Ann Wagner off to Luxembourg

Ann Wagner, the former chair of the Missouri GOP and former co-chair of the Republican national Committee is on her way to her new assignment as Ambassador to Luxembourg.

Wagner heads off for new life as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will swear Wagner in on Monday in Washington. About 85 close friends and family members will be on hand to watch.

Good luck to her and we in Missouri are looking forward to her safe return.

Scouting Tragedies

I simply wanted to make note of the string of tragedies at the Boy Scout Jamboree. It seemed appropriate to offer one of the prayers from the Boy Scouts.

Oh Great Spirit

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds and whose breath gives
life to all the world, hear me. I come before you, one of your many children.
I am weak and small. I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty and
make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset; my ears sharp so I may hear
your voice. Make me wise, so I may learn the things you have taught my people,
the lessons you have hidden under every rock and leaf. I seek strength, not to
be superior to my brothers, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy–myself.

Make me ever ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes, so
whenever life fades, like the fading sunset, my spirit will come to you
without shame.

Prayer composed by Chief Yellow Lark, a Blackfoot Indian

Pro-life and Pro-Science Take Two


After I got Noah’s comment on yesterday’s post, I thought I should further clarify or perhaps further muddy my thoughts and my reason for the post.

All these news reports are making this out to be a huge divide between Bush and Frist. In reality their positions are very similar – the research is very important, not least because it is about preserving human life, but protecting innocent human life is paramount. They differ over where to draw the line and I tend to agree with Frist, but neither of them is proposing some sort of ghoulish embryo factory where eggs are fertilized in vitro just to harvest stem cells for research or otherwise.

On the other hand, the statement I quoted from the wingnut that you’re either pro-research or pro-life would apply to Bush every bit as much as to Frist. (Not to mention Orrin Hatch, who has been a proponent of research for some time.) If the radical Christian right wants to make opposition to science some sort of litmus test of political righteousness, they are going to alienate lots of allies who are very much pro-life. That won’t make us any less pro-life, but it will certainly make coordination and political action problematic.

As for my comments on federal funding of medical research in general, it was a side issue. In an ideal world, all research would be privately funded, but we don’t live in that worl. My point was that because government is so pervasive the truly private labs that might conduct this out of profit motive simply don’t exist. Even the big pharmaceutical companies aren’t totally private. If I were running a lab with millions of dollars in government grants supporting our projects and someone came to me wanting to use our “private investor” dollars to do stem cell research, I’d think long and hard first. After all, dollars are fungible and I’d have to weigh the potential loss of all federal dollars versus the potential profit.

Get $400 for your child

Seen on a Google ad on a blog.

Get $400 For Your Child
Parents May Get $400, Find Out How Only For Moms Dads & Parents

This looks like one for Tyler Cowen’s Markets in Everything. $400 seems like kind of a low price for a kid. Then there are the “Take her, I’ll give you $400 days.”

It’s almost too good to actually go find out what their really selling.