, I don't know, and I certainly don't see what moral question you're wrestling with.

Before Bush there was a total of ZERO federal funds going to embryonic stem cell research.

And now what's the total? Thanks to his stubborn ignorance, it's going to stay at zero.
 
  2007-07-03 12:24:59 AM
dottedmint: Are you talking about your (I guess I'd say) warning about private companies doing research?

The post below my Wiki post where I cited some links to back up my very Boobies on this subject (Not the very Boobies itself and not the wiki post.) It talks about more tangible/relevant/answerable issues than when life begins.


Our little "debate" is why I didn't want to discuss the life issue. We are going back and forth and getting nowhere. It's pointless, as I said it would be from the beginning.

An embryo is not human life because it is not conscious.

A human who no longer has consciousness no longer needs consciousness to be human life.


Is that what I said? No. Just asking questions.


No one has the definitive answer, no matter how much you try and tell me that you do. You keep claiming it's scientific, but I don't see any references to scientific journals or studies that have been peer-reviewed and which claim human life begins at conception.


What do you think about this Libby thing?
 
  2007-07-03 12:29:29 AM
Damn filter!
 
  2007-07-03 12:32:29 AM
Cleveland-Steamer: Let's steer this back to more political, less moral and emotional subjects shall we?

Ach. Clearly I haven't been catching up.

Fine.

Let's leave it be and admit that there isn't a clear definition we can all agree on, but that our positions will indeed influence our philosophies on some of these subjects. Fair enough for me.
 
  2007-07-03 12:36:19 AM
And as for Libby, judging by the number of comments in the "official" thread, Bush's action is raising some serious hackles. I daresay it may be the rope he's going to hang himself with, but you never know. Might be a Second and Third Act...;)
 
  2007-07-03 12:42:14 AM
whidbey: Let's leave it be and admit that there isn't a clear definition we can all agree on, but that our positions will indeed influence our philosophies on some of these subjects. Fair enough for me.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

My turn to buy you a beer...;)
 
  2007-07-03 05:28:41 PM
Whidbey: "The only majority you should be considering is what science says."

Actually I would suspect that a majority of scientists would agree with my statement that biologically an embryo is a living organism that is genetically human.

I'm sure there would be enough of them that would then twist themselves into pretzels trying to come up with a reason why they should not be called human life.

And the more I think about it I don't recall anyone coming forward and saying an embryo is not human life specifically because of this or that.

"And now what's the total? Thanks to his stubborn ignorance, it's going to stay at zero."

I meant to look up the dollar amount of funds that go to ESCR but I know it is more than zero.

It may not be as much as you want but before Bush there wasn't any funds going to ESCR...now there is.
 
  2007-07-03 05:40:59 PM
C-S: "You keep claiming it's scientific, but I don't see any references to scientific journals or studies that have been peer-reviewed and which claim human life begins at conception."

As I pointed out before an embryo has all the characteristics of a living organism.

This is a fact.

Or can you prove me wrong?

Also I find it better sometimes if people look at this debate while going back in time.....

Let's start with a newborn baby.

Everyone in here would agree that it is human life.

God I hope everyone in here agrees with that....

Now start going backwards in time.

At what point in time does that living organism that is genetically human no longer exist?

That organism stops existing once you get to a point just before conception.

At conception this organism is created and after conception the embryo begins it's life.

This is a fact.

Or can you prove me wrong?
 
  2007-07-03 08:39:12 PM
dottedmint

Next question: why does any of this matter?
 
  2007-07-03 08:41:31 PM
dottedmint:
Or can you prove me wrong?

What have you proven? Nothing.

Do you have any quotes from scientists yet? Peer reviewed studies that show Human life begins at conception? Don't see any.

I'm guessing you are against fertilization clinics as well, considering they "kill" thousands of embryos a year at the requests of parents.

If embryos are human beings entitled to all the protections of our laws, then these parents and these clinics are committing murder.

What do you think of abortion? If you do not oppose it, how do you come to terms with the fact that mothers have the right to "murder" their unborn child?

Are embryos human beings that, somehow, have "less rights" than others in that parents have the right to exterminate them?

What kind of human being is that?



Let me know when you want to discuss any of the substantive issues I raised previously. Or the Libby issue. This is getting old.
 
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