May 28, 2005


Harkin: Bush is to stem cell what Wallace was to civil rights (DAN GEARINO, 5/27/05, WCF Courier)

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said Thursday that President George W. Bush's opposition to expanded federal support for stem cell research merely delays the inevitable ---- a point he made with an example from the civil-rights struggle.

Bush is "sort of our modern-day George Wallace, standing in the schoolhouse door," Harkin said in a conference call with reporters.

Wallace was the governor of Alabama who famously stood in the door of the University of Alabama in an attempt to stop two African American students from registering.

"The fact is, that the walls of segregation were going to come tumbling down, we were going to move ahead with integration, and no matter what George Wallace did, it was going to happen. And I think it's the same way with President Bush," Harkin said.

If the Senator is going to insist that someone be compared to wallace, shouldn't it be the Democrat who want to treat a class of people as subhuman for short term political gain?

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 28, 2005 12:00 AM

Off topic but had to be said:

Stellar work by the RedSox 3rd base coach tonight.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 28, 2005 1:25 AM

Shouldn't there be a little "(Dem.)" after Wallace's name?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 28, 2005 1:37 AM

What's next? Harkin accusing Bush of being soft on national security and comparing him to Henry Wallace?

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at May 28, 2005 2:16 AM

So Harkin will vote to confirm Janice Brown?

Posted by: Steve at May 28, 2005 2:31 AM

It's odd that someone who believes that humans have an innate superdignity, and that human life is so precious that people should not be allowed to decide when to end their own lives, would champion the preservation of 16 cell zygotes over curing actual, whole, born persons of their critical illnesses.

Kinda like Eric Rudolph, wanting so badly to end the horror of killing unborn innocents that he...
Killed random innocent people, and injured well over a hundred random innocent people.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at May 28, 2005 4:56 AM


Good question. 16 cells? What if scientists discover the cures start to come much later in the cell splitting process? When is the decision difficult for you? Does Bush believe that people should not be allowed to end their own life?

By the way Bush = Eric Rudolph. Good one.

Posted by: h-man at May 28, 2005 6:45 AM

How old are you, Micheal? When abortion was sold to us in the 70s, those selling it claimed that slippery-slope arguments were crazy--legalized abortion in limited circumstance would never lead to abortion being used as a method of birth control, nor would it lead to the dismembering of live infants. If you cede the argument to the utilitarians, anything goes.

Embryonic stem cells haven't cured anyone, by the way. The darn things keep turning into tumors.

Posted by: ted welter at May 28, 2005 6:52 AM

And it was sold as a kind of welfare reform--killing off unwanted black kids instead of our having to feed them.

Posted by: oj at May 28, 2005 8:28 AM

Eric Rudolph was a racist nut, but the idea itself is not without merit.

Posted by: oj at May 28, 2005 8:30 AM


No, I wasn't speaking of Bush.

If you're asking if I would be in favor of throwing two year olds into a juicer so that we could extract their precious fluids, then no.

ted welter:

The problem is, almost everything is a slippery slope.
We all discard a thousand courses of action to do whatever it is we do.
We either have to trust that most people will do what's right, or retreat to our bunkers with 10,000 rounds of ammo.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at May 28, 2005 11:22 AM

Harkin's right. Expanded embryonic stem cell research is inevitable, so we may as well sit back and enjoy it.

I must say that the dishonesty with which proponents argue their case is impressive. From a flier for a speech by David Baltimore: "A stem cell is a cell that can multiply and give rise to many different progeny cells. If it can give rise to virtually all the cells of the body, it is called an embryonic stem cell."

Posted by: b at May 28, 2005 11:24 AM


If almost everything is a slippery slope, then why have any laws or standards? People are just going to do what they are going to do anyway. We should just use taxpayer dollars to fund child pr0n by that logic.

Posted by: ted welter at May 28, 2005 11:51 AM

Interesting though that Michael is willing to abandon even the pretext of morality in pursuit of longer life for himself--you rarely hear it put so honestly.

Posted by: oj at May 28, 2005 11:56 AM


Oh...Well if you're just discussing and comparing OJ's views, then I apologize for interupting your incisive, elucidating analysis.

Posted by: h-man at May 28, 2005 12:04 PM

ted welter:

Ah, so you favor throwing up your hands and sitting in your easy chair brooding ?

Patriot Act = slippery slope
Income taxes = slippery slope
Progressive taxation = slippery slope

All of them have critics, and to what extent they should be maintained and/or expanded is an ongoing wrangle.
Just because something is a "law" doesn't mean that it's moral, or even that it permanently presents a standard.

Adults play with fire all the time.
The trick is to maintain control of it. Anyone who's incapable of doing so shouldn't be doing much more than watching television.


No, not an abandonment of even the pretext of
morality, simply the rejection of your brand of morality.

As presented in your arguments in this forum, you love the potential for life more than you love actual living people.

I hold the opposite view. I put the needs of the born above the needs of the unborn.

I do acknowledge that once one is willing to sacrifice a 16 cell zygote, there's not much barrier to deciding that 32 cells is OK, 64 is OK, a 64,000 cell fetus is OK to harvest...

I would hope that there would be widespread protest against using any fetus past the quickening, but also, I cannot imagine why that stage of development would be any better for medical therapies than a stage ten weeks earlier.

So, I suppose I am blindly confident that such decisions will never have to be made.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at May 29, 2005 2:11 AM


Adults have played with this particular brand of fire before (sacrificing the innate dignity of each individual person on the alter of utilitarian dreams), and the number of charred corpses is astonishing.

Posted by: ted welter at May 29, 2005 7:30 AM


The problem is, almost everything is a slippery slope.


We...have to trust that most people will do what's right

Is an explicit rejection of even the possibility of morality.

Posted by: oj at May 29, 2005 8:42 AM

Michael: Within one week of a government actually suggesting that it might outlaw kitchen knives, it is impossible to ignore slippery slope arguments. Sooner or later, they always come true.

Besides which, this really isn't a slippery slope situation. This really is sacrificing human beings for medical experiments. No slope necessary.

Posted by: David Cohen at May 30, 2005 12:10 AM

by michael's argument, an older person has a right to the organs of anyone younger. something like that actually was in practice in east germany.

Posted by: cjm at May 30, 2005 12:17 AM

ted welter:

So, your belief is that the U.S. of 2005 is similar to the Germany of 1938 ?

If not, then how is your post relevant ?

I notice that you haven't addressed the point that most of the workings of a democratic society are based on "slippery slope" compromises, and I assume that you thereby acknowledge that you cannot refute it.


Please define morality.

If it's not people choosing to do good, then what is it ?

David Cohen:

Yes, that's exactly the point.
The government suggested it because the citizens allowed them to do so.
It's always up to adults to keep order and be responsible, and if enough people decide not to do so, then mischief runs rampant.

All power, if left unchecked, consolidates.


Perhaps a course in reading comprehension is indicated ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at May 30, 2005 1:07 PM


It's people doing as God commanded them to.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2005 3:35 PM

We do not resemble the Germany of 1938 in its racial aspect (although we have done so in the past).

We do resemble the Germany of 1938 in the eugenics/euthanasia aspect: We starve retarded and brain damaged people to death as a matter of course (Schiavo made headlines only because of the family squabble). We actively kill people in the womb because they don't meet parental/societal specifications. If you're the retarded person being killed for your own good, I don't think you'd care whether the person executing the death sentence had a German accent, or whether you shared your victimhood with a racial group.

Go ahead and cite Godwin's Law--you may find it clever, but it's not really a counter argument. You don't want to draw any lines to defend the sanctity of innocent human life; I do. And I'm not alone (far from it). Which is another difference between the U.S. in 2005 and Germany in 1938.

Do I think another Holocaust is around the corner? No. But the Brave New World is here and now, and the rationalists can't seem to find anything wrong with it. Which is one of the issues that is driving this lapsed Catholic back to the Church.

Posted by: ted welter at May 31, 2005 12:12 AM
« STAYIN' ALIVE: | Main | LOVE IN: »