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October 27, 2006


Damn, I cannot wait for election day. I will vote next week sometime, because Kansas is one of those wonderful states that allow you to go to the courthouse and vote early.

But the commercials - ugh. I hate them. Every time I turn on the radio or television, I'm assaulted by the commercials. And to make it worse, the bulk of the commercials are in reference to a tight race in Missouri - I don't even live there and I have to listen to all the bullshit flung from both sides.

So I have had to watch the Michael J. Fox commercial many times. And whether you want it or not, here is my opinion on that commercial.

1. Michael J. Fox has overdosed on his medication in order to exaggerate his movements - he admits this.

2. The commercial gives the impression that a cure for Parkinson's is only awaiting Claire McCaskill's election to the Senate - and nothing could be further from the truth. It is going to take a lot of years and a lot of good research to develop a cure for Parkinson's. Besides anyone who votes for Claire McCaskill for only one issue is certainly not thinking things through.

3. I feel bad that Michael J. Fox's illness is being used to shill for politicians. And Claire McCaskill has exactly nothing to do with the question of stem cell research in the State of Missouri.

4. The ad is misleading:

Princeton professor Robert P. George, who sits on the president’s bioethics commission, tells National Review Online:

the ads exaggerate the therapeutic potential of embryonic stem cells beyond anything that Michael J. Fox or anyone else has reasonable grounds to believe they can be used to accomplish. Adult stem cells — stem cells that can be obtained harmlessly from umbilical cord blood, bone marrow, fat, and other sources — have actually been used successfully to treat people. They have been used to improve people’s lives. Embryonic stem cells have not helped anyone. No one knows when, if ever, embryonic cells will be used in therapies at all. Indeed, not a single embryonic-stem-cell-based therapy is even in stage one of clinical trials. That is because the tendency of embryonic stem cells to produce tumors makes it unethical to use them in human beings — even in experimental treatments. By contrast, there are more than 1,000 adult-stem-cell-based therapies in clinical trials. In his ads, Michael J. Fox hides these crucial facts, thus creating an appallingly false impression and slandering candidates against whom the ads are directed.”

(from Kathryn Jean Lopez's NRO column.)

Posted by Beth at October 27, 2006 04:48 PM