A couple months back, I mentioned the real scandal of embryonic stem cell research: its supporters oppose effective, non-controversial stem cell research in favor of the immoral and unproven embryonic research. Now, that circle can welcome at their latest charter member. Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois has recently signed into law a bill making his $15 million in unauthorized grants for embryonic stem cell research, well, authorized. It also sets up an institute to award future grants and (of course) to encourage therapeutic cloning (an essential part of the embryonic research package).

All in all, a great victory for the destruction of human life in the service of nebulous and distant goals. And what an ally the movement has gained in Gov. Blagojevich! Already renowned for his rampant cronyism, absentee governorship, and fiscal irresponsibility, he’s recently added petty partisan sniping against his own party leadership in the legislature. “Blago” as he’s affectionately known to his many detractors, is such a paragon of empty-headed, plastic haired stupidity that he seems utterly unreal. You think he must be a fictional character, at first, until you see all the evidence. Surely, you think, anyone who makes George W. Bush look like the president of MENSA can’t be real.

But, he is, and now he’s a proud member of the illustrious political supporters of embryonic stem cell research. Well, he does join a proud pantheon of idiots. And, of course, some clearly smart people who just hate human life. And, even, a few misguided souls who actually think they’re doing the right thing.

Most importantly, he joins a growing effort to defund research making leaps and bounds for a blind leap of faith. Using human beings for research purposes is, of course, a time-honored tradition—but planning to deliberately produce, grow, and kill them for the sole purpose of research is new. And supporters shouldn’t think they’re fooling anyone with lame protestations about how funding for this research doesn’t reduce funding for other stem cell research. Of course it does. There’s a (really) limited pool of money out there, and it’s obviously pretty tight. If it weren’t, you wouldn’t need Blago’s paltry $15 million, as the embryonic guys would be swimming in cash.

In reality, of course, money is tight, and every million thrown down the homicidal maw of embryonic stem cell and “therapeutic” cloning research is one less million to spend on stem cell research that actually produces results. But that’s by design, because embryonic stem cell research isn’t about achieving short-term results, it’s about research unhindered by current moral or ethical limits. It’s about redefining “medical ethics” and humanity to allow the full range of experimentation on human beings—provided that those human beings are killed before they get too obviously human for our comfort.

Of course, as our comfort zone expands, I’m sure the bounds of “therapeutic” cloning will slide right along with it. All perfectly simple and reasonable once we’ve set ourselves up as the arbiters of which lives are really human. Nice to see all the old ways coming back again, I suppose. “Life unworthy of life” does, after all, have such a fine pedigree in so very many places. But, really, we’re going one better: our mantra won’t be unfit life, it’ll be fully commoditized and packaged life—designed, mass-produced, packaged, and ready for sale on the open market.

Once in our past, we berated the Romans for cruelly exposing their unwanted infants and the Spartans for discarding deformed children deemed unworthy of life. Now, we boldly march into a future where we will calmly grind up our deliberately produced offspring in the service of those lucky enough to get to the magic moment of birth when they somehow suddenly become worthy of life.

And, right there in front, capering in front with the other pied pipers, the empty, empty head of Blago—not a hair out of place.

UPDATED: Belatedly added link to insightful post about Blago from a fellow Angry Man.  Let the shameless site-promotion grow from more to more, and so blogger life be enriched!

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