Sunday, July 23, 2006

In First Veto Bush Once Again Shuns Science

George W. Bush exercised his first official veto this last week amid much fanfare. His veto was on a bill that would allow the expenditure of federal funds for stem cell research. The reason this was his first veto is simple, bills he didn’t want in past, he signed into law and issued signing statements declaring his intention to ignore the new law. As reported by Charlie Savage, in the Boston Globe on April 30, 2006, “President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.” He did not use a signing statement this time because he wanted to pander to the religious right that believes that even in-vitro fertilized human eggs rate the status of a full human life. This same crowd would make murderers out of all pregnant women having abortions and their physicians. He believes the publicity generated by his veto will help during the upcoming mid-term elections.

We should not forget that this issue was why Bush was asleep at the switch prior to 9/11 attacks. He had retired to his Crawford, Texas ranch that summer to study the embryonic stem cell issue. On August 9, 2001 (33 days before 9/11), Bush announced his decision to limit federal funding to already established research lines. A number he set at 64 when in reality it turned out to be 19 or 20, now all so contaminated as to be of little scientific use. During his press conference of the veto, he touted the viability of adult stem cells, a view held by a small minority of scientists in the field. He also had numerous children that were adopted after being abandoned in vitro only to be implanted in surrogates for the purpose of adoption. He did not explain why these ‘caring parents’ did not adopt any of the many children (mostly children of color) put up for adoption or the many older children needing homes.

With this veto, Bush has once again shown total contempt for rational scientific thought. He prefers theology to the scientific method. He has done this before in his support of so-called Intelligent Design (a thinly veiled form of Creationism). This is a truly synergistic relationship between Bush and the religious right as reported by Peter Slevin of the Washington Post on March 14, 2005, “They are acting now because they feel emboldened by the country's conservative currents and by President Bush, who angered many scientists and teachers by declaring that the jury is still out on evolution. Sharing strong convictions, deep pockets, and impressive political credentials -- if not always the same goals -- the activists are building a sizable network.”

Each side will continue to re-enforce the other unless rational thinking people standup and say “ENOUGH!”

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