Tuesday, February 20, 2007

some things I really would like to have seen on the nightly news, but didn't


Suzanne Fields
(Washington Times) has written a column on Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The Somali-born Ali collaborated with filmmaker Theo Van Gogh on Submission, the film which led to his brutal murder by an Islamist. Ali is the author of a new autobiography, Infidel, in which she explains her transformation from submissive Muslim girl to human rights activist at frequent odds with the ideology in which she was raised.
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I let myself get behind reading Nat Hentoff's column, alas, and thus missed this one from December 5. Hentoff discusses Supreme Court arguments (which he saw thanks to C-SPAN) on Partial-Birth Abortion. Of particular interest to him are the verbal gymnastics required to defend late-term abortion. Whoops, did I hear somebody let slip a reference to the "baby"?
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The Mercury News had a column which I encountered courtesy of Rebecca of Mary Meets Dolly. Rebecca, a Catholic molecular biologist, posts information and analysis on topics in genetics, stem cell research, and reproductive tech and is an invaluable resource for anyone trying to sort out what is really going on in those areas from what drivel actually makes it through the wire service reports. She quotes, on her Feb. 12, '07 post:
All of the guidelines to date focus on bench research. But Menlo Park biotech company Geron has already announced that it intends to start clinical trials using differentiated embryonic stem cells for patients with acute spinal cord injury. Yet we have almost no guidance on how oversight committees should evaluate these trials or what should go into informed consent forms. Astonishingly, neither the NAS nor ISSCR has said anything about the right of subjects who may oppose stem-cell research to know that the cells placed in their bodies for research come from embryonic stem cells.
Get out your dilapidated pulp copies of those '70s futuristic dystopia novels and somebody call up Jeremy Rifkin, folks: You, too, could become the "beneficiary" of ESCR without your knowledge or consent. Sooner than you think.
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This organization seeks to aid an American convicted of a murder in Nicaragua. The evidence against him, if the site is accurate in depicting it, appears to be extremely flimsy and it is difficult to accept that justice was served. Some thoughtful analysis of the case, and perhaps a little national media attention, might just lead to that happening.
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But of course, they couldn't possibly make room for any of this fluff in their lineup. There wouldn't be room for every last detail of Britney's new 'do, the paternity lineup for Anna Nicole's wretched orphaned daughter, Lust in Space, or all the Congressional bloviating re the Non-binding Resolution Boondoggle.

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