July 23, 2006

Mail Bag

Some interesting email over the weekend relating to ThreeSources discussions:

I asked Josh at Everyday Economist about his assertion that gasoline takes more energy to produce than it contains. He mailed me a link to his post, which links back to this WSJ article. There's certainly no shortage of controversy, but it is one of the best defenses of Ethanol I have read from a reliable source.

Somebody else emails a link to a Washington Times piece on Adult Stem Cells (ASC) vs. Embryonic Stem Cells (ESC). I really don't have a dog in this fight, except that it will hurt the Republican Party. There is much that they deserve to be hurt from, but this is not a valid example.

Senator (then VP candidate) John Edwards said at a rally in Newton, Iowa: "If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again." Sixty thousand Ohioans voted for President Bush. Christopher Reeve died. I'll leave it to the other side to draw causality.

ThreeSources own JohnGalt said "when I take it upon myself to dismantle the present practice of Federal funding of research I will not start with the branch of human biotechnology that holds the greatest promise for the future of humanity since penicillin." I'll give jg factual and style points over Senator Edwards, but both are putting quite a bit into promise.

For the record, I do not object to ESC research, or even its funding with my taxes. Yet, the fact that adult stem cells and umbilical blood are more developed in actual therapies makes restrictions on Federal funding even more acceptable to me. That the Edwardses of the world are telling people that mama won't be cured because of this President's allegiance to the religious right is more than I can bear.

The President has an allegiance. To his word. He said, plainly in 2001, what he would and would not do. This stunt to discredit him shows him to stand by his principles. Even though I do not share this particular one, I'll stand by him.

Hat-tip to SugarChuck for sending along this link I'd missed.to a Tunku Varadarajan interview with Milton and Rose Friedman.

Posted by John Kranz at July 23, 2006 12:18 PM

Please allow me to correct my original comment on the 'Free to Choose' post, re: gasoline/ethanol. I should have said that ethanol MAY require more energy to produce than it yields. I still dispute the claims of Josh and "The Numbers Guy" that gasoline takes 20% more energy to produce than it yields. The original analysis it is based on (produced at Berkeley ('nuff said)) is thoroughly suspect.


Posted by: johngalt at July 24, 2006 3:29 PM

Federal funding for biomedical research applications for embryonic stem cells is scant, and is strictly and severely limited to a finite number of preexisting cells. Actual therapy PROPOSALS based on adult stem cells and umbilical cord blood are much more developed. "I'll leave it to the other side to draw causality."

Posted by: johngalt at July 24, 2006 3:34 PM

Not enough Federal funding. It's obvious. Glad you're on the case.

Posted by: jk at July 24, 2006 3:55 PM

Yep. That's what I said alright. sheesh

Readers interested in what I ACTUALLY said about federal funding may refer to the last line of the 4th comment on July 19's "Stem Cells" post.

Posted by: johngalt at July 27, 2006 1:07 AM

I am sorry if I am enjoying this too much, jg. It is unseemly of me. But I enjoy your discomfort because you find yourself in the unlikely side of arguing for more Federal funding.

Congress asked for more funding, teh President vetoed it. You wish he ahdn't. Man, I may not get this again for years...

Posted by: jk at July 27, 2006 10:30 AM

Fair enough summary JK, but "wish he hadn't" is too strong. I am merely critical of him for doing so.

Congress spends money and this president signs the bill. Every time, until THIS time. So now fiscal conservatives are obligated to overlook this flawed value judgement because "he vetoed a spending bill?" Houdini would be proud!

Your defense that this has been his long-standing promise if such a bill came to his desk is fair, but the policy is still wrong.

On the whole he is still "my" president, but the veto is a very large red mark in my NO column.

Posted by: johngalt at July 27, 2006 3:29 PM

Fair enough. I would say "wish he hadn't" for myself. Again, I am angrier at the GOP legislators for serving this embarassment up than I am at the President for the veto.

Posted by: jk at July 27, 2006 5:02 PM | What do you think? [7]