Reader Mail

Human Indignities

The stem cell debate. Saudi friends. Californians. And more.

8.14.02

Send to Kindle

CELL BLOCKS
Re: George Neumayr's New Stem Cell Lies:

I may be admitting my ignorance and the fact that I am not as well read as I would like; however, I don't understand the uproar, in general, and the hostile approach Mr. Neumayr takes in his August 12th article titled "New Stem Cell Lies."

Is stem cell research completed on embryos that have been aborted specifically for research purposes? Are the embryos extracted from healthy mothers wishing to deliver healthy children? Or, are the embryos taken in some other form of immoral trickery?

I must believe not. So what is the controversy about exactly?
-- Gary Gates

You said the following: "What does 'creating new stem cell lines' mean? It means killing 2-week-old embryos"...

Why do you try to make that better use of an embryo a bad thing?
-- Russ Harris
Overland, MO

George Neumayr replies: To Gary Gates's letter, I would say that the injustice of killing a human embryo derives not primarily from the circumstances of the embryo's origin, but from the nature of that act: to destroy an innocent human life is intrinsically unjust. It is "immoral trickery" for society to kill human embryos on the grounds that their creation conforms to modern medical ethics and no one appears to want them.

Russ Harris's letter assumes that human embryos at Stem Cell labs are useless unless scientists use them as raw material for research. Whatever society gains in this research it loses in dignity. To place human embryos on the same level as lab rats is not "better" than treating them with the dignity due man.

SAUDI PARTNER
Re: Lawrence Henry's The Saudi Paradox:

Mr. Lawrence Henry writes that the joint military exercises and other military ties between Saudi Arabia and the United States are a counter to the image of a double-dealing Saudi Arabia. He attacks journalists and other civilians for not understanding what good friends the Saudis are. Has Mr. Henry trained his keen military mind on the Khobar towers attack and the complete lack of cooperation from the Saudis there? Has the fine warrior camaraderie impelled the Saudis to give us full access to those in their custody who have killed or tried to kill our military men and civilians? Has that wonderful cooperation, which saved that country from invasion from Iraq, convinced the Saudis to allow us "their" bases to attack Iraq? No, rather it has compelled us to move our bases and abandon long planned routes into that tyrant's land on Saudi whim. Further, could the disconnect between journalists and ex-military men have anything to do with the fact that so few journalists end up on the Saudi payroll when they retire?

Even on his own terms Mr. Henry's defense of the Saudis is that once we are seen as winning the Saudis will side with us. I wonder what West Point teaches about the value of "friends" who only back you when you win and incite your enemies to violence when you are weak? Mr. Henry's ability to identify friends seems about as good as Custer's ability to count Sioux.
-- John J. Vecchione
Washington, D.C.

Lawrence Henry replies:: Mr. Vecchione: You accuse me of that which I do not do. I merely made the point that a long-standing, high-level military brotherhood exists between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, and that it inevitably has some influence on policy. And I hazarded a guess what those high-ranking military people are probably thinking.

OPEN DOOR CLASS
Re: Wlady Pleszczynski's Chickie Babe:

I saw Chick Hearn up close only once. That was maybe 30 years ago following a Lakers game with the nondescript San Diego (now Houston) Rockets. Chick was in the parking lot about to go on his way. He had time to talk to passersby but also the grace to open the car door for his wife of many years. A classy guy and one of a kind.
-- Bob Lantz

WILD BILL
Re: Bill Croke's An Open Letter to Californians:

Thanx for all the laughs from your "An Open Letter to Californians" article. My officemates may be concerned for state of my mental health but you told so many truths about Californians (and the people of the Mountain West) in such funny way that I repeatedly laughed out loud. All right, I confess as a very reluctant neighbor of the Land of Fruits and Nuts that I am rather anti-Californian but even they must have recognized themselves all over your article. We have a hard time keeping the Californians [in line] down here in Arizona too but we've found the most effective method of controlling them is to regularly elect Republicans who aren't afraid of calling silly ideas "California-born."

Respectfully,
-- SFC Jon Schweitzer

Hang on to Wild Bill Croke. His columns are pure gems!
-- Kitty Myers
Painted Post, NY

NO ABSOLUTION
Re: Bob Johnson's "Not Even Clothes" letter in Reader Mail's Ms. Mischief in Michigan:

Bob Johnson of Bedford, Texas, seeks to absolve Dave Shiflett from faulty referencing, blaming Shiflett's chaplain for a conversational lapse. OK, blame the chaplain.

BUT, Mr. Johnson should himself be more attentive to his reading. I opened my original letter by making plain that Mr. Shiflett accused Nazis of wearing coats and ties. If that's so, why quote a notorious Nazi when making an argument against said articles of clothing. Not very sensible, is it? No, not really.

Sincerely,
-- Paul Kellogg
New York, NY

LOTT, YOU THE MAN!
Re: The Prowler's Regarding Trent:

War Room Scenario:

RNC chairman (Marc Racicot), Karl Rove, President Bush discussing opportunities to retake the Senate in light of the Torricelli debacle, Lieberman's Enron/Citibank connection and refusal to call Robert Rubin, McAuliffe's Global Crossing affiliation, and Daschle's sinking poll numbers in South Dakota.

Bush: "Karl, who do you and Marc have in mind to lead this very
important campaign to retake the Senate?"

Rove: "Well sir, he's a proven commodity, a name player."

Bush: "What's his background, college, etc.?"

Rove: "Well sir, he was a cheerleader in college."

Bush: "Cheerleader? Is it Kay Bailey Hutchison?

RNC Chair: "No, sir."

Bush: "What are his hobbies? Hunting, fishing, skiing, football."

RNC Chair: "Well sir, he sings in a bi-partisan barber shop quartet."

Bush: "Quartets, my God, is it Harry Reid, he's a Democrat. What are
his accomplishments, then?"

Rove: "No sir, it's not Reid. Well, if you remember, right after you were elected and the Senate was split 50-50, it was his idea to effect a 'power sharing' in the Senate, and since then, he has become very
popular with both sides of the aisle. In fact he can talk for hours and say nothing"

Bush: "Sounds like we are still left with Trent Lott. Surely, this is not the only dog we have in this fight? Where's Newt Gingrich when you need him?"

RNC Chair: "Well, in 2004..................."
-- Sam Haynes
Elk, CA

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article