Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Stem Cells and Veto Threats

Yesterday, in Denver, that rat bastard Rove said that the President is ready to exercise his first veto should Congress deliver a bill increasing government funding of stem cell research. I know that I was vowing to take a break from political issue things and concentrate on what I truly know, music, cooking and my kids. This one hits home. This one is personal. This is why.

My mother has Parkinson's Syndrome. She's been diagnosed for the last eleven years. For those years she has been increasingly confined to an ever shrinking prison as her body and nervous system degrade. As with most neurological disorders, once ground is lost it is rarely regained. There is almost never any movement that is not backward.

It started benignly enough. Small instances of poor balance, slower walking. Then we noticed that when she was walking she wasn't swinging her arms. Many of the symptoms she was having were disguised by the other problems she was having. Arthritis in her feet curtailed her walking far more than the Parkinson's at first. Then as the structural problems were addressed and the Parkinson's continued its progression we began to see what was at play.

Since her diagnosis we have seen an active, vital woman be increasingly confined to a lift chair and mechanical bed. There are some anomolies with it that are intruiging. She is still a good driver. Her reflexes and attention focus remain sharp. The problem is getting in and out of the car. That requires movement and control that is very hard for her to put together. Even on a day that she is walking well, she can be stopped cold by a doorway or a change in the surface. As a present a few years ago I bought her a beautiful Persian rug. She had to give it away because she could not negotiate the change in surface. It was the complex pattern of the rug that made her balance perception go all haywire. She can still play the piano, on days that she can negotiate getting herself situated on the bench. There's something about sitting down and then sliding over to be in front of the keyboard that can become nearly impossible.

There have been some medications that provide measures of relief. Unfortunately, they also have a limited run. We are swiftly nearing the upper range of effective treatment times with two of them.

Stem cells, according to the people that go to the lab to study them rather than going to church to be told what god thinks about stuff, hold the best hope for people like my mother. Our president has decided that for reasons absolutely unrelated to any scientific criteria he will oppose funding the research that has the potential to allow the soldiers paralyzed in his illegal and immoral war walk again. The same research that Nancy Reagan and other family members having experienced the heartbreaking loss of a mind to Alzhiemer's have been crying out to have will not be allowed because George W. Bush, a proven liar and hypocrite of the first order, chooses this issue to lecture the rest of us on morality and sacred law.
In the same way that they skewed the intelligence and reports out of the middle east in order to justify their war disaster. They are now rejecting any science that might disagree with their narrow spiritual beliefs.

I have recently sent letters to the members of Congress that used to represent me along with letters to the Representatives and Senators of my new home urging them to force this issue.

According to the nuerologist that treats my mother, stem cells hold not only the potential of stopping the progression of something like Parkinson's, they might even reverse it and effecitively cure it. The current policy of our President is the same position the Pope took when he went after Galileo. This is the same opposition that scientists throughout history have had to fight. It is nothing to do with morality or ethics. For myself, the mere image on TV of George Bush, who lied and mislead us into a war, who has a documented trail of immoral and incompetent business failings, who has routinely used slimy and vicious character attacks in his campaigns, who, when other conservative governors were calling for a moratorium on the death penalty to examine its inequities and problems, merely made it harder for prisoners under a sentence of death in Texas to appeal, stand up and smirk out his claims of decency and moral truth is more than I can stand.

He is killing our children and also, by this stand, attacking our elders. Please join me in this effort. You can access a site that will allow you to notify your Congessional Representatives and Senators through this link. Act For Change

Let your Senator know that this issue is too important to the lives of too many citizens to be decided by a small number of aggresively ignorant fundamentalists. If you believe in a god, pray for my mother and the scientists that are trying to help her. Fuck George W. Bush, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Terry and their ilk. I called them agressively ignorant because it takes a lot of energy to remain this stupid in the face of so many facts.


The Rude Pundit has his own wickedly profane and viciously clear insight to this issue.


Blogger maurinsky said...

My Rep and Sens have been notified. It's a twisted morality held by the right-wing religious: let others suffer so I can feel morally superior.

10:50 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

Thank you very much. There are few things that gall me more than the aggressive stupidity of the fundamentalists. If it were up to them we would all still be locked in the bronze age without hope of progress. . .I do take solace in knowing that we are, by our nature, inquisitive and curious beings. No matter what obstacles are erected a way shall be found. I just would prefer it to be during my mother's lifetime.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Peter of Lone Tree said...

Ya gotta remember, the guy who's threatening the veto is brain dead and perhaps as much in need of stem cell research as anyone.

6:10 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

and who knows how many years reagan held office while in the first stages of alzhiemer's?

5:30 PM  
Blogger Deborah Newell said...

Your Mum is lucky to have you.

My grandmother (my Dad's mother) had Parkinson's, among other ailments. She lived well into her 80's but the last decade was not comfortable or pleasant. I don't need to say more, other than that I wish very, very hard for some serious progress on this and other neurological fronts. It seems to me the height of stupidity--of evil--to have a potential for cure staring you in the face and not dive into research immediately because you're busy pandering to a bunch of misguided fundies. Wrong, wrong, wrong.


2:53 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

It seems to me the height of stupidity--of evil--to have a potential for cure staring you in the face and not dive into research immediately


6:46 AM  

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