Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Have you ever noticed that you can pretty much pull any quote out of your ass, attribute it to Ben Franklin, and people will believe you? It's true. Try it some time. Here's a script that works for me everytime. It does help if your audience has been drinking.

"People suck. You know who first said that? Ben Franklin. True story. Some idiot spilled ink all over the first draft of the Articles of Confederation and he lost his mind. Yelled at Jefferson. Swung around and knocked Adams' wig clean off. It was quite a scene. And then, right toward the end of his expletive session, he just sighed and said 'people suck.' History sure is amazing, isn't it?"

Anyhow, my good buddy Ben is back - and in rare form. His sharp, amusing tirades can be accessed by using the Voice of America link in my left sidebar. Turns out I'm not the only monkey with a typewriter. This week Ben hammered out something truly wonderful and I have asked his permission to share it here because, well, I haven't afforded you people much substance of late and figured if I had more time, I would want to say something like this.

So without further ado, I give you Ben Franklin...on George Bush's ridiculous veto of stem cell research.

*************** FROM VOICE OF AMERICA ******************

George Bush recently enacted his first veto. Unless you've been hiding under a rock, or bombed out by the Israeli war machine, you know that the veto was in response to legislation that proposed increased federal assistance to support stem cell research. If you failed to read beyond the first two sentences of the articles about this veto, you may not know that his reasoning for enacting the veto was to prevent the destruction of human life. I'm paraphrasing here, but essentially George stated that the destruction of human life is never acceptable, not even if the end result is the potential benefit to other existing lives. And so, veto it was.

Now the paradox here, naturally, is that we've invaded Iraq, and, in the process, killed nearly 2,500 US combat personnel, as well as nearly 40,000 Iraqi's, both insurgent, and innocent civilians. The impetus for that invasion, as you well, know, was to promote democracy and peace in the middle east. Further, you've probably heard that President Bush has failed to denounce Israel's invasion of Lebanon, as Israel has a right, in Bush's words, to defend herself and protect her citizens. The result of Israel's invasion has been the slaughter of nearly 600 Lebanese, mostly innocent civilians, many of them children.

So, let's recap, and be very clear on this point. It's never acceptable to destroy human life, even if the result is potentially stunning medical advances, but it IS okay to destroy human life, if the result is potentially increasing American hegemony abroad. So, in short, if the vocal minority of the religious right condemns it, it's a BAD way to kill humans (even if they aren't legally protected by the constitution), but if the religious right is quiet on the subject, it's a GOOD way to kill humans (and also get to sell more offensive weapons to Israel! woohoo!)

Are you confused? I sure am. Remember, this is a guy who professes to be born again - one would think that would allow for a fairly clear understanding of "thou shalt not kill" - unless, of course, it's darker skin folk half-way around the world. If they don't worship the same God, then they don't really count, it would seem. It also sure as heck doesn't help that they can't vote here (though, to be fair, neither can zygotes).

What I REALLY want to know is, what will Ralph Reed think of stem cell research if he's struck with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Diabetes, or any number of cancers? Well, I can't say what Ralphie boy will do, but I'll grin. Couldn't happen to a nicer racist. Well, it COULD happen to Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson, but they assure me that their direct lines to God would preclude anything like that happening to them. Also, Strom Thurmond is already dead, so there's that.

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