Letters To The Editor


September 02, 2005

Fund research using stem cells to stop disease

Last week, we learned about a Harvard study about fusing skin cells and embryonic stem cells and the fused cells' potential to be reprogrammed into embryonic cells ("Fusion might end need for embryo cells," Aug. 22).

This is a huge breakthrough in stem cell research but one researchers say will take years, possibly a decade, to produce tangible and useful results.

Meanwhile, time is running out for hundreds of thousands of Marylanders and millions of Americans who are waiting for cures and treatments.

We must forge ahead with all avenues of stem cell research.

But under the restraints of President Bush's severe limitations on embryonic stem cell research, most scientists are working with one hand tied behind their back.

Just imagine what medical breakthroughs we could be reading about today if these researchers had the support that was denied them four years ago with President Bush's decision to restrict federal funding for research.

Perhaps our doctors at Johns Hopkins or the University of Maryland could have made progress in finding cures for Parkinson's disease or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Perhaps one of the thousands of young children in Maryland with juvenile diabetes who now must pump insulin into their bodies 24 hours a day could be living a normal, healthy life.

The U.S. Senate will vote soon on a bill that would loosen the restrictions on stem cell research funding. However, President Bush has vowed to veto this bill.

This is precisely why we must move forward on a state level to fund research.

Harry R. Hughes


The writer is a former governor of Maryland and chairman of Maryland Families for Stem Cell Research.

Where will we find the funds to rebuild?

Where will we get the billions and billions of dollars needed to rebuild the states affected by Hurricane Katrina ("Desperation in New Orleans," Sept. 1)? The nation is already in debt way beyond anything we will be able to pay off.

Can the administration cancel foreign aid to the many, many nations receiving it? Can that money be used to rebuild all that was lost?

It seems we are getting no sympathy or help from any of the nations of the world. But their hands are always out to Uncle Sam when a tragedy strikes their countries.

It is about time for us to use our money to help ourselves.

Mildred Kneipp


Global community shows little concern

Why does it seem like when there is a major natural disaster or crisis anywhere in the world requiring humanitarian aid, the United States is among the first to offer aid, and is usually the country to offer the most?

The U.S. is once again facing a humanitarian crisis at home due to a major disaster, and once again I wonder, why does no one ever offer us any help?

More important, what lessons should we take from this concerning the global community's attitude toward us?

Patrick Baker


The cost of Iraq war now really hits home

After I read "Miss. Guard left short-handed by mission in Iraq" (Aug. 31) and watched scenes from the devastated areas in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, I am outraged to know that if the area's National Guard had been home in full force, more lives might have been saved.

It is shameful that our country, with all of its might, is not equipped to rescue and help our people as fast as possible.

Our president claims that because of his war in Iraq we are safer at home. I wonder if any one watching the events this week can believe that.

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is very good evidence that President Bush's misguided foreign policy has devastated the resources of our nation to such an extent that we cannot help our people when they need it.

And imagine if the hundreds of billions spent on the war in Iraq was available for rebuilding and putting the lives of the people who lost everything in the hurricane back together.

It is high time we bring our troops home and take care of the homeland and its people.

A. Montazer


Focus our forces on effort to rebuild

There are no words to adequately describe the monumental catastrophe that has befallen the coastal areas in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana ("Devastation in New Orleans," Sept. 1). Cleanup, rehabilitation and rebuilding will surely take years.

The nation as a whole will have to participate, with donations in cash and kind, and volunteerism. Initially, the police and National Guard will be needed in great numbers for search and rescue operations and to establish law and order.

Here is a suggestion for our president: Bring our troops home from Iraq.

The National Guard members deployed there and the members of the Army and Special Forces are needed in the hurricane-damaged areas more than in Iraq.

Now that the Iraqis are on the road to democracy, we can exit Iraq and let the Iraqis handle their destiny and insurgency in their own way and on their own timetable.

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