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Old 01-30-2005   #1
ImpossibleDreamer
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How Deception Works

I have not told a personal story before. This is my first.

A friend and I recently discussed stem cell research. We both agreed that we wished to know more on the subject. Based upon my reading so far, data suggests that embryonic stem cells hold greater promise for medical research.
Adult stem cells are less versatile. My friend had received information that led her to believe the opposite.

My friend invited me to attend a presentation on stem cell research scheduled to be held at a local library. I thought it was an informational meeting. I agreed to drive my friend who is blind.

I thought it was odd that the library did not list the lecture on its community calendar. Upon arrival, I thought it was odd that the sign outside the door said "Senate District Lecture," indicating that the forum was sponsored by a state senator. I noted that I was one of the only individuals to "sign in." It seemed everyone else was there by invitation. A state senator introduced the speaker.

The speaker was a doctor, a former employee of Focus On The Family, a far-right wing Christian group. The meeting began with a prayer and some anti-Democratic comments by the State Senator and others. One particular Democratic state representative was mentioned by name as a target to defeat. It was inappropriate, as the "senate district lecture" should have been open to all who lived in the "senate district" including citizens of both parties.

The lecture provided information which stated that use of adult stem cells is superior to use of embryonic stem cells. The doctor claimed that embryonic stem cells "grow tumors" and on one occasion, when introduced into bone marrow, began to "beat."

The doctor said that many or most scientists are "liberals" and quoted the bible to support much of what he said. Bible quotes were usually proceeded with: "This is for the education of any audience members who are not Christian", in spite of the fact that it seemed that most of the people were there by invitation. (I suspected that this provided some legal cover for them.) He did quote some alleged medical information, though the sources were vague, or unnamed. I do not recall the names of any exact studies being offered.

This doctor, who had debated Christopher Reeve before his death, referred to Reeve as "poor Christopher Reeve" in a sarcastic tone. The doctor criticized Vice Presidental candidate John Eduwards for giving "false hope" that paralyzed individuals would walk again using embryonic stem cells. Then, he showed a photo of a woman using a walker, claiming she was a paralyzed individual made better by using adult stem cells.

The doctor introduced anti-abortion information into the lecture. One person in the audience claimed that using birth control pills is a form of abortion. No one disagreed. Another member of the crowd stated that evolution is not a "fact" and supported distribution of a movie about intelligent design.

The doctor claimed that Senator Barbara Boxer said that a baby is not a baby "until it is taken home."

During a pause, a person I believe was an aide to a state representative told the crowd that there had been a vote in the state legislature the day before.
He said that the so-called "emergency" medical bill voted upon was in fact an "abortion bill." He said that all the Democrats voted for the bill. All the Republicans except one voted against it. The Republican who voted for it did so by "accident" as he "hit the wrong switch." I asked if the bill had anything to do with "rape" because the world "emergency" was in the bill. I was told that this was "linguistic gymnastics" on the part of Democrats and my question was "off topic" and would be answered later. My question was not answered later.

The lecture ended. Books, DVDs and VHS tapes were sold containing the same information. Another lecture date was announced, to be held at a local police station. The gathering was called a "Republican" gathering.

My friend called to the presented repeatedly to come and answer my question. It was not before the room had totally emptied that the presenter came to me. With him were two individuals associated with him. When pressed, they admitted that the bill voted on in the state legislature was in fact a "rape" bill. The bill stated that hospitals must give rape victims information about emergency "morning after" contraception. Personnel at Catholic Hospitals who feel that this is against their conscience must provide another hospital staff member to give the information. (Because the audience had now left, none of them heard that this was not an "abortion" bill, but a bill addressing "rape.)

In an empty room, we argued about abortion, the death penalty, my observation that many so-called "pro-life" people vote against social programs, including programs for children who were not aborted . . and more. If I raised my voice, they lowered theirs. Their answers were well rehearsed. Moses said it is okay to kill people (death penalty) as punishment for that person's chosen actions. Personal responsibility must be expected instead of government social programs. And so forth. It was a well practiced ballet. They had a prepared answer for everything. Nothing was left to chance. They had successfully separated me from the audience, who could not now hear my arguments or my questions. I could do them no harm.

I said that I did not believe Senator Boxer ever said that a baby is not a baby "until it is taken home." I was told that this comment occurred in a debate between Boxer and Senator Santorum. I asked for the date. No exact date could be provided. I said I wanted to research the matter on the internet.
I was told to google Boxer/Santorum. Later, when I did so, I found only right-wing web sites, possibly posted by the same persons who lectured the audience on this date. I could find no unbiased source to verify the claim.

I telephoned the Democratic state representative who had been mentioned by name at the lecture. He told me that the bill that had been voted on last week in the state legislature was indeed a "rape" bill. He said that it was a lie that only one Republican had voted for the bill, and that his vote was an "accident." He said that half of the Republicans voted for the bill along with the Democrats.

The presenters left that day with money in their pockets from the propaganda material they sold. They had provided false information, undermined respect for scientists and scientific studies that opposed their religious views, they skillfully separated the one dissenter from the audience and "handled" her, so she could do them no harm. And they did so in the name of God. It was another successful day spreading false information and making money doing it.
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Old 01-31-2005   #2
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Re: How Deception Works

What assholes. Is there nothing you can do about that? I mean is it legal to spread lies like that about people and organizations? Especially concerning one's health?
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Old 01-31-2005   #3
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Re: How Deception Works

Dear Jasmine, Read my latest post under "Countdown To Global Disaster" for more lies and/or delusions that can affect your health. The Religious Right is a well oiled machine, with slick slides, impressive sounding pseudo-facts, a well prepared plan to discredit those who will speak against them and a right-wing media machine (see am radio/Fox news) to spread disinformation. Working together with ideological neo-conservatives with expansive global ambitions, they are a dangerous coalition. Large segments of the population have "drank the kool-aid" (google Jim Jones for historic reference) and believe the propaganda they have been skillfully fed. Be afraid.
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Old 01-31-2005   #4
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Re: How Deception Works

I posted my experience at the stem cell lecture on MyDD and received two responses:

Good for you for standing up to them.

To answer your original question, embryonic stem cells as a general rule are able to give rise to a wider range of cell types than adult stem cells can. (For example, a single line of ES cells may be turned into skin, nerve, muscle; while one might need separate lines of adult stem cells, one for each tissue type.) But the right winger's views have something to them, too -- for the same reasons that adult stem cells are more limited, they may be more useful because they are already closer to their final state.

The real answer is that the whole field of stem cell research is extremely young, and we need to be able to explore all possibilities if we want to learn the most. To pick between the two kinds of research today would be like, if in 1992, Congress forced a choice between the WWW and email as the sole use of the internet. We just need time to work in all directions & figure out what's possible, before we close any doors.


Response #2:

You can make embroynic stem cells (pluripotent) differentiate into a wide variety of cell lines. And if you do it wrong, you do make tumors. Which is why it is research. Researchers wouldn't have jobs if research was easy to do, because it would have been finished by now.
Pluripotent cells take the form of three types: endoderm (interior gut), mesoderm (muscle, bone, blood), and ectoderm (skin and nervous system).

If you want research level journal articles on stems cells, you can always search Nature.com. The advanced search link allows you to search Reviews only, which are an overview of past research. Here is one that is OK:
Nature link

For the non-bio person, I would recommend Scientific American for science related stuff.
SA Article on stem cells

I hope that helps you on the reseach side of things.
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Old 01-31-2005   #5
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Re: How Deception Works

Interesting read. rep++
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Old 02-01-2005   #6
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Re: How Deception Works

Yeah very interesting read
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Old 02-02-2005   #7
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Re: How Deception Works

Another slide show . . ..another example of deception:

http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?...articleId=9133

By Rob Garver 2.01.05 American Prospect

One of the loudest voices in support of the president(‘s Social Security Plan) has been Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s.

Santorum has been traveling around his home state with a PowerPoint-type slide show about the history and future of Social Security.

The slide show paints a grim picture of a system that is headed for collapse -- and is taking the U.S. economy with it.

The Social Security Trust Fund, for instance, is not truly “solvent” because it is “filled with I.O.U.’s,” the presentation warns.

The fund “do(es) not hold resources to pay benefits,” and faces a real problem in figuring out how to “translate I.O.U.’s into cash benefits.”

The Social Security Administration seal is prominently displayed in several other places throughout the document.

Trouble is, the Social Security Administraiton had nothing to do with the presentation.

The slide show . . . was immediately considered suspect by economists familiar with the facts of the Social Security debate.

Economist Len Burman, co-director of the joint Urban Institute/Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center:

Characterizing the debt obligations of the federal government as “just an IOU” is misleading.

Trust fund’s holdings are U.S. Treasury bills -- the same sort of assets that provide a bedrock capital foundation for most U.S. banks and other financial institutions.
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