Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Obama Abolishes President’s Council on Bioethics

...with one day’s notice. I actually have no problem with this, except for the the lack of notice. A couple of reports--including a great one on organ markets--were about to be issued, and there was one more meeting scheduled for next week. In the gracious letter terminating my appointment, I’m reassured that "President Obama recognizes the value of having a commission composed on experts on bioethical issues to provide objective and non-ideological advice to his Adminstration." I’m also aware that those are three shots at members like me--mere faith-based amateur ideologues. This would be a great day for you to review the accomplishments of the Kass/Pellegrino Council at bioethics.gov.

Discussions - 16 Comments

"In the gracious letter terminating my appointment, I’m reassured that 'President Obama recognizes the value of having a commission composed on experts on bioethical issues to provide objective and non-ideological advice to his Adminstration.' I’m also aware that those are three shots at members like me--mere faith-based amateur ideologues."

It almost sounds like you have a persecution complex.

Craig, Lighten up, it was sort of a joke.

It is what it is, Craig and Peter: A) less than fully cordial and professional in its timing, and B) phrased as much for editorializing purposes as for purposes of politeness. It is the sort of thing Dems under Republican rule would point out and whine about, after all. One may have the class to take the three shots lightly, and joke about them, but they still are what they are. There is no shock, because after all, if Obama has a commission of his own, those "three shots" define his expectations.

Don't you know, Craig has no sense of humor.

I would only applaud this move if it were the start of trimming and cutting the bureaucracy and commissions of the federal government that have swollen it since the Progressive Era. If not, what the hell, keep it.

Who needs a Council on Bioethics when you have--as the President pointed out some months ago--the powerful combination of scientific expertise and public opinion respectful of it? We the people--as interpreted by the President--are repositories of ethical expertise.

As a Person of Age (was called "elderly" or "dead" when I was younger) I wonder what part of "let the old die to save money" this will help.

One day's notice is a bummer. Are you unionized?



In all seriousness, though, that's pretty crappy.

He should resign from office due to this national nightmare of quotegate. In reality, the quote is a sort of lame attempt to find something positive about American Islamic relations. To the people whining about the tribute paying, we did not have a navy(nor a military industrial complex that could just crank out a few frigates or ships of the line at will or the taxes to pay for it) when we started doing it and I would think you would applaud the pragmatic descisions of Adams. From the history I have read about the Barbary Wars it seems that religion played almost no role at all in the dispute. It was business, pirates got away with it and it was profitable. Our military action was far from a tremendous show of force and getting deals from the despots of the barbary states was the key. Islamic fundamentalism in the modern era started with the CIA in their attempts to fight the soviets in Afganistan and keep communism out of the middle east.

Wrong thread, not sure how that happended.

The work you all did on the Council is good. It's of real benefit to those of us who try to want to understand these issues ourselves and help our students understand them. It was ended too soon, but congrats on work well done.

Peter, I echo ed's comment: you are owed a citizen's (and citizenry's) heartfelt thanks. You and (the vast majority of) the other members of the Council were models of informed, thoughtful, respectful democratic discussion and deliberation. You all gave us more than enough to think about with the volumes already published! Thanks.

High time for a shadow Bioethics Commission.

Full-throated thanks, Peter. Serious suggestion: a short memoir of your experience - in government, with this issue, and as part of this group.

Second Steve's suggestion, but I would also add a rely to critics. Easy for me to say since I don't have to right it.

Yes, thank you for serving. I say that to folks in the military, but it also seems suitable here, although a different kind of battle. War stories are always interesting.

Just wondering, but was anyone on the commission expecting it would be continued?

I think a memoir on the bioethics council is a great idea. It would be interesting to be inside the meetings, maneuvering, etc.

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