Have animal experiments found a cure for cancer? Maybe. Maybe not.

The hype over Judah Folkman’s
research into the effects of angiostatin and endostatin on mice reached
a fever pitch in the first week of May after The New York Times ran a
front page story which quoted Nobel laureate Dr. James Watson claiming,
“Judah is going to cure Cancer in two years.”

Folkman’s research
is important, but this level of hype was ridiculous. Both of these drugs
are at least a year away from being tested in human beings. Folkman certainly
has a creative approach to stopping cancer. The compounds he’s investigating
work by cutting of the blood supply to cancerous tumors thereby causing
them to shrink and disappear — at least in mice. Chemotherapy research
into mice achieved similar results, but when applied to humans was far
less effective than the trials with mice indicated.

Even if Folkman’s research
doesn’t create a “cure” for cancer, however, what he has
learned from his animal experiments represent important advances in human
understanding of cancer. The idea that the blood supply of cancerous tumors
could be blocked was considered ludicrous when Folkman began working on
the idea; thanks to Folkman’s experiments understanding of cancer
tumors is much improved.

Source:

Eric Noonan, “Cancer drugs effective in mice; human testing planned.”
Associated Press, May 3, 1998.

Animal rights terrorist on the run

Josh Ellerman, 19,
disappeared shortly before he was scheduled to be sentenced for his part
in a March 11, 1997 attack on the Fur Breeders Agricultural Cooperative.

Ellerman reached a plea agreement
with prosecutors whereby he plead guilty to 3 of 16 felony counts in exchange
for cooperating with investigators in identifying other members of the
animal rights terrorist group, the Animal Liberation Front.

According to Ronald J. Yengich,
Ellerman’s defense attorney, Ellerman fled after receiving threats
from the ALF. Ellerman fled his home without a change of clothes, money
or a car.

Animal rights terrorists strike in Florida

On May 4th a two alarm fire
destroyed a veal processing plant near Tampa, Florida. Police believe
members of the Animal Liberation Front were responsible for the fire,
which did $500,000 in damage.

“A.L.F.” had been
spray-painted on the side of the plant.

A communiqué from a group identifying
itself as the Florida ALF claimed responsibility for the attack saying,

…the action was done on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of calves
every year in the American veal industry who are kept in isolation, denied
freedom of movement and fed a deliberately unhealthy diet for the entirety
of their short lives until they are slaughtered at a hell like Florida
Veal Processors.

The communiqué also claimed
the Florida ALF was responsible for an October 1997 arson at Palm Coast Veal
Corp. in Lauderhill, FL.

Sources:

Florida A.L.F. “Florida A.L.F. Communiqué” May 4, 1998.

Americans for Medical Progress “ALF suspected in veal plant and USDA
arson; ALF press officer surfaces.”

PETA’s Internet hypocrisy

A couple years ago there was an enormous flap over an opponent of animal rights who registered the peta.org domain, claiming he represented People Eating Tasty Animals. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals whined and moaned about the peta.org site and threatened to sue the owner of the domain. Eventually the domain was suspended, and PETA currently uses petaonline.org.

So now it is 1998 and what is PETA doing? ThatÂ’s right, deceptively registering domain names associated with their opponents. Recently it registered ringlingbrothers.com and posted information on that web site accusing Ringling Brothers of mistreating animals. Just as PETA did a few years ago, Ringling Brothers filed a lawsuit demanding PETA stop using the domain name.

On May 14, Ringling Brothers agreed to drop the lawsuit in exchange for PETA transferring control of ringlingbrothers.com to the circus. Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, didnÂ’t sound all that disappointed to see the domain name go saying, “The site had served its purpose. Ringling had brought all the attention in the world to it.”

Sorry Newkirk, but the only thing highlighted by this fiasco is PETA’s own hypocrisy.

Source:

“PETA agrees to turn over domain name to circus,” Associated Press,
May 14, 1998.

Sierra Club rejects nativism

Several months ago Population News reported the Sierra Club would
vote on a measure to change the group’s immigration stance from neutrality
to active opposition of immigration. Voting on the measure took place
in April and the 85,000 Sierra Club members who voted soundly rejected
the measure 60.1 percent voting against the measure and 39.9 percent voting
in favor.

Adam Werbach, the Sierra Club’s
Gen-X president, actually came close to making sense for a change when
he reiterated that, “the Sierra Club should not be involved in immigration
policy.”

Alan Kuper, a Sierra Club member
who helped organize the vote, lamented the horrors that will befall the
world from Sierra Club’s refusal to take a stand against immigration.
“It’s a terrible loss because it means another year,” said Kuper.
“When you have great population growth, it’s a great burden on the
natural resource base.”

Even assuming Kuper’s claim is
true, exactly what is the connection with immigration? Kuper and his nativist
friends seem to think that a) the United States is currently overpopulated
and cannot possibly hold more people and b) that immigration somehow encourages
population growth in other countries. Both positions are unsupported by
the available evidence. Lets hope that this sort of anti-immigration nonsense
from environmentalists proves to be unsustainable.

If at first you don’t succeed, fail, fail again!

Not content with its recent string
of failures trying to pump up the price of oil, the Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries is looking to extend its losing streak by possibly
announcing yet another round of “cuts” in oil production at
its annual meeting in June.

“If the oil price stays where
it is now there will be a lot of talk about further cuts and we don’t
rule out any possibility,” said OPEC President Obeid bin Saif al-Nasseri
in an April 25 Associated Press report. “If it is necessary, I think
this can happen.

Good luck. When Nasseri made this
statement, crude oil for June 1998 delivery was selling at a mere $13.90
a barrel in London, down from $20 a barrel last year. This in spite of
announced production “cuts” agreed to by OPEC and non-OPEC nations
at a March meeting in Riyadh.

Nasseri told the Associated Press
that OPEC wants to see oil prices above the $20 a barrel price point.

Don’t hold your breath waiting
— with more Iraqi oil hitting the market, relatively warm weather and
declining demand for oil in Asia, Nasseri and the other OPEC nations might
have to wait a long time to see oil as high as $20 a barrel again.