One man's view of the world, from the top of this great big rock somewhere in the middle of God's Country, with an eye toward freedom....or at least some way to get back down without goin' over the edge.

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Location: West Virginia, United States

Former U.S. Army, SPC E-4, Veteran of Operation Desert Storm. If you are or have ever been a soldier, you have friends in my house.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fox in a Box: A Tale of Tangled Strings

By now, most of you know of the huge debate going on concerning the efficacy of embryonic stem cells, as opposed to adult stem cells, in relation to the search for a cure to various diseases. To be sure, it has become one of the bigger talking points leading up to the coming elections.

Michael J. Fox, who has suffered from Parkinson's disease for some years now, has now thrown his hat in the ring with the following advertisement in support of Missouri Senate candidate Claire McCaskill, on the grounds that her opponent, Jim Talent, opposes ESCR:

Some have said that his portrayal of himself is just that -- a portrayal by an actor, done for the sole purpose of tugging at voters' heartstrings enough to make them want to vote for McCaskill purely out of compassion for folks like him.

Carol Liebau has this to say on the subject:

It's up to each viewer to decide whether the ad is an over-the-top example of Fox allowing his illness to be exploited. Dean Barnett, who has some "street cred" to speak about exploitation of illness, has some thoughts that are well worth reading.
But, in any case, let's not fool ourselves that Fox is doing anything more than shilling for a Democratic politician. That's because there's already a stem cell initiative on the Missouri ballot -- so whether one votes for Jim Talent or Claire McCaskill has no impact on what happens with stem cell research in Missouri.

Now, I myself do not necessarily see this as being purely political. Mike showing himself "au naturel", as it were, doesn't seem all that inappropriate to the situation. Let's face it, one suffering through this disease without the benefit of treatment is gonna look all that good, and that's what he is putting forth.

So I'm not gonna beat up on Mikey because he's throwing his support behind a candidate whom he thinks will bolster his cause. We ALL do that.

I will, however, question the wisdom of his choices.

I mean, for a Democrat, she's not all that smart:

Tim Russert: "You had Bill Clinton come in and raise money for you, do you think Bill Clinton is a great President?
Claire McCaskill: "I do. I have a lot of problems with some of his personal issues. I said at the time, I think he's been a great leader but I don't want my daughter near him."

Nipping the hand that feeds you -- on national television -- is never a good idea. Hillary's not going to forget THAT one anytime soon.

Then there's the recent scandal about ACORN workers doing some serious voter-card-cooking on her behalf:

St. Louis ACORN workers, who have still not been paid by the way, reveal that all of the people who were being trained at ACORN headquarters (many at the same time) were told to go out and canvas for "(Democrat) Victory 2006" and Claire McCaskill!

But leaving Claire (and, apparently, Ben Cardin of Maryland as well) aside for the moment....there's something else about this that should be mentioned.

There are many -- the venerable Anchoress among them -- who fear that Michael's stumping for ESCR (and the candidates he thinks will support it) will do him, and those he represents, little good:

So, we see that in 2001, ESCR was showing the embryonic stem cells tended to be unmanagable and, actually, too powerful, too malleable. We see in 2006 that labrats treated with the stem cells tended to show some improvement but within a short time tissue growth becomes abnormal - one might assume that the rats, which were killed, might have displayed similiar behavior as was seen in 2001, had they lived. For all the talk we hear about the "great promise" of Embryonic Stem Cells, the research doesn’t support it. Nor, apparently, does private funding.

Don't get me wrong, Mike. I like you a lot, and I admire your devotion to your cause. I really do. Would God that a cure comes quickly.

But it's looking more and more like you're being used as a puppet for someone else's purposes...and in politics, strings get cut on a daily basis.