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September 27, 2008


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You put "lies" in quotation marks - but it's a fact that MiCAUSE ran an ad whose only message was to imply that the stem cell research bill would cost Michigan taxpayers money which is completely untrue; a fact it has been forced to admit:


If Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures and Cure Michigan are fraudulent - doesn't that make MiCAUSE fraudulent as well, given that it's just a front for Right to Life and the Catholic Conference (the latter of which does the politicking the church can't do for tax reasons)?

Bill Tingley


I used square-quotes because the umbrage that Cure Michigan has taken to the MiCause ad is disingenuous. While it is true that the Cure Michigan ballot proposal does not raise taxes, the MiCause ad highlighted the taxpayer SPENDING on ESCR projects in other other states. It is no secret that Michigan taxpayer dollars will be spent at our public universities and on incentives to bring ESCR business ventures into the state if the Cure Michigan proposal passes.

As for MiCause being a fraud, is it your contention that MiCause is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Michigan Catholic Conference (like Cure Michigan is of MCSCRC)? Has the Michigan Catholic Conference claimed that it cannot take a position on ballot proposals (like MCSCRC has)? Is the Michigan Catholic Conference a 501(c)(3) organization (like MCSCRC)?

If so, Seth, get me the facts, and we'll post an article.

Regards, Bill


Embryonic stem cell research has not produced a single treatment or cure for any disease, while adult stem cell and cord blood initiatives have produced viable treatments that are in use today - and have been for most of a decade. THAT'S the truth that needs to be shouted from the rooftops.



So we've established, then, that it's a fact that Proposal 2 contains no tax increases.

Moving on - the claim being made by both you and MiCAUSE is that Proposal 2 will inevitably lead to tax increases. If you're going to claim that - the burden of proof isn't on me; it's on you to demonstrate that a tax increase is inevitable (and that, for example, the money won't come from the private sector or from reallocating existing resources).

JustMe -

The lack of available treatments and cures from Embryonic Stem Cells owes to the bans on the practice - not the potential for such treatments and cures to exist if the research is actually funded. Regardless, embryonic stem cell research has helped science advance in its understanding of pregnancy and pregnancy complications - so it's disingenuous to imply that embryonic stem cell research has provided us with nothing thus far.

I can't, for the life of me, understand why anyone would oppose using embryonic stem cells from in vitro fertilization (which is where they come from) that are going to be discarded as medical waste anyway. I guess the line of reasoning is that if you can ban the cart - eventually you'll be able to ban the horse.

Bill Tingley


I said that Proposal 2 will lead to public spending on ESCR. I did not say that Proposal 2 mandates tax increases. I did not even imply that would be a consequence.

However, new public spending can only be covered by less spending elsewhere or more taxes. It is not unreasonable for people to believe that more taxes will be the state's preferred course.

Regards, Bill

P.S. You dropped the matter of MiCause being a fraud like Cure Michigan. Have you changed your mind?



Your genuine astonishment that someone, anyone, would object to an ESC being valuable beyond a research lab is almost laughable if it wasn't so sad.

For many of us, the fact that the key term in Embryonic Stem Cells is "Embryonic" should tell even the most clueless of us something. We don't want one life discarded for the benefit of another to live.

For many of us, each life has intrinsic value. Be it at the cell stage or the full fetus stage. Life is life for us. It's not medical waste as you put it.

Let's not forget the market place drives innovation. If ESC could work, investors would be lining up to put their cash into such research and development. As we all know, it has failed miserably so far. Smart minds stick with cord cells and adult stem cells as progress has continued to be made and diseases managed and or cured via this route.

We'll reject this proposal with pride and hopefully in large numbers. It's NOT a matter of money. It's a matter of life.

Bill Tingley

Seth (and Just Me),

You say that you can't "understand why anyone would oppose using embryonic stem cells from in vitro fertilization (which is where they come from) that are going to be discarded as medical waste anyway."

As it is clear from your previous comments at LAW that you refuse to accept the plain biological fact that an embryonic human being is a human being, I suggest you keep your amazement about those who do understand that no human being exists as an instrument of another outside this forum.

The issue is too serious to discuss with people who willfully refuse to even consider the clearly established scientific facts of human life.

Regards, Bill


***I suggest you keep your amazement about those who do understand that no human being exists as an instrument of another outside this forum.
The issue is too serious to discuss with people who willfully refuse to even consider the clearly established scientific facts of human life.***


Based on the last go-‘round we had on this subject, I had absolutely no intention of getting into the mix this time, but despite [or perhaps because of] the sincerity of your stance on the issue, it rather surprises me that you would spend time, thought and bandwidth making your point, inviting your readers to comment, and then suggesting to one of said readers that he ought to pack up his toys and play somewhere else because he doesn’t share your point of view.

I still believe it is highly disingenuous of you to use phrases like “clearly established scientific facts of human life,” when you know full well how baiting, misleading and devoid of context they are. But whatever – I have no interest in going down this road again. Obviously, though, Seth does, and if you want simply to ignore him, then by all means, ignore him. But if you’re not going to welcome dissent – however objectionable you might find it – then why bother maintaining your site?


Bill Tingley


You've got the cart before the horse. We maintain this site to REPORT on public matters we think are relevant to the Grand Rapids area. Although permitting comments about our reports probably helps our mission of getting the news out, doing so is strictly incidental to reason for this site.

As for dissent, I'm not one to get teary-eyed over the alleged nobility of it. After all, it is highly relevant as to what one is dissenting from. If one dissents from the truth, that's hardly a good thing. And if one incorrigibly dissents from what is clearly true, what's the point of further discussion?

For example, you and I are arguing over the solution to a mathematical problem. The basis of my argument is 2+2=5. You have shown me that 2+2=5 is plainly, absolutely, and uncontroversially false. Yet, I continue to dissent from that. I continue insist it is true to support my argument. At what point do you no longer "welcome" my dissent and walk away from the argument, Brandon?

That's what has happened here. Although I do not welcome dissent at this site, I do permit it. (That said, we do welcome corrections to our reporting.) I will engage a dissenter if I think it is useful to do so -- usually because it helps the dissenter and our readers to understand our point of view.

But who wants to argue for the sake of arguing, especially over a point that has alreadly been thoroughly examined? Regarding the present matter, it's not my problem that Seth willfully rejects a well-established, uncontroversial fact of biology to support his arguments in favor of ESCR and abortion. And I am not going to make it my problem to educate him AGAIN on the matter.

But instead of ignoring Seth, I paid him the respect of giving it to him straight. If he can't accept what is plainly true -- viz., the life of a human being begins at conception -- fine, but that's the end of the discussion.

Regards, Bill



There's no guarantee that Proposal 2 will lead to public spending on ESCR either; there's nothing in the legislation that establishes that.

You haven't stated in so many words that ESCR will result in taxes or public spending but you did, however, criticize Cure Michigan for their ad, alleging that it is "disingenuous" to respond to the claim by MiCAUSE that passing the bill will end up costing Michigan taxpayers (which logically means that you think MiCAUSE's claim is legitimate).

However, new public spending can only be covered by less spending elsewhere or more taxes. It is not unreasonable for people to believe that more taxes will be the state's preferred course.

I haven't dropped the argument that MiCAUSE is a "fraud" like Cure Michigan; I just ran out of time (which is why I just returned).

I'm not actually alleging that MiCAUSE is a fraud. I'm just saying that you should apply the same standard from one organization to another.

MiCAUSE is to the Michigan Catholic Conference as Cure Michigan is to Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures. If it's fraudulent for one to exist, it's fraudulent for the other to exist.


Lannette -

The practical fact of the matter is that the life you value is being discarded (even as we type this) as medical waste. I'm not attempting to devalue it (or be insulting in any way) by applying that term to it.

What I'm trying to say is that I'm disdainful toward the less-than-transparent strategy being pursued by right to life advocates on this issue. That is to say, banning in vitro fertilization would be woefully unpopular and RTL knows it - which is why they don't put many resources toward trying to ban the practice. Embryonic stem cell research is a bit less popular than in vitro fertilization - so it ends up being picked on as a roundabout way of moving (ultimately) toward a ban on embryonic stem cell research. In the meantime, perfectly usable tissue is wastefully discarded and science suffers.

The marketplace sometimes drives innovation. Far more often, the public sector drives innovation because that innovation often requires resources and time to develop that the private sector can't afford to risk.

In this case, however, the marketplace is definitely putting pressure on the legalization of ESCR - which is likely why it will cease to be banned soon.



I probably more articulately presented my argument when I responded to Lannette. I guess the way I see it, trying to get in vitro fertilization banned is a loser of an issue for the right to life movement given how popular it is. In my view, the move with integrity would be to just try to get in vitro fertilization banned in the first place (which would eliminate the source of embryonic stem cells for research purposes).

I think that a significant number of the people who support the right to life movement would be surprised to know that in vitro fertilization results in embryos that are discarded. As we've discussed before, like many, you are commendably consistent in your views - so you're not of that sort.

I understand your convictions (and I don't mean to sound as though I don't, or that I disparage them), so I suppose I can't begrudge the movement using any and all means to achieve its ends.

For what it's worth - I would also like to express my gratitude for your tolerance of dissenting opinions on your blog; I've found it to be an unfortunate rarity.

Bill Tingley

Thanks for the thumb's up, Seth.

As for IVF, it is immoral although I do think it is reasonable for one who believes it is immoral not to believe it should be illegal. I am not in that camp, though. It should be illegal, because human beings are deliberately created to serve as an instrument for other human beings. We condemn in the law the instrumental reduction of human beings in other contexts (e.g., slavery). The same should apply to IVF.

As for MiCause being the same as Cure Michigan because the Michigan Catholic Conference is the same as MCSCRC, that fails because the MCC is not the same as MCSCRC nor is the MCC's relationship to MiCause the same as MCSCRC's relationship to Cure Michigan. This is apparent in the questions I put to you earlier.

Regards, Bill

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