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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 1, 2006 / 10 Mar-Cheshvan, 5767

Calling a clone a clone

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.''

     — U.S. Rep. Willard Duncan Vandiver, 1899.


Vandiver's words spoken more than a century ago helped to popularize his home state's unofficial designation as the "Show-Me State.'' Whether they still hold true will be tested Nov. 7 when voters try to wrap their minds around a stem cell amendment that is long on "frothy eloquence'' and short on "show me.''


Unfortunately, voters have been distracted from the meat of the initiative by the recent controversy over a political ad by actor Michael J. Fox — who suffers from Parkinson's disease and favors embryonic stem cell research — and radio host Rush Limbaugh's tasteless attack on Fox, suggesting that the actor was exaggerating his symptoms to gain political traction.


Fox, though he later admitted to not having read the Missouri amendment, wasn't faking his symptoms. But the authors of the initiative seem bent on faking out voters by using language that seems deliberately misleading.


To be clear: Approval of "Constitutional Amendment 2'' would mean approval of a constitutional right to clone.


Yet, when voters go to the polls, that's not what they'll read on the ballot. Instead, they'll vote on a bullet-point summary of the 2,100-word amendment that reads like a pro-life manifesto blended with progressive compassion.


Among other things, the ballot promises: to ensure that people in Missouri have access to cures and therapies; to ban human cloning; and prohibit state and local governments from interfering with lawful research.


What's not to love? Never mind that stem cell research of every kind is legal today and happening in Missouri. Or that the people of Missouri are not now, nor will they ever be, denied access to cures and therapies of whatever sort.


As for cloning, no one should be surprised to hear that it depends on what one's definition is. By using less-familiar scientific language, supporters of the stem cell initiative effectively have redefined "cloning'' to mean only reproductive cloning — that is, implantation of a lab-created embryo in a woman's womb for the purpose of creating a human being.


While the amendment would ban that procedure, it would allow "somatic cell nuclear transfer,'' which is the widely accepted scientific definition of "cloning.''


Whether one clones an embryo for birth, or clones an embryo for research, a clone is a clone is a clone.


Another controversial piece of the amendment, which is not mentioned in the ballot summary, concerns the sale and purchase of human eggs for stem cell research. Although the proposed amendment purports to forbid such sales, it includes a loophole: Researchers may obtain eggs from fertility clinics and reimburse for costs that may include thousands paid to egg suppliers for donations.


Bottom line: If the amendment is approved, the Missouri Constitution may protect human egg commerce from future regulation.


Minority groups, meanwhile, have raised concerns that underprivileged African-American women will be exploited for their eggs, the extraction of which is painful and not without risk.


Sentient humans are probably wondering why Missouri needs a constitutional amendment for embryonic stem cell research when it is already legal.


Advocates say they're seeking protection from interference in scientific research that is legal; critics say the amendment is to prevent future regulation or legislation that would impede cloning research.


Given the confusing language of the amendment, one can objectively conclude that whatever the intent, voters aren't being dealt a straight hand.


More easily understood than the amendment's wording is how the initiative got this far. As another Hollywood actor once said: Show me the money.


The driving force behind the proposed amendment is the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, which has raised $30.1 million to push the initiative.


Of that money, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that more than $29 million has come from James and Virginia Stowers, the billionaire founders of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research company in Kansas City, Mo., that focuses on finding solutions to gene-based diseases.


Their new entity, BioMed Valley Discoveries, is a for-profit enterprise designed to market scientific discoveries.


Money talks, and $29 million can buy a lot of frothy eloquence. But what the ballot promises and what the amendment affirms are not a precise match. Maybe voters are smart enough to read between the bullet points, but a clone of Vandiver would be helpful right about now.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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