Category Archives: medicine

Competition Matters, Mr. President!

First off, let me say that I do not hate Pres. Obama like some of the right-wing nut jobs in our country. I also don’t automatically disagree with everything he says or does, like those aforementioned nut jobs (I mean, nobody could be wrong 100% of the time even if they tried!!). But DAMN, Mr. President, you talk on television about how you’ve lowered taxes for three years, yet directly underneath you are the words, BUSH TAX CUTS! Two months ago, you were opposed to ANY extension of these Bush tax cuts, but now…now, it’s re-election time and its time to do what works, what sells.

So what does work? More jobs? Less taxes? No….what works is ‘the government getting the hell out of the way’ and letting people compete. Capitalism…not socialism. I understand that this is his ‘FIRST’ job but surely someone has advised him on the particulars of how a job is created, right? Surely he realizes who creates these jobs, right? Certainly he must grasp the fact that high taxes, forced healthcare, more restrictions, and more regulations will hurt this country, right? Well, obviously not. Wait, you don’t think he’s doing this on purpose, do you?
Just as a chain letter or Ponzi scheme can’t work in the long run, likewise, collectivism, socialism, etc…is unsustainable in the long run because it is based on a theory that is flawed. Socialism and heavy government run systems that fail because they disregard basic principles of human behavior: incentives and competition. What’s happening in Europe, the US, and now China, can be traced back to one specific flaw that guarantees failure – governments eliminating incentives. We can feel that happening here in the US; our mentality becoming a “Why should I?” mentality.
In our economy, incentives are the backbone of driving our our country forward. Capitalism is based on the theory that COMPETITION IS REQUIRED and that INCENTIVES MATTER!
Under socialism (or liberalism) incentives play almost no role and are virtually disregarded. Socialism (or liberalism) is a philosophy that goes against the very fabric of human nature and is therefore must fail. Socialism is based on the theory that COMPETITION IS IRRELEVANT and that INCENTIVES DON’T MATTER!
Capitalism will be the biggest player in this global revival of liberty and freedom and prosperity because it prods humanity, inspires creative thinking, and instills the enterprising spirit in all human beings. Providing incentives promotes desire, effort, and efficiency. Capitalism creates wealth. Period. The government does not, never has, and all the evidence you need is in the history books…and those books speak volumes to this.
I understand some people ‘feel better’ by thinking of themselves as fair-minded and kind and wanting everyone to get everything they want. But that mentality is crippling – that type of ‘kindness’ is destructive. People must compete. People must win. People must lose. It’s in our nature, at our very core. The lazy man should not be rewarded on par with the working man. Our president disagrees with that. I understand that and I will never hate him as a person because of it. That’s a terrible thing. But facts are facts, Mr. President – – the difference between my capitalism, my Reagan-omics, my trickle-down, my less govt. and your be-all, do-all, tax-all, everything-for-all socialism is this: Capitalism works. Your philosophy does not. It never has. Never.

Latest stem-cell advance proves no need to kill embryos.

BY NANCY FRAZIER O’BRIEN – CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
TUESDAY, 28 JULY 2009
The work of two teams of Chinese scientists who created live mice from induced pluripotent stem cells is “another demonstration that researchers don’t need to destroy embryos” to achieve stem-cell advances, according to a pro-life official at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.embryonic-Stem-cells-mouseThe research done by separate teams in Shanghai and Beijing and published July 23 in the scientific journals Nature and Cell Stem Cell showed that the so-called iPS cells have “the full range of uses that embryonic stem cells are proposed for,” said Richard M. Doerflinger, associate director of the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.

“The immediate finding is that induced pluripotent stem cells, created without harming any embryos, really are as versatile as embryonic stem cells,” he said. But Doerflinger also warned in a July 27 interview with Catholic News Service that this latest breakthrough in stem-cell research shows that iPS cells are “so powerful” that researchers “might be able to put them in a human embryo and change the genetic makeup of that child and all the future generations” related to the child. “It’s an ominous thing, that they could be remaking people’s genetic traits,” he added. “It’s a powerful technology and it could be misused.”

The two Chinese teams had varying degrees of success in creating genetic duplicates of mice by reprogramming skin cells from adult mice into iPS cells and then implanting the embryos created into a surrogate mother. The first team, led by Qi Zhou of the Institute of Zoology in Beijing and Fanyi Zeng of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, reported 27 live births, starting with a mouse named Xiao Xiao or “Tiny.” All 12 of the genetic duplicates that were mated produced offspring without abnormalities; the team reported hundreds of second-generation and more than 100 third-generation mice.

The second team, headed by Shaorong Gao of the National Institute of Biological Sciences in Beijing, produced only two live births using the same technique, with one of those dying in infancy. The team is currently trying to mate the surviving mouse. In the U.S., the National Institutes of Health recently issued final guidelines for federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, requiring that such research use only embryos created for reproductive purposes at in vitro fertilization clinics and no longer needed for that purpose.

index_r2_c1 (1)The draft guidelines set standards for voluntary informed consent by those donating the embryos, and said no NIH funds would be given for research that did not meet the standards. The final guidelines, however, set up an “alternative pathway” for the approval of funding of research involving embryos donated before the new guidelines took effect or involving stem-cell lines developed in foreign countries. A working group made up of about 10 scientists and ethicists is to look at each such application on a case-by-case basis to determine whether it meets the core principles of voluntary informed consent.

Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, strongly criticized the final guidelines and said the debate over embryonic stem-cell research “now shifts to Congress, where some members have said even this policy does not go far enough in treating some human beings as objects to be created, manipulated and destroyed for others’ use.”

Some had predicted that President Barack Obama’s decision to reverse the limits on funding of embryonic stem-cell research established under President George W. Bush would lead to the rapid expansion of such research, particularly at the university level. But the results of a survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education, published July 21, found that only 6 percent of major research universities — those with $100 million or more in federal grants — planned to increase research on human embryonic stem cells “by a large amount.”

The survey also found that most of the universities said they had increased their contribution to the indirect costs of scientific research on campus by 50 percent or more over the past five years. A federal policy established in 1991 limits the indirect costs that a university may collect on each federal research grant for expenses like photocopying, accounting and electricity.

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