Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bush stands in the way of freedom... once again - Bush Vetoes Stem Cell Bill As Promised

I have mixed feelings on the subject of "freedom". To be honest, I think real freedom is a myth, a convenient fiction that we use to tell ourselves that we really are in control of our lives, rather than being subject to the mechanics of our brains.

But of course freedom comes in many guises.

The American state was built around the concept of "freedom", specifically a kind of freedom sometimes called "civil liberty" - the right to do whatever you damn-well please as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.

Personally I think that's a bad idea... only a small percentage of the human species can be trusted with that kind of liberty, the rest will undoubtedly abuse it.

The freedom I'm talking about in the title of this post is the freedom to decide how long you will live.

Up till now, our life-spans have been dictated by, for the most part, natural factors: predators, disease, misfortune and old age. Predators haven't been a problem for some time, but the others remain. That's about to change.

Medical science is reaching a point where it will be so efficient that we will no longer be subject to those factors.

New research is bringing us ever closer to curing life-threatening diseases. On a regular basis, our understanding of cancer is improving, and we're not far off from knowing exactly how to stop it. I anticipate that within 20 years we'll start having some sort of "cancer vaccine" (along with vaccines for nasty viri like HIV, SARS and Ebola). It's just a matter of time.

Medical science is even getting closer to porviding solutions to old age and misfortune... we're only decades away from being able to replace damaged or faulty body parts with new ones grown from our own DNA.

There is one field of research that is central to these impending discoveries: stem cell research.

Why does it not surprise me in the least that the "Leader of the Free World (TM)" has vetoed a bill that would send that research forward in leaps and bounds. Even though Congress passed the bill with just shy of the two thirds majority they would need to override Dubya's veto, that goddam right-wing warmonger won't let the will of the people get in the way of him forcing his own conservative, religious fundamentalist, anti-science agenda down everybody's throats.

Fuck you, George W. Bush. Fuck you very much.