Game 4 was somewhat of a disappointment tonight. You know, because of the rain and the game not happening and everything. However, I did see a most interesting commercial. It featured a whole bunch of chundertesticled smegmanuggets, mostly Missouri-area athletes, talking about why voters should say No on proposition 2. Yes, that proposition 2, the one that Michael J. Fox was just condoning a few days ago that would essentially allow Missouri researchers to work on stem cell research, including using nuclear transfer for generation of new stem cell lines. Importantly, it would ban any attempt on reproductive cloning, an important provison that is essential for any research using this technology, such as has already gone forward in Massachusetts.
So I thought it was quite interesting to see Jeff Suppan, among others, come forward as a prominent opponent to stem cell research. You see, Jeff Suppan hates medicine. He believes people should suffer from disease, just as god intended it. It turns out that not only is Jeff Suppan highly learned in regenerative sciences, but he’s quite the pundit on legislative matters. According to Jeff Suppan, “Amendment Two claims it bans human cloning, but in the 2,000 words you don’t read, it makes cloning a constitutional right.”
It’s worth checking out this story from a CBS news station, which includes a good video segment talking about the anti stem cell commercial, as well as appropriately demonizing Rush Limbaugh, as he so intensely deserves.
What really makes me wonder, though, is whether Jeff Suppan has really read the 2,000 words that nobody else reads and has the adequate education and knowledge to come to his conclusion. What does he mean by ‘human cloning’? Does he mean the kind of cloning that occurs in a petri dish at 10000X magnification that ultimately makes a ball of cells, or the kind of cloning that Michael Keaton uses in movies?
I decided to do my own research into proposition 2. Here is the official website detailing ballot measures in Missouri. This is the fair ballot language exerpt:
A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to allow and set limitations on stem cell research, therapies, and cures which will:
• ensure Missouri patients have access to any therapies and cures, and allow Missouri researchers to conduct any research, permitted under federal law;
• ban human cloning or attempted cloning;
• require expert medical and public oversight and annual reports on the nature and purpose of any stem cell research;
• impose criminal and civil penalties for any violations; and
• prohibit state or local governments from preventing or discouraging lawful stem cell research, therapies and cures.
A “no” vote would not ensure that stem cell research permitted under federal law is allowed to be conducted in Missouri and that Missouri patients have access to stem cell therapies and cures permitted under federal law.
This measure will have no impact on taxes.
OK, so far, what I get out of that is that no way no how can you lawfully attemp to clone a human being. In fact, it sounds like the whole crux of the proposition is to set something into place to ensure that stem cell research is conducted ethically and ensure that the exact thing Jeff Suppan is scared of doesn’t happen. Hmm, maybe there’s something in the 2000 words that apprently only Jeff Suppan and nobody else has read. So I read the entire thing. Actually, most of those 2000 words deal with the criminal punishment someone is going to get in case they try to clone a human being, and set up the ethical guidelines and internal review board criteria for future stem cell research. It sounds good. Now, why again is Jeff Suppan, the guy that stopped running from 3rd base to home plate in the most botched moment during Game 3 of the 2004 World Series, all in a tizzy? I think he’s bothered by this particular statement:
(5) “Human embryonic stem cell research,” also referred to as “early stem cell research,” means any scientific or medical research involving human stem cells derived from in vitro fertilization blastocysts or from somatic cell nuclear transfer. For purposes of this section, human embryonic stem cell research does not include stem cell clinical trials.
Actually, Jeff Suppan never read that, but I’m guessing the people that wrote the commercial for him were bothered by that. You see, part (5) means that you are allowed to take an egg from a female volunteer, remove its genetic materials, and replace it with any other DNA you want. Essentially, cloning, although in a most retricted sense in that you are only allowed to do cloning to make new embryonic stem cells. For the religious right, this is atrocious. Not only do you make an unholy human life, but you subsequently destroy and disaggregate said demonic ball of cells.
Another interesting feature of the wording of the proposition is that it defines cloning only in the category of cloning a human being. Kind of what Suppan meant by “human cloning”. Specificially:
(2) “Clone or attempt to clone a human being” means to implant in a uterus or attempt to implant in a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus, or the birth of a human being.
The beauty of Suppan’s attempted obfuscation is that he’s dead wrong. This version of cloning would be stricly banned and illegal under proposition 2. The second time he says ‘cloning’, what he really means is nuclear transfer for the purposes of making a human stem cell. Proposition 2 cleverly does not refer to this as cloning, a savvy decision. Which means that what Suppan actually said is de facto incorrect. Ultimately, making cloning illegal, yet allowing nuclear transfer would be a tremendous political victory for scientists.
I really hope the proposition passes. It’s about time that we get around the stupid Bush stem cell crap. I mean EVEN CONGRESS WANTS STEM CELL RESEARCH TO GO FORWARD. As for Jeff Suppan, I hope that he pitches the worst game of his career tomorrow night. I hope Detroit knocks him out in the 2nd inning, en route to a world series victory. After all, Jeff Suppan hates puppy dogs, apple pie, caramel cone ice cream, and pork snorkels.