The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Sc. I
I am a tainted wether of the flock,
Meetest for death: the weakest kind of fruit
Drops earliest to the ground.
Conservatives traditionally resist government intrusion into the home and personal lives of American citizens: Liberals tend to welcome the guiding hand of government into every facet of modern life. This is one of the fundamental differences between Liberalism and Conservatism. During the GOP Debate, Rep. Bachman called Governor Perry on his issuance of an executive order in 2007, requiring all girls in Texas to receive Gardasil, unless a waiver was signed by her parents. Gardasil by Merck, prevents infection of the more common strains of human papilloma virus. These particular viruses, once established, can initiate genital warts, as well as cervical, anal, vulvar, and vaginal cancers. The vaccine Gardasil prevents the infection and consequently prevents the associated diseases.
Texas lawmakers blocked the EO, arguing that the vaccine was too new to be considered safe, others argued that the order preempted parental rights and that the vaccine would encourage young girls to become sexually promiscuous at an early because of a false sense of security provided by the Gardasil.
Michelle Bachman provided an example of personal anecdotal evidence to stress the risk of injecting the vaccine into young girls. Apparently a young mother told her that her daughter suffered mental retardation after being injected with the vaccine. Thus this is more than enough proof for Bachman to refute the scientific studies of over 20,000 women and girls who were injected with the vaccine prior to FDA approval.
The studies concluded that the vaccine was 100% effective, an almost unprecedented result. The most serious side effect was redness, soreness, and swelling of the injection site.
Gardasil may be considered one of the most extraordinary risk-benefit ratios of all pharmaceuticals.
We have government intrusion in our lives; we are now required to wear seat belts and motorcycle helmets. People accept the fact that seat belts make crashes more survivable, as do motorcycle helmets, but the helmets interfere with the image of a bad ass on a motorcycle. Therein lies part of the conflict; much of our choice of transportation is based on an image. An image that we subscribe to and emulate within our own psyche and an image that we want to cultivate in the minds of those who view us. Yet the motorcycle road racer would never consider running down the track at speeds approaching two hundred miles an hour without a helmet, but if helmets save lives in motorcycle wrecks by lessening head trauma, how many lives could be saved if drivers and passengers of cars and trucks were required to wear a helmet. Surely head trauma is a major cause of death on the highway.
Since nearly all people engage in sexual activity, all of us are exposed to the papilloma virus. A rarely discussed fact is that certain men are carriers of the infection. Although they suffer no ill-effects, if they have multiple partners, they can spread the infection to many others, bringing misery and death as an unseemly gift of their sexual prowess.
The public would be enraged, Conservatives particularly, if these carriers of this often lethal infection were identified on the internet so that potential partners could have a choice in avoiding the infection of Don Juan types intent on serial infection of vulnerable maidens. Consequently, we allow carriers to continue to spread untold misery and death among females as a cost of our Constitutional freedoms.
A woman may only have one partner in her sexual life, but if that partner is a carrier of the infection, she will more than likely suffer through one or more of the associated diseases and death as a result.
Will we Conservatives be able to face our daughters and granddaughters if they have contracted one of the dreaded diseases and tell them that it is only collateral damage and a cost of our freedom; she may die secure in the knowledge that she contracted the disease as a free woman and she may now die a free woman, she can also take solace in the fact that the man who infected her will be free to infect many more women and their other partners as well, all in the name of freedom.
We may all rest assured that scientific minds like Michelle Bachman’s can recognize a potential problem when a woman complains that her twelve year old daughter suffered mental retardation after being injected with Gardasil.
As a Conservative, I realize that strict adherence to any ideology leads to fanaticism; common sense must be injected into the mix to keep the ideas and goals viable, but interposing uninformed personal opinions and ignorance into any situation is counter productive and nearly as offensive as falsifying data under the premise of science.
A professional horseman for over 50 years, Skook continues to work with horses. Skook has finished an historical novel, Fifty Thousand Years, that traces a mitochondrial line of DNA from 50,000 years ago to the present. The story follows a line of courageous women, from the Ice Ages to the present, as they meet the challenges of survival with grit and creativity. These are not women who whimper of being victims, they meet the challenges of survival as women who use their abilities without excuses or remorse, these women are winners, they are our ancestors.