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Just caught this on News24 - no link yet. The Democrat-controlled Senate has voted to ease the restrictions on stem-cell research in the US, but Bush has said he'll veto it.
I think that's outrageous on two levels. First, the ban on stem-cell research hampers science that could help people with all sorts of disabilities and disorders. Second, Bush isn't now representative of the political will in the US: the Democrats control both the Senate and the House of Represenatives and by definition any veto by a president in that position is not democratic. Also, polls show that (I believe) some two thirds of Americans are in favour of stem-cell research.
Bush's objection to stem-cell research is based on his objection to abortion. Do you think that's a tenable position? Should stem-cell research be stopped on that basis? And should a US president be able to fly in the face of democracy with the veto?
Typical of the bigoted attitude of his ilk, Bush retains the idea that the only practical source of stem cells is an aborted foetus. He was told it once (and it was true once) but people like that are incapable of understanding the word "progress" and so it must remain true. I am certain that there are fundamentalists in the USA (and elsewhere) that still believe the Earth is flat and the Moon is made of Gorgonzola cheese. With advances in tissue culture and similar disciplines, there are now many sources of stem cells and they do not involve abortion or anything else contrary to the moral principles of normal human beings.
By stifling research, progress in anything is halted and the USA will see its dominance in world science rapidly decline in favour of countries who are not so blinkered - countries (dare I suggest) like India, China and, perhaps most contentious, Iran and other Middle Eastern States.
Is Bush capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time?
They have a very unusual take on democracy in the US.
The peoples' elected representatives have made a decision, that decision has been overruled.
At least American citizens get a chance to vote on the President now and again, unlike our own upper house who are totally unelected but still manage to overrule the elected House on a regular basis.
I think I read somewhere, sometime, that Bush is very religeous, so, no doubt, he wants it stopped because of that.
Bush is very religious. I tried to make that come through in my post, above, but recognising the forum restriction on discussion of that nature, I disguised that.
So the States are quite prepared to bomb a country and its' citizens back to the stone-age yet is horrified at using scrap pieces from dead bodies that are going to be disposed of...hmmmmmmmmmm.
Until they find an economical way of extracting oil from the scrap dead bodies, this inhuman nonsense will continue.
I can see the benifits and belive me if god forbid I would ever be in the position to benfit from Stem Cell due to illness id be pleading for it but......
Its human nature to go further and further and the ultimate goal for some scientists would be to clone an entire human being. I dont think this should ever happen as it would have drastic moral and ethical consiqences. So if it were to go ahead it would have to be monitored very closely.
So you have no problem cloning a human?
A number of points in your intro Kate.
Dealing with the easier ones, I find it remarkable that stem cell research could be vetoed. It is particularly hard to swallow when it comes from someone who seems to struggle to articulate more than one simple idea at a time.
The religious context of the veto is even more exasperating and Gandalf in his usual way has summed things up neatly for me.
The democratic point is I think less arguable. The position is not helped by the strange arrangement for democracy in the USA where with almost certain inevitability the second term of a presidency becomes lame duck because the president serves a fixed term.
OK, in democracies if people want to be re elected then listening to the people is a pretty good idea. On the other side it would be unworkable for any government if policy had to shift with every mood swing. I favour, just, the idea that governments are elected on mandates particularly since some policies require long periods of time to implement.
Which is why I think our model of democracy has fewer of the tensions ( such as the ones you have highlighted) in it than the American model.
Ultimately government on issues alone becomes government by referendum and I think it is weak government. We are less than two years away from a new President in the States lets hope the American people can make a more informed decision than they did on the last occasion.
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