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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog

We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.

I meant to post this a few days ago, concurrent with the breaking news of Rush Limbaugh's incredibly insensitive remarks about Michael J. Fox. Life and work intervened, and when I looked up again it was the weekend. I'd missed Rush's numerous attempts to apologize, rationalize, editorialize, and revise his callous comments. (It pains me to send anyone to his site, but it does give us an idea of just how out of touch with reality this man is.)

Now, tomorrow's edition of "The Washington Post" will feature an article by William Saletan, science and technology writer for "Slate," in which he offers a brief recap of some of Limbaugh's more delusional moments:
In Limbaugh's world, "there never was a surplus" under President Bill Clinton. AIDS "hasn't made that jump to the heterosexual community," and cutting food stamps is fine because recipients "aren't using them." Two years ago, he said the minimum wage was $6 or $7 an hour. Last year, he said gas was $1.29 a gallon.

Limbaugh has particular trouble distinguishing reality from entertainment. The abuse at Abu Ghraib "looks just like anything you'd see Madonna or Britney Spears do on stage," he told his listeners. Last month, he defended ABC's Sept. 11 movie against the document on which it purportedly relied: "The 9/11 commission report, for example, says, well, some of these things didn't happen the way they were portrayed in the movie. How do they know that?"

Last year, Limbaugh, who used a tailbone defect to get out of the Vietnam War draft, accused a Democratic candidate of having served in Iraq "to pad the resume." He charged veterans -- including former senator Max Cleland (D-Ga.), who lost his legs and an arm in Vietnam -- with trying "to hide their liberalism behind a military uniform . . . pretending to be something that they are not." When war is just a television show, a uniform is just a costume. Liberalism is real; losing your limbs is a pretense.
And what does this brouhaha have to do with the beginning of human life? Well, the Fox ads are for candidates in various states who support stem cell research. And Parkinson's disease, which Michael J. Fox has lived with since 1991, is one of the conditions that might be helped by embryonic stem cells. "Might be" as in we don't yet know because research into embryonic stem cells has been hampered by limited funding. Yet Limbaugh and his ilk persistently use a lack of concrete results from embryonic cells to denounce those cells' potential. An absurd position, but no more surreal than the world Limbaugh inhabits daily. I continue to wonder, as I have for years, how much longer will people listen to his nonsense?

Read the full Saletan article here.

Brain Pills
Roe v. Wade
Stem Cells
Stem Cell Fight!
Bearing Right
Moral Monkey?
Dave's site
Stem Stall
Bush the hypocrite

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