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George W. Bush: America’s New Moral Compass?

July 22, 2006

Three days ago on July 19, 2006, President George W. Bush finally did something that he has never done as President; he used his veto authority to knock down the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005. This bill passed by both Republican Houses of Congress, would have dramatically expanded federal funding for embryonic stem cell research—a wing of modern science that holds promise for curing many horrible and fatal diseases. It is absolutely astounding and hypocritical, that in his remarks prior to signing the veto, Mr. Bush, who was surrounded on stage by families created through in vitro fertilization by means of “adopted” embryos, stated that this legislation would cross a moral line that our nation can not afford to cross. He also stated that allowing this legislation to pass would, in essence, make America slaves to technology. The man is clearly delusional and clearly is forgetting his own recent past concerning morality.

Since when is our current President, whose own conduct in the White House has crossed many questionable moral boundaries and even bordered on criminal offenses, become the moral guidepost of our country?

Mr. Bush forgets the controversial and even scandalous ways in which he was elected twice to our nation’s highest office. Mr. Bush forgets the deceit and the lies he perpetrated on the American people in his administration’s pursuit of controlling the flow of oil in the Middle East by unjustly invading Iraq. Mr. Bush forgets his promise to hunt down Osama bin-Laden in response to the horrible 9/11 attacks—a task which now is no more thanks to the unfathomable disbanding of the CIA unit, Alec Station, that has hunted and tracked al-Qaeda for more than ten years.

Mr. Bush forgets his administration’s conduct, and perhaps his own, in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame in response to her husband’s (former Ambassador Joseph Wilson) refuting the White House claims that Iraq was trying to obtain nuclear materials from Niger. Mr. Bush forgets the many times his administration has questionably alarmed the American public of pending terrorist attacks when no such evidence existed. Mr. Bush forgets that he was vacationing on his 1,500-acre ranch in Texas while the poor and desolate people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast struggled to survive during Hurricane Katrina. Or perhaps Mr. Bush forgets his cozy association with indicted criminals like Jack Abramoff and Tom Delay.

Or perhaps Mr. Bush is simply misinformed, as he is seems to be on so many issues, on the issue of embryonic stem cell research. Mr. Bush’s own highly trusted political advisor, Karl Rove, erroneously stated in a July 19, 2006, interview with The Denver Post that research has shown “far more promise from adult stem cells than from embryonic stem cells.” This notion was quickly refuted by at least a dozen leading scientists in the Chicago Tribune stating the Mr. Rove’s statement was inaccurate. Or perhaps Mr. Bush was listening to ultra right-wing radio personality Rush Limbaugh who claimed that the “militant pro-abortion crowd” was behind this push for expanding embryonic stem cell research and that “you need abortions to get” embryonic stem cells. Clearly no one ever explained the birds and the bees to Mr. Limbaugh, much less the intricacies of something as complex as stem cell research. But then again Mr. Limbaugh’s brain has been so clouded by years of criminal Oxycontin and Viagra abuse that perhaps he can no longer comprehend complex issues such as these.

Embryos used in this type of research are donated with the express consent of the donors for research purposes; they are not stolen or taken from abortive mothers. In many cases, where couples have little choice in starting a family other than by in-vitro, the extra or unused embryos are simply and wastefully discarded in the trash. Where is the morality in this senseless practice, Mr. Bush?

As far as worrying about Americans becoming “slaves to technology”; Mr. Bush has clearly missed the boat on this one too. Measurable productivity gains—fueled by advances in technology—have been driving economic growth in the American economy for the last decade or so; but have caused many Americans, especially those who have been fortunate to keep their jobs, to work harder and work longer hours. The intimate intermingling of technology and daily life has not only altered the American workplace; but has also forever altered the American home. Our nation has, and becomes, more dependent on technology every single day in spite of no federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Mr. Bush could use a new speechwriter.

Is it morally right for President Bush to slam the door on the hopes of all of those current and future sufferers of such horrible diseases as Alzheimer’s, cancer, Parkinson’s, diabetes, MS and paralysis in the name of proving his machismo that he doesn’t waver on issues once he decides? He clearly has divided the nation again, and his own party, with this veto action as many Republican Senators and Congressmen voted in favor of the act. But then again we have come to expect this kind of conflicting behavior from our “elected” President—a man who has crossed many moral lines but thinks nothing of it. Mr. Bush’s veto of the stem cell bill is a joke.

On July 26, 2006 9:27 PM, Tom Faranda said:

Payman

Thanks for enlightening me.

Glad to hear you’re not a member of the Angry Left.

If you scroll back up you’ll see I did put a link to the Darfur rally posting that’s on my “purported blog.”

Faranda

On July 25, 2006 9:41 AM, SSmith said:

mr. faranda,

why don’t you send crotonblog a post about your travels to DC for the Darfur rally, i’m sure they would post it for you. they are not a bunch of radical left leaning militant hippies that your divisive comments above seem to suggest. even when you are trying to be nice ( i guess) you sound condescending, arrogant, narcissistic, and narrow-minded. your bitterness is apparent.

also, for your information, not that you deserve it, i was a lifelong republican until i saw the debilitating hypocrisy and social injustice with which that party legislates many years ago. they are in it for themselves plain and simple. you claim you are not one of them but your rhetoric above sure sounds like you are a closet republican. your snide invitations above to visit your purported blog sound about as appealing as getting your finger nails ripped out or having your testicles wired with electrodes like george bush’s prisoners have had to endure at the various torture sights he and dick cheney operate around the world. thanks, but no thanks. we’ll talk right here.

Hilarycare? is that right out of newt gingrich’s idiotic contract with america? sounds like it. imagine how much better off our country would be if bill clinton had not been blocked by embarrassed republicans and the insurance lobby in 1993 - nearly 14 years ago - if the government had overhauled our health insurance and health care system. it is an antiquated system that is teeming with fraud and inefficiency at every level. and now because of that it has become too expensive for many hard-working, middle class families to even afford. welcome to george bush’s america. consider yourself lucky that you are not in that statistic considering your recent health issues. but i am guessing that you believe the neo-cons who scare us into thinking that a national healthcare system will result in lesser quality care. when you have a rich nation like ours where tens of millions of citizens can’t afford even the most basic healthcare, and doctors drop covering insurers because they never pay; i don’t know how a system could get much worse.

Wow! yellow dog democrat? maybe you’ve been listening to scary rick santorum on the campaign trail too much. he seems to pepper his comments with very strange and even suggestively perverted comments about men and dogs. he is another republican on top of his game to be sure.

based on what you think of crotonblog…”the blog of COH Democrats” or even “Crotonblog, the blog of COH Angry Leftists.”…it sounds like it is you who are angry. it is a shame that the only members of the republican intelligencia here in town who have used the blog have abused it thru serial commenter syndrome - i.e. maria denise cudequest. she also publicly lied about her use of it at her last serenade at the village board meeting and was caught on this blog lying about it. we left leaning moderates have a clear conscience which is more than can be said for mr. bush, mr. cheney and mr. rove - all of whom should be in jail right now.

p.s. - back to bush’s idiotic a veto on stem cells: tony snow the white house spokesman said the other day that bush vetoed the stem cell act because he thought it was murder. josh bolten, another career yes-man, stumbled all over himself on tim russert’s show on sunday morning trying to retract and redefine that statement. tony snow even apologized for it yesterday. but don’t you worry, they did give the wink to appease the radical right though. they have shown their true colors and their convenient ignorance in the sense that all embryos not used in the in vitro process are eventually thrown out in the garbage can - literally. that is a fact. is that not also murder? i feel it is far better to use those embryos with the donors consent to advance disease cures and research; than to have them wind up in some garbage dump in ohio or some incinerator somewhere. don’t you?

oops, i have to go. i’m missing my daily dose of fox news.

On July 24, 2006 7:02 PM, dors said:

Your better believe it my friend! I live by the statement that differing life choices make my world richer. Don’t patronize anyone reading this blog to suggest that terrorists and pedophiles have a place in our lives…ho hum, how boring and predictable. There’s nothing more stimulating than sitting down with a group of people with differing points of view sharing ideas. It’s what makes my world go ‘round. I understand that people have different cultures, different ideals, and different ways of looking at right and wrong. No one made me the queen of righteousness, although I wouldn’t mind - lol.

On July 24, 2006 5:36 PM, Tom Faranda said:

Dear Ross W.,

Thanks so much for posting my picture and the link to my weblog. Since this is (purportedly) the Crotonblog I’d have preferred you’d posted this link instead “Wrap up of Darfur Rally Yesterday”,

http://tomfaranda.typepad.com/folly/2006/05/warpupof_darf.html

since it tells the story of 45 Croton residents who travelled to the Washington “Rally for Darfur” on April 30th. But never mind, perhaps you’d already covered it.

As I mentioned, this is your blog and your absolutely entitled to write about any issues you wish. But I don’t think you have any more than a Time Magazine perception on these things.

Also, truth in advertising. I’ve only been visiting your blog for six or seven weeks, but it’s evident that a better, more accurate name would be “Crotonblog, the blog of COH Democrats” or even “Crotonblog, the blog of COH Angry Leftists.”

Payman,

I don’t belong to a political party. And I haven’t voted for a Republican senate candidate in years, nor for Sue Kelly ever. Perhaps you are a Democrat? If so, feel free to visit my weblog or email me with all the good ideas the Democrats have floated in the past couple of decades (since Hilarycare). Thoughts like “Bush, Cheney, and Rove represent the Evil Empire” aren’t really ideas, so please skip over those. And by the way, I have plenty of yellow dog Democrat friends. (“Yellow Dog Democrat” - person who will vote Democrat, even if the candidate is a four legged yellow dog.)

Dors,

I am sure you don’t believe that all “Differing life choices make our world a richer, saner, and beautiful” do you? I’m sure you object to the life choices of say, terrorists and pedophiles, right?

On July 24, 2006 1:00 PM, dors said:

J. Philip, your brother’s comment that the Crotonblog should stick to local matters and not delve into morality issues was the reason for my response. From my perspective no one attacked your brother. Opinions and ideas that differ from his don’t make the comments mean or misplaced, just different. Seems your true colors are coming through with the comment,”….for the sin of dissenting from the echo chamber…”. Why are differing views somehow combative and mean? Agree to disagree. I’m sure your brother can stick up for himself. He seems full of ideas and appears intelligent. No one has the market on morality no matter the trials and tribulations endured.

Having said that, I would like to say I’m sorry for your family’s loss. It’s horrific you buried a brother and you’ll be in my prayers .

On July 23, 2006 10:56 PM, J. Philip said:

Mrs. Smith, Payman etc -

Tom Faranda and I buried our brother, Paul, this past October. Paul suffered from a number of ailments, including renal cell cancer. After educating ourselves for many years on Pauls’ juvenile diabetic condition & other complications, dialysis, and discovering, a week before he was to recieve my kidney that he had cancer, I’d say we have more than a casual involvement in the issues of medical progress and medical ethics.

Tom has a Masters in biology from Fordham. Should he have a Phd?

He also has lymphoma. Our family, including my mother, who is an RN, and my mother in law, who is an M.D., feel that understanding these issues is more than fodder for internet debates, but also a matter of remaining alive.

Is that good enough for you to withhold your derision, or would Tom be more qualified to address the matter if he published a blog specializing in holding people up for personal ridicule because they don’t share his views?

I think that in both of my brother’s cases, it takes some backbone to face something that could be (and, in Paul’s case, was) terminal, examine it conscienciously, and still feel that the seriousness of their condition does not justify exploiting human life. You may disagree. Fine. But I find the ad hominem personal attacks on my brother, for the sin of dissenting from the echo chamber that frequents this forum, to be repugnant.

On July 23, 2006 9:06 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

Mr. Faranda, I find your comments arrogant and condescending in the extreme. Can you let us know your qualifications for your expertise on “Like science, stem cells, and morality” I’d like to know what makes you more qualified to opine on these issues than Mr. Weale. thank you.

On July 23, 2006 9:12 AM, dors said:

So, Faranda, you’re a self described pro-life, consistent ethic of life activist. Hmm, consistent ethic of life activist…I guess that means you know morality better than say, Ross W. Powerful words for a mere mortal. Most anti-choice activists think they know what’s best for people. It’s their idealogy or none. Our world is made up of people of different faiths, ideals, and life styles. No one has the market on morality. Differing life choices make our world a richer, saner, and beautiful.

On July 23, 2006 8:47 AM, SSmith said:

mr. faranda, here is a suggetion for you: please re-read the original post because you clearly did not comprehend the jist of it. i thought it was more about the hypocracy of Bush in talking about morality than more about the right or wrong of embryonic stem cell research.

also, how do you espouse yourself as an expert on science, stem cells, and morality? i thought this was still a free country where every citizen was allowed feedom of belief and speech.

maybe you are another frustrated republican? it is too bad that members of your political party are so narrow minded. this has gotten our village and our nation into many sticky situations with no easy outs.

there is a big world out there that exists beyond tiny Croton. here’s another suggestion: perhaps you should go experience some of it and you will see that there really are much more important issues going on in our world besides the political and financial disaster your party has made of 1A croton point avenue.

have a nice sunday. i’ll pray for you while i’m at church today.

On July 22, 2006 11:41 PM, TeaDrinker said:

Special thanks to Tom Faranda, a “pro-life, consistent ethic of life activist and Roman Catholic who is always interested in the confluence of science, religion, and philosophy” for his suggestion.


Tom Faranda at the “(Anti) NY Times rally.”

On July 22, 2006 11:01 PM, Tom Faranda said:

Of course this is your blog and you can write about anything you want on it.

But here’s a suggestion. Stick to issues like 1A Croton Point Ave. and the bond ratings of the village, and not wander into areas you know nothing about.

Like science, stem cells, and morality.

On July 22, 2006 2:08 PM, sdavidson said:

Many of these embryos are going to be thrown out any way. It would be much easier to appreciate the President’s decision if that were not the case.

If the right really felt that stem cell research ammounted to taking lives to enhance others, they would be pursuing legislation that would make it harder for these embryos to be destroyed in other ways.



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