December 12, 2008

We really shouldn't be surprised: A dark comedy in two acts

Act I:

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced major changes Thursday to the Endangered Species Act, causing environmental groups to charge that the "midnight rules" set to go into effect before President-elect Barack Obama takes office are intended to eviscerate the nation's premier wildlife-protection law.

The regulations eliminate a requirement that federal agencies seek review by government scientists before approving logging, mining and construction projects to make sure the activities don't endanger rare animals and plants.

In addition, the regulations say the law could not be used to protect polar bears, walrus, mountain frogs and other species vulnerable to the effects of global warming.

When challenged, Kempthorne argues that these changes have been made to `clear up confusion'.

Act II:

The Vatican on Friday said life was sacred at every stage of its existence and condemned artificial fertilisation, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning and drugs which block pregnancy from taking hold.

What else is new, right? Go back and read it again. I missed it the first time, too.

It said most forms of artifical fertilisation "are to be excluded" because "they substitute for the conjugal act ... which alone is truly worthy of responsible procreation".

It condemned in-vitro fertilisation, saying the techniques "proceed as if the human embryo were simply a mass of cells to be used, selected and discarded."

So much for the argument that, if you don't like gay marriage because `they can't have kids', then you can't like an infertile straight marriage either. One man's modus tollens and all that. You can read all of Dignitas Personae here.

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