LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Use adult stem cells in research
The news media have been pitching extra innings lately trying to sell the idea that breakthroughs in the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis are being blocked by President Bush's refusal to fund additional embryonic stem cell research. This simply is not true.
The fact is, not one human being has been treated with embryonic stem cells. This is not for lack of funding, but rather because these stem cells are unpredictable and potentially harmful.
This does not mean all stem cell research should be abandoned. Rather, we should be supporting further investigation into the use of so-called adult stem cells, those harvested from sources such as umbilical cord blood and bone marrow. This emerging area of research has actually shown great promise in the treatment of many debilitating conditions and is a morally sound scientific approach.
Being unwilling to use taxpayers' money to kill human embryos in the name of questionable science does not make conservatives opposed to stem-cell research. It makes us committed to the type of stem-cell research most likely to yield positive results and least likely to harm anyone, including the unborn.
No doubt what Jesus will do
I have read in the letters to the editor several comments concerning the question, "What would Jesus do?" This question is asked in relation to evil. I assume that those posing the question are sincerely wanting to know what Jesus would do concerning evil.
I do not presume to speak for Jesus; however, his word speaks very clearly what he is going to do about evil. I suggest that Edward Clarke and others read and study the book of Revelation. Pay special attention to Revelation 20:10. There is no doubt what Jesus is going to do concerning evil.
Steer toward self-sufficiency
The price of crude oil has recently reached all-time highs. Gas prices have stabilized for the moment, mostly because new refining capacity has recently come on line, but the long-term outlook is not encouraging. Now we find, according to David Rothkopf (Register-Guard, Aug. 1), that the United States is No. 3 behind China and France in soliciting direct foreign investment monies. As crude oil is just becoming scarce, the U.S. trade deficit is increasing yearly to pay for foreign oil.
Our people are taxed by mounting personal debt, political ignorance and apathy encouraged by corporate interests and are unable to see the consequences of our present energy gluttony. We have a burgeoning federal deficit, used largely to fund a gigantic military machine with which to prop up this untenable state of affairs. We shouldn't be surprised that fewer foreign investors see the United States as a sound long-term bet.
What do we have that foreigners can't find somewhere else for less money, other than our military protection racket? Even U.S. companies are looking abroad for cheap labor. With dwindling domestic resources, diminishing global influence must inevitably come. It's well past the time to make the hard choices.
Nationally, we need leaders that will reject using our military to secure an unfair share of what is left of the world's wealth. Locally, our leaders should guide us away from the automobile and toward a diverse self-sustaining community economy.
Don't abandon Jews in Gaza
In the Aug. 1 Register-Guard, columnist William Pfaff disguises the issue at hand, allowing bureaucratic minutiae and doublespeak to obscure the basic question surrounding the exiling of Gazan Jewish families.
Pfaff conceals any reason why they should be removed.
This oldest continual community of Jewish inhabitants, more than 2,100 years old, boasts a stone synagogue dated to the 7th century.
Suffering continuous attacks from Palestinian true believers, they must now suffer the atrocity of deluded government officials, masking their aims in questions of payoffs and final date-setting. Furthermore, public figures such as Daniel Pipes call for the removal of the Israeli Defense Forces, leaving the Gaza Jewish communities alone to face the Palestinian and Egyptian forces.
I have no love lost on Ariel Sharon and consider Shimon Peres a putz. But what benefit is it to President Bush to force this removal? Why this troika of intolerance?
Yes, question authority. Yes, question the Israeli government. Yet when it comes to questioning the legitimacy of a two-millennium-old community, on this Pfaff obfuscates?
Qui bono? How do Bush and Sharon benefit?
Democrats are Christians, too
In a July 21 letter to the editor, "Christians treated with disdain," Jeani West sets up a controversy in Eugene, claiming it includes the entire nation - Christians vs. Democrats. She insists that Democrats are waging a campaign of "disdain, contempt, disrespect and ridicule" against Christians.
In reality, there are probably as many Christians who are Democrats as there are Republicans, Greens or independents. Let us all, of whatever perspective, join together in respecting one another and in engaging in meaningful dialogue.
Don't be afraid of radioactivity
In time, when terrorists try to make dirty atomic bombs, we should remember that the Earth is submerged in an ocean of natural radioactivity, and that is beneficial to life.
Separate studies of hundreds of thousands of survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, workers in nuclear industries and inhabitants of buildings contaminated with radioactivity found them actually healthier than the general public. A study of 1,729 U.S. counties, including 90 percent of the U.S. population, showed that radon, a radioactive gas that naturally seeps from the ground, does not increase but decreases the amount of cancer cases.
Analogical effect, called hormesis, is well known in medicine. Many toxins, like selenium, in small doses are necessary to live. Many vitamins and almost all drugs are toxic when used in excess.
Bending to anti-nuclear propaganda, the Environmental Protection Agency set our radiation safety standard ridiculously low, only 15 millirems per year, while residents of Ramsar, Iran, a resort over the Caspian Sea, are exposed to natural radiation of 26,000 mrem per year with no ill effects.
We should revise our radiophobia and again enjoy radioactive spas and sunshine. Even more important is to build new nuclear power plants, which can be now made safe. They would not only resolve our energy shortage, but would deliver energy for electrical and hydrogen cars. And remember, a dirty atomic bomb could cause only very limited damage, but the related panic could be devastating.
Bush is using borrowed money
President Bush's shoot-from-the-hip criticism that candidate John Kerry failed to indicate how he was going to pay for his proposed health care programs and other platform proposals has a flip side.
There is no doubt about the manner by which Bush finances his programs: He uses the credit of future generations for $3 trillion in benefits for the richest among us. He assures adequate financing with another $3 trillion federal debt.
Gay marriage is about money
The issue at hand with allowing gays and lesbians to marry is that marriage began as a religious union between man and woman, period. You will hear civil rights groups argue that banning same-sex marriage will prevent couples from health benefits and tax deductions, which tells me where the real purpose is behind the ``No on 36'' coalition.
I know there are some who will whine about wanting to have a loving home with another person they love, but financial equality is the main issue.
When the first and subsequent marriages were formed, they were for the purpose of forming a home in the eyes of God for the purpose of raising a family before any insurance benefits or tax credits were even thought of.
I don't care if gays or lesbians want to live together, but I see no reason why they can't come up with and establish their own kind of marital status and benefits.
It makes me sick to think we can't say "under God" in our schools because it is a violation of church and state, but when civil liberties organizations want the benefits of a Christian establishment for homosexuals, the government is forced to enforce equality.
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|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Article Type:||Letter to the Editor|
|Date:||Aug 9, 2004|
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