Obama Reverses Bush Policy on Stem Cell Research

225px-official_portrait_of_barack_obamaIn a wonderful moment for both science and humanity, President Barack Obama repealed the policy of George Bush limiting federal funding for stem cell research. The policy put inot place in 2001 has slowed progress toward finding cures from some of the worst diseases like Parkinson’s disease.

Obama stated that “In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values.”

I was one of Bush’s critics in this area. As a columnist I was able to speak for millions with family members suffering from diseases that might have benefited from such expanded research. My father, Jack Turley, died from Parkinson’s Disease and was the subject of a number of my columns, here and here and here and here.

For obvious reasons, this is a wonderful day for many Americans and a true act of leadership by this president.

For the full story, click here.

55 thoughts on “Obama Reverses Bush Policy on Stem Cell Research”

  1. Patty,

    Interesting. I did not know the origin of that phrase. Thank you for making my day complete.

  2. The saying ‘where ignorance is bliss’ is followed by the line,
    ” ‘Tis folly to be wise” came from the poem
    ‘Ode to a Distant Prospect of Elton College’ by Thomas Gray.

    With the addition of the word ‘ WHERE’, and read in context, it’s easy to see Gray was not commenting on the questionable wisdom of willfully clinging to ignorance in Life, as some propose.

    Rather, given ‘the alternative’ ie Death, ‘possibility’ is still alive – in ‘Youth’ and in the simple ‘unknowing’ of one’s Fate in advance.


  3. Bron,

    The old ax that ignorance is bliss? What is dogma but ossification of thought or abdication of new thought? Is that not a form of ignorance? Long ago I learned something from dealing with the Japanese and the Koreans. Many of them, if you were to ask them their “religion”, you’d get a blank look. Not that they didn’t understand the words, but that they didn’t understand the nature of the question. Many of them don’t subscribe to one faith, one dogma, but rather pick and choose between the wealth of religious and philosophical thought at their disposal to pick a path that works for them. Pigeon holing to a single dogmatic thought process is less in their tradition than it is in Western culture. Even those who do self-identify with Western religions often carry bits of Buddhism, Taoism and Shinto with them to inform their new system. To me, dogma is like going to the best restaurant in town and ordering the same thing every day. It gets the job done and you may be happy with it most of the time but after a while, you just start eating it because it’s habit, not because you are hungry. Satisfaction has taken second chair to nutrition and happiness. The more Eastern ala carte method is counter to dogma and it’s rigidity by it’s very nature. Some people find the structure and consistency comforting, just like ordering the same thing. When you stray from dogma, it can be scary like ordering a new untried dish, but it can also be as simple as reaching for the pepper. Variety is the spice of life. And given my proclivity for the random as evidenced by our earlier conversations about physics, it’s not hard to tell I like spice and variety. I’ll even stipulate I probably like it more than most. But like mom’s around the globe have been saying since the beginning of human history, “How do you know you don’t like it if you haven’t tried it?” To me, that is the failing of dogma in any flavor, philosophical or religious. It’s a zany world out there, so why not enjoy the best dish for the occasions?

  4. Buddha:

    I generally agree with most (as stated above I am a 75 percenter) of the ideas she presents and I have spent a good deal of time thinking about them and trying to apply them in my own life. I am a member of a blog run by an objectivist philosopher and he runs it pretty rigidly, there is no counter point (that is the great thing about this blog) although some of the discussions are good they are limited to objectivism and how it can be applied in different situations. I sometimes write to the posters privately (the blog itself is set up so that the blog master screens the posts and posts which ones he likes) and on a couple of occasions I have disagreed with certain objectivists paradigms I have never heard from those people again. Ut oh an apostate a pox on his head type of thing.

    So that is why I think at least some practioners are or can be dogmatic. I think Mespo’s analysis got to the heart of the matter.

    Its very hard being a human being, I think that the majority of us want to do the right thing we just dont know what the right thing is sometimes. Maybe to be dogmatic is bliss.

  5. Rcampbell:

    the community issue is I think a valid point. People are by our nature gregarious animals and enjoy people of similar constitution. I actually havent been around many objectivists, I ve only met three face to face, one was a scientist, one a CFO and the other a restraunt owner. And they all had the personality that fit their chosen profession. I liked the restaraunt owner the best, he was gregarious and had that hale fellow well met attitude. Interestingly he was an Italian immigrant. The scientist and the CFO were not all that interesting pretty same same and not much personality.

    So based on my ad hoc survey I would say that objectivists (and I really dont count myself as one because I dont follow all of the tenents, call me a 75 percenter) are people that have a road map for life and use principles to analyse events. Much like the people on this blog with the exception that objectivists are very firm believers in capitalism. They also are very serious about individual rights. But it does seem soulless in some respects.

  6. Hugo,
    Have you been in a coma since January? To suggest that Obama has not been addressing the Republican recession is an outright falsehood. Dango, Let me think about the 3 billion that you are crying about. That is only about 5 billion less than what was lost in Iraq when it was sent stacked on wooden pallets. If you want to really do some detective work, try finding that money!
    Mespo, I agree with your comments that there is no ethical dilemma. It was and is a made up false dilemma that the religous right wants you to believe. As noted, they seem to forget that these were stem cells that were destined to be destroyed. As to the idea that embryonic stem cells weren’t as productive as adult stem cells forgets that most of the usable lines of embryonic cells were not allowed to be utilized pursuant to Bush’s illogical cave in to the religous right.

  7. Getting worse for Obama even in the LEFT WINGER MSNBC audience:

    If you were grading Barack Obama on his performance as president, what would he get? * 28829 responses

    He gets an A

    He gets a B

    He gets a C

    He gets a D

    He gets an F


  8. Hey Buddha is laughing:

    This is an MSNBC poll!

    Even the 100,000 left wingers that leer at Racheal and laugh at Olbermann’s obesity can’t stand Obama anymore.

    You can only hear so many lies, see so much of your retirement disappear, and hear only so many stories from your working relatives about getting tired of footing the bill for the slackers in America before you also say to HELL with Obama.

  9. Bron98:

    I’ll sign on to that. Just as you can’t blame the writers of the Gospel stories (who clearly were writing in the allegorical context of their times),for the literalistic bent of some of the present day followers, I wouldn’t blame Ayn Rand for some of her followers deifying Howard Roark.

  10. Liberal MSNBC, home of Keith FATSO Olbermann wants you to grade Barack Obama:


    If you were grading Barack Obama on his performance as president, what would he get? (68,236 responses)

    He gets an A

    He gets a B

    He gets a C

    He gets a D

    He gets an F
    Not a scientific survey. Click to learn more. Results may not total 100% due to rounding.

  11. Mespo:

    thanks, I think you hit the nail on the head with “It’s not the fault of the philosophy, but rather lies in the insecurities of the followers”.

    to use an alagorical device:
    They use the philosophy like kids use water wings to learn to swim, the kids that learn to swim have the strokes (principles down) learned and can branch out on their own in the pool of knowledge. the ones that dont learn so well keep the water wings (dogma) on and basically just tread water in the pool afraid to establish their own philosophy for lack of intellectual confidence.

    Is that a good alagory or are you trying to say something else, I always wonder what other thoughts are implied in some of your musings.

  12. dango:

    You tell ’em dango. It’s just like that fool John Sutter who moved to California in 1840 and spent his entire fortune and eight long years working some worthless sawmill on the banks of the American River. Here’s a little except about how that “ignorant, stupid, fool,” got snookered and the “NOTHING….NADA……ZIP,” that ensued.

    “On the morning of January 24, 1848, a carpenter named James Marshall was building a water-powered sawmill for trader John Sutter along a river in California. Near the bottom of a waterway that Marshall’s men had been digging, something yellow was glittering. Marshall scooped up the object and said later, “It made my heart thump. I was certain it was gold.”

    Triggered by Marshall’s discovery, 80,000 people swarmed into the California territory in 1849, the first year of the Gold Rush. Quickly the settlers moved to draw up a Constitution and California was admited to the Union. The new settlers, often called “forty-niners” for the year when they had come searching for gold, lived a hard life of panning for gold in every stream and river throughout California. Some made it rich, but most did not.”

    Damn fool that Sutter for trying to do things that couldn’t be done, and for trying to do them first.

  13. Bron,

    Maybe mespo is on to something there. Rigidity of thought is a danger in any analytical endeavor. You’ve mentioned the word “dogmatic” a couple of times. Is your disenchantment more with the inflexible approach or the school of thought? A little of both?


  15. You ignorant stupid people here quickly forget that almost 5 BILLION dollars of California taxpayer money, Federal money, and PRIVATE investment money has been thrown at embryonic stem cell research and the result is ………….NOTHING….NADA……ZIP!

  16. Can anyone tell me what the 3 BILLION dollars of California (remember?)taxpayers money California threw at embryonic stem cell studies got them besides 3 BILLION dollars wasted.

    Can anyone tell me of a single success with the many hundreds of viable embryonic lines being used?

    Can anyone tell me what the 3 BILLION dollars of California (remember?)taxpayers money California threw at embryonic stem cell studies got them besides 3 BILLION dollars wasted.

    You ignorant stupid people here quickly forget that almost 5 BILLION dollars of California taxpayer money, Federal money, and PRIVATE investment money has been thrown at embryonic stem cell research and the result is ………….NOTHING….NADA……ZIP!

  17. Bron98:

    Ideologues can coalesce around any philosophy, and their thought calcifies as they become more an more enraptured with the program. It’s not the fault of the philosophy, but rather lies in the insecurities of the followers. Problem is followers grow up to be leaders and then take the reasonable original propositions to extreme lengths. Again I refer you to Frank Schaeffer’s book, “Crazy for God,” where the point is vividly made.

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