Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Swiftboating Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton should have been ready for the sort of targeted, coordinated smear campaign that sunk John Kerry's presidential aspirations in 2004. But it's not clear she was fully prepared for the barrage of mud that unlimited political money could sling. "Swiftboating" has never been so fully funded and carefully crafted as it is today in the project to bring down the Democratic Party's leading contender for the 2016 Presidential nomination.

To put it simply, "swiftboating" is turning some one's positives into negatives through a coordinated campaign of rumor and innuendo. The political technique was honed in the 2004 election pitting John Kerry, a decorated war veteran, against George W. Bush, who used his father's connections as a congressman to get an appointment to the National Guard, and avoid duty in Vietnam. Kerry's campaign hoped to use this disparity in the two men's military service to Kerry's advantage in the election.

The so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT), a 527 group funded by by Sam Fox, a billionaire and hardline rightwinger, denigrated Kerry's military service record and questioned the circumstances relating to the award of Kerry's combat medals. Their campaign of rumor and innuendo against Kerry received widespread publicity due to his presidential bid. Defenders of John Kerry's service record, including nearly all of his former crewmates, stated that SBVT's allegations were false. The SBVT campaign against Kerry was later discredited and gave rise to the neologism "swiftboating" to describe an unfair or untrue political attack. Of course by then, the damage had been done.

Swiftboating is not about the truth. It's a coordinated smear campaign waged on uncorroborated allegations so damning and ostensibly widespread the public is disinclined to give the target the benefit of the doubt. It includes posting unflattering photos of Mrs Clinton, like the altered photo to the right created by the radical right wing organization, "shtfplan.com." The swiftboat attack on Hillary Clinton aims at discrediting the key things Republicans think could boost her chances in 2016:
  • Her remarkable educational accomplishments at Wellesley College and Yale Law School
  • Her experience with the Rose Law Firm, where she became the first female full partner
  • Experience as First Lady of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992
  • Experience as First Lady during her husband's presidency from 1993 to 2001
  • Experience in government as Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009 
  • Her foreign policy experience, including her tenure as the 67th Secretary of State, 2009 to 2013
  • Her part in founding and her work with the Clinton Foundation international programs
Hillary Rodham Clinton's Official Senate Portrait
It would take a few volumes to detail all the charges leveled at Hillary Clinton over her political lifetime. She is a remarkably intelligent woman, who has dedicated her life to public service. She is outspoken in asserting her beliefs and promoting her many causes. She can be blunt, gives as good as she gets, and can be demanding when the path forward is clear and people are not stepping up. In all this, she acts a lot like a man -- a smart man. Only she isn't a man, so one of the many charges about her character is that she's a "bitch." Well, Hillary can't hold a candle to Donald Trump when it comes to being rude and nasty, but she does have an edge. Whether she's a "bitch" or not is all in the eye of the person who's eye she spit in, but as Tina Fey said, "She is [a bitch]. And so am I. Bitches get stuff done."

The latest "bitch" charge against Hillary Clinton is that she was rude to her Secret Service detail. The charges seem to have their genesis in a "tell all" book by Ronald Kessler detailing the lives of various occupants of the White House. Parts of the book about Hillary Clinton have taken on a life of their own and become part of Internet Urban myth, even forcing Kessler to say the viral email's descriptions of Obama and Hillary Clinton, "are completely wrong."

Nevertheless, the swiftboat is trying to speed Hillary Clinton's character down the river, with poorly-sourced negative quotes and opinions being repeated in one right-wing outlet after another, and "contributors" to conservative media wielding their "journalistic" cudgels. Some of the many media outlets being used to disseminate the smear campaign include: Fox Nation, New York Post, Breitbart.com, Newsmax.com, and the always extreme right-wing reliable Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Michael Savage, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

The "bitch" charge against Hillary Clinton is a key thrust for the swiftboat campaign because it goes to neutralize her appeal as a woman, and possibly the first American woman president. But this attempt at character assassination is small potatoes compared to the coordinated attacks being carried out by the Republican Congress itself.


The swiftboat campaign against Hillary Clinton is far more pervasive and insidious than the 2004 campaign against John Kerry, which was funded by wealthy Republican donors and carried out by a tax-exempt 527 group. But the U.S. Congress wasn't directly involved in the swiftboat campaign against Kerry, as it is against Hillary Clinton (although Jeb Bush, then governor of Florida, personally thanked the 527 group for "standing up against" Kerry). Republicans in congress have taken up their oar in the swiftboat attack by attempting to impugn Hillary Clinton's performance as America's 67th Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013.
Congressman Trey Gowdy, Chair of the House Benghazi Committee
The House Select Committee on Benghazi is the 8th congressional investigation of the September 11, 2012, attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four people, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Unlike the amusing TV comedy series, Eight is Enough, the Republican 'made-for-TV' production is neither amusing (okay, sometimes it's amusing), nor any longer interesting -- all the questions (2780 to date) have long ago been asked and answered.

In addition to the 8 congressional investigations, there have been 32 congressional hearings, plus another 50 hearings, briefings, and/or interviews by the Department of Defense, and 11 published reports. This incident has been investigated more than the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the 1996 Khobar Tower bombing, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and even the attacks of September 11, 2001. The Benghazi clusterfuck has gone on longer than the investigation of the Watergate scandal.
Despite its best efforts, including plowing through all of Hillary Clinton's emails, the Republicans have come up with nothing substantive to pin on the former Secretary of State, or for that matter, the Administration. The best they can do is to complain that in the immediate aftermath of the attacks National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, implied the motivation for the attackers was an anti-Muslim video. Her information was based on an assessment provided by the Intelligence Community that also went to congress. Despite this, Republican Jim Jordan (R-OH), who chairs the far right, House 'Freedom Caucus,' said, "You could live with a protest about a video, that won't hurt you, but a terror attack...Americans could accept, reluctantly, compatriots being killed abroad, but what they can't live with is when their government is not square with them." The irony of this petulantly delivered statement seemed to escape Congressman Jordan.

Republicans believe the confusion over who did what to whom for what reason at Benghazi was not due to the fog of war, but rather was a deliberate misinformation campaign designed to protect President Obama's reelection chances. The reasoning behind this charge is somewhat convoluted, but not for Republicans hellbent on finding something, anything, to hang on Clinton and Obama. Were it not for the fact that Republicans leaders in congress urged the Obama Administration to support the overthrow of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, they'd have laid the disintegration of the Libyan State solely at Clinton's feet.

If Republican Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Richard Hanna hadn't accidentally made it clear that the Benghazi investigation was designed to hurt Hillary Clinton politically — at a cost of nearly $5 million to American taxpayers -- rather than reveal anything new about the attack, then the debacle of Republican members of the so-called, 'Select Committee' on Benghazi grilling Clinton for some eleven hours has revealed it for what it is, a partisan attack on a person Republicans fear and hate. Their pontificating, long-winded statements in the place of questions, their petulance and aimless meandering were evidence of a hatchet job attempted with a wet noodle.

So, now that Benghazi has turned sour for Republican hit men, what's there next target? Ever heard of the Clinton Foundation?


The Clinton Foundation is an international charitable organization established by former President of the United States Bill Clinton in 2001. Its mission is to "strengthen the capacity of people throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence."

The Foundation focuses on improving global health and wellness, increasing opportunity for women and girls, reducing childhood obesity and preventable diseases, creating economic opportunity and growth, and helping communities address the effects of climate change.

The Foundation is chartered as a nonprofit under 501(c)(3) of the U.S. tax code. As such, it is not required to report its donors. However, in the interests of transparency, and unlike the hoard of right-wing “social welfare” organizations, who thrive on “dark money,”  it does. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Republicans have attacked the organization and Hillary Clinton for conflicts of interest, and for using the Foundation as a “slush fund” for her political aspirations. No hard evidence exists to support such charges.

Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina has charged that only 6% of the Foundation’s donations go to support charitable works. That’s patently false; 89% of donations support a wide array of charitable projects that have demonstrably improved the quality of life of some of the world’s poorest communities.


Hillary Clinton is smart, very smart, and her intelligence and the fact that she’s self-assured and speaks her mind was and is a thorn in the side of conservatives who believe a woman’s place is in the home -- and they didn’t mean the White House!

Clinton was an outstanding student in high school, where she was a National Honor Society member. She was Senior Class president at Wellesley College, where she served as president of Wellesley Republican club, and where she was the first student speaker to address the graduating class. At Yale Law School she was a member of the board of editors, Yale Review of Law and Social Action, and graduated with honors. She did a year of post-graduate work at the Yale Child Study Center.

Early on, Clinton was active in young Republican groups and campaigned for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. She was inspired to work in some form of public service after hearing a speech in Chicago by Reverend Martin Luther King, and she found that her values were more in line with the Democratic Party. Subsequently, Republicans charged her with everything from communist sympathies to not being in tune with “family values.” The latter charge is especially ironic, since Hillary Clinton has been a champion of children and families her entire working life.

As First Lady of Arkansas for twelve years, Hillary Clinton chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee, co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, and served on the boards of the Arkansas Children's Hospital, Legal Services, and the Children's Defense Fund.

As First Lady of the United States after her husband’s election, Hillary Clinton led the Task Force on Health Care Reform, overseeing research, investigatory trips, financial reports, numerous committees composed of medical and insurance professionals, lawmakers and other government officials, public service leaders, and consumer rights advocates. Conservatives, libertarians, and the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries successfully attacked the resulting healthcare plan, the “Health Security Act,” calling it "Hillarycare," and claiming it constituted government overreach, and/or socialized medicine. The act never came to a vote in the Senate or House. Nevertheless, Hillary Clinton was seen by congressional Republicans and Democrats alike as “extremely knowledgable” about healthcare and a leader on the issue.

Hillary Clinton's resume reads like a prescription for president. In addition to her legal chops, she was engaged in substantive policy formulation as First Lady of Arkansas and the U.S., she was the first female senator from the state of New York, and she was U.S. Secretary of State, where according to the magazine, 'Foreign Affairs,' she "helped undo the damage that the habitual unilateralism of the George W. Bush administration had done to the global image of the United States."

Republicans have attacked her on every front, while sallying forth a bevy of candidates that are at best inferior and at worst, dangerous fools. A political party with even a modicum of self-awareness would be embarrassed.
The money that funds a swiftboating campaign is almost always "dark money." The group doing the swiftboating is usually a 527, a tax-exempt organization that can raise unlimited amounts of soft money. These organizations may also be 501(c) organizations, including the infamous, "social welfare organizations" that the IRS went after recently for their too obvious relationship to the Tea Party and other "patriot" and "we the people" conservative causes.

Monday, November 2, 2015

ASA Statement on Climate Change

Adopted 11-30-07 by the ASA Board of Directors

The American Statistical Association (ASA) convened a workshop of leading atmospheric scientists and statisticians involved in climate change research. The goal of this workshop was to identify a consensus on the role of statistical science in current assessments of global warming and its impacts.

Of particular interest to this workshop was the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), endorsed by more than 100 governments and drawing on the expertise of a large portion of the climate science community.

Through a series of meetings spanning several years, IPCC drew in leading experts and assessed the relevant literature in the geosciences and related disciplines as it relates to climate change. The Fourth Assessment Report finds that “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising mean sea level. … Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. … Discernible human influences now extend to other aspects of climate, including ocean warming, continental-average temperatures, temperature extremes, and wind patterns.

The ASA endorses the IPCC conclusions.

Over the course of four assessment reports, a small number of statisticians have served as authors or reviewers. Although this involvement is encouraging, it does not represent the full range of statistical expertise available. ASA recommends that more statisticians should become part of the IPCC process. Such participation would be mutually beneficial to the assessment of climate change and its impacts and also to the statistical community.

The US government’s Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) is in the process of producing a set of 21 Synthesis and Assessment reports on many different aspects of climate change. Some statisticians have been appointed members of CCSP committees or reviewers through the National Research Council.

ASA recommends that there should be greater involvement by statisticians in future reviews of the state of climate science conducted by the CCSP. Although there are numerous opportunities for increasing the participation of the statistical community in the IPCC, CCSP, and other assessment processes, the ASA notes that there is already extensive and healthy collaboration between statisticians and climate scientists in basic research on climate change. Furthermore, climate science continues to offer many statistical challenges that are currently not being tackled and many opportunities for collaboration with geoscientists.

The ASA strongly urges statisticians to collaborate with other scientists in order to advance our understanding of the nature, causes, and impacts of climate change.

The workshop convened by ASA identified several specific areas where statistical science can make a contribution. Besides the obvious benefit to the geosciences these topics may well push the boundaries of statistics and suggest new methods, algorithms, and theory.

Interpreting and synthesizing climate observations

Observational data from different measurement platforms and sensors, such as satellites, weather balloons, surface stations, or ocean drifter buoys often represent climate processes at very different spatial or temporal scales. Moreover, observational records from earlier parts of the 20th century are sparse, particularly in southern oceans and in the developing parts of the world. Even in the satellite era – the best observed period in Earth’s climate history – there are significant uncertainties in key observational datasets. Reduction of these uncertainties will be crucial for evaluating and better constraining climate models. Statisticians can advise on how best to combine data from different sources, how to identify and adjust for biases in different measurement systems, and how to deal with changes in the spatial and temporal coverage of measurements.

The climate science community often requires regular fields of geophysical variables, such as surface temperature, which must be derived from irregular and heterogeneous observations. Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of different interpolation approaches (referred to as infilling in climate applications) could be very helpful. This research area contains many opportunities for the development and fitting of sophisticated space-time models to sparse data.

Climate models

Complex computer models based on physical laws are used to simulate the dynamics of the Earth’s atmosphere, ocean, and sea ice. These models provide a basis for exploring the physical relationship among different components of the climate system and also for making projections of future climate states. The design and analysis of computer experiments is an area of statistics that is appropriate for aiding the development and use of climate models. Statistically based experimental designs, not currently used in this field, could be more powerful. It is also important to understand how to combine the results of experiments performed with different climate models. Despite their sophistication, climate models remain approximations of a very complex system and systematic model errors must be identified and characterized. Model evaluation is an area of active research, with many opportunities for informed statistical input. Finally, assessing the many sources of uncertainty in climate projections requires innovative techniques for better quantifying and, where possible, reducing these uncertainties. Quantifying uncertainty and formal assessment of confidence intervals on observations and model projections are core activities of statistical science, and become particularly appropriate when climate models are used to identify human effects on climate or to estimate climate-change impacts.

Regional and local effects of climate change

There is great need for taking coarse-resolution projections from global and regional climate models down to estimates for small areas. Indeed, translating the large scale understanding of climate processes to changes at a local level is a grand challenge in climate research. Statisticians can provide valuable input to this problem of downscaling climate-model results to the much finer levels of detail required for policy makers.

High dimensional data analysis

The results of climate models and current observational data sets are extremely multi-dimensional and difficult to visualize and analyze. A commonly-used technique is principal components analysis (often known as empirical orthogonal functions analysis in the geophysical sciences). This standard method can miss the nonlinear and non-Gaussian attributes often associated with geophysical processes. Statisticians have the opportunity to contribute improved analytic techniques for interpreting geophysical data. It is very difficult to present all of the information concisely in a manner that can be understood by decision makers. Dimension reduction and data presentation techniques are needed for comparing spatial maps, explaining what is being presented, and determining how to describe the confidence levels associated with projections obtained from noisy and spatially incomplete data.

Human health effects of climate change

The available evidence suggests that certain extreme events with the potential to impact human health may be increasing in frequency as a result of global warming. For example, the IPCC concluded that there have been more intense and longer droughts, and an increase in the frequency of hot days, hot nights, heat waves, and heavy precipitation events. Climate change can also impact human health through its effects on the vectors carrying diseases, or through the complex interplay between large-scale warming and local air pollution. Links between local air pollution and human mortality are already well-established. One issue that has emerged in recent research is the extent to which individual extreme events, such as the 2003 European heat wave, can be attributed to global warming as opposed to other possible explanations, including natural causes. A fruitful line of research is to explore how concepts borrowed from epidemiology, such as relative risk, are potentially valuable in this context. Papers along these lines have started to appear in the climate literature, but there is much scope for further development.

ASA Statement on Climate Change

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Money in Politics

Are you passionate about protecting, repealing, reforming X, Y, Z? Good for you. Congress doesn’t care.

A recent study found that little of what's done by the U.S. congress has any correlation whatsoever to the issues and outcomes about which American voters care. What matters to congress is not the opinion of Republicans, or Democrats, or the Tea Party, or the Occupy Movement, or any other average citizen or interest group, but rather the opinion of people and groups with big money.

The study in “Perspectives on Politics” (Sep 2014) by professors Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page of Princeton and Northwestern, respectively analyzed 20 years of data and concluded that “economic elites” and business interests have “substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy,” while average citizens and interest groups have “little or no independent influence.”

I think most of us knew this in our gut and we didn’t need a research study, or even Donald Trump boasting about it, to know the system is corrupt. During 2015‘s first Republican debate Trump said he gave to everybody, and gesturing to the other nine people on the stage with him said, “When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them...they are there for me.” Then he added, “that’s a broken system.” Donald Trump says some crazy stuff, but he’s right about this -- the system is broken.

People, corporations, PACs, super PACs, and the in-name-only “social welfare” organizations, and their lobbyists untethered by recent U.S. Supreme Court  decisions have poured literally billions into influencing our government. They’ve earned an estimated return in terms of tax breaks and subsidies of 750 times their investment. Nice work if you can get it. And people like Charles and David Koch, and George Soros, and Sheldon Adelson, and Michael Bloomberg, and others like Donald Trump, can and do get it.

Lawrence Lessig, who is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, has written extensively and eloquently on the corrupting influence of unlimited money on American government. Big money has a disproportionate influence on who runs for office, who gets elected, and what gets done or doesn’t get done.

But corruption of the democratic process isn’t the only thing that’s happening. In the unending quest to raise money, the two political parties and their surrogates have resorted to the outreach theme that works best -- fear and anger. Everything has become a “war;” a “war on women,” a “war on coal,” a “war on religion.” The effect on our discourse and culture has been corrosive, creating a hyper-partisan divide that fuels incivility, distrust, and confrontation.

We must get money out of politics not just to save the Republic from its corrupting influence on democracy, but also from its corrosive impact on our American culture. Join one of the many grassroots efforts to take our Republic back. A good one here in our state is WAmend.org, which has fielded an effort promoting a constitutional amendment, I-735, that would eliminate the disproportionate influence of concentrated money and political power on elections and governmental policy.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Ignorant of History and Determined to Repeat It

Yogi Berra died recently. He was a hall-of-fame baseball player for the New York Yankees -- an iconic figure in baseball -- but more than that, he was a guy who could string a few words together and make you think, huh? One of the things he said that the recent Republican debate brought to mind was, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else.”

That’s certainly what’s happened to us ever since we started meddling in the byzantine affairs of the Mesopotamian tribes of Iran, Iraq, and Syria. It worries me that our recent crop of Republican presidential candidates seem so uninformed about America’s unfortunate history of failed excursions in the region. They stood on the dais at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library in Simi Valley, California, and tried to convince voters that they were the honest-to-god best person to be the next American president and fly on the Air Force One that stood as the backdrop to these wannabe Commanders-in-Chief. Unfortunately they demonstrated that they aren’t ready for the job.
With the possible exception of Sen. Rand Paul, these people still don’t understand the massive strategic blunder that the U.S. made in invading Iraq in 2003. They don’t ‘connect the dots’ between that calamity and the chaos that exists in and migrates from the region today.

The candidates talked over each other in their efforts to convince the audience how tough they’d be as commander-in-chief. They would’ve stayed in Iraq, forgetting that the Iraqis didn’t want us and George W. Bush agreed to leave. They’d take on ISIS on the ground in Syria. The so-called “second-tier” Republican debaters were even more forceful in their promises to put “boots on the ground” in Syria.

Jeb Bush, who has vacillated on the wisdom of his brother’s decision to invade Iraq, admits he’s using some of the same foreign policy advisers his father and brother used. But he “will be his own man.” He blames President Obama and Hillary Clinton for creating the “insecurity” in the Middle East, “the likes of which we never would've imagined.”

Insecurity is a placid term for what is a haboob of death and destruction that, in fact, not only could we have imagined, but was predicted by none other than the elder Bush, who showed admirable restraint in not attempting the occupation of Iraq after kicking Saddam out of Kuwait in 1991, saying that doing so, “would have been disastrouss.” At that time, even Dick Cheney cautioned against becoming mired down in an Iraq “quagmire.” Brent Scowcroft, Chairman of George W. Bush’s own Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, went on ‘Face the Nation’ in August 2002 where he predicted that invading Iraq, “would turn the Middle East into a cauldron.” He followed up with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal later that month.
The Iraq war cost America thousands of lives, left thousands more injured and maimed, cost trillions of dollars, and brought the U.S. economy to its knees. The conduct of the war tarnished forever America’s image as a just and reliable ally. It left Iraq a devastated country wracked by sectarian violence. It created this humanitarian crises that floats bodies upon the shores of Europe.
In defense of his brother, Jeb Bush said, “You know what? As it relates to my brother, there's one thing I know for sure. He kept us safe.”

Sunday, September 6, 2015


French gendarmes round up and evict migrants who were living in a camp near the Channel Tunnel in Calais, northern France, on June 2, 2015. Police evicted around 140 migrants from two makeshifts camps.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Alexis de Tocqueville on Equality in America

Drawing of Alexis de Tocqueville by Theodore Chasseriau, December 31, 1843
AMONG the novel objects that attracted my attention during my stay in the United States, nothing struck me more forcibly than the general equality of condition among the people. I readily discovered the prodigious influence that this primary fact exercises on the whole course of society; it gives a peculiar direction to public opinion and a peculiar tenor to the laws; it imparts new maxims to the governing authorities and peculiar habits to the governed.

I soon perceived that the influence of this fact extends far beyond the political character and the laws of the country, and that it has no less effect on civil society than on the government; it creates opinions, gives birth to new sentiments, founds novel customs, and modifies whatever it does not produce. The more I advanced in the study of American society, the more I perceived that this equality of condition is the fundamental fact from which all others seem to be derived and the central point at which all my observations constantly terminated

From the author's preface to
Democracy in America, 1835

Friday, August 28, 2015

Abstinence Only or Cancer -- The Republicans' False Dichotomy

There was a very interesting special on NOVA, PBS, last night dealing with vaccinations in America; their history, development, and some of the controversy that’s plagued them. We all know about the fraudulent Wakefield study and how it caused a lot of parents to avoid getting their children the MMR vaccination and all the problems that caused (and continues to cause, because some idiots still believe vaccinations cause autism -- see for example, 'Health Impact News').

I didn’t know that the vaccination to prevent the Human PapillomaVirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer was so controversial. The physician discussing it on the Nature special said (and I’m quoting from memory), “We’ve all wanted some way to prevent cancer, now we have an incredible scientific breakthrough that prevents cervical cancer, why wouldn’t we use it?” Good question.

Then we switch to a video of a female physician discussing the HPV vaccination with a woman and her pre-teen daughter. The mother and daughter are facing away from the camera so we don’t see their faces. The physician explains the dangers of HPV and the efficacy and reliability of the vaccine and recommends the mother have her daughter vaccinated. The mother declines to do so. The physician asks if the woman has any fears about the vaccine harming her daughter. The mother says no, she isn’t going to have her daughter vaccinated because she, the mother, believes in “chastity.”

There is some back and forth on this, with the mother explaining that she expects her daughter to refrain from sex until she’s married, and the physician explaining that the blushing bride could still get HPV from the groom, or even through “deep kissing,” should she ever have a boyfriend in her poor unfortunate life living with this deeply disturbed mother.

But the mother says that having her daughter vaccinated against HPV will encourage her to have premarital sex. She is adamant. She will not approve the vaccination! So the physician says, “Well, let’s just do the flu shot today and we can talk more about the HPV vaccination another time” (little did the physician know that there are those that claim the flu vaccination is "the most dangerous vaccine is the U.S." -- see again, Health Impacts News, whose Managing Editor and Founder, Brian Shilhavy, has a “BA in Bible and Greek from Moody Bible Institute, and an MA in Applied Linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University.”).

Well, this mother must be an outlier, right? Unfortunately, no. Mrs. ‘Tightlips’ is part of a conservative ‘abstinence-only’ movement that apparently would rather see their daughters (or sons -- men can get cancer from HPV) die from cancer than have pre-marital sex (it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women).
I should have remembered this outbreak of anti-science, because Rick Perry kept apologizing during the 2008 Republican presidential debates for signing an executive order making the vaccine mandatory in Texas for all sixth-grade girls. “I made a mistake,” he said -- oops! And who could forget Michele Bachmann claiming on Fox and ‘Today’ that the vaccine caused mental retardation. Was she talking about herself? Did she get vaccinated? I doubt it. There must be another explanation.
As of July 30, 2015, 4 out of 10 adolescent girls and 6 out of 10 adolescent boys have not started the recommended HPV vaccine series, leaving them vulnerable to cancers caused by HPV infections.