Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Stem Cell VS. Collateral Damage

If you look at the smaller photo that is at the very top of this post above the two larger photos you will see a human embryonic stem cell that is magnified about 7 thousand times or more, I'm not exactly sure. On the left side of this print you see an Iraqi man holding the mangled dead body of a little girl, most likely his daughter and if not she no doubt was a close relative.

On the right you you are looking at the dead bodies of three children in a crudely made coffin, as their father mourns in anguish while raising his arms and crying out to his God looking for an answer to why his children have been blown apart and no longer have a life.

I feel that it is my obligation to point out the ideological differences between myself and people that throw the words "collateral damage" around like it some how justifies the deaths of children during acts of war and that it relieves anyone involved, of any issues of morality in the actions that took place to end these innocent lives, a sort of free pass if you will. Of course innocent men and women are killed in these vile acts as well, but I want to stress the deaths of the children to make my point clear.

If your asking yourself if I am qualified to have an opinion about this matter, I will advise you that I have had the misfortune of having been part of a war. I will be the first to admit that I am biased. I am very anti war not only because 60,000 Americans died in my war, but also over a million civilians bit the dust, and like many other soldiers it is hard to find self forgiveness even though you are doing what your country has asked of you.

In America there is a society of individuals from a number of fundamentalist persuasions trying to make the claim that by using the human embryonic stem cell that you see in the photo above for science, is an act of murder. Even though these human stem cells have been offered up to other couples to use in order to have children, which I think is a very good thing, the fact is they produce about 400 births yearly. All the cells are not used so the 500,000 to 650,000 remaining cell are destroyed as medical waste every year.

Obama has reversed Bush's archaic stand against science and now out of the woodwork come all these politicians that totally ignore the pictues on the right and left of that stem cell, and find it very easy to dismiss real murder.

I am not trying to pass judgment on our troops they are soldiers, just as I was and many others, doing our jobs and being patriotic in every sense of the word, by putting their lives on the line and in over 4,300 cases having made the ultimate sacrifice.

I just find it hard to deal with the hypocrisy when it is so vivid and clear, why are the pro-lifers ignoring the thousands of dead children, at the cost of 4 trillion dollars and 4,300 American lives, it remains senseless to me. They should be so outraged that they should be fighting for every life that is being lost daily. Instead they are trying to make the case about a cryogenically frozen cell, that is about to be discarded.

It is unfortunate that those very people who are so concerned about a frozen stem cell that will be turned into medical waste if not used to help save more life, haven't the least bit of concern for those four children that I have noted earlier, if they did they would be up in arms about it wouldn't they ? How about the many others that get wounded beyond repair, if they cared it would be quite a different story. This is no way that an innocent little child, should he survive, have to live the remainder of his life just because a missile went off course. Not to mention how much pain and trauma that will end up being his constant companion instead of other children. This is sinful.

This sudden grandstanding about stem cells and calling them live beings in the face of the children worldwide that are suffering and dying daily from starvation and wars is drama at its worst. The time has come for me, and I will not accept the crazy ravings of American fundamentalism. American fundamentalist need to realize that the world does not revolve around them, and the sooner they stop trying to legislate their isms on me especially when they fight for the rights of a non living frozen cell rather than a living breathing human child, I would say they need a checkup from the neck up.

I also want to add that I will despise these words until my dying day "collateral damage."


The Law March 10, 2009 at 8:17 PM  

First off, I'd like to thank you for your military service. Second, I read your post about 3 times, and I could not agree with you more. I have been trying to make that argument for stem cell research, but you really managed to put the case for stem cell research in a way that is hard to argue against. I was elated to read that story in NY Times, because I really do think there will be some incredible medical breakthroughs that will happen in our lifetime because of this.

masterwordsmith March 10, 2009 at 11:11 PM  

Dear Joseph,

Thank you very much for this honest and eye-opening post.

Thanks for a no holds barred approach and hitting the bull's eye in your cutting-edge remarks about the hypocrisy of it all.

Few would dare to say it the way you have with so much compassion, passion and conviction.

For being a real person who has learned from the university of life, I am blessed to know you and pray that God will continue to use you to open our eyes to the cruelties of this world that have been masked by rhetoric.

Take care and keep up the wonderful work!

conservative generation March 11, 2009 at 12:07 PM  


Thank you so much for your service! Your sacrifice is greatly appreciated. Since I need to disagree with some of your post, I will start with what I took from your points. I agree that terms such as collateral damage should not be used and grossly dishonor the victims of destruction. I feel the same way about conspiracy theorists who believe 9/11 was and inside job by Bush or deniers of the holocaust. I believe that we need to respect life and not down play what’s going on with nicer sounding language or crazy denials. I believe that military commanders and presidents should make a habit to walk the battle fields when they order military actions and see the results of their actions. When George Bush 1 walked an Iraqi battle field he immediately issued a halt to American advances into Bagdad. He was sobered by what he saw as I am when I see your photos. Please let me know if you think I've missed your biggest point here?

However, I don’t believe you can easily link stem cells and war into similar issues and philosophies. I can flip the whole argument and write a post about late term abortion and opposition to the death penalty. I can post pictures of late term babies, talk about how they would be able to survive without their mothers and juxtapose pictures of those babies with the victims of Ted Bundy or Charles Manson. Talk about how a killer’s life is sacred, but not a baby’s. I don’t say this as an attack to abortion or opposition to the death penalty, but to show that our reasons for support of one and not another are not so easily put together.

To bring clarity to Bush’s executive order, he did not ban private experimentation on stem cells only the government funding to the research. If there was a lot of promise regarding embryonic stem cells, I believe that we would have been able to find private funding. In actuality, embryonic stem cells are least promising. I have a news article link below.


Tell me which president is legislating their beliefs? Bush tried to side step the issue of the morality of stem cell research by removing government’s role and taking the issue out of his arena (not the entirety of the country). Obama blatantly announces that we are going to listen to science, not moral values (Paraphrased from Obama’s comments in the article I listed)! If you believe Obama, tell my why again it’s so horrible that children are victims of war? Is your answer one of science or morals? If it’s moral, you better start looking for a scientific answer and get in line with this administration.

To directly handle the two issues you listed. I do believe that sometimes we should go to war. Should another Hitler come along looking to take over the world and murder millions of Jews, homosexuals, physical and mentally disabled people, I believe that war would be warranted to stop such a person. I understand this is a far cry from Vietnam (A war I do not agree with). However if you agree with my Hitler statement then we are in agreement, in principle, that war is sometimes warranted if we opposing a person that had the decision and opportunity to do good instead chose the worst of evils.

As for stem cells, the truth is no one knows when life begins. There are about a half dozen theories ranging from life begins with genetic material to a baby's first breath. No matter what theory you ascribe to, the science book is not closed on any one theory. If you are like myself and agree that we do not know when life begins then our disagreement is about whether it is ethical to use stem cells when we do not know if we are terminating a life before they have that choice to do good or do evil.

Writing is often misleading and I'm trying to bash anyone's beliefs to abortion, stem cells, death penalty or war. However, if I'm wrong in my principles, then would someone please straighten me out?

Del Patterson,  March 11, 2009 at 12:57 PM  


This was a profound article. You hit it exactly.

The irony with the Repubs. is that they claim to be compassionate while in reality they must get some kick out of the pain others are going through.
Rush hates druggies but he, himself, abuses them;
The Repub party is pro-life but can't wait to execute the folks on death row.
So, it's know surprise that they would blockade science from bringing comfort to the afflicted.

Joseph M. Fasciana March 12, 2009 at 1:57 AM  

To: The Law and Masterwordship,

Plainly I am humbled and gracious for your comments.

To Del,

I am equally thankful for your response. I also would like to inform you that I can't seem to leave comments on your blog. I think it has something to do with blogs that have that drop down identity selector, instead of the type I am using. I have experienced this problem on other blogs using the same type that you are using. After making a comment and using my google identity, a verification window pops up without the letters to put into the verification asked for.

Regards To All,


To Cons. generation.

I need time to respond to your thoughtful comment. since you brought up several different points. I need to think it over.


Del or Alice Patterson March 12, 2009 at 8:39 AM  

Thanks for the headsup. I have gone in and changed it. Hopefully it will work now.


Joseph M. Fasciana March 12, 2009 at 10:05 PM  

To C. Gen.

I see where your coming from, to a certain extent. In your point you are comparing living beings a killer and his victims and a late term abortion victim. I am comparing a cell to living and breathing children that have no dog in this fight.

Please keep in mind that I don't agree with late term abortions, unless the life or health of the pregnant woman is at risk. There is no compromise in that area with conservatism they won't protect the woman giving birth, in matters of incest, health or rape. I feel in those matters it should be a families choice, not the choice of conservative values. If your a conservative and your wife might die from a pregnancy then let her die. Don't legislate to me because of your belief over mine that your going to kill my wife. Very simple stay away from matters that concern the family and a woman's body. I again must tell you that I feel an abortion for the sake of contraception or just for the sake of convenience has morale consequences to the parties involved, that's my feelings, but I won't force them on another person it is not my right.

The war in Iraq by conservative standards was not a war of choice. I believe we had no reason to go into that country. We differ on that and I find that we share no common ground on that matter. but that's okay you are as I am entitled to feel differently.

I don't think your principles are wrong. You should be proud of your beliefs and you are, and I respect you for that. I am sure that you know by now from our past comments to each other that I'm not totally closed minded about your feelings, as say a Rush Limbaugh is about the left. I am registered as an Independent, although I lean left on most issues.

I definitively think that a frozen stem cell is not life, as a fetus is. Anything less than a fetus in my humble view is not life, I will even go further and say that the moment of conception, signifies the beginning of life. So this should answer whether I feel it is ethical or not.

Bush did exactly what you said he did, but now all lines of stem cells are open. I guess we could argue whether federal money should be used, I really haven't come to a clear conclusion about that.

I know I didn't cover everything you brought up in your comment, but I hope this answers some of it, besides I am sure we will talk again.



conservative generation March 12, 2009 at 11:31 PM  


I can certainly agree to disagree in those areas that we differ. I think you will find conservatives like yourself fall different ways on different aspects of abortion. I for one do not have trouble with it when the mother's life is in jeopardy.

I'm actually a strong opponent of legislating your beliefs whether driven by religious or atheistic world views. I believe many social issues should be taken out of the federal forum and left to the states to decide locally. Furthermore, I believe many of them should be handled in the public forum and not government. If you don't believe in abortion you don't need a law, you simply need to convince people you are right. Abortion used as an example.

I believe this would ultimately help relax the polarization of our nation. Also, you find that in a forum such as this, there is truly more in common.

Thanks for your reply.

LibertyCast March 13, 2009 at 5:13 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
LibertyCast March 13, 2009 at 5:36 PM  

This is something that truly does need to be addressed. Granted may be I might be little right leaning here in believing that there should be some limitation to an extent on exactly how or what is done with them. However, this is something we need to be more open minded about. We do waste so many, and even though this is redundant, it is incredibly wasteful. It makes more sense to make productive use of them rather than treat them like garbage. And personally I would think be tossed aside like a used banana as a human (even at that state) would be much more insulting than to be used to benefit humanity. And yes you can't think at that state, but you should catch what I mean.

Walt March 14, 2009 at 4:47 AM  

Hey killing and war, is what we do best; and we are worried about stem cells?

The Brown Man's Burden
By Henry Labouchère
Truth (London); reprinted in Literary Digest 18 (Feb. 25, 1899).
Pile on the brown man's burden
To gratify your greed;
Go, clear away the "niggers"
Who progress would impede;
Be very stern, for truly
'Tis useless to be mild
With new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.

Pile on the brown man's burden;
And, if ye rouse his hate,
Meet his old-fashioned reasons
With Maxims up to date.
With shells and dumdum bullets
A hundred times made plain
The brown man's loss must ever
Imply the white man's gain.

Pile on the brown man's burden,
compel him to be free;
Let all your manifestoes
Reek with philanthropy.
And if with heathen folly
He dares your will dispute,
Then, in the name of freedom,
Don't hesitate to shoot.

Pile on the brown man's burden,
And if his cry be sore,
That surely need not irk you--
Ye've driven slaves before.
Seize on his ports and pastures,
The fields his people tread;
Go make from them your living,
And mark them with his dead.

Pile on the brown man's burden,
And through the world proclaim
That ye are Freedom's agent--
There's no more paying game!
And, should your own past history
Straight in your teeth be thrown,
Retort that independence
Is good for whites alone.

"verification window pops up without the letters to put into the verification asked for".
When that happens I put just put something in the box and post. I get a rejection, but then it starts working as it should.

Joseph M. Fasciana March 14, 2009 at 5:32 AM  

To the Keeper,

It is hard to reply to your comment especially when I stood along side black men as they where dying in Southeast Asia fighting for the freedom of people in a foreign country, the same freedoms that were denied to them in the USA at the time.

Thanks for the word verification tip, I always get tossed from Me-Me's blog and others that use that pull down menu.

The first time I used an M-60 machine gun I was in an ambush and I was so petrified that I never changed the barrel, also you were supposed to shoot in short bursts so you wouldn't fuse the barrel to the gun and we were even given these gloves so you wouldn't burn your hand, plus 1 or 2 extra barrels so you could change them out. Fuck I never let my finger off the trigger until the canister was emptied by then the gun was cooked and jamming. The only reason I brought it up is when I followed your link to the Maxim machine gun I couldn't believe the similarities about the barrels over heating.



Walt March 14, 2009 at 6:49 AM  

The M-60 did not like dirt, and was bad for jamming at the wrong time. I've seen barrels on cal,50's get white hot in the dark. As for the poor brown people, you can see our government has not changed much in the last 200 years.

Bai Maleiha B. Candao March 15, 2009 at 7:11 PM  


I salute you for your intelligent, decisive, sensitive, informative and principled post. Thanks for being a part of the blogging world.

Keeper March 21, 2009 at 3:52 PM  

Our ship is sinking fast, but let's not worry. The idiots in Washington are busy drilling more holes to let the water out.

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