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Author: TriSec    Date: 09/26/2017 11:47:14

Good Morning.

How about some vivisection for breakfast today?

Here is a Beagle:


Let's see what popped up in my news feed this morning, shall we?

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs is tightening oversight of controversial medical experiments on dogs after an investigation found surgery failures and canine deaths in research projects at a VA facility in Virginia — findings that spurred a push in Congress to defund the experiments altogether.

Nationwide, invasive experiments at three VA facilities are slated to include roughly 300 dogs, including 6-month-old Beagle puppies, and involve surgeries on their brains, spines and hearts by researchers seeking treatments for heart disease and other ailments. All the dogs will be killed when the research is complete.

Going forward, top VA veterinary officials will have to approve any research on dogs, and scientists will have to review proposed dog experiments more rigorously, says Michael Fallon, the VA's chief veterinary medical officer.

“VA programs that have dog research as a component will now be visited more frequently by our accrediting body,” Fallon said.

The moves follow an investigation by the VA’s Office of Research Oversight, which found in May that researchers at the VA facility in Richmond, Va., failed to adequately document whether dogs had been treated properly. Four dogs suffered complications in experimental surgeries.

Those findings helped fuel an effort on Capitol Hill to halt VA dog experiments deemed painful for the dogs. The House quietly passed legislation in July eliminating funding for such research, and now the VA is pushing back and tapping veterans groups to help persuade senators not to pass the measure.

“If this legislation passes the Senate, it would stop potential VA canine research-related medical advancements that offer seriously disabled veterans the hope of a better future,” VA Secretary David Shulkin wrote in a USA TODAY op-ed this month.

He said VA research on dogs has led to important breakthroughs, including development of the implantable cardiac pacemaker and an artificial pancreas that automatically monitors glucose levels and delivers insulin for diabetics.

But opponents say those examples are decades old, and most such research hasn’t translated to humans. They contend the VA is relying on outdated models that don’t fully take into account scientific advances that may provide alternatives to dogs as research subjects.

“The VA is abusing its authority and fear-mongering to defend taxpayer-funded experiments on dogs that are cruel and unlikely to help veterans or anybody else,” said Justin Goodman, vice president of White Coat Waste Project, an advocacy group that wants to cut off money for the agency’s dog experiments.

He and others say researchers made the same arguments about chimpanzees until a federal study found that most experiments on chimps were unnecessary and the National Institutes of Health stopped funding research using chimpanzees in 2015.

I don't rightly know what to think about this. We have all benefited from the sufferings of our fellow-creatures, and there is no denying that there are countless medical and technical breakthroughs that would have never been discovered except through animal experimentation. But in this day and age, is this still the only and/or best approach? I'm afraid those answers must come from somewhere other than your humble AAV staff.

Of course, we'll dramatically shift gears; let's think about the future by looking into the past. On the eve of WWII, a satirical group of Princeton students formed an organization called the "Veterans of Future Wars", which was a parody of the VFW.

Veterans of Future Wars (VFW) was a satirical political organization initially created as a prank by Princeton University students in 1936. The group was conceived as a parody of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the movement for early payment of a bonus to veterans of World War I that had been originally scheduled for disbursement in 1945 when the World War Adjusted Compensation Act was passed in 1924. The group jokingly advocated the payment of a similar $1,000 "bonus" (plus 30 years' of interest) to future veterans of a coming European conflagration while the recipients were young enough—and alive—to enjoy it.

The erstwhile parody organization became a national sensation, gaining upwards of 60,000 adherents on college campuses across the United States. The members nationwide were strongly anti-war and cared little for the anti-bonus motivation of the leaders, all of whom were Princeton students. The deep contradiction led to an overnight disintegration late in the 1936–37 academic year.

While it was a college prank, and they were mostly interested in obtaining a cash payout, I think the idea still has merit.

On the morning of September 11, 2001...my son was still in the Philippines awaiting placement at a whopping 33 days old. We wouldn't match with him until the following May, but that's a story for another time.

On the morning of September 11, 2017, Javier was 16 years old. During WWII, some precocious and highly motivated individuals were able to lie their way into the service at that age to fight fascists.

Javier won't be doing that, but he is a Junior in High School this year. Next year, in order to graduate and be eligible for financial aid, he must register for the Selective Service.

While I don't imagine that there will be a draft to fight North Korea, given the state of the White House today, who can even tell? If Javier is to go off to war anyway, then why not give him his GI Bill benefits while he is still alive and uninjured and can go to college and make some use of that?


28 comments (Latest Comment: 09/26/2017 19:52:36 by Scoopster)
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