Friday, July 29, 2005

Little thoughts...

Just have to get these little rants down and out of my head.

Bill Frist (R-TN) has switched his stance on increasing federal funding of stem cell research. This makes me think of Legally Blonde 2 where we see all the wheeling and dealing behind the Congressional scenes. I wonder what his deal-maker finally was. I don't support increased federal funding for stem cell research. Let me NOT be misunderstood. I'm not against stem cell research or the use the ungodly number of frozen, unwanted embryos stashed away across the country. It's better to use them for research than to just leave them frozen or 'dispose' of them. Personally, I find that it was terribly negligent and excessive to create so many in the first place. I'm not criticizing the couples who have suffered the pain of infertility, but I am denouncing the 'businesses' who profit from the creation, storage, etc. of frozen embryos. (I haven't researched this so I might be blowing smoke in the wrong direction.) Anyway, I just don't think it's the government's responsibility to fund everybody. Why can't the drug companies redirect their generous advertising budgets into more research? And why the hell do we have to pay a hundred bucks for a prescription if advertising isn't the reason? Advertising doesn't come cheap. Back when I got shingles at the first of the summer my prescriptions cost a ridiculous amount of money. I just don't think it's necessary for the government to fund this controversial research. It's not the controversy that bothers me as much as the idea that people expect the government to spend even more on something that could be covered by the private sector. (For the record, my stance on abortion is similar. No federal funding.)

Next. China scares the hell out of me. I can't even express all the things that I see when I look into my little crystal ball. It's just scary!

Finally. I'm very impressed by the quick action of the British in response to their terrorist attacks and threats. I do think that having a much smaller country does facilitate their investigations. That's not intended as a back-handed compliment. Just the way I see it. I feel bad for that guy who got shot. But, dude, you just don't run from the police! Even when they are in plain clothes. I'm sure they hollered at this guy to identify themselves. Let that be an example to others. We see plenty of that here in the US, people running from the police and getting shot. What are the cops supposed to do if they think you're a bomber and you keep on running? Dang. It's just common sense.

Okay, I'm done now. I hope I haven't offended anyone, but if I have please feel free to say so! (Just be nice about it.)

17 comments:

mr_g said...

Wow...I was wondering the same thing about Frist. Probably some trade off for judicial appointments not to be filibustered is my guess, but what do I know. Personally, I have no problem with government funding it. They should legalize pot and tax it to fund stuff like that. I wouldn't object to paying that tax...errr, assuming I bought pot...hypothetically boss, if you're reading...

China - Scary...she's bigger than many men...The country is scary too - has been for some time.

Britian - that didn't sound like a backhanded compliment. A backhanded compliment would be "for British food, this is good fish"

DHammett said...

Stem cells: I agree. Let's put what's already out there to good use (but not create more). The wonderful thing about the free market system is that if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door. If a pharmaceutical or other private company can make a profit from something, they'll pursue it. The profits to be made from something like this are huge. Conversely, if it's not viable, they'll back off. The government should stand back and let capitalism take its course.

China: Again, I think yoiu're right. But I wouldn't stop there. There are a number of emerging countries whose military and aggressive political rhetoric should cause us to be concerned. The US needs to be just as aggressive (peace through strength) in order to deal with them successfully. Look how long the cold war took to end. *Looks at tea leaves in the bottom of a cup* I see another protracted time of unease.

Britain: I love that the British have seemingly been so successful in targeting and arresting those responsible for the terror over there. But, I think they need to go farther. At wht point does free speech become treasonous? Is it OK to advocate the overthrow of a government? That's what's being done in some mosques here, in Britain, and all around the world. If so, is the line drawn at plotting the overthrow? Or do there need to be overt acts? Do those acts need to be the actual acts of terrorism, or the purchase and assembly of supplies to commit the terrorist acts? I guess I have a lot more questions than answers, but I'd argue that times are changing. If I'm going to be virtually strip searched every time I board a plane, then I want the authorities to have more laws to work with and I want those laws to have teeth. If I fit a profile of a terrorist, then pull me aside and go through my luggage. I mean, how ridiculous is it that 75 year-old grandmothers are sometimes the ones singled out for in-depth searches at the airports? Let's stop the political correctness and really, seriously go after the problem.

Oh, and I agree that the British police did the right thing in trying to stop that guy who ran. It will take some time, but I think there's more to the story than what we know right now. However, in the US, with every police department and law enforcement agency that I am aware, there is a policy that there is no use of deadly force unless the officer reasonably believes and can articulate that the person at whom they are shooting poses an imminent danger to that officer or an innocent third party. People in the US can't get shot just for running away.

Sheesh...I'm not usually this serious. I hear some margaritas calling my name.

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

I think you've got it about right. You're still my nominee for the Supreme Court.

Rae Ann said...

mr g, lol about China, the 'woman.' She is scary. And I agree about legalizing pot and taxing it. But I think those revenues should go to border patrol or something like that to help keep the foreign grown pot from competing with the domestically grown pot. Hey, if it was legal, I'd be one of the first farm it. I have a green thumb!

dhammett, nothing wrong with being serious sometimes. That's cool. You seem to know more about what's going on across the pond. I agree that sometimes our personal 'freedoms' have very distinct boundaries. Like you said, some little granny with her grandchild isn't the problem and it's a waste of time and resources to search people who pose no threat. Whos's slipping by when they are digging through a diaper bag? I was kind of exaggerating about people getting shot here. But I don't understand why people run from police anyway. If you're caught then face the consequences instead of running away. If you aren't doing anything wrong then why run? I hope those margaritas were good!

cip, thanks!! If only...

madman said...

WoW--you offended me--I hope I said that nicely--but Governments all over the world fund health care and research for their citizens--but the US finds ways to let our children be uninsured and research for the sick go unfunded. I am diabetic and my wife has crohns disease--these diseases might be cured with stem cell reserch. Sometimes it takes the financial strength of the Government to make things possible. Maybe it sounds selfish--but I would love to be healthy again. I would give everything I own, and start all over again, just to see my wife have a life without pain. I guess all views are very subjective. I hope I didn't offend you RAE-ANN.

I do agree with you on China and the UK.

Rae Ann said...

madman, I'm sorry that I offended you. No, you didn't offend me. I just think that the private sector could be much more efficient and expedient with health care issues/research if it was prompted/encouraged to. I'm not against stem cell research, and the government does fund some of it. I'm not against government sponsored *incentives* (like tax breaks, etc.) for private researchers, but I don't think they should rely on the government to completely or mostly fund it. Just look at all the other government programs and how poorly they are run. If the government was capable of running everything great then I'd be more open to handing control over. Here in TN we have a major disaster with our TennCare (Hillary-Care) program. I'm going to do some in-depth research on it for a post to show how bad a National Health Care system would be.

I know you and your wife suffer, and I know that the people who need help the most often go without it. But that is one of the exact reasons are why I don't like (too much) government funding and thus control over health related issues. It's a complex issue for sure. Sometimes my head spins when I think about how screwed up our government is about some things. How hard do you squeeze a dollar to make it into 3? I'm not against ALL government funding for these things, but how much will ever be enough? My anger over the pain and suffering of people is directed more towards the people (drug companies, etc.) who can really afford to fund things but don't.

And the thing with abortion is that I don't want to pay for some DG to end a pregnancy. I'm 'pro-choice' in that I can't tell another woman that she can't end her pregnancy, but I sure as hell don't want to pay for it. I don't think that there is a Constitutional right to a government funded abortion.

Oh, dear, I'm sounding like a politician! Maybe the Supreme Court isn't out of my reach after all. I hope you you don't hate me now!

madman said...

I could never hate you--I'm with you on the abortion and government waste. Maybe you ought to be a Federal Judge first, at least a week or two, then I am sure Bush will notice you when the next old Justice goes. Have a good weekend.

Rae Ann said...

Thanks, madman, you're great!! You have a good weekend too.

mr_g said...

Gotta chime in on the state-sponsored abortion issue. I'd rather spend a few hundred tax dollars to end a DG pregnancy...and maybe a few hundered more to sterilize and prevent further mistakes...than spend hundreds of thousands supplementing kids of parents who clearly can't afford to have them.

Am I a proponent of abortion as birth control? No. However, I'm tired of all the unwanted kids born to mothers who clearly can't care for them. (***climbs off soap box***)

DHammett said...

*Getting on Mr. G's soapbox* I get the feeling that nobody here approves of government-funded abortions as a method of birth control. I agree with that. The problem is, as long as government-funded abortions are available, there are those who will use them as birth control. They have no accountability. How can you expect them to stop when you keep providing free abortions as an option? It won't happen.

I would much prefer to spend more government money caring for children, and less (or no)government money providing abortions. With the caveat that none of the money goes to mom and/or dad.

Adoption is a really good option. There are many thousands of couples looking to adopt children. But the government has made it very difficult and expensive to adopt. I appreciate that we need to ensure the children would be going to good homes. So let's see more money put into funding for background checks and other procedural necessities to enhance adoption programs.

Regarding stem cells, I know this is a hot button topic, but I'm skeptical that stem cells are the answer. As I said earlier, if they were to prove to be effective in treating any medical condition, you would see companies tripping over themselves to get in on the ground floor. It would be a gold mine for them. I think the reason private companies are doing as little as they are is because they don't feel as confident that stem cell research will be successful.
*The writer from the great state of Kansas cedes the floor and climbs down from Mr. G's soapbox.*

Oh, and I know I haven't been around for very long, so if it's out of line for me to say this, please tell me. I don't think any of us have any intent to be hurtful to one another. It's okay to have differences of opinion, especially on controversial issues. From a newbie, my compliments on how you conduct yourselves. I don't think any of your apologies to each other are necessary. :-)

mr_g said...

Here' an option...No welfare check without sterilization for men and at the very least, long-lasting birthcontrol for women (depo or something similar). Sorry, I'm tired of doling out money so a fourth generation of 15 year old mothers can continue the tradition. Besides, in my opinion, killing cells that have the potential to one day be life is different from killing real life. Therefore, I really have no problem with my tax dollars paying for abortion. To further analagise, it's like referring to dough as bread or referring to batter as a pancake...at least that's how I see it.

OK Rae Ann, thanks for the vent!

DHammett said...

OK, Mr. G. I'll buy off on the sterilization (for both men and women)as a condition for welfare. But your analogy for the unborn falls short. At what point does your dough become a pancake? What if the pancake is undercooked? Is it not still a pancake? Can it be put back on the skillet and completed (the analogy goes to intensive neo-natal care for premies)? We'll have to agree to disagree. Life begins with conception, in my opinion.

mr_g said...

We can definitely agree to disagree...as to your question, the batter becomes a pancake when I can eat it and say, "great pancake!" as opposed to "Ummm, nice batter....I'm sure this will taste good when it's done." In line with that, I don't see cellular activity as sentient life...yes, with artificial help it can DEVELOP into life. Develop into is different in my book from already is. OK, enough said...on to other things...

Rae Ann said...

Wow, I love all this debating going on! I hate that I was out of town and missed it while it was happening.

dhammett, Kansas, eh? That was a very nice dropping detail there. Thanks!

mr g, I think I tend to agree more towards your view on the beginning of life. I've just abitrarily decided that I believe life begins when the heart starts beating. Without the blood circulating through the body nothing else can happen. No more growth or development. Usually when women 'spontaneously' abort, or have a miscarriage, it's because there is some problem with that process and the fetus dies. Before there is a functioning heart it is still only a mass of growing cells. But I know that everyone has different ideas on this issue. That's just mine.

Oh, yeah, and about being civil and nice, that's the kind of people I like.

DHammett said...

Just saw this quote in a British newspaper: British Transport Police have been targeting specific ethnic groups for "intelligence-led" stop-and-searches as part of their heightened security measures.

BTP Chief Constable Ian Johnston said that his officers would not "waste time searching old white ladies".
Here's the link: http://www.thisislondon.com/news/articles/PA_NEWA3088221122815454A0?source=PA%20Feed&ct=5

Finally, some common sense.

About the pancake, all I'm saying is there's no absolute point at which it stops becoming batter and is mystically now considered a pancake. It's a process.

Rae Ann said...

Thanks for that link. Yeah, it's about time people forgot about being politically correct about this stuff. And you're absolutely correct that there's no absolute point of conversion. I love pancakes! (as long as they are fully cooked, that is, and I don't like runny yolks in my eggs either)

delta dawn said...

not offended! HOORAY! i was looking for a red butterfly picture and yours came up and ...so funny how we meet! I am from TN as well but now call GA my home, and those political rants well ya gotta let it fly sometimes!

nOw off to find a red butterfly bush!