American Elephants


Dreams of Revolution Once Again Turn to Dust! by The Elephant's Child


Wow. This is Zuccotti Park, deoccupied, evicted, debris loaded into dump trucks and taken to the landfill, hosed out, pressure washed, and it’s a pretty little park.  Who knew?

Last night as we watched on a live feed, they screamed, yelled, chanted unintelligible things and milled around.  200 occupiers were arrested, but we didn’t see that, and quickly turned away because the camera person couldn’t hold the camera still.

The occupiers screamed that “the whole world is watching,” but the world was not watching a brave new world. They were watching violence, anti-Semitism, rape, filth, public defecation, mindless chanting and “twinkling.”

They were very angry at corporations. Their professors had told them that the corporations had too much power, yet they apparently were unaware that American corporations are some of the most heavily regulated entities in the world.

That’s an old theme for the left. Back in 1987-88 the left-leaning New World Foundation, with Hillary Clinton at the helm, commissioned a 1998 survey of 1,800 rank-and-file members of nine progressive organizations to find out what their deepest concerns were, what a progressive agenda should look like.  the results were published in The Nation magazine. Racism was their number one social problem, followed by poverty and corporate power for the top three.

Occupiers think that corporations have too much influence over government. But they are unaware that corporations cannot donate to political campaigns. Only individuals can. They are confused because careless reporters see the donations from individuals listed by where they are employed and bundle the amounts together. But they are not corporate donations, they are individual donations.

Now, if you live in a district that has 2 very large corporations that employ a very large percentage of the people in your district, a responsible congressman would be apt to vote for things that favor those corporations.  That’s the real world, not pernicious influence of corporations. If you are angry that GE paid no taxes, and has had many regulations that favor the company, ask why Obama enlisted Jeffrey Immelt as his Jobs guru.

The occupiers were angry at the banks because they thought the banks were responsible for the recession and the financial crisis, but that is not true either. The financial crisis had its origins in Congressional action that forced banks to make home loans to people who, under normal prudent rules of lending, could not afford the loans. Government entities Fannie & Freddie bundled those questionable loans and sold them to investment banks as excellent investments. On top of that, Congress inflicted disastrous new regulation on banks with the Dodd-Frank bill. So the occupiers anger and chanting were all for naught, but exciting for the left, for whom it brought back memories of Woodstock and Altamont.

As an unruly crowd, they tried to force regulation on the crowd. They called, in vain, for non-violence, sharing and community; they had meetings at which they twinkled. They chanted what their leaders said, but they were rewarded with violence, theft, filth and the disgust of viewers. But that has always been the result of communal pipe dreams. Ask the survivors of hippie communes, refugees from Cuba, Cambodia or Vietnam, or Russia. Ask why Stalin’s daughter and Krushchev’s son and Castro’s daughter became American citizens. There is no revolution, and if you actually promoted one, you wouldn’t like the results.  And who pays for all the losses to all the local businesses? It’s over.  Go on home.

Don’t miss: Iowahawk at his best.  You can sing along. Surely you remember the tune.



Geron Corporation Quits Embryonic Stem Cell Research. by The Elephant's Child

Geron Corporation was the company doing the first government-approved test of embryonic stem cell therapy. After years of promises, the first-ever human trial using an embryonic stem-cell derived product for spinal-cord injury made international headlines. Now the Washington Post has reported that Geron has abandoned the field entirely. The company is eliminating 66 full-time jobs. No venture capital interest.

The stem-cell story is a revealing demonstration of what happens when politics gets too involved in medicine. If you remember, when President Obama was inaugurated, he made a big deal of rescinding the Bush order restricting use of embryonic stem cells to existing lines, and claimed that there were 22 volunteers waiting to be treated with embryonic stem cells.  Last we ever heard of those volunteers.

Liberals chose to believe that Republicans were fundamentalist, snake-handling, Southern religious nuts who were preventing Superman from getting the embryonic stem-cell treatment that would let him walk again. Liberals have trouble with moral issues, and seem to be uncomfortable with ideas like “right” and “wrong.” The idea that we should not use human embryos for medical treatments, that it is ethically wrong, and a slippery slope to human cloning is inconceivable to many liberals.

Liberals simply do not accept the fact that successful treatments with adult stem cells are saving lives, curing diseases, and offering ever-more promise, while there has never been a successful treatment with embryonic stem cells. To a liberal, the entire story of stem cells remains a story of Republican rejection of science and Republican religious nuttery. The linked article from the Washington Post remains unaware of the tremendous successes in adult stem cell treatment:

Embryonic stem cells can develop into any type of cell in the body. The hope is that one day they might be used to replace or repair damaged tissue from ailments such as heart disease, Parkinson’s and stroke.

But using stem cells from embryos has long been controversial and is opposed by some groups for religious and moral reasons.

Liberals heard Christopher Reeve’s pleas for help for spinal cord injuries, felt great sympathy, and stopped thinking or learning. The same attitude has prevailed in the issue of “Global Warming,”climate change, green energy or environmentalism in general. Republicans are fundamentalist, science-rejecting nuts because everybody knows that the consensus of all real scientists in the world is that global warming is an urgent problem and we really must save the planet.

Wesley J. Smith is a noted bioethicist, author and lawyer. He wrote for National Review:

This is an atom bomb of a story that will have a serious effect on the entire regenerative medical sector. And it should embarrass the critics of President Bush; the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which bragged about its part in funding a scientist involved in the research; and, perhaps most of all, the fawning media that have acted as press agent for both the field generally, and Geron specifically.

The advances in stem cell treatment are spectacular. I have written about the skin gun before. It seems like a real medical miracle. Do watch the video.




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