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Monday, May 30, 2005
Brave New Us
You want to laugh, except that it's not a joke. Did anybody else catch ABC's This Week Sunday morning? There was Sen. Arlen Spectre (R?-PA), and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) arguing for George Stephanopoulos as to when it is ethically okay for scientists to do experiments on human embryos. Spectre (talk about the shoe fitting..) his voice dripping with disgust that he would even have to explain it, detailed how human life can't be said to begin until the little embryo implants itself into the uterine wall.

I admit, I hadn't heard this new definition of personhood. And apparently neither had Stephanopoulos, as he blurted out the question, "But in its nature, what is the fundamental difference between an embryo un-implanted, and one that IS implanted?" Spectre sputtered and snorted and said something insulting about religious fanatics, but he never got around to answering George's question. And George, realizing that he accidentally asked the key damning question, didn't press for an answer.

Poor Brownback didn't have much to say. How do you enter into an argument like this?! As soon as you start arguing "when" it is okay to experiment on human embryos, you've already launched yourself far off the slippery slope and into a double backwards aerial helicopter flip.

At one point, Spectre held up an hourglass near his head as a sign that his time as a Parkinson's patient was slipping away. (If only...) He was almost raving with rage. And I found it unbelievablely disgusting. This old, dissipiated, power-mad politico basically just wants to keep his sad life going as long as possible -- no matter how many thousands of little lives it takes. You have to wonder if he would eat his own children if he was told by a doctor somewhere that it would add a few minutes to his lifetime. (BTW, thanks, Rick!)

Honestly folks, this stuff is way, way, way scary and depraved. Here's the principle: We only get to experiment on people with their permission. Until we can get one of those human embryos to make an "X" on a waiver slip, we don't get to make them act as substitutes for lab rats. Somebody say it: The only reason embryonic stem cells hold promise for medical research is because they are HUMAN embryos!

Do we have no collective memory? When Spectre justified the embryo experiments because, "They are just going to be thrown away anyway," all I could think about was Mengele sticking needles in the eyes of Jewish twins a few short decades ago. HE said the same thing! "They are going to die anyway. Might as well get scientific data for the rest of us."

I'm so sick of this crap. Somebody pinch me when the culture of death is over....If there's anybody left to pinch me.