Friday, June 22, 2007

1. STEM CELLS: BUSH DECLARES "ALL HUMAN LIFE IS SACRED."

Peace activists say the same thing. The President said this while issuing his second-annual summer-solstice-veto of legislation to lift his ban on embryonic stem cell research. He said that the United States is "founded on the principle that all human life is sacred" unless you're in Iraq, where 80 American lives have been sacrificed so far this month. I couldn't find such a principle in the Constitution; instead I found the First Amendment. By imposing his bizarre religious belief that embryonic stem cells are people on the rest of us, the President has violated the constitutional rights of every living, breathing American.

2. POPULATION: HOUSE REVERSES BAN ON CONTRACEPTION AID.

Before you applaud, it faces a veto, and there are not enough votes for an override. The ban is a key element of Bush foreign policy, though why the U.S. opposes birth control in other countries is beyond comprehension. Uncontrolled population growth will, in time, overtake every advance in human condition.

3. MILEAGE: SENATE VOTES TO RAISE FUEL ECONOMY STANDARDS.

With Detroit howling, the Senate yesterday passed the first substantial increase in fuel mileage requirements in more than two decades. It would raise the combined average mileage of cars and light trucks from 25 mpg to 35 mpg. If we already had that kind of mileage we wouldn't need oil from the Middle East.

4. RELIABLE REPLACEMENT WARHEAD: HOUSE SAYS NO NEW NUKES.

In its present form, the appropriations bill eliminates RRW funding and calls for development of a nuclear weapons strategy before any new warheads can be considered. Thomas D'Agostino, the White House choice to head the National Nuclear Security Administration, admits there are no known problems with the W-76 or other warheads in the stockpile, but something might come up so we should develop the RRW. But there might be an unexpected problem with the RRW, so we should develop the More Reliable Replacement Warhead, MRRW, and then the Even More Reli...

5. SALMON RUSHDIE: MUSLIM WORLD IS FURIOUS OVER KNIGHTHOOD.

The bestowing of a knighthood on the novelist led to a second fatwa against him. An apostate Muslim, his 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses, was called blasphemous, earning him a death sentence from Ayatollah Khomeini. It forced Rushdie to live in hiding for nine years. To be apostate is unforgivable to Muslims. Only religion can inspire such irrational hatred.

Bob Park can be reached via email at whatsnew@bobpark.org
THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
Opinions are the author's and are not necessarily shared by the University, but they should be.