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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
WEBCommentary Contributor
Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  October 29, 2006
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Topic category:  Other/General

Will the Show-Me State Become the Fooled-Me State?

In some states, some real estate contracts are required to be written in "plain English."

That's good.

In Missouri, proposed amendments to the Missouri Constitution do not have to be written in plain English.

That's bad!

This year Missourians will be voting on a proposed stem cell amendment that purports to be against cloning, but would actually extend constitutional protection to unimplanted cloning.

The deceptiveness of the amendment alone is sufficient reason for the people of Missouri to defeat it.

Doug Edelman, in "Missouri's Stem Cell Amendment is Deceptive Fraud," exquisitely exposed the fraud:

"A statewide ballot initiative in Missouri.... Missouri's Amendment 2, also known as the 'Stem Cell Initiative' is being promoted as the way to guarantee availability to Missourians of 'life saving cures' resulting from stem cell research.  As Missouri tends to list to starboard, and has always been a bellwether state, reflecting accurately upon the nationwide sentiments for decades – this contentious issue has drawn a great deal of attention well outside the borders of the 'Show-Me' state.  If this amendment passes in Missouri, it is sure to be (forgive the pun) cloned elsewhere."

"The Amendment guarantees funding and provides protection from regulation for embryonic stem-cell research.  It offers a blank check to biotech firms engaged in such research as the amendment denies the state the right to limit, restrict or deny state funding to anyone involved in embryonic stem cell research!"

The problem with embryonic stem-cell research: the embryos used are the result of human cloning.

The problem with the drafting and promotion of the proposed amendment:

"Proponents of the amendment deceptively claim that the process is not cloning, and that the amendment prohibits cloning a human being.  They eagerly highlight language which 'forbids human reproductive cloning.'

"This is patently false and deceptive.  The language of the amendment specifies a prohibition on reproductive cloning… the cloning of a human embryo intended to implant in a womb and develop into a birthed person.  Great.  But it also requires state funding for the creation of human embryos which then legally MUST be destroyed.  This is certainly fodder for an ethical debate which the deceptive language is designed to defuse or minimize."

The lawyer(s) who drafted the proposed amendment surely know(s) the difference between cloning and cloning implantation.

But, he, she or they did what some lawyers do when being straightforward is expected not to succeed: obfuscate!

Mr. Edelman:

"Proponents of Amendment 2...deny that the creation of these embryos IS cloning.  Let's examine this denial.

"The process by which these embryos are created is identified in the language of the amendment as 'Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer' (SCNT).  In laymen's terms this involves the replacement of the nucleus of a human egg cell with the nuclear material from a body cell from a live human 'donor'.  This nucleus contains the genetic code of its 'parent'.  The egg then has the full compliment of 46 chromosomes (as would a fertilized egg) and it begins to divide and live as an embryo.  (Hence – embryonic stem cell research can be conducted upon it!)  It is human, it is an embryo, and if implanted in a uterus and provided time, oxygen and nutrition, it would become a person.  A genetic carbon copy of the person who's somatic cell's nucleus was transferred into the egg.  If this seems like cloning… that's because IT IS cloning!"

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet." --From Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2).

As Gertrude Stein put it: "A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose."

"Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer" is cloning, that is, the process by which a copy of an organism is created asexually, by replacing the nucleus of an egg of the species with the nucleus from a cell of a fully developed individual of that species. 

The Nazis called the Holocaust by a pleasant euphemism: the Final Solution.

It still was genocide.

Mr. Edelman: "[T]he language of the amendment, referring only to 'Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer' when speaking of the process which the amendment would protect and force state funding of - and then highlighting a prohibition against 'cloning' (referred to in this case AS CLONING) for reproductive purposes of creating a fully developed human being (as if there is a distinction between the processes) is deceptive and disingenuous.  All it really means is that these cloned embryos are created for the sole purpose of destroying them."

THAT is plain English!

Mr. Edelman was not deceived or amused; he was direct and aggrieved.

Mr. Edelman:

"Abe Lincoln once stated 'How many legs does a dog have if you call a tail a leg?  Four.  Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.'

"Calling cloning by another name doesn't make it something other than cloning.  There is an obvious and egregious attempt to obfuscate and cloud the clear understanding of the issue in order to avoid putting off those who have strong ethical issues with cloning human beings."

Proposed amendment proponents proclaim that their proposed amendment will "assure Missourians access to lifesaving cures and treatments" resulting from embryonic stem cell research. 

There is NO assurance that embryonic stem cell research will produce "lifesaving cures and treatments."  Results to date have not been encouraging.

Moreover, as Mr. Edelman pointed out, "No amendment is necessary to accomplish this.  If embryonic research in Massachusetts or California yields a promising treatment, Missouri residents are in no way restricted from benefiting from it.  Another deception. Restriction of state funding for embryonic stem cell research in no way restricts the access to treatments developed elsewhere, or developed without state funds."

There are many millions of dollars (say about thirty) invested in the campaign to adopt the proposed amendment. Why?

Mr. Edelman: "Interestingly, though, a LOT of money stands to be made based on this amendment.  The amendment FORCES the state to fund anyone doing embryonic stem cell research!  It prohibits any limitation, restriction or denial of funding for this type of research for any reason – not even the State Treasury running out of money!" 

Willie Sutton famously said that he robbed banks because that's were the money was.

The proposed amendment targets Missouri taxpayers on what, ethical concerns being put aside, is "a risky scheme" 

If a corporation sold stock the way the proposed amendment proponents have been promoting the proposed amendment, the Securities and Exchange Commission would intervene.

Don't the people of Missouri deserve the same kind of disclosure to which proposed investors in securities are entitled?

National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez opposes the proposed amendment and thinks good may come out of it:

"Enter the Show-Me State, with a light at the end of a long election-season tunnel, and a great opportunity for coalition building — folks who rarely stand side by side working together.

"Missouri right now is the latest Brave New World battleground, as voters will face Amendment 2,  a ballot initiative that would write a right to human cloning into the Missouri constitution.

"As in California and New Jersey  before it, cloning advocates hope to dupe Missouri voters with their humane but disingenuous talk of hope and cures to debilitating and deadly disease. A Missourian wouldn’t have to be a lazy, ignorant fool to think Amendment 2 had absolutely nothing to do with cloning — or, even better, actually banned human cloning. As it happens, in fact, anyone paying attention to the official amendment summary could be easily fooled. By means of a redefinition of cloning and other doublespeak, cloning advocates (in Missouri and elsewhere) are trying to get folks to believe that cloning only happens if you end up with the stuff of a sci-fi-movie plot — raising a cloned child; it doesn’t count, they say, when you just clone an embryo. If it’s just clone and kill, early and often, then it’s something else entirely different from cloning, they claim.

"For most people — never mind politicians — the science is pretty complicated, but the principles involved, when laid out truthfully are fairly straightforward. Getting the truth out in an environment of hopeful hype and scientific muddle, however, is no small order. Still, despite being wildly overspent (to the tune of just under $30 million to $3-$5 million), in recent days a fresh wind of hope has blown through the virtual war rooms of anti-cloning activists. As of early this week, internal poll numbers show that the 'Definitely Yes' vote on Amendment 2 — folks who would vote for cloning — has dropped 13 points in the last month, as people start to pay attention. 'They are barely at 52 percent now, and about to slip underwater,' a source working on the anti-Amendment 2 campaign tells National Review Online."

May it be so! 

As Ms. Lopez explained, one merely needs to oppose the exploitation of women to oppose the proposed amendment:

"[I]t’s not just the usual suspects (i.e., pro-life activists) who are against Amendment 2 and measures like it. Just this week, a hearing was held at the United Nations. It related to the buying and selling of human eggs mentioned by that anti-Amendment 2 commercial. The speakers at the hearing included both friends of mine and liberal feminists. Since cloning promises to exploit women, as it necessarily requires their eggs, there is natural alliance between anti-cloners and traditional feminists on this issue. Organized by the United States delegation, the event was meant as an opportunity to highlight that the issue gives rise to alliances that cross political lines. As one participant, Yuval Levin of the Ethics and Public Policy Center..., relayed, 'Each of us talked about some particular facet of the issue, but all agreed that attempts at SCNT would create dangerous new demand for more eggs, and in turn for applying pressure on women to "donate"; and that hype about the state and prospects of stem-cell research was adding to that pressure in disturbing ways.'"

Ms. Lopez' smart summary: "A 'yes' vote on Amendment 2... would be a 'yes' to a state constitutional right to human cloning, putting cloning research above the reach of further state regulation. That’s unnecessary and dangerous. A 'no' vote on Amendment 2 is a 'no' to a dangerous rush toward a Brave New World. Missourians don’t have to become scientists before November 8; they just have to know that they don’t know enough to be signing away citizen oversight to an industry that can’t play it straight when asking for their votes, but instead inundates them with unfair emotional pleas (e.g., Michael J. Fox with Parkinson’s, Sheryl Crow with cancer, etc.)."

Missourians, VOTE NO on Proposed Amendment No 2!

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.


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