This is the first of a new Power Line occasional series to go along with our Civil War on the Left, Loose Ends, and Green Weenie series. We’ll call this one “What Next?” to highlight the latest absurd piece of news that makes satire and parody the most challenging art form of our time.
So here’s the first news item for this series, from The Economist:
IT SOUNDS, admits Chris Finlayson, like a “pretty nutty” idea. Yet the new law that declares the Whanganui river, New Zealand’s third-longest, a legal person, in the sense that it can own property, incur debts and petition the courts, is not unprecedented. Te Urewera, an area of forested hills in the north-east that used to be a national park, became a person for legal purposes in 2014. And around the world companies, foundations and assorted units of government have legal rights and responsibilities independent of the people who staff them. All the same, New Zealanders have been joking about whether the Whanganui might now vote, buy a few beers (how old is it?) or be charged with murder if a swimmer drowns. . .
Days after the law passed, an Indian court declared two of the biggest and most sacred rivers in India, the Ganges and Yamuna, to be people too. Making explicit reference to the Whanganui settlement, the court assigned legal “parents” to protect and conserve their waters.
Ah, there’s the rub. These new legal designations are just a means of providing more means for other self-appointed humans to claim more power over the rest of us. Funny how that works.
How long before these rivers get voting rights?