Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Week!

My daughter is home from college for the week! My son also has the week off from school. I am taking a political break and concentrating on getting ready for Thanksgiving and enjoying my family!

Be sure to take some time this week to think about what all you have to be thankful for in your life and for what we all have to be thankful for as Americans. Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents... Conservatives and Liberals... we all bring something to the American table!

God Bless y'all and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gay Marriage

I have been doing a lot of research on gay marriage this week. I'm working on an editorial of sorts but my housewifely duties have been suffering. And Thanksgiving is in one week... I've got some projects I've got to finish!!! I will say that in really digging into this issue I've learned that I've been misinformed in some areas and it has caused me to really re-evaluate some things and try to form a fully developed opinion based on facts.

Questions:

1. Where do you stand on gay marriage?

2. What do you see as the differences between gay marriage and civil unions?

3. Do you see this issue as one of equality?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Embryonic Stem Cell Research Part 2

Just Me asked the following questions in the comments of the previous post:

Maybe I'm not as informed on the science as I should be, but why can't they use stem cells from umbilical cord blood? Why must we use stem cells from embryos?

I thought stem cells were stem cells. What's the difference here?


The difference between adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells is embryonic stem cells can form any adult tissue except placenta or fetus while adult stem cells can form only a few other than the parent tissue. Also, embryonic stem cells can be cultured to generate millions of stem cells needed for replacement therapy... adult stem cells are rare, difficult to isolate and cannot be cultured.
a
A possible problem with stem cell therapy is rejection by the immune system of the recipient. It is believed that by replacing the nucleus of an egg cell with the nuclear DNA of the patient that you could generate a perfect genetic match and circumvent any chance of rejection. However, this process is in reality cloning, albeit in a therapeutic sense.
a
I do not know enough about umbilical chord stem cells... my guess is that they present the same limitations as the adult stem cells.
a
The fact is there is and has never been a ban of embryonic stem cell research! The ban is on federal funding for research on newly created embryos. Okay, there was no federal funding for embryonic stem cell research at all prior to the decision by President Bush in 2001 to allow federal funding for research on the already existing embryos slotted for destruction at that time... but I am not aware of any specific ban against federal funding other than it had never been granted. Federal funding is about resource distribution... who and what will get how much of the nation's taxpayer dollars. It is not about restricting rights. For example, there is no constitutional right to federal funding of biomedical research.
a
The fight for ESCR is for our fedral government to foot the bill. Those fighting for federal funding of ESCR believe that by withholding federal funding for research that involves the creation of new embryos or the future destruction of embryos in existence, the President effectively banned embryonic stem cell research... as if the only way that this research will be able to continue is if the federal government pays for it. They also believe that the congressional ban (through withholding federal funds) is wrong because they see it as an imposition of religiously based moral views.
a
Again... there is no constitutional "right" to federal funding for biomedical research... or for anything else that is not in direct relation to running the government.
a
For those of us that believe life begins at conception this is a clear cut issue. Personally, I would not participate in certain fertility procedures due to this belief. However, there are many different views in regard to when a human life is viable... there are those that are satisfied with restricting the use of embryos for ESCR to only the first 14 days after fertilization.
a
Stepping away from the fight over when life begins... there is still the issue of whether this research should be paid for by the American public. The federal government just put forth a massive bail out... that we, the American people, will be paying for. Where will the money come from in this economy?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Well... we've all heard it on the news. Obama is planning on lifting the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

First of all, I want to make clear that President Bush did not ban private and state research funding... just federal funding. The fact is that embryonic stem cell research within the private-sector has always been permissible without restriction in the United States. I find the demonization of President Bush over this issue to be quite astounding. It also bears noting that there never was federal funding for embryonic stem cell research prior to his taking office.

I believe life begins at conception. I was fortunate enough to not have fertility issues. I cannot stand in judgment of those that seek alternate avenues to procreate but, there are certain procedures that I would not personally involve myself in had that been the case. It pains me to say that because I have not personally experienced the anguish of not being able to bring a child of my own into this world.

I do, however, suffer from Spasmodic Dysphonia which is a form of Dystonia. It is a movement disorder in which the nerve endings in my vocal chords over contract making it difficult for me to speak. Dystonia causes those that suffer from it to have all sorts of uncontrollable muscle movements involving areas such as the face, neck and limbs. It is truly debilitating for those who have it. There are similarities between dystonia and Parkinsons, both of which it is believed that embryonic stem cell research might provide the cure for. I am extremely fortunate in that only my vocal chords are affected. My heart breaks for those who have it much worse than I do. That being said, even though I and many others could possibly benefit from the research, I am still against it.

I do not understand the fervor in which this type of research has been sought. There have been great strides made in adult stem cell research. The embryonic stem cell research that has been done has yet to provide the results that were believed possible. Those out there think that the answer to that is to mandate federal funding... to throw more and more money into research.

I'm just an uneducated housewife but doesn't anyone see the danger here? Is science exempt from ethics? Wouldn't federal funding open the door for the need for more and more embryos? Isn't that creating a market for them? Are Americans willing to sell their soul to advance a science that is unproven? Aren't their doors we ought just not walk through?

Back to Obama... he's making some pretty big promises. We here in America are facing some pretty tough times. Our economy is getting worse by the day. Where is this federal funding going to come from?

I'd like you to read the following excerpt from the AAAS September Research & Development Funding Update:

"Congress has made little progress on the federal government’s budget for fiscal year (FY) 2009, which begins October 1, leaving federal funding for research and development (R&D) in limbo. Congress is preparing to leave Washington for the rest of the year after completing action on a bailout for the financial sector, postponing final budget decisions for most federal agencies until 2009. To keep the government operating, lawmakers approved a continuing resolution (CR) extending funding for all programs in unsigned 2009 appropriations bills at 2008 funding levels through March 6. The CR contains final FY 2009 appropriations for the Departments of Defense (DOD), Homeland Security (DHS), and Veterans Affairs (VA); all three receive substantial increases for their R&D portfolios, but other federal agencies in the remaining 9 of the 12 appropriations bills will be operating temporarily at or below 2008 funding levels for several months. Earlier in the year, congressional appropriators endorsed large increases for the three physical sciences agencies in the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI), increases for human spacecraft development, increases for biomedical research in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and increases in other parts of the federal research and development (R&D) portfolio. But instead, most federal programs will continue to operate at or below 2008 funding levels for several months into the new fiscal year. In real terms, the federal investment in basic and applied research has already declined since 2004, and under the CR federal funding of research would decline again in 2009 for the fifth year in a row. "

Again, I ask, where is the funding going to come from? And I would like to know when it became acceptable in this country to FORCE its citizens to participate in ventures that they are morally opposed to? Will this funding come from tax dollars? Or will Congress just order up the printing of additional monies to cover it... and, if so, will those monies be paid back by our tax dollars? How does this work? Someone please tell me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh Lord Have Mercy!!!

Our friend Roland of Militant Ginger has blessed me with this blog award!!!

Roland awarded four other individuals and as I read through his descriptions of their blogs I nearly burst into flames and was afraid my family was going to come home to my ashes in a pile before my laptop. If you go to his blog to read about the other blogs he graced with this award... know that some of them contain adult only content.

Here is what he had to say about me:

The Uneducated Housewife's Guide to Politics: Coffee Bean is a clean living, conservative Christian, so might not be entirely comfortable with the idea of me celebrating her charismatic cranium with a Big Sexy Brain Award.

However, her Uneducated Housewife's Guide was one of the most active and stimulating blogs leading up to the election, in which she pitted libertarian, Democrat, Republican and Conservative against each other to chew up the issues that affected us the most.

What makes Coffee Bean smexy is that she breaks the conservative stereotype and thinks for herself. Both her Uneducated Housewife blog, and her day-to-day blog, are filled with intelligent, thoughtful ponderings in which she does something the hardcore liberals and conservatives are unwilling to do - admit that she doesn't know all the answers. Coffee Bean is an example to all of us and that humbling fact makes her very smexy indeed.

I thank you, Roland, from the bottom of my heart. You are most kind!

Now... I do want to pass this award on to a certain someone. He and Roland have gone head to head in the comment section here many times. It has been, at times, enlightening, horrifying and, above all, quite humorous. Yes, I am talking about Two Dogs. This blog would not be nearly as much fun for me if either of you weren't commenting! I very much appreciate both of your contributions!

And... I am sitting here laughing... I must say, I am enjoying myself immensely!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm Still Here!

I'm just busy! You can read what I'm up to here. Hopefully, I'll be back tomorrow.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thought Provoking Blog Post by OSO

One Salient Oversight (OSO) was once a regular commenter here... I think I scared him away or something. Anyway, I've been trying to get caught up on reading other blogs and have spent a good bit of time on his blog this evening. Now... I don't agree with everything OSO has to say but I have very much appreciated his sharing his views. I particularly liked this post. Please take the time to read it (especially you Roland!).

The Fairness Doctrine

Obama said back in June that he did not support The Fairness Doctrine... However, many Democrats do, including Nancy Pelosi.

Questions:

1. What are your thoughts on The Fairness Doctrine?

2. Do you believe Barak Obama will stand by his word?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congratulations to Barak Obama

This has been a truly historic election on many levels...

Graham left a link to this article in the comment section of this post. I loved the article! I hope y'all take the time to read it. I'm not sure that Graham and I took the article the same way... but it is an article of hope for me. A hope that regardless of who is leading our country that those of us within it will take the time to look at those around us and do what we can to help those in need. There are differences in how the opposing parties approach the needs of those in this country that are in trouble... but, I am hoping that all of us will remember to keep a human face on those issues.

I am also hoping and praying that those of us that supported McCain will move forward in ways that foster respect for us and for our beliefs. The will of the American people has been spoken.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Things Aren't Lookin' Good for McCain

Well... the next four years will be interesting, no?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Wise Words

There are a whole lot of people, and from all walks of life, who are incapable of grasping the simple common sense that was written in 1916 by William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian minister. Although misinterpreted over the years as being quotes from Abraham Lincoln, they still ring true 92 years later. So on this last day of the 2008 presidential campaign, let's be reminded of these wise words he once wrote:

"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.

You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.

You cannot establish security on borrowed money.

You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves."

ONE MORE DAY!!!

I don't know who all is reading this blog but I do know that it is being read by a certain number of people. So, here is your chance!

Closing Statements!!! Tell us all why we should get behind YOUR candidate in the comments!