Thursday, June 16, 2005

Yet another voice for the loonies

This might become a regular feature here. Partly because there just isn't much happening in the news lately (no, I will not talk about Michael Jackson!), and partly because I just love showing the loonies for who they are.

So, once again, some crazy people have written editorial letters in the Belleville News-Democrat ( One person writes:
Let's see, 59 million loudmouthed, blithering idiots voted this president to another four-year term, yet military recruiting is historically low. The arithmetic doesn't add up. Where is the great conservative patriotism and grass roots values? Why aren't people rushing to Iraq to promote liberty, democracy and protect the integrity of letter writer *Name Omitted*'s country?

Ah, one of the famous democratic red herrings: You can't support Bush/military action unless you sign up for military service. I'm not quite sure I understand the logic behind such a call, but the biggest reason that would be wrong is that the outcome of such a policy would leave all military policy and decisions in the hands of the military, when one of the hallmarks of the US Constituion is the civilian control of the military.

Besides that, low recuitment numbers mean little. Do we have a shortage of troops? I've heard no one actually claim that. There's a big difference. The writer continues:
Instead of people routinely shooting their mouths off, they need to try to back it up with action. They need to put down the banjo and pick up that M-16 and head to the Middle East. Show the evil liberals, Democratic machine and media their great resolve.

Ouch. Bush supporters (all 59 million of us) are country yokels. Gotcha. (By the way, what's wrong with the banjo? My friend Ryan plays banjo like nobody's business, and I'd call it a remarkable talent.)
Instead, the spinless, nauseating cowards can stay safe over here. They let the poor and the young go do their dirty work. That's OK. The government has a plan to implement the draft and raise the acceptable age limit to 39.

So, wait a sec . . . is it poor yokels who vote for Bush, or who join the military? Or both? This guy seems confused. Does he want 65 year old voters over in Iraq? Yet he decries a raising of the draft age. Odd. And this plan to implement the draft . . . that wouldn't be the one that Democrats keep bringing up as a scare tactic, would it?
I believe the Afghanistan war is justified because of the 9/11 Osama bin Laden connection. The Iraqi people should have overthrown the Saddam regime.

Instead, President Bush has spread our troops too thin. Regardless, if drafted, I will go and do my duty, even though I don't believe in the Iraq war. I will die, not for G. Dubya and the conservative nincompoops, but for the middle working class and the people who keep this country going.

Just don't forget, if you're drafted, it'll be because of the Democrats, not the Republicans. All the bills to bring back the draft are their ideas. And just so you know, 53% of those who voted in November voted for Bush, so before you start ridiculing anybody, remember that a majority of your fellow American 'nincompoops' voted for Bush.

Another writer, on an issue much dearer to me (as a science issue):

Members of the House of Representatives recently voted 238-194 to extend federal support of embryonic stem cell research beyond limits set by President Bush. The bill allows scientists to use frozen embryos that fertility clinics otherwise would discard.

President Bush has promised his right-wing coalition that he will veto the stem cell research bill if it passes the Senate. This veto will be the first since Bush took office in 2000.

As a cancer survivor, I have strong feelings when it comes to stem cell research. I am saddened beyond words, that four regional members of Congress, John Shimkus, R-Ill., Jerry Costello, D-Ill., Todd Akin, R-Mo., and Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo., voted against this bill. Following Ron Reagan's speech in support of stem cell research during the Democratic Convention of 2004 and his mother, Nancy Reagan's outspoken support, many Americans who formerly did not support stem cell research swung over to the other side of the debate.

I will admit, I do not pretend to understand all the details surrounding stem cell research and how it can lead to a myriad of cures. But I believe if the research can move forward, cures will be close at hand. I am also convinced that religious zealots are hijacking the opportunity of our scientific community to discover cures that effect [sic] nearly every American.

The ignorance I often find on this subject really does amaze me. First, government funding is not the make/break of an issue. Nobody is talking about banning embryonic stem cell research. What the administration doesn't want to do is offer federal funding for an area of science that a large number of Americans finds inhumane.

Imagine if someone wanted to do lethal scientific experiments on death row inmates. They'll be killed anyway, right? They're in prison to be punished anyhow, right? Shouldn't they be useful to society in one last way before they receive their punishment? No, most Americans would denounce such a plan, and the ACLU would have conniptions. Why, then, are unborn children treated with such candor? To many people, there is no moral difference between the life of an adult and the life of an unborn child.

I know a lot of people want to think that an influx of federal money will bring instant cures, but that couldn't be further from the truth. The research that has been taking place has been slow, bringing little progess (at least as far as embryonic stem cells are concerned). It's impossible to even talk about "potential cures" because even if they figure out how to perfectly manipulate embryonic stem cells, there's no guarantee that they can utilize them for any sort of cure or therapy to the diseases that are trotted out on this issue.

Is it a worthy price to kill thousands and thousands of unborn children because we might be able to find cures for diseases? Millions of people say no. And I think, when you really put the ethics of this in proper perspective, that it's not "religious zealots" that are hijacking scientific progress, but scientific/political "progess at any cost" zealots who are hijacking the science and ethics that should guard our research and development.

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