The journal Science reports that scientists in Europe, in collaboration with American researchers, are planning new trials using aborted fetal tissue in an attempt to treat Parkinson’s disease, despite what is termed a “growing scepticism” among the scientific community about the wisdom of such fetal cell trials.
Scepticism indeed. Perhaps they need to be reminded of the last few times when fetal cells were used in attempts to treat patients for neurological conditions, especially Parkinson’s. Most prominent was the 2001 published report of the clinical trial showing that Parkinson’s patients not only did not improve, but a significant number of the transplants were deleterious to the patients. The New York Times story called the outcome “devastating”; “the patients writhed and jerked uncontrollably.” Or there was the other large clinical trial published in 2003, showing similar results, with significant numbers of patients with worsened conditions. Or the followup report on some of the patients who did not worsen immediately, published in 2008, showing that those fetal grafts had developed Parkinson’s characteristics. And then there are the papers showing “graft overgrowth” (interesting euphemism) in a Parkinson’s patient and a Huntington’s patient, both treated with injections of fetal cells into their brains.
According to the story in Science, even the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has become much more cautious about cell therapy, noting the foundation is now funding new drug development and very little stem cell research.
All of this endangering of patients with fetal cells, while adult stem cells already have shown real promise. An Australian group has successfully treated Parkinson’s in mice using adult stem cells. And in February 2009, Levesque et al. published a case study showing a Parkinson’s patient’s own adult stem cells ameliorated his symptoms for almost five years. It would seem the payoff is already coming from adult stem cells.
By Monica Crowley
During the eight years of the George W. Bush presidency, the left constantly told us that "dissent is the highest form of patriotism." During the Obama presidency, dissent is routinely considered the lowest form of treachery.
Candidate Barack Obama promised to be a "new kind" of leader who would welcome vigorous debate and listen to all opinions. As president, however, he has shown a disturbing intolerance for any viewpoint other than his own. Rather than his promised post-partisan open-mindedness, his White House is using its power to try to smear and delegitimize those who oppose its agenda. With Orwellian coldness and efficiency, the administration has waged war on those who have had the gall to disagree with it:
The war on Fox News. White House Communications Director Anita Dunn projected big-time last week by calling Fox News "an arm of the Republican party." Yet Mr. Obama’s strategists have worked relentlessly to turn other networks into an arm of the Democratic Party. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is reported to hold weekly conference calls with CNN’s James Carville and Paul Begala and ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. As Miss Dunn boasted early this year, Team Obama was able to "control" the media.
Last weekend, senior White House aides escalated the attack. Mr. Emanuel asserted that Fox wasn’t a "legitimate news organization," a point amplified by senior adviser David Axelrod: "They’re not really a news station. … It’s really not news. It’s pushing a point of view."
The White House’s complaint against Fox has nothing to do with news. It has everything to do with the fact that Fox is the only network to air consistently opposing points of view and treat them with respect. Fox ensures that its opinion shows, led by Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, are separate and distinct from its news hours, which cannot be said of other networks. Witness the left-wing bias that permeates CNN’s "news" coverage during anchor Rick Sanchez’s daily broadcast. Last week, he repeated unsubstantiated lies about conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and had to be browbeaten into issuing a half-hearted apology. Or witness any of MSNBC’s "news hours." Last week, anchor Dylan Ratigan accused opponents of Obamacare of "trying to derail health care … even if it means half the country dies."
Straight news reporting? Only in Obamaworld.
Fox News dares to report that there is another side to the debate. For that, it must be marginalized and attacked in order to delegitimize the opposition viewpoints it airs. Several weeks ago, Mr. Obama visited every Sunday morning talk show except for "Fox News Sunday," and the White House has said no administration officials will appear on Fox through the end of the year.
The White House has every other network in its pocket, so it freezes out the only one not prostrating itself. While Mr. Obama promised tolerance and magnanimity toward all viewpoints as a candidate, he has shown intolerance and vindictiveness as president.
The war on tea partiers and town-hall attendees. On April 15, hundreds of thousands of Americans gathered in more than 800 cities and towns to protest out-of-control government spending. The White House claimed the president was "unaware" of the tea parties. On Sept. 12, hundreds of thousands of protesters showed up in Washington, carrying the same anti-big-government, big- spending message. And again, the White House said it was "unaware" of the massive rally.
Throughout August, thousands of Americans confronted their legislators over the Democrats’ proposed radical overhaul of health care. Sincerely outraged, these citizens were ridiculed and dismissed by the administration and Democratic congressional leaders. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs mocked them as "the Brooks Brothers brigade in Florida in 2000" that displayed "manufactured anger." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denigrated them as "AstroTurf."
Ignoring and then laughing at the concerns of average citizens is generally not the approach of mature leaders in a responsive democracy.
Answer: now the Germans have been dissed by President Obama too.
Two weeks ago, the Bama threw a man of great peace, the Dalai Lama, under the bus. He became the first president since 1991 to refuse to meet with him in order to share a cup of tea and a few words of moral support. Instead, he iced the Dalai Lama so as not to upset the Chinese, with whom he’s scheduled to meet in early November. Apparently, the president cannot walk and chew gum at the same time.
Today we learn that the Bama has canceled his scheduled appearance in Germany on November 9 to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The collapse of the Wall is one of the greatest triumphs of human liberty over tyranny in the history of mankind, but the Bama can’t be bothered.
He’s got other stuff to do. Like play golf. Smoke. Chat up J. Lo. Joyride to Copenhagen. Take Michelle out to dinner. Shoot hoops. Groove to Thalia.
The German people, who fought so valiantly for so long for freedom, shouldn’t feel too badly about it, though. They’re in the fine company of other key allies whom the Bama has unceremoniously dissed: the British, the French, the Israelis, all of Eastern Europe, Georgia, South Korea, and Japan.
Not to mention his own people.
Alleged Robber Hands Bullet to Store Clerk After She Prays With Him
Suspect Gregory Smith Tells Angela Montez of His Troubles, Turns Himself In to Indianapolis Police Shortly After Incident
By SUZAN CLARKE and SABRINA PARISE
Oct. 21, 2009
A man suspected of robbing an Indianapolis check cashing store removed the bullet from his gun after the clerk talked about God and prayed with him, police said.
A man suspected of robbing an Indianapolis check cashing store took the bullet out of his gun after the store clerk talked to him about God and prayed with him, police said. The man, 23-year-old Gregory L. Smith of Indianapolis, turned himself in to police a few hours after he allegedly held up the Advance America check cashing store Monday.
The man, Gregory L. Smith of Indianapolis, turned himself in to police a few hours after he allegedly held up the Advance America check cashing store Monday.
Police responding to the store around 4:20 p.m. were told that it had just been robbed.
Smith, 23, initially entered the establishment to apply for a loan, then left to get identification that clerk Angela Montez requested, officials said. More…
Big surprise here. An update on this story.
"Lebanon: Exploded Devices Lead To Hezbollah Not Israel, Press," from ANSAmed, October 20 (thanks to Insubria):
(ANSAmed) – BEIRUT, OCTOBER 20 – The spy devices destroyed between Saturday and Sunday along the temporary border reportedly belonged to the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah and not to Israel, the pan-Arab paper, Asharq al Aswat, reported today. The Saudi owned newspaper, which contrary to standard practice cited "an unofficial source" from Israel, specified that the devices blown along the central sector of the Blue Line that demarks the two countries were a part of "Hezbollah’s telecommunications network". The Party of God, on the other hand, confirmed yesterday that the devices destroyed was spy equipment placed there by Israel along the Lebanese land telephone line after the war in 2006, and in violation of UN Resolution n.1701, which interrupted hostilities between the Jewish State and Hezbollah three years ago. A spokesman from UN forces deployed in southern Lebanon (Unifil) for their part specified to ANSA that "an investigation is underway", and that it has not yet been possible to reach a conclusion on the nature of the devices, or who placed them. Preliminary investigations at first attributed them to Israeli ownership. (ANSAmed).
Read the original story at Jihad Watch.
Lebanon: Spy devices belonged to Hizballah, not Israel
From the Star Tribune:
A settlement has been reached in the “Flying Imams” federal lawsuit that was filed by six Muslim men who claim they were falsely arrested on a US Airways jet in the Twin Cities three years ago because of their religious and ethnic backgrounds.
According to federal court records, the settlement was reached Monday and filed with the court today.
A New York attorney for the imams, Omar Mohammedi, this afternoon called the settlement “satisfactory to the plaintiffs.” Mohammedi, who is with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) civil rights group, added that money is involved, but he declined to elaborate.
Another attorney for the imams, Frederick Goetz of Minneapolis, said a few details remained to be resolved before the settlement is finalized.
One of the imams, Marwan Sadeddin of Phoenix, told the Associated Press that the settlement does not include an apology but he considers it an acknowledgment that a mistake was made. He said he couldn’t divulge the terms because both sides had agreed not to discuss them publicly. “It’s fine for all parties. It’s been solved. … There is no need for a trial,” Sadeddin said.
“Law enforcement officials did what they believed was appropriate to ensure the safety of travelers based on the information available at the time,” said the MAC’s general counsel, Tom Anderson. ”We will continue to be vigilant in maintaining the security of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the safety of travelers who use it.”
According to the statement by the MAC, “the commission’s liability insurance policy limits potential financial exposure in such cases to $50,000. The insurer has the right to assume control of the defense or settlement of claims and exercised that right in this case.”
CAIR, the Washington-based civil rights organization that took up the imams’ cause soon after they were removed from the plane, hailed the settlement.
“[This] is a clear victory for justice and civil rights over fear and the phenomenon of ‘flying while Muslim’ in the post-9/11 era,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
The imams — Ahmed Shqeirat, Didmar Faja, Omar Shahin, Mahmoud Sulaiman and Sadeddin of Arizona, and Mohamed Ibrahim of California — argued that they were removed from the plane because of religious and ethnic bias.
Shahin, you may recall, was a representative of the Kind Hearts organization.
Muslim Voice Staff When the Tsunami disaster struck Muslim families in south East Asia, the students of Arizona Culture Academy answered the call and rushed to help. They emptied their piggy banks, brought their allowances, and lobbied their families to participate. In five days, $8,014.00 was collected and given to the Representative Imam Omar Shahin of the Kind Hearts Organization.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury today blocked pending investigation accounts of KindHearts, an NGO operating out of Toledo, Ohio, to ensure the preservation of its assets pending further investigation.
“KindHearts is the progeny of Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation, which attempted to mask their support for terrorism behind the façade of charitable giving,” said Stuart Levey, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
KindHearts officials and fundraisers have coordinated with Hamas leaders and made contributions to Hamas-affiliated organizations. Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) Usama Hamdan, a leader of Hamas in Lebanon, reportedly phoned a top fundraiser for KindHearts during a September 2003 KindHearts fundraiser. During the call, Hamas leader Hamdan reportedly communicated to the fundraiser his gratitude for KindHearts’ support. The KindHearts fundraiser reportedly also provided advice to Hamdan, telling him not to trust the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
A previous outcome from the Flying Imams case was discussed here: Terror shield law doesn’t apply to officers
A shield law for those who report suspected terrorist activities does not apply to law enforcement, a judge ruled Friday in a discrimination lawsuit filed by six imams who were removed from a US Airways flight in 2006.