October 4, 2010

From the Left, the Wellspring of Human Compasson …

Filed under: Life-Based News — Tom @ 11:37 pm

… following on the heels of the “10:10″ video carried at this morning’s Lucid Links post, here’s Virginia Ironside in the UK talking about what society — actually no, what individual mothers — should do about child suffering (HT The Blaze).

Squirrel! Dems Accuse Mike Wilson Of Hating Veterans…

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Rose @ 11:45 am

Look kids, Big Ben! Parliament!

The new typing-practice sentence:

“Now is the time for all desperate Democrats to call their opponents haters of our country.”

An ad that I saw yesterday features veterans asking why Mike Wilson hates them. Interestingly enough, after searching quite a few places, I cannot find a copy of the ad to post. Suffice it to say however, the concept is right up there with accusing r’s of wanting to poison our drinking water and kill old people (yes, I know, this from the baby-mutilators).

Straight out of the “I’m behind in the polls” playbook, [union-only endorsed] Connie Pillich is spewing outrageous lies and calling her opponent [and Consitutional rock star] Mike Wilson, the very name that describes her…desperate.

I say keep it up! As the electorate continues to educate themselves, the return on these low-rent investments approaches zero with every media buy.

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Wilson’s e-mail response:

Committed Progressive Connie Pillich is relying on misinformation and fear in her race against Mike Wilson. If you live in District 28 I’m sure you’ve seen the shameful mailers alleging that Mike will cut veterans’ benefits if elected.

We need you to stand up.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’d like to tell you a little bit about my family history. I am the daughter of a World War II Navy veteran. My uncle lost his arm fighting with the Marines in the South Pacific. My older brother, 2nd Lt William R. Ammon, was killed at Khe Sahn on Hill 881S in 1968. My ex-husband served with Force Recon [USMC] for over 10-yrs. Our youngest son, Sgt Robert Cook, is currently with the 101st in Afghanistan. His youngest half-brother, Sgt Joe Cook, lost his leg in an IED attack in 2007.

I would never associate myself with anyone who did not fully and completely support veterans.

If you are a veteran who supports Mike, would you please send me your contact information? We want to expand the “Veterans For Mike Wilson” group to push back against the misinformation of Committed Progressive Connie Pillich.

You can reply to maggi@citizensformikewilson.com and put veteran on the subject line.

Thank you in advance for your support – I look forward to hearing from you.

Maggi
Campaign Manager, Citizens for Mike Wilson

WSJ Has the Assertion of the Day Month on ObamaCare

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:39 am

It appeared in a Journal editorial on Saturday, in response to the Obama administration’s attempt to claim that the paper was making it up in reporting that McDonalds “has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.”

It’s about time someone with the clout of the Journal stated this fundamental, irrefutable, undeniable truth:

What everyone else should understand is that the almost daily damage we’re seeing as this law takes effect is not unintended. It is the heart and soul of ObamaCare.

It’s all about the march to state control of the provision (and non-provision) of all medical care.

Which is why it must be entirely repealed.

Memo to AP Science Writers: Adult Stem Cell Researcher’s Consideration for Nobel Is Teachable Moment; Go Tell Your Political Reporters

StemCellsDo the science writers and political reporters at the Associated Press ever compare notes? Based on their divergent coverage of stem cell research, it seems doubtful.

On Sunday, AP science writer Milan Rising reported that a Japanese scientist was under probable consideration to win this year’s Nobel Prize in medicine:

A Japanese researcher who discovered how to make stem cells from ordinary skin cells and avoid the ethical quandaries of making them from human eggs could be a candidate for the medicine award when the 2010 Nobel Prize announcements kick off Monday, experts said.

Several prominent Nobel guessers have pointed to Kyoto University Professor Shinya Yamanaka as a potential winner of the coveted award.

Though the prize, announced this morning, went to another gentleman, the question remains: How could this be? As a court case over President Obama’s executive order permitting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research has been progressing through its various appeals during the past several weeks, AP’s political writers have been giving readers the clear impression that it is the research involving the destruction of human embryos that holds the real promise of scientific progress. Uh, not exactly. In fact, not at all.

Here are several other paragraphs from Rising’s rendition:

Yamanaka in 2007 discovered how to tinker with human skin cells so they behave like embryonic stem cells, which can potentially morph into things like heart and nerve cells, as well as lead to new therapies for currently incurable diseases.

… “The outlook for the future is vertiginous,” (Swedish Radio and Science Writer Karin) Bojs wrote about Yamanaka’s discovery. “It triggers dreams that any little cell from me can be made into new teeth, new knee joints, cure diabetes, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.”

The Japanese scientist received the Lasker Award in 2009 for his discovery, which has been embraced by scientists around the world because it doesn’t entail getting stem cells from embryos.

Many winners of the Lasker Award – often dubbed “America’s Nobel” – go on to win Nobel Prizes.

On the political side, less than a week ago (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), an AP item by Nedra Pickler, in response to a courtroom development concerning Obama’s executive order, was headlined: “Court OKs US-funded stem cell research for now.” This gave those who didn’t move on to Pickler’s report the erroneous impression that the battle was over all stem cell research. Not that those who did read further were much better off: Picker’s opening paragraph mentioned “embryonic stem cell research” and never mentioned the existence of any other branch of the research, likely leading many less-informed readers to believe that embryonic research is the only kind.

This paragraph exemplifies Pickler’s’ misdirection:

Researchers hope one day to use stem cells in ways that cure spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease and other ailments. Opponents say the research is a form of abortion because human embryos must be destroyed to obtain the stem cells.

Although not approved for general medical use, adult stem cell research has successfully improved the medical conditions of several people with the aforementioned diseases, as has shown meaningful promise against dozens of other illnesses and maladies. Embryonic research cannot is not even past the, well, embryonic stage.

Despite that fact, Pickler chose to carry a deeply deceptive comment from White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs claiming that “President Obama made expansion of stem cell research and the pursuit of groundbreaking treatments and cures a top priority when he took office.” If that were the case, the administration would be aggressively funding adult stem cell research or letting the science sort itself out without government intervention. But instead it wants to throw money at life-taking research that’s not working.

Three weeks earlier (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the AP’s Jesse L. Holland performed an act of obfuscation similar to Pickler’s. His headline (“Judge won’t let stem cell money keep flowing”) also gave readers the impression that the Obama executive order court case is about all stem cell research, and avoided using the term “adult stem cell research” until a very late paragraph which childishly described objecting litigants’ primary purpose as stopping “extra competition.”

Meanwhile, last week in the real world there was exciting adult stem cell news out of Boston:

Advance made in stem cell creation
Boston scientists’ new method is faster, more efficient

Boston scientists have pioneered a fast and efficient technique for turning adult cells into stem cells that is already changing laboratory practice and eliminates a major safety hurdle to eventually using such cells to treat patients.

The discovery four years ago that skin cells can be transformed into powerful stem cells capable of developing into any type of cell in the body was a major breakthrough for scientists who have sought to harness the natural regenerative capacity of the body to heal patients. But the breakthrough came with caveats: The method used to reprogram stem cells involved viruses and genes that modify the genome and could cause cancer.

The new technique, published online yesterday in the journal Cell Stem Cell, does not involve dangerous genetic alterations and is almost twice as fast and up to 100 times more efficient than the standard method used to spin cells back to an embryonic-like state. The induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, that are formed more closely resemble embryonic stem cells than those made using standard methods.

“Several of the major hurdles toward clinical translation of iPS cells are addressed by this technology, and that’s what we’re excited about,’’ said Derrick Rossi, a stem cell biologist at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute who led the research.

The news from Boston came almost two months after AP science writer Malcolm Ritter told readers (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) that “Adult Stem Cell Research (Is) Far Ahead of Embryonic.” The news out of Boston indicates that there’s no longer a meaningful rivalry. Instead, adult stem cell research is winning in a rout.

It would be quite helpful if Ritter and Rising could get a hold of the AP reporters covering politics and set them straight — assuming the political folks are interested in the truth and not simply relaying the Obama administration’s deceptive spin.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Lucid Links (100410, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:10 am

Michael Barone has layover shots of Glenn Beck’s 8/28 “Restoring Honor” crowd vs. Saturday’s “One Nation” gathering, and writes: “Suffice it to say that the crowd at Beck’s event was much, much larger. Plus he didn’t have to pay people to attend.”

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Remember Barack Obama’s strange fascination with having a “civilian national security force” during the 2008 presidential campaign? Here’s what he said:

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

Perhaps he’s looking on with admiration at what Hugo Chavez is doing. I certainly haven’t heard or read about any complaints:

Chavez: Civilian militia should be armed full-time

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that members of the country’s civilian militia should be issued weapons to be armed and ready at all times.

The Bolivarian Militia is a force of volunteers ranging from students to retirees formed in recent years by Chavez, who says it is a crucial component of the nation’s defenses.

Until now, members of the militia have regularly trained at weekend boot camps, but their guns have usually been locked away in military depots when not in use.

… Chavez also suggested that the country should accelerate the formation of militia units.

… Diosdado Cabello, one of Chavez’s longtime confidants, has said the militia comprises about 120,000 fighters and is growing.

Based on population, that would be the equivalent of about 1.4 million in the U.S.

Oh, did I forget to tell you that earlier this month Venezuela passed a disarmament law that “reserves to the State the sale of arms”?

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The people who produced this four-minute video are going to get a free pass from the press on this. They don’t deserve it.

Watch it, but first, a warning: It’s Gore-y (pun intended), and very, very, disturbing, as in don’t let your under-17 kids watch it unsupervised.

Okay, here goes (HT Hot Air):

The hard-left environmental movement is anti-human at its very core.

UPDATE, Oct. 5: Zombie at Pajamas Media (“Most Honest Political Ad of All Time”) — “… no video has ever provided such a revealing and shocking peek into the mindset of the Global Warming alarmists.”
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Hamco2010DistrictsOhioRepsFrom Doug Ross, the Dems, assisting incumbent Ohio State Rep Connie Pillich, are predictably playing the “My opponent wants to kick Granny to the curb” card:

The desperate campaign of Nancy Pelosi’s protege Connie Pillich — an Ohio incumbent — has unleashed another attempt to stop Tea Party founder Mike Wilson in his tracks. Check out the Democrats’ latest mailer, which does everything but paint Wilson as a bloodthirsty animal, trying to break into grandma’s house to ensure that she’ll never collect on Medicare.

Ross points out that it’s ObamaCare that will starve Medicare, and that the program’s chief actuary is the one who has said so. I’ll add that Washington as a whole, but Democrats for the most part, have been responsible for creating $7 trillion and $38 trillion actuarial liabilities in Social Security and Medicare (when last measured) that are being passed on to future generations — and that it has been Democrats who have shouted down any and every attempt to do anything about the Social Security demographic time bomb.

In a sense, you have to marvel at the ability of Democrats to waste money on political campaigns as “efficiently” as they waste taxpayer dollars. After all, the number of times Mike Wilson will get to vote on whether or not Social Security and Medicare should be continued in Ohio’s state General Assembly will be somewhere between zero and nada.

Wilson’s web site is here. If you live in his district (OH-28 in the nearby graphic), vote for him. If this kind of crap doesn’t motivate decent people to take out the political trash, nothing will.

Positivity: Advance made in stem cell creation (from patients’ skin)

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Boston (HT to an e-mailer):

Boston scientists’ new method is faster, more efficient
October 1, 2010

Boston scientists have pioneered a fast and efficient technique for turning adult cells into stem cells that is already changing laboratory practice and eliminates a major safety hurdle to eventually using such cells to treat patients.

The discovery four years ago that skin cells can be transformed into powerful stem cells capable of developing into any type of cell in the body was a major breakthrough for scientists who have sought to harness the natural regenerative capacity of the body to heal patients. But the breakthrough came with caveats: The method used to reprogram stem cells involved viruses and genes that modify the genome and could cause cancer.

The new technique, published online yesterday in the journal Cell Stem Cell, does not involve dangerous genetic alterations and is almost twice as fast and up to 100 times more efficient than the standard method used to spin cells back to an embryonic-like state. The induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, that are formed more closely resemble embryonic stem cells than those made using standard methods.

“Several of the major hurdles toward clinical translation of iPS cells are addressed by this technology, and that’s what we’re excited about,’’ said Derrick Rossi, a stem cell biologist at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute who led the research.

The Harvard Stem Cell Institute has already adopted the technique to make stem cells from patients, said Douglas Melton, a stem cell biologist and co-director of the institute. Such cells allow scientists to study in a dish how a disease develops while holding the long-term promise of being used as treatments for diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson’s.

Separately, the technology researchers developed might also offer a useful way to treat patients who suffer from genetic diseases in which their bodies lack crucial proteins, and Rossi has formed a start-up company called ModeRNA Therapeutics to explore that possibility.

Robert Langer, a biomedical engineer at MIT, and Dr. Kenneth Chien, a stem cell biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, are cofounders.

In the stem cell technique developed four years ago, scientists use a cocktail of viruses carrying a set of genes to reprogram adult cells into stem cells. Various alternative approaches have been developed since then, with limitations that made them impractical, Melton said.

In the new work, scientists use messenger RNA, a molecule that carries instructions from the genome, allowing cells to translate the DNA blueprint into proteins. The scientists made an artificial, modified messenger RNA and administered it to the cells daily, transforming them into stem cells. Daily dosing was necessary to maintain the correct amount of proteins needed to reprogram the cells. Since the RNA doesn’t modify the genome, cells can be reprogrammed without genetic modifications.

The researchers then used the same technique to cause the stem cells to turn into muscle cells, proving that the technology could also be used to help guide cells to develop into specialized types of tissue. …

Go here for the rest of the story.