Super Granny – Defender Of Justice

true story reported on the news in the USA

An elderly Florida lady did her shopping, and upon returning to her car, she found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle. She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at the top of her voice “I have a gun, and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!”

The four men didn’t wait for a second invitation. They got out and ran like mad. The lady, somewhat shaken, then proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and get into the driver’s seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition. She tried and tried, and then it dawned on her why.

A few minutes later she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags into the car and then drove to the police station. The sergeant to whom she told the story doubled over on the floor with laughter.

He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale men were reporting a car jacking by a mad, elderly woman described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, curly white hair, and carrying a large handgun.

Stem Cell Research: The Ethical Dilemma

There is a perilous vast uncharted sea that might be crossed. Beyond the horizon it is believed there might be the land of Utopia. Several vessels are poised to try to make the voyage. It is unknown if any can cross but known if one can cross several identifiable ones can also.

Based on that scenario why insist that all the cargo be placed in one vessel? This question is compounded by the fact that one vessel was made for a higher known mission.

Now the elements. The sea is stem cell research. The vessel is the human embryo. Other vessels are alternative sources of pluripotent stem cells. That is, human cells that may develop many types of body parts. Utopia is a cure for human being suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, juvenile diabetes, spinal cord injuries or many other ailments.
It is not known for sure human embryos will prove to be a source to reverse these heartbreaking human conditions. The possibility of reversing such grievous conditions is inviting. Even if they can there is a moral issue involved.

Morals? All of us are moralist to some degree. Samuel Johnson, 18th Century literary giant, said “we are perpetually moralist.” Certain moral determinations are unavoidable. This is one. Regardless of which side of this issue you might be on you are a moralist. The issue pushes the envelope of bioethics.

Other vessels for the potential crossing are available. Dr. Edmund Pellegrino, the John Carroll professor of medicine and medical ethics at The Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University Medical Center, notes studies published in leading journals including Science, Nature, and Hepatology found that stem cells can be obtained from such sources as fetal tissue over eight weeks old, human placenta, umbilical cords, and adult bone marrow. These cells would still have the all-important pluripotentiality of embryonic stem cells to produce any cells desired, including heart, lung, and brain cells. He questions, “Why make or destroy embryos to obtain stem cells when we don’t have to?” Paraphrased, “Why use this vessel at all?” If it can reach Utopia so can others.

President Bush in addressing the issue echoed this fact saying, “You should also know that stem cells can be derived from sources other than embryos …. Many patients suffering a range of diseases are already being helped with treatments developed from adult stem cells.”

The President further noted that as a result of private research 60 genetically diverse lines already exist with the ability to reproduce themselves indefinitely, creating ongoing opportunities for research. He has proposed using federal funds for research using these existing lines. That opens a vast world of potential.

If the ethical sea, made perilous by ethical and moral hazards, is to be crossed to Utopia it need not be crossed in this one vessel, embryonic stem cells, only. Actually, at all. If crossed, a moral crossing is possible.


Stem Cell Experiments

A short time ago President Bush was faced with a difficult decision. The issue evolved around embryonic stem cell experiments. What ever his decision it was certain to be opposed by a large block who disapproved of it. The potential benefits of such experiments were said to be many. Lives could potentially be saved and the quality of life for others improved. Those assets are not to be minimized. It was thought his decision would influence our culture physically and morally for years to come. Many who conceded it to be morally wrong argued the benefits were so great it was worth the compromise. Those who said there should be no moral compromise were thought to be lacking compassion and insensitive to the benefits.

If it were wrong is it OK to do wrong in order to get the opportunity to do right? There is a moral question confronted by every individual in every age. A certain segment of our society doesn’t like to be told anything is simply wrong.

It is grievous when proponents of moral compromise in order to achieve a good physical advantage later find there was a morally right way. Patience often allows for a win-win condition to be discovered. That is, there is found a moral way to achieve the same physical good. In making his decision that seemed to be what President Bush was delaying in hopes would happen. Well, there seems to be good news.

On January 23, 2002 “NEW SCIENTIST” published an article entitled “Ultimate Stem Cell Discovered.” Catherine Verfaillie at the University of Minnesota — who is an advocate of embryonic stem cell experiments – is reported to have discovered stem cells in adults that can turn into muscle, cartilage, bone, liver, nerve, or brain cells. The cells called “multipotent adult progenitor cells,” or MAPCs, can do everything embryonic stem cells can do.

The research indicates that MAPCs can form every tissue type in the body and can be grown in culture indefinitely without signs of aging. In addition, MAPCs don’t form cancerous masses when injected into adults, a major problem with embryonic stem cells.

Bottom line: This being true there is no longer a need to clone human beings or harvest stem cells from human embryos for genetic research. Future cures for cancer, leukemia, or diabetes can be pursued without the moral controversy surrounding these practices. If these studies are correct as reported the debate is changed. We would be able to be morally right and physically advantaged.

There is sage wisdom is stated two ways.

“Do not evil that good may come.”

“Never do wrong in order to get a chance to do right.”

As with the decision by President Bush there are persons who come down on both sides of those statements. However, they sure keep a moral compass on true north.

Sin: Its Cause And Effect

Disconnect! That is a major problem in America today.

Aboriginal child birth is an example. In the primitive regions of Australia in which remote Aborigines live they don’t understand the connection between conception and child birth. The lapse of nine months between the events causes a disconnect. They think child birth results from the woman sleeping facing a certain mountain the night before. Now that there is a clear example of a disconnect you can fill in the blanks.

The lapse of time between a childhood in which parents fail to instill civic, social, moral, and spiritual values and the time when that same person as an adult becomes a blight in society causes a disconnect. We fail to associate cause and effect.

Sexual promiscuity among young adults is resulting in a rise in sexually transmitted diseases, abortion, child birth out of wedlock, and depression. Disconnect! We fail to associate that with the fact 88% of all sex depicted on TV is outside marriage. We fail to connect this with ten million minors having a venereal disease and one million girls between the ages of twelve and seventeen getting pregnant each year.

Independent sources report one-fourth of all children or teens are suffering from some serious emotional problems, most frequently depression.

Skinny models, emaciated actresses, and cadaverous musicians are depicted as prototype body shapes. In the male world it is the macho athlete, virile model, and all round hulk who is considered the fantasy form to replicate. There is a disconnect between the lionizing of these prototypes and the fact nearly 8% of girls between puberty and age 18 suffer from anorexia or bulimia while over 10% of high school boys take steroids.

Dummies who commit crimes seem never to connect the crime with the possibility of getting caught. It is as though they only consider the benefit of getting away with it and never even think what will happen if caught. Disconnect!

There is a disconnect for many between smoking and lung cancer, between social drinking and alcoholism, between ingesting carcinogens and various illnesses, between reckless driving and auto fatalities, between greed and theft, between hate and murder.

Even if the two are understood to connect there is a second significant factor called deferred payment. Our system of economics involves purchasing on credit. Buy now and pay later makes payment seem less important. The principle of delayed consequence hints that for some reason you might never have to pay for your conduct.

To avoid undesirable results don’t do anything contingent on “getting away with it.” Act responsibly. Plant the seed of what you want to harvest. There is an old adage: “If you sow to the wind you reap the whirlwind.”

Conversely, if you plant wisely you harvest joyously. Conduct yourself today in such a way as to give your tomorrow self pleasant memories.

Sex In School

Across America educators and parents are asking why youth have suddenly become openly promiscuous. As reported in the news sex in the school house isn’t an uncommon thing.

Years ago the winner of a contest sponsored by a major railroad offered the following safety slogan: “STOP, LOOK, LISTEN.”

The same three steps will lead to an understanding as to why promiscuity is increasingly rampant.

Look and listen. For example view “Sex in the City,” and “Friends” on TV. These are two popular cute shows watched by youth. Observe what moral standard they depict.

Change the dial to MTV: stop, look, listen.

Look! Look at what youth are reading and viewing and evaluate what moral teachings are inherent in it. Go to a news stand, youth do, and read such teen targeted magazines as “Twist” and “Boy Crazy.” They are explicit and encouraging of promiscuity, especially oral sex. Take time to look at copies and evaluate what moral standard they represent.

Listen! If you can’t understand the words of most rap or other youth directed music the words are often printed on the label. Most Top 50 radio stations are playing recordings that leave nothing to the imagination. They depict unbridled sex as the norm commonly practiced.

Did you listen to what former President Clinton said wasn’t and was sex? The youth of America did. They can quote him on it.

There is an old computer norm: GIGO. It means what goes in goes out. What is programmed in comes out. The same principle applies to the most marvelous of computers, the human mind. What goes in the portals of the eyes and ears is acted out in life.

Now comes the “STOP” part. How can runaway immorality be stopped? The common answer is appropriate more money for security guards and surveillance cameras. In effect, build a higher fence.

Build a nine foot fence and a way to build a ten foot ladder is the result. To compensate for the ten foot ladder build an eleven foot fence. The ladder business doesn’t work. Taller ladders are always on the drawing board. They are built faster than fences.

A kangaroo was introduced in his new habitat at the zoo with an eight foot fence. The next day he was found wandering around the zoo. They built a ten foot fence with the same result. They built a fifteen foot fence and the next day he was still enjoying his freedom. Not even a twenty foot fence kept him in.

The lion in his adjacent compound asked the kangaroo, “Do you think they will ever devise a way to keep you in?” He replied, “Not unless someone thinks to lock the gate.”

The gate is the individual human mind and will. Only when youth are disciplined by parents who will “STOP” and give the attention youth deserve in order to develop self-discipline will the situation improve.

Marcus Aurelius, one of the “five good emperors of Rome,” said, “The life, like a temple, must be arched and buttressed from within or it will waver and crumble to the ground.”

This is an appeal for full time parental involvement by modeling and mentoring morals.