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"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened." - Winston Churchill


5/30/2005  

Stem Cell Research Hype
Businessweek has an article that exemplifies the hype behind much of the talk about stem cells. The idea is to create a degree of fear, if the federal government does not offer funding for research. This is just another corporate subsidy - that is all it is.
The hype begins with the articles title "The Stem-Cell Also-Ran: America". Think the title presumes a conclusion? This is followed by the first sentence "It's a great time to be a stem-cell researcher -- unless you're working in most U.S. laboratories. " The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

"One advantage foreign scientists have is higher levels of government funding. Korea alone is estimated to be spending more than $100 million a year on embryonic stem-cell work, compared to a paltry $24 million last year from the National Institutes of Health. In addition, several countries, such as Korea and Britain, explicitly allow the creation of human embryos as a source of stem cells. In the U.S., there's a constant threat that such an approach could be banned."
Notice something missing? I do. How much private funding do Korean companies get for stem cell research? The article wants people to ignore that issue, just focus on government funding. Also, creation of human embryos is not banned in the US, there is just a "constant threat" that it "could be banned". Huh! That never stopped development of cloning technology. The article mentions the bill that the House passed to fund stem cell research, but again leaves out the amount of money that the bill would give to stem cell research.
Near the end of the article you learn some interesting facts.
"The federal government is spending several hundred million dollars on work with stem cells in mice and with adult stem cells. And some states and private funders are stepping into the void left by the federal government on human embryonic stem cells. Last November, California voted to spend $3 billion over 10 years. The Harvard Stem Cell Institute has raised $30 million from foundations and private donors, and is creating its own stem-cell lines. The Starr Foundation is giving $50 million to three New York City research centers over three years for stem-cell work."
First, what are other countries spending on adult stem cell research??
Didn't this article imply that $100 million from the Korean government was a lot of money, to the point that it put American researchers at a disadvantage? Now we learn that California alone will spend $300 million a YEAR on stem cell research. Last time I checked, 300 is more than 100. Harvard has raised $30 million, and the Starr Foundation another $50 million. This is not an all inclusive list of funding. This does not include pharmaceutical companies or other states that are creating stem cell research funds.
Where is this missing private funds that people keep screaming about? Sure looks like BILLIONS of dollars in private funds is going to be put into stem cell research just over the next 10 years. But don't tell anybody, or else they will not be able to get federal funding to subsidize their efforts. Just pretend its an emergency, and the sky is falling. Ignore that one state in the US will give three times more funding than the entire Korean government.

posted by Sean McCray | 7:04 PM |


5/18/2005  

Janice Rogers Brown:
The LA Times has an op-ed on why it does not like Janic Rogers Brown. Like most of the complaints against her, this one is more about personality and personal political ideology. They do not even try to attack her actual qualifications, or her abilities.
They say it is her "arrogant attitude", or her "snarky" comments.
HUH! Since when does that disqualify a person from the Circuit Courts?

They complain about the following comment from her:

"Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates, and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies." We get "a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."
That is the real issue, Democrats have someone who is challenging their view of government. That quote does not disqualify her for me, it makes he even more qualified!

posted by Sean McCray | 11:59 PM |
 

Reid, Pelosi, Boxer and Dean
The four amigos, will do more to increase the Republican majority, than Bush has done. The more they take the lead, and continue to be the Democratic face of the Party, the more they are sinking their party.

posted by Sean McCray | 11:39 PM |


5/10/2005  

Social Security Reform: Social Security's Progressive Paradox
This article explains why Democrats oppose most social security reform, including means testing. It has the best description of the social security program that I have seen:

"Social Security, in other words, is a massive Rube Goldberg device, an ornate and utterly superfluous system of transfers from the middle and upper classes to themselves, the sole purpose of which is to construct?and conceal?a much smaller welfare machine for elderly retirees nestled deep in the guts of the meta-contraption. Some defenders of the status quo are now attempting?though they scarcely seem to believe it themselves?to argue that Social Security is no less vital for the middle class. But corner a progressive over a quiet drink and he'll probably admit that, in fact, the only defensible purpose of Social Security is to ensure that nobody retires in poverty."
Also, Cato's Will Wilkinson points out "the reason SS is so untouchable is that it was designed to create the illusion of property, contract, and insurance. If fake rights are the electricity in the third rail, then real rights should pump out even more wattage. " The article concludes:
"The political vitality of Social Security-as-we-know-it was designed to be parasitic on the American commitment to property and contract. But parasites cannot be more secure than the host. If Congress fears to trespass on illusory property, it will not be bolder when encountering a real legal fence. Personal accounts -- real ownership, real rights -- offers in reality what the status quo offers only in appearance. The shadow, as Plato would remind us, is not more solid than the form.
Americans deserve real ownership, real property, and real retirement security. Unlike the slowly eroding status quo, PRAs offer Americans the real thing."

posted by Sean McCray | 6:07 PM |


5/03/2005  

About Time: Lock the Perverts Up and Throw Away the Key!
Florida passes a law that makes sense, and puts the protection of children from predators first. Anybody convicted of molesting a child under 12 year sold, will get a mandatory 25 years to life. If they are released before serving life, they will have to wear a GPS ankle bracelet for life.

posted by Sean McCray | 10:54 AM |
 

Defending Janice Rogers Brown
David Bernstein at The Volokh Conspiracy responds to an article by Stuart Taylor. The article repeats the standard lies that have been propogated against Judge Janice Rogers Brown. He clearly shows that she is more than qualified to be apointed to the Federal Circuit.
This is really about the Supreme Court. Janice Rogers Brown would be a candidate for the Supreme Court that would cause Dems to bend into contortions.

posted by Sean McCray | 10:44 AM |
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