Tags: Kerry's | Shallow | Roots

Kerry's Shallow Roots

Tuesday, 05 October 2004 12:00 AM

But banyans are a lie - all show tree and no roots. And those support struts prove useless in a storm.

Here in South Florida we learned about the lie when the recent hurricanes struck. The banyans were the most frequent victims, quickly felled when hit by the gale-force winds that pounded them. And when you looked at the fallen giants you discovered why they came crashing down - they lacked the root system needed to hold them upright.

What you had was just a huge tangled system of roots wrapped around and around themselves, spreading out just beyond the drip line and barely six inches deep. Intricate, nuanced and useless. Puff ؎ and they came crashing down.

I thought of John Kerry when I looked at one of the fallen banyans - all grace and no substance. He, too, has no root system. What you see is all there is, the exquisitely coifed hair, elegantly manicured fingernails, glib tongue and an arsenal of lies and half-truths just beneath the surface.

When the winds of truth strike, the carefully crafted Kerry image comes crashing down, exposing those lies and half-truths.

Like the banyan, whose name is really

When you probe the roots of Kerry's misleading claims on the stem cell research issue you quickly discover a tangled mass of misinformation, half-truths and outright lies wrapped round and round each other with absolutely no depth whatsoever. He's been getting away with this canard only because his adoring media allies let him.

He insists that President Bush has banned stem cell research, which holds so much promise as a remedy for a host of dreadful diseases. This is a lie, a blatant falsehood designed to portray the president as an unfeeling enemy of the ill and infirm.

The truth of the matter is that President Bush has banned most federal funding for

Under legislation passed by Congress every year since 1996, there may be no federal funding for any research that creates, injures or destroys human embryos. Bush was complying with that law in allowing research involving only certain already existing ESC lines.

Moreover, privately funded ESC research is legal in the U.S., but because private investors are wisely investing their money in adult stem cell (ASC) research, which already has proven itself, labs using unproven ESC lines need to feed at the federal trough.

As Senator Rick Santorum has noted. ASC cells obtained from adult tissue and umbilical cord blood have already shown to have proven benefits. Says Senator Santorum, "Already they have been used to help people with Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury, sickle-cell anemia, heart damage, corneal damage and dozens of other conditions, and new treatment uses are still being found."

President Bush provided $190.7 million in fiscal 2003 for ASC research and promised much more federal funding. And in the light of that funding, Senator Kerry still dares to claim that the president has banned stem cell research. He should take note that President Clinton didn't come up with one cent of funding for any stem cell research, ESC or ASC.

Writing in the August issue of Citizen Magazine, Michael Fumento, the widely acclaimed debunker of scientific claptrap and a skilled science writer, reports that ESCs are "obtained by taking apart human embryos that are either left over from in-vitro fertilization attempts or grown specifically for that purpose."

He adds: "Currently, no medical therapies involve ESCs, nor is there a single human trial using them. Indeed, very few have even made it to animal testing."

And, as Michael Reagan has said, when ESCs are injected into lab animals, it often kills them. For that reason they cannot be tested on humans.

Fumento adds that ESCs have "a nasty tendency, once implanted, to keep growing and become cancerous in certain situations. They also are usually rejected by the recipient's immune system.

"By contrast, ASCs are less likely to become cancerous, are obviously not rejected when taken from the patient's own body, and in fact, apparently are rejected less often even when transferred from one human to another."

"Adult stem cells are like babies who, when they grow up, can enter a variety of professions," explained Dr. Marc Hedrick of the UCLA School of Medicine. They "can become many tissues by making certain changes in their environment."

"Originally," Fumento wrote, "use of ASCs was limited to injecting them into the body, where they theoretically would rush to the place they were needed and automatically perform repairs. But now scientists can extract them and convert some of them into the desired tissue." Hedrick's lab has made cells from liposuctioned fat into more fat (for cosmetic purposes), cartilage and muscle.

Switzerland-based Modex Therapeutics sells skin grown from stem cells found in human hair follicles that "are in every way – including cost – superior to standard skin grafts used for burn patients and those with nonhealing sores."

When Ronald Reagan died, his younger son, Ron, claimed that ESC research could cure Alzheimer's disease, a fact disputed by all the experts. But the media ate it up, as has John Kerry, whose false claims that President Bush has banned stem cell research are allowed by his media stooges to stand.

Let it be said loud and clear: There is

I'll leave the final word to Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League.

Commenting on Kerry's criticism that President Bush's stand on stem cell research showed that he was "turning his back on science in favor of ideology" and that his position was emblematic of how he "makes decisions" and how he "sees the world," Donohue stormed:

"Senator Kerry is correct to say that President Bush’s decision to put limits on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research tells us something about the way he makes decisions and sees the world. It also tells us something about those who want no restrictions whatsoever. This is what Kerry said yesterday: 'I will stop at nothing to get stem cell research moving in this country.' Which means there are no ethical concerns that give this man pause about destroying human embryos. This tells us volumes about the way he sees the world, beginning with nascent human life.

"Kerry says that to put limits on embryonic stem cell research is to 'sacrifice science for extreme, right-wing ideology.' But Kerry knows full well that right-wing ideology has no more to do with this issue than left-wing ideology — the issue is one of biology, pure and simple. Either one believes that life begins at conception, or one does not. If life begins at conception — and the scientific evidence is overwhelming that it does — then there is only one defensible moral position to take: embryos must be protected. And since embryonic stem cell research cannot take place without destroying embryos, logic dictates that we should pursue adult stem cell research and not toy with embryos.

"Kerry has boxed himself in. On the one hand, he says he is a 'practicing and believing Catholic' who believes that 'life begins at conception.' But on the other hand, he says he will stop at nothing to allow the killing of human embryos for the purpose of research. This is not just another flip-flop — it's a morally incoherent position about the most salient of issues."


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But banyans are a lie - all show tree and no roots. And those support struts prove useless in a storm. Here in South Florida we learned about the lie when the recent hurricanes struck. The banyans were the most frequent victims, quickly felled when hit by the gale-force...
Tuesday, 05 October 2004 12:00 AM
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