Well, on Saturday night/Sunday morning, most of us moved our watches up an hour for Daylight Moving Time. (It doesn’t save anything. It’s like Fake Time. If we all want more sunlight, let’s all just get up earlier. Bah…)
Then, on Monday, Obama was partying like it’s 2001, expanding federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, all the while polishing the same tired talking points from when this issue was first hitting the fan eight years ago -- talking points that were never true to begin with. Many in our oh-so-evenhanded mainstream media got credit for the assist. I like to think that even many who support ESCR were nauseated by the hyperbolizing going on over the past few days, with comments that “we’re finally going to have science in this country” and “opening the door to hope that had been closed for so many years.” (All those thousands of people who’ve been treated successfully with adult stem cells must have thought for a split second that their improved conditions were just a really nice dream.)
Stunningly, not only did Obama expand the funding of embryo-destructive research, but he also rescinded Bush’s executive order 13435, which had mandated funding of research into “alternative” sources of stem cells. We know that we might as well remove the quotations around the word “alternative,” as advancements with induced pluripotent stem cells – meaning skin cells coaxed at reverting to an embryonic-like state – are coming just about every week, and researchers keep finding easier and more efficient ways of making it work.
Meanwhile, the success stories just keep on comin’ with adult stem cells, such as the story this week of the young man who is regaining feeling in his chest and foot after receiving an injection of umbilical-cord stem cells in Peru. A dirt-bike accident left had left him paralyzed from the neck down. Not anymore:
(Thanks to Don Margolis (www.donmargolis.com) for linking to this story first.)
But remember: a patient with Parkinson’s or juvenile diabetes multiple sclerosis or a spinal-cord injury being successfully treated with anything other than embryonic stem cells simply doesn’t qualify as science, right? This kid can feel the lower half of his body again, and his blood pressure has stabilized, but if no embryonic human beings are destroyed we’re still “in the Dark Ages.” Right, mainstream media?
These exciting stories come from the kinds of promising, completely non-controversial research to which Obama gave lip service during his Monday press conference -- precisely while signing something that revoked President Bush’s executive order to study that research. Millions will support stem-cell research unless embryos are destroyed. Evidently, Obama will support stem-cell research ONLY IF embryos are destroyed. What a unifier.