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The Associated Press Slips One Through on Stem Cell Research

The AP via the Washington Post: Researchers Fuse Skin and Stem Cells

The Harvard researchers used laboratory grown human embryonic stem cells - such as the ones that President Bush has already approved for use by federally funded researchers - to essentially convert a skin cell into an embryonic stem cell itself.

If a number of hurdles can be overcome in subsequent research, the new technique "may circumvent some of the logistical and societal concerns" that have hampered much of the research in this country, Chad A. Cowan, Kevin Eggan and colleagues from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute report in the Science article.

Those social concerns are reflected in the Senate's looming debate over a House-passed bill to force taxpayers to fund stem cell research that would destroy human embryos, legislation President Bush has promised to veto.


It is very rare to see a news article accurately describe what happens when a government funding measure is passed.

Most of the time, you hear passive references to the coercion employed to get government agents the money they demand for their activities. Often it'll be described simply as "federally funded" or "state funded," leaving the readers to fill in the gaps themselves.

As an example, see this WaPo article: Skin Cells Converted to Stem Cells. I'll translate the relevant passages to make them more honest and accurate:

The technique uses laboratory-grown human embryonic stem cells -- such as the ones that President Bush has already approved for use by researchers paid out of money coerced out of national taxpayers and collected by the federal government -- to "reprogram" the genes in a person's skin cell, turning that skin cell into an embryonic stem cell itself.

[...]

More immediately, the new work could have an impact on the place where less than 500 Americans tell everyone else what to do, where a supposedly more respected and important sub-group of the former is poised to vote on legislation -- already passed by the bulk of those 500 (an insitution viewed as legitimate because it is closer to the state's collectivist-populist roots) -- that would loosen Bush's restrictions on human embryonic research on those tax-funded researchers.

Last month, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (a representative of Tennessee imposed by 22% of the state's 5 million+ population on everyone else) surprised many of his colleagues by announcing he would break with the president and support forcing taxpayers to pay for stem cell research, which Bush has promised to veto.


You get the idea. It's one of the reasons why reading the news is so painful for me. I'm, in effect, reading two stories: the one reported and reality.

Back to the original article:

Bush and many fellow conservatives believe it is immoral to create embryos only to destroy them, even in the name of scientific progress that could cure or treat diseases afflicting millions of people.

2005 The Associated Press


One of the primary reasons I cannot endorse these conservatives is they are utterly blind to the immorality of forcing Americans to hand over an arbitrary portion of their wealth in the first place. Sure, what that wealth goes towards can be offensive in ways all by themselves, but why ignore the initial crime?

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