Wednesday, 25 October 2006

TO MY CO AUTHOR KEN BERWITZ YOU HAVE CROSSED THE LINE OF DECENCY

I am ashamed of you and your having to make a comment about this despicable attack on Michael J Fox.
 
I will skip all the Republican rhetoric and get to the point.  Think and learn before you write.
The point of the advertisement was to show what happens as Parkinson's progresses and that is what Michael J Fox looks like in "real life". How dare anyone say he was acting or doing something untoward. 
 
You missed the entire point.  You know my wife has Parkinson's and we both hope that she does not end up like Michael as the disease progresses's.  Talent is a moron and has a twisted sense of what Stem Cell research is. He had talked half truth's before the ad and now is back tracking.  Stem cell research does not use anything that resembles a HUMAN being. The cells that are used do not have life, they can never have life as they are used. No brain, no heart, no human inside or out. Period end of story.  W had those "snowflake" babies 140 of them at the veto ceremony that he was so proud of.  He didn't talk about the
more than 400,000 embryo's that were being discarded and those are the ones that we want to use for stem cell research.   Michael J Fox, didn't do this for money, he knows that he will not benefit from stem cell research at this point in his life. He is working for others.
 
I have given $10,000 to Stanford and Harvard University thus far and I have pledged $5,000 from the sale of our book plus a portion of the proceeds.  Now that this has come to light I will pledge every single penny of my profits from this book to Stem Cell Research.
 
I would rather the money go to help someone be cured of these dreadful diseases.
 
I am ashamed of your position and insinuations regarding this issue.  
 
Now I await your defense of the racist ad that has Harold Ford of Tennessee partying with white women at the Playboy club. Another disgusting display of Karl Rove Dirty politics.
 
I pray for your family to be healthy and never be in need of Stem Cell Research.  For mine there will only be hope if it continues privately because of the Republicans like you.

Starbuck Tom Let me start by saying that I think Parkinson's is a horrible disease, and my prayers go out to your family and all those who are living with that horrible disease. That said, I do understand your emotional commitment to this issue. Notwithstanding, your oversensitivity to those that ANALYZE the political ramifications of what Michael J. Fox did in that commercial is misplaced. I, for one, believe that he was NOT faking; however, if you watch Boston Legal, you'll know that he does not exhibit such severe symptoms. Therefore, either his condition has worsened which would be truly unfortunate and heart-wrenching or he did not take his medication to mitigate his symptoms. Likewise, there is no reason for liberals to distort the facts about a person's opinion on embryonic stem cell research if they truly feel that their position is correct and attractive to the electorate. Why distort, if your case would reach the heart and minds of the people even if they know all of the facts pertaining to the issue. I'll never understand why liberals are not just honest about their views if they think one woule either have to be ignorant or heartless not to agree. Without disclosing all of the facts, liberals like Michael J. Fox are trying to manipulate others into holding their positions, and that's dishonest. This is what Mr. Berwitz was saying, and that does not mean that he does not want a cure for Parkinson's disease. Finally, liberals are truly disingenuous because they're not for individual rights such as freedom of speech, but they are for uniform opinion without dissent. Leftist governments often slip into being totalitarian regimes because as the government and the elite take power, dissent is completely eradicated. Liberals want to quell dissent in this country using "political correctness." If you even think about the meaning of the term it is repugnant in a country that prides itself on freedom of expression (and as the founding fathers wanted it, freedom of expression meant freedom of political expression, not to make porn but that is a conversation for another day). Political correctness tries to eradicate freedom of political expression which is so antithetical to the constitutional construct it's amazing that it is even an accepted term in our cultural vernacular. Liberals cannot win on the substantive issues unless they selectively disclose the facts (as Michael J. Fox and others have done) or control the debate. Liberals control the debate through political correctness which essentially demonizes all dissenting opinions. Clever. Now back to stem cells. You are taking a page out of the liberal playbook by trying to control the debate. What you're essentially doing is demonizing Mr. Berwitz for his dissenting opinion pertaining to the manner and method for which Mr. Fox goes about advocating his cause. Stop the emotion, and deal with the substantive issues. If you truly approached this rationally, you would rebut Mr. Berwitz the following way: (i) Even if Michael J. Fox stop taking his medication for the commercial, isn't it horrible that without medications, his disease has progressed that far?; (ii) how can conservatives argue that stem cell research is appropriate for the private sector but not with government funding, when the net effect would be the same, to wit, the destruction of embryos created and destroyed for research. See, I am a conservative, but I would like to think that I am effective because I understand both sides of the issue, and then separate my emotion from the analysis. Try it, you might like it. (10/26/06)


That Michael J. Fox Ad......

Ken Berwitz

Michael J. Fox has Parkinson's Disease.  It is a terrible thing to have and I wish there were a cure for it.  I don't know Mr. Fox personally but assume out of hand that he is a decent man.  Even if he isn't I certainly do not wish this condition on him.

Stem cell research may result in a cure for Parkinson's and many other conditions.  I fully support stem cell research and hope that it results in cures for them all. 

Given the fact that this type of research is relatively new, the only two presidents I am aware of who could have applied federal funds to stem cell research were Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.  Clinton did not fund stem cell research.  I do not in any way claim this was out of malevolence or indifference to human suffering.  In President Clinton's case I am certain it was because he wasn't as knowledgeable about it as we are now and that other things were more front-burner for him during his presidency.  No president can do everything we think he should, no matter how hard he/she tries.

President Bush, however, did fund stem cell research.  He funded it for existing cell lines, but not for embryonic lines because he believes that doing so would effectively use unborn children for research and then discard them.  Despite this belief, he at no time has prevented any non-government entity from using embryonic stem cell lines for such research. 

Thus the sum total of Bush's action on stem cell research has been to allow 100% of what already was being done and to add to it by supplementing a major part of the research with significant federal funding.  I salute president Bush for funding stem cell research.

This week, a TV ad materialized for Democrat Claire McKaskill in Missouri, who is running for the senate against Republican incumbent Jim Talent.  It featured Michael J. Fox, who strongly - and very effectively - advocated for stem cell research.  During the ad Mr. Fox's face and body were in constant involuntary motion, which clearly suggests he is in an advanced stage of his ailment. 

If that were all the ad did, how could anyone not support him and the cause he was espousing? 

Unfortunately, that is NOT all the ad did.  Fox accused Senator Talent of stripping him and others of hope.  Fox also said that Talent supported making stem cell research illegal. Here is the entire text of Fox's TV ad:

"As you might know, I care deeply about stem cell research.  In Missouri, you can elect Claire McKaskill, who shares my hope for cures.  Unfortunately, Senator Jim Talent opposes expanding stem cell research.  Senator Talent even wanted to criminalize the science that gives us a chance for hope.  They say all politics is local but it's not always the case.  What you do in Missouri, matters to millions of Americans.  Americans like me"

Fox did a similar ad for Democrat Ben Cardin, running against Michael Steele for the senate in Maryland, and for several other Democrats.

Those are breathtaking accusations.  Senator Jim Talent, Mr. Steele, etc. must be hate-filled, inhuman pieces of garbage, to dash the hopes of an afflicted man like Michael J. Fox and millions of other Americans.  How can anyone from Missouri or Maryland possibly think of voting for such heartless Republican candidates?  Right?

Now let's apply the light of day to this ad. 

First of all,  I have seen Mr. Fox on TV since the ad aired (as recently as this morning on the Today show).  His condition was far less severe than in the ad.  I conclude that he either took himself off medication or used his considerable acting skills to create empathy -- much as someone with diabetes might take him/herself off medication and do an ad during insulin shock.  That stinks.

Now let's consider the commentary itself.  Fox never mentions embryonic stem cell research, does he?  He only talks vaguely about "expanding stem cell research" which, without saying it in so many words, communicates that Jim Talent is against expansion of any kind.  A total lie. 

As it turns out, Talent supports adult stem cell research.  And supports non-stem cell research as well (which, tellingly, so does Fox.  His own foundation contributes millions to it, as was reported on Rush Limbaugh's show yesterday).  What he doesn't support is embryonic stem cell research.

So why did Mr. Fox perform on these ads?  Obviously he feels deeply about stem cell research, and not just for himself.  That is highly admirable.  But it seems that, for Mr. Fox, Democrats who did nothing about stem cell research got a free pass, but Republicans who SUPPORT it, albeit not every form of it, are attacked with dishonest language.

That diminishes Mr. Fox and his cause greatly.  Instead of acting as a humanitarian, he is a political hack.   How shameful and how self destructive.

I am very, very sorry to see this done.  The cause is too real and the stakes are too high for this kind of crap.


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